As I stared at the mountainous heap at the front of my home, I reminded myself over and over that it’s just stuff. But then a voice yelled back at me, “It may just be stuff, but it’s MY stuff! That is MY chair that I bought when I was pregnant to soothe my aching lower back! That is MY big yellow couch that supported me when I held my feverish child sleeping in my arms. That is MY recliner that I snuggled on with my husband and kids! That is MY bookshelf, rug, armoir, desk, table, rocker, toys, books, etc. and they meant something to ME!”
As I walked down the hallway of my gutted house, images of the house being filled with life, love and family filled my thoughts until the flood of desolation washed over reminding me of what was taken away. I knew I would always have my memories, but I was angry that the tangible items holding my sentiments were snatched from me and my family in what felt like an instant and without any warning.
Yet, in the midst of my anger, I also understood that life goes on and we have to find ways to cope with this massive life-changing event. I am beginning to see my experience with the flood as a grieving experience and find that many emotions I have fit with the Kubler-Ross model of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
Some emotions leave and come back later but I know that with the support of my friends and family, I am well on my way to acceptance. It is amazing the people who rise to the surface when a catastrophic event happens. Those you expect may not be available yet others who you would not rise to the occasion. I have been blessed with so many unexpected friends offering their help and support as well as close friends who have gone over and beyond the call of duty and solidified my already deep love and respect for them. I put no expectation on anyone to do or say anything in particular, I am just trying to get through each day with my head up and my heart open but I cannot help but notice when my load feels lighter because of the support offered by others; I am able to hold my head a bit higher and open my heart a bit wider.
I’ve said before many times that yoga has saved me and I could not mean it more than now with the situation we are dealing with. Last week’s yoga was a beautiful release. I cried in poses and sobbed in savasana as my friend and teacher massaged my head and shoulders. Today I attended one of my friend’s hot yoga class and was blessed to practice alongside another friend and teacher. The heat was purifiying and cleansing and I felt hopeful and light. In pigeon pose, arms up and bent back at the elbows resembling a heart, one thought kept coming to me, “only love is real.” My mind’s eye saw a heart in front of me and I knew that love will get us through this, love is all that matters.
I was offered a massage with Reiki after yoga. I hesitated at first because I felt that accepting a massage was selfish, it was too decadent an offering and I felt guilty accepting it. But when my friend said, “Just remember the bodywork is to help clear trauma from your muscle memory”, I knew it was something I should do for me, to get through the process healthfully and be able to offer my best self each day to myself, my husband, my children and the world. As I relaxed into the massage, I realized that while my husband and I are daily forming plans and trying to get order back in our lives, it will not be the final answer of where we live that brings happiness. Instead, it will be that we traversed our biggest obstacle to date. As I felt pulsating heat and energy at my crown and through my body, I felt something bigger than us all reminding me that this journey to finding our way back from disarray is the most important part of it all and more important than the order awaiting us. The journey never ends, there is no end game; there is only love. And while that massive heap taunts and torments me with grief beckoning to be held tight and kept, it is the one thing I refuse to hold onto as mine.
*This was my first experience with Reiki and it was an experience filled with energy and love, something completely unexpected. When I realized there was no heat source but only the heat and energy from my friend, I instantly was awestruck at this beautiful healing work. Click here for more information on Reiki.