happiness

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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happiness

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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happiness

Freedom – the release from fear

Behind every weak-ass man stands a broken woman. Today I am stepping out of that broken shadow and claiming my freedom.

I spent part of the morning talking with my lawyer. Mr. X isn’t paying, isn’t going to pay, and the state of Virginia could take a few months to force him to pay the court ordered support I fought so hard to get. If you know this man and he has told you any differently, I would be more than happy to show proof that although he did tell me he was sending payment he has not since March, and until he is forced to he will not. He won’t pay Alberta, he won’t pay Virginia, and he won’t pay me.

This is what scorched earth divorce looks like. In the process of attempting to destroy me, he is leaving his children destitute. This is how a narcissist rolls.

I sat with this information for a while this morning. I prayed, I cried, I lay down and did some energy work, and I read. Here is what I realized:

Over and over in my journals I talk about how as long as we are financially dependent on him he uses that power to keep us his victims. This is why the healing process is so long and painful, because the wounds get ripped open again as soon as they start to close up. We, and in particular my son, keep hoping and wanting him to be someone he clearly is not. He has shown us exactly who he is and it’s time to believe him. The fact is that although he has left us without any financial support at all, we are finally free from him. The kids don’t want to see or have contact with him (and haven’t for a long time), I have blocked contact and anything that needs to be discussed must go through the lawyers, and now I don’t expect him to fulfill his financial obligations. I am free from wanting anything from him. I have no more expectations, he no longer has the power to hurt me -besides following through on threats to hurt us, he has done his worst – there’s nothing left to scare me with. I have been afraid of this man for so long, afraid of his rage and his anger. I let him lie about me, cheat on me, and steal from me. There’s nothing left.

I looked around at my life and where we are living. We are in a house that has held generations of my family. It is filled with love and peace, the feeling in this house is so safe and welcoming. We couldn’t be in a better place to heal. I look outside and I see the barn, I see my horse – my spirit horse that I prayed so hard for and who is helping me heal so much – and I smile. My mom is here, my family is here, my lifelong friends are here. There is so much love surrounding us it is humbling. I would not be able to keep going if my mom wasn’t here to help me out, she shows me every single day what unconditional love is and I am so incredibly grateful.

I don’t know what the next steps look like on this path, but I know we will be ok. God has kept us safe every step so far and I have faith that He will continue to do so. I had to have a chat with the kids tonight and tell them what was going on. The boy hurts – he said so now we know… he’s never going to change. I give up. And the girl said this is why I walked away years ago. I’ve learned from him to walk away from a bad situation and never look back. Wise words from that little one. They are brave souls and they will work through this like we have worked through everything else.

Days like this are when I am grateful I started this happiness blog – it has taught me that in every moment there can be happiness. I believe that this one is a gift. It may not be happening the way I would have chosen, but we are getting our freedom. Fully and truly.

There’s nothing left, and in this empty space of nothing I’m discovering that it’s filled with love and faith. I’ve read a few times that the absence of love is fear – so I guess the reverse is true too. My greatest fear has been realized and in walking through the fear of being left with nothing I’m discovering a huge space filled with love and faith. It’s God happiness – that’s big stuff.

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Can’t catch me

I had a crash course in determination and facing fear today thanks to my lovely equine.

When I got Drishti the girl told me that he was super easy to catch and that he was at the bottom of the pecking order in his field. Well he used to be super easy to catch, but lately he has decided to make it a bit more of a challenge for me. The other day he ran away from me, and when I went to the head of the herd (Jackson) to catch him, Drishti came at him and head butted him until he also ran away. I eventually caught Jackson and immediately Drishti got so jealous he couldn’t stand it and let me catch him.

Today when I went out the same thing happened, he ran away, except this time he changed things up when I went to catch Jackson. I was just about to put on the halter and Drishti came charging up and pushed at Jackson with his chest until Jackson finally gave up and moved away. Interestingly Drishti never had his ears pinned or looked annoyed, it was like he thought he was playing a really un-fun-for-mom game. Finally I did the same thing as before- caught Jackson, had Drishti get all jealous, and caught him.

I really missed my grandma’s old dog who would chase the horses into the corral saving me hours of running up and down the field trying to catch stubborn ponies in my childhood (*cough* Pirate *cough*).

He was a jerk, I had to lunge him for a good 15 minutes to get him to calm down then I saddled him up and took him out in the field. He felt a little spooky (he never spooks) and suddenly the other horses galloped by in the next field. Drishti curled into a little ball of stress and had a momentary freak out that fortunately didn’t turn into a bucking fest.

I pulled him back to a walk, got us both under control and had to think for a few seconds about what I wanted to do. Part of me wanted to just bail, he was not his usual chill self and I didn’t feel like getting hurt. The part of me that wants to get stronger and heal knew that if I gave up I would be scared again. So, I made him do work – we did circles, we worked on bending, we did  some transitions. He was tired when we were done, and I felt happy. Happy I had faced a fear, happy because when I am riding my spirit sings.

It’s an interesting space we are in right now, this between time as we wait for my lawyer and the US system to force Mr. X to start making his court ordered payments again. It baffles me the lack of conscience this man has, but it’s been a good reminder that he just doesn’t care. At all. About anything. And along with the fear, there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from knowing that I must give up any expectations of him ever doing the right thing for his kids. It’s a painful lesson, and one I seem to have had to learn over and over, but I think I’ve got it now.

His life is so hard 

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Dad’s ice cream

I have had some significant challenges presented to me courtesy of Mr. X in the last week or so, and have had to spend some time figuring out how to deal with them. It’s essentially been the culmination of my greatest fears, and now I have to decide how I am going to proceed.

I want to scream, hide in fear, cry, and yell about the injustices. But, I have realized a few things: he does not care, he becomes happier knowing he causes me pain, my pain does nothing to aid my healing, and one last thing that I read about today:

There are but two directions you can take, while time remains and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go toward Heaven, or away to nowhere. There is nowhere else to choose. (A course in miracles)

I continue to work hard on the forgiveness, faith, and healing stuff. And I have massive challenges thrown in my path that force me to chose which road I want to take. For a long time I wanted to take the road to God, but was so fearful, angry, and lost that I would fall off the path. But, it’s true – there are only two choices – either I chose to continue to heal and learn to forgive, or I don’t.

So, I’m going to walk ahead in faith.

This is how I walked towards Heaven today:

I thanked God for my mom who without a word stepped up, stepped in, and helped me

I read

I prayed

I meditated

I talked with girlfriends in my tribe

I hung with Drishti

I thanked God we are here and safe

I ate Dad’s ice cream

Dad used to make us his favourite dessert when he was alive – it’s one of my yummy childhood memories. I’m stuck between Dad’s ice cream and Grandma’s cinnamon toast for happy comfort food memories. Dad would take vanilla ice cream, put on real maple syrup, and then add some salted peanuts – fancy right? But, like the cinnamon toast the magic was in the simplicity and the love that was behind the treat.

And I sat with the feelings of insecurity and fear I am experiencing. Then I looked around. We are all safe, we are home, my daughter is playing with her cousin, my son is running around in his Chewbacca onesie laughing, I have them, I have my family and friends, I have Drishti, and I have developed this entirely different relationship with God.  All of that is happiness. Real happiness that comes from within, that comes from the Divine.

And it’s springtime in Alberta which reminds me that there are possibilities of new beginnings, new ways of doing things, and that miracles happen all around us.

This is one of my Dad’s photos from the year before he died of our “springtime flower”.

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