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The Whimsical World of T.L.Gray – The Story, My Story, Cheerleading

The Story, My Story, Cheerleading

Casey’s Ridge in New Caney, Texas didn’t offer much in the way of success and progress, especially in education, recreation, and culture. It was a river town filled with bikers, junkies, squatters, and drug dealers. There were a few old people left from a time when the community was a thriving hub of trade along the San Jacinto River, but that had long since dried up from the Houston suburban sprawl knocking at its back doors with its golfing communities and state-of-the-art shopping malls. There were no local gymnastics classes, public pools, greenbelt trails, recreation fields for football or baseball, no track, no tennis courts, and no gyms for basket or volleyball like its neighbors in Kingwood. No, Casey’s Ridge had none of that on the north side of the river, lingering on the edge of the county line. The only recreation found was a civic center where the old people would play a mean game of Bingo on Friday nights and a little biker bar right off Hwy 1485.

I was no fool. At the age of ten, I was old enough that the golden sunny haze of imagination and fantasy began to give way to the dull, dark gray skies of truth. I hated what I witnessed. This was about the time I began to hate and mistrust men, well humanity in general. When I was eight, my third-grade teacher Mrs. Akers told me that I could be anything I wanted; I just had to first see the truth of things and then make a plan of escape. Those words still stick with me today. I made to vow to myself, and the invisible god that damned everything that I wasn’t going to become like my surroundings. I wasn’t going to be hooker, a drug addict, or dealer, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to abuse and neglect my children. No, I was going to get out of that life and fly away from the nightmare. I fell in love for the first time, with a man in a red cape. I wanted him to swoop down out of the sky and save me from the beatings, the gun violence, the drugs, and the late night visits.  Superman was my best hope at this time, but since he wasn’t a real character, I focused instead on school, martial arts, and cheerleading.

It’s not to say that I didn’t give God a chance during this time in my life. The Christians at school always seemed to be happy, have good, loving parents, got to dress up in pretty dresses and go to church on Sundays. There was a little blue school bus that drove through our neighborhood every Sunday picking up the Ridge Rabble, as we were called. So, I decided that maybe if I caught that little blue bus to the Porter Baptist Church, things would change, because then God would see what was happening and save me, like I kept hearing. So, I studied the times and routes of the blue bus for a couple of weeks before I finally dared to make my bold move for salvation. I got myself, and my four brothers, dressed in the best clothes we had. I was a tomboy and didn’t wear dresses, but I borrowed a sundress from my neighbor across the street, Stacy Stowe. She was a tomboy too, but her grandma made her wear a sundress on Sundays. Dressed in my Sunday best, I stood outside on the street, holding tightly to my brother’s hands and we caught the little blue church bus that morning.

Now, I had no idea where that bus was going to take me, or when or if it was ever going to bring me back. From my reconnaissance mission the weeks before, it always seemed to bring back the kids it picked up earlier, so I was confident we’d at least make it back home.  We travelled a good distance to the nearby town of Porter to a little Baptist church. It had a main building for the sanctuary and then a gym for the Sunday School. After listening to some loud gospel music where people often clapped and shouted, we were then separated from the adults and led out to the gym. At first I was really worried because they wanted to separate me from my brothers and put us in different classes by our ages. I didn’t like not being able to see them or keep an eye on them. They were often a rowdy bunch, and needed someone there to keep them in line. I couldn’t image the damage they’d do to that fine church out of sight, but I relented and went into my own classroom.

So far, I liked this church. They gave me a brand new bible and a paper bag full of goodies, such as candy, pencils, and a little hand held toy game. All I had to do was memorize a Bible passage and it was mine. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” In no time at all I was holding my brand new King James Bible and a brown sack of goodies. But, things didn’t stay fun for too long. Because then the weird psycho stories started. I remember shutting down and putting my psychological walls up when the teacher started talking about how we ‘owed’ Jesus our love and trust because he was beat and died for us. I remember my thoughts looking at that teacher and wondering if she’d ever been beat in her life, and how silly it was that she thought I was going to simply love and trust someone I never met who didn’t do any more for me than I did for my brothers on a regular basis. To protect them, I remember getting beat so bad by my dad one time with a hickory stick, ‘til it broke and he started using his fist, that I was out for almost four days. Hell, Jesus was only dead for three before he came back. But, I did appreciate the idea of him placing himself in danger for someone he was supposed to protect. I got that. I related to that. That is where the teacher should have stopped because she completely lost me when she started talking about having to be washed in the blood to be cleansed of my sin. I was ready to find my brothers and get the hell out of there, ‘cause nobody was going to be putting their blood anywhere on me or my brothers, no matter if we were dirty or not.

Of course, later in life I now understand what this teacher had been referring, but to a ten-year old abused waif of a child, I thought Christians were a secret alien race, much like the t.v. show “V”, where they had human faces, but were reptiles beneath, with all their talk of washing with and drinking blood, and eating flesh. I didn’t care too much for religion in my life. On one hand there were ignorant people who called me names, a thief, and a crook for one faith, while another one wanted to save, but not really save because I still had to live and go through all the shit I was going through, and then do some bathing in blood. Nope, I didn’t want anything to do with gods or religion. I just wanted to get out of Casey’s Ridge and get away from my family and become everything they were not. So, I turned to martial arts, gymnastics and cheerleading.

Texas football is serious business, and so is their competition cheerleading. There were trophies to win and scholarships to earn, and a social status to maintain with it. So, for the next few years while I survived hurricanes, tornadoes, gun fights, dog fights, and being an Anderson, the daughter of a drug dealer, I focused on cheerleading. I learned so much for being a part of a team, having pride in something, being good at something. All those things cheerleading taught me were never a part of what home taught me. To some it was simply a social status. For me, it was my salvation. It gave me the tools and courage I needed to rise above, the fight for something, to set and achieve goals. I will always cherish the little time I got to train in martial arts and gymnastics, and I will always treasure the time I spent as a cheerleader. It’s who I was, inside and out, and who I still am. I am still a cheerleader to myself and to those in my life. Casey’s Ridge is still in the same place, filled with a lot of the same people, but I’m not there anymore. I cheered myself out of that place, and developed a strength inside that gives me the power to cheer myself out of any situation.  I may not currently live in Casey’s Ridge, but still often face different forms of chaos. It’s fine. “Ready, Set, Okay!” is strong within me.

