At 3:15 a.m., I awoke with this dream:

It is summer, a Sunday afternoon. I’m excited. With a friend, I drive out to Glen Echo Country Club in Normandy, Missouri. It’s been decades since I was last there. I look forward to swimming in the blue and white tile pool surround by towering oaks, manicured lawns. We pull into the empty parking lot and hurry around to the back of the clubhouse. Then, stop in our tracks, appalled. Where the pool was now gapes a monstrous hole, filled with fetid waters that belch, then spew streams high into the air. No one is around.

 This corrective dream reveals old issues, all Step-worked but still entrenched within my psyche: entitlement and expectations and bogus watering holes.

Glen Echo Country Club, still an elite setting for golf, dining, weddings and receptions were even more so when I was growing up. Dad’s membership afforded me summers lounging around the pool, in pursuit of the impeccable coat of tan, despite fair skin. Within this setting staffed by waiters and maids, I lapped up entitlement as everyone else did. Only when I joined AA did I see its prominence among the many faces of pride. In no way could I be in relationships, even with Higher Power. So puffed up, I was playing god—and, at times, I still am…

And expectations—in the dream, I expected the swimming pool to be unchanged from the time I had known it, there being no need to check it out. Excitement, another red flag, skewed my judgment. Only in recovery did I unmask this disorder, another manifestation of pride/control, still alive and flourishing in my shadowy depths.

And the bogus watering holes—In the dream, fetid waters gave me considerable pause, its filth evoking shudders, its secretiveness horrifying. Despite decades of honing discernment skills, I can still be hoodwinked by evil within gossamer disguises, or so the dream suggests, by my trip to Glen Echo. I had no business there. Only Higher Power can cleanse such lifelong disorders within my psyche.

With the Psalmist, I plead, Create, O God, a clean heart within me. (51:10).