memes

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

The Joy of Writing

The Joy of Writing

I’ve read many of stories or books that start the title “The Joy of Writing,” but never really consigned myself to the concept.  Writing was anything but a joy. It was exciting, thrilling, frustrating, stressful, mind-blowing, and confusing and every other emotion on the spectrum from one extreme to the other. But, joy?

Do we categorize breathing as a joy? Or how about urination or yawning, or sleeping?  Well, I can see where sleeping might sometimes be a joy.  But how can we categorize natural occurrences, something that so much a part of you and instinctual be considered a joy?    Writing is part of who I am. Constructing a story is a part of my every day, every moment existence. I see the world as one long epic tale, and each major event it’s chapters, and each segment a paragraph, a sentence, or a word. Those moments are what makes up life and as a writer I am a recorder, a scribe, and an observer of life.

I don’t just write for fun, or therapy, or clarity, or need. I write because it’s who I am.  It’s like being a mother. While there are all the books out there in the world that tell us how to be a mother, I found out that being a mother is a natural thing, a instinctual thing.  My choice comes into play by deciding what type of mother to be – nurturing or neglectful, etc.  I am a writer and the only choice I have within this vocation is what kind of writer to be – and if you’ve followed me for any length of time you will find that I am a multiple-faceted writer – a writing diamond. I’ve dabbled in journaling, blogging, novels, novellas, epics,  punditry, op-eds, technical, business professional, auto-biographical, legal, free verse, poetry, screenplays, reviews, editorials, memes, short stories, flash fiction,  and songwriting lyrics. If I think about it, I’m sure I could add a few more in there – but I think you get the picture. Writing is just something I do. It’s natural.

Yet, writing isn’t without its own rules, standards and styles.  So, I have to learn them. Grammar, spelling and punctuation are just basic skills needed to be a writer, because after that comes tense, perspective, pacing, style, structure, threads, inciting scenes, prologues, forwards, and on and on and on.  These are skills developed over time and experience.

So, how is writing a joy?  I suppose the joy of writing is the ability to do it, and love doing it in the first place. I do love writing. It’s a part of me that comes alive and thrives within me. I am a collector of stories, a re-teller of tales, a silver-tongue, a scribe, a keeper of legends. How can one not find joy in that? When we leave this world, all we leave behind is our story.  Who will read it or hear it unless it has been written? I don’t need a Sorcerer’s Stone to make me immortal – I just need to write. While my body will leave this place one day and turn to dust, my stories will remain until it is no longer retold or pages are lost.

That’s one thing that makes me sad – the forgotten of those that were here before.  I sometimes walk graveyards and whisper to the headstones, “Hey, I see your name. You existed. You once were here and you once lived.” I know it’s probably crazy, but I don’t want to be forgotten. I don’t others to be forgotten. I don’t our history to be forgotten. I am an orphan and often feel forgotten in the world, so I write. Oh, the joy of writing.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Book Review, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Flash Fiction, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, relationship, respect, Review, Romantic, Short Story, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Move On

Move On

 

Anytime something happens in my life, usually something tragic or a loss of someone I love, or the dissolution of a relationship, people always tell me to move on.  Move on?  What does that really mean, because that could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people?  I was thinking about that this morning – moving on.

I suppose all of my life I’ve been moving …on – because I keep moving. I am always moving – either forward or backward. I’m growing or shrinking. I’m learning or wallowing in ignorance.  Well, if you really think it about it, I am always headed toward death.  If I stop and give up – I am digressing and dying. If I stop eating, I will die of hunger.  As I move forward and keep aging, I am slowly moving toward death – so I am essentially dying there too.  BUT, the difference is HOW I move toward my death, which is GOING to come.  Next week, if I make it that long (Scott’s workout is torture) I will have moved forty-eight years closer to my death. Pretty sobering, huh?

I’m not being somber here, just real, facing the facts.  Fact is …I am going to die. In my fantasies I’d like to go out in a blaze of glory, being with someone I love, filled with a sense of peace knowing I really lived and loved, and got to experience the best this life had to offer. Our definition of best will probably splinter at this point – but the best in life for me has NOTHING to do with stuff or accomplishments.  It has to do with love and the journey taken to achieve those accomplishments. I just want to be loved, I just want to love the people in my life, and I want to pursue something that fuels my passions. THAT’s it. I can do that in a mansion or a trailer, with a million or a penny.  Don’t make a difference to me – as long as love and purpose are present.

