Author Archives: AuthorTLGray

About AuthorTLGray

Author, Blogger, Reviewer, Corporate Consultant, Gamer

Being a Parent …

Being a parent

 

What is being a parent? Donating sperm or giving birth doesn’t make you a parent.  Not donating sperm or giving birth, also doesn’t make you NOT a parent. Love, kindness, discipline, sacrifice, giving into the well-being of another human being – that’s what makes you a parent.

God has given me many gifts.  Most of all, he has given me the opportunity on several occasions to be a parent. I haven’t always been a good parent. I haven’t always made all the right decisions. I have made some really bad choices and made some really bad mistakes.  There’s no ‘but’ in that, either.  I’ve learned some things along the way, mostly from my mistakes.  I suffer still some of the consequences of those choices and mistakes.

I’ve come a long way.  I’ve come a very long way from being that scared young girl facing the decision of becoming a teen mother.  I was terrified.  I lived in hell and felt I had no one in this world I could trust.  I had no one to take care of me. Yet, there was this life growing inside of me – a defenseless child that I would be responsible to care for, to protect, and to provide simple everyday things. I couldn’t even provide those things for myself.  I had dreams. I had an escape plan to run off to the military that was going to take me away from the abuse I lived under and secure me a future – but if I chose her – I couldn’t escape – not yet.  There were days I hated the choices I had. There were times I wanted to give up, to die, especially when I was ridiculed and called names at school (Yes, I was that popular high-school slut wobbling down the halls everyone felt sorry for, or made fun of, or called names, or glared at with their disapproving eyes.) Yet, every time I felt my daughter move within my stomach, my hands would cradle my big belly and hope would grow – hope for a great life, a good future, a little bit of love in my dark gray world.  I would pay the price to make it happen – no matter what it cost me. I was young (16), scared, and didn’t know ANYTHING about being a parent. Hell, I didn’t even know how to be an adult. So, I made some mistakes.  But, everything I did – I did in love – love for her – love for the hope that she was going to one day bring into this world.  I don’t care how she was made – I’m the one that made the decision to bring her into this world.  EVERYONE I knew wanted me to give her up or abort her.  The religious didn’t want me to have an abortion, but they didn’t want me to raise her either.  The rest told me on a regular basis I was wasting my life, sacrificing my future, giving up my freedom when I had another choice.  I didn’t know much, but I already loved her and I wanted her – so I chose her.  It kills me that as an adult she doesn’t choose me, but I still have hope, and not for a millisecond regret my choice. She’s a beautiful, loving, kind woman and I am so proud of her.

I have two other children, who are also now adults, who make me smile every time I hear their voice, or see their texts, or video chat, or am able to wrap my arms around and hug them.  I also have the most beautiful grand-daughter. I love them with a love that is indescribable.  Not because I gave birth to them or genetically related to them.  Not because they’re good human beings.  But, for love.  The love I feel from them and for them. That love isn’t granted just because of genetics.  I never had that love for or from my parents.  Not ONCE, not EVER did they ever hug me – and if they had, I would have not felt that love.  My parents gave birth to me, but they were not parents – they were manipulative abusers that took a long time for me to escape.

I now have another child, another chance to be a mother to someone who needs a mother.  I look at this kid and see the manipulation and emotional abuse he’s been through and I remember that lost, scared, angry little girl I used to be – and I try to be the mother I needed, the friend I could have used, and the love that was desperately missing in my life.  Maybe he won’t have to face the same hard choices I had to face – and he will make better decisions, and his life will reach even greater opportunities.  Most of all – he is loved. Every day.  I am hard on him, I don’t let him get away with anything, and every day is a constant learning lesson – because I want him to be a good man. I want to teach him the things of this world that is going to make him a descent, caring, productive, and good man.  I find it ironic – He now has the opportunity to escape his abusers and run off to the military and secure himself a future.

Being a parent is hard.  It’s sacrifice. It’s constant love, constant worry, constant energy, constant demand, constant giving of your time, your focus, your life, your space, your money, your peace, and your choices. It’s about providing what is NEEDED, not wanted. It’s providing a place of understanding, communication, and learning – constantly.  I can’t give up.  I want to give up at least once a day – but he’s worth it.  He is worth every little inconsequential sacrifice. Just like my daughter was worth it. Just like my other two children were worth it. Just like my grandbaby was worth it.  Love is worth it. Hope is worth it.

