happiness

The 9 pm curfew

Last night I shared with the kids the tweets about what life would be like for women if men had a 9pm curfew. Some of the responses were even a surprise for me – not that women would feel safer, could walk around at night, or walk in general without needing to always let someone know where they were etc. – those kinds of things have become such a normal part of my life that I don’t think much of it (sad as that is). What surprised me was that the men who were responding had no idea that this is how so many women feel.

How did they not know this? We are their mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends… I just assumed everyone knew this is how we felt.

The boy listened to it, didn’t seem that interested, I didn’t want to lecture – just have him hear it- and I thought that was the end of it.

He said today he talked with a group of his friends about what it would be like for women if men had a 9pm curfew. He said he was surprised at how many of his (male) friends immediately said how much safer the women would likely feel. It amazed him that these high school guys were as tuned into the feelings of women as they were – impressed me as well.

I don’t know that a 9pm curfew would change what needs to be changed – for us  the male who was the scariest of all lived with us so having him off the street wouldn’t really have helped us – but I love that we are talking about these things. I know my boy – he’s got a good heart and he’s sensitive and kind to women, men, animals, all of God’s creatures – but I think it’s so good that he’s listening and learning. This will hopefully be an entirely new generation of men and women who start learning to value and honour each other in more loving ways.

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happiness

Healing breaths

I understand the concept that while what happened to you may not be your fault,you are totally responsible for healing it. Sometimes though it feels like the healing process goes on and on while the person who caused the pain skips through life with no consequences

Today it was necessary to stop and take a few healing breaths. It feels like sometimes it is the only way to catch enough air and rest to continue on with the journey

Thank goodness we are able to stop and rebalance at times.

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happiness

The little innocent part

I had an interesting conversation with a new friend this weekend. She had a similar marriage/divorce/being left alone to raise kids situation (we married the same kind of man) so we shared some of our stories with each other.

I really enjoy getting to know her, bad man choices aside she’s a really great person and we have a lot of fun laughing when we are together.

She said a couple of things that made me stop and think. The first was when she asked me why I’d started this happiness blog. I told her how unhappy and unsafe my life was and I had decided that for my 44th birthday I needed to do 44 days of happiness where I found something that made me happy/to be grateful for every single day. Some of those days were hard – some days it was oh, I saw Henry the Heron or I had someone smile at me at the grocery store. My life was pretty small and pretty sad back then.

I explained how it had made me so much more aware of how I wanted to be and that I needed to pray for major changes in my life. She said she totally understood, that she also had been in that black hole of fear and sadness, and that clinging onto any moment of happiness gave her hope that things would get better.

It made me realize that I need to get back to blogging again. I needed this break. We had some bad real life stuff come up and I just couldn’t deal. Given that I’ve blogged through the deaths of my parents and my divorce, just know it has been some really bad stuff that came up. But, I must keep looking for moments of joy, of laughter, of peace.

The other thing she said resonated with me so strongly it almost took my breath away. She asked if I was scared to allow myself to get really close to a man again. Then she said that she felt like that small, innocent, gentle part of her that was so precious had been killed in her marriage and divorce, and that she was afraid it wouldn’t come back.

That is exactly how I feel. I don’t know that the best part of me is available anymore. But it also made me determined that Mr X will not be successful in making that part of me die. I need to keep healing, I need to learn to be strong, I need to not be afraid that every man I meet will be Mr X, I need to stop allowing narcissists into my life.

Mostly I need to keep working towards a place of peace. This past month has made me aware how delicate a process this is. I have to be gentle with myself and with my kids. They have been through a lot, and they’re learning now what a normal family life without fear is like.

My moment of happiness over the weekend was 4H on parade with the kids and with our club. We have an awesome group of people, some are cousins, some are new people I’m getting to know. The kids are thriving in the club, they’re gaining self confidence, and we are all really enjoying the experience.

It’s so easy to get bogged down in fear. I just did. Granted, I had real life stuff happening to be scared of – scary stuff is still happening. But, I refuse to live my life in total fear anymore. Then Mr X wins. I want love to win.

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happiness

… and I’m back

I think I really needed a few days of just being quiet.. no blogging.. not much doing besides what was essential to life.

I needed to reconnect with the Divine, I needed to rebalance myself, I needed to remember that things work so much better when I come from a place of love instead of a place of fear. How he treats me is his Karma, how I react is mine. All I can do is work on how I react to things – really how I act in general.

I get anxiety when what I say and what I do don’t line up with how I feel. I also get anxiety when I don’t feel safe. But I also am learning that a lot of that is based on memories, and I am not going to be defined by those memories.

So, I’m taking a deep breath, dusting myself off yet again, and moving ahead on this path. With one very dark exception I have a very blessed life. I am going to spend more time focused on letting that light shine in instead of letting the dark take over.

Again, it goes back to my desire now for peace over all else. I want a happy life of course, but more than anything I want a peaceful life – that source of joy is eternal.

I’ve learned a lot about myself and those close to me in the last few days. So much love, strength, and power exists here. Not only with those around me, but I’m starting to realize that I have a lot of inner strength too. The strength and courage I see in my kids is almost overwhelming. They are the brightest stars in my sky and I will keep doing whatever it takes to help them heal and learn to shine their own lights into the world.

 

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happiness

Being authentic

I’ve been really struggling over the last week as to whether or not I should take a blogging break. I’ve found a moment of happiness every day for almost 3 and a half years – even when dad died, when I got divorced, when he left us without money, when we have struggled, when mom died.

But right now I just don’t want to. I feel like I’m not being authentic talking about a trivial moment of happiness in days that are by far the worst I’ve experienced. And I can’t talk about that, so I can’t share the sad or the happy moments.

For right now I’m craving quiet. I don’t want the noise of social media. I need time to try and reconnect with a God I’m not sure I believe in at the moment. At the very least I feel abandoned by him. Don’t bother sending bible verses – I need action and miracles, I’ve lived on words and promises for long enough.

I know this too shall pass. I’m not sure how or when but it will. My plan is to take a break until the weekend is over and then reassess where things are at.

What I will say is that recovering from trauma is fucking hard and it’s taking every ounce of strength I have to pull my kids through this.

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happiness

The blossoms are back

I was unloading things from the car today when my nose notified me of another sign of spring. The blossoms are back on our beautiful crabapple trees.

My first thought was joy – ohh the blossoms are back. And my second thought was sadness – oh the blossoms are back.

When dad went to hospice three years minus four days ago, the blossoms were at their absolute best in the yard. He’d spent the last few days at home lying in his bed looking out the window at the blossoms. He died the next day in hospice.

Thank God for the movie Inside Out – it reminds me that Joy and Sadness exist together, and that sometimes Sadness takes the Joy memories and shades them blue. They’re still the same memories, there’s just a tinge of sadness attached to them.

I stood under the trees and said a little prayer of gratitude. We have had some really hard times over the last few years, but love, faith, and hope for a better tomorrow have kept us all going.

We went for a family walk this evening and saw half the neighborhood while we were at it. We have some challenges, but we are SO blessed to live where we do with our tribe around us. It’s really a unique community and I’m so grateful we are part of it.

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happiness

I believe most people are good

I was the fortunate recipient of a random act of kindness today. It was so needed – I was feeling kind of blue – and it was a good reminder that most people are good. Also that people are mostly good. There is pain and hurt all over, but we are striving for connection and love – and that’s what matters most.

I will most certainly pay it forward. It made me smile, and I’d love to share that happiness with someone else who may need it. We all need it.

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