happiness

Allowing anger 

I discovered today as I was flying down the dirt road playing music as loudly as my stereo could handle it that I was feeling really angry. Not just mad or upset, but beat things with a baseball bat angry. Not as a lifestyle, but as an emotion that is passing through me.  And I had to sit with how I felt about that for a while.

But first- why am I angry?

I did my taxes this morning. Well, to be honest some kind man did my taxes for me. Between what I have spent on legal fees and what I owe I taxes it covers almost all of the support I have received from Mr. X. And my lawyer informed me that I spent over 65% of my legal fees just forcing that man to pay support.  

As this realization hit me on the back road – that I was crazy angry – my first impulse was to dismiss, stuff down, or deny that feeling. But that is what the old me does –  now I am working at allowing all the feelings to come and go – the good ones and the bad ones.

We lived in a house where it was not safe to have any feelings. If there were angry ones we got raged at for being angry, if there were hurt or scared ones we got raged at for that as well. But the good feelings weren’t allowed either – if things were too good or we were too happy then rage would come to make sure we didn’t ever feel that we deserved to have happy feelings. It’s enough to make one end up feeling emotionally numb. And it certainly left me feeling scared of having any emotions.

But, I’m angry. And it’s ok to be angry. Because it’s not going to turn me into a angry person, it’s not going to define who I am. I’m just angry.

And, actually I’m not even angry anymore.

Why?

Two things happened.

One is I read my devotional this morning from Streams in the Desert and it told me this (which I held close to my heart all day):

Once our eyes are opened by God, we will see all the events of our lives, whether great or small, joyful or sad, as a “chariot” for our souls. Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such. On the other hand, even the smallest trial may become an object crushing everything in its path into misery and despair if we allow it. The difference then becomes a choice we make. It all depends not on the events themselves but on how we view them. If we simply lie down, allowing them to roll over and crush us, they become an uncontrollable car of destruction. Yet if we climb into them, as riding in a car of victory, they become the chariots of God to triumphantly take us onward and upward. 

There is no way I’m letting that chariot run me over if the other option is to hop in and let it take me for a glorious ride. I’ve been feeling run over lately, I forgot there was another choice.

The second thing was that I came home and healed my soul with Drishti. I left the home that my great grandparents built and we now live in thanks to my uncle and aunt, passed the barn my grandpa built, walked by the field where my cousin keeps her horses, to my Drishti who came into my life thanks to a gift left by my godmother, and rode him out to the field where the swans are – a place that we have enjoyed as a family for generations (and one that particularly brings back really fond memories of my dad). I realized how incredibly blessed and fortunate I am. The kids are safe and happy and are getting to live this amazing childhood in the fold of their family. I am safe and happy and living an amazing life in the fold of my family. I have my Drishti to keep me sane and focused. Everything else is just noise.

I will not be run over.

So, in a weird way, honouring that anger brought me to happiness. It brought me through the angry feelings, allowed me to experience them and understand why I had them, and it allowed it to move out. I was able to balance myself in the happy life that I have created and remember how incredibly much there is to be grateful for.

the view through Drishti’s ears

the swans as we rode by

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happiness

Less anger, more laughter 

The kids and I stopped for a cup of tea today while doing our errands in town. Our cups came with these life lessons on them: 
There’s a lot about the situation we are in right now that we can’t change. But a lot of these tips for good health are totally within our control. We decided to focus on the last one less anger, more laughter. 

We realized that we needed more laughter to help pull us into a better place. With that in mind we got in the car and began our drive home. We had a couple of stops, so it took us about an hour. During that time we told jokes, acted silly, and laughed until our tummies hurt. You can’t be angry and laugh at the same time. 

I am so impressed by these two. They are brave and strong and so full of love. Silly laughter, a blessed happiness moment. 

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happiness

Japanese flute music 

We had a very frazzled afternoon with lots of emotions running high. Anger took the wheel a bit more than he needed to. The three of us took a deep breath and decided to hit the restart button. 

