happiness

The River

Likely because I’ve been working so hard on forgiveness and surrender, I have been given the opportunity to really put them both to the test these last few days. I’m tired –  really, really tired –  and I know the only way to release the burden is to turn it to God and ask Him to carry it for me.

Sunday when we were at church we sang this hymn:

and I felt it in my soul. I downloaded it on Spotify and I’ve been listening to it non stop ever since.

Today as I felt completely wiped out by the stresses I’m dealing with in my life, I listened to this song over and over – playing it in the background as I went about my daily routine. It brings me peace – when I listen to it I can feel Jesus sitting with me, holding my hand, letting me know it will all be alright. It will be – and this time instead of reacting with rage and anger (which I really, really want to do) I’m going to just keep working on forgiveness, surrender, and strengthening my faith.

Lately I’ve witnessed a really moving example of people responding to malicious cruelty with kindness and compassion, and I have decided that I want to be more that kind of person than the one who responds to it with outrage and a victim mentality. The only thing I can really control is how I respond in this situation, and even that I can only do with God’s help. I realized listening to the hymn that I need to meet Him at the river. Not that I want to, or would like to, but that I honestly need to meet Him, I need help, support, and love that only He can give me.

If happiness comes from within (and I believe it does) then I can choose to stand in my own happiness and love no matter what is thrown at me.

 

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Answered prayers

I have a cousin who has been quite sick the last few months. After many, many treatments and a hospital stay that lasted a few weeks, he sent a text today that his last scan was all clear!!!

This is the kind of news that just goes beyond happiness. I’m happy for him, for his family, for our family, just happy happy happy!

I know there have been people praying for him for months and months and I’m so grateful that the prayers were answered this way and that he gets to look forward to getting stronger and stronger.

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Out the kitchen window 

This photo may not immediately look like a happiness moment, but it is – and I will explain why.

I was in the kitchen making supper and I looked out the window to see my daughter at the barn with my cousin and her daughter. There was a newly orphaned calf in the corral and my niece was feeding it (I think – it was hard to tell exactly what she was doing from where I stood).

The feeling that came over me was one of incredible peace and happiness. My girl is as drawn to the barn as I was at her age and it’s so awesome that my cousin is so patient and shows her what is going on during their very busy calving season.

As I watched them from the window (before I ran out to join) I felt so grounded and happy. This is the kind of moment I dreamed about, this freedom, this connection, this easy joy.

I am so grateful for happy moments like these. 

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Riding on the buckle 

I realized today as I was tacking up Drishti that the only thing worse than being afraid of riding would be giving into that fear and being too afraid to ride.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was afraid of everything. I feel like over the last few years all I’ve done is face my fears, stand up to them, walk through them. Honestly, I’m kind of tired of it.

We went out in the field, I climbed my way up in the saddle, and off we went. My first instinct is to have a good, steady contact on the reins. Part of that is my English riding training where contact is a good thing, but the need to hold onto his mouth – that is fear. Drishti is not a fan of it, but I’m not ripping on his face so he’s taken a quieter, sneakier approach to getting me to let go. The longer we walk the more he stretches his head out. He will stop every once in a while and take big, long looks all around – which could be taken as curiosity, but I’m starting to realize it’s a very effective way for him to get longer reins.

I thought about how we are building this new relationship and how it will only work on trust. I know him well enough to know that at a walk he’s not going to buck and bolt on me, so I got to thinking – why aren’t I giving him his head more? I’m not schooling, we are just walking around – why aren’t I giving in. And bam! the reins went to the buckle.

And we just chilled and walked around the field – and it was happiness.

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Happy for no reason

When you’re happy for no reason, you bring happiness to your outer experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them. You don’t need to manipulate the world around you to try and make yourself happy. You live from happiness, rather than for happiness (Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff)

I have been reading these words over and over today and they have totally shifted my perspective of happiness. I have long known that happiness comes from within and that we can’t depend on other things or people to make us happy, but somehow reading these words helped it all fall into place.

When I started, I had to look for things to make me happy. I didn’t have any happiness inside, my life was scary and fearful. I had to start looking for daily experiences that made me feel happy on the inside – some days they were pretty hard to find. As I said yesterday, I’ve been realizing lately that my quest for happiness is shifting.

I am finding more and more happiness inside myself. I am starting to believe in myself and seeing my value in ways that not too long ago I didn’t think would be possible. Because of that, I am able to bring happiness to my moments instead of looking for moments to bring me happiness.

