I never thought my biggest and worst fear about our home would ever materialize.
The wind whipped around the cars. Trees bent sideways, leaves heavy with rain. Large branches crashed onto dark, slick roads. We couldn’t see the car in front of us.
The ten minute drive home that night was terrifying.
As we turned down our driveway, I noticed a group of neighbors standing in the street and gesturing toward our house.
I glanced over and panic surged through my chest. My heart dropped and my head felt light and woozy.
I had lived here for 14 years and my big worry was the old big tree would fall on our home.
My worst fear came to life.
Our house was now concealed by thousands of pounds of tree trunk, wet wood, leaves, and branches. The ten minute storm had knocked over our massive 125 year old maple tree.
There it was – smack on top of our home.
We quickly took pictures, scooted under a large branch and managed to get through the door before we heard the crash of lightening.
THE CALM AFTER THE STORM
Michael and I quickly ran through each room and to our relief the interior was undamaged.
Outside was a different story. Our porch had a hole in the roof. Windows were broken. Gutters were bent like toothpicks.
We were grateful no one got hurt.
As I went to sleep, the image of our huge tree hugging our house was stuck in a freeze-frame in my mind.
So was the feeling of panic. “what if” circled my mind, over and over.
The next day I showed the pictures to a friend. I noticed my heart dropped and my head felt light — again.
TIME TO REFRAME
It was clear to me that the pictures on my phone had triggered the same feelings when I saw our home damaged.
As a hypnotherapist, I help my clients deal with everyday triggers – fears and emotional eating are among the most common. But now I had to help myself. I didn’t want to be triggered every time I walked outside or thought about our house.
Just in case you need to do this for yourself some day, here is a quick way to reframe an image to stop triggers.
1. Close your eyes and imagine the unpleasant picture. Put it inside a dark picture frame.
2. Right next to that, place a large white picture frame that contains an image of what you want. In my case, I saw a picture of our home with a new roof and freshly painted porch.
3. Release that dark picture frame out of your mind. Watch it begin to float up in the sky. Watch as it gets smaller and smaller until it disappears totally.
4. Quickly go back to that white frame and make it double in size. Punch up the color, make it sharper and brighter.
5. If the image of the dark frame happens to come up again, repeat.
P.S. It took a few months before everything was back to normal We recently had another storm and my first thought was said in honest gratitude.
“I’m so glad our home is safe and there are no big trees that can damage it!”
This is a true story. Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. A hot August evening. 8:30pm
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