Last week I told you about my angry frustration surrounding Grandmother Willow.
A few people responded sharing their hope for her survival and condolences for the possible loss.
I’d like to give you more insight into the full situation and an additional insight I had as I was talking to a friend.
We live on an old property. The main part of our home was built in 1901 and the ditch came into being in 1903. The land agreement works with measurements stemming from the 1903 ditch bank and there is no definitive proof to officially declare where that line lies. This means that in 2020, 117 years later, it is anyone’s guess whose property is truly where and neighborly relations are paramountly important.
The ditch has a governing board. This board manages the water rights, flow, cleaning, etc. They make sure the farmers and homesteaders along the ditch are able to use the water as needed per their agreements. Due to the fact that the ditch flows directly through our property, we make an effort to help maintain the flow and clean up any debris which may fall from our very mature trees. Some of these trees *could* belong to the ditch company and some to us, we just maintain them because we love them and the peace they bring to the property. We also know, damage to other areas could occur if they need to do maintenance.
In my upset and anger last week I needed to understand why I felt the way I did and then address it so I could move forward in a more open and accepting way. Holding onto my anger pulls me down and colors my interactions with others. I feel heavier and cranky. Finding a way to work through it, understand it and release it means I feel lighter, more clear headed and connected to those around me.
The other side of the story is my understanding of the ditch company. You see, they wrote us a letter telling us the air space over their ditch was compromised by our treehouse. This treehouse had been there for 23 years. It was erected by the previous owner and was rotting and unsafe so a year ago we rebuilt it.
The new president was unaware of the treehouse’s existence, saw the new construction on our property and assumed we had built it as a part of said construction. He felt we had wrongly encroached on their property and wanted to ensure we rectified the situation. When we responded letting him know it had been there for 23 years he felt confronted and angry. He informed the board they could just “cut her down” thereby resolving the issue.
The thing is, he didn’t know the history. He is new to the situation and attempting to clarify boundaries to reclaim what belongs to the ditch.
HE is over a 3.
When I stop to see this and understand what is happening I have the opportunity to completely change all of our interactions moving forward. And if I’m totally honest, my husband helped me find this clarity.
Just as I asked myself the 3 questions, I can now ask the same ones about the other side.
WHY is the ditch company so angry?
Answer? They have lost a lot of land and space over the years. By law, if they don’t push back, the people using those areas have a legal right to use it and the ditch company loses ground. Losing ground means the ditch loses control of who uses the water, they can be sued by those not getting their fair water right share, they can be sued by people getting hurt in the ditch, the list goes on.
WHAT can I do about it?
Well, first off, anyone understanding the above has likely already calmed down from the previous level of upset. It makes perfect sense why they would need to push back and reclaim their rights. And there’s more we can do to help. We have the ability to buffer them from legal implications and we can sign legal documentation acknowledging we have no possessive rights to the space while they grant permission to use the air. (Yes, there are such things as air rights, along with mineral rights, water rights, etc.)
What are my next steps? Do I need to heal any hurts caused?
We decided to make contact again. We explained our side and let them know we understand their side. We offered options for resolution and our apologies for invading. We let them know we love the tree and as it’s very old we’d rather find a common ground to work together and co-exist.
How does this relate to you?
It’s easy to be upset with those around us. We’re having a bad day, we physically don’t feel well, bad news, work challenges, etc. the list goes on. The people closest to us usually get the brunt end of the stick. Instead of taking pause to check in, we let our frustration come out sideways.
It’s hard to be vulnerable. To stop in our heated moment to say, I’m angry because I’m ashamed, scared, hurt, depressed, lonely ….Fill in the blank. Often we’re afraid of what people will think. And we allow that fear to push people away instead of taking that vulnerable moment to pull them closer, creating a moment of compassion and support.
The other side of the coin is the anger received.
Instead of taking that anger and allowing the heat to build, we can stop, add a soothing balm and say, “I see you’re really upset, how can I help? What do you need? Is there anything you need to verbalize?” It takes a lot of practice and once you truly own yourself, magic is unleashed.
Of course, this also comes with the understanding that anytime someone over a 3 starts with the word “YOU!!” they are projecting and unable to own their own issue at that moment.
Take a break, and know you are amazing.
Offer yourself a new perspective.
Allow compassion and understanding to enlighten your mind and heart.
Ask your higher power for insight and understanding. Take the position of the eagle to see a broader point of view.
I pray you are able to become the example of owning your emotions. Take the opportunity to create moments of unguarded honesty.