happiness

Bad to the Bone

I had an extreme case of the feels today – just too many emotions running around inside of me. It ended up being a day that I had to do a lot of driving, and Spotify led me to good old George Thorogood – Mr. BadToTheBone himself.

In my early 20s I listened to his music over and over and over, and today it did me good to blast it as loud as I could as I drove all over hells half acre.

Sometimes loud music alone in the car is needed. It brought me back to a really happy time in my life, and grabbing a hold of those memories and those feelings helped put my current state of emotions in a better balance. And knowing how to do that? That’s happiness.

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Laughing at the table 

We had a group of family over for our thanksgiving meal today. There were about 20 of us which was perfect. 

It was so good to sit at that table and laugh and share food – they are a special bunch, our tribe. 

With all our blessings, there is a lot to be thankful for. This tribe, our family, they are the top of the list. Having a place to dig our roots into is priceless. And it’s happiness. 

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The moments between

Today was a moments between kind of day. After mom’s birthday, before thanksgiving which we celebrate tomorrow. I feel like there has been a lot going on in every aspect of my life and today I took some time to breathe, balance, and reassess where I’m at.

Things are shifting again. I guess life is full of constant change. For me security used to be represented as everything staying the same and me being able to sit in the knowledge that we are safe,  and I knew we were safe because nothing was going to change.

Things change all the freaking time. It’s like being a tree, I just have to be strong enough to bend in the winds of change.

And even though I continue to resist it, change is good. It either brings about something immediately joyful, or it brings pain which opens the door to change. 

Honestly, even though there has been a lot of pain the last couple of years, there has been so much more joy – sustainable happiness – soul fulfillment.

And in the moments between – when there are quiet spaces in life – it’s important to take notice of what is happening and be grateful. Especially this weekend as we celebrate thanksgiving.

I have so much to be thankful for – my God, my tribe, my home, my family, my friends, that miracle horse, our dog who narrowly escaped with her life a couple of days ago, and our too many cats.

We are home, we are safe, we are loved. That is a perfect recipe for happiness.

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Happy birthday mom

We celebrated my mom’s birthday tonight with a family supper. It always feels so good to have a bunch of people we love sit around that table and laugh and share stories just like we have for generations in that space. It’s sacred stuff this tribe. It’s happiness 

I’m so grateful for my mom. She’s taught me so much, has loved me unconditionally, and has been a good friend as well. 

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The 100 foot diet

We had roast and potatoes for supper that came to us from the ranch and the garden. Talk about eating local. And eating well. I was grateful that the kids had dug the potatoes out of the garden last week. I missed being able to play in my garden this summer, but at least we will enjoy some of it’s produce.

It was a  peaceful and much appreciated meal, everyone relaxed a little as we get ready to settle into a long weekend.

Happiness is usually found in little moments like this.

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Pain brings change

There is no reason for someone to change their experience if it’s not painful.

These days before Thanksgiving are difficult ones in our house, Thanksgiving 2011 was effectively the moment our family ended, or as my then 10 year old son called it the night that ended my childhood. It’s brought up to the surface a little more this year as that same source of pain is making life very difficult for us.  What he seems to forget is in his haste to hurt me, he’s hurting the kids. This too is a pain large enough that it will bring about some kind of change. Enough is enough.

The event 6 years ago left me in enough pain both emotionally and physically that I knew something had to change. There were to be so, so many more betrayals and rages to come in the next few years, but this was the moment I knew that if I didn’t find a way out I would die. That’s a motivating factor for change let me tell you.

The pain was strong enough for change again when the kids and I had our finances cut off with a “good luck with the rest of your life” text last year and I finally filed for divorce and had to get a court order for support. That again changed everything about our lives, it also destroyed many memories as more and more lies came out.

Added to the time of the year is the fact that support is so far in arrears that we are having to gear up for another court appearance, or have some other consequence sought out. It kind of sits there like a dull pain. A pain that is calling for change -because things can’t go on as they are.

But here’s the other thing…

I’ve discovered that no matter how badly I want a person who has hurt me to know they’ve hurt me, and while I can maybe get them to acknowledge they hurt me, I can’t make someone care that they hurt me. Decent people with compassionate hearts will care if they hurt someone, but you can’t force someone who has no empathy to care that they hurt you.

But you can change things so that they can’t continue to hurt you.

And why am I talking about this? Especially on a happiness blog?

Because people don’t talk enough about this stuff. They don’t talk about abuse that goes on behind closed doors – and that those doors can be in any neighbourhood, they don’t talk about how difficult and scary it is to get out of, and they certainly don’t talk about the fact that the aftershocks of the trauma last for years.

Am I happier now than I was 6 years ago? You better believe it. I’m happier all the time – I mean there are the occasional bumps on the road, but in general I love this road I’m on. The best part of this road is there’s hope on it. There was no hope before, that was something I started building when the pain got bad enough that I started changing.

So where’s the happiness moment in all of this? There is always a moment of happiness in every situation if you look hard enough. I had to take my son to his therapy appointment today, and as I watched him I realized how far this young man has come, how much he has grown, and how incredibly strong he is.

Because through all the pain, all the change, there has been a constant source of love. The three of us have made a strong triangle based on unconditional love, and at the source, the centre, the creation of that we have connected to the Divine, to God’s love. And that is a gift we found as we changed through the pain. And that is happiness.

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