When we sat down for supper we had the nicest, most relaxing Japanese flute music playing in the background. This is some of Jacob’s favourite music.  It was amazing the calm that overtook us. Within minutes Jenna commented how beautiful it was. We slowed down, really paid attention to our food, and enjoyed each other’s company. A great happiness moment. 

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The good, the bad, the happiness in between….

Today I have been in a real pisser of a mood. I’m not sure what has made today any more spectacular in the bad mood department than any other day, but the feeling is here and it’s real.

There’s a couple of specific things that are irritating me, nothing that isn’t a first world problem, but irritating nonetheless. While I was away my cousin discovered that my furnace isn’t working – which means we have no heat. Perhaps not a big deal in some places, but it was snowing here when we landed on Saturday and it’s been cold and crappy since then. Today wasn’t bad, but the old house didn’t seem to know that and held onto the bone chilling cold of the past few days.

Because of this I’m tired, I need to sleep in my own bed, covered in purring cats. The purring cats and the lonely dog agree with me – they’re not happy that they’re alone at night.

Jenna was home sick today. While that’s really a poor Jenna thing, I managed to make it about me and was all I never ever get any time to do the things I need to do. My course work is so neglected because I’m always running around after people and I never have a freaking moment’s peace.

I had a massage today. I have found a wonderful woman who not only is working out all the tension and the anger and sad emotions that I’ve been storing in my hips (see where this is going?) but she knows how to release my jaw so that pretty soon I will actually be able to chew food on both sides – and maybe even not walk around with it clenched all the time. What a blessing that is!

I’m pretty sure she hit my anger button today as she was releasing things and it has just about sent me off the cranky deep end. The good thing is after all the work I’ve been doing I know this is just a feeling and that it will pass. Sometimes I can separate from that feeling and just allow it to work itself out of me – which is what it needs to do.

So, as I’ve been observing (and sometimes actively participating) in these pissy feelings I’ve come back to the intention of my blog. Happiness. Thank goodness I decided to follow 44 days of happiness last January when I turned 44, and I’m even more grateful that I decided to continue looking for a moment of happiness in every day since then. Because even with all the trials and tribulations of this year there has always been a moment of happiness in every day.

The flip side of my cranky feelings of today are these:

This wonderful, old, loving house we live in. I love it, the kids love it, it has been home since the moment we walked in the door. For some reason the past few days I’ve when been talking to people, I’ve told them the story of the miracle of how we returned home. This old house was empty and when I was home at Christmas time there were no appliances, the rooms were boarded off, there was no working toilet and it was just not in good shape. When I called on a Monday and said we were moving home I asked if it was possible for us to move into that house. By Sunday when we arrived, my cousins and aunt and uncle had cleaned the house, put in temporary furniture, bought some basic groceries (cheese and buns for that boy of mine), put appliances in, and even left a huge bar of chocolate. My Dad let me use his old car  so I was able to get around, and after he died my sister let me use her old car that she had been in the process of gifting to Dad.

If ever I doubted that miracles happen, the wings that lifted us up and brought us back home have convinced me that we are very much loved and very much supported and that with love absolutely anything can happen.

While my furnace isn’t working my mom has very graciously opened her doors to the kids and I to crash here. We can be messy and annoying and loud and she has been so kind about letting us stay here.

So, when you compare all that love and kindness and support to something as insignificant as the furnace not working – the scales are definitely tipped in favour of the happiness, loving, wonderful side.

Every time I have gotten frustrated today at being overly needed by kids and have groaned inside about it, they have either said something funny or come over and given me one of those awesome kid hugs followed by I love you mom. There is no better feeling in the world than that. I would never, ever trade being needed and loved for being alone and unnecessary. I consider those two my greatest blessings. Again, no contest – the happiness side of that coin is the winner.

