In one of my personal challenges, I briefly encountered a man who did something to me that can be considered a felony depending on the state one lives in. Fortunately for me, the situation was a best-case scenario of the possible horrible outcomes that could have resulted. Given the other traumas I have faced, this one was a small one. However, it still had an impact on me that caused a wound which I had to work on healing.
Many months after this man traumatized me and with no further contact between us, he had the unabashed gall to send me a Christmas card which arrived on January 2, 2021 thanks to the post office delays over the holiday season. I was speechless when I opened it. It was a pretty card, and the message he wrote inside was generic but genuine. Still, him sending me a card was totally inappropriate given what had occurred. When I later shared the arrival of the Christmas card with others who knew the whole story, their universal response was, “He sent you what?!?”
Someone on my Buy Nothing list had offered up some coffee cans which I claimed with the intent of burning the card. After photographing the card for this post, I tore it into pieces, said a prayer that its symbolic destruction would represent the departure of all the “bad” things that had happened in 2020 and would usher in a purified new year of 2021. And then I lit it on fire. (Please note the garden hose was immediately adjacent to the coffee can and I was burning it on a concrete patio many feet away from anything flammable.) As I watched it burn, I shifted my position with the wind to stay upwind of the smoke, continuing to pray for the healing of the damage that man caused me. A great deal of peace came over me during this ritual as I let go of some of the pain and moved toward the future.
After the fire burned itself out, I wet down the ashes and then threw the remainder in the trash which is what felt appropriate in this situation; sometimes scattering or burying the ashes in the better resolution. With the departure of those ashes, I said goodbye to 2020 with the hopes that 2021 will bring abundant blessings not just for me and my family, but for all.
©2021 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC