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At 5:50 A.M., I awoke to this stirring dream:

Christ of the Oceans invited me to join His fellowship. I am honored. Others were with me. One fumbled with his keys and happened to drop them in the water. I dove deep, found them lying upon a sandy spur, and returned them to him. I was already a member of His fellowship of Earth.

This dream constitutes a big one in Jungian analysis as it emanates from the deepest place in my unconscious, known as the collective unconscious. It could be a huge gift or the fruit of deepened acceptance of my terminal diagnosis, interstitial lung disease with rheumatoid arthritis—Or perhaps the completion of my care plan when actively dying, whenever that happens.

Needless to say, I’ve already received beautiful care since my November 2019 hospice sign-up. My gratitude knows no bounds.

So to the dream—I did not receive a visual impression of the Christ of the Oceans, only His presence as experienced during my annual directed retreats on the Gloucester coast; its sweetness, the quintessence of joy. His invitation to this watery fellowship suggests Richard Rohr’s study of the Twelve Steps, Breathing Underwater—doing the impossible and healing through obedience of the heart: Its daily practice enables me to continue diving deep. Who know what else I will find? Perhaps more keys to unshackle me from pretense and other character defects?

This dream is a welcome respite from weeks of darkness. Yet, Christ of the Oceans and of the Earth has been companioning me all along. There’s nothing to fear …

 

 

Step Four of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

 Decisions taken in CPA’s Steps One, Two, and Three placed me upon a unique spiritual path. Companioned by a new Higher Power and supported by my sponsor, I was inspired to explore the assets and liabilities of my character that were jaundiced by decades of living with negative emotions and thoughts peaking from my rheumatoid arthritis.

Fourth Step work in another spiritual fellowship had produced the vague outlines of my birthright. Somehow, I had survived childhood trauma that necessitated hiding out in fantasy; its obsessive activity shut down my instincts and spiritual faculties of thinking and willing. When I did venture into the world, only my sense of it mattered, and decades of harming others was left in its wake. Thus began my first amends.

Then, pen in hand, I took on CPA’s Step Four inventory, the first of the action Steps. Again, willingness, appeared in the Ingredients, this time, to work the Step. What immediately surfaced was anger in my afflicted body, so long deprived of my care and compassion; it felt like resentments wallpapered my cramped psyche. Other disorders companioned the anger, projecting onto others and myself the many faces of pride, greed, sloth, envy, gluttony, and lust, all burrowed within disassociation.

Listing my assets, and there were many, offsetted this darkness and created a balance view of my evolution: its truth informed who I was and who I was becoming, even during my end time.

My completed CPA inventory in hand, I owned the patterns and habits coloring my character and the motives influencing my daily thoughts and behaviors, both positive and negative.

More work on my disorders lay ahead in Step Five, another action Step.

 

 

 

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