Life is a diamond and shaped with billions of angles.  It’s filled with pain and pleasure. Some of it I’d like to forget, but I can’t. What I can do is not wallow, not dwell, not stay stuck in that chaos – but move on.  Learn from it. I can’t forget the tragic shit.  I don’t want to forget it, because it was the fire that forged the steel that runs through my soul.  Moving on to me is being able to see things in an honest view – all the ugly and beauty of a thing, of a moment, of an experience, of a person, or of a lesson.  EVERYTHING has light and dark, good and bad. I can’t just look at part of a thing and truly understand it. I have to have balance and see all the facets to truly appreciate it.  That to me is moving on – seeing it (no matter the chaos) in its truth, accepting it in its truth, and then learning something about myself from it.

My life has had some hard truth and it’s been hard to move on.  But, I had to accept it and see it, and learn from it, to honor it and what it means to me. James’ death, my childhood, my divorce, losing relationships are all hard truths. NO relationship in this world is ONLY beauty. EVERY relationship has its weaknesses, its flaws, its ugly – because we are human, we are mortal, we are complex beings filled with both dark and light.  To truly appreciate a relationship, I have to look at it in balance and truth. Fantasy, the idea of what we think a relationship should look like, is the biggest destroyer; false expectations. What we think a person should look like, how they should respond or be, how we should feel, etc.  We make our lists, we set our expectations and then our human counterparts don’t (can’t) live up the fantasy we created in our minds and we get disappointed.  If we looked at people and relationships in balance, see the good and bad, the light and dark, and accept people for who THEY truly are, not who we hope or want them to be, then we will have more successful relationships.

I’m not perfect (shhhh… don’t say that out loud). I don’t always do the right thing. I don’t look like a porn star or supermodel. I don’t have the world to offer on a silver platter.  I don’t have all the wisdom of knowing everything. But, if you strip away all those vain, stupid, unimportant, shallow issues, and look deep at my soul – I think I’m fucking amazing. I love with my whole heart. I give all of me to everything I do. I learn from my mistakes. I own my choices.  I am loyal. I am faithful to myself and the people I love. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. I’ve learned to learn. I’ve learned to move on – to move in life – to keep going forward, not forgetting, but keep moving. My tomorrow is not guaranteed.  I may not be here in the next minute, so I believe with my whole heart that I just have to live the best life I can live, and never take a day for granted, or a person for granted, or a passion for granted. Love me or don’t. I’m going to keep moving on till I have no more breath.

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Destiny, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is Hard – Face it Anyway

life_is_hard_logo

 

I know I’ve said it a thousand times, but life is hard. At least it is for me. NOTHING is easy. Even my workout this morning was hard, but that’s not the thing on which I have to stay focused. No, when I mention life is hard, that’s just stating a fact and a truth.  It is hard. Really hard.  Even the good stuff is often hard. Getting up in the morning, opening my eyes to face another day – that is fucking hard.  BUT – how I face it   – that’s up to me.

I’d love to say that every day I wake up feeling like Tony the Tiger and everything is …GRRRRREAT!  But, that would be a lie and I’m all about the truth. There are some days I wish I didn’t wake up at all. There are some days I wake up and I’m ready to conquer the whole world. There are other days I want to burn the whole damned world down and all the people in it, because most often people suck.  (Hang on  …there’s a good message here.)

Life is a compilation of a series of events, some good, some bad, some really, really good, and some just fucking nightmares.  Nothing makes you see life in its complex simplicity more than losing someone you love or failing at a dream you’ve spent the majority of your life pursuing. These tragic events causes us to face our mortality.  We don’t like to acknowledge our mortality.  We love the illusion that we are invincible, immortal, and immune. But, we are not.

I’m an observer, a scribe, someone who watches, learns, learns how to learn, perceives and records. What I’ve discovered is that humanity is really complex.  One observation I’ve seen is: MOST people (myself included) spend a whole lot of effort, time, and money trying to hide from the pain and disappointments of life.  But, pain is a part of life and something we should face so we can heal.  We get disappointed because we had expectations.  We get our hearts broken because we first filled them with opportunities of love.  We get frustrated at our failures because we dared to succeed.  YET, we also feel pride at a job well done.  We smile when we experience love. We laugh when we feel joy.  We appreciate beauty because we have seen the ugliness in this world. There’s a balance to everything.  As Einstein says, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Don’t get lost in despair, but also don’t try to rush it either. Feel the pain. Know the pain you feel is because of the love you once had – and then move on.  Don’t stay still. Don’t let your worry, sorrow and pain rob you of your faith, joy and happiness.  Give it it’s time – and no more. Don’t hide it, try to shove it down, or ignore it – that heals nothing. Feel it. Accept it. Face it!

