The muffled sound of early morning traffic outside my window. The deep yells of fog horns coming from the boats passing through the Fraser River. The beautiful chime of childhood ringing from the grandfather clock in my parent’s living room. The pitter-patter of my dog’s paws hitting the hardwood in a happy pattern as she wandered through the house. These are the sounds that I miss the most.
It never occurred to me that when they said, “pack a bag”, they really meant, “pack your life”. Thinking back, I realize how naive I was to believe that I would be coming back in just a few days. I was afraid to be in my home, which was a feeling that was new to me. I knew nothing was going to happen this time, but the floor was still painted with drops of my father’s blood, and the walls were decorated with holes and dust from the cracked drywall.
I wanted to change my clothes because I smelled like sweat and Lysol from the police station, but more than that, I wanted to get the ‘ef out of this house that for the first time, felt foreign to me. I shoved two pairs of underwear, a T-shirt, and some sweatpants into a backpack and stepped out of the door of my favourite house for the last time.
This house was a good one. My dad bought it for my mom when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. I always believed that fixing it up and making it her own gave her something positive to focus on while she endured the struggles of treatment.
The smell of pine and nature from the forest in our backyard along with the chirpy gossip from the birds made sitting on the deck heaven-like. The energy flowing through our halls was always uplifting and welcoming. The couches in our open-concept living room were soft and lived in. The house always smelled like family and food that was seasoned with love. Some of my greatest memories occurred in this house.
Right there, in front of the white, brick fireplace, my mother and I would decorate our Christmas tree. Stockings were mosaicked on the wall just above the fire as a reminder of how lucky we are to have such a wonderful and close-knit family. Each of our names were neatly handwritten on the flaps of our stockings with love and care. My mother would play festive carols sung by some of the greats while she set up a Christmas village on the hutch adjacent to the tree. Tea would be drank with cookies and chocolate while we enjoyed the spirit of the newly decorated room. I always appreciated how happy she made our home feel.
On the massive couches in the living room is where my father and I would have our long chats about understanding our spiritual instincts and how they guide our decision-making. We would sink deeper and deeper into the comforts of the couch while the four of us discussed life to the background voices of a British TV show. The dog, who thinks she’s a human, would occasionally interrupt to demand a re-tuck into her blanket.
These moments always felt comfortable and safe.
Yes, this was a good home. Until it wasn’t anymore. All of that was taken from us. It’s funny how one negative instance can ruin almost 10 years of happy memories. My safe and love-filled home had all of its identity sucked out of it the minute this stranger walked in, and the stench of violence and the aura of cruelty were left in its place when he walked out.
I can sit here for days wondering why and how this type of evil exists in people, but what good would that do?
Trying to understand the actions of a person who has the ability and the intentions to harm others, isn’t going to change what happened, nor is it going to make me feel any better.
As human beings, we cannot control the actions of others. We can only control our own reactions and what we allow ourselves to feel. Yes… we can actually control that. No human being has to succumb to feelings and thoughts that are negative. That is our superpower.
If we learn to recognize when our thought patterns are shifting and we’re starting to feel like we’re drowning, we can start implementing strategies to rearrange that negativity and turn it into a positive thought. One small positive thought is so much more powerful than one large negative thought. The feelings attached to positivity heavily outweigh negative feelings. The catch is, it’s harder to focus on what is good when you are feeling bad. So we tend to validate and justify our bad thoughts and let them dictate our lives.
Every single second of the day, we get to make a choice. Do you want to react positively or negatively to this external stimuli? Do you want to direct your attention to all of the things that hurt and make you feel small, or do you want to direct your attention to all of the things that feel good and lift you up?
I miss my home desperately, but what occurred there was and is out of my control. I cannot change that. What I can control is what I choose to do about it and how I choose to feel every single second of the day. I don’t want to feel sad. I don’t want to feel lost. I don’t want to feel hurt, and so I don’t. Instead, I choose to feel happy that everyone survived. I choose to feel found because this event brought my family closer together, and I choose to feel motivated to be better because I have the opportunity to be.
Everyone and anyone can use the power of positive thinking to reshape their lives. The tricky part is learning how to filter your thoughts, but with daily practice and constant reminders, it can easily become a habit. You just have to truly want it.
Use the power of your thoughts to help yourself heal. Learn to let go of what you can’t control and start focusing on the little things that you can control. I will teach you how to do this in my next post so you can start taking your life back and making it yours again.
You deserve to live a quality, positive vibes only, life. You deserve to have the tools to process and understand exactly what you went through and then move past it in a healthy way. Let’s make today the last day you let your life be controlled by your negative experiences. Hold your head up, puff your chest, and smile because how you feel in this exact moment will shape your tomorrow. Take control and finally let your tomorrow be great.