Spiritlinking: from Dreams to Reality
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Spiritlinking: from Dreams to RealityDonna Markham OP, PhD, ABPPHeartland IIICreighton UniversityOmaha, NebraskaMay 2000Around 1970, as a young intern working in a large teaching hospital in Texas, I became involved in what was euphemistically called "an interesting case." Steeped in analytic training and taught to interpret most utterances from patients as metaphors for the intrapsychic life, I enthusiastically engaged myself in the case of Mary and Hal. Mary, I was told, was a young woman who was clearly hallucinating and delusional. Hal was her imaginary friend, "part of her delusional system," I was told. " See her in analytic treatment four times a week, and see if you can help her differentiate her visions from reality," my supervisor directed. And so it began, with all the fervor of a young clinician, thinking to herself that this was a clear-cut "teaching case" and I might learn something about schizophrenia. Until, that is, upon listening to Mary as she began to tell me about Hal. "What is he like," I asked innocently. "Oh," she said, "he is very strong and quite big. The neighbors don't like him because he frightens them." As I was to learn as the case unfolded, the neighbors had every cause to be fearful of the 600-pound gorilla actually living in Mary's basement!All this is simply to say that dealing with dreams and visions and reality can be complicated and tricky business.Introduction-Your MissionSpiritlinking is the deliberate and untiring act of working through resistance to organizational transformation by building the circle of friends, fostering networks of human compassion and interweaving teams of relationships through which new ideas are born and new ways of responding to the mission take form and find expression. In some meager attempt to find a way to describe how we might counter the pull toward the disconnection, self-serving individualism and cynicism that are sad hallmarks of this dawn of the postmodern era, I coined the word "spiritlinking." It speaks to the desire to search together for truth, meaning, and community-directed toward the realization of the mission of the gospel.