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.


The whole night through 

Last night I was feeling exhausted and I went to bed early. In my perfect life I’m asleep by 9, although the last little while it’s been a bit later. Last night though I was sound asleep by 8:00. I woke up at 5:00am completely unsure as to whether it was morning or not. I couldn’t believe it when I checked my clock. I usually have difficulty sleeping through the night.

 I have a great bedtime routine learned through Ayurveda, but I find that pain usually wakes me up once or twice and makes me move around a bit. As I’ve been making changes, letting go of stress and things that no longer serve me, I’ve been relaxing more and that pain is lessening. 

I slept the whole night through. I felt amazing and that early happiness moment set me up for the rest of the day. I am never sure where this path I’m on is heading, but I’m sure enjoying walking along it. I feel like finally I’m attracting all the love and joy I have been seeking. 

God gave me a good morning high five in the form of this lovely sunrise. This was the view from my front door. 



The elephant on my back

I have this spot in the middle of my back, between my shoulder blades, where all of my sad emotions live. You may know the area, it’s the back of my heart chakra – although it took me a little while to put that together.

The first time I noticed it was 9 years ago when my beloved childhood pony Pirate died. I was living in Quebec at the time so I wasn’t able to be with him in his last days, but he was in very loving care with family back here in Alberta. After he passed, my back seized up, I felt the elephant arrive and step hard on the middle of my back. I ended up being bedridden with pain for a few days – not a good thing as I had small children to care for.

Since then every time something really sad happens, or I’m under incredible amounts of stress that elephant comes back. During the worst of the dark night of the soul, it was there as a constant reminder of how unhappy I was. Over the past couple of years I’ve been able to rid myself of that elephant except in the most dire of cases.

The elephant came back after my Dad died, but that time it sat on my hip and pelvic area for a couple of days making it almost impossible for me to move around. At least that time I was kind of expecting the elephant’s visit. I was feeling and flowing my grief emotions, but they were so intense I knew that there would be some kind of acknowledgement from my body as to what I was feeling.

I wasn’t sure how Christmas and New Year’s would be this year without Dad. This season has always been such an important family time for us, and over the past 10 years it’s often been the only time we have been able to be home and visit with loved ones. Christmas actually ended up being a delightful day, filled with laughter and love. Thank goodness for those children who let their love shine so brightly and lighten up the dark clouds of grief. My elephant stayed away and I was feeling so grateful for that. I’ve been really focusing on feeling and allowing all the grief to come through and then letting it pass on out.

That old saying pride goeth before the fall definitely is true for me, as the day before New Years Eve I woke up feeling horrible with a sore throat and that elephant perched firmly in the middle of my back. I home remedied away my sore throat (apple cider vinegar works wonders, I also used raw honey and dried ginger) in short order, but I couldn’t shake that darn elephant. Usually he perches on my back for a good week before I can get rid of that trampled feeling so I was pretty upset – there was still a lot of Christmas vacation things that I wanted to enjoy.

That day Jenna and I ended up going to the Apple Store to have them fix her computer that I had fried (it’s like doing a bad home dye job – I only will do that once and from now get the professionals to do their job), and we spent some time walking around. An aromatherapy store called Escents finally has opened at Market Mall and we went in to check it out. I’ve been using DoTerra for years (and love them), but I’ve had some difficulty changing my account to a Canadian one, and with our low dollar here right now I’m not in a huge rush to have things shipped from the States anyway. The fact that Escents is Canadian is an added bonus.

I ended up purchasing their Rescue Relief Gel on the faint hope that it would offer some relief.


When we got home I announced I was going for a nap and had Jenna rub some of the Rescue gel on my back before I laid down. When I got up an hour later I was amazed that I felt about 60% better. I could move my shoulders and I could breathe without it hurting. She rubbed some more gel on, and by the time I went to bed that night I was almost back to my old self. I have never ever had something work so effectively.

I’m now using it on my lower back and hip area where I store all my stress and fear in huge balls of painful muscle knots to see what it can do there.

I was so pleased to find something that actually helped relieve that damn elephant. It was a good indicator that I still have a lot of grief emotions that I need to deal with and release, but at least I don’t have to have the intense physical pain while I’m doing that.


An Unexpected Gift

The idea that instead of analyzing the darkness, we should bring in the light is a concept that has held my attention for the past few weeks. As I keep searching and reaching for happier feelings and thoughts, I really don’t want to get caught up in the black clouds that surrounded me during the dark night of my soul times.

And yet…

There’s a part of me that keeps saying that some of that darkness needs to be at least acknowledged. That it’s not going to go away until I honour the fact that it’s there and figure out how to let it go.

Today I had an appointment with my Ayurvedic Practitioner, Asrael. She’s awesome. I talked about this with her a little bit and she helped me look at if from an entire different perspective.

As many of us do, I had an episode happen that was so horrific that it forever changed who I am (it does not matter what this episode was – well to me it does – but so many of us have had that moment in time where something became broken inside of us, either by a loved one or by a stranger or some life event). On the rare occasions that I force myself to go back and look at it I can feel the hurt and anguish and pain all the way through my body. I have felt for years that it’s something that I will never fully heal from and be able to move on into a healthier pattern. It was, however, an episode that made me decide to change how I lived my life and made me start putting me as a priority instead of (literally) killing myself in order to make other people happy.

So, what if instead of this being a moment of horror and terror and pain, instead it was a gift? A gift in the beginning of my new life. At that moment I had a choice as to how I was going to move ahead. I decided to put the oxygen mask on myself and start reaching for better things in my life. It was my moment of rebirth in a sense.

It has helped me begin to push out some of that lingering darkness that I didn’t know what to do about and bring in more light. Today I had the first (huge) step in the process of healing a hugely deep hurt and that is my happiness moment for the day.