The fire was just below our yard and I saw it moving fast right for us. I called the fire department, but they never came to us. In the few moments during my call I watched the fire head up the mountain straight to neighbors' homes. It was a summer brush fire and it raged hot and fierce with no mercy. The fire licked at our yard. A pack of us from the neighborhood fought with hoses and buckets. We moved our cars, I grabbed a few things in case we had to run away.
Anyone who's been through a fire knows that the effects can last a long time. It was years ago and things are mostly growing back now. But even months afterwards, we still felt the loss.
It took days for the smouldering to stop. It was devastating even though we didn't lose so much--some trees, some yard equipment, and such.
It was weeks later that I noticed my cat's feet were still being stained by the blackened, burned mountain. The initial trauma was behind us, but it still affected us,the experience left its mark. If fact, there's a charred tree that stands just outside our yard as a reminder of what happened. Most of the other trees grew back.
Here's what I want to remind you with this post: Remember to be gentle with yourself. You may not think you even feel the effects any more, but they may still be present. It does take time to heal. The effects of trauma don't just disappear even though life goes on. Some things were lost. And... there's new growth! We don't have to get stuck in the loss and at the same time it's a loving way to be if you can be tender and gentle with yourself and others as you process through trauma and into healing.
Giving is an interesting topic.
Today we'll talk about these kinds of giving:
We can give thanks. Ahhhh, now here's an area that needs no limit. Gratitude is a beautiful thing for opening channels.
There's another kind of giving to think about. Forgiving. We are in a season when many families spend time together. Lots of old hurts can come to the surface. If you can allow yourself a new perspective, perhaps the idea that the person that makes you feel a certain way is just life's way of giving you a great opportunity to grow, you might be able to plug into forgiveness and release. (Note: That does not mean it's OK to put yourself in harm's way! It means ignore the irritating things your family might say or do.)
Can you find a way to frame those undesired comments to see there might be good intentions behind them? On a soul level, the people who bug you most likely mean no harm at all. Forgive without expecting any change. Forgive because it heals you.
One of my favorite exercises for forgiveness is to pretend to forgive when you find it hard in the moment. That opens the door to expand.
Forgiveness and Self-forgiveness Overlap
We are so dang hard on ourselves. But guess what? Negative self-talk about your mistakes doesn't do any good! What does is productive is an inner inventory. Beating yourself up only holds you back from the greater good. In this difficult phase of self inventory, it's time to face the truth of your actions. If you did something that hurt others, this is a good time to own the choices you've made. Author and intuitive Caroline Myss uses strong language when she guides people to admit that the hurts we bring to others are a kind of sin. She calls it the language of the soul (instead of using the language of the mind). If you feel bad about something you did or said, fix it the best you can both on the outside and on the inside. That means owning up to the hurt you may have caused others because you were only thinking about what was good for you. This is work every human must do.
We love to shop. We love stuff. But not everyone needs more stuff these days. If you know someone that needs something, great. Here are a few ideas about giving stuff:
The way to bring peace into your life is to bring peace into your life. One step at a time. Give thanks, forgive others, and forgive yourself.
Live the extraordinary life you deserve.
Aunt Laya inspires and encourages you to live the life you want for yourself! She'll tell you the truth, even when it's not always so easy to hear so that you can learn to handle the hard stuff of life and be your best, happiest self. Always with love and caring.