Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hope is the thing with feathers...

I had read an article recently about a lady who had wished for her loved one in heaven to send her a sign she was still with her in the form of a feather. A week or so later, her feather unexpectedly crossed her path and she was overcome with emotion and accepted it as her loved one's presence.
Apparently, along with butterflies circling us, feathers have long been recognized as a sign of being in the presence of an angel at the moment they find us. A bittersweet and comforting reminder that on some other level, they are still with us and watching over us.
So, my question is this.....How much do we turn to hope, that optimistic feeling that gives us a healthier expectation of positive outcomes after events in our lives, rather than holding on to pain and negativity? You would think the answer should be a lot, but, it takes most people, like myself, a matter of time and many other emotions until we allow and accept hope as a better alternative than holding onto grief.
This past weekend marked the 2 year anniversary of my sister's death. I must admit after the initial and expected trauma my heart felt after her loss, I have held on to this lingering and painful anger as my strongest emotion in dealing with her passing.
So, after reading this article a couple of weeks ago and processing another person's perspective of death in which she was able to connect and comfort herself rather than detach and stay in perpetual hurt, I decided to take on this challenge as well.
I put down the magazine, cleared my mind of the potential silliness of it all, and I concentrated...."Michele, give me a feather. I could really use a feather from you. No, I need a feather from you. You see, I want hope and to feel hopeful again so I can release this anger and know that there is a place, a better place, where you have been and I will be."
Then, I waited. Not the 'I'm going to pretend I'm going about my day and stalk my surroundings looking for it' kind of waiting, but, the 'I put it out there and I am hopeful about this' kind of waiting.
The weeks passed and there was no feather which I was okay with. I had the right attitude about it and I had promised myself that it was to bring only hope and comfort not disappointment if it did or did not happen. So, I tucked the notion away into the back of my mind and went on with my life.
The day of her anniversary, we went to church, said prayers for her, and came home. I decided maybe it was a good day to take the Halloween decorations out and lose our thoughts in something else rather than focus on what today really was to us.
I pulled one of the biggest decorations out of the box and got ready to place it in the same place it had graced every year since we moved here, but, something inside of me said, "let's move it somewhere else! I think a change would be good!"
I walked over to the tree and I quickly decided right in front of it would be a great place. When I bent over to lay it on the spot I had chosen, a feather appeared into my sight. It was brown and white, speckled with perfectly round spots, and the ends were fluffy and gently glided in the air. I scooped it up and thought, "you have got be kidding me!" followed immediately by sweet and comforting thoughts that "it was truly the most beautiful feather I had ever seen."
I quickly tucked it behind the Halloween decoration and went back to helping the kids as I did not want to explain my reaction and I felt like I needed time to process what, if anything, had happened.
After we finished and I sent the kids back inside, I went to retrieve the feather so I could take a picture of it but it was gone. As unexpectedly as it was given to me, it had gone somewhere else.
However, I kept persistently searching around as I questioned my sanity, but, no feather to be found! Okay, so, this part wasn't in the article! Are you not allowed to keep angelic feathers!?!
I guess that is not the point. The point is, in that very moment of finding it, I changed my anger to hope. I allowed myself to feel all of the wonderful and glorious feelings that were wrapped in that feather and it made perfect sense to me that I was given it on her anniversary rather than the weeks prior to this day when I first asked for it. That hope is now perched in my soul leaving no room for anger anymore.
So, my wish for you, is not to ask for feathers, but you can if you want to. It is to try and allow hope if you are dealing with emotions or issues from negative events that you are struggling with. Open yourself to healing and help yourself to move forward ...."Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all."