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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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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The boy and his bag

I played a little bit with my boy this evening. It’s the first thing we’ve done in over a month that didn’t involve him getting treats. We started playing the friendly game with a dreaded plastic bag. Considering he started out faking a heart attack to get away from the monster I think we did really well. He sniffed it by the end of the evening. 

It felt so good to get to do something with him again – it was good for both of us. And if I can get him so he’s better on the ground that will make things better in the saddle. 

Happiness


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Change the way I tell the story 

I did a lab today with my health coaching course that went completely differently than planned. 

We were supposed to be talking about eating slowly, breathing, and relaxing during meals. Part of that involves doing an emotional check in before eating. 

I said the one time I did the exercise before my meal I had some really unpleasant emotions come up that left me really upset. 

She asked me what they were and I described a little of our family history,  and said that now that we are out of having to live in the abuse that I still have guilt, sadness, and anger. I feel guilty for the kids having the kind of childhood they did, sad that it took so long to get out of that life, and angry that he treated us that way and that I allowed it. 

But I also feel like I carry the feelings he should carry. He doesn’t feel guilty so I feel it for him. I carry his burden when it’s not mine to carry. 

I was reminded today that I can change how I tell my story. I am not his victim anymore – even though he does everything he can to put me back in that position. I don’t have to carry his guilt, that shit is  on him. I find the more months that go by whee he’s not making his payments or only making partial payments the more frustrated and angry I get. It’s the only thing he has to do for his children and he refuses. But I am not feeling guilty for that anymore. It’s a reflection of him not of me. 

Being able to see that from a different perspective and let some of that go – that’s happiness. 

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It’s as close to God as I can get


Today I was listening to Saltwater Gospel on my drive home (I am doing short drives now, which is awesome) and I got stuck on the line I’m as close to God as I can get. 

I love this song because to me it speaks about finding God outside of church. I remember years ago talking to my pastor about how I only found God outside of church, and with her wise words she reminded me that I know who God is because I learned about him in church. So, I think both are important. 

For me, my Saltwater Gospel is found on a horse. Always has been. It wasn’t until I actively started seeking out spiritual guidance, grounding, and started practicing meditation that I realized all of this I intuitively knew from my time on the back of a horse. 

And I thought of Drishti in the field. This boy I waited so long for, who I prayed for, who came to me through a miracle. I’m really sad I can’t ride him, like heartbroken. It seems so unfair that I just get him and I hurt myself so I can’t ride. 

But you know what? He’s still here. We still can work on our bond. Being with him is still as close to God as I can get. 


A couple of times in recent years I have had body issues that have forced me to stop and make a total reassessment of my life. The last time it happened with my feet, it made me change my life into the one I have now. If I hadn’t literally been stopped in my tracks a few years ago, I never would have connected with God the way I did and found the strength to get where I am – home, safe, happy, free. 

There’s a lesson in this one too. I just have to stop and pay attention to it. The last few years have been so filled with sorrow, trauma, and stress – maybe exactly what I need is to be forced to just stop and listen and get as close to God as I can get

Happiness ❤️

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Ignore the problem 

Some of you may recall that Drishti has been in bad boy boot camp. Today I went up to Carstairs and watched a pretty amazing cowboy from Guatemala work with young horses. It inspired me to try different tactics with my old horse with a young brain. 

So tonight when I went out to work with him, instead of doing boot camp style and trying to work him out of the problem and overthinking every little step, I just took him out into the big field and rode him. 

Guess what? No freak outs, no spooking, no separation anxiety, just a nice horse to ride. Go figure. 

It’s this trust thing with him. He wasn’t trusting me, I wasn’t trusting him, and worst of all I wasn’t trusting me. I think this will be one of the greatest lessons I learn from him. That I must trust again. 

This was a huge step in my own healing tonight. Walking with my fear but doing it anyway, trusting drishti, trusting myself. It was happiness. 

This is not Drishti, but the man I watched riding this morning. This horse was only started 10 days ago. It’s a gift he has. 

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Beginner’s mind

Today I read a passage in the book A Return To Love that allowed me to better understand some of the issues I’ve been having both with meditation and with surrender.

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called “zen mind”, or “beginner’s mind”. They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive. This means that when we think we have things already figured out, we’re not teachable. Genuine insight can’t dawn on a mind that’s not open to receive it. Surrender is a process of emptying the mind. 

I think of how many nights (and days) I have listened to endless mind chatter. Worrying about one thing or another, being angry about things I can’t change, thinking about the past or the future. My rice bowl has been full. When I meditate the bowl empties out a bit, when I have CST treatments it’s like someone turns that bowl upside down and shakes all the old stuff out.

I keep telling God I want to surrender, I want to hand my worries over to him. Yet I have control issues, I think I can handle things myself (FYI, I can’t), I keep my rice bowl full of things that aren’t nourishing me.

I understand better why the meditation time is so important, why I feel so filled after a CST treatment. I have made space in my head for the voice of God. That is happiness.

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