I have a new fitness goal and I’m excited about it.  I’m also apprehensive because I know to reach my goal I’m going to have to go through a lot of pain. It’s going to hurt.  Damn, is it going to hurt!!! I’m almost in tears thinking about the pain that’s to come.  BUT, I’m excited about what is on the OTHER SIDE of that pain. I’m excited about the good things that are also with me WHILE I’m going through that pain.  I’m excited about the support, love and encouragement I’m getting as I go through my journey. THAT people – that right there is what makes it worth facing the pain. Life is hard and full of different kinds of pain – truth – fact!  But, I’m not afraid.  I’m more afraid NOT TO TRY. I’m not even afraid to fail – because I know failure is a possibility.  BUT, I’m afraid NOT TO TRY.

I’m in a new relationship.  I know this new courtship can also fail, but I can’t let my fear of getting hurt again stop me from putting my heart back out there. There’s no success without risk. There’s no reaction without action. Yes, I could get my heart broke. Yes, it’s possible he will never love me or choose me. But, it’s also possible he will. It’s possible I have found a partner to share all the ups and down in this life with me so I don’t have to keep walking it alone. It’s possible I’ve found happiness. It’s possible I’ve met someone as tough as I am, who will fight as hard as I do, who isn’t afraid to go through the darkness and dance in the light with me.  It’s possible.  But, it isn’t possible unless I face it, unless I jump in and take a chance, and unless I let my walls down.  I’m afraid NOT TO TRY.

Life is hard. On those days I don’t even want to open my eyes, I do it anyway. When my body hurts and doesn’t want to move, I get up anyway. When Fear whispers its lies in my ears and grips me hard to face another challenge, I face it anyway. When Doubt tells me I can’t, I do it anyway. When Anxiety tells me I will fail, I try anyway. When Despair tells me I’m going to get hurt, I take a chance anyway. When Pessimism tells me I’m wasting my time, I’m optimistically hopeful anyway. When Insecurity tells me I’m not worthy, I love and appreciate myself anyway. When Rejection reminds me not even my own parents wanted me – to not waste my time and just give up, I take a chance and love anyway. When Death takes away my loved ones and my light and inspiration are stolen from this world, I inspire and seek inspiration anyway.

Again – I’m not afraid to fail or get hurt. I’m afraid to never try. I’m afraid to be one of the cowards of this world that can’t get their heads out of their own asses, who can’t swim in the deep waters because they are too shallow, who put too much emphasis on shit that don’t matter.  It’s vanity.  It’s as Solomon wrote – a chasing of the wind. I see lives nearly destroyed every day because of vanity and fear.  I don’t want vanity in my life. I’m not shallow. I don’t understand the ignorance of shallow thinking.  I don’t understand cowardice. I am afraid but I face my fears ANYWAY.  I don’t understand how people allow their lives to be cheapened by the unimportant things – yet I see them sell out every day and it’s everywhere.  It’s the disease that kills us all. I’m no coward. Life is hard, but I’m harder and I face it anyway.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Faith, friends, Life, love, memes, Musing, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warrior Weeps

for Scott

 

In silence, I saw a long shadow cast upon the ground as a warrior stood proud and tall,

With one long look upon her breathless form, to his knees I saw this fierce fighter fall.

No longer stood the man so brave and tough, but a little boy took his place as he cried,

He fought through the grief and the pain that overwhelmed him, to say to her his final good-byes.

He held her hand, caressed her face, and through teary eyes looked upon her full of love and grace,

This was his first friend, his guiding light, and in the storms of his life she was his anchor,

This was his first ever love, his North Star

… this was his mother.

How was he to face another day without her, to breathe, or even speak out loud?

Did he do enough, did he say enough, could he be enough to really make her proud?

As he kissed her forehead, I saw a broken-hearted little boy down on his knees so small.

Yet, silence and noise, reality and dream, gave way as this warrior once again stood tall.