Being a parent is a privilege, not a right.  There are some really shitty parents out there. I’ve been one at times, but I wouldn’t change one single solitary moment, not even the bad moments – because it was from those moments I learned most.  I didn’t give birth to Anthony, but I am his parent, I am his mother – because I love him and he’s worth everything I do for him. I get the best part of this relationship – his love in return. That is being a parent.  Those who pour love into him …are his mothers and fathers, not genetics. This young man is lucky – because he is now being surrounded by people pouring love, life lessons, instruction, and encouragement into him (thank you Scott).  When he gets into the Navy he is going to be surrounded by new brothers and a new family …and once again I am filled with hope.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Whos Afraid

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Me.

I had a dream a few nights ago about Red knowing the wolf for he was, yet she still feigned ignorance.  He called her on it, yet she still denied the truth of his character, his intent, his danger up until the moment he attacked.  In my dream version, the Wolf devours Red. I understand the fairy tale has a happy ending with the Huntsman showing up and destroying the wolf and saving Red, but we all know that’s not how it plays out in reality.  There’s never a Huntsman to save us from our own ignorance.

I don’t blame, Red. I fear of being like her. I fear being just as naïve, just as stupid, just as blind, or be just as deceived. Wolves are cunning and they seem to be getting better and better at stalking their prey.

I hate wolves.  Not the four-legged beautiful amazing creatures that live in the wild, but the predators who live next door – I’m talking about the deceivers, agents of deception, liars, cheaters, users, and vampires.  I’m talking about the cold-hearted, callus, selfish predators who destroy the souls of other human beings with their games.  The world is full of male and she-wolves, but God I pray not to be a Red, yet fear there’s more of her in me than I want to admit.

I don’t have a problem seeing wolves. I see them. I smell them. I recognize when they’re tracking, hunting, and stalking me.  I get their deceptive messages, I smell their scent of betrayal, yet I still walk through the dangerous forest alone, I still tell strangers my destination, I still trollop through the tulips with my basket of bread, with not much regard for my safety.  Being safe is being guarded, being suspect, being armored, and being cold and hard as steel.  I’ve been there. I’ve done that – and it didn’t protect me. A wolf disguised himself as another warrior and got me to lay my armor down before he decided to chew me up and leave me for dead.  So, even protected I was not safe.  Being aware, being awake, seeing the truth, and learning how to walk away, to change direction, to evade and avoid …is all I can really hope to do.  My weapons is now truth – by living in the light, not lurking in the shadows.  Wolves don’t like the light and they can’t play hide and seek or stalk prey sufficiently in the open.  So, I don’t hide. If a wolf comes at me, he will have to come at me in the light – and he will be met with a survivor who knows how to fight back, not a victim.

I hate the wolves of this world – both men and women.  Liars, deceivers, con-artists, players, users and manipulators destroy the souls of men and women more than anything else in this world.

“Grandma, what big eyes you have – do you see me, because I see you.”

“Grandma, what big ears you have – can you hear me? You will hear me roar.”

“Grandma, what big teeth you have – mine are sharper. You will feel my bite!”

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? I am – not that it could or would hurt me – I only fear being naïve to not recognize him before it’s too late.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m Learning to Let Go

I've Learned to Let Go

I’m learning to let go. It’s hard.  Every time I’ve ever walked away from someone or something, left a relationship, lost a loved one, or watched my children leave to find their own way in this world, it takes a piece of me. What I’m learning I grieve most is not often the familiarity or the presence, but the dreams that were dreamed, the hopes that held deep in my heart, and the love that was attached to that person or thing or place.  I think that’s why when it comes to my children – their growing up and moving on is bitter-sweet, because the hope that’s wrapped up with them is still possible, it’s within their independence and journey in life.  But, losing someone to death, disease, divorce or a break-up leaves a huge hole in my soul.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s complicated.  I don’t like giving up on myself or on people I love and care about.  Often though I fall into an unhealthy situation when my hope and love for them begins to effect and become destructive to me. I hate losing. I’m the biggest optimist in the world, even when my mouth is often filled with Doubt.  I struggle, because my heart, my mind, my experience, my common sense will often scream one thing – yet Optimism and Hope will be in war with those thoughts.  I’m sometimes wrong, and someone or something will surprise me and turn out for the better and Hope will celebrate.  But, the realist inside me – the one who carried the pain, the scars, the doubts, and the cautious pessimism – hates to be right because she understands that when she’s right she damages hope and optimism.  She fears she may one day find they no longer have the strength to rise again as they have so many times before.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s devastating. I’ve searched my whole life to be loved and wanted.  But, those are the two things that have escaped me most.  I’m damaged.  I’m broken.  I’m sometimes still that little girl crying out to God trying to understand why I suffer, why I’m hated and hurt so much from the people who are supposed to love me, why my own parents and children have rejected me.  I let them go, but I always held out hope they would someday choose me.  But, even in that – I’m learning to let go.