This is the story. This is my story. This is my life.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray ©2017

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

I Am the Biggest Fool

I Am the Biggest Fool

I am fool. I am a fool because I care and love those who are even bigger fools than myself. I’ve always heard a phrase that God watches over fools and idiots. He must have a league of angels watching over me.

I’m not unintelligent. I’m not naïve. I see what’s around me. The world is an ugly mess. People are an ugly mess. I try so hard to be something beautiful in this gray world, but sometimes I get tired of carrying that light.  Yet, I’m a strong person because I’ve been forced to shine that light for myself, find my way out, and put up my guards and shields all my life. Yet, poison still gets in. I open the door to danger. I invite in chaos. Why?  Because of love.

Not because of others loving me, or that I’ve fallen into that crazy, wild love and can’t see what’s around me, or that I’m refusing to see the truth. No, I see the truth and walk in it anyway. THAT’s why I’m a fool.  I’m in love with what can and will never be in love with me, who chooses the company of vampires and leeches over me.

But I deserve better than this.  What about me?

I remember another God moment, where I was on my face, nose in the carpet, pouring my heart out and praying for my kids, my ex-husband, my church, my friends, my job, etc.

When I was done unloading all that worry, I heard a whisper calmly ask me a simple question.  “If you knew one of your children were starving, hungry, and in pain, what would you do for them?”

I answered, “Anything, well, anything that would help them, even if it was hard for them, hard for me, or misunderstood.”

The whisper replied, “If they were in danger, would you risk your own life to save them?”

Without hesitation, I answered, “Yes. Always.”

There was a long silence. Whisper said to me, “You are my child, and you’ve neglected yourself trying to take care of everyone else.  You’ve ignored your needs, buried your wants, and your soul is starving for the love it needs.  You’ve abused my child long enough. I won’t tolerate it anymore.”

I felt so ashamed, because I had ignored myself. I’ve always done whatever to survive, to meet what everyone else needed, because I was in need. I knew what it felt like to be hungry, so I spent more than 17 years feeding the poor.  I knew what it felt like to be unloved as a child by your parents, so my heart reached out to any unloved kids that crossed my path – I still do. I knew what it was like to be pregnant and alone, so I opened my home to a pregnant stranger. I knew what it was like to not have a friend in the whole world, have someone to help me in a time of need, so I became the kind of friend I needed.  But, it doesn’t come without a cost.

A friend posted a meme on their Facebook wall the other day that said, “I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Damn, that’s mine!’ and just be proud to have me.”  I responded with a simple, “It’ll never happen.” A complete stranger sent me a message that had me crying in the middle of my shift at work. I hid the tears as much as I could, but I couldn’t help feel the pain, a pain that I’ve been stuffing down and trying to ignore.  This stranger messaged me, “…you’re a very attractive woman. So, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not even this year, but you’ll find someone who’s proud to call you theirs.”

What this stranger doesn’t realize is that I have MANY people in my life who love me, even more that respect me, and I’m not in want for friends. Remember, I’ve spent my life being a good friend. But, no one has EVER claimed me as theirs – not my parents, not my family, not my ex-husband, not any of ex-boyfriend’s – who are still my friends because they love me as a person.  I’m great to love – as a friend, to depend on, to respect, to turn to, to be there when no one else will, but… to love me – the woman?  I’m turning 46 years old next week, and I’ve only ever felt truly loved once in my life… for just a very brief moment and then he died.  Loved …for ME.  In love …WITH me.  I’ve been in love 4 times, but only deeply, madly, crazy in love once. But, they didn’t want me.  They love me, but not how I love them. They choose their chaos over me.

I’ve been neglecting myself again, putting myself on the back burner to focus on others and their needs. There’s always a reason. There’s always a need.  All the reasons are good, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interfering. When do I matter? When does what I need and want matter? Life is shit. Life is chaos. There will ALWAYS be something – but WHEN do I put me first again?  I have needs too.  I’m such a fool. I’m not naïve. I know the reality of my situation. I know that I’m loved, but unloved.  I’m not blind. I see more than I let them know I see. I’m not stupid, either. Just because I don’t expose what I know is in the dark, doesn’t mean I’m unaware. I just choose to be a light, something positive, and spread a message of hope instead of judgment. I choose to focus on what’s important.  I love because I need love. I help because I need help.  I’m friendly because I’m lonely. I give, because I’m empty.  I go without so other won’t. I have to believe it’s not for nothing. I’m not stupid. I know I will not be chosen. I will be left behind for the vampire, for the leech, for the lotus flower, for the opportunity, for the drug, for the convenience, for the addiction, for the easy way, for the simpler path …. I always have been, especially by those who claim to love me most. It’s hard to love me. To love me is to stand in front of a mirror.

My whisper, my God, my love watches over me. They have to, because I’m the biggest fool.

“Someday when my crying’s done, I’m gonna wear a smile and walk in the sun. I may be a fool, but darlin’ you’ll never see me complain, ‘cause I’ll do my cryin’ in the rain.” ~Jaime Ellis

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

The Whimsical World of T.L. Gray -The Story – My Story – My Imagination

The Story, My Story, My Imagination

The Story – My Story – My Imagination

As far as memory serves, I have loved stories.  I love to hear them, to read them, and most of all to create them in my mind and imagination.  I don’t know where I first heard them, but I remember listening to narrations from an old 45” record player, and the distinct voice of an old British woman telling stories. I was mesmerized.  It’s the same way with music and songs, and how they have the magic to often teleport my imagination to another place, another time, and another life.

Telling stories have helped me over the years with many various things, most of all with entertaining my brothers.  Being the daughter of an international drug dealer left us children often in a strange place, having to abruptly leave in the middle of the night, move away from every one we have known, and leave behind all the things we once had, including toys.  For me, what broke my heart had to be leaving behind my books.  My parents didn’t care that I didn’t have them, or how much I loved them, or how much they helped me escape. My welfare and wants were never their priority.  I learned to treasure the stories of my mind, because those stories could never be left behind.

I believe creating stories and learning to narrate started for me at a very young age because of my father’s blindness. As the story goes, having been a part of a drug deal gone wrong, my mother and father were shot when my mother was six months pregnant with me.  Spray from the shotgun hit my mother all over her neck and chest, barely missing me inside the wound, and my father took direct hits in the face, destroying one eye completely and severely damaging the other.  So, before I was even born my father had lost his vision. I don’t know what it was like for him the first few years, I was just baby and have very few flashback memories.

