Posts Tagged ‘trauma’

 

For an Alcoholic or Addict

Posted on: June 7th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

A prayer to be said those suffering from alcoholism, addiction, or both. Optional language is in [brackets], with choices separated by a slash (“/”). This prayer and three others on addiction and mental illness appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. A list of many of my related prayers can be found in the postscript at the end of this post.

For an Alcoholic or Addict
G-d of Old,
I call out to You
From the depths of despair.
My [father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/friend/husband/wife/partner/loved-one]
Suffers from the disease of [alcoholism / addiction / alcoholism and addiction,]
[Compounded by mental illness,]
Causing emotional, spiritual, and physical self-harm.
I am afraid and ashamed.
I am sad and lost.
The disease is powerful.
The possibilities are frightening.

G-d of health and well-being,
Teach me to care for myself
In the midst of crisis and chaos.
Teach me to bring love and kindness into my day,
Serenity and perspective into my life,
Especially when I feel hopeless or lost.
Teach me to trust Your will.

G-d of healing,
Bring my loved-one,
In mercy,
To recovery.
Show Your awesome works
And Your marvelous ways.
Grant healing of body
And healing of spirit.
Grant relief to all who suffer from alcoholism or addiction
So that they may become
Living reflections of Your divine gifts
And Your healing power.

Blessed are You, G-d of health and healing.

© 2013 Kavanot Press and Alden Solovy from Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing

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Postscript: My wife Ami z”l died of her alcoholism 12 years ago. It might have been suicide. We’ll never know. See also: “My Depression,” “Mental Illness,” “Cutting: A Prayer to End Self-Mutilation,” “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” “These Troubled Children,” “Suicide Attempt by My Spouse/Partner,” “My Child’s Suicide Attempt,” “Yizkor after My Child’s Suicide,” and “Yizkor after a Suicide.”

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Canyon Vista Recovery Center

#MeToo, No More: the 11th Psalm of Protest

Posted on: September 30th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This Psalm of Protest is to be “sung by brave women with a chorus of honest men.” It was inspired by the bravery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifying before the Senate, and that of Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher confronting Sen. Jeff Flake in a Senate elevator. The psalm alludes to both Dr. Ford’s testimony and the moment when Ms. Gallagher tells Sen. Flake to look at her. See also “Psalms of Protest 1, 2 and 3,” “Psalms of Protest 4, 5 and 6” and “Psalms of Protest 7 to 10.”

Psalm of Protest 11: #MeToo, No More
A psalm of protest,
Sung by brave women,
With a chorus of honest men.

Brave Women: What willful ignorance!
What blatant deceit!
That you in the halls of power detest us with disbelief.
That you loath us with scorn.

Look at me.
Look into my eyes when I speak.
Look at us,
The hundreds, the thousands,
The myriad beyond count,
As numerous as the stars in the sky.
Silenced by trauma.
Silenced by fear.
Silenced by you.
No more!
Me too. Me too. Me too.

Honest Men: We believe.
We know.
We have been silent too long.

Brave Women: What arrogant pretense!
What feigned sympathy!
That you in the halls of power
Dismiss us with false words of feigned understanding.

We have been raped,
Fondled, pushed, grabbed, groped,
Forced into corners,
Forced onto beds,
Drugged into submission,
Abused, beaten,
Left cold and alone.
Look into my eyes when I speak.

Honest Men: We believe.
We know.
We have been silent too long.

Brave Women: We tremble, terrified,
The trauma seared indelibly into the hippocampus,
The laughter and the disdain,
The violence and the anger,
The violation and the abandonment.
We demand to be heard.
We demand to be seen.
We demand justice from halls of power.

Join us, brave women.
Join us, honest men.
Together, in one voice, declare:

All: Me too, no more!
Not in the courts.
Not in the White House.
Not in our lives.
Not in the lives of anyone.

Brave Women: And we will lead the way.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: The call of justice is not enough. Men and women must be part of co-creating a better world, a world with no space for sexual assault, emotional degradation, personal harassment or rape.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Fred Klonsky

After Miscarriage or Stillbirth

Posted on: January 17th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Couple griefThis prayer, to be said by a woman after a miscarriage or stillbirth, attempts to capture the pain and grief following this devastating loss. It asks G-d to witness the sorrow and begin the healing. Since some may not feel the potential for healing, there’s an optional line in [brackets] to honor that sentiment.

After Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Source and Shield,
You have made my body
To be a fountain of life,
A well of strength,
To take seed into the warmth of my womb,
To feed and hold,
To love and shelter,
To awaken new life.

Oh grief,
I am stripped bare,
The cradle of my body empty,
My heart bereft.

Oh sorrow,
My soul yearns, aches, weeps
For the one who will never rest in my arms.

