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At 2 A.M., I awoke with this dream:

It is night. Only halogen streetlights illumine my situation: alone, anxious, seated behind the steering wheel of a U-Haul 17-foot truck packed with stuff. I’m waiting to make the delivery but need directions. I check my watch. It’s already been a long time. No traffic on the nearby Interstate.

And at 4:30 A.M.:

Again, I’m seated in a box-shaped truck filled with stuff. I wait for directions. It is night.

Mulling upon the message of these dreams led to two interpretations, the first one more appropriate to last week’s stance toward my terminal illness.

Night signifies the end of daylight living, old age, death. The image of being seated behind the steering wheel suggests the need to control my ILD, even to slowing it down with exercise, nutrition, and elimination, rather than surrendering to its inevitable diminishments. I’ve chosen to be alone in this process, despite some wishing to support this critical experience with me.

My stuff speaks of bits and pieces of decades-long behaviors and attitudes deemed unacceptable, their revelation, humiliating, now locked away within the rental. Exhausted, impatient, lethargic, I await directions for the disposal of these unsavory aspects of myself—as if checking my watch would bring the needed directions to do so.

The second take on the dreams suggests the responsible handling of my affairs prior to the death of my body: consciousness of my end-time with its solitary journey into diminishment and death, sequestering my stuff from harming others, willingness to properly dispose of it, and exercising patience as I wait for directions for the next right step.

Perhaps both dreams suggest last week’s glitch that led to yesterday’s willingness to let go of my body, a critical breakthrough that reframes each twenty-four hours, granted by Creator God. I remain in good hands.

 

 

This morning’s dream heartened me:

It is a spring morning and breezes quiver greening leaves upon towering oaks. I’ve met my first cousins at the old Moloney three-story brownstone, located on a corner lot in the city. Decades of neglect have given it a derelict appearance: overgrown shrubs, waist-high grasses, cracked sidewalks, sagging gutters, trash matted against the side gate. At the bottom of the hilly front yard sits Lucy Kelly pulling weeds. I call down to her. “You are a beautiful child. Never forget that.” Her dark eyes study me with bewilderment. I plan to buy large planters, fill them with colorful annuals, and line them next to the wide granite front steps.

The image of the old Moloney three-story brownstone suggests my psychic container, still bearing the imprint of my alcoholism, despite years in AA recovery and recent ones in CPA. The tendrils of my psychic disease still hide out in the nook and crannies of my shadow. I’m powerless to extricate them.

But change, not of my making, is in the offing. New willingness appears in the first cousins to repair the broken, to replace overgrown shrubs and seed the weed-infested yard, and whatever else is needed, given my terminal illness and shortness of days. The forlorn Lucy Kelly, an image of my damaged child, reminds me to deepen my self-care, to gentle my angst in letting down this life for another.

Yet, my desire to beautify the wide granite front steps speaks of my continuing interest to cull dreams from oblivion’s cobwebs and blog their messages.

I’ve much to learn from the Beautifier…

Cancel, postpone, delay, reschedule, suspend, shelve, wait, dispense, put off, disrupt—such verbs prod attention toward unwelcome change, still provoked by Covid-19. Few areas of our lives have escaped the implications of living around its irritant: for some, death occurs.

Quarantine, shelter in place, social distancing, masking and gloving—such nouns mess with communication, intimacy, breathing, and social relating. Gesturing hugs don’t work for me. Such inconvenience tests patience, even raises questions about government regulations, with more states opening up for business.

Such experience dulls the sharpness of the crisis and seeks the comfort/unconsciousness of “the old ways.” Yet the Covid-19 crisis remains, unabated until the protective vaccine is in place.

From my perspective, this crisis mirrors my own: living with terminal illness, also with respiratory issues. Long months of praying, study, and blogging have filled empty spaces with ultimate truth and longing for eternal life. Yet, I’m not immune to the dark games in my psyche that have always wanted me dead before my time.

Like the deadly virus, the snaky hair of the Greek Medusa stings me into unconsciousness, leaving me vulnerable to assaults: terror triggers the “I can’t do it” attitude: learned helplessness from childhood; intense sadness-bordering-on-pain; dry weeping/heaving; rage and depression, voicelessness—my self-care ritual, albeit within limits, beached upon muddy bottoms. Hands clutching my head, Monster powerlessness threatens to eat me alive.

So my spiritual warfare deepens for which there is no vaccine, other than the practice of CPA’s Twelve Steps. They do work.

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