I don’t have any pictures of me during that time, except one, a studio picture of me and my brother together.  I was a few months old, he was a year older.  Other than that, while I’m sure there are some family photos stored away in some box somewhere, I don’t remember seeing them, and I don’t have them.  There are no photos, other than that one baby picture of me, before I was sixteen, and only one or two after that until I started taking pictures of my babies.  Even still, most of those pictures don’t have me in them, because I’m the one that took the pictures.  I’m sure my ex-mother-in-law has some pictures of me, but I’m sure she’s put them away so as to not upset the new daughter-in-law.  It’s only been the last few years I started taking pictures of myself because I felt invisible to the world. I wanted the world to know I existed, that I mattered, because no one except my children had ever made me feel that way.  My children are all grown now and it seems they also have forgotten me because they never call me, text me, message me, or come see me.   I often send them ‘good morning’ messages, to never get answered, or never returned.  Then when they change their number, or it’s no longer in service, I never get the new one.  But I still send the good morning messages to the number I had, even though I receive the error message letting me know my messages were not delivered.  Being left behind, being forgotten isn’t new to me – and I feel like many of my old books.

I often wonder about all the books that got left behind. Did the new tenants throw them out, or keep them and wonder who had possessed them before? Did they appreciate the story as I had, or never cracked open their spines? I adapted to not having books to read.  As I mentioned above, my father was blind, but he had not been born that way, so he still had a lot of memory of what things were, how they looked, and so he would listen to television.  But, as we all know, television shows and movies don’t give a play by play of what’s going on screen.  The deaf have closed caption, but the blind only have the sound effects and the dialogue.  My father had me.  Somehow it had become my job to narrate what was happening on screen.  Perhaps it was because I was good at it, could determine what needed to be and what didn’t that I got the job.  I just know it created good and bad habits in me.  Good, in the sense I am able to see the beautiful detail that I feel most miss.  Bad, in the sense visual people don’t like watching movies and television with me because I still often narrate.  You don’t know how many times I’m told in an irritating strained voice that they can see what’s happening and don’t need my input.  I’ve tried to restrain myself, but it comes naturally.  It’s how I was raised since I could speak.

While I wish I had experienced a different life, I’ve learned to appreciate the things this one has taught me, the tools that had been sharpened through all my adversity and the opportunities and skills it has created.  I believe it’s made me a better writer, that it’s forged inside me that creativity, and exercised my imagination that now fuels my own writing. I sometimes wish I couldn’t see the details, because while the details are good for the good things, they’re just as bad for the bad things.  Along with sight, comes feeling.  That’s another story, for another page, but there was a long period of time I felt nothing for no one or anything.  Because I had felt everything deeply, I couldn’t feel anything or else it would destroy me.  That has played an ugly role in my life, often hurting the people I love most. In trying to save myself from getting overwhelmed, it seems I’ve created another cycle, another generation of issues.  In my efforts to protect myself from being overwhelmed, I put up a wall to protect me, to protect them.  But, it appears I protected no one. My children don’t understand how much and how deeply I loved them, they only knew the wall, and they now have their own walls – to keep me out.

Every day I struggle with hiding once again behind that wall.  It’s never protected me.  It didn’t protect me from my family hurting me.  It didn’t protect me when my James died.  It didn’t protect me when my daughter ran away, or when my husband wouldn’t love me, or when I fought cancer, or when a family who promised to always love me doesn’t even acknowledge I exist, or when a soul mate tells me they can’t love me because they’re too damaged.  I want to hide every single day because the pain is too great.  But, I get up, I put a smile on my face, I take a picture of that smile and I send it out into the world, and then fight through the rest of the day to keep positive, to love myself, to set goals and dreams for myself, to stay healthy, to stay fit, to love everyone I can, to shove those walls back down that keep slamming up, and to fight my triggers.  I choose to see EVERYTHING, all the details, all the beautiful, scary, ugly, loving, hateful, details of life.

I’m getting older, I don’t know how much more story I have, but I choose to live it as best as I can. I choose to love myself.  I choose to encourage myself. I choose to forgive myself. I choose to push myself.  I choose to dream.  This is the story. This is my story.  This is my imagination. This is my life.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray ©2017

 

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

The Business of Being Happy

 

The Business of Being Happy

There’s only one person that can truly make us happy, and that’s our self. While others can influence us, inspire us, encourage us, or detour us, we are ultimately in control of how we allow others to affect us.

I have had some happy moments because of my interaction with others. My children have made me happy. My loves have made me happy. My soul mate has made me happy. My friends have made me happy. Well… they’ve created moments that have led to me accepting that happiness. At the same time, they have also led to moments of great pain. But my happiness and my pain have all been in my control, by what I’ve allowed to affect me. I’ve recently went through a period of great happiness, followed by a period of great pain and stress. I’m tired of being hurt. I’m tired of being stressed. I’ve decided to get back to the business of being happy.

I wish I could tell you it was a simple as that… to just decide and then *poof* it’s done. But, making the decision in only the first step. As I blogged yesterday, part of the path to happiness is changing my atmosphere. Change what music I listen, what foods I eat, what activities I participate, what is the state of my health and fitness, and what company I keep. All these things contribute to the business of being happy. I can’t reach that state of happiness working in or on just one of these areas.

Happiness is about balance, an equilibrium within my heart, mind, body, and soul.  When one is injured, damaged, abused, or neglected, it affects them all. Life is too short to allow my heartaches and disappointments to keep me from reaching or fulfilling my potential. I’ve got too many things to do, too many dreams to chase, too much life to live to allow these pains to steal all my joy. The Word says there is a time for everything under the sun… a time to mourn, a time to grieve, a time let the pain out… but there’s also time to pick myself back up and get back to the business of being happy. I was created for a purpose, I have a dream, a plan, a vision, and that is to live my life to its fullest, and its time I got back to it.

I really don’t understand laziness.  I understand taking time to just relax and let your body, mind and soul rest.  While most of the time I can’t sit still for more than an hour, I can at times spend all day in bed binge watching or reading. What I don’t understand is laziness in the form of a lack of drive, of not having a goal, a plan, a vision, or a dream.  I don’t understand the concept of procrastination and just drifting by and surviving the day, letting the world and circumstances dictate what happens in our lives.  Why on earth would we give that kind of control to chance? 

