happiness

When trust is broken

I have been living an exercise in broken trust. I was always of the belief that if my trust was broken – severely broken – that I would not be able to recover that relationship. It certainly proved to be true in the case of Mr. X, although he breaks trust and his word at any opportunity he is given so I figured maybe I was being too rigid in my thinking when applying this rule to other aspects of my life.

I realized this summer that my heart horse and I were in a serious breach of trust – he didn’t trust me, and I didn’t trust him. I enlisted some help and have spent the last few months working to rebuild our fractured relationship.

I realized today that even when I really, truly love someone or something, if my trust is broken – the relationship can’t be repaired. The added lesson was that just because I decided to be reliable and dependable doesn’t mean that my partner (horse/person – whatever) will also decide to be the same. And sometime the best thing that can be done for all involved is to just lovingly part ways.

I believe we either live with love or we live with fear. But there are certain relationships that just seem to organically evoke fear – to me that is my intuition telling me that the relationship isn’t the right one for me.

I used to believe love will fix everything. I still believe that -but I add to it

Love will fix everything, but the results may not be the ones we envisioned. Faith lets us know that it’s things are all happening for a greater good. 

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Good boy

The girl and her dog completed week three of obedience school tonight. It’s amazing how much progress they have made in such a short time. Similar actually to the progress my Drishti has made in the last few weeks with some training.

I’m really understanding how important it is to be reliable, predictable, dependable, and consistent. In a word trustworthy.

If you’re going to be in a partnership with anyone – an animal or a person – you need to be trustworthy. It’s the only way it will work.

Watching their trust bond grow is awesome

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happiness

Trust in him

Trust is essential and as I’m learning to trust myself again  I know that self trust is only one piece of the pie. I need to trust in myself, trust in my Higher Power, trust in others, and trust in the process of life.

Trust in others has often been difficult for me – partly because I didn’t trust myself enough not to put my faith in those who aren’t trustworthy- but trust is something I did learn to do as a small child, out in a field, on the back of my horse.

In order to make the horse/rider relationship work the way I like it to, we both have to trust each other with our lives. And I have to do this all the while knowing that either one of us could make a mistake that could cause injury or worse. Yet we trust and we go. We have to. Of course, you need a horse who is safe and sane and a rider who is the same.

Thank God for Drishti, he’s helping me rebuild my trust and faith in myself and I’m learning to trust him as well (even when he’s a turd).

I wish this process was more unicorns and rainbows, it feels like it should be more unicorns and rainbows. Instead it’s a lot of tears and pushing through fear and praying nonstop that I’ll make it through to the other side. But the other option was to stay where I was before, and that would have destroyed me. If you’re going through hell, keep on going.

I remember when I got Rolex years ago and he was (also) a total turd. When I would go to get on and put my foot in the stirrup, he used to bend his head around and bite my butt. Then as I was hauling myself up into the saddle, he used to bolt across the arena bucking. This was what I did for fun y’all.  But it also kind of feels like life – I held on and learned to make him listen to me, and once we got each other sorted out we were an amazing team. I used to jump him over 5 foot oxers with my arms straight out at my sides, his head completely free, me praying like mad that I’d survive. We trusted each other. Trust is an essential step on the road to happiness. I need to trust again.

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Building trust, watching fences, opening doors, dropping walls

Building trust is something I’ve been working on lately. I want to allow myself to trust more willingly again, and I want to be the kind of person who can be trusted  (I think I am already, but I need to have faith in that knowledge). Being able to trust again after the pain and damage of my marriage is a difficult thing, but it’s something I must work towards. It’s like love – you either live with an open heart and feel, which leaves you vulnerable to being hurt, or you close off entirely – saving yourself that heart pain, but living with an empty heart. To live the life I want, I must be able to trust those in inner circle. Drishti is a good learning tool for this exercise.

I finally had a chance to spend some time with my beloved Drishti this morning – life has been busy, or the weather has been cold and rainy and I haven’t been able to ride the much in the last week or so. He’s living with his buddies in an area that is blocked off by electric fence so that they don’t make big pigs of themselves on the green grass. It’s a good thing and usually works well, but my poor boy is terrified of the fence – thanks in part to a little mishap we had a couple of weeks ago.

Today I took him out of his part of the field and brought him over near my place to get him ready to ride. He was very nervous and spooking at everything. At the time I wasn’t totally sure what his problem was and thought maybe the ton of fresh green grass he had been eating, added to me not riding may have just made him a little crazy in the head. But, as I kept working with him, I realized that he was incredibly scared of anywhere that the electric fence had been put up.

