happiness

The next step

I signed my final divorce papers today. Assuming he does the same, that part will be over and done with very soon. I felt incredible relief as I put pen to paper and let go of years of hope, fear, distrust, shame, loss, and sadness. It is over and I don’t have to ever go back to it again. Thank God.

I told my lawyer at the end of our meeting you know, three years ago I was going to bed with a can of Raid wasp spray beside my bed for protection because things were so volatile I was afraid of what could happen in the night. Now I live back around my family and I get to ride whenever I want, we are safe and our whole lives are different –  and I showed her a photo of Drishti and where we live. It was a pretty amazing moment to just let those feelings of the last few years of my marriage, the last year of the divorce, and the understanding of where and who I am now flow through me. A lot has changed.

I had to stop by my accountant and give him a letter from the lawyer about support payments. He said the government wants detailed accounts and that sometimes it can be a battle. I smiled (he knows enough of my story just from seeing my tax info filled with court orders) and said one thing I’ve learned over the last year is I’m not afraid anymore to go to battle – it’s what I do. He then said the kindest thing – well just know that this battle you won’t be going into alone. I’ll be there with you and you will be just fine. I mean, really there’s nothing to battle – I have all the documents to prove what I need, it’s just the difficulty sometimes of dealing with the tax department. Thank God I found this man, he has helped me sort through things for two years now with such kindness and patience.

I have learned two things over the last year. One is that I want to be completely independent and rely on no one for anything ever. The other is that I would not be where I am if I didn’t have the support of the people who love me and if I couldn’t have depended on them for help, love, and support (emotional and financial).

I could never survive without my tribe.

I thought there would be more sadness today, but I think all the sadness happened when I filed for divorce and was admitting that things were never going to be how I wanted them to be. Today there was just happiness and relief. It is the start of a new era, I get to make a new path, hope for a better future, build a new life.

 

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happiness

Know your worth


One really positive thing that has come out of the shit storm that has been 2016 is that I have finally discovered my worth. I found it in the parking lot at Winners when someone told me very clearly how very little value they felt I had. I remember standing there thinking – wow, I can’t believe you think you’rtoo good for me – and also – just because you see so little value in me does not make that true. In fact, as I processed it over the next few days I realized how much I have come to know my own worth. It actually became much less about that person, or any other person, and a real celebration as I understood how far I have come on my healing journey.
It may sound small, but after years and years of being devalued I had started to believe that in fact I had very little worth. It has taken what feels like forever to build that back up and remember that I have so much to give, so much to share, and if someone else does not see that then that is really their loss.

Today was one of those less than enjoyable days in this process of the divorce where I was once again shown that truth is immaterial and respect and kindness are non-existent. The difference between now and February when I first started discovering some hidden truths, is that I know my own value now. It still hurts, and I still get really pissed off. But how he feels and what he says is not a reflection of who I really am. I’ve remembered I’ve got some mad inner strength and I can handle whatever is put my way.

One time when I was about 19 I was out riding Rolex. He was still green and loved to buck, especially when we were out on a hack. He got a little excited and gave a big buck that sent me sailing over his head. I realized mid air that I still was holding onto the reins. I suddenly got incredibly angry that he was turfing me and I was going to have to walk back to the barn by myself. I gripped onto the reins with all my strength and had a death lock on them when I landed. He freaked out and started running, dragging me swearing and screaming along on the ground. Eventually he stopped, I got up, cursed at him a little more, got back on, and rode home.

It’s like that now. I’ve got the death lock on and I’m really determined.

Having rediscovered who I am – it’s not only my happiness moment today, but it’s a gift  that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

 

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happiness

The photo album

I have this stack of old photos that have moved thousands of miles and sat in piles for years waiting for me to organize them and put them in albums. Today I realized I’ll probably never properly organize them, but some of them at least should get put into albums.  

They’re photos of fun years. The kids were little, tiny things and we were living in Quebec. I loved our years spent in our cul de sac in St. Lazare. We had great neighbours, most of whom became close friends. The moms and kids spent hours visiting in the woods in the middle of our houses. I somehow managed to attract this awesome bunch of amazingly strong, smart girlfriends and we used to do things together all the time. It was mostly kid focused fun, but sometimes the ladies would get together for book club (the best invention ever) or a meal out no men or kids allowed. 

