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At 7:10 A. M., I woke with this corrective dream:

A senior myself, I decide to move into a Jewish apartment complex, shabby in appearance, its property split by the rails of the Metrolink. In the lounge, the mixed residents share hilarious stories and games: among them, the mating game that requires participants to identify their mates using other names. I decide to join them. After I mastered several tasks, I discovered my mate, elderly, smiling, and wearing steel spectacles. I’m overwhelmed but know I’ll adjust in time.

In the dream, I am elderly, but healthy, as I make decisions that reflect behaviors foreign to my present values—evidence of little-to-no forethought. Something else must be going on.

The Jewish apartment complex…its property split by the rails of the Metrolink suggests a noisy, congested living space that aptly describes my self-generated distractions. The split, a wound of sorts in my psyche, prevents deep listening in prayer; it keeps me rigidly attached to my daily routine lest I lose ground and cave in to the active process of dying that will complete my transition—thus my need to control this process rather than surrender it to Precious God.

And the playful mixed residents, appropriate under other circumstances, increase my anxiety, deepen my longing for solitude, and exacerbate my pretense of game-playing. I certainly don’t need a mate, of any age.

Like angry flood waters barreling me where I have no need to go, my instincts have had their heyday with me. Such is the dream’s message and cry for more practice of Step XI: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve out conscious contact with God as we understand him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.

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