It’s powerful stuff. It’s happiness.

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Fearful living, hopeful living

I have a confession to make – riding Drishi scares the crap out of me. Not because of him – he is awesome – but because of me. When I get on him I realize how my first reaction to a situation is fear. I’m scared he’ll take off, I’m scared he’ll buck me off, I’m scared I’ll just fall off, I’m scared he’ll trip and we  will crash… basically I’m scared of getting hurt. Just like in the rest of my life – I’m scared of getting hurt.

Drishti is awesome, he is exactly what I prayed for even though I didn’t know all the details when I was doing the praying. I prayed for heaven to give me a big, beautiful horse who was still green enough I could put some schooling time on – one that I could ride out in the fields here but could also teach some things to. He is green and certainly could do with some schooling lessons… but make no mistake, the one doing the teaching here is Drishti.

I am learning so much from him.

A few years ago when I was in the pits of my dark night of the soul, my anxiety was so bad that I could barely function. Just doing the bare minimum to get through the day took all the bravery and strength I had and I think it’s important for me to remember that as I think of how I’m learning to face fears while riding. I have already experienced all the big things I was afraid could happen in my life in the last couple of years, so I find it interesting that these smaller fears can be so powerful. But life happens in the small moments and I want to make sure mine are filled with hope and peace instead of fear.

I was riding today and poor Drishti was upset. His friends are gone for the day and he was feeling quite sorry for himself being all alone. I also haven’t ridden him in a week and what he really wanted to do was go for a big long gallop across the field (not happening). I rode him around the field and really paid attention to how he was. He was looking at everything – cows over there, dogs underfoot, tractor over here… lots to look at. But he just kept walking along – he’s pretty much the same all the time. Me on the other hand was more like will he spook at the tractor? what if when he puts his head down to rub his leg he then grabs the bit and takes off?  (thanks to some awesome childhood ponies this fear is real) What if he bolts back to the barn? Meanwhile Drishti is still walking along looking at the world.

Hmmmmm

It got me thinking about trust. The two of us are working on building an extremely close relationship that has to be built on trust. Does he trust me? I think so. Do I trust him? Apparently not so much. Have I ever done anything to betray his trust? Not really, but I hold onto his mouth a lot more than I should afraid he’ll bolt which shows a lack of trust. Has he ever done anything to betray mine? Besides that one time when he took off with a couple of  happy bucks? No. And I totally got the happy bucks – he’s a horse, he was having fun, it was a beautiful spring day.

The trust issue is mine.

What I love about this horse – aside from the fact that he’s an amazing gift from heaven, that my soul is complete now that I have a horse again, and that he’s so incredibly cute – is that he’s teaching me how to trust completely and to let go of my fear. Learning how to reprogram how I approach my life and relationships – this is happiness. I love this guy.

I’ve been redefining happiness over the last few days with the understanding that I am now at the place that I need to be searching for ways to have happiness part of my life all the time and  for no reason at all – just to have happiness be my way of living in every moment. I started this blog needing to find one happy moment in every day to give myself hope that I could have more happy moments. I think I’m ready for more – more hope, more happiness, more love.

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Just be happy now

Just be happy now

Out of this will come the miracles you seek (The Key by Joe Vitale)

Once I realized hope was missing from my life, I’ve been focusing on bringing it back to the centre of my being. If I don’t have hope what is the point? I don’t mean that my life was hopeless and that I was deep in dark despair or the world was ending. I mean I had forgotten to keep hoping for better things, that the rainbow is coming, that I can dance in the storm –  I forgot to be happy now.

My life has been a series of miracles over the past two years. Sometimes in the day to day stuff that stresses me out I forget just how much God has provided for me. Slowly but surely I am getting everything I ever wanted and just because there are some blips along the way does not mean that if I keep hope, if I stay happy, if I am clear about what I want,  that these miracles won’t continue.

I spent a big part of the day today in quiet meditation, clearing my heart and mind and focusing on what I want. I said to my friend while we were standing on the beach the other day that maybe I need to make a list of exactly what I want in life so I am clear about where I want to be going – so that’s what I did. Amazingly, I already have a lot of the things I want, which gives me faith that the other things are possible as well.

I realized that even with daily stress stuff, divorce stress stuff, kid stress stuff, I can just be happy now. Because if not now – when?

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