I can’t make the world love me. I can’t make someone choose me.  I can only hope and try to remain optimistic.  But, eventually – if that choosing never comes and love never appears – I will walk away because I have chosen me, and I have learned to love myself – and no matter how much Hope wills it – I will only endure for a season.  I have learned to walk way. I have now walked many miles alone. I may always be alone.  But Hope and Optimism keep praying, keep smiling, and keeps trying = and I love them for it.

I am learning let go.  Maybe someday I’ll not have to anymore.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, family, friends, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking Necks and Being Single

Being single today is hard, even if you’re considered “pretty”. Being single over 45 (I’m 48) is even harder. At this age I know more of what I don’t want than what I do. I know more of what I need than what I don’t. I know more of what I can tolerate than what I can’t or refuse to tolerate.

One of the biggest signs you’re getting older is when you catch yourself saying often, “What is happening to society today? What hapoened to …” then fill in the blank. Well, whatever happened to respect, kindness, decency, and ‘courting’? Yes, I said an old word …courting.

I’m not really old-fashioned, nor am I narrow-minded. But, when does being a cheap piece of shit become the norm? Do those methods really work? Are women so low-minded in today’s society they allow themselves to be treated as objects, cheap pieces of meat, bitches-n-ho’s, and flavor-of-the-week-bae’s?

I want to scream, “I’m not that easy. I’m not a piece of meat you can go to the grocery store and buy prepackaged. I’m wild, and I run really well, and my senses are sharp. Only the best tracker and skilled hunter will be able to even know I’m around, much less catch me. If you want simple and easy, you’re in the wrong place.”

I am currently not married, therefore I’m single. But, it appears that having the label ‘single’ is an invitation to every perverted, desperate-deginerate on the planet. I say planet because inappropriate messages, comments, and unsolicited pics and requests come from all over the world. So, its not just an American Asshole issue.

I’m a nice person. Any of you who have read my blog or posts for any length of time knows that I’m a very open, honest, and kind person. I fill my life with purpose, positive habits, and hobbies, and spend most of my time looking for the bright side, the hope side, and the victorious side of things. Most of all, I’m respectful. However, there seems to be another underlying cue to men that being nice, or saying a kind or encouraging word, or liking a meme or quote is a signal for flirting and open season on all the bullshit listed above.

I post a selfie every morning. That’s another story, a long battle, and something Ive blogged about before. My selfies are for ME. They are not an advertisement to solicit ‘other’ kind of pictures for a viewing audience. Yet, I get asked regularly. Does that really work? Is the porn industry so hard that men seek their porn for free. Do women not value themselves enough not to be some perverts’ flavor of the minute? You know damned well they are asking EVERY woman they message for their pics too …you’re just another set of titties. Before I get bombarded with comments …I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a couple to share pics with one another. I believe it’s a wonderful tool to keep things spicy in a beautiful relationship. But when a man doesn’t even know my name asks me for a ‘sexy pic’, I literally get disgusted. I have resting-bitch-face. You should see my expression when that happens. Believe me, no one will mistake my thoughts or feelings on the matter. Most often though, besides being disgusted, I’m disappointed. I’m saddened and now regard that man as having a mental handicap, regardless of his education or success.

I don’t want to be disappointed or ashamed of men. I love men. I know so many great men. I know real life gentlemen, true heroes, great fathers, wonderful brothers, and spectacular sons. I love and admire their capabilities, their strengths, and their physique. I want to be proud of every one of them, so it hurts to see some of them fall so low over something so fucking stupid.