I had to coax him and work quietly with him to get him to a part of the field where I could ride. We walked around quietly for quite some time, and eventually I felt all his muscles relax and his great, long neck stretch out. He was trusting me and accepting my guidance, understanding that I was telling him that I would keep him safe. He earned my trust a while ago and I believe (as much as he can being an animal) that he will work to keep me safe, and now I feel like he’s got the same trust in me.

It made my heart warm with joy. It totally changes a relationship when there is complete trust. Either one of us may make a mistake and hurt the other, but I think we both know that we will each do our best to look after each other. In any relationship this makes magic happen. With my horse there are many life and death situations we can get into, but it is equally important in my other relationships that I build or keep this kind of trust. Where we have each other’s back no matter what, but love and forgive, and understand that mistakes may happen.

Our exercise in trust with the fence today made me think of a quote by Rumi that I had read a while ago that came with a photo that I felt explained it brilliantly:

Why struggle to open a door between us when the whole wall is an illusion? ~ Rumi

Drishti for me is what happiness represents. He is saving my life, bringing me back to myself, but helping me become a better version of myself. He is truly a miracle in my life and I am so incredibly grateful for him.

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happiness

Life hits you out of nowhere 

Yesterday I was brought back to the words of my acupuncturist: that even when you are focused on and connected to the Divine, life can hit you out of nowhere and throw you off balance. 

That was pretty much yesterday in a nutshell. One second I was thinking how great it was that I kinda had my crap together and things were under control and literally the next second full on, meltdown crisis in the parking lot. And it’s so much harder to deal with when the pain belongs to someone I love, but I can’t fix it. I know the cause of it, but not the cure. It breaks me. Maybe I need to be broken. I don’t know. 

A couple of weeks ago my aunt emailed me a psalm reading because I was complaining that God wasn’t shining His flashlight brightly enough on my path. 

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

It wasn’t really the answer I wanted (I wanted to know what was ahead on the path), but the words have been sitting in my heart ever since. 

Today I was doing some studies, trying to rebalance myself again, and came across something similar. A reminder that it’s a process, that endurance is needed and that the light is always there. 

So, I got a little angry with God and went out and had my usual field temper tantrum asking why if the light was there it couldn’t be bright enough so I can see down the path and know that everything will be ok. 

This is a lesson in faith, learning to surrender control. I don’t like it. I like the illusion I have control enough to keep us safe and looked after.  I totally don’t. 

I realized that maybe the light is only being shone brightly where I’m standing because I need to pay attention to what is happening now, not looking ahead down the path. 

I also don’t like this. But I think it’s important. There are things happening that need my attention right now. And in this moment where the light shines we are safe. That should be enough. Should.  It’s what I’m gong to focus on anyway – I’m letting g of all the other distractions and looking at what is important. 

And for the moments when it’s not enough, I have Drishti. He forces me to have faith and trust when I’m scared, he makes me learn when to hold on and let go, he reminds me how to be in the moment. He’s  helping fix my soul. 

Tootling around the field with him, that is happiness. 

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Trusting myself 

I think what was much, much harder than when I lost trust and faith in Mr. X was when I lost trust and faith in myself. No matter what your relationship with someone, at some point they’re going to let you down or break your trust (granted some people excel at this a little bit more than others), but losing faith and trust in myself was devastating and is taking a long time to recover from.

It’s happening, I’m learning to trust again,  and I don’t second guess every single thing I do like I used to. I am learning to listen to my intuition again, I am understanding that even so I will make mistakes and that does not make me untrustworthy – just human. But it’s still a process and I’m still filled with more doubt than I want to be.

Horses and riding for me was always a very intuitive thing. More than I ever learned from any person (and I’ve had some great trainers and teachers who have shown me a lot), I’ve learned how to be with horses by trusting my intuition. I’ve always had one horse at a time and we have built a strong and unbreakable bond based on trust and love.

Then suddenly I didn’t have a horse anymore which really sucked as I went into my dark night of the soul years.

I was out with Drishti yesterday and a friend came over to see him. The yard was busy and he was being kind of a butt – not wanting to stand, just being uncomfortable and not listening. Instead of doing what I knew came naturally to me I also turned into an uncomfortable butt which made for a bad combination. My friend grabbed Drishti, sent him out on the lunge line to walk and said just trust your intuition -you know how to do all this, just let go and do it.

She was right and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Just let go of all the doubting voices that are telling me I’m doing things wrong and trust what my heart tells me to do.

So, this morning I went out when it was quiet and I rode and rode. And we bonded and I listened to my intuition, I listened to him, I connected. That’s what riding is for me – it is my Drishti – it lets all the noise of the outside world fade away so I can connect to God.

