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Finding Happiness and Loving Courage

Hello, luvs! Isn’t it a wonder, after a long phase of fear, grief and pain, to wake up and realize that you feel happy again? That smiles and laughter come without you forcing them? That you’re bravely doing things that only weeks before had you shaking in fright?

That’s what this week has been for me. A good, wonderful, surprising thing. And it makes me smile.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes when awful things happen and bad people hurt me, or illness wracks my body and I lose people I love, when the stresses of life seem to pile up higher and higher, I make things even worse by turning a magnifying glass on myself, quickly finding weaknesses and faults. Soon I’m questioning my worth, doubting my ability to make good decisions, and end up a puddle overwhelmed by fear and false guilt.

What. A. Mess.

Thankfully I’m getting better. 🙂 Those “puddle moments” aren’t as frequent and don’t last so long. I’m retraining myself to respond in healthy, positive ways and they’re becoming second nature instead of thoughts so foreign I don’t even know where to begin. That is lovely. 🙂

Thank you to so many of you who’ve written to tell me your stories of survival from assault and abuse. I cried with you, wanted to beat up the bad guys for you, and didn’t feel alone anymore. I hate that we go through wretched things in this world, but I’m so glad we have each other to provide comfort and hope along the way. I sure love you guys and wish I could hug you tight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about courage lately. It’s a word usually associated with great acts, mighty feats of bravery, but I’ve come to match it up with much different things:

  • my friend M who is starting her own business even though she’s in constant physical pain and afraid of failure.
  • my friend K who roasts marshmallows and makes jewelry even though she’s reeling from the death of her dad and the abandonment of her husband.
  • my fellow cult-survivors who are going public with their stories even though they’re scared, just so they can rescue and protect others still trapped in that awful place.
  • my friend J who plants gorgeous gardens even though she’s achingly lonely so far away from all her children and extended family.
  • my friend E who moved to Greece to build a beautiful life for her two children after escaping an abusive husband.
  • my friend B who plays with her little girl even though she’s grieving the loss of her twins.
  • my other friend B who takes pictures of beautiful things even though she can barely function after chemotherapy.
  • my married friends who are going to counseling even though they’re scared, because they know they’re worth fighting for.

I love this sort of courage, the kind of bravery that chooses to LIVE when even life itself seems be trying to make us give up.

What is your act of courage today? I’d love to hear about it. Your courage gives me strength.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend, dear ones.

Much love,



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Jacqueline -  I’ve only just read this, and do wish I’d discovered it earlier this week. It seems we’re on the same wavelength my friend — again!! I haven’t been able to put words to the overall state of anxiety that’s been gripping me recently, but your post and the beautiful comments and insights that follow, are giving me some clarity. Thank you for that, Krista! It’s times like this that I need to remind myself that all of us really are in this together …

Katy Stewart - Krista, you’re an inspiration. Photos, as always, are exceptionally beautiful. If anyone knows how to build a beautiful life, despite all the difficulties that may be in the way, it surely is you. xx

Krista - Me too, Nicole. 🙂 I love hearing other’s stories. They inspire me to not give up and to take heart again. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dearest Joanne!! I could hug you right now for your cheering words. 🙂 I love that even when we bugger up we can start over and take heart in the strength it takes TO start over. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad they touched you, Deb. I love how we can be there for each other without even knowing it. Thank you for your wonderfully strengthening words. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dearest Anna. 🙂 You always know just what to say to cheer my heart and make me feel like I can take on the world. 🙂 I WILL be grateful today. 🙂

Krista - I LOVE what you wrote, dear Young Mom. I strongly identify with your words, fears, and courage in the face of the changes in your beliefs. Big hug to you as you press on. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad that you’re in a much better place now, Andrea. 🙂 That makes me happy. 🙂

Krista - Thank you so much, Inka. 🙂 Your words made me smile today. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you like them, Mary, and really hope you get a chance to go for a ramble too. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, dear Vanessa! I love how Erin wrote that sometimes simply breathing is an act of courage. 🙂 You are a courageous woman, my friend. You have built a beautiful life and always inspire me to do the same. 🙂

Krista - I’m so glad you love that photo too, fisherlady! 🙂 I confess I keep coming back to look at it. Makes my heart happy. 🙂

Nicole - I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better, Krista. I think hearing other people stories is a great way to give us all courage. 🙂

Joanne - This is such an incredibly uplifting post, Krista! I’m definitely prey to beating myself up the second I find myself scared or weak.  But instead I should focus on how strong I am!  You are so inspiring!

Deb - Your words and your spirit are exactly, exactly what I needed today.  Thank you.  Keep being courageous and recognizing it in others.  You have more strength and power than you know.