Oh G-d,
Witness my distress,
My suffering and loss.
When will the days bring comfort and rest?
When will the nights bring solace and peace?
Hear my prayer.
Lead me on a path,
G-d of our mothers,
G-d of generations,
[A path that now seems so distant, so remote,]
A path of wholeness and healing.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are other prayers of grief: “Loss of Pregnancy,” “Loss of Pregnancy (Husband/Partner),” “Hard Mournings,” “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.” Many of these prayers appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Blunt Moms

Travel to an Unexpected Family Emergency

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

EmergencyOne Friday morning I called my daughters to tell them: “Your mom’s going to die today.” We faced harrowing cross-country trips to be at Ami’s z”l deathbed. Here’s a prayer for travel to a family emergency. This text is less important than the idea: move from fear and worry and into prayer. Word choices are shown with slashes (“/”). The blank line is for including a name. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Travel to an Unexpected Family Emergency
Today,
God of Old,
Is a day I never imagined
And never prepared to face.
I am traveling
To be present as my [father/mother/sister/brother/child/wife/husband/partner]
Faces a medical emergency.
My fear is compounded by the stress of travel.
And I feel alone.

G-d of Healing,
Bless __________________________ (name),
With healing of mind,
Healing of body,
And healing of spirit.
Ease his/her pain.
Remove her/his suffering.
Grant him/her courage and endurance
Throughout this challenge.
Bless her/hid doctors with wisdom and skill,
And his/her caregivers with compassion, focus and dedication.
Grant her/him a full and speedy recovery.

Source and Shelter,
Give me the presence of mind
To be a source of wisdom and strength
In this hour of need.
Bless my family with ease and comfort.
Give us energy and endurance,
Hope, tranquility and peace.

Blessed are You, G-d of mystery,
Source of health and healing.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: The story of Ami’s death is told in an article in JTA News, with greater detail in the introduction to my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Adventist Hinsdale Hospital

Noach: Always this Wonder

Posted on: October 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Three_children_play_in_a_lagoon_formed_from_high_tide_on_Morro_Strand_State_Beach_at_sunsetThis is a prayer that our children remember pure joy of laughter and play. It’s a prayer that we remember our own innocence and love. After Noah saw the sea consume the world, he appears to have fallen into a major depression that he attempted to cure with alcohol, a post-traumatic response. The sea became a weapon. He lost sight of the ocean of beauty within. This is a prayer to hold onto enthusiasm for life. Here’s another Noach prayer called “The Flood.”

Always this Wonder
Dear children,
Go outside to play –
In the sunshine and the breeze –
And we will bless your hearts,
Your precious laughter,
Your smiles and your freedom.

Run wild…
Skip…
Twirl…
And we will pray that you remember
Always this wonder.
Then, we’ll remember our own
Care free days,
Our own discovery,
Our own amazement,
Our own joyous hearts.
And you will bless us
With the secret and the power
To discover sacred wisdom
And the sea of happiness,
The sea of joy,
The sea of love,
Waiting within.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to a prayer for Parashat Breisheit, “About the Rainbow,” which could easily be used for Noach.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Wikimedia CommonsMichael “Mike” L. Baird

Loss of Pregnancy (Men/Partner)

Posted on: February 20th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

couples-pregnancy-loss-270This is the second of two prayers to be used at the loss of a pregnancy. Here’s a link to the first, words for the once-pregnant woman. This prayer is for her husband or partner. The two have a parallel structure, with similar themes and cadence moving throughout, with slightly different emotions and points-of-view reflected in the wording. Optional lines appear in [brackets]. Gender choices are identified with a slash, “/”. Both prayers appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Loss of a Pregnancy (Partner)
G-d of Old,
What can I say before You?
I am crushed,
Flattened by sadness,
Cut down by grief.
Yet my wife/partner/spouse needs
My courage and my tears,
My gentleness and my strength.
Our lives,
Once ripe with promise,
Feel vacant and hollow,
And I have touched
A new loneliness and despair.

[Rock of Ages,
Why have You raised our hopes only to take them away?
Why have you abandoned our prayers and our dreams?
What comfort remains?]

Source and Shelter,
Teach me to honor, to balance and to express
Both my pain and my fortitude,
My endurance and my sorrow,
In service to You,
In service to my wife/partner/spouse,
In service to myself.
Lead me/us out of this darkness,
Back to awe and wonder,
So I/we may know,
Once again,
Hope and joy,
Gratitude and peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “Loss of a Pregnancy.” Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Mom Logic

Loss of Pregnancy

Posted on: February 17th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

miscarriage1This is one of two prayers for a difficult moment, the loss of pregnancy. This is for the once-pregnant woman. The other is for her husband/partner. They have a parallel structure, with similar themes and cadence moving throughout, with slightly different emotions and points-of-view reflected in the wording. Optional lines appear in [brackets]. Gender choices are identified with a slash, “/”. These prayers appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Loss of a Pregnancy
G-d of Old,
This pain has no breath,
This pain has no light,
This pain has no bottom,
An emptiness in the core of my being.
My heart, my breath, my womb,
Once full, once vital,
Once pulsing in service to creation,
Are vacant and hollow,
And I have touched a new sorrow,
A new loneliness,
A new grief.

[Rock of Ages,
Why have You raised my hope only to take it away?
Why have you abandoned my prayers and my dreams?
What comfort remains?]

Source and Shelter,
See me through the hours and days ahead with compassion and grace.
Help me to treat myself [and my husband/partner/spouse]
With kindness, patience and understanding.
Lead me out of this darkness,
Back to awe and wonder,
So I may know,
Once again,
Hope and joy,
Gratitude and peace.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: A Daddy Blog

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