It was a more innocent time before most of the shit hit the fan in our family, actually in hindsight it was hitting the fan then – I just didn’t acknowledge it. Had I paid more attention to the incident and really listened to my gut I could have saved myself years of heartache. But some lessons needed to be learned the long, hard way I suppose. My girlfriends kept telling me to pay better attention and do something – but I hadn’t yet found my strength. 

It was fun to sit with some of those old memories. Fun things I used to do with the kids when they were in a completely different stage of life than they are now. They were so innocent and fun and cute. I consider it such a blessing I was able to be at home with them and watch them grow and begin to discover who they are. Happiness. 

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happiness

Just be held 

I’ve spent so much time being his broken object that I forgot I was His beloved child. 

Last night my sister sent me YouTube link to the song Just Be Held by Casting Crowns and told me I needed to listen to it (lyrics are at the end of the post). She was right, I’ve been listening to it pretty much non stop since. 

I’ve talked about how I was feeling overwhelmed. I also have talked about how I’ve finally let go of my fear. I kind of used my anger (and I’ve had a lot of it) to pull myself out of fear. But then I was left wondering what’s next? What will pull me out of anger?

I need to surrender to God. Much as I realized part way through the end of Dad’s journey that all I could do was love and surrender, in a different way it’s all I can do now. 

I’ve spent too much time with my eyes on the storm and not enough time with my eyes on the cross. 

I went out for my walk today and put my headphones on so I could listen to the song while I walked. I listened and prayed and cried as I travelled my beloved familiar path. 

I kept hearing your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place. 

This song brings me such comfort and makes me feel like I can begin to surrender some of my pain and uncertainty to God. 

I stood for a long time looking at the mountains asking God what I should be doing. What is His plan? What action do I need to take?

I heard just be held, just be held, just be held

I stood there crying letting God hold and comfort me. 

Then because God has a sense of humor the song suddenly switched to Baby’s going to cry by the Eurythmics. I tuned back in at the line:

Now there’s a cool breeze blowin’

Blowin’ out the flame

That used to burn inside me

At the mention of your name,

Now there’s a cool breeze blowin’

Blowin’ down the track –

That’s where I’m goin’

And I’m never comin’ back…

There is no going back. Even if there was I don’t want to. The things I’ve found out in the last couple of months (and trust me I’ve barely shared what I discovered) have let me know without a doubt it’s time to let go. 

My happiness moment was standing by the slough looking at the swans and allowing myself to Just be held

 

“Just Be Held”

Hold it all together

Everybody needs you strong

But life hits you out of nowhere

And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting

Chained by your control

There’s freedom in surrender

Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held
If your eyes are on the storm

You’ll wonder if I love you still

But if your eyes are on the cross

You’ll know I always have and I always will
And not a tear is wasted

In time, you’ll understand

I’m painting beauty with the ashes

Your life is in My hands
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Just be held, just be held
Lift your hands, lift your eyes

In the storm is where you’ll find Me

And where you are, I’ll hold your heart

I’ll hold your heart

Come to Me, find your rest

In the arms of the God who won’t let go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away

You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held

Your worlds not falling apart, its falling into place

I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held (stop holding on and just be held)

Just be held, just be held, just be held, just be held

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happiness

Time to give 

 I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed lately. I’m trying not to be, but I am. Then I think of what the last year has brought. A move home, time spent with my dad as he prepared for his death, intense grieving, being cut off my mr x, filing for divorce, discovering absolutely brutal lies and betrayals on the part of mr x, having to figure out at age 45 how to support me and the kids after being home for over 11 years, learning to recover from years spent with a narcissist. Throw in being a full time single parent, helping my kids through their intense emotional feelings about all of the same issues, and helping my mom out, and it’s no freaking wonder I’m overwhelmed. 

I was sitting quietly contemplating this feeling earlier today. What could I do to lessen the feeling of suffocating? Everywhere I turn there’s someone who needs me I thought, sometimes I just want to spend a day in my Pjamas and read a book. But that is not my life right now. 

Then I came across this quote 
“I can’t take it anymore”

“Then give”

Yes. That’s what I need to do. Give. Keep giving. Because that’s always easy to do when one is feeling overwhelmed. Sigh. 

Then as God does, He showed me what He meant. 

The joystick on mom’s chair broke today and I was trying to fix it. My mom has always been a huge support to me, but these last few months after mr x withdrew finances, she and my uncle and aunt have been what have prevented the kids and I from being destitute and homeless. She needed my help (and she’s overwhelmed too) so I gave it 

Then when my help proved to be futile I called the person we all call when we need help – my cousin. Another person who goes flat out around the clock. And without a second thought she was down helping me out (and by helping I mean she fixed it). 