Anna Johnston - Gratitude….., I love to read about your gratitude lovely.  Gratitude is the healing balm that keeps us ‘even’ – I know what you mean about focusing inward a little too much, I’m guilty of that too, but how else can we shine a light on things we want to heal or change about ourselves, its awkward & yucki, but I think necessary.  And when your back on an ‘even keel’ then its gratitude about all the good things in our lives that keep our sights set on the important things.  So glad you’ve found your even keel again girlfriend.  Well done 🙂
PS:  FABULOUS pics too…., I love a brilliantly clear sky, now that’s something to be happy about 🙂

inka - What an uplifting post. Writing it, Krista, is already an act of great courage.

Andrea and John - Love you flower photos! I feel lucky that many of the incredibly difficult parts of my life are years behind me. That’s not to say that there won’t be more tough times ahead, for life is never easy, but these days I feel grateful for a certain lack of drama. Wishing you a wonderful, peaceful week ahead =)    ~Andrea.

Young Mom - My courage lately, is facing the possibility of life lived without God, without being completely terrified. If God is there, he will be patient. In the meantime I have so desperately needed to have permission to love those around me that don’t fit into what I was taught “God” dictates. Scary, but it has been good for me.

Mary - I’m so glad that you are feeling happy and well. Those flower photographs are stunning, and have made me want to get outside today to see some for myself.

Vanessa@Luxuria - What a wonderful post Krista. So pleased to hear about your progress, and just reading about some of your courageous
friends was so humbling for me.I’m not sure I have shown any acts of  courage lately that are worthy  of a mention.
But I take my hat off to everyone  here that has shared theirs.

thefisherlady - a beautifully written post laced with a ‘take the breath away’ photo of the Dandelion in seed!
Thanks Krista

Krista - Oh Erin, thank you. 🙂 You are SO right about breathing. Sometimes that’s the bravest thing of all! xo

Krista - Thank you so much, dear Barbara. XO Especially for the hugs. 🙂

Krista - Oh, you made me laugh with that one, Darc! 🙂

Krista - It sure is, dear Darci! XO

erin - Krista,
You are so very brave and courageous.  I think sometimes being brave is just breathing.

www.winosandfoodies.com - So glad to read this post Krista. It can’t have been easy but your courage has got you to a better place. Hugs.

Mhovdestad - Haha…my auto correct….PUTTING on a smile!! …not lurking one on….now that would be creepy, lol!

Mhovdestad - Beautiful, Krista…yes, courage is sometimes just getting up and lurking on a smile, hey? Praying for continued healing for you. Darc

Krista - Thank you, dear Paradis!! Aren’t you so glad we’re allowed to keep practicing these things? Never perfect but always growing? What a comfort. 🙂

Krista - dear Bethany, thank you SO much for writing. Your words meant the world to me today. You aren’t a stranger anymore but a true kindred spirit. I love your act of bravery. 🙂 It made me smile cuz it’s a HARD one!!! You have my heartfelt admiration too. 🙂 XO

mlleparadis - gorgeous pics as always krista.  we often are very unaware of the tremendous acts of courage sometimes required for others to get through their days and years.  glad to hear that you are finding ways to bounce back.  and as you say, sometimes it takes some practice in embracing the good parts of life.  your blog is a testament to that!  big hugs!!!

Bethany - My heart’s ached for you throughout this whole saga, but I wasn’t sure what to say as a stranger myself (albeit one who loves travel and good food and the beauty you bring to each post). This line really stuck with me though–“I love this sort of courage, the kind of bravery that chooses to LIVE when even life itself seems be trying to make us give up”–and it’s a reminder I could use a lot of days. My biggest acts of bravery lately have been shutting my mouth when I’m tempted to complain about life… busyness, lack of money, relationship issues, uncertainty… not anything close to what you or those other people you mentioned are courageously facing but still a conscious choice to live rather than succumb. You have my heartfelt admiration!

Krista - Thank you, Rosa. 🙂 You’re so right about the changes of life and the importance of fighting back. 🙂 Love that. xo

Rosa May - Good to hear that you are feeling better now… Yes, those people are courageous. We all go through various ups and downs, unfortunately life is made in that way. But the most important thing is to always fight back.


Rosa xxx

Krista - Thank you so much for writing, Linda. My heart aches for your friends who have lost their partners already. What a gutting loss. I’m so happy you and your man are still together, living such a beautiful life in Italy. 🙂 xo

LindyLouMac in Italy - Krista, this a such a moving post and the photographs are stunning. It takes courage to follow your dreams but follow them you must and that is something my husband and I remind ourselves every day as we are thankful to be together. Amongst our closest friends (couples) death has already taken partners of three of them far too early.

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