Monday, October 24, 2011

Happiness and Fun!

Not only have I wanted to write about how I experience God in my life and seriously, I have times where I feel totally disconnected to any God in my life. I say this to give balance to how I am some days in this life. Having belief or faith is not an easy station, some days! In those moments, I come back to the beauty of our world, to the love I have for my children, family, friends & even my dog Cleo. It is the beauty I see, that helps me to know, there is a God. Who else created such beauty?

This is not what I need to chat about today though. The other subject, I have wanted to express, is what has brought happiness and fun to me in my life. To be honest, I have not found this subject easy. In that, when I think of a subject to write about, I tend to allow it to develop subconsciously for a time and then when I feel moved by the subject, I’ll write about it. Having said that, I truly do not fully know what will come out of me! Believe me when I say this, sometimes, I am surprised by what I write. Writing has always been my safety net. I have diaries galore & note pads and pieces of paper where I have so needed to get out what & how I feel on the inside, OUT! It has always been my safety valve. Not that I use it to its full potential, I have not. If I did, I would finish my autobiography, my novel and my children’s stories! Maybe soon………!

What brings me happiness? Playing when I was a child brought me happiness. Although, in my truth, I was often too busy doing chores and being responsible in my family of origin to play as often as I'd have liked too. Play to children is vital. I can say this now as an adult, because as a child I didn’t know how vital it was to the well-being of the soul. You see way back then, because I was affirmed, for doing house-hold chores, I preferred to do chores, rather than play. I was your ultimate, in my experience, responsible child. But I did love to play the farmer has a wife, skipping, cycling, swimming, ballet, dance and tying a rope around an An Post pole and swing around it for hours, wrapping my body around the pole, no matter how raw my butt got! After a while, I got sense and used a cushion to spare my butt from being rope burnt. Tis a sore thing! You know my children have never had this pleasure!

In my teens, happiness for me was being outrageously safe! A paradox! Yes. I have always needed to be safe, given my life, you can see why. I’ll explain, I grew up in a very suppressed Ireland, where everything was a sin and no one told the truth. I am not blaming here, this was my reality. I used to always hate lies, until I discovered that I lie when I do not feel safe, so it is why other’s lie too. Then I understood when a body lies, it is because they do not feel safe to be truthful. It makes sense to me, because it is why I lied when I was a child. However, in my teens, I rebelled against lies. I would challenge adults around me, whether they were my parents or my teachers with oodles of questions in order to understand life. Seemingly, I did it when I was a child too, so my favourite aunt tells me, I always asked questions. I did stop asking questions in primary & secondary school as it was beaten out of me, as it was at home too. Now to explain why I was outrageous in my teens & in truth, I can still be verbally outrageous, in that I do say it as it is for me! (People find me very challenging because of this, but you know what, I like this part of me!) I couldn’t accept a lot of the tripe I was taught when I was young. My need was always to know WHY? So in my late teens being outrageously safe meant asking those awkward questions that every parent hopes their off spring don’t ask when visitors or the parish priest called………….Well I asked those questions! Much to my parents consternation and to this day, I am still the same! I am more honouring now, (I hope), I’ve learned to be. So asking questions was and still is very important to me & yes it still brings me happiness, even though I can and still do put my size 5’s in it! Over years I learnt not to beat myself up internally at those times I got it skewed ways! I love having the courage to ask questions, that I do not know the answer to, even if it means I may look foolish. Having said that, I do not believe any question is ever foolish!

The only difference between adults and children, are that adults have more life experience and often children are wiser than adults, because children see through the BS!

In my late teens I didn’t date that often, I was too terrified to. If a guy I was dating, “dropped the hand” in the Ark, (A dance hall in Cork), I broke it off with him! Years later, I actually said this to someone and he replied, “Gee Trich, there must be a lot of guys going around Cork with only one hand”! I cracked up laughing at the visual this made in my head. So humour is very important to me and it does bring me much happiness. Comedians I love are Brendan Carroll, because he is outrageous, also Tommy Tiernan and most of all, AbiePB, his humour is so intelligent & funny and I get it, that it brings enormous joy to my life. I can definitely say that I am a major fan of Abie’s and I tend not to be a fan type! Now to clarify here, these comedians were introduced to my life much later in my life! My point here is that in my late teens, I realised that humour and learning to laugh with oneself is a vital part of survival. For me! During my late teens I was a pain in the ass conservative! (Even to myself, believe it or not!)

