Becoming the best version of yourself

Putting Down Roots – – – And I Don’t Mean Like a Water Oak!

on October 7, 2013

Feeling secure – what is it exactly?

For me it’s putting down roots, being grounded, having a foundation that’s steady beneath me at all times.  In the title I refer to a Water Oak.  I live along the Gulf Coast, therefore it follows that every few years there IS going to be a hurricane or a tropical storm that comes a’knocking – – – or should I say “knocking” things down?

Hurricane Alicia, 1983.  We lived at least 60 miles inland but when you have hurricane force winds, mileage is irrelevant.  I had a three year old, a two month old, and a husband that had lived through hurricanes in Corpus Christi, TX where whole houses had blown away in front of his eyes.  It was tense.  During the worst of it he gathered us downstairs as far from windows and the potential of flying glass as he could.   We hunkered down.

During the night we heard an enormous cracking sound, followed by crashing, a large boom and then felt the earth shaking.  It was too dark to see outside, rain was blowing sideways and there was no power to turn on lights so we just had to wait in order to see what had happened.  During the eye of the storm passing over, we were able to see outside to our front yard.  We had lost our huge Water Oak.  It had not cracked in half, it had literally fallen over, roots and all, leaving a huge shallow hole in the front yard (and an even bigger whole in the corner of our neighbor’s house).  At a minimum, the diameter of the tree trunk was 3 feet.  You would think that the root system of a tree that large would be extensive, and deep.

You would be wrong.

I am not like a Water Oak, I put down roots, and I tend to stay put.  I need stability in my life in order to feel safe and secure.  My foundation may be poured with concrete, but there’s steel rebar running through it.  I need to feel grounded.  Going through a divorce was like loosing that Water Oak, you think you’re secure but a storm sweeps through and down you go.  BAM!!!

In “With Or Without A Man”, Chapter 4 talks about “Being Grounded”.  Quoting from page 41:

To build a solid yet flexible single world, you need a solid foundation and good grounding.  This represents the quality of being settled within yourself and your surroundings, regardless of whether your love life, or any other part of your life, is as you would wish.  It is being settled with what you have even while realistically aspiring to something else.  It is knowing the difference between what you have control over and what you don’t.

What do you need to get grounded, the first task?  To build a foundation?  You need to feel you belong in your living space.  You need to feel you’re part of your neighborhood and community.  You need friends and a social life.  You need to be doing something meaningful with your career or your avocation.”

I knew after my divorce I could not stay in a home we had occupied together.  Too much bad karma.  Uprooting from my friends and neighborhood was difficult.  You’re already feeling damaged and alone, and now you have to move?

   “ Home is the space you occupy, a place that is yours.  It reflects who you are and says, “I live here.

Fortunately I was able to make a new home for myself, I filled it with things I loved.  Yes many items came from the “marriage home” but in a new setting they didn’t remind me of anything bad or negative.  They were mine and made me feel safe.  I filled it up with photos of my family and friends and remembrances of happy times.  If it didn’t make me smile, it didn’t get to live in my home!  These were my four walls, and my new foundation.  I met my new neighbors by walking my dogs.  I established myself and I began to live again.

Look around you, does your home reflect who you are, or who you’re striving to become?  Does it make you smile?  Do you feel secure?  Get your feet back under you, you’ve weathered the storm, now it’s time to rebuild!


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