I also really don’t understand the concept of being reactive compared to being proactive.  I can’t grasp the mindset of spending all my time and effort chasing the chaos. I’ve been on this earth long enough, and intimately acquainted with Murphy, to know that SHIT HAPPENS.  If we drift through life always reacting, believe me – life will continuously keep throwing shit at us, spiraling our lives out of control, sending us into places, circumstances, and situations we never wanted to be a part.  But when we don’t take control and plan, and then do the hard things necessary to move those plans into action, then we cannot be proactive and are constantly moving from one disaster to another.

Getting back to the business of being happy, there’s no room for laziness or a reactive mind set.  Being happy has a lot to do with having purpose and then doing what is needed to fulfill that purpose.  Work isn’t work when you’re working with purpose or for a purpose.  It only brings us down when the effort we are expelling is only to meet a need.  If we work just to pay the bills, to survive from one paycheck to another, yet not LIVING in the moment, then we will despise what we do and hate every moment.  But, when we work because we have a goal, a vision, a dream, or a purpose, then what we do isn’t draining.  We don’t wake up in the morning groaning and despising having to get dressed and go. If that’s our mornings, we need to remind ourselves it’s not our jobs we hate or that makes us unhappy, it’s our state of mind, happiness, and purpose.  I don’t particularly love my job, but I like the opportunities it provides.  

I’m happy, because I’m happy with myself.  I can look at my image in the mirror and smile, because I love the woman I am and have become.  I am proud of myself. I’ve been through hell and back, been knocked down so many times, but I keep getting back up.  I’ve been rejected, unloved, and unwanted, yet I continue to hope, to love, and to dream.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes, done shameful things, but I’ve worked hard making amends, facing my demons, and repenting for my sins. I’ve learned from my mistakes.  I’m my own hero. If no one else on this planet thinks I’m amazing or worthy of their love, their time, or their attention, well… that’s their loss, because I think I’m pretty damned amazing.  It’s time I got back to it, too.  Call me arrogant, but not too many people are going to be able to keep up with me in these coming days, because I’m back to the business of being happy, of chasing dreams, and of living life out loud.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Romantic, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Where We Are

Where we Choose

We are exactly where we choose to be. I’m not talking about any situation we may find ourselves, because sometimes things outside our control come in and effect our lives.  But, the condition we are in while inside that situation is completely up to us.  We choose how we face our circumstances.  We also choose our success or failure in that battle by the selections we make in how we fight it, who we select as our source of strength, encouragement, and support.  If we surround ourselves with defeatists, we will be defeated, because they’re going to drain the hope, the life, and the strength we need to fight, leaving us weak and vulnerable.  If we surround ourselves with positive, driven, deep thinkers and overcomers, then we will draw from their positive energy and gain the strength we need to make us strong.  Once we are strong, we will then have the energy to give back, to pour into, and to help others.  

The greatest way OUT of our darkest times, deepest holes, shattered hearts, and bouts of hopelessness is to change our atmosphere.  Here are a few little changes you can make that will help you change your success or failure.  We can’t stop things from happening.  We can’t protect ourselves from tragedy or from the choices and actions of people who will hurt, use and abuse you.  BUT, we are where we choose to be in our responses and reactions.  So, if you WANT to change your circumstances, you’ve got to change your atmosphere and set yourself up for success, not surround yourself with the things, choices and people that will contribute to your defeat.

1.        Fill your playlist with positive and energetic music.  Stop listening to songs filled with anger, defeat, heartbreak, stress or other influences that lead your mind down a dark or dangerous path.  There is a time and place for all songs and all types of music.  Music plays a huge part in determining how we feel, what we think, what encourages us, or makes us feel more defeated.  Always listening to angry songs, you’ll discover you carry around angry thoughts and feelings.  Always listening to party songs, you’re going to find yourself choosing to party.  Think about what you need in your life, think about where you want to go, and then choose the songs and music to fill your playlist with songs that will get you to that point.  If you’re struggling in your life right now and can’t see a way out, then listen to songs that inspire you, that encourage you and give you hope.  “Let’s Get it Started”, let your “Eye of the Tiger” play over and over.  Then, after that, “Don’t Stop Believin” because once the change happens inside you, you’ll start making the choices and decisions outside to put those changes into effect. Sometimes we need “A New Pair of Jeans” to be “Feelin’ so Fly” and start skipping through our “Beautiful Day.”  “Get up, Stand Up,” “Walk,” “Dream On,” because “I Feel Good,” and I “Don’t Give Up,” nor will I “Let it Be.”  Fill your life with the lyrics that are going to push you.  “I’m a survivor, I’m not gonna give up, I’m not gonna stop, I’m gonna work harder (Destiny’s Child – Survivor),” “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down (TubThumping – Chumbawumba),” “Stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my way, my lonliness ain’t killing me no more, I’m stronger (Stronger – Britney Spears),” “I get by, with a little help from my friends (Joe Cocker),” “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller (Stronger – Kelly Clarkson), “I’m walking on sunshine (Katrina and the Waves).”

Get it? You’re already feeling better just hearing those song references in your head right now. So, check your playlist. That’s the power of music. Stop listening to those angry, depressing, and defeatist songs.  Inspire yourself.  Change the atmosphere.  Music puts energy in the air around you. Put the right kind of energy in the air, into you, and let it flow through you.  YOU ARE WHERE YOU CHOOSE to be. You make the choice of what you listen to.  Edit.  Edit.  Edit.