Falling in love was such a wonderful experience, as was the first eighteen months of my marriage. Month nineteen, the shit hit the fan……… but that’s another story! Being in love is a gift, later on I learnt that being in love with self is far more important! Sadly, I don’t think, I have ever gotten to that place yet. However, I do love & like who I am and in my bones, I know inherently that I am the best person I know and I really love that part of me. This beings happiness to my life too.


Happiness in adulthood came in the guise of my children and dogs. Both are so much fun as long as I allow them to be. I have learnt my best life lessons from both of them. Your children love you no matter what, they teach you to remember unconditional love, as it is how every child loves. I will truly always be grateful to my beautiful Darling Daughters for reminding me what unconditional love is. What is so remarkable & special about children, is this, for me, they love you no matter what. Allow that to seep into your soul. No matter what it is you do, your child loves you, unconditionally. Are children not a reflection of God’s love for us?

I could write a whole other story about the dogs in my life, for now though, I will concentrate on their loyalty to their master. As a very young child, we had a dog called Skippy, whom I adored. She was killed crossing the road one day & she is buried in the back garden of a house that we lived in, in Togher, Cork. I didn’t realise it then, but for many many years after her death, I could not love any other dog. I was broken hearted when she died. Fast forward twenty six years and I was given a Christmas present of Scienne, a white Westie. I so loved this dog, just like I had so loved Skippy. One morning when she was 8 months old, I let her out to pee before I went to work and when I brought her in again, I looked at her very sad face, and I asked her why she looked so sad? Obviously she didn’t answer! So I went off to work. That evening on my way home, I received a phone call, on one of the first big mobile phones that she had been involved in an accident and to go straight to the vets. She was dead when I arrived. I can honestly say, I cried for a year afterwards. I so missed her love and the fun I had with her. I often wonder why I felt she looked at me in such a sad way that morning.Then I inherited Cleo, another white Westie and she so loves me and is incredibly loyal to me. Even if I get cross with her, she still wags her tail and licks me. (Even though I do not like being licked by a dog!) Plus she is a super companion to me. She too brings much happiness and fun to my life.

My two girls, while very different, I love unconditionally. My happiest memories in my life are with them. In reality, I had my best and worst of times in their presence. But children are so much fun and because I didn’t have as much fun as a child, I did find having fun with them, hard at times. The joy they brought to my life is a gift I will always hold in my heart. In my truth, my children taught me and reminded me what unconditional love is. This is the greatest gift I have received in my life. It is a major source of my happiness too. Children forgive their parents EVERYTHING. Therefore, it is so important to know this and not ever abuse this gift. For it is the greatest gift a parent receives, even when times are tough going. Hold this in your heart, because when they fly the nest, these memories are the stuff that keep you going when your days may get dark.

I have learnt that I need fun in my life as it brings happiness to my being. The last two men I dated were so much fun, that I only recently learnt that fun, is what I need to create for me in my life. What else brings fun to my world? Real relationships that are both honest and mature. And of course my own relationship with me! Humour too. And to dance like there is no one watching and trust me, I am good at that!

Intimacy with myself and another is another source of happiness to me. However, I will refrain from being outrageous on that topic! ;) These are the things that bring me happiness and fun. Today was a good day to remind myself about what brings happiness to my life.

Now ask yourself, what brings you happiness and fun?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spiritual expression is Love

I’ve wanted to write about my own experience with God for a while now, but didn’t, for a variety of different reasons. One being I didn’t give myself the time to write. Secondly, I felt I needed to be brave to write about how I experience God in my life. Recently, a guy on twitter asked me why I didn’t write more often on my blog & my truth is that I really don’t have an excuse. I give far too much time to twitter & facebook in my spare time.

As most of you may know, I am a qualified relationship mentor & I believe that the most important relationship we have in life is with self. Well, I also believe, that a relationship with God is as important. God for me is God the father & his son Jesus. I tend to pray to them and our lady the most. I love the Sacred Heart & always have. When I have found it really hard to pray in my life, then I tend to say, Oh most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. It was only when I became a mother myself that Our Lady, became important in my life too. My reason for loving the Sacred Heart is because his heart is exposed and from his heart there is love. I suppose I like to think that I am a heart person & when I reflect on the passion of Christ and what he went through, then he must have loved all of mankind to have gone through such pain & torture for us. Spiritually I am quite traditional. I love praying and any day or days, (as is the case), that I don’t pray, I feel there is something missing in my life. That “something” is solid & good & I have a sense of connection, a feeling of being whole, which I loose, when I disconnect from prayer. I like going to mass too, but rarely go! I’m smiling here because I self-sabotage on what I love to do! I like confession. But again, rarely go. I do the same thing with dance, I say this to give balance.

