I haven’t been sleeping well. I keep dreaming about the house I grew up in. I dreamt I was sweeping the sidewalk in front and the wind blew the doors open. It became a wide-open space and the breeze flowed through the windows. Gauzy curtains flapped like waves beneath the filtered sunlight. My father was inviting me in. It reminded me of my aunt’s home in St. Lucia that I visited when I was a teenager. It feels like a prophecy of my upcoming trip to Ghana.
My sister stole that house. I don’t know when I’ll ever go back there. Stole seems like such a harsh word, but I don’t know how else to say it when you take something that was meant for you to share. I saw it coming. My parents added her to the deed ten years ago. She’s the oldest and like many of my financial advisory clients, I believe they thought she would do the “right thing.” I’ve advised clients against this so many times, but parents love their children, and often can’t see their faults. How many times have we heard the words, “Not my baby,” released from a mother’s mouth in opposition to a crime or infraction?
This is the ‘hood version of white-collar crime. It happens so often, it’s not actually newsworthy.
I’ve experienced plenty of trauma in my life: sexual assault, domestic violence, ongoing institutional racism, horrific car accidents. I realize this feels the same. It’s violence, theft, injustice. It’s not only perpetrated against me. It harms my disabled younger sister, my nephew and my daughter. I am already suffering the loss of both my parents. Now I’m suffering from the loss of what little remained of my strained relationship with my older sister. I’ve lost the comfort of believing if shit hit the fan, I could always go home. Family dynamics can be so challenging. I want to walk away. I’m tired of playing the role of black sheep in a family so deeply affected by both mental and physical illness.
I can’t control the things that happen to me in this world. I can only control my response. For a moment, I felt hatred rising in my belly, but I’m not about that life. From when I was a teenager, I had an expression, “Don’t become the thing you hate.” Sometimes people hurt us, and, if we’re not paying attention, we can become like them – miserable, greedy, lonely, angry. I thought about fighting in the courts, but I can’t fight alone. And, honestly, I don’t like to waste my time. Life is precious and I want to live mine with joy and freedom.
In yoga, there is a pose called “peaceful warrior.” In it we move from a traditional warrior stance, ready for righteous battle with our “spears” forward, to reversing our weapons and leaning away from the battle. There are many spoils of war: property, jewels, even bodies. There is also plenty of trauma: mental, spiritual and physical. It’s wise to lean away when you can.
When I was younger, trauma tore me apart. Now that I’m smarter, I ask for the lesson. This one is clear: release my attachments and surrender. Ok Universe. Let’s do this.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is the house that I grew up in. If you want to learn more about being happy no matter what life sends your way, check out my self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings available on Amazon. More information at trishahjelroberts.com/books