Peace and Suffering

I wasn’t planning on writing today.  Truth be told, I have some big projects that I HAVE to get done before leaving for Ohio on Friday morning, and I’m starting to feel the pressure.  All of the final projects for my class are due on Friday.  I have to develop and write up 3 elementary writing lessons and then write a 6 page essay on what I learned from the class.  It’s not a lot, but I have been putting it off for over a week now and time is dwindling.  I’m also in the middle of revamping the landscaping around our pond and redoing my herb pots, all of which I need to do before we leave on Friday.  SO much to do and SO little time, so I’ll just take a quick hour long break to update my blog!  But I really need to write about yesterday.

First of all, the topic of the day in my soul book was forgiveness. I read, thought, jotted down some notes and then went about my day before writing in my journal.  The forgiveness chapter was good, REALLY good but I was a little stumped.  I couldn’t think of anyone in my life that I felt I needed to forgive.

Some muddy things happened a few years back and I had a grudge against my mom’s side of the family for a bit. I have since made amends.  I wrote letters to all of my aunts and uncles and have seen them since then along with my adult cousins who I gave some grief to also, but that seems to be resolved at the moment and I honestly feel light and free, and quite relieved to have a good relationship with all of them.

Who else did I have beefs with?  Sisters? No. My dad? No. Hubby? No.

I get annoyed with them, don’t get me wrong, BUT I don’t feel any resentments in my heart.  So I thought it would be good to think on this for a bit before reflecting more in my journal.  After all, I don’t have anyone that I need to forgive, and I don’t have any outstanding resentments (that I can think of) at the moment.  So, I tabled the topic.

Later on, I began working on the landscaping around the pond.  I let my mind wander while I worked.  My thoughts were not good thoughts.  I kept thinking about my SIL (who got her kids back and seems to be doing good at the moment) and how I sat her teenage son down the day before and told him our door was always open if he needed a place to go.  So of course, my mind is now running and since my SIL is unpredictable I fantasized that she found out I told him that and is furious with me.  Surely she will rant to my mother and father-in-law who will immediately take her side.

Everyone will be mad at me.  What if they won’t forgive me?  What about all this forgiveness stuff, how will people not forgivinging me affect this process?  To say I was feeling overwhelmed is an understatement.

Where has my brain gone during this time?  I KNOW about boundaries, I KNOW about not making assumptions, I KNOW that what someone thinks of me has nothing to do with me and I have no control over it.  So why was my mind going nuts with this?  And my brain just kept going, seemed everyone was going to be angry with me with the stories my head was making up– come on voice what are ya doing??

Fast forward to evening.  I brought hubby out to see the progress on the pond and let him know what I had planned and to get his input.  He was so impressed with my work and we were admiring it gleefully as the darkness of the evening overtook the backyard.  After a minute or two we noticed we weren’t alone.  There was a deer watching us about 30 feet away.  We backed up slowly and sat on our low deck steps and just watched her.  She walked a little closer to us and seemed to be eyeing the huge pot of Black Eyed Susans I had bought for around the pond.  We wondered if she would come close enough to munch on them, but she didn’t.  The yard was so pretty, especially with the graceful doe standing by the Birch tree munching on leaves, it was very fairytale like.

The next second my kids were taking out the garbage.  When they came in, my youngest said there was a snake out in the driveway.  My oldest said something under his breath like, “I think he’s dead.”  My youngest was sure it wasn’t dead.  I love all animals, including snakes, so I asked my youngest to show me the snake.

It was pretty dark and hard to see, but it was immediately apparent to me that the snake was badly injured.  I won’t go into details.  I was exclaiming about the situation when my youngest said, “Anthony said he stomped on him.”

I didn’t think for more than a second.  I took the two things both boys had just said to me and I made an assumption.  As a tree hugger, vegan, animal activist, etc, I made a big bad assumption.

I’ll try to make this part quick.  I came in yelling and accusing.  After the whole ordeal was said and done I don’t think he harmed the snake.  He walked past it but said his brother accidentally ran it over with the garbage can without realizing it– or maybe hubby hit it first when he got home as he had just gotten home not long before.  I think he knew that it was having a medical crisis and that’s why he told him he stomped on it.  This situation was actually way more complicated than this with the kids, but I don’t want to go into that right now.  And we didn’t know if we should help the snake, move the snake, kill the snake to put him out of his misery.. it was all very awful.

Later last night another thought (that I can’t remember–but WISH that I could) entered my mind and then it HIT me.  The whole forgiveness thing.  I needed to forgive myself.  In ALL my reflections and thoughts that day, not once did I think about anger and resentment I have for myself.  No WONDER why my mind kept going towards people not forgiving me, LOL.  DUH…

THIS is why it is so important for me to spend time reflecting after the readings.

One last thing.  So we ended up saying a prayer for the snake to heal and wiggle away or to die quickly.  We left him where he was at and I had high hopes that he would be gone when I woke up.  Unfortunately, his soul had moved on but his body was still in my driveway.

When I dropped my oldest off at drivers training I told him that he would need to take care of the snake when he got home.  When I got back, I read the next chapter of my soul book. Today’s topic is “Call in the Vultures.”  It talks about vultures being nature’s purifier and using this example to purify our souls and get rid of anger and resentments.  After reading this today, I told my son to leave the snake and we are hoping his body will be a gift to a vulture– or another wild animal. Curious timing for this topic.

These majestic and tragic moments happened almost simultaneously.  Surely it must mean something or is a lesson?  I’m not quite sure what yet, but that’s a big part of why I wanted to write today.  Nothing about yesterday was ordinary.