The Forest & the Chickadee

Last night, before I entered fully the realm of dreams, I found myself inside a lush green forest. Before me was a large fallen tree covered with moss, and flitting atop the felled tree was a chickadee. For several moments I watched the chickadee, wondering as I did, what it was trying to show or tell me. The chickadee never took flight, but rather hopped around on the log, pecking at it and then looking in my direction. That was it.

Before I fell into sleep, I remember telling myself that I needed to recall this vision I was given the next morning. I knew there was a message, but, as often happens during these moments before sleep, I was unable fully to decipher it at the time it was occurring. Throughout the morning and into the afternoon I thought often of that chickadee in the forest. It was not the first time I had paid attention to these social birds and their messages, but it was the first time one had visited me before sleep.

Chickadee, the bird of Truth. It was, I knew, no accident that this bird had visited me on the night of such an important date. 12-12-12. Yesterday was not only a day to receive and send out Love, it was a day to face our fears. I saw clearly during mediation that my second and fifth chakras were still holding onto past pain and, as much as I wanted them to spin in their full vibrancy, I knew they were lagging with residual density.

The 2nd and 5th chakras are intimately linked. Together they spin the energies of our creative truths, something important for a writer of truth. This morning I mailed a chapter of my memoir to a publisher. I sent the second chapter, and although I tried to deny it, I felt the tether of fear and guilt. Intellectually it’s easy to explain away our fears, especially when we can see that logically they are unfounded. Inside the forest of the heart though, we find the truth.

I took my dogs for a walk this afternoon, as is my custom. Instead of going into the forest, we walked around the adjoining neighborhoods. The first trigger to meet me came in the form of a large German Shepard, who bounded, seemingly out of no where, towards me and my two dogs. Immediately fear came rushing in (most of my live I have feared  dogs, having two of my own has healed much of this). Thankfully, I recovered quickly from my initial impulse to flee by stepping into my heart-center and sending the energy of love out to the dog. Although he followed us for a little while, he seemed to want to play more than anything else, and I calmly encouraged him to “go home,” until, finally, he did.

Apparently that was just a warm-up. Later in the walk I found myself picking the blown plastic bags and other garbage off the side of the road, as I often do, and stuffing it all into a grocery bag I had found. Since I was also holding a dog leash in each hand, I looked around and contemplated the trash toters lining the road-side. Which one should I put it in? I peered into one with a half-broken lid, and, seeing trash inside, tossed it in. I could hear the engine of the garbage truck in the distance. It would not be there for long. No harm done, or so I thought. No sooner had I tossed the bag in, then the owner of the house came rushing out his front door in a full rage. His words were heated and to the point. He didn’t want my dog waste smelling up his trash can, and I needed to remove it (I won’t repeat his actual words). Again, I felt my heart race in reaction. I was just trying to clean up your neighborhood, I wanted to say. Instead, a jumble of words came out as I tried to explain to this enraged individual that I was not throwing away my dogs’ waste, but the trash I had collected on the side of the road. I needn’t have bothered though, he didn’t want to hear it. Before I could finish, he was back int the house and I was left flustered and feeling like I had just failed a test. I retrieved the bag and went home.

I knew that man’s anger was not about me, that I was just the excuse he was looking for to let of steam. I knew that my actions were well-intended, even if I had made a “mistake” by choosing his trash can, but that awful feeling stayed with me throughout the day.  I grew up with a man not unlike this man, and I was bullied in school. I was used to feeling guilty for doing nothing wrong. I was used to taking un-deserved blame. I was used to being the victim. But, I had hoped I was finally free of it.

We get these triggers in our lives when we need reminders that we still have aspects of ourselves we need to pay attention to and heal. Later, when I was back home and had settled down a bit, I decided to meditate. Entering that heart-centered place of Love, I envisioned a soft pink energy around my neighbor’s home. I felt, with empathy, what it was like to live there, and what it was like to be him. I understood his anger and his fear, I saw how it was linked to mine. I knew we were meant to have this interaction today, and I sent the energy of love and forgiveness to us both.

Sometimes life’s lessons hit us hard and by surprise. One day we’re feeling great, the next defeated by a test. Each test, though, is our opportunity to learn. I knew, as a healer, I could send love to this individual, and I also realized, I needed some healing of my own.

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