I have said it many times over the years that the yoga, the meditation, everything I have learned about how to find God, how to relax, how to release the anxiety – it was all things I just had when I was connecting with a horse.

And that is my happiness moment – my quiet circles this morning with my Drishti.

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happiness

Peace is always a heart issue

Yesterday at the end of my transformational acupuncture session, I experienced a moment where I felt like I was coming home in my body. I don’t know how else to describe it, except as a moment of deep inner peace unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. A few minutes (seconds… who knows?) into my experience the man guiding me said this resonates as the vibration for the sound om – which can bring you home.

It made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve truly felt at peace, safe and secure in my own body, in my own life. Now that I’ve experienced that feeling I want it all the time! The good thing is at least I now have a memory to reference to, something that I can draw on as I’m feeling my way towards peace.

Because God always brings things to me as I need them, the sermon today at church was all about peace. Timely eh?

So, here’s what I learned:

Peace is always a heart issue

When I’m struggling to find peace, when I feel that I have been robbed of peace,  I need to stop and ask where is my heart? Who has my heart? The answer will tell me all I need to know, and what I  need to do because I cannot know God’s peace until I have surrendered my heart to God.

It’s all about that trust issue. I just need to trust God – He’s got my back. And I know this. In my darkest times, when I have needed him the most, I have felt His presence so strongly. He has saved me from some really nasty shit.

It’s also a heart issue. Fortunately the past couple of years I’ve been working hard on reconnecting with my heart, learning to trust it again, learning to flow from it again, learning to connect to others with it again.

It’s a fear issue. The pastor pointed out that in the moments when I have not trusted God, when I’m not feeling peace at any level, it’s because I’m afraid of something. Which is totally true. I spent so long being so afraid of everything that I stopped trusting. When my trust was betrayed over and over again by someone I loved and whom I had put my faith in, I stopped trusting not only in him, but also in myself and sometimes in God. I don’t need to trust Mr. X ever again, but I’ll never be at peace if I don’t trust myself and if I don’t trust and have faith in God. So, I will.

We came home from church and there was finally enough snow to play in. The kids pulled out their sleds and we enjoyed one of the best things about winter at the ranch. It was sheer happiness listening to them laugh as they flew along on their sleds.

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Too many cats

I celebrated a birthday lunch today with a girlfriend whom I’ve known since forever. We both grew up doing the Pony Club thing and many of the shared fondness and horror stories – Robert Coates’ manure pile anyone?

Her past year has been a difficult, growing journey as well as she is letting go of her marriage. We talked about many things at our lunch – but one of them was the weird rebellion that the two of us went through at the end of our marriages. We know other women who have rebelled in many different ways – dating different men, building careers, being angry, feeling freedom – but we both ended up doing much the same thing. We celebrated by allowing dirty dishes to be left in the sink without worrying about getting in trouble, and by adopting cats. Then we laughed about what badasses we are. Which is funny because back in the day we used to actually be badasses – how did we ever allow ourselves to become so lost?

How can you not love these guys? They remind me all the time of what real love is.


The divorce thing is not a lot of fun, it’s painful for everyone involved. But I’m so thankful that there’s this smaller tribe of women in my circle who have been through the same thing and that we are there to lift each other up. Mostly though, I’m glad that I am back in an area where I have lifelong friends like this that I can celebrate the joys of life with.

It was a fantastic happiness moment – enjoying a beautiful fall day with a dear friend. We know so much of each other’s history. We reconnected this summer in a way that brought all of our defenses down and put us in a place where we rebuilt our friendship in a very raw and authentic way. There is a lot to be said for a friendship where both people simply accept each other exactly as they are and show nothing but loving support. All relationships should be like that.

 

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Keeping the faith

Yesterday in the conference I’m attending, we talked about the fact that often we come up against a wall that prevents us from being able to move ahead. Even when we know we are walking on the right path and have a clear sense of what we are doing and where we are going, sometimes this huge wall comes up and we are unable to go through or around it. Brian talks about how we can learn to create a door and walk through that. Not that there is a guarantee that everything on the other side of the door is easy necessarily, but it means that we have made it through the wall.

I woke up last night at 2am with a very strong understanding that I am sitting at my door in the wall, but that it is locked. I lay there for a while wondering what to do about that. I had no idea where the key was, what it looked like, or what I needed to do in order to unlock it. I stewed for a while, finally asking God to show me what the hell this meant (God has got used to the fact that I don’t use church language in my daily life), and then fell back asleep without having any clear answer (or even a foggy answer).