In Remembrance of Elizabeth A. Vanaria – who passed away Saturday at 1:00 am on July 6, 2019

Elizabeth A. Vanaria

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, family, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, poem, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vain Words

i-fall-in-love-with-souls-not-faces-3185446

I heard a man tell a woman yesterday that she was very beautiful. I think it’s nice to hear a person compliment someone else.  I try to compliment the people I care about on a regular basis, to not only let them know how much I care about them, but that they are important me, and I think about them, and consider them valuable.  I want to encourage the good gifts I see in them. There’s not enough of that in this world. We are so quick to judge, condemn, and/or use compliments as a form of manipulation. We want to lay blame.

On the whole, as a society, we don’t value our words. We make promises we don’t keep. We profess affection we don’t actually feel. We placate, manipulate and eviscerate with our words to justify ourselves and our actions, or in retaliation of our own insecurities and pain – pushing others down because we believe it’s the only way to succeed.  We are politicians, pundits, and word panderers.  If we want a strong society, we need to educate in truth – even if the truth hurts, is ugly, or isn’t popular.  We need discover discipline and self-responsibilities. We need honest encouragement. Simplified – we need to do the hard shit regardless of how we feel or what we want – so we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with what we want and how we live.

The problem with the aforementioned man’s compliment was this:  I knew the woman he boldly proclaimed as beautiful. While she has a pretty face and thin body, she’s far from anything I would consider beautiful. She is cruel, manipulative, and has such low self-esteem and daddy issues her life is a complete mess. She’s a drama-filled, drug-addled train wreck. Not trying to be mean here, just telling the truth.  I’ve known her for years, have tried to help her, but she’s a walking sociopathic disaster and doesn’t care who she hurts.  I wouldn’t wish her on my worst enemy, yet I often hear her being told how beautiful she is by stupid shallow men. She has a skewed view of beauty just like the men who reinforce it.

I also saw the meme again that says, “I fall in love with souls, not faces.” I really wish that was true for most people, but it’s not. Often not even for the people who say they believe and agree with the concept.  I fell in love with my ex because of that phrase, mainly because I believed he did love souls and not faces, but he was a liar. He’s just as shallow as that man who complimented that ‘pretty’ vampire (I call this type soul-suckers – people who are empty and dead inside and with their selfish narcissism will suck the life out of someone else to try and fill the emptiness within themselves).  He had a beautiful soul that loved him, but it wasn’t enough. I’m not trying to lay blame, I’m just speaking truth. He wasn’t a man of his word, always made promises he didn’t keep, always had ‘good intentions’ but no action to follow. He was full of empty words, constant failure, and was undependable. I didn’t hate that he lied to me. I hated that I learned to not trust him.

I’m also not making these statements because I’m a bitter, lonely, plain Jane, jealous of the attention other women receive.  On the contrary, I am told quite often by men and women that I am beautiful.  Unfortunately, most of those compliments come from strangers who don’t know me and only see a pretty face.  But, that compliment that comes from those who do know me, who knows my character, and who can see my soul – those words mean the world to me and have power over me and I appreciate them.

So, be careful what you say and to whom to say them. Mean what you say. Let your words have power. Be a man or woman of your word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be honest. Be truthful. Be generous and look for the positive in those in your circle. Be free with your compliments (as long as they’re true) and swim in the deep waters. Get away from the shallow vampires – there’s only death there.  Don’t tell ugly people they’re beautiful. Don’t tell beautiful souls they’re ugly. Don’t say the words, “I Promise” or “I Love You” unless you mean them. Our words have the power to heal or destroy, to build or tear down, to empower or to weaken. Don’t lie – even if the truth hurts – just don’t lie. Call a liar a liar, a vampire a vampire, an asshole an asshole – you might just save their soul. But if you don’t care about their soul, keep your mouth shut.  The world is full of politicians and liars, don’t add to their number.

Know this …if I compliment you, I mean it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Purpose

 

Purpose

Life is hard.  Living is hard. That truth has never been in debate. It may appear harder or easier for some than others, but that’s really just appearance.  What may be difficult for me is easy to someone else, and vice versa.  But in my forty-seven times around the sun, I’ve learned that life is only hard when it’s outside a purpose or that purpose has not been defined. When I’m focused, and have a demarcated purpose, dream, goal, expectation or desire – no amount of effort or sacrifice is too much, too heavy, or too hard.

