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Recovery and Hope

Recovery and Hope

Good morning, world. We are a different place today than we were just a few weeks ago. It’s a worrisome time, and not one death is unimportant. Not ONE.  All lives matter.   Life is precious.  Life is not guaranteed.  There is no rule that states that if we do this – or do that – our life is guaranteed.  There is no promise for a tomorrow. BUT – there is hope.

If we’ve learned anything from this COVID-19 virus is that’s we are all connected, we do not live on our own island and the world around us can’t or don’t affect us.  Yes, it does.  We are all part of the societal machine – we all effect the world around us in either in a negative or positive way, but we are all ‘essential’.

In my recovery from this nasty virus, I can’t help but worry about the world around me.  Yes, I’m stressed like everyone else. Yes, I’m worried about the financial, social, and environmental effect this nasty virus is having on me, my family, and my neighbors.  Yes, I’m worried about the ultimate cost – not just of the direct effects of this virus – all the needless deaths, but of the emotional damage.  Those numbers are not just numbers – those are our neighbors, friends, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons that are dying.  This virus isn’t racist or prejudiced and attacks everyone, so it will require everyone in order to combat and kill it.

I am in recovery. My body is strong and it was the only weapon I had against this virus.  There is no antiviral, there are no antibiotics, and there is no cure.  All I could do was treat symptoms and help my body fight as hard as it could from this horrible enemy inside me.  My body is winning and my amazing and miraculous machine is producing its own natural antibodies destroying the enemy within and building up a protective immunity that will help me stay strong as this nasty bug continues to circulate through our world.

My heart breaks for those who had family and loved ones who did not overcome their battle.  All of them were precious lives.  I’ve been in a very strict quarantine, not just to protect myself as I fight this virus, but to protect others around me. There is hope. We will recover …from this virus.  Now, I must have hope we as a society will recover from the grief and pain of our loss.

Let us all love each other, be considerate of each other, and remember that we are all essential in our roles as neighbors.

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Complicated frustrations, Destiny, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing., Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Directions

Directions

Ever had a destination, a goal, an objective, or something that needed to get done or somewhere you needed to be in life?  I can tell you won’t arrive by accident, it won’t happen on its own power, and I still haven’t figured out how to teleport like Harry Potter, so more than likely neither have you. No, the only way we can get to a particular goal/destination is directions.  We need directions. We need a roadmap to the destination of our goals.

I like to think of myself somewhat a gypsy, but that’s only wishful thinking.  I’m strategic, analytical, observant, scientific, and rational.  My free spirit I leave to my painting, but even in that – it’s still organized, planned, and executed.  Okay, I take it back. I’m NOTHING like a gypsy.

I have goals. If this damned pandemic doesn’t kill me, there’s still a lot of things left that I want to do, and the only way I know how to get them done, the only way that I’ve achieved the goals and destinations before this – was to make a plan and then carefully map out the directions to achieve the end goal.

So, I think it’s time I start making those plans again.  My problem isn’t that I don’t have any dreams, any plans, any wants, or any destinations, but that I have too many and need to make a decision and narrow them down.

It’s time.

One of those goals – is get back to this blog.

Here we go – step one – I blogged today.

Next direction in my goal for blogging – blog tomorrow.

Until tomorrow,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, Relationships, respect, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What a Conundrum

Conundrum

 

What do I really want?  I don’t know. I don’t have a clue. I have an idea of what I want, but I know more of what I don’t want than what I do.  So, I guess that begs to differ and I must ask myself, “What do I need?” I don’t think I know the answer to that question either.  What I think I need, may be a combination of what I want, but only after a situation or a relationship ends to I realize if it supplied me with what I needed. Most often failure occurs because I didn’t get what I needed.

So, what does anyone need?  Our bodies need food, exercise, and healthy activity to be active and strong. Our minds need stimulation. Our soul needs purpose. Our hearts … need love. But, how do we get it? How do we find out what is enough, what is right, what is beneficial?  What a conundrum.

I seem to learn this by trial and error, and frankly I’m sick of the errors.  I tired of getting hurt. I’m tired of never being enough, or being too much, or falling off of tall pedestals. I’m tired of being rejected, cheated on, used, lied to, or ignored. Most of all … I’m tired of sacrificing my wants and needs to try and love someone else and fulfill their wants and needs.

So, what do I want?  I simply want to be loved, to be respected, and to be wanted. I’d give the world to any man who could truly give those things to me.  But he can’t be a mess. I am not going to give him a mess. I’m going to give him my best. I know this – because I always do, it’s who I am.  My man gets my heart, my hopes, my dreams, my time, my focus, my support, as well as my body, my smile, and the best part of everything I have.  So, I want no less in return.  If a man doesn’t have his shit in order, his house in order, his emotions in order, his heart in order – please don’t come knocking on my door.  The BEST give anyone can give to another person is the best of themselves.