…and the women. I cry! I cry almost daily when I see the state of women. I am a feminist and have fought for the rights and dignity of women my whole life, starting with my severely abused and handicapped mother. I am a survivor, not a victim. History has not been kind to women. Most of the world is still cruel to women. But the most abusive, demeaning, and detrimental species to women are other women. The most cruel, abusive, demeaning and detrimental species to men is women. Before you women spam me with hate mail, think about it, honestly, and you’ll see I’m right.

I love women. No, I’m no homosexual or bisexual, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect those sexual choices. I just know what I like, and I’m attracted to warriors, often bearded badasses dripping with confidence. It’s just my preference. But, I love the beauty, the nurturing kindness, the inner strength, the fighter spirit, the ability to see potential in simplicity, and the healing nature of women. I believe women are the strongest beings on this planet. We can often survive what would break the toughest of warriors. But to see a woman debase herself to accept the behavior, advances, and demeaning treatment makes me sick. And when I see a woman do the same thing to others, makes me angry. There are so many I literally want to beat the stupid out of them. Women are the neck of society. We turn the head, we connect the head to the body. The state of things lay more at the feet of women more than anything, and I want to break a few necks everytime I get a rude, suggestive, or disrespectful message.

Bottom line – everyone is responsible for their own actions regardless of influence. I’m responsible to not allow that disrespect in my life. So, if you’re that way toward me and I delete, turn down, or block you – suck it up Butter Cup and try to be a better person.

It’s great being single, but it also sucks. Most of all, it’s most important being a good person, to have integrity, and be filled with respect for myself and others.

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To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self

 

Shakespeare may have penned the phrase, but it’s a truth that’s existed before he wrote Hamlet, and one that has taken me a long time to comprehend.  I haven’t yet mastered it, but I’m working on it.

I’m finding the only way finding and being true to myself is possible …is by being completely honest with myself.  I am more than capable of lying to myself. I was a master at it.  If I were to bet or guess, I would say that a majority of us lie to ourselves quite often, rarely identifying and accepting the truth, because truth hurts.  Truth is hard to take sometimes. Truth is hard to face.  But, as the Good Book says, Truth will set you free. It really will.  It won’t make your problems magically disappear, but it will set you free so that you can begin the journey of living an honest life.

How can we live a true and honest life if we won’t face the truths in our lives? We want and demand truth from others, but how hypocritical of us if we don’t FIRST find, accept, and acknowledge truth within ourselves?  We are living in such an enabled society, where we even lie to ourselves because the truth is harsh and a hard pill to swallow.  It’s not OUR fault we are fat, lazy, and unhealthy and out of shape.  It’s society’s fault for making it too hard to eat healthy, by making poor meal choices more affordable and convenient.  It’s the Fast Food and marketing industries’ fault for my lack of self-control and discipline.  It is my cultural and socio-economical circumstances’ fault that I can’t afford personal trainers, gym memberships, and beautiful parks and recreation centers to work out. It’s our genetics’ fault that I have to work twice as hard as my skinny counterpart.  It’s time’s fault I have poor time management because I put other things in a higher priority  – like watching tv, sitting in restaurants, playing video games, chatting online or scrolling through social media outlets.   I have kids and don’t have the time and energy and money and opportunity.

We all have excuses.  We all cling to them when we want to justify our behavior, and then we moan and complain when we have to face the consequences of those decisions.  That’s the truth of the matter.

We all have the same 24 hours a day.  We all have obstacles in the path of what we need or desire in our lives. It may seem unfair when we try to compare ourselves to others and their opportunities.  Most often we tell the biggest lie to ourselves – “if I had the same opportunity as them …then I would.”  LIAR.  You don’t do it now – you won’t do then – you won’t do it even if you had EVERY advantage because you are NOT true to yourself FIRST.

When we truly have a passion for something, we make it a priority.  When we make something a priority, we have to take a truthful evaluation of where we were, where we are, and where we want to be – and THEN make some REALISTIC, honest, truthful goals – and then do them.  DO THEM.  One day at a time. One step at a time. One victory at a time.  One choice after the next, after then next, after the next – and NEVER GIVE UP. Don’t focus on the big goal, put all your focus on just making it to the next goal.  Be faithful in the little things …and you will be the master of many things.  But be unfaithful in the little things, you will also be unfaithful in the big things, and master nothing.