I sometimes suffer from anxiety. Never because I can’t do something. I honestly don’t believe there isn’t anything I couldn’t do, or figure out how to do. My anxiety comes from not being able to do something well, to the best of my ability, or failing those who depend on me. I don’t worry about tomorrow, what I’ll wear, how I’ll eat, where I’ll sleep, etc. I’m smart enough to figure those things out. What I fear is not having a purpose, not being missed, not being loved, not mattering, and being alone.

I have high standards, because they’re the standards I’ve set for myself. I don’t expect anyone to be me, respond like me, make choices like me, or work as hard as I do, to chase the goals I have for myself.  I don’t want to change anyone else either. I want the people in my life to be true to themselves and their own purposes, and not try to change me to suit their purpose.  Celebrate our differences. Share our experiences. Appreciate each other for those variances. BUT that is so hard to find.

I didn’t always value the purpose others set for themselves because I was selfish and it was about what I wanted and what I needed, not realizing that making room for someone in my life also mean making room for their purpose. It’s about finding a balance of what differences I can live with, and which ones I can’t.  It’s about finding someone to believe in me as a person, and be someone I can believe in, who I am proud to know, to understand, and to love.

Without purpose – life is chaos, a chasing of the wind.  Without love – life is empty, also a chasing of the wind. I desire both, yet fear them at the same time. What if I fail? But … what if I succeed?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Faith, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Romantic, Short Story, Song List, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Small Victories

small-victories

 

I am having a great morning and I look forward to having a great day at work, and an even better evening. I’m actually really excited about a date I have planned tonight with my boyfriend Scott, and would love to spend this time gushing about it, but that’s not how these blogs work.  I made a deal with myself years ago that I would write as my heart leads – as openly and honestly as I can manage. It took me a while to learn to listen to that still small voice inside, and she’s become clear and pronounced.  So, no boyfriend-gushing and onto the message of the day – Small Victories.

Lisa and I have been working hard over the past several months, staying faithful to our workouts and the workout goals we’ve set for ourselves.  These are not earth-shattering choices, but they’re important to the two of us; important to the choices we’ve made for our lives, and the goals we want to achieve in them. Yes, we are those crazy people that get up at 4am in the morning and then freely choose to abuse our bodies long before we start our work day.  I take it a little extra step and abuse my mind too – in writing these blog posts every morning.  But, is it really abuse? No – they are small victories.

Here’s the thing about small victories – they are the steps necessary to reach the big ones, and they are the things that give our lives their true value. I don’t know about you, but I don’t just wake up in the morning, grab my magic wand, and wave it around and all the things I want to achieve in this life and they just magically appear. Thank God for that.  Thank God that I have to work hard for the things I want, to provide for myself, to earn a living in order to reward myself with a vacation.  Thank God I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth or have had everything I ever needed given to me. Thank God I don’t have perfect genetics and a perfect body and have to work at it to keep it beautiful and functioning properly. Thank God I have weaknesses, and fears, and struggles.

I know some of you right now are thinking I’ve gone off the deep end, because NOBODY in their right mind is thankful for those struggles and pains, but I am – because chasing those dreams, achieving those small victories, working on those faults and insecurities, and pushing past the pain …those are the things that make me who I am and makes my life worth living.  It’s what creates in me a true appreciation for who I am, what I have, and pride for what I achieve.  It’s the “PURSUIT” of happiness that gives life meaning. It rising up from the ground after a failure that gives life purpose. It’s learning to breathe again after getting the air knocked out of our lungs that creates a gratitude in the soul. It’s learning to push through the adversity and finding the strength inside of ourselves to push a little farther, to push a little harder, to push beyond the pain and find our truth strength.  It’s learning to love again after getting your heart crushed. It’s all those life lessons that make us better people. We have an increasingly ungrateful society because we are not allowing our children to ‘work’ and ‘struggle’ for what they want and need.

Small and large victories are either won or lost at the moment of conception by our mindsets. No matter how strong we are, we are failures if we quit. We will quit if we have not already made up our minds that quitting isn’t an option.  I heard a phrase yesterday from author and Navy SEAL Jack Carr promoting his new book on Jocko’s podcast that struck a chord.  He talked about these tough, built, strong athletes that quit early into BUD/S training. He called them ‘fitter quitters.” These guys who trained for years to be in the best physical shape possible, thought they could succeed on strength alone, but they didn’t develop their no-quit mindset and that’s where they failed. They quit. They rang the bell.