2.       Fill your life with positive and energetic people.  Who are you hanging around with?  Who are talking to? Who are you getting advice from? Who do you spend most of your time reading their posts, texting, chatting with, talking to? Who is influencing you?  Look around and evaluate the people in your life. Everybody is either pouring in or pulling out energy from and to you.  They are either building you or tearing you down.  They are either making your life better or more complicated.  Here’s a couple tips that shouldn’t have to be said, but often the most overlooked and cause the most damage to our efforts of change and success.  Don’t take relationship advice from someone that has a long history of bad relationships.  Don’t take financial advice from someone always broke and needing help.  Don’t take loyalty advice from a cheater.  Don’t take exercise advice from a couch potato.  Don’t take dietary advice from a food addict.  Honesty isn’t found within a liar.  Life isn’t found within a vampire.  Energy isn’t found in a zombie. Love isn’t found in the player. Integrity isn’t found in deceitful.  Maturity isn’t found in the immature. Success isn’t found in those always in a disaster.  Surround yourselves with those who’ve been THROUGH some shit.. not ones still going through it, again, and again, and again, and again.  The only thing you’ll learn from them is how to keep failing.  But the ones who’ve been down and have gotten back up, who have pulled themselves OUT of their darkness and tasted success, who’ve actually ACHIEVED some things in their life, those are the people who will inspire you.  Being down isn’t  a bad thing; staying down is.  Failure is when someone doesn’t reach higher or beyond their boundaries and circumstances.  Staying around the same type of friends will create an atmosphere of the same defeat.  You’ll find yourself dealing with the same problems over and over and over and over again.  That’s insane according to Einstein.  So, change your atmosphere. Think about what you really need in life, and then make THAT change. 

 

Life sucks sometimes. We all go through struggles where can’t seem to catch a break, bills just keep piling up, responsibilities just seem so overwhelming that we get to the point where we think we’re going to break, that we can’t hold up too much longer.  Our hearts have been mangled, our lives turned upside down, and no matter how far we run, how much we try to drown the pressure or numb the pain, we can’t find relief. Our bodies ache and begin to fail from carrying the weight of our stress and pressure for too long. We spiral, we fall, we push away the wrong people, surround ourselves with even worse people, find comfort in playing with fire, destruction, just to feel something.  We listen to things that constantly remind us how much life sucks, and we just stand in one single spot, turning and turning and turning but getting nowhere. Stop!!!!!!!!!  Please, just STOP!!!! Breathe. Pray.  Know… “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

 

3.        Our bodies carry our stress and pressure.  Change your atmosphere by changing your body.  Start working on the outside and watch the changes happen on the inside.  Start exercising, because exercise releases endorphins and adrenaline, and dopamine.  Don’t turn to alcohol and drugs, turn to diet and exercise.  Do something good for your body.  Feel good.  Feel strong.  Feel healthy.  As you change your body, and work on changing mind by changing your atmosphere, music, and friends, your soul will change.  Have sex, but even with that, the kind of sex will play a big role in that transformation.  While emotionless, uncommitted, and casual sex can be fun, it will add no value to your life, only help contribute it to your defeat.  We often think casual sex doesn’t affect us, but it does.  It affects our souls, it affects our minds.  Nothing is more healing than the gentle touch from fingers filled with honest love and affection, a hug that is honest and as strong as the love of the person wrapping their arms around, and don’t even let me get started with a kiss that you feel down in the deepest part of your soul.  Having casual sex has no real benefits, but comes with a LOT of added problems (std’s, possibility of someone getting hurt, sharing intimate moments with someone that doesn’t care, infidelity, lies, problems, stresses, unwanted pregnancies, etc), but making love – making love with someone that deeply loves you, adores you, respects you, trusts you, someone filled with integrity, honesty, and a pure heart – is a conduit that gives and receives hope, inspiration, and energy. 

We are where we choose by the choices we make.  No matter where we are at this moment, it’s not where we have to stay.  If your heart is broken – love another and let another love you.  If you need help – help someone else and let someone help you.  If you need inspiration – inspire others and let others inspire you.  If you need encouragement – encourage others and let others encourage you.  Just be careful who you choose, what you choose, and how you choose to give and receive.  It makes ALL the difference.  It’s our choice.  It’s our responsibility.  We are where we choose to be and how we choose to be. Protect and fill your mind, your body, and your soul with the things that will change your stars.

“Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dreams, friends, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps

No, this isn’t a post about the famous George Harrison song, but I think I’m beginning to understand his meaning.  I wish I could take you on a journey into my mind, into my heart, and through my fingers with every pluck, strum, and chord change on my guitar.  I know I could record the sound, but just hearing it won’t guarantee you’ll go on the journey with me. You must have ears to hear to get there.  It seems this is a journey I must take alone, but man, oh, man, I wish I could take you with me.

For the last several years I’ve been working on one song, and sometimes I stay on the same chord progressions for months before adding something new or changing a rhythm in that progression. Yet, when I begin to play, sometimes all it takes is a few chords, a few strums, a few plucks to transport me somewhere else, somewhere deep, somewhere that feels like a river of so many emotions, so many feelings, so much that it’s often too much to even try and explain.

This morning while playing, I placed my ear on the top of the body of my acoustic guitar and started the familiar progression, first with a soft individual strum of each string, giving them their own moment, their own sound, in their own time.  From the initial vibration of the sixth E string, I felt my soul stir and it wept.   There was a sadness, a loneliness found in that single note. It moved with the fullness of the vibration as I just let it sit there.  It needed to be released.  I felt part of what’s been bottled inside me, move through my fingers, the ones on the Em chord, and then through my thumb as it started at the 6th E and moved slowly down over the next four stings.

Over and over I just slowly strummed each string, and with each new vibration I felt my soul moving with all five strings, making sure to never touch that first E string, because I knew, I felt something else waiting there.  Just the Em over and over and over and over.  The hair prickled on the back of my neck, and my stomach pitched, and a huge knot formed in my throat, but I kept playing, I kept pouring my soul into those strings over and over and over and over.  I begin to slowly rock as I play, because I can feel it coming, the release, the energy in the universe about to move through me and then back into me.

That’s the thing about playing music.  It’s not just about pouring out from me into the notes I play, but to open my soul and allow the music to pour back into me, through the vibration, through the sounds, through the waves, emitting their healing, their message, their love back into my soul. It’s like a filter, the way a body’s heart, kidneys and liver filters our systems.

After a while of just playing that Em, I finally move to this progression that only involves the top four strings… 6th through 3rd , with alterations of just using the top 2 and 3.  I don’t want to put the chords here, because this is an original song I’ve composed and don’t want someone else to steal it.  But, moving through this progression, the strums become a little harder with each repeat.  I feel something moving inside and it’s sad, and it’s dark, and it’s painful… and the more I play, the more it moves through me, bubbling to the surface.  This movement starts deep in the pit of my stomach, behind my belly button, and travels to my spine, up over my shoulders, and then down my arms and into my fingertips, all the while the other end of the tendrils are weaving deep into the chambers of my heart and into the hidden places of my mind.

