The mission of Women in Recovery is to create a caring community that provides education, spiritual insight, and growth opportunities for women in all 12 Step recovery programs. For many years, we’ve been coming together on the fourth Wednesday of the month between January and October to learn and grow around topics that deepen the healing and transformation we all seek on our journeys of recovery.
Recently, our dynamic group expanded its efforts to fulfill our mission through the creation of a book club. We started this summer with a lively discussion of Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott. Below are one participant’s reflections on that experience:
After introducing ourselves and establishing norms, we read a short verse by Rumi selected by the author as an epigraph (a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme) to the book.
Does sunset sometimes look like the sun is coming up?
Do you know what a faithful love is like?
You’re crying; you say you’ve burned yourself.
But can you think of anyone who’s not hazy with smoke?
In discussing the epigraph, we talked about confusion and perspective, being honest about our pain, and how one powerful attribute of participating in a group is hearing that we are not alone in our experience.
One woman shared that the phrase “faithful love” meant God’s love. Yes!
In those four short lines, this small group of women came up with wonderful insights and that’s why I’m so grateful that my journey of recovery is grounded in the group, the “We” in the first step. And why those italicized words “God as we understood Him” are so important. In our book club meetings and in ancillary groups like this, we can come together to share from the heart and know that we will be heard and not judged.
After outlining the steps, our Big Book tells us that God will relieve our alcoholism if we seek him. I connect with my HP in many ways; communing with nature, mediation, and listening to you – God with skin on.
Coming off our first successful discussions, the Women in Recovery book club has decided to continue meeting on a monthly basis and has chosen the following as our next three books:
- • November 9, 2016: Rising Strong - by Brené Brown
- • December 14, 2016: The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out - by Ogyen Trinley Dorje Karmapa
- January 11, 2017: Divine Therapy & Addiction, Centering Prayer and The Twelve Steps - by Fr. Thomas Keating
Women in all 12 Step recovery programs are invited to join the book club at any time. Even if you haven’t read the entire book, you are welcome to stop in and visit for the fellowship. We meet on the second Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in The Retreat’s AV Room (located to the right of the front lobby; ask at the desk if you need directions).
If you have a book you love or that has been meaningful to read and would like to share it with other women as we “trudge the Road of Happy Destiny,” please join us. Perhaps there is something you’ve been meaning to read and feel the experience would be enhanced in a group setting – let us know! We welcome your input as we use group conscience to choose our books.
Visit our Women in Recovery page, email us at WIR@theretreat.org, or download our FREE brochure for more information!