Success isn’t that you’ve gained something.  True success is when something has cost you – something you had to sacrifice a piece of yourself to obtain – and being true to yourself along the journey.  THAT’s the true success of anything.

Life sucks sometimes.  I mean it really, painfully, soul-crushing, can’t breathe, pushes you to the edge sucks sometimes.  I’ve had my share – and I know there’s more to come later.  But the best things I’ve ever accomplished in this life is learning to love myself, learning to see myself for who I really am, and then learning to be proud of the woman I am.  It isn’t my MBA, or my writing awards, or my publications, or my public praise, or anything I’ve accomplished that makes me proud of myself.  No, that confidence and pride comes from knowing what it took to get there – knowing the truths I’ve had to face – and being true to ME.

You want to get in shape – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better job – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better relationship – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to be happy – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to succeed – face your truth and stop making excuses.

 

To thine own self be true!

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, Musing., Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good – Get After It

You’re probably going to see this a lot in the near future, because when I heard Jocko Willink give this little speech on his podcast on YouTube, it hit me – deep in my bones and it’s burning it’s way into the center of my soul.  I hear Jocko’s voice, but I feel God’s prodding.

Listen to it.

Listen to it again.

Listen to it every morning when you first wake up.

Listen to it with your heart and soul.

Listen to it with purpose.

Listen to it until you get it.

Then, when you get it …listen to it some more.

This speaks to the Warrior in me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Hop, blogging, Dream, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Muses, music, Philosophy, poem, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding My Purpose

Finding My Purponse

Feeling lost is no picnic. I really think it is the leading cause of depression. It’s at least a feeling I have to deal with from time to time. I’m a pretty positive person, full of energy, jam-packed with ambition, and overflowing with drive …on most days. I’m almost always busy, almost always going, almost never sitting still, and almost never bored …almost. My brain NEVER rests. There are some days I feel lost, drained, lonely, and completely unfocused. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.  That’s our little secret.

But, why?  Why do I go through those emotions?  Is it chemical? Is it physical? Is it mental? Is it genetic? Is it psychosomatic? Is it part of my PTSD? Is it hormonal fluctuations as I age further into menopause? It could be one, all, or a combination. I don’t always know the root cause. But, and this is a big but (sort of like my backside), I notice most often those feelings of depression, being tired, drained and lonely surface most when I’m without a purpose, when I’m in the transition from one purpose or the other, when life shifts and my needs and wants change – because that’s when my purpose changes, when my goals change, when my priorities have to be rearranged, when my emotions fluctuate and when my daily stresses and requirements shift.

I am a blessed, healthy, smart, capable, gifted and well-loved woman. I ‘should’ be happy ALL THE TIME.  I’m passionate …about EVERYTHING, I’m an empath, an artist, and a philosophical thinker – so I feel deeply about EVERYTHING – good and bad.  My joy is amazing, yet my grief is brutal, my love is overwhelming, yet my mistrust is deep-rooted, my belief is strong, yet my faith is full of doubt, I’m a walking, breathing contradiction.  But, God have mercy when I find purpose – because when I do, my focus becomes laser-sharp, my ambition becomes great, my gifts kick into action, and there’s literally NOTHING I can’t do that I set my heart and mind to accomplish.  My mustard-seed faith becomes activated, my strength builds, my courage grows, and I become unstoppable.

I amaze myself sometimes when I think of the things I’ve accomplished, the things I’ve overcome, the things I’ve survived, and the experiences (both good and bad) that I’ve had, and how they have shaped the woman I am today.  I’m only 48, but I’ve already lived an amazingly horrific wonderful scary exciting life.  I want to live another 48 years filled with even more adventures, accomplishments, experiences, and love …most of all love. Yet, I’ve done most of it alone, even when I was married or in close relationships I chased my passions alone.

