Find your Happy even when its hard.

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Its hard to do.

Its hard to make choices that exclude certain things or people from your life. I know. I have done it.

Its what was best for us.I had to start looking at my emotional health as an integral part of my overall health and when I did. I realized alot of my flares and pain were during or right after some really intense…shall we say drama.  I don’t like it.     I wish it was different.

However when I look back at how stressed my life was and how less stressed it is now….it was the right choice. Sometimes I think maybe things have changed and I peek back, it hasn’t. Those peeks back have often brought all kinds of other pains with them too. They are people who made a difference in my life but what I have going on right now does not fit with them.  Its painful to realize that. For years I realized I needed to cut back some of the drama and emergencies that were going on. I talked about it, I planned it out, I thought about it. I didn’t do it. It really was like one day a rope broke and that was it. I knew I was breaking the connection. I was done.  The straw that broke the camels back and all that.

When you have so many things that can weigh you down you have to weed out what you can.  Its never an easy process. In fact both times I have done this there were multiple nights of crying myself to sleep and riding emotional rollercoasters daily. I didn’t even attempt alot of this until after four years of therapy. When I suddenly realized I did an awful lot of talking about focusing only on the positive but not getting rid of the negative.

I can forgive the people who have pulled me down, but I don’t have to let them back in. I have the right to insulate and protect my happy. Sometimes its hard to remember this. Its hard for the people you are leaving behind to understand this,especially when its family. This is one of those times that you have to do whats right for you and no one else.

I used to also listen to the news like almost two hours a day hearing news pour in. I am picky about what kind of music my daughter listens to and to tell the truth we are more likely to listen to instrumental music or blast 70’s and 80’s rock than anything else. It adds weights to you. Each news piece about something horrendous is like a little gravel stone being added. The little stone in and of its self is so tiny, barely weighs anything at all. Even small stones and pebbles can become heavy if there are enough of them. Now when i do listen or watch the news its more of a this is what generally happened today. Except for Tuesday. Tuesday I listened, I watched, I cried. Even though those people that were hurt in the Boston Marathon Bombs were heavy in my heart. I turned it off and searched for the happy. It wasn’t easy. But by finding my happy and sharing it I made others a little happier. Thats what matters. Raising others up, either by a gesture or a hand of help or even just a inspiring image. We make each other stronger.

Everything is not sunshine and roses and rainbows and sprinkles, but it is better.  Its been a painfully slow process.  This is where it is helpful to look back at what was going on in your life and how things have changed. How far you have come. Its amazing sometimes to me how far I have come.  For me the key was to not look at the future but to say this is how far I have come and I am making progress. I keep that ideal image in my head. Maybe one day I will get there. Maybe not. I recently heard a new take on something I had not thought of. Happily ever after means the story is over. The trials are done. The journey is at an end. So I am okay with being in the middle of my story. My story is not at the end. I do hope that when I get to the end its been a happily ever after story. I am good with just Happy.

Sometimes Finding my happy is a daily challenge, an hourly challenge, a minute by minute challenge. Something that helped me was realizing that my happy changes. Somedays its the cats antics, somedays its the dogs love of chasing squirels and the look of pure joy on their faces while they do. Some days its sitting outside with the dogs reading while my daughter plays. Sometimes I have to go on a Happy Hunt, looking for it. Other times it just hits me. Taking the time to find out what it is for you is worth it. You deserve it. Don’t let anyone else take it away from you.

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I like to think of it as a butterfly. Always just ahead of me but trailing enough happiness glitter behind that I enjoy the chase. Catching it and marveling at its beauty and then let it stay awhile on my finger. On my shoulder.While its around the happiness glitter accumulates around me. Then the satisfied feeling of having caught it overwhelms me and it is off and flying again and I am off and chasing it again.

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