My oldest son’s first Christmas was a tough one. We went out of town to celebrate with family, and someone broke into our home while we were gone. They took everything of any value and many things that were sentimentally important and irreplaceable.
However, they were just things, and we were okay. Even so, it felt like we’d been violated. They even went through our clothing and food.
It took some time to heal, and to be honest, I still need to sleep with a light on eleven years later.
We’ve since moved and I generally feel very safe in my home. In fact, when I feel myself getting upset or nervous (read: paranoid) about our safety, I affirm: “We are safe in our home.” Simple, effective, and to the point.
Speaking of “to the point,” allow me to get there.
On Wednesday, we had a fire at our house. It was relatively small, in the grand scheme of things, but we did lose the front bushes.
I was putting away groceries while holding Sophie, when someone began banging on the door and window. To be honest, at first, I was annoyed and a little bit scared since it was just the baby and I home alone. But I went and peeked out the window and there it was.
I flung open the door and handed my daughter to a neighbor I’d never met. We called the fire department and the neighbor sat in his warm car with his wife and my daughter while his adult son helped me to put out the fire.
We managed to put the fire out before the fire department arrived, but they still checked everything out to be safe, which I appreciated very much.
Our bushes were almost completely destroyed, but we managed to save the house. What an amazing gift.
Through it all, all I could say was THANK YOU.
Thank you to the neighbors from three doors down, who I’ve waved at but never met in the almost six years we’ve lived here. You helped me without question when you didn’t have to. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Without you, I could’ve lost so much more than my bushes. I am eternally grateful.
Thank you to my husband for coming home and taking care of me after the fire, and for cutting down those burnt bushes and making our home look nice again. You were my knight in shining armor.
Thank you to my neighbor Joe, who came and talked with me after the fire, and who gave me the name and address of the neighbors from three doors down so that I could send them a thank you gift.
Thank you to the fire department who double checked that we had no hidden fires, even looking under the siding on the house to be safe.
Thank you to my family and friends who were concerned about us and who checked to make sure that we were all okay.
It’s amazing how something so scary can make us realize how much we have for which to be grateful. Every day, I am grateful for my family’s health and safety, for the love that we have, for our home and our security.
But this event made me understand something else. Sometimes we get caught up in our own petty thoughts, negative self talk, and the like. But none of that matters.
You know what matters in your life, what REALLY matters. Think about it. You can probably come up with a short list pretty quickly. And, I’ll bet, it doesn’t contain the latest office gossip or the argument you had with your spouse.
Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes to be grateful for those things and people in your life that mean the world to you. Make some calls, pass out some hugs, and embrace the love in your heart.
Feel the love, feel the gratitude. It feels amazing, folks. Give it a shot. You won’t regret it. 🙂
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.