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At 4:30 A.M., I awoke with this comforting dream:

It is mid-afternoon. I’m, alone, seated in the study of an Anglican rectory in Great Britain, poring over travel brochures describing sites in the European Union that I’d like to visit. I’m wearing an ivory lace bridal dress and veil. I hear footsteps in the hall. It’s the Rector and his golden retriever. Quickly, I collect my stuff and go to another room, not without seeing the dog bound after him.

Unlike other dreams, mid-afternoon suggests more time/space to continue my psychic work for my transition. Each twenty-four hours is a gift, as also the ivory lace bridal dress that brings to mind the parable of the wedding garment in the gospel of Matthew. Mine is exquisite with long sleeves and skirts. In the dream, the veil enhances my naturally curly brunette hair; my face glows. I feel blessed.

In Jungian analytical psychology, the Rector represents the Positive Animus of the woman’s masculine side as uncovered in the collective unconscious through dreams. That I’m unwilling to fully engage with the Rector, despite his invitation to work in his rectory, suggests an area of growth still to be achieved. I’m still on the periphery of my masculinity.

The travel brochures and the bounding dog recall the joyful discovery of having been an analysand of Ellen Shire for decades. In line with our work, she plied me with information of Jungian tours to pre-historic sites in foreign lands and urged me to participate. And her dogs, Toby, and later Max, squealed with joy in her company.

In retrospect, Ellen Sheire carried the Sacred during our hours until I could learn to access it for myself.

I’m grateful and still teachable.

At 6:20 A.M., I woke with this dream:

It is evening service at the black church I’ve been attending, at the invitation of the pastor and his wife. Again, I’m greeted and enter the fellowship filled with hymns and prayer. Other than occasional constipation, I am well. The pastor, also a physician, will perform a proctologic exam in his office in the morning. Having had one before, I’m anxious.

The vibrant setting of this dream, the evening service at the black church, opens my psyche to hidden disorders that require identification and correction. The occasional constipation keeps my body/mind starved of vital nutrients, dulls my perceptions, and dumps me within the morass of sloth: Why bother?

The pastor bridges the gap between God’s presence and the worshipers in his black church: such engagement restores disorders that sludge human interactions and quickens spirits into living flames. On my own, I’m powerless to achieve the wholeness to which I aspire.

Yet, I’m anxious. Given my long-standing pride, it’s painful to admit my arrogance and willfulness, smirches upon my character for all to behold. For much of my life, pretense kept such disorders at bay; whenever aware of them, I barely nodded at their toxicity.

Since working the Twelve Steps in Recovery, however, such disclosures become frequent cries to Higher Power to effect the necessary changes. This is precisely the task of spirituality.

With the afflicted Job (10:6), I identify with his cry to God: You must search out my faults and probe after my sin. Such purification works: It’s about becoming humble and serving others.

At 6:A.M., I woke with this corrective dream from my personal unconscious:

It was winter, several inches of snow covered the ground. Headlights from a car swept the corners of my bedroom and turned into my driveway. It was my ride. I stirred under my comforter, anxious. I was supposed to be ready. I dressed hurriedly. Because I had no boots, I grabbed a handful of blue rubber gloves in the box on my dresser to cover my stocking feet. The gloves were mashed together and impossible to separate. My anxiety escalated into rage. Alone, I sat on the floor.  

Winter, several inches of snow covered the ground of my psyche suggesting anger’s stranglehold of my spiritual faculties: Anger of monstrous proportions distorts each image in the dream. 

My ride corresponds to my actual helper, well schooled in my needs, daily, since last September. In this dream, though, she does not appear but her taking care of me suggests the loss of my independence. I still don’t like it, even after these months.

My having no boots suggests an unsuitable foundation upon which to stand: I was off balance, dizzy. Desperate, I sought a substitute, anything to protect my feet from the snow-covered driveway.

The blue rubber gloves in the box on my dresser used by my helper when tending to my personal needs and the preparation of meals come to mind. In the dream, I grab a handful of the gloves but fail in separating them. It did not occur to me to ask for help, a lifelong pattern that ill-serves me, even now.

Despite frequent blogs alluding to acceptance of my terminal illness, this anger dream reveals another scenario unfolding within my depths. Only denial keeps me at bay from its full terror, and that’s as it should be, for now. Occasionally, however, breakthroughs do occur that wash over me until the next one, usually in the evening.

I still plead with the Psalmist, “Create, O God, a clean heart within me!”

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