I’ve been thinking a lot about spirituality and religion lately. During my time in rehab, I avoided my church. Specifically, I avoided the group that gathers at 10 O’Clock for discussion on a variety of topics. I used to love it. The group is open and isn’t dogmatic in the least. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have gay and straight people, transgendered folks, white and black, and people from diverse faith backgrounds, We all gather under the umbrella of Methodism, and the topics are based in the Bible and Christian tradition, but we apply the lessons in different ways.
I went to the 10 O’Clock group a week into my night rehab classes and stayed the entire time, but once we gathered in a circle, I felt the overwhelming need to check in. And I did, sort of; I admitted that I was in treatment. I’m glad I did because a few people came up to me privately and shared that they, too, were in recovery.
When I went the next week, though, I had a mini panic attack and bolted from the room, and I’ve stayed away since then. This coming weekend, I’m returning to church and the 10 O’Clock group. I feel stronger and less likely to panic when all eyes are on me. I’m a bit nervous about the service itself, I shouldn’t be because there’s a difference between religion and spirituality. That is, I know there’s a difference for me. I can be at peace at my church, take what I can and apply it, and not worry about disappointing the god of my childhood because I no longer identify with that god (all of which I know troubles many members of my family).
I like the Dalai Lama’s quote above. I can overcomplicate and overthink things, and I tend to do that with spirituality. To help that, I’ve added Sylvia Boorstein’s It’s Easier Than You Think to my current reading selection (along with The Girl on the Train, which is quite good)/ Boorstein’s book styles itself as a basic primer of Buddhism. I like what I’ve read so far, so I’ll keep going. Between that and The Tao of Pooh, I find myself more and more comfortable dwelling in spirituality. Progress, not perfection, as we say in the program.
I go to after-care tonight for the first time, and Katie has switched to that rather than the three-hour night session. I’m looking forward to seeing her and the rest of the after-care group.
I’ll leave you with one more quote (also, here are some other quotes from the Dalai Lama worth reading):