I have loved very deeply, and I want to be loved just as deeply. I want to find a purpose that fuels me, but for this half of my life I want to share that purpose, drive, and passion with someone who loves me, wants me, and wants share their passions with me.  I have had many purposes in my life – daughter, sister, protector, mother, fiancé, wife, friend, student, cheerleader, fighter, worker, manger, boss, entrepreneur, reporter, gamer, survivor, teacher, humanitarian, coordinator, leader, singer/song-writer/musician, author, speaker, coach, editor, agent, buyer, step-mother, and girlfriend.  What’s next? When I find my next purpose – watch out, because I will be unstoppable.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Poetry, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Moving

Keep Moving

While my imagination loves fairy tales, magic, and the miraculous, my mind understands reality, and the reality is that if I want something or I want something to happen in my life I have to do it, to make it happen, make the choices needed, and then act on them.  Money doesn’t just magically appear in my bank account – never, not once did I find any extra currency in there – though I swear often that there’s an invisible troll taking a toll every time I use it.  Fat doesn’t magically dissolve in my body, though I sometimes think it magically appears. We know that isn’t the truth either.  Relationship’s don’t just begin or end without effort and/or neglect.  That reminds me of a meme I saw one time about cheating where a guy trips and falls on top of a woman exclaiming, “It was an accident!”  No, the accident happened with the momentum of texting, talking, smiling, and flirting.  That’s when the cheating first began.  By the time he ‘tripped’, he was already deep into the betrayal. There’s no accident about it.

What I’m trying to convey here is that I have to make a plan and set goals, make preparations for those plans and goals, make the choices that will help me achieve those plans and goals, and then have the strength and discipline to fulfill them regardless of how I feel or of convenience.  Nothing just magically happens.  Check marks don’t just appear.  Yes, sometimes the universe will bring me a surprise, but for the most part there are laws that govern this world much the way our natural laws govern our science and nature.  Facts are facts. Those laws are that we reap what we’ve sown.  The key is …we have to sow. We have to plant. We have to water. We have to make sure we get the right amount of sunlight.  We have to protect our gardens.  We have to pull up our own weeds.  We have to make sure we put the right kind of shit in the ground. We can’t plant one thing, yet expect it to grow something else, though we do. Man, I can’t tell you how many times I see this on a daily basis – this belief in reverse magic, in magical harvests, in expecting and wanting what we didn’t plant, earn or deserve.  It’s crazy.  Our society is so franchised, so drive-through, so … I want it my way, and I want it now, but don’t ask me to plant, grow, etc. I want YOU to prepare it for me.  I just want to lay back in my perfect body, consume what I want, when I want, not face a consequence, not lift a finger, not work for it, and yet have the strength and blessings of the gods.  How arrogant we are.  Yet, we will tell ourselves that’s NOT what we expect.

Come on, be real. Isn’t it what we expect?

This world is a beautiful and ugly place at the same time.  Over the past few weeks I have seen many, many, many examples of love, compassion, charity, respect, and bravery from people – and I’ve seen selfishness, hate, fear, depravity and gluttonous greed. Life is complex and complicated in its simplicity.  But somewhere in the balance there is peace.

I have to keep moving. I have to keep working, and hoping, and praying, and expecting, and sowing, and reaping.  I have to keep making choices every day that are going to help me or hinder me, bring me life or frustration, to help me thrive or knock me off course. If I fall, I have to choose to get back up.  If I run, I have to learn to rest.  If I fear, I have to be brave.  If I’m empty, I have to fill myself. If I have the opportunity to love, I choose love. I have to keep dreaming, I have to keep planning, and I have to keep seeking my balance, my peace, and my happiness.  As much as I wish I could say a magic word and it be done, I know that’s not the reality of it – and I have to keep moving.  In this selfish world, my joy comes from choosing to love, to find purpose, to give, and to serve.  I have to choose it. I have to do it.  I decide to make my bed first thing in the morning, to love instead of run in fear, and then take the next step, and then the step after that, and so on.  I have to keep moving – THAT’s when I’m most happy.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Life, love, memes, Muses, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress

Progress

 

Ever heard the old adage, “If it’s too easy, you’re not reading the fine print?”  Or yet a better one, “If it’s too good to be true, it often isn’t?” There’s always a catch when it comes to shortcuts, especially when it comes to dreams and big obstacles that come into our lives. We are a Burger King world where we want it our way and we want it now. But, life will remind us that it’s not always good to have things ‘our way’ and patience really is a virtue.

Right now I’m working on a couple goals, and healing from a huge obstacle that had been in my life.  I’m not making huge strides, but I am making positive progress, and that’s what matters most.  I’d love to have the speed of the rabbit, but I’m learning the steady pace of the turtle will win my race.