I’m not saying this to say they have to be rich and/or successful. I am not materialistic in the least.  I’m really simple. But there are a few things they should be.

They should be free of other emotional attachments. Men should not be in a relationship with someone else and hitting me up.  If you haven’t been on your own, severed the ties with your exes, and your heart is open to be devoted to me – leave me the hell alone. I will not be your backup plan, your second choice, your distraction, your rebound, or you side chick.  Nope. Hell No.  Uh-Uh! I’m a lady. I am open, honest and I have thick ass walls because I’ve been lied to and cheated on with men who still clung to an ex, or had some other woman on the side feeding their ego, or being that back up support.  I am not into polyamorous relationships. There are women out there that are, go hit them up, but lose my number and don’t bother.

They should be able to support themselves.  I’m ALL for chasing dreams, but you better have made provisions for yourself to chase those dreams.  I don’t care what size house you live in, what kind of car you drive, etc.  I honestly, really don’t care.  But, be able to support yourself.  Be responsible enough that you have a roof over your head and food to eat, and have reliable transportation to get from point A to point B.  I’m not your Sugar Momma – nor will I be. I take care of myself and pay my own bills.  I will NOT take care of a man.  Have a steady job. Have a steady income.  If you can’t support yourself or keep a job, you’ve got no business being in a relationship. Help yourself FIRST before you bring someone else down.

They should have a dream of their own and be supportive of mine. I don’t care how big or how small, but have something to love, something you’re passionate about and working toward.  Have a purpose, a goal, a desire for something that drives you.  It could be your job, your hobby, or you playtime.  But, if you’re depressed and lost and spend most of your time on a couch binge-watching Netflix, going through the motions and avoiding life – please don’t even look my direction.  I have a lot of passion, drive, energy and desires, and that’s often attractive to people who don’t.  But what happens in those types of unbalanced relationships is I get drained – because these types of men don’t pour back the same energy into me. Want to get to know me – let’s go do something, get outside, explore something together, go kayaking, go hunt down a historical site, go search for seashells on the beach, etc.  I love to cuddle. I love to snuggle and watch a movie together – but not every single time.  It happens time and time again – and my dreams get put on hold, or ignored, or unfulfilled. No lie. EVERY dream I have achieved – I’ve had to do it alone. EVERY DAMNED ONE OF THEM.  I have helped many people reach for their dreams, but I’ve never had even the slightest support for mine.  Yeah, they SAY … good luck, go for it, you’re good at that, Babe … but when I win an award, get a contract, speak at a conference, do an interview, go to a signing, go kayaking, jump from a plane, raft down a river, climb a mountain … I am alone.

So, I don’t need anyone. I’ve been able to navigate this world on my own. I motivate myself. I am disciplined and determined. I have loved deeply and not loved in returned. I have given my best, but have not received it in return.  I have trusted and been betrayed. Here I am again – being told almost on a daily basis that I’m so beautiful, so inspirational, so desirable, yet I’m intimidating, out of their league, and deserving of someone so much better – or I don’t fit their mold.  They want a party girl, or arm candy, or a care giver.  So, what hope do I have? What I have is walls – high, thick, walls. I’m scared to even talk to anyone about anything deep or important, because who can carry this heaviness with me?  I carry it alone. I’m great at conversation, but it must stay in the shallow waters.

Someone recently told me they think I really want to be alone …and they may be right. Not because I don’t WANT someone in my life, but because I don’t trust I won’t get hurt.  Again, they may be right. To reach me will take time, patience, and a lot of love – and honestly – I haven’t seen that in this fast-paced, gotta have it my way right now society.  It’s too easy to just leap to the next easy thing when things get complicated with a simple swipe to the right.

Yet – I still have hope there is someone out there that will be my balance, which will be strong enough and brave enough to handle all of me.  Do I have faith? No. But, I have hope. God help them, but I do believe my warrior is out there somewhere. I just pray my eyes will be able to see him, and my heart will be able to recognize him when I meet him.  When I do find him, I have so much love to give – a love that is deep, and faithful, and true, and honest, and wild, and passionate.  God help him.

