Musing.

Recovery and Hope

Recovery and Hope

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

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

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

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

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

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

~T.L. Gray

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Being Motivated

Discipline equals Freedom

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

 

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To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

To thine own self be true!

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Never Quit Never Surrender

Never Surrender

 

I’d love to say that I’ve never quit anything, succeeded at everything I’ve set my mind to accomplish, but that would be a lie. I have quit. I have ran away. I’ve turned my back on a dream, on people, and even on life at times. I know how to quit. But, I also know the cost of quitting and it’s a lot more than what have cost me to dig in and keep going. I’m not just talking about the good things I’ve quit, but the bad as well.  I’ve quit smoking, I’ve quit bad relationships, and I’ve quit bad eating and exercising habits. Those choices may have been for my good, but they are under the category of quit.

So, to say “Never Quit” is to set a false expectation, a false reality, because there are times I will need to quit, there are things I will need to quit in order to succeed, in order to move forward, in order to protect and thrive. But what do I replace it with, because the sentiment is the same for those things I do want to achieve, I do want to succeed, and I want to conquer, because in order to do so I have to have this ‘never quit’ attitude or else I fail when it gets hard. Anything of value is going to get hard, guaranteed. What is the true war cry, what is the true sentiment, what truth can I grab hold of with both hands to be my strength and my shield as I go through my challenge?

Perhaps, “Never Surrender” is the better sentiment.  To surrender, means to concede, yield, capitulate, give in or give up, to relinquish control, to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

I have goals, dreams, and objectives to complete in this life – and they’re hard. My workout this morning is hard. My job is hard. Survival is hard. Trying to maintain a healthy balance of everything is hard.  Each of those goals and objectives has an opponent, an adversary, an enemy, and I must maintain control of my objective despite those difficulties. I cannot surrender or else I will lose everything I’ve worked for so far.

I made a meme this morning that hit my soul – that gave me that little extra boost to stay faithful and strong to my dreams. It says, “If you quit now …you’ll end up right back where you first began. And when you first began, you were desperate to be right where you are now.  See how far you’ve come? Keep going. Don’t Stop. Don’t Surrender. It’s in this moment, with this decision, that will determine if you fail or succeed …until the next moment when you must face the decision all over again.”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Roadblocks, Detours & Reactions

Roadblocks

I’m a planner. It’s that simple. EVERYTHING great I’ve ever achieved in my life came from envisioning what I wanted, making up my mind that I was going to have it, counting the costs to get it, and then constructing a plan of execution.  EVERYTHING.

But, like all of life – things don’t always go as planned. We find ourselves headed toward our destination only to come across roadblocks and detours. They are always unwanted, but are they really unexpected?  They usually are, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. We should always have a plan B, or C, or D, before we ever take a step with plan A.

I don’t like roadblocks and detours. My destination is clear, and I want my path to be clear. It never is. Roadblocks and detours are one of my triggers. Not because I can’t handle the change in the plan. Quite the opposite, I thrive in change, in uncertainty, and in chaos. It’s how I’ve lived my whole life. I’m OCD and organizing chaos is one of my gifts. But, it doesn’t mean I don’t react negatively when chaos comes and disorganizes what I’ve already put in place. It’s like spending a lot of time setting up dominos to fall just right and have something come in before the setup is complete and knocks them all down. I don’t like it and it causes me to grieve the work I’ve already invested, the dream I already dared to dream, and disappointment at the expectations I’ve already developed. It triggers my anxiety.  Not because of fear, but from the residual pain of 48 years of disappointments.  In the same measure my anticipation for residual joy is just as great, my hope for a deep love is real, because I’ve had it and have experienced it before.

I learned a long time ago that I can’t control everything around me (believe me – I try), or always what happens to me, or what happens in the world around me. The world has Murphy, Free Will, and Intent (whether good or evil), Natural Law, Cause & Effect, Good and Bad, and Chaos. All those things have the power to cause good or bad things to come into my life, cross my path, or affect me whether directly or indirectly – completely out of my control. I can always speculate why something happens to one of us, and not another, etc. That only drives me to frustration trying to figure it out.  I accepted a long time ago that sometimes bad shit happens to good people, and good shit happens to bad people, and bad shit happens to bad people, and good shit happens to good people. Good and bad shit happens, period.

But, what I do have control is how I respond to the shit that happens to and around me, to the roadblocks and detours that come along my road to the goals I want to achieve. I don’t like them. I don’t want them. I try to avoid them. BUT, I don’t let them stop me.  I just find another way, take a less traveled path, a harder path, one that requires more skill or sacrifice, but I keep moving toward my goal, never taking my eyes off my destination.