We can’t develop a strong mindset without experience and training.  We are not born with a mindset that overcomes adversity. No matter how strong, beautiful, talented, or privileged we are, if we are weak-minded we will fail. My boyfriend told me last night to laugh at my pain and I’ll overcome it, because he understands the true struggle isn’t the physical pain but the state of the mindset when facing pain – that the mind controls my victory or failure.

So, my small victory this week is that I stayed faithful to my workout goals and I pushed through the pain, slayed all the available excuses, suffered through the struggle – keeping my eyes on the prize, knowing that my tribulations were temporary because I made up my mind before I began that I was going to succeed.  I wanted more of what was on the other side of my victory than what my body, mind, and senses whispered to me in the moment. It was a battle of will vs want.  It was a successful week – and I’m so proud of my small victory.

Ps. I’m also excited about my date tonight with my amazing boyfriend. LOL!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Someday

Optimist Vs Pessimist

 

I love this meme with Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Chuck is just being real, laying it all out there and sharing with his best friend that he understands his reality. He’s having that existential moment and struggle with his mortality, like we all face at times.  We are all going to die. Oh man, that is so simple, yet so profound, and really sucks!  Though I’ve technically died twice, there is a final death waiting for us all. We only get (1) one life.  ONE. That’s it! Sure, there are faiths, beliefs, and theories that profess we come back again and again – but right now, as me (Tonya), that stubborn-ass girl born on a hot July back in the early 70’s – I get ONE trip on this big blue ball as the flesh and blood woman sitting here this morning typing this blog post. But how long do I have? Who knows?  It could be another half century, or just a few more minutes.  We have no control over that. When our time comes – Death will come and claim his soul.  But what kind of soul will that be?

For a Beagle, Snoopy is one profound puppy.  He has this silent strength about him.  If you notice, Snoopy doesn’t respond with his emotions, but with controlled wisdom.  He is often silent, yet profound. I’m the opposite. I’m very vocal, passionate, and extremely expressive on both sides of the optimist and pessimist coin.  I’m like Chuck, always questioning the universe. Always pondering the mysteries of life. Always seeking the answers to my issues, but there’s not always a Lucy with her $.05 stand to answer my questions.  I believe a Snoopy has recently come into my life that doesn’t speak much, but when he does – he speaks with a profound truth – a controlled truth, a truth often void of emotional strings. It’s refreshing, and helps tether my emotional balloons.  I really hope he knows how much I appreciate him.

Snoopy’s wisdom reminds me to look at what’s important in life. It really hit home with me this morning.  Truth – is so profound in and of itself.  Snoops doesn’t deny the truth in Chuck’s proclamation, but affirms it.  TRUE – we will all die someday, BUT … man, wow …but on ALL the OTHER DAYS we will NOT.  Boom! That’s it folks.  THAT is the fucking key to life.  We have to live – really fucking live on all those other days. We have to choose to live. We have to choose to look at the bright side – the optimistic side.  Don’t worry about that ONE day, be in the moment of all the other days.  Take the leap. Eat the cake.  Kiss the girl. Be grateful and thankful and appreciate the world around you and the people that make those days good and bearable. Love each other. Love yourself. Stop hiding behind fear and stress and anxiety and pessimistic outlooks.  Cut the bullshit out of your life. Stop clinging to the excuses.  So what if you fuck up and make a mistake? So what if you get hurt? So what if you fail? Failure is just an opportunity to try again or try something else.  Jump!

My friend wrote something the other day about all the pessimistic fears, lies, and worries the mind, the body, and the ego says to us on a constant basis– but the heart had the key – the heart had the single optimistic profound message that outweighed the mind, body and ego all together.  “Hooyah” says the heart. Hooyah, indeed. Maybe my friend will send me his quote and I can share it with the world.  It’ll hit the center of your soul with its profound message.

There’s a world out there – and we all have a life to live.  Live it.  Chase those dreams. Time is limited, so live life now. James and I made so many dreams together, but his day came swiftly.  Since then, I’ve been doing the best I can to live the best life I can to fulfill those dreams we made knowing there’s no promise for tomorrow. I won’t wait for tomorrow, because I know the truth – sometimes my tomorrow, my day, will come. But on all the other days – it will not and so today I say, “Hooyah!”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Romantic, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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