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Complicated frustrations, Conversations with a Friend., Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Musing, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: | Leave a comment

Being Motivated

Discipline equals Freedom

Being motivated doesn’t have much to do with how you feel.  You can ‘feel’ motivated, but that doesn’t mean you are actually motivated.  Encouragement is when you’re having an emotional reaction to some outside stimulus.  You’ve heard a good word, you watched someone else achieve something and you want it for yourself, you’ve been encouraged by friends, family, doctors, co-workers, lovers, etc.  That’s all great, we all need encouragement at times.  We sometimes need someone to get in our face and tell us some hard truths, or whisper in our ear and plant dreams and ideas of something better than our current situation or state of being.  But, motivation is not an emotion, it’s a state of being.  The dictionary states: the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way; the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. It doesn’t say you feel good or feel bad.  Feeling good and/or feeling bad will drive the motivation, but it’s not the motivation. Motivation is the reason for the decision – it’s the driving force behind our actions in spite of how we feel.  Those actions will either make us feel good or bad, but our feelings are not our motivation.

Being motivated – making a decision for whatever reason – is not contingent on how we feel.  We don’t act because we are motivated, we are motivated to act because of decisions we make.

Motivation is a choice.  Motivation must be decided, and enacted, and that is done through discipline.  I am not motivated to work out because of how I feel. I am motivated because the facts are – I must work out to maintain a healthy state of being for my body.  Sometimes I ‘feel’ like working out and conquering the world, and other times I “feel” like lying in bed, eating pizza and hamburgers and being fed bon-bon’s by a handsome king.  So, my feelings are not what motivates me to get up every morning at 4am and head to the gym to work out – my knowledge and understanding of what it takes to remain healthy and active motivates me.  Being able to physically do the things I love to do like kayaking, dancing, having sex, etc motivates me to get up when I’m tired, when my body hurts, when it’s cold, when it’s lonely, when I didn’t sleep well, when progress is slow, when it doesn’t seem like anyone else in the world cares.  I go through the motions anyway – despite my feelings – because my motivation to achieve what I want is greater than how I’m feeling in the moment. That takes discipline.  As Jocko Willink says, “If you stop looking for a short cut …and find your discipline and your will, then you will find your freedom. Discipline = freedom.”

So, stop lying to yourself.  Stop whining about not being motivated because you’re feeling lazy.  You’re not motivated because you haven’t found your reason.  Stop waiting on how you feel and start looking for your reason, that reason that is going to push you forward on the days you want to retreat.  Start looking for that reason that will drag you on when you want to give up.  Start looking for that reason that will go beyond how you feel and hold onto it tightly. Put it in front of you every day.  Post it on your mirror, your fridge, your door, your office computer, your phone so you can see it every day – and let that TRUTH be your motivation.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Life, love, Musing., Philosophy, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

Dealing with Loss

Dealing with Loss

Life is constantly changing and in those changes sometimes things get lost, things that are essential to our hearts and souls, to our minds and well-being.  It would be great if we were able to accumulate and keep everything and everyone that came into our lives, especially the people who we love most and who have impacted us most in our lives, but we can’t. No matter how much we wish it, how much we want it, we came into this world alone and we will leave it alone, and along the way we will have to deal with loss.

The worst pain I ever felt in my life was losing someone I loved, especially because it was hard for me to love in the first place. It took me so long to open my heart and let that love in – and then to have it taken from me so quickly. I still find myself waiting – waiting for someone that is gone in my life to just walk around the corner and greet me again with that beautiful smile, to  speak words of encouragement to me when it seems like everything and everyone is against me, to tell me I can when I don’t believe it.  But, he never comes – and I keep waiting.  Even today, after twenty-six years, I feel this empty space he left behind.  But, I only have to close my eyes and I can picture him smiling at me, urging me forward in my life, daring me to take those chances, and trying to provoke me into giving love another shot.  I talk to him all the time, because I know what he would say to me.

Right now someone very special to me, someone I love deeply and care for greatly, is dealing with a loss and I don’t know how to help him. I know the pain he is in and I want to tell him it gets easier and eventually the pain goes away, but it doesn’t.  I want to tell him that she’s in a better place, watching over him, and he will see her again someday, but I really can’t make that promise either because I don’t know if it’s true or not. I have faith it is, but it’s not something I can promise. It’s not my call. I know the emptiness he is feeling inside. I know the questions, and the doubts, and the fears, and the anger, and the bargaining, and everything else that comes with grief.  I’m so scared he’s going to be weak like me and let that pain build a door and a wall that will push everyone else out – and go through the motions of life but not really live.  But, I can’t stop him.  It’s got to be his choice.

What comforts me when I think about my loss is remembering the smiles, the laughter, the conversations, and the dreams we built together.  When I’m hurting or doubting, I hear his words and his voice pushing me forward and encouraging me.  That’s what I want for Scott – I want him to think about what ‘she’ would want for him, what ‘she’ would tell him if she was sitting beside him, what ‘she’ would want him to do. He knows what she would say. He knows what she would want. And THAT is what I want him to push for, to strive for, and to make happen in his life.  He has a fighting motto – “Find something worth dying for – and then live for it.”  I pray he heeds his own motto.