Our voices are just another note, another vibration to mix with the sound of the strings being played on the guitar. I find myself humming and then open my mouth to release a high, yet sad note.  It’s a haunting sound, full of pain, full of heartache, full of feeling… and it’s soft, and it’s beautiful.  It complements the low sound of the guitar, and together it melts into a new melody, a new sound, evoking a new emotion.  I continue to play, I continue to sing.  My strums become harder and louder, as my song grows in intensity.

Then, like a climax, I feel myself reach the precipice and my song turns into a wail, and my fingers take over on their own and play the last few notes, and I feel all that pain, all that hurt, all that emotion release from me, release into the universe, release into the world and I stop singing, and then I stop playing. My heart is racing, my hands are shaking, and my mind is swimming as the last note fades into the ether.   I smile, and with wet lashes, I open my eyes. I look down at my guitar and just sit in awe and wonder at the power it possesses to soothe my soul.

I wish I could take you on that journey with me. I wish you could experience how music is capable to move soul as it does, but I can’t.  That was a great journey this morning. 

I think I’d like to try the ukulele, now.    

Till next time,

~Gently Weeping Guitar

Categories: Blog Post, Faith, family, Hope, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, Play List, relationship, song, Spiritual | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Counting Stars

Counting Stars

By One Republic

I’ll get into the lyrics of this song in a minute.  I haven’t heard it in a couple years, but listening to it on my way home from work today brought me right back to a place in time when I was fighting for my life.  I can almost remember the very moment this song came alive to me.  I had heard it several times on the radio, and while I thought it had a catchy tune, it didn’t really mean anything. Yet, one afternoon I found myself sitting by the lake at my apartment on Alvin Street, watching the sun glisten on the water’s surface, ducks flying overhead, a cool breeze in the air, when a soft thought popped into my mind, whispering to me that nobody cared, that all the sacrifices I’d made in my life were for nothing, that all the love I gave was never returned, that I didn’t matter.  I’d just been invited to be part of an anthology with some of the writers I admired, had no one with which to celebrate my achievement. I thought I could easily slip into that cold, frigid lake and no one would even notice this selfish, rebellious, unlovable woman was gone.  I felt the pressure and judgment of the world on my shoulders.  All the voices of the people who told me I was making a mistake by getting a divorce, that I was disobeying and disappointing my god, that I was being rebellious and selfish because I wanted to be in love, that what I wanted was stupid, a fairy tale. I had the world.  I had a good career. I had a good marriage. I had a good family. I had a good inheritance. I had a good reputation. I had a picture-picture resume life.  My writing career was taking off, and I was beloved and respected by my community; a pillar they called me, a monument of strength of character.  I had everything a good Christian woman desired in her life. Someone told me once that I was selfish for not being content with the life I had, that my desire to want more, was an insult to the god I claimed I loved.  How could God love me for being so selfish? To want more was to distrust God.

I didn’t want riches. I didn’t want fame. I had opportunity to have both and walked away. I just wanted to be loved, to be wanted, to be desired… to be heard, to matter, to make a difference in this cold world, for humanity to love each other, not hate each other proving who was right. I wanted fathers not to hurt their little girls, and mothers not to be ashamed and hide behind pills, and brothers that didn’t steal and lie to each other, or sisters who supported each other and not be in competition, and kids who didn’t take the strength of their parents as a sign of not caring, and parents who remembered their kids were not their property but individual human beings with their own thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. I felt at odds with the universe.

I closed my eyes, felt the warm sun on my face, slipped my feet out of my shoes and edged by toes toward the cold water of the lake’s edge when this song suddenly came on my iPod and filled my ears, and the tears spilled down my face.  This was a song from me, to me, in that moment.  My inner-self called out to my spiritual-self, and the words never meant something more beautiful than what they did that cold, cold autumn afternoon.

 

Lately I been, I been losing sleep

Dreaming about the things that we could be

But baby I been, I been prayin’ hard

Said no more counting dollars

We’ll be counting stars

Yeah, we’ll be counting stars

 

Counting stars… wow! One of my favorite quotes in the world, something that gave me strength through the years was from A Knights Tale when a declaration was made to change a person’s stars, to change the destiny the world had given them, to be more than what society deemed as acceptable. Before that movie even came out, my best friend in the world – who became the love of my life, made a promise that we would rise above our stations in life and change our stars.   I fought my whole life to be more than what I was born into, more than what society dictated, and I worked hard my whole life to rise above my beginning, my inheritance, and my lot in life.  No one was going to tell me my limits.  I pushed them, and I soared well above them. When my drug-dealing father was arrested, I was deemed a miscreant, told by a bigshot D.A. at the age of sixteen I was going to grow up and be nothing more than one of my father’s whore drug runners, a high-school dropout, and in prison before twenty.   I changed my stars and proved them wrong, living a clean life, a vanilla life free of drugs, gangs, cartels, and miscreants.   When I lost a college scholarship because I became a teen mother, and chose to keep and raise my baby, I changed my stars by paying my own way through college, and working three jobs at the same time supporting myself. When the love of my life died in combat and left me alone in this world, I still remember the promises we made to change our stars. I never forgot. I will never forget.  I’m not counting one star… I’m counting on changing many, many, many, many, many more stars. I have, and I will change even more. I’m still counting them, baby.

 

I see this life

Like a swinging vine

Swing my heart across the line

In my faces flashing signs

Seek it out and ye shall find

 

Life isn’t about what comes at you or is presented to you.  You have to chase it down.  You have to go after what you want. You have to take a chance.  Yes, you can fall. Hell, you will probably fall a lot more than you’ll ever fly. Yes, you can grab hold of a weak vine and it causes you to crash to the ground, but that doesn’t mean you stop swinging.  It means you get back up and grab the next one and see where it takes you.

 

The old, but I’m not that old

Young, but I’m not that bold

And I don’t think the world is sold

I’m just doing what we’re told

 

Excuses.  The world if full of them, but we have to be willing to argue back with it, set our own limits, tell ourselves what we are going to do and how we’re going to do it.  We can’t be afraid.  We can’t think inside the box.  Don’t allow ourselves to be put in a box… too old, too young, too weak, too strong, too fat, too skinny, too uneducated, too educated, too smart, too dumb, too experienced, too inexperienced.  Tell the world to go fuck itself, and stop doing what it tells you.

