happiness

Easter break

We are heading into our Easter break. It’s kind of bittersweet- I love Easter – I love the meaning of hope and new life and the promise from God it reminds us of. I also love my childhood memories of Easter. We always went to Vancouver Island when I was a kid and celebrated with the flowers, the ocean, and the cathedral. The kids and I were so lucky to have spent Easter there last year.

It’s kind of weird going into Easter this year without mom and dad. But life goes on, there is always the promise of new hope. We are in a season of change and I need to embrace it not resist it. New and wonderful things are trying to grow and it’s important I tend to my soul garden.

I think it’s important to hold onto some of those good memories, but it’s time to let go of the ones that hold me back. They can serve as the fertilizer for the new chapter of my life. I’m looking forward to it

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happiness

Fearful living, hopeful living

I have a confession to make – riding Drishi scares the crap out of me. Not because of him – he is awesome – but because of me. When I get on him I realize how my first reaction to a situation is fear. I’m scared he’ll take off, I’m scared he’ll buck me off, I’m scared I’ll just fall off, I’m scared he’ll trip and we  will crash… basically I’m scared of getting hurt. Just like in the rest of my life – I’m scared of getting hurt.

Drishti is awesome, he is exactly what I prayed for even though I didn’t know all the details when I was doing the praying. I prayed for heaven to give me a big, beautiful horse who was still green enough I could put some schooling time on – one that I could ride out in the fields here but could also teach some things to. He is green and certainly could do with some schooling lessons… but make no mistake, the one doing the teaching here is Drishti.

I am learning so much from him.

A few years ago when I was in the pits of my dark night of the soul, my anxiety was so bad that I could barely function. Just doing the bare minimum to get through the day took all the bravery and strength I had and I think it’s important for me to remember that as I think of how I’m learning to face fears while riding. I have already experienced all the big things I was afraid could happen in my life in the last couple of years, so I find it interesting that these smaller fears can be so powerful. But life happens in the small moments and I want to make sure mine are filled with hope and peace instead of fear.

I was riding today and poor Drishti was upset. His friends are gone for the day and he was feeling quite sorry for himself being all alone. I also haven’t ridden him in a week and what he really wanted to do was go for a big long gallop across the field (not happening). I rode him around the field and really paid attention to how he was. He was looking at everything – cows over there, dogs underfoot, tractor over here… lots to look at. But he just kept walking along – he’s pretty much the same all the time. Me on the other hand was more like will he spook at the tractor? what if when he puts his head down to rub his leg he then grabs the bit and takes off?  (thanks to some awesome childhood ponies this fear is real) What if he bolts back to the barn? Meanwhile Drishti is still walking along looking at the world.

Hmmmmm

It got me thinking about trust. The two of us are working on building an extremely close relationship that has to be built on trust. Does he trust me? I think so. Do I trust him? Apparently not so much. Have I ever done anything to betray his trust? Not really, but I hold onto his mouth a lot more than I should afraid he’ll bolt which shows a lack of trust. Has he ever done anything to betray mine? Besides that one time when he took off with a couple of  happy bucks? No. And I totally got the happy bucks – he’s a horse, he was having fun, it was a beautiful spring day.

The trust issue is mine.

What I love about this horse – aside from the fact that he’s an amazing gift from heaven, that my soul is complete now that I have a horse again, and that he’s so incredibly cute – is that he’s teaching me how to trust completely and to let go of my fear. Learning how to reprogram how I approach my life and relationships – this is happiness. I love this guy.

I’ve been redefining happiness over the last few days with the understanding that I am now at the place that I need to be searching for ways to have happiness part of my life all the time and  for no reason at all – just to have happiness be my way of living in every moment. I started this blog needing to find one happy moment in every day to give myself hope that I could have more happy moments. I think I’m ready for more – more hope, more happiness, more love.

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happiness

Easter – a time for hope

We went to Easter service at the Anglican Cathedral in Victoia today. It was meaningful for a few reasons – obviously celebrating Christ was one, but also it’s the place my parents took us when we used to come to the Island for Easter and is filled with happy family memories. One reason I hadn’t thought about until we were sitting there was that Ansley who had been the priest at my parents’ church in Calgary and who walked with us in the last stages of dad’s life and after he passed away was preaching there. I knew she was there, but I wasn’t really ready for the emotional kick I got when I saw her. Interestingly although there was a sadness when I saw her, there was also a lot of peace, joy, and comfort – she was part of a very important event in our lives and one that brought about great change for me. 

I cried through most of her homily. One thing that I have really realized on this little vacation is that somewhere along the way I had lost hope, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve been finding it again. I had been saying I was feeling overwhelmed, but I think what I was really feeling was hopelessness. That’s a bad feeling. 

My meditations lately have been about finding hope during times of chaos, my readings have been about how chaos takes us away from our connection to God and He’s the one who gives us hope, my prayer time and  chats with God have been about finding hope and believing that anything is possible. So, it makes sense that we were here for Easter to hear her story of  being Easter  people and  of finding hope as well. 

She told her own  Easter story about her sister and as she was talking I kept thinking of the parallels in my own life – my story with dad and leaving Mr. X, and all that has come with it. She talked about how Easter is remembering and celebrating that even in dark times we know that God puts things back together in different, beautiful, and usually better ways – sometimes it’s just a matter of seeing that. How important it is that we always hold onto our hope that the sun will shine out of the storm. 

I have always felt that the kids and I coming back home and getting out of that abusive and scary environment was dad’s last gift to me. It came with a lot of pain and a lot of change, but I am  starting to see the hope shining out of the storm. Tears were streaming out of my eyes (I will be glad when I stop crying in public all the time, but I’m learning to embrace it more) as I sat and listened and really absorbed the miracles that have happened in my own life over the past two years. There have been a lot of storm clouds, but rainbows and sunshine along with them too. 

Happiness is hope, happiness is celebrating Christ, happiness is time here at the ocean with the two people I love most in the world. 

Happy Easter!

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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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Celebrate again

I feel like after a few pretty crappy years we are ready to celebrate again – the big and small things in life. 

This afternoon the kids and I had a danceathon to Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas – who sang the songs of Jenna’s childhood. We laughed and shared memories and remembered that even in those dark and often scary times there were some good ones too. We need to remember the good memories of their younger days. 

We went for supper – our traditional sushi pig out which was fantastic 


And then went to my aunt and uncle’s house for a New Years party with some of the tribe. 

We are a very talented and musical bunch ​

Laughing, eating, singing, playing, followed by fireworks (my family has a healthy fire obsession)


I am so blessed to have this tribe – I never take it for granted. What a wonderful way to be able to celebrate life and celebrate all the hope that a new year brings. Happiness plain and simple. 

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