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Before 2020 melts like a snowflake within 2021, I want to review where I’ve been—a sober preparation to bring in The New Year.

The major glitch in 2020 occurred with the implications of my terminal diagnosis, Interstitial Lung Disease with Rheumatoid Arthritis that confirmed my eligibility for hospice care, with weekly nursing and chaplain visits beginning in November 2019.

Initially over-medicated on Dexamethasone, my diagnosis drew tears of those around me. The finalization of my last wishes stressed my lawyer, broker, accountant, and funeral director. In between completing my ADLs and daily Heartwhisperings blogs, I continued studying the German theologian Ladislaus Boros and the transpersonal psychologist, Katherine Dowling Singh: both authors of significant material on death and dying. I would be ready for whatever comes, so I thought—No matter that my ILD was a slow developing illness.

Weeks slipped into months, seasons, into seasons. With the subtle increase in weakness, shortness of breath, and exhaustion, my passivity deepened. Others began helping me with personal care and my business. More drugs were offered, but leery of side effects, I declined. In hindsight, my sleep deprivation was largely the culprit.

With last September’s nightly “cocktail” of morpheme and Lorazapan, regular sleep returned, and recently, significant dreams and a tad more energy. Making speech has become work, however. I’m not always happy when the phone rings, but I answer anyway. 

Again, it seems that I’ve plateaued in my terminal disease, and therein, my limited life as I continue experiencing it, one day at a time.

But many were 2020’s gifts: spiritual growth through 12-Step work, daily blogging my terminal illness/old age, the support from friends and helpers, and the direction from significant dreams. With God’s grace, I hope to fill The New Year with His inspiration. It’s not about me. It never has been.

How often does the seductive voice within our psyches discount our value as compared with another, whether in a boardroom, in a classroom, during a tennis match, or wherever others gather? Its insinuation in our awareness, as if the observation was our own? It clearly does not want us to thrive in our flawed humanness, unique to each of us. Instead, we feel less than, unappreciated, and prone to self-pity, and if addicted to a substance, lose our souls.

Before I entered Twelve Step recovery, I was under siege to this seductive voice: the worm of envy grew fat feasting upon my innards. Only later did I learn about boundaries, when breeched, and the need to maintain them.

Help to do this came by saying, out loud, “Kill the comparer,” a tool that was shared by a wise woman, decades ago. It works if used with Steps I to III, followed by the Step IX amends to ourselves.

I liken this on-going purification to warfare—The use of a proper sword is critical in the cultivation of the clean heart that Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes…for they shall see God. And we will, even now.

 

 

This morning’s meditation on Step Eleven enlivened my spirit.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the God of our understanding, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

 Seated in my prayer chair, my eyes closed, my legs elevated upon a hassock, I gave thanks for last night’s encouraging dream of quaternity/balance, its silence enveloping my spirit with tranquility. Slowly, I mulled over each word of Step Eleven, then listened for new insights—They always came.

Like fire galling dry branches, the verb Sought set me ablaze for this exercise. With the eye of my spirit entrained upon the next moment, I sat up straight and began deep breathing. All the more critical was my desire to improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding, given my spend-saver sands cresting at the base of the hourglass. That I will come to know Creator God, rather believe in Him, that I will spend eternity in with Him can lead to soiling my pants.

praying only for knowledge of God’s will jettisoned my myopic sense of self and opened me to the mystery of on-going creation in multiple universes. As co-creator, I’m mandated to produce something unique for the inspiration of others; and closer to home, to accept the daily diminishments occurring in my old body—a new experience, not without its moments.

That’s where the power to carry that out came into awareness. The rough spells of breathing, the eruption of knife-pains that eventually pass, the need to take more breaks from meaningful activities, the rigors of deep breathing and stretching exercises—all find succor in this power. And another day spoons into another, with more spiritual growth that graces my immortal spirit.

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