When faced with “invaders”…
Last Friday, while out for a pizza with my son, our flat was broken into. We came home around 10pm to find dirt footprints on the floor, wardrobe doors open and clear signs that someone had gone through our stuff in every room. I was petrified for a second thinking that while I went straight to the living room, the burglar could have been hiding anywhere else in the flat. I was brought back by the realization that I needed to keep calm for the sake of my son who was clearly in shock, his face white as sheet, his heartbeat racing like a rabbit.
While waiting for the police to arrive, I stood there, in my living room and following in my mind’s eyes the perpetrator’s actions. I had forgotten the upper part of one window open. Whoever came through that window must have been desperate for some quick cash, because it would not be easy to get to the first floor of the building. He must have been a tall, lanky guy, rushing to get his hands on some cash. Apart from a couple of golden earrings, everything was untouched: my laptop in plain site, my wallet in the hallway, my only expensive watch, lying on a book shelf. Nothing was damaged, nothing valuable was missing. Apart from the uneasy feeling of being terrified, vulnerable and exposed, everything was alright.
Now, I am the kind of person who attaches meaning to everything that happens in her life. I’ve been experiencing all kinds of “invasions” or freak happenings lately and I don’t believe that they are simply accidents. When people go through changes or are having to take difficult decisions, various weird things are manifesting in their realities.
One thing my friend told me that night on the phone stuck with me. She said, “It wasn’t a breaking and entering, it was more of an invite. You left your window open…”. Where else in my life am I doing this?
You see, although I am constantly working on slowing down, the truth is, I am rushing through life like a high-speed train. I constantly need to be somewhere, run from one place to another to keep up with my appointments, I don’t allow myself enough time to process things and I am driven by this sense of duty, of having to do things that are expected from me. The emphasis is on I HAVE TO.
I used to be worse, spreading myself thin to make everyone happy, for fear I won’t be liked if I turned someone down or worse, fearing I would disappoint them by not showing up. I am slowly learning to say no to things, to stop before committing to something, and check in with myself and ask myself if I really feel that meeting or that activity would truly benefit me. Like everyone else, I am a work in progress. I don’t have all the answers, but I am learning every day to adjust my external life to my inner guidance. And not the other way around.
This whole experience scared me, I admit it. But once the initial shock was gone, it put me in a state of calmness and observation. I was able to detach from the feeling of being “raped”, of being a victim of my environment, of being wronged. I took a step back and allowed myself to evaluate the situation and I ended up counting my blessings and being grateful that it had actually happened.
I was robbed, but nothing was taken away from me. We are both safe, our belongings are almost untouched. I had friends holding space for us during those moments and my son’s dad driving in the middle of the night to be with us in those moments. If anything, I need to be thankful to that guy for pointing out yet again how fortunate, how blessed I am. This experience was a warning sign. A reminder to be happy in the present moment and stop projecting fears and goals and expectations on an uncertain future that will become all those things if I keep feeding it with my anxieties. It is a reminder to live in the present and cherish my life as it is right now. No buts.
In this case, I literally left the window open. And then I started to ask myself what other parts of my life I was leaving exposed, while rushing to cram in as many experiences as possible in tight schedules. Where do I make myself vulnerable by not having healthy boundaries? Are there other instances where I allow people to barge in so that I finally learn to put these healthy boundaries in place?
To wrap things up, my taking from Friday night:
- What am I learning about myself?
- Always look for the silver lining. We are both safe and nothing of value has been stollen from us.
- Slow down and allow myself to absorb things, to let them sink in and enjoy them.
- Where am I leaking energy? What actions and behaviours am I constantly performing that leave me exposed to attacks of any kind? How can I change these patterns?
- Practice gratitude religiously.
- Build healthy boundaries with myself and the world around me. I am not doing anyone a favour if I am constantly going against myself. No one will build me a statue if I always say yes, even when I want to say no.
- Have faith. I am always protected, safe and taken care of.
- My life is a perfect package. There is nothing and nowhere else I need to be.
A big hug and thank you to all my friends who were my rock that night. And thank you to the handsome police officer and his lovely partner who came by to file a report. Talk about that silver lining. 🙂
Enjoy your Sunday!