Much as we are all overwhelmed and stressed out, that act of being able to give to someone – kindness, love, money, support- it makes you feel so much better.  Life lesson learned today. 

As an awesome happiness moment we had a community shower today. I am so blessed that I come from his huge tribe of people. It has been such a blessing to be brought back into the fold. The kind of happiness I’m finding now goes deep into the core of my soul. I have freed myself of the fear I lived in for so long and am able more and more every day to embrace the joy and bliss of the life I am living.   

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happiness

A person of worth

I woke up this morning feeling a little stressed and uneasy about where I am and where I’m going. We were supposed to have an emergency support hearing tomorrow which we have now had to put off until next week. The financial stress that he continues to put on the kids and I is unforgivable and unbelievable.  I have faith that it will all work out, and I know he’s just doing this to hurt me but still…. Even at the worst of our time together I never imagined he was capable of such deliberate betrayal and  cruelty. 

I was having mixed feelings about what it is that I will be doing next. The unknown is always scary and I feel like there has been so much unknown lately. My greatest joy in life so far has been staying home with the kids and helping to guide them into the awesome people that they are. It’s been a difficult and important job as well. I’ve been either the primary or sole parent for their entire lives,  and our relationship is as important to them as it is to me. They look to me for stability and security and after all the trauma we have been through that’s a job I don’t take lightly. 

This morning as I was getting breakfast ready for the kids they started talking about how much they loved all the homemade food I make to send to school with them. They laughed at how their friends in Roanoke would get very excited when I made banana bread and ask the kids for samples of the baked treats. It made me happy to hear that the hours spent in the kitchen are appreciated and enjoyed by them. 

Jenna has had a lot of leg pain after a skating fall and then a trampoline collision so instead of dropping her at school I took her to urgent care in Cochrane – thank goodness for this place the staff is awesome. 

After three and a half hours and some X-rays they determined that her leg was not broken, but that there was some soft tissue damage and muscle bruising. They told her to stay on crutches for the next few days and rest a bit and then she will be as good as new. Her doctor was amazing. He took a lot of time with Jenna and made sure she was comfortable and understood what the diagnosis was before going on to his next patient. 

What really impressed me with this doctor though was his consult with the patient before us. I don’t know all that was going on – I was trying not to listen, but there was only a curtain between her and us – but she was quite obviously upset and in a lot of pain. The medication that had been prescribed was not working and she was at the end of her rope trying to cope. The doctor was explaining to her that simply upping her medication or giving her a different, stronger kind was not going to solve the problem. 

As you can imagine, this was very upsetting to her. I could relate having had some bad chronic pain issues in my past. I heard him slow down his speaking and using a very  gentle tone said: it’s important to remember that you are so much more than this pain you are feeling. There’s so much more than just the body. You have a wonderful soul, and spirit and it is who you really are. This pain is just something you are going through. I wish I had had a doctor talk to me like that when  I was dealing with my pain. Actually my chiropractor talked a lot like that and it’s a reason why I am forever grateful to him for all that he’s done for me. 

I felt like bursting through their curtain and saying “Ayurveda can help you” I thought of how broken I was when I started learning about it and how far I have come now. It has seen me out of debilitating anxiety and pain, walked me through the death of my dad, and now is helping me stand strong when the person who was supposed to be my soulmate has ended up being my worst attacker. I’ve talked before about how Ayurveda  has saved my life and I don’t mean that lightly. It literally saved me and has made me so much stronger and better. 

While I was sitting with Jenna I got to thinking how grateful I am that I have this job of being home with the kids. Not only has it been a huge blessing for me, but it has provided immense security and comfort for the kids. My mind wandered to how unfair it was that Mr X has no respect or gratitude for how hard I have worked and what I have given up.  As my mind started going down that ugly spiral that would lead nowhere good, I picked up my book and did some reading. The first phrase I came to was this:

  

It’s true. Just because he thinks I have no value does not make it true. The reality is that I’m still a good person, parent, friend, sister,  daughter- I have worth. He has spent years trying to erase and devalue my worth, but that does not make it true. 

My happiness moment was appreciating that I am able to be there for the kids whenever they need me, and remembering that I am a person who has worth. It was also a good reminder of all the good that I can bring to the world by sharing my knowledge of Ayurveda. 

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happiness

What is love?