 

I, feel something so right

Doing the wrong thing

I, feel something so wrong

But doing the right thing

I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

 

You can’t change or count your stars if you’re too busy living under everyone else’s judgements, ideas, and limits.  You determine what’s right and what’s wrong for YOU and tell everyone else to go fuck themselves.  Am I disappointing my god?  That’s between me and my god and nobody else’s business.  Live your own dream.  Find someone that supports that dream, and made damned sure that if you’re supporting someone else’s dream, that it’s their dream and not yours for them. You’ve got no right to dream for someone else.

 

I feel the love

And I feel it burn

Down this river every turn

Hope is a four letter word

Make that money

Watch it burn

 

Looking for the world’s definition of love or success, it’ll never work, it’ll never satisfy, and it’ll always burn.  It’s fire, it’s poison, it’s shallow, and it stings.  Too many people fall in love with the idea, the dream, the image of what they believe is love, instead of falling in love with the real person right in front of them. When they get disappointment because the person doesn’t live up to the perfect image that was created in their minds, they blame the person instead of themselves for building impossible standards anyone could ever hope to reach. It’s not fair.  We have to come to a maturity in our lives so that when we look at someone we are not naïve to their flaws, but embrace them, and love them just as they are in spite of them, not only loving the truth of who they are, but for the potential of who they’re capable of being because they too hold the power to change their own stars. The first step to changing stars is seeing the truth, exactly as it is in all its ugliness. But when we can’t even see the truth of the stars in front of us, how can we expect to change anything?  We change nothing and then we live our lives chasing THINGS… things that will burn or turn to rust, things we cannot control, cannot contain, things that slip right through our fingers and burn in front of us. We exchange our stars for temporary things, for temporary love, for temporary people… ideals instead of reality, fantasies instead of truths, we lose out on real love for infatuation and lust.

 

I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly

Take that money and watch it burn

Sink in the river the lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

Songwriters: RYAN TEDDER

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Can’t you feel it?  This song reminded me of the promise I made as a hopeful fourteen-year old girl, sitting with her back against her locker next to this dorky, long-legged awkward boy named James, dreaming with our young, naïve hearts of how we were going to change our stars. I felt that promise that day by the cold lake through this song, and it stirred something deep within me, and it’s stirring something else within me today.  I heard that familiar whisper during my flu delirium, reminding me that my love hasn’t found me, that though I’m loved, I’m never chosen, I’m never fought for, and that if I want anything in this world I’m going to have to fight for it on my own or provide it for myself. I understand now, I need a star counter, because I’m a star counter.  I could never be content with someone that can’t even recognize their own stars, much less who isn’t constantly counting new ones.  I won’t ever be silent. I won’t ever be content. I am bigger than this life, much more than the boxes offer.  I am at odds with the universe, because I too am expanding, seeking, and counting stars… and it’s time I got back to it.

I too am a star.  My own sun, shining brightly, soaring in this universe, But I’m not one to be caught so easily. If you can’t even see me, the real me, then maybe I’m just a little too bright or a little too hot for you, or you just don’t belong in my universe.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

YOLO!

yolo

Yep.  I don’t know why it comes as a surprise for some people, but you really ONLY get ONE life.  Yeah, yeah, I know… some of you believe in reincarnation, life after death, transformation, transcendentalism, etc… all those other “possible” conclusions.  But, I’m not talking about those right now. I’m talking about the 50-100 meager years we get to walk on this planet.  Well, some of us crawl, some of us run, some of us spend it on our backs, while others spend it on our knees, but you know what I mean.  One life.

So, let me ask you… what are you doing with your life? Are you even living it, or are you just existing? Do you just go through the motions, or do take charge and move through the universe experiencing everything you can while you can?

People, we get one shot at it.  Just one. 

There have been some low times in my life where I wanted to end it, when the pain was too much to bear and I just wanted it all to stop. Abuse. Cancer. Death of a love. Divorce. Break up with a soul mate. Times I’ve felt so lonely, so lost, so unwanted, so unloved, so rejected, so unnecessary, that I just ached inside. Of course, my love for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for life itself always stayed my hand during those low points, but I’ve been there.

There have been some high times in my life where I never wanted to end, ones I wished to live over, and over, and over again.  A kiss that melted me from the inside out. A touch that still gives me butterflies today. A hug that felt like it held together all my broken pieces.  A moment of my hard work being recognized. The birth of my children, holding them for the first time. Laughing so hard I peed myself. Jumping from 2.5 miles in the air.  Racing down white rapids. Watching an ant meander through the grass and meeting God. Writing. Playing my guitar. Kicking alien ass on my Xbox.

Life. A series of moments.  Good moments. Bad moments. Loud moments. Quiet moments.  I’ve lived a lot of moments. I’m not guaranteed one more.  So, I want to make them count.  Love the people in my life.  Live my life being happy. Loving and being loved. Discovering and being adventurous.

I can’t imagine trying to numb my life with hate, drugs, alcohol, or behind a thick wall never letting anyone in, or with condescending judgment.  It’s not always going to be sunshine and roses, and there are still dark days and dark moments ahead, but there’s always good moments, and bright moments, and life and love. 

Be silly. Laugh. Take a chance. Jump. Kiss the girl (life).  Dance. Dream. Sing. Touch. Smell. Stop hiding. Stop running away. Throw your hands into the air and let it go.  It’s your choice. No one else to blame but yourself if you’re too coward to embrace life.  For fuck’s sake… SMILE!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Do It Anyway

do-it-anyway

They say that wisdom comes with age. I’m not so sure that it’s only an age thing, but a combination of that and experience.  Life’s lessons aren’t just lessons learned as Father Time ticks away the years, because I’ve met many older people who’ve led very sheltered and narrow-minded lives, and never learned a damned thing. However, experience alone doesn’t grant us this wisdom either, because I’ve also seen some people who have experienced some tragic and great things, yet still never learned anything, either.