Who is God? Well when I had religion class in primary school, I was told “God is our father in heaven”. That is seriously abstract isn’t it? In answer to my own question, no, it isn’t as abstract as I may have first thought. God made me & you and I believe, we are all made in his image. So if I am made in God’s image, then what is God’s image? One word, LOVE. Then I am love. I believe love is our eternal legacy to the world & to the people we meet in life. I truly believe that if we really realised how much we are loved by God, that we would weep with joy. Sit with that for a while. Imagine if all the people on earth truly believed & understood we are unconditionally loved, for who we are, warts and all, wouldn’t the world be a fabulous place to live in.

All I need to do is look at the beauty of our world, to see the beauty of God’s love for all mankind. God made us a magnificently beautiful world to inhabit while we live our lives here on earth. Sometimes, I don’t allow that truth settle into the core of my being. I forget.
Then when I try to get any other concept of God, it truly boggles my mind. My human brain just doesn’t grasp that God was always there. Or how could he have thought of making the universe, the stars, the sun, the moon, the whole galaxy! And how was God always there?!? Looking at nature, with its seasonal changes, the PH balance in Oceans, all the animals, flowers & trees, God thought them all up. He thought each individual up too. Now I know you can say, well my Mum & Dad made me & certainly that is true, however, of all the sperm that made it to the egg, one sperm gets through & you are made. Who decides what sperm gets through? Is that a Divine decision? Is that what is so sacred about conception? I do know this, that when both my children were conceived, our love making on both those nights, had an added dimension & was incredible special.

Given the life I have lived, I used to ask this question, how come I didn’t end up a hooker and a drug user or an alcoholic? I am a drug user, in that I smoke cigarettes & I know why I smoke them. I do drink wine, but I am lucky in that my body cannot take a lot of alcohol. I can’t bear to be drunk & sick, so I just don’t go there. I didn’t end up a hooker, mainly because as a child I felt I was one. That is true & I did feel huge shame & guilt about it when I was much younger, until I realised that I didn’t own that shame and guilt. I was after all a child. On a deeper level, I truly believe & it took me years to answer this question for myself, that it was my relationship with God that kept me safe. Some might say, the “Straight & narrow” path, however, in my experience there is nothing straight and narrow about God. God is all encompassing in my experience.

When I was about 15 years old, I hated my father with a passion, I was consumed with hate for him. Then one day, on my way to mass, quite near the church, this voice came into my head and said, “Trich as long as you hate him, you will destroy yourself”. It was a physical jolt to my body & in that moment, I knew this voice was right. Yes you could say this was my own inner wisdom saying this to me, and maybe you’d be right, for me though, I felt it was God saying this to me. From that moment on I prayed so that I would forgive my Dad & equally prayed that I wouldn’t have any sexual hang-ups. Through my prayers, I achieved both. I also did a lot of therapy too. And I started reading psychology & self-help books from the age of 18. From my mid-thirties, I went to college to study human behaviour.

I learned that there are 8 expressions of self, one of those expressions is Spirituality. We are all spiritual beings. It is an area I neglect sometimes. It is an area I love too. Religion doesn’t bother me, because when I was young, I realised that there was only one God anyway & what really matters, is how I live my life here on earth. One of the biggest lessons I learned very early in my life, is that when someone was kind & compassionate to me, I grew taller on the inside, it helped me to feel good about who I am. Much later in my life, I realised that I needed to be both kind and compassionate with me. I didn’t (I hope), forget a kindness done to me. When I realised that kindness lifted my own spirit, I decided to be kind towards others. Through understanding myself, I was able to be compassionate towards people and in so doing, became compassionate towards myself. I believe they are God’s gifts to us all, if we choose them. After all, God gave us the right to choose or free will as some may like to call it.

This year I did a lot of reading on “Near Death Experiences” and without exception, those that travelled towards the Light, through the tunnel and ended up on the other side, experienced in the core of their being, unconditional love. So much so they did not want to return! I have two ambitions in life, one is to be who God made me to be, my need is to be my own unique expression of him here on earth. For me that means being the best of who I am and accepting the worst of who I am and not judging either. In those times where I am not in my best place and hurt those I love and I do, is to seek their forgiveness and my own forgiveness & to say I am sorry. This year saw me have many nights of tears for the hurt I have caused to others & myself in my life. I did try to make amends, but because the person I had hurt, was so hurt, they rejected my attempt to make amends. I don’t for a moment blame them, I accept this is where they are. I also accept when I hurt them, that was where I was! I do wish the outcome had been different.

My only other ambition is that when I die I go home to heaven. I truly desire eternity being in the presence of unconditional love. God.