Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Year Ago Today

We humans like our anniversaries. We like to celebrate birthdays and other events that come once a year.

Sometimes, we have unpleasant annual anniversaries that we can't escape from.

One year ago today, my house was burglarized. It was a beautiful fall day. Bright sunshine and crisp cool temperatures promised a happy day. That was not to be.

Some tasks are forever tied to the burglary. I went to a furniture store that morning to get some replacement 'feet' for my kitchen chairs. Each time I have to replace those plastic feet, I am reminded of the terrible day of the burglary.

I learned a lot from the experience of having my home violated and my property taken. It took me a while to feel safe in my home again. I had a very 'primitive' reaction to the event and was really scared for about a month. I couldn't leave my house unattended for any length of time. I didn't want to come home after dark. I also had to open all my garage bay doors when I drove in, to make sure that no one was hiding in my garage.

All those fear responses faded relatively quickly.

I learned a lot about the way the insurance industry works, and how to best protect oneself when dealing with them. I also learned how to better protect myself and my property from this sort of event.

I have a also learned about detachment and letting go. Letting go of the the things I lost. Letting go of what they represented to me. Letting go of anger and resentment towards the people who entered my home and took my hard earned possessions.

It hasn't been an easy year. There was a lot of work - inside and out - to come through it all. It took a toll on me emotionally and physically.

Yet, I made it through.

It doesn't seem possible that it was a year ago. So much has gone on through the recovery from the ordeal. I'm a different person. I hope that I'm stronger and a bit wiser. I hope I'm a little less attached to my things, but a little smarter about functioning in this modern world.

Tough experiences mold us and shape us. We can let them crush us, or we can grow stronger as we move through them.

No matter what you are going through, or what 'tough anniversaries' you are facing today - persevere and reflect. Know that it can be just another stepping stone on the pathway of your life. Allow it to become part of the larger picture of your life, without defining you.