So, what is the key to wisdom?  I think it might have something to do with learning from the experiences we’ve had throughout time.  Not that we can learn everything, because no matter how much we try, we are fallible humans.  Everything we do learn, or are exposed to, is filtered through our level of understanding.  For some that level is higher, more open, and allows more to filter through, while others have smaller holes, and very little gets through.  Our filters are made up of our preconceived ideas, theologies, cultural influences, regional inspirations, religious teachings, parental guidance or lack thereof. Our filters come from the pain we’ve experienced, and the joys of pleasure.  My filter has some very small holes, as well as some very large ones.  But, have I learned anything?

Love is an enigma.  It’s the one thing I’ve pursued harder than anything in my life. It’s also the one thing I’ve ran from faster, and has eluded me more times than I could count.  It seems just when I find it, it’s taken away from me.  It’s like the biggest cosmic joke.  I’m so afraid to be happy, because just when I find happiness, it’s taken from me – first by death, then by cancer, and recently by … well, I’m still not sure what happened. It’s the most confusing of all.

So, what can I do?  Though I’m scared. Though I’m confused. Though my filters are all messed up. Though my faith is weak.  Though my heart is one big fucking mangled mess… I do it anyway.

I dare to hope, when I see no hope.

I dare to dream, even when my dreams are filled with nightmares.

I dare to smile, even when I feel like dying inside.

I dare to sing, even when my voice is cracked or hindered by the big knot in it.

I dare to love, even when I’m not loved in return.

This is the thing I’ve learned.  I could choose to hate, and be angry, and feel sorry for myself.  That’s easy.  I could hold grudges, return pain for pain, be vindictive, and be selfish.  That too is easy. These are the actions of the weak-minded, selfish, shallow, and deplorable.  They only breed onto themselves and cause more of what hurt them in the first place.  These become the ugly monsters in the universe, spreading their disease like a zombie. Once infected, they spread their hate to everyone else that dares to love or get close to them. I choose to be different.  I’d carry pain to keep from causing pain. I’d give everything I had to prevent someone else’s suffering.  I choose to give the very things I need most in my life. Because I know, that I know, that I know – because I’ve learned – the only hope I have is to give love if I ever hope to receive it. Real love. Not this imitation bullshit called passion, chemistry and infatuation.  Those are nice, but only temporary and vain.  Though most of the world accepts that vanity, and never moves beyond it, confusing it for love, I can’t. I’ve felt the real thing, so I can’t accept the imitation. If I have to sit across the table from a thousand men, or ten thousand men, I hope to someday look into a pair of eyes and see the love I’ve been waiting for, that I’ve been sending out into the universe, hoping and praying it makes its way back to me.  And if not… then I leave this world having sown love, hope, joy, goodness and kindness… so that maybe someone else doesn’t only meet made monsters.

This song sums it up perfectly.

Do It Anyway – Martina McBride

You could spend your whole life building something from nothing, and a storm could come and blow it all away… build it anyway.

You could chase a dream that seems so out of reach, and you know it might not ever come your way… dream it anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.

This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today… believe it anyway.

You could love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons, and a moment they could choose to walk away… love ‘em anyway.

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good. And when I pray, it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should… but I do it anyway. I do it anyway.

You could pour your soul out singing a song you believe in, but tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang… sing it anyway.  Sing it anyway.

I sing, I dream, I love ….anyway.

Categories: blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing., Philosophy, poem, Quotes, Relationships, song, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

If I Had a Heart

If I Had a Heart

This post is inspired by the theme song by Fever Ray from Vikings.

Lyrics:

This will never end ‘Cause I want more More, give me more, give me more

This will never end ‘Cause I want more More, give me more, give me more

If I had a heart I could love you If I had a voice I would sing After the night when I wake up I’ll see what tomorrow brings

If I had a voice I would sing

Dangling feet from window frame Will I ever, ever reach the floor? More, give me more, give me more

Crushed and filled with all I found underneath and inside Just to come around More, give me more, give me more

If I had a voice I would sing

 

The first time I heard this theme song it was the powerful music that touched me.  That constant and tribal thump of the bass line pulled at my deepest soul string, and my heart beat changed to keep in time with it.  It pulled me down into the depths of my own soul and stirred everything inside it… all the hope, all the love, all the pain, and all the despair.  All of it mixed together, swirling, swirling, swirling, deeper and deeper… ‘more, give me more, give me more. Dangling feet from window frame, will I ever, ever reach the floor?’

That’s what my heart longs for… more.  But more of what?  At first I thought it was love.  Just like the song says, “If I had a heart I could love you.” It doesn’t say ‘would’, meaning having a choice… but ‘could’ as if incapable or unable. Love seems to be the most elusive thing for me to receive, yet what I tend to give more and more and more. I find it ironic.  When I first heard the scriptures that whatsoever a man sows, that also he would reap, I began to sow the things into my life, my world, and into others those things I wanted most for myself.  When I need encouragement, I give it to someone else. When I am hungry, I feed someone else.  When I am in need, I go out of my way to help someone else.  When I am lonely, I will provide company to someone else.  When I’m afraid, I will encourage someone else.  When I’m lost, I will lead someone else to somewhere I know.  But love… I give love to those who’ve hurt me, who’ve hate me, and who’ve reject me.  When I see a heart that has been broken and crushed, as mine has been so many times, I pour what love I have within me into them as much as I can.  For I am filled with love… love for myself, love for a broken and wounded world, because I am broken and wounded.

For the longest time when I found myself in need, I would go without.  When I was lonely, my tears stained my pillow that no one ever saw, and hid my pain behind a smile.  When I was afraid, I’d wrap my arms around myself.  When I was lost, I wandered alone.  There’s two sides to that scripture… sowing and reaping.  I learned to sow, lived a life of sowing and giving and pouring into others, denying myself and carrying my cross, yet I had not learned how to reap, how to open myself to receive, let someone else sow into me, because I only knew how to be broken and crushed.

Our lives are filled with many dark nights, many storms, many battles, and many moments of pain, but joy comes with the morning. Let us see what tomorrow brings.  Be content, but never be satisfied.  Always strive for more, more and more.  Because this is life.  Living is surviving, rising, falling, and overcoming.  If I had a voice I could sing.  If you have ears to hear, then listen.  Hear what calls from the deep.  Forget the noise of the world above and allow yourself to fall into the depths and listen.

“This will never end, ‘cause I want more. More, give me more, give me more.”

Categories: Blog Post, Dreams, Faith, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, music, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Relationships, song, Song Review, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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