Love should make you happy. It’s that beautiful feeling of knowing you’re with someone who knows you to your deepest core and thinks you are wonderful. It’s tender, kind, loyal, faithful, and honest. It does not attack, betray, cheat, purposely hurt, or lie. It has taken me a long time to understand that love is not conditional and that I am only worthy of it if I behave in a certain manner. 

I’m finding the more I walk along in my happiness journey the more I’m finding love. It’s in big things and small things. I see it in the faces of my children every day. I saw it this morning when my big, strong, cousin’s husband gently fed a bottle to a newborn calf. I see it in our pets, and I see it reflected in the people who surround me. 

My happiness moment today was being with Jenna while she helped feed that calf for the first time. It was a beautiful, gentle act of kindness and I felt honored to be a part of it. 

  
I’m discovering that as long as I keep my eyes open I see love everywhere. It’s easier to find than I had ever believed. 

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happiness

Spring cleaning 

I have decided with the change of season that it is once again time to get rid of those things that no longer serve me. 

Even though I have made a lot of changes over the past few years, and have already done a lot of clearing, there’s still a lot of crap I’m holding onto that isn’t serving me well. So, it’s time for all of that to go. 

There’s a lot of thoughts I need to change. In so many ways my life is more hopeful, positive, and happy – and I want my thoughts to reflect that part of my life. That black poison has consumed more than its fair share of my thinking and I’m done with that. 

So all that fear and hate that he’s sent my way I’m sending back. All the fear and hate I’ve created within myself (and I’ve done a good job of that), I’m releasing into the universe. I don’t need it. I want to think about the swans, the laughter of the kids, smiles from friends, and all the other glorious things the world has to offer. 

There’s a lot of material junk I’ve got sitting in my house that is no longer of any use to me as well. Some of it isn’t even mine. I don’t need to be holding  onto things that I’m not using, or that don’t bring me joy and have sentimental value. They’re all getting stacked up to go. 

I went through my Facebook and contacts and got rid of people I have lost touch with or aren’t friends with anymore. The clutter of old acquaintances who I will likely never talk to again was really filling up space. I want my world full of people who bring brightness into my life. 

My happiness moment was stretching this morning in my yoga class. It was during this class that I realized that I have so much I need to let go of. It feels good to surrender some of that. 

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happiness

Love flowers 

After another restless night, I actually fell into a deep sleep near the wee hours. I was puttering around, drinking my tea this morning when my cousin called and asked how the kids were doing.

Apparently, I’m fine when people ask how I am doing because aside from some fear and mental grief I am fine. But, when they ask how the kids are, I completely fall apart. I burst into tears over the phone and couldn’t stop. That was probably a good thing as it’s the first time I’ve actually cried about all that’s going on. I feel like I spent so much time crying over Dad dying last year that I didn’t want to spend more tears on Mr. X, who does not deserve them, but there they were.

And, actually the tears are not about Mr. X at all, the tears are about the huge amount of loss I feel for my children. The difference between how I look back on my father and how they will look back on theirs couldn’t be further apart. I’m trying so hard to keep them out of all this trauma, and yet they know more than they should just by virtue of him refusing to provide enough support for his family to have a chance to start over. The kids are unfortunately now aware that there is a present struggle even to have the most basic of needs met, and they know the reason why. I wish they didn’t.

My cousin heard me crying over the phone as she was driving into town to go to work. She said “hang on, I’m not that far away, I’m turning around and I’ve got something for you”. She showed up at my house with this:

I can’t remember exactly what she said, but it involved the flowers being beautiful and alive and smelling good, and that I was all of that too (the way she said it was so touching and I can’t remember it).

Edited note. She texted me again what she said to me at home: And for the record: you are beautiful, colourful, vibrant and add a sweetness to the room you are in. Everyone should have someone like this in their lives 

These loving flowers are sitting beside me today as I get some work done. I am so humbled by the outpouring of love and support I have received from my people. I had a message last night from a dear friend since high school. This woman was a single parent to her daughter from day one and has done such an amazing job of raising a beautiful young woman. She’s the person I go to when I set the standard for how I want to lead my family into our future.

I have realized that all of this that is going on is not my hell. I didn’t create this. This is a reflection of his reality not mine.

My reality is living here in this house that I adore with the people I love, safely back with my family, in the place I love most in the world. I’m doing exactly what makes my soul sing in looking after my family. I am so incredibly thankful that this is my life.

*I’ve got another happiness moment coming up tonight… a pre-planned one.*

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