As an aside, I spent a great part of the day angry about the fact that I’d lost my headphones. I had racked my brain trying to figure out where I had left then and finally I was forced to come to the conclusion that someone had broken into the house and stolen them (yes, only them – they had left everything of value and not messed anything up, but stolen them for certain). I found then in my backpack just a little while ago and did a little dance of happiness.

I’m so thankful for my happiness project and how it continues to steer me in the direction of joy, peace, bliss and happiness. I’m even thankful that these pissed off emotions are working their way through me, because the other option is that they stay stuffed in my hips forever and that’s not desirable.

My happiness moment today was watching Jenna walk across the room holding Aladdin. She holds him like a baby and from the front all you can see is a big ball of fur snuggled into her chest. She walked past me and he had his arm around her back giving her a huge hug. He loves that girl so much and spent most of the day cuddled up with her helping her feel better.

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Anger 

  
I did some energy work today with Asrael which is always good and sometimes difficult. It’s all things that are helping me to let go of some yucky stuff that I’ve been holding onto. 

Today Anger made an appearance. All the things that have pissed me off over the years and that I’ve stuffed down into my hips made themselves known. 

She was talking about my anger and we were working on releasing it – and all I could visualize was Anger from Inside Out. Made it hard to stay serious because he was so amusing to watch. You know, in the same way that it can be entertaining sometimes to watch someone have a break down tantrum. 

But, perhaps it will be easier to relate to my anger if I see it as Anger. In the same way that I can see how Sadness is rubbing all my memory balls and changing them and Joy is running around trying to cheer everything up. 

My happiness moment today was my time spent on this important healing. My ability to  communicate  with,  and acknowledge my feelings is making me a healthier person. That is a big happiness deal. 

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My Happiness Project

Yesterday I had the rare occasion of driving alone. I used to love driving alone – music up, hair blowing, no yapping voices… now I cry when I drive alone. I started my cry/driving after we moved back home and Dad was so sick. I would take the kids into school and then cry/drive all the way home. Then cry/drive back to school to get them. I thought I was over it, but it seems as though the reality is simply that I haven’t had a moment in the car by myself.

I cry/drove most of the way home last evening. Thinking about Dad, about how completely unfair it seems that we finally move back and now he’s gone. About how guilty I feel that we lost all those years. So, I drove and I cried.

Then I came over Edge’s hill. As soon as I come over their hill I see home. The ranch, the barn, the homes – the places where my little footprints have been pitter pattering since the beginning of my time. I felt a rush of happiness – of joy. I realized then that even with all my sorrow and grief I am happy.

That may not sound like the huge freaking deal that it is – but I’ve spent years being unhappy, being scared and being anxious. And now I’m HAPPY. I’m sad about Dad, I’m nervous for the future – but I’M HAPPY and that is a huge gift.

Jenna and I went to Banff today for Fondue at the Grizzly House. Cheese Fondue followed by Fruit with Toblerone Chocolate Fondue. If you want to know what happiness tastes like, it tastes a lot like this: 

In our family tradition (started by my Dad) of not drinking from the bowlJenna finished off the last of the chocolate fondue in style:

Happiness also looks like this:  This however, is what Anger looks like. We have had two gifts this summer. One was the movie Inside Out, and the other one is that there are hardly any mosquitos (again, sounds like not a big deal but huge deal).

Inside out has given us the platform to feel out our emotions.

Jenna and I were heading out of Banff, Abba blasting out of the car stereo (this seems to be our road trip music), when I heard Let go of my anger!!! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!

Not sure what she was talking about, I looked beside me to see her trying to rip Anger out of his packaging. Apparently Anger makes her Angry. Even better, Anger only was purchased because Joy was sold out and that made her Angry.

We talked about different emotion balls and how one emotion can affect another.

A day with my girl. My happiness moment. Remembering that I am happy and that it’s ok to let go of my fears and anxiety will have a huge impact on how I live the rest of my life.

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