Ecclesiastes 3 reads, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, and time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:12: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

That’s what I want for him – to be happy and to do good while he lives.  To live in the moment, to live in the day, and not just merely exist.  He is in a time of mourning, but he must look toward the new sun and not dwell on what is gone for more than a cycle of the moon (30 days) lest it become work of the enemy to steal his strength and joy.  I know the pain of holding on too long. But, what can I say or do?  I am helpless because this is his journey, his walk, and his burden to bear.  James whispers to me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and helpless to do anything to ease his pain – and reminds me that where there is much grief there is much love. All I can do is love and pray and wait.

Dealing with loss is not easy. It hurts. It hurts badly.  I can’t save the world from feeling loss, but perhaps just try to remind it that there is/was/will be love in the world too.  I know that James loved me and he always wanted what was best for me – and knowing that, I have tried to live my life pursing love, pursuing happiness, pursuing the dreams we built together.  I want him to be proud of me, as I have become proud of myself. For my children, when I am gone, I would want them to be happy, to be loved, to live each day as if it were their last, to take chances and risks, and to not be afraid to fail and get back up.  That’s what makes life valuable.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Unforgivable

Unforgivable

 

Is there really anything that is unforgiveable? Something so bad that we just can’t accept or pardon?  For me – YES.  There are definitely things, acts, decisions, and actions in this world that I will never be able to forgive, not even for myself if I did them.  Before you start throwing your judgment darts at me – let me remind you that I’m not God.  I am a human being, filled with both the capability and capacity to do good AND evil, to love and hate, to judge and forgive.

However what does it really mean to forgive? What makes the things we do either good or evil? How are our actions and thoughts placed upon the morality scale?  Who made the scale? Is the scale the same for everybody else?

This is the cause of many wars, mankind’s idea of what is right, wrong, moral, and divine.  It’s a battle of ego – who’s right and wrong, whose god is the real god, whose god is the false god, and of what is truth and what is defined as opinion.  For me, and I can only speak for me, we don’t really need those ‘written’ laws, decrees, commandments to know the difference between right and wrong.  We know it the moment we think or commit an act if it’s wrong or evil, and that’s when we start looking for excuses and loopholes to try and feel better about our decisions. Getting caught or being sorry has nothing to do with forgiveness.

I have done evil. I have done thing in my life that when I did them, I knew it was wrong, not because someone told me, or a religion commanded and declared it so, but from this gut feeling, this sinking knowledge deep inside that let me know it was wrong.  I have acted in anger, jealousy, hurt, selfishness and pride – and cast my judgement on others for doing the same. There may have been reasons, but there is never any excuse.

Am I unforgivable?  I can’t speak for others or for God, only for myself. It has taken me years to forgive myself for some of the things I’ve said or done, there are some other things I’m still working on making right. Not by saying, “I’m sorry.” No, by studying my true intentions, my true motives, my true desires and trying to understand and learn, to see the consequences of my choices, and how those choices affected others and the world around me. Did I learn something from them? I can’t even begin forming the idea of forgiveness until I understand and face the dirty, ugly truth of my actions.

Forgiveness isn’t a word, it’s a state of being. I can’t just give it to myself, I must step into the truth of it, and I can’t do that unless I first face my offenses, face my actions, face my consequences in TRUTH. Then … when I look upon myself, my true self, I have another choice …to love myself anyway – as the dirty, sinful, hateful, pathetic and weak being that I am – love myself anyway.  I am NOT talking about making an excuse – but really seeing the truth of me. THEN – and only then will forgiveness become available. Some of us have done so much for so long our souls no longer cry out and we no longer feel any shame or pain.  In essence we have lost our souls and are dead inside. Forgiveness is for the soul, so it’s not going to be available for the soulless.

I’m sure we’ve all done things that we are not proud, that we are ashamed, that haunt our souls – for those of us who still have them. I’m sure we’ve all lost our minds sometime in moments of weakness, moments of pain, and moments of fear, leading us to do unspeakable things. Ignoring our truth doesn’t make them go away. Denying truth doesn’t make things in a state of have never happened.

Seek forgiveness and free your soul. All – not some of us, but ALL have fallen short of the glory of God.  The difference is who stays there and who rises. Don’t lose your soul. Don’t ignore your truth. Seek and find your forgiveness. Only YOU can do it.  Let stop worrying about what others have done – and look to ourselves.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Philosophy, Poetry, Quotes, Relationships, Review, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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