I write this blog, and post my posts on social media, and my smiling selfies, not so I can shout out to the world to look at me and see what I’m doing.  I write to me, and I post to me, as a way to remind myself where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.  It’s so I can track my progress.  How do I know if I’m moving forward unless I have these little reminders that mark my journey?

Some think I’m being narcissistic or vain, but I really don’t give a shit what they think. The only people whose opinion truly matters know who they are in my life. They know where I’ve come from, where I want to go, and encourage me every step of the way forward toward progress.  One of the best things I’ve done for myself these past several months was to remove myself from the toxic, judgmental, self-righteous selfishness that beat me down every day. I have surrounded myself with beautiful, loving, kind, considerate, thoughtful, generous, smart, and driven people – because I needed it.  I was exhausted and broken – and even reached a low point where I just wanted to die so I wouldn’t feel pain and disappointment anymore.  I did my best, but I realized that nothing I ever did or would do was ever going to change anything. I was out of place, running the wrong race.  But, now I’m free and I am so thankful for the beautiful people that inspire me.  See, that’s the difference – I’m surround by people that motivate, encourage, and support me, human beings I’m proud to know who don’t ask anything of me, don’t use me, and don’t take advantage of me, but only ask for me to be me and to be happy.

I needed to be saved – from myself.  I needed to be free – so I could rescue myself. I had to start all over again – from the bottom, but I’m moving up – one small step, one small accomplishment, one small decision, one small action, and one small moment at a time.  I’m making progress.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Faith, family, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Quotes, relationship, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do We Do What We Do?

 

Why-we-do-what-we-do-invitation1

Sometimes there’s a part of us deep inside that reacts and does things that we never meant or intended to do. I’m an over-thinker and analyzer, and there are many times I’ve had to question my behavior.  I used to look at the behavior itself and then judge because of the behavior, but I’m learning now to not just “see” what is being done, but try to understand the why behind it.  I believe with all my heart that our actions are not the true representative of the good or evil within us – but the WHY behind them.

Why do we smoke? Why do we cheat? Why do we lie? Why do we feel the need to rescue? Why do we care? Why do we sacrifice? Why do we hurt others? Why do we protect? Why do we risk our lives? Why do hide in fear?

The things we do reveal our true selves more than anything we say, feel, or think.  I’ve discovered on many occasions I am not always as I think or believe I am. Sometimes I am stronger and better. Sometimes I’m weaker and worse.  But, I can only see that truth when I question the ‘why’ behind my actions.

I’ve been cheated on, and of course the first question I want to know the answer to is ‘why’ and then immediately feel or think it’s some sort of deficiency on my part.  How could he do that or hurt me that way? Didn’t he love me enough? Was I not what he wanted? How could he want someone else when I gave him everything? Was I not pretty enough, smart enough, independent enough, or dependent enough? Am I too smart, too short, too fat, too demanding, too …anything?  See how the cycle goes?  But those are not the questions we should be asking.  It’s more about the ‘why’ behind his actions – what was going on inside him that he felt the need or want to go outside the relationship?  What need wasn’t being filled or met within the relationship? Where was the communication breakdown that didn’t address the problem?

We are all responsible for our own actions.  The man that cheated on me (no, this hasn’t been recently, just in my past) was the person responsible for checking himself and his motives before acting on his impulses.  The only responsibility I had in the situation is to make sure open communication was present to help identify the problems.  In that, I failed.  I let assumptions, fears, doubts, and suspicions guide me.  They may have been true, but that’s no excuse for not communicating before things got too far.  I’m not responsible for him or his actions – only my own.  But what I do know is that relationships are HARD.  They take TWO people who are willing to fight.  Sometimes one needs to fight harder than the other for a period of time if they’re going through something, but eventually both need to come back in balance and be there for each other, and keep those lines of communications open.

I have lost relationships due to pride, shutting down when the pain came, and judging my partner because of their actions and not trying to understand their motives. Understanding a motive doesn’t excuse a behavior, but it may help us understand how frail, complex, and weak we are as human beings.  “Judge not, lest we be judged.”  Before we act, let’s put ourselves in their situation and see if we can understand the problem, we might just find a solution. Cheating isn’t the sin – the betrayal of intimacy and trust and not communicating is the real sin.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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