happiness

Bringing community together

We had our second annual start of summer potluck at the community hall tonight.

I love this community we are part of. The roots are deep and the love is strong. It was so awesome to visit, laugh, eat, play cards, and share time with family and neighbors.

We are fairly unique these days in that we have so many families who have lived together for generations. Having flown solo for so many years in our gypsy era, I appreciate even more the grounding joy of our loved ones.

We are blessed.

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happiness

Closing time

Every new beginning comes from some other new beginning’s end.

This song keeps playing in my mind today. We have had lots of endings lately, and some new beginnings. Today was a new beginning day and I think it will be one giant leap towards greater peace and happiness.

I was thinking today how important it is to let the endings – good and bad – be behind me so that there is space for new beginnings. Some things I hold onto for too long, sometimes it’s not me, but I am chased by someone trying to project an old memory onto me. Either way, I need to keep space for awesome new beginnings.

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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

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

Keep it going

I was ready to take a break from my blog yesterday. Not because I have found peace and happiness, but just because I’m tired and didn’t feel like looking for happiness.

But then a kind man bought me supper last night as a pay it forward moment and I remembered people are basically good.

Today I was having the same feelings, and I again witnessed incredible acts of love and kindness. It’s interesting how in the middle of pain and suffering sometimes you get to witness the most amazing moments of love.

Most people are good. The ones who aren’t get a lot of airtime it seems, but most people are good.

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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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