Our life is designed to wake us up, shake us up and align us with our soul’s purpose. We are either a victim of our circumstances or we make a conscious choice to use life’s challenges to heal and grow.
About 2 weeks ago I went outside to feed my chickens and let my barn cats out for the day. It was a typical morning and I was deeply present. As I walked over our bridge I gazed down into the creek to see the little salmon swimming around. The sun’s rays were at the perfect angle to bring them into full view. I smiled and said good morning.
As I approached the chicken coops I anticipated my chicken Grace to cluck her usual morning hello. Grace was the chicken who arrived in our front yard in our last residential neighbourhood. In this case the chicken came before the farm. She was living in the tree of our neighbour and we have no idea how she arrived in a residential area but we were happy to feed and tend to her. After a cold spell hit that winter I convinced my husband to let me take her inside to stay warm.
She lived happily in a large dog kennel in my office for months until we moved to our farm. If you listen closely to some of my early meditation recordings you can hear her in the background. She has been with us for about 5 years now.
When I reached her coop I was shocked and devastated by what I saw. My sweet Grace was attacked overnight and killed by a raccoon. It was a terrifying site and my body instantly convulsed with confusion, grief and disbelief.
Crying uncontrollably I made my way back inside the house where my son came running to see what was wrong. I saw the deep concern in his eyes and my first thought was, I can’t even speak and tell him what happened. I expected him to ask why I was crying but he didn’t. He simply reached out and gave me a huge hug. My heart melted into his arms and I cried even more. It was such a tender moment.
I finally found the words to tell him what happened. I told him that I couldn’t bring myself to go back outside to clean up Grace’s remains. He reached over, place his hand on my shoulder and said “I will help you”. Together we went back outside. There were many tears shed that day. She was my favourite chicken and a big part of our family.
My tears soon shifted to anger toward the raccoon. How dare he come into our property and harm one of my chickens so violently? I created space for my grief to wash up. It came in waves at random times. I knew I was grieving a lot more than the loss of Grace. She represented so much for me. I named her Grace for a reason.
I tuned into her energy and presence. I know in the end she surrendered to her fate and ultimately surrendered to love. I have learned so much from her over the years and even in her passing Grace is still teaching me.
It took two days of feeling angry. In my meditation I heard the words “I am totally willing to be wrong”. Suddenly I felt a deep sense of forgiveness and compassion toward the raccoon. He was just doing what raccoons do. I stopped taking it so personally. I brought forgiveness into my heart and I felt a deep sense of peace wash over me once again.
In hindsight I also learned that the next time my 11 year old son is crying I will embrace him fully without questioning why or what happened. He taught me about compassion. As a Mother I had developed the habit of asking why are you crying instead of wrapping my arms around him.
So in the past couple of weeks life has taught me a deeper level of compassion and how to forgive a raccoon. When we use our life as a classroom for healing and growing we can find meaning. We won’t always understand why, but we can find meaning by being open to the lesson life has to offering. In finding meaning we find peace, in finding peace we return to love.
I forgive you Mr raccoon and I release you Grace with love and gratitude for your presence.
Thank you for allowing me into your hearts. I am grateful to share my life in hopes that it inspires and empowers others to heal and align with love.
Remember whatever you go through you can grow through.
Heart hugs xo Sue