Because many of you asked, here is an edited version of the “Guided Meditation” that I shared with you recently. It is edited so my friends of other faiths and also those in recovery might find it more meaningful. To begin, downshift from thinking to feeling, relax, close your eyes and be quiet for a moment before beginning to name your personal demons and asking your Higher Power to free you.
The name of the first personal demon is “Past Paralysis.” This demon is insidious. Far too often, we find ourselves stuck in an old story, paralyzed and unable to put the past behind us. Some of our paralyzing pasts are stories of deep pain, abuse or rejection. Other times, we may perpetually long for a past that no longer exists and cannot be re-created. Regardless of the script, we cannot re-live the past. We must not ignore the creative potential that resides is each new moment. An Apostle once pointed to the possibility of becoming new creations, “behold the past is gone and the new is come.” Now, bring to mind a demon from the past over which you are powerless and that is preventing you from living fully in the present moment.
IMAGINE the Higher Power’s LOVE touching your heart as the demons of your past are cast out. With your Higher Power’s loving touch, the “old is gone and the new has come.”
The name of the second demon is “Shame.” Shame has no worth. It is only evidence that you are not only unwilling to accept your Higher Power’s grace, but also that you are not able to forgive yourself. No matter what you have done or what you have failed to do, true healing begins when you take to heart the words of a carpenter’s son from Nazareth, “Is there no one left to condemn you? Then neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Now bring to mind any shame or residual shame that has kept you from forgiving yourself and experiencing the grace of your Higher Power.
IMAGINE the Higher Power’s LOVE touching your heart as the demons of shame are cast out. With your Higher Power’s loving touch, the “old is gone and the new has come.”
The name of the third demon is “Anxiety and Fear.” Far too often we live with an anxiety that keeps us from fully living in the present or we live in fear of what we think may happen down the road. Perhaps that anxiety and fear is rooted in our need for security, the security of having enough money or control over our lives. We can change what we have the power to change. We struggle much more with letting go of that which we cannot change. Anxiety and fear destroys our quality of life and leaves us restless and resentful. Now, bring to mind the anxieties and fears that are keeping you from experiencing the joy of living. Give them to your Higher Power and pray St. Augustine’s prayer: “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.”
IMAGINE the Higher Power’s LOVE touching your heart as the demons of anxiety and fear are cast out. With your Higher Power’s loving touch, the “old is gone and the new has come.”
There are many other demons, some that we can’t name, but here is one more that we can name. Its name is “I do not like myself.” For 45 years, when I looked in the mirror in the morning, I did not see a child of God. I did not like what I saw. I did not like ME! I felt dirty and unworthy of the Higher Power’s love. Do you like YOU? Yes, it is more than OK to say, “I love ME”, if for no other reason than your Higher Power loved you first.
IMAGINE the Higher Power’s LOVE touching your heart as the “I do not like me” demon is cast out. With your Higher Power’s loving touch, the “old is gone and the new has come.”
Now open your eyes, breathe in God’s peace and enjoy your new freedom: “The old is gone. The new has come!”
John E. Holt, Cotuit, Massachusetts