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Some are fired into service; others wait, looking smart in their cherry-red caps.

 

Step Three of Chronic Pain Anonymous – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

 This newly discovered Power in Step Two caught my attention. Given the waning energy of my terminal illness, how use or lean into this Power as I moved through each day’s unknown? Step Three’s decision was called for, but I had more work to do.

Again, the Ingredient willingness appeared in Step Three: this time, willingness to give up self-will/self-centeredness. I shuddered. Despite their at-homeness in my psyche, their sacrifice was essential. With their removal, a modicum of humility, another Ingredient, glanced upon my awareness and opened me to a new partnership with Higher Power.

Critical to this process was the invitation to formulate a God of my understanding. Since I’ve never lived in a dying body, I needed help. Especially worrisome was Beast, a toxic god from childhood, which had stagnated my psychosocial/spiritual development and cast doubt upon my CPA recovery.

Yet, Creator God had brought me into this existence fraught with chronic pain and illness, nudged me into hospice, then led me to CPA. After I caught on to the patterning, I learned to surrender my body into His care. He already had my essential being.

The more I practiced Step Three’s daily application, per the Ingredients, the deeper my trust in Higher Power’ care grew. There was still rich life within my limits, despite the sting of flummoxed instincts and dreams alerting me to even deeper disorders within my psyche.

This new empowerment subsequently led to scrutinizing these same disorders and bringing them to Step Four.

 

 

 

Car accidents involving older drivers fascinate and draw censure, especially if fatalities are involved. Such stories evoke relief in others that it wasn’t them, but fear-seeds their psyches. Prayer for God’s protection behind the steering wheel deepens.

For several years, that had been my experience. But last summer’s honking as I rolled through a blinking red light at the entrance of rehab still rankled. “The humidity dulled my awareness,” I said to myself, despite coughing and shortness of breath and sweating palms. Often, I had wondered what circumstances would crowd out years of driving. How would I live without my 1999 Toyota Camry? Though old, it was in good shape. The same mechanics had serviced it and advised me to hold on to it.

I still remember picking out my used car on the lot at Enterprise with its odometer reading of 12,000 miles, its sand-sleek body, and its smooth test drive. There followed nineteen seamless years of driving, in all weathers. But in recent months diminishing energy led me to welcome rides from others. I did not want to make the headlines.

Already within the momentum of disposing stuff, I remembered my car, drawing dust in the garage, its battery having been replaced. The decision was made for me—it had to go.

Its new owner fell into my lap. An East St. Louis church was looking for a used car to transport their seniors to Sunday services and doctors’ appointments. After I received the agreed-upon payment, I handed over the title and watched my Toyota being driven away. I was content.

 

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