Monday, March 19, 2012
Finding Happiness...
I said something to Tony yesterday that felt strange to say out loud as soon as the words came out of my mouth, but it felt so freeing to actually say it. On our way to Home Depot to pick up paint for Jay's room transformation (yep, he wants a big boy room, the legos are now gone...), I told Tony that I felt really happy right now. He asked me if it was just a right now feeling or an in general feeling. I had to think for a minute, but I responded it was an in general feeling of happiness about my life.

I don't know why, but recently I've really come to terms with things in my life that really haven't turned out how I wanted them to be. I don't know if it's age or what, but for some reason things have just finally clicked for me when it comes to thinking about where my life is going and where it's been. For so many years, I've tried to escape bad feelings and situations, I've tried to overcome them and in my true nature, I've even taken the blame for them so I can just move on. In reality, I have discovered that I have to own these feelings. They have completely made me who I am. My entire life I have wondered what people think about me and how I can make others happy. I am a people pleaser at heart and that will never change. However, now I realize that I have to please me somewhere in there too. Not to say that I don't care to make others happy now (I can't change me in that way, I always have to make people happy), but I don't focus on that in my relationships anymore.

I used to wonder why people come into our lives only to leave us or hurt us. I can't say I completely understand these passages of time, since they leave us with so much pain, but I do realize this is part of life. While some of it was me, some of it was them too. I'm ok with that. I know now that these relationships had to be this way.

My pain has been physical in the past too. I have been really low due to medical issues that were mentally and physically debilitating. These times have taught me how powerful your head can really be. It took and still takes everything I have to remind myself that I am stronger than I think I am and I can get past the bad. Life is not easy, but we have to believe we can overcome these hard times in order to enjoy the good times. Physically, I have achieved things that I was told were not possible for me. I'm smart about it, but I do love pushing myself a little harder everyday.

I have spent most of the last year with some pretty deep feelings of sadness. I have shared with some of you personally, but not spoken in detail here. I still don't want to share details, but after working with clients now and talking with friends, I've heard the struggles people have in dealing with their mental strength too. So, I thought I should share enough to help others know they have this strength too and that they are not alone.

In the past year, I have woken up in the middle of the night crying from my painfully vivid nightmares, I've started crying while driving home from taking the kids to school, I have cried while folding laundry and I've started crying after having lunch...it has been that random. I'm lucky though, I have an incredible husband and two amazing boys as a support system. I won't lie, I tried to run away from a lot of it. I even tried to find something that wasn't there to make it seem like it didn't matter. I've taken some leaps and landed on my head, but I've also landed on my feet sometimes too. I've made some reconnections with people that meant so much to me in the past and I've developed some amazing friendships that I know will stand the test of time (and distance).

I was fortunate enough to spend an amazing weekend with some extraordinary friends of ours this weekend. They are the type of people that hold no judgement and just like you for you. I can't tell you how much I needed this. It was kind of the icing on the cake for me in my emotional roller coaster year. We enjoyed incredible food, tons of laughter (dominos and a heated game of Uno always help with this) and shared memories of our past adventures together.

We feasted on Beef Stew...


Roasted vegetables with steamed cabbage...


Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread (recipe to come)...


Chocolate Cake...

I know this seems out of the blue from me in some ways, but I wanted to share. So many people go through hard personal times. Especially the "what does it all mean" moments. No, I don't have the answer (for me or you), I really don't think we are meant to know what it all means. I think life is a journey. I think we are meant to learn from this journey and hopefully use what we learn to be better people to ourselves and others. I'm not going to waste my energy on trying to change things I can't anymore. I'm going to keep moving forward knowing that life's little lessons along the way are only going to make me stronger and help me learn how to work through the hard times.

It's Monday and I know that was deep for a Monday, but I appreciate all of you that take the time to come here day after day. Thank you for your support and your friendship! I hope you all have a great week!

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posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 6:30 AM  
24 Comments:
  • At March 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM, Anonymous Amy B @ Second City Randomness said…

    I think we've all struggled with similar feelings from time to time. Rarely is anything picture perfect in our lives. And rarely do we live the way we thought we always would. It's all about rolling with the punches, celebrating the little victories, and making the most of what you have. There's nothing more that can be expected of us. :) Love you, lady!

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 8:32 AM, Blogger Heather Iacobacci-Miller said…

    I think this was a beautiful post my friend. Thank you so much for taking the time to share. You never know what others are going through, and sharing things like this could help someone else.

    I too am a people pleaser, but like you said, at some point you must please yourself. Otherwise, it makes it harder and harder to be there for those you love.

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM, Blogger Lisa said…

    Thank you for sharing! Beautiful thoughts and words...
    It captures a lot of what I've thought and felt (and I'm sure many others too). One thing I've learned through all the muck is that it really is totally possible to be happy and sad at the same time.

    Reflecting on all of it is certainly a good approach to dealing with it and continuing to grow as a person. I'm so glad we can all share in each other's stories a bit!

    Happy Monday!

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM, OpenID iheartvegetables.com said…

    That feeling of happiness/joy/contentedness is the BEST feeling in the world! I hope it stays for you :) Seeing the good in every situation is such a valuable skill to possess!

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 10:21 AM, Anonymous peeree3 said…

    For the first time on this blog I have no sarcastic reply. I love you and thank you humbly for your friendship!

