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The adjective, daily, jumped off the page from last night’s reading from Martha Cleveland’s book, Chronic Illness and the Twelve Steps (1988) and prompted a closer study. Such subtle directives are often heard during CPA meetings and yield valuable insights of recovery, if explored. Such, also, speak to aspects of multidimensional words whose meanings lap across borders, signifying other realities that shimmer with vibrancy.

This morning, I picked up the proffered suggestion and paged through the Twelve Step Ingredients in our other text, Recipe for Recovery (2015). Sure enough as I vaguely remembered, the adjective daily was affixed twice to daily practice, and once to daily application and once to daily commitment in Steps Three, Seven, Ten, and Eleven.

An embarrassing truth surfaced: how often my morning prayer slides me into the next twenty-four hours, without daily committing my stuff to the scrutiny of the Twelve Steps. It’s precisely my stuff, with its unseemly friction, which draws Higher Power’s course correction and contributes to my ongoing conversion of heart, an arduous process.

Only daily application of the Twelve Steps, I remind myself, can bring about critical changes in the bedrock of my psyche, pockmarked by decades of negativity that distorted thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors and that made living with me difficult.

Happily, I do not work alone. My sponsor and others of like-mind have supported me in this spiritual fellowship for years.

So this daily discipline continues steadying my wobbly knees as I move through my end-time and anticipate the Big Book Study in the Sky.

 

 

In my perception, Covid-19 widens its killing swath across the global spirit and the global economy, and provokes global social unrest to the point of violence. No one is free from its sting. The usual distractions, such as entertainment, mood-altering drugs, and other numbing habits, thin in their former effectiveness to distance human suffering. It’s always been around. Yet, the pandemic affords deeper psycho-spiritual growth than ever before.

Such gifts, albeit it strange, can be accessed through reflection upon the ongoing crucifixion of the Cosmic Christ. Only He knows the depth of our grief and shares its fluctuations. Only in Him can such upheavals be tolerated.

Our creatureliness calls for respite, for comfort, for communion as we pray, Passion of Christ, strengthen us.

He does, in the next breath we take.

How often does the seductive voice within our psyches discount our value as compared with another, whether in a boardroom, in a classroom, during a tennis match, or wherever others gather? Its insinuation in our awareness, as if the observation was our own? It clearly does not want us to thrive in our flawed humanness, unique to each of us. Instead, we feel less than, unappreciated, and prone to self-pity, and if addicted to a substance, lose our souls.

Before I entered Twelve Step recovery, I was under siege to this seductive voice: the worm of envy grew fat feasting upon my innards. Only later did I learn about boundaries, when breeched, and the need to maintain them.

Help to do this came by saying, out loud, “Kill the comparer,” a tool that was shared by a wise woman, decades ago. It works if used with Steps I to III, followed by the Step IX amends to ourselves.

I liken this on-going purification to warfare—The use of a proper sword is critical in the cultivation of the clean heart that Jesus speaks of in the Beatitudes…for they shall see God. And we will, even now.

 

 

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