I got up and read my devotional this morning and it gave me some guidance (big surprise). Faith is being certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Genuine faith puts its letter in the mailbox and lets go. Distrust, however, holds on to a corner of the envelope and then wonders why the letter never arrives…. it is the same with genuine faith. It hands its circumstance over to God, allowing Him to to work…. “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this”. He will never work until we commit. Faith is receiving – or even more, actually appropriating – the gifts God offers us. We may believe in Him, come to Him, commit to Him and rest in Him but we will never fully realize all our blessings until we begin to receive from Him… (Streams in the Desert)

Yesterday there was a lot of focus on making a commitment. We need to make very clear and concise intentions and then commit to them so that we can then receive them. I have known for a while that I get blocked at the receiving or allowing phase of things. As I was driving into town today to hook onto the internet and I was listening to Just be Held it came to me. Really it was spoken to me. I need to surrender all the crap I’m carrying so that I can receive. There’s so much fear tied into that surrender.

Of course, the thing that I am also aware is my greatest challenge is the thing I need to do to get through the damn door. Who is surprised? It enforces the fact that my focus is in the right place though. I need to continue to work on surrender. Being able to surrender will allow me to finally move beyond my fear and my pain. I will not spend the rest of my life being defined by fear and pain. It’s exactly why I started this blog – to move into a state of happiness.

I have so much to say about what I’m learning this weekend. It’s already profoundly changed the way I’m going to move into my professional practice – and given me the confidence boost I needed to do that. It has overridden the negative hateful voice of Mr. X telling me I will fail. Love wins – always.

A happiness moment I gained today that I didn’t expect was that I made friends over the past couple of days. Some of them I will get to meet in real life in June and some of them I will continue to connect with online. I’ve added more people to my tribe – healers like me who are banding together to bring light to the world.

I’ve come out of the weekend with my vision:

My vision is to bring happiness and peace to people’s lives

 

 

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And so I listened 

It was 25C today in Calgary – a pretty special treat for April. Jenna and I spent most of the afternoon in at the cast clinic at the Children’s Hospital and were finally given the “all clear”. She was able to remove her air cast and get rid of the crutches. She hasn’t stopped smiling yet (happiness moment #1).

When we got home this evening I decided I should grab my poor, neglected Dotted Dog and take her out for a walk. I love my walking time, and especially tonight I needed some head clearing. I walked and prayed and cried and yelled (thank goodness we are in the country and I can do such things). I asked God what it was I was supposed to be doing. I feel so helpless and upset and angry and frustrated and afraid. What am I supposed to do? Then I stood on the road and yelled at the sky (like Jenna used to yell at me when she was smaller) answer me!!! I asked you what am I supposed to do!! At least give me some kind of sign!!!

And then I kept walking, because really – what kind of sign was going to come to me on this road in the middle of nowhere?

I heard that other voice in my head (as Jacob says – you know how there’s the voice you control, and then the other voice that talks back that you don’t control – well that one) say it’s like you’ve planted a garden and you keep digging it up to see if anything’s growing. You know things can’t grow like that. And then because I’m easily distracted I missed a lot of the profoundness of that statement and started thinking about my garden and what I wanted to plant in it.

Less than 5 minutes later my cousin pulled up beside me in his truck and handed me a book “read this, it was given to me, it’s a daily devotional and it really helped me, I think it’s time to pass it on to you.” We chatted for a while – and I met his adorable puppy – and then he drove off on his way.

I walked for a couple of minutes with the book and then thought – hmmm out of nowhere I was handed a daily devotional book. Perhaps I should see what today’s reading is.

And I read God’s answer to my prayer, and so I listened….

April 18

I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer. Yet God taught me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work. He also revealed that when I prayed and had confident trust in Him for something, He simply wanted me to wait in an attitude of praise and do only what He told me. Sitting still, doing nothing except trusting in the Lord, causes a feeling of uncertainty, and there is often a tremendous temptation to take the battle into our own hands. 

We all know how difficult it is to rescue a drowning person who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally difficult for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist on trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that God will not but that he cannot, for our interference hinders His work.

Spiritual forces cannot work while we are trusting earthly forces.

Often we fail to give God an opportunity to work, not realizing that it takes time for Him to answer prayer. It takes time for God to color a rose or to grow a great oak tree. And it takes time for Him to make bread from wheat fields. He takes the soil, then grinds and softens it. He enriches it and wets it with rain showers and with dew. Then He brings the warmth of life to the small blade of grass, later grows the stalk and the amber grain, and finally provides bread for the hungry. 

All this takes time. Therefore we sow the seed, till the ground, and then wait and trust until God’s purpose has been fulfilled. We understand this principle when it comes to planting a field, and we need to learn the same lesson regarding our prayer life. It takes time for God to answer our prayer. (Streams in the Desert for Graduates by LB Cowman)

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