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anna @ On Anna's Plate said…

    I love this post. Period. :-)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM, Anonymous Estela @ Weekly Bite said…

    What a lovely post. I can relate on many levels to everything you wrote. I am so happy that you are in a wonderful place :)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Blogger Emily said…

    Thanks for writing this all out, Sarena. I think we can all relate but it still takes a lot to put it all out there. We are much stronger than we think! Lots of love. :)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM, Blogger Kristin Overton said…

    I commented on Healthful Pursuit's "Living Open, Connected & Vulnerable" last night (right after your comment) so I'm not terribly surprised to see a post like this on your blog today. I was considering writing a reflective post for mine as well. Mental health & strength is so, so important and plays a much bigger role in our lives than many give it credit for.

    Be confident that everything happens for a reason (even when it is painful, there is a lesson in it) and you will be a stronger person for it, should you choose to be.

    <3 Happy Monday

    K

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 1:17 PM, Anonymous Kristina said…

    oh dear sweet friend of mine,

    after reading through these (beautiful) words, it makes me HAPPY to go back and read the beginning, to see you say you are HAPPY.

    you are incredibly generous and giving, which is never a bad thing! you just need to be as generous with yourself, all the time.

    it is so easy to become wrapped up in our own 'stuff' that it is sometimes surprising to learn others are going through struggles, have fears and sadness. right now I am going through some big stuff, and I admit I get wrapped up in it, or singular focused. I hope you know how much I appreciate you - your continued support and sweet words make me smile and mean more than you could know!

    XO

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 1:18 PM, Anonymous Alisa said…

    Sadness is a part of being human, but it puts a huge smile on my face to know that you are happy now. The present is all that matters. Miss you my friend :)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM, Blogger Cotter Crunch said…

    in a way, i feel like i've been right there beside you. YOu've been an amazing strength to me and i am so glad that you are filled with happiness right now. Those feelings, those hurts, have all created one powerful strength and healing NOW. I hope to one day share more with you and hug you! love you friend.

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 2:56 PM, Blogger STUFT mama said…

    Oh Sarena- Just like Lindsay said, I feel like I'm there with you. I'm still getting to that point of peace and happiness as I struggle on a daily basis to fingure out exactly how to balance everything and try to figure out what direction life is going to go. You are amazing and I'm so happy for you that you're happy. I'm so glad we found each other in this crazy blog world. Thansk for your honesty and putting it all out there. It's comforting knowing that other people struggle too. You are an inspiration and an amazing friend. So glad you had a great weekend. I hope this year you land on your feet A LOT! :) Hugs!
    Oh and a big boy room? That must be weird. :)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 5:37 PM, Blogger laura said…

    Beautiful post.

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM, Anonymous MelissaNibbles said…

    Thank you for writing such a raw, open and honest post. Sometimes life can feel so lonely even though we have a lot of people in our lives. We just have to find the right people who make us feel accepted and loved. I'm glad you're starting to find happiness with the people in your life. Stay strong :)

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 5:53 PM, Blogger Bodhipuff said…

    I think you are an amazing person and am so glad to hear that you've found a happy moment. And I also think it's a very brave thing to be able to share your pain and unhappiness with other people, so thanks for that. It helps other people feel a little less alone. And I'm super glad you've found people that make you feel good about being yourself - those are the friends people really should have in life. Here's to many more happy moments for you.

    Also, a hug machine is nice. ;P

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM, Anonymous Pure2raw twins said…

    this post hit home for us. as we both and still kinda are dealing with depression. we both have had our ups and downs and lately we have been feeling happier as well. we are not really sure why either but we are starting to feel more at peace with ourselves, well most days :)
    I (lori) still have some crying moments (or days) were it seems that all I do is cry, and it is really hard to stop, but with Michelle and Gary's help I have gotten better over time.
    so sending you a BIG HUG!!!
    love this post!
    love ya too!
    xo

     
  • At March 19, 2012 at 11:50 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    Most people struggle with these things, and it's great your putting it out in the open! Sometimes I struggle with being open even with myself.

     
  • At March 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM, Anonymous Lee said…

    Great post, Sarena. I'm glad you are feeling happy and owning your feelings. And you're right, you have to please yourself (umm, that doesn't sound right!) as well as others.

     
  • At March 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM, Anonymous Paige @ Running Around Normal said…

    Oh Sarena, I am so glad you have come so full circle and are happy now. This is seriously one of the greatest acheivements in my opinion :)

     
  • At March 20, 2012 at 1:35 PM, Anonymous Heather said…

    This is such an amazing post. So few people ever find happiness in their lives. I'm so happy for you!

     
  • At March 21, 2012 at 8:17 AM, Anonymous Tina @ Best Body Fitness said…

    It makes me so happy to hear you're feeling happy because you deserve that. You are an amazing person and I want nothing but the best for you. Hugs!

     
  • At March 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM, OpenID fuelmyfamily said…

    Great post! Glad you are able to be at peace with your life, a great place to be that unfortunately so many people are never able to find.

     
  • At March 24, 2012 at 12:14 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    Thank you for this post Sarena. I actually really needed to read it right now. So many complicated things have been going on lately and I confess, I haven't coped with as well as I could have.

    (((Hugs))) to you. I'm glad you've found peace within yourself and are happy. You deserve it.

    xxx

     
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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
About Me: Lactose Challenged
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