I had a major roadblock pop yesterday and it triggered me, and there were a few moments where the anxiety overwhelmed me and I found myself in a panic.  Not because I couldn’t handle the situation – because the situation has been handled. I have taken care of myself my whole life. I have faced every adversity or problem on my own. I always have, it’s actually one of my greatest strengths, but it’s also one of my greatest weaknesses. While it has sharpened my survival skills (something I think a majority of our millennials sorely lack), it’s also built a wall of self-reliance that keeps people on the outside. My anxiety doesn’t come from having a problem to face. A problem is just an opportunity to discover a solution, to use my mind, skill and creativity to achieve something. No, the problem wasn’t the problem, the true problem was that I felt completely alone. That isn’t the truth, but it’s what I felt and it’s what triggered my anxiety.

I don’t fear failure. I don’t fear adversity. I don’t fear struggle. I don’t fear pain. I fear – shutting down emotionally, hiding behind my walls, being so fucking stubborn and independent to not let anyone in, to not trust that someone would be there for me. I fear it because I’ve been there behind that wall, in that numb state of shutting down my emotions so I don’t feel, for a very, very, very long time.  It protected me at different times in my life – and I’m grateful I was able to disconnect – to survive. But, I don’t want that anymore. I’m so scared to not feel, to not trust, to not love, because that’s not the life I want. I want to feel EVERYTHING. My Anxiety and Fear practically screamed at me that nobody cared and nobody would be there for me, making me realize I’m still that defensive little girl that won’t let anyone touch her.

I don’t NEED anyone. I handle my own shit – always have – always will. I WANT someone. I want to be able to turn around and somebody be right there beside me AS I face my roadblocks and detours, not for them to remove them for me – but be there beside me as I remove them.  But, in that moment – I felt completely alone and that familiar wall slammed hard against me. I cried sitting in my car for a good ten minutes.  My true roadblock wasn’t my car troubles, but my trust troubles. But, I face what I fear.  My hands literally trembled so hard it took me a few times to dial the number and call the people that are important to me, the people who I would stand with and support in their times of need, trouble, or pain, people who I love and would fight to the ends of the world to protect, to help, and sacrifice everything I have to make sure they get what they need. I just don’t expect it in return – ever – from anyone. That’s a bitter pill to swallow.

When I contacted those important people, I passed on some of those frustrations– but not on the truth – I masked them behind the car situation.  Will I ever trust anyone? I want to, I really do, more than anything in this world.  I want to know for sure that someone out there in this universe really loves and cares for me. Is there any hope? I keep saying I don’t need anyone to save me – and I don’t in a physical, financial, or intellectual way.  But, emotionally – I need a fucking hero.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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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

 

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Pushing Through the Pain

Never Quit.jpg

 

I want to give up – EVERY DAY.  Not every once in a while, but every single day, sometimes even more than once a day.  Every time my back hurts, my legs hurt, my butt hurts, or my arms hurt, I want to nurse it, massage it, heal it, and make the pain go away.  But, I push through the pain because I want MORE what’s on the other side of the pain than just the release of it. There’s no magic pill.

I want to give up – EVERY DAY. Not every once in a while, but every single day, sometimes even more than once a day.  Every time my heart hurts, I feel unloved, unwanted, lonely, or forgotten, I want to feel loved, wanted, appreciated, and make the pain go away. But, I push through the pain because I want MORE of what’s on the other side of the pain than just the release of it. There’s no magic wand.

I want to give up – EVERY DAY.  Not every once in a while, but every single day, sometimes even more than once a day.  Every time I hear about another senseless death, injustice, abuse, and the evil of humanity, I want to save the world and make the pain go away.  But I push through the pain because I want MORE of what’s on the other side of the pain than just the release of it. There’s no magic wish.

Pain hurts.  It sucks.  I don’t enjoy pain, but I don’t fear it, I don’t let it paralyze me, and I don’t allow it to stop me. I’ve learned that the best things this life has to offer are most often found on the OTHER side of pain. It’s found in the healing, in the compassion, in the overcoming, in the accomplishment, in completing the task, in the rescue, in the mercy, in the victory, in the results, in the kiss, wrapped in the arms of love, in tangled legs, in silly giggles, in making a difference, in having a purpose, and in taking a stand. Have no regrets.

The things that make life worth living are ALWAYS on the other side of pain, so we have to push through it and NEVER GIVE UP.  We have to make that decision EVERY DAY.  Not every once in a while, but every single day, sometimes more than once a day …as many as it takes.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Rock Your Own World

Rock Your Own World.jpg

I love to be told I’m beautiful. I love to be looked at with admiration and desire. I love to be appreciated and cherished. Nothing is tenderer and sexier to me than a man I admire staring me in the eyes, gently moving a strand of hair from my face, and me being able to see admiration staring back at me. I love whispered adorations and butterflied crushes. They are the ULTIMATE erotic moments. Well, I’m going to add an awesome head massage to that list. However, I don’t need any of it. I like it, I crave it sometimes, but I don’t need it to feel good about myself. Why? I rock my own world.

I take a lot of selfies, not because I’m narcissistic, but because I genuinely love myself. It took me a long time to get there. And it was a long, hard journey. I’m not self-absorbed or shallow. I’m probably the deepest thinking person I know. I’m not spoiled and pampered. But, if you just met me, you don’t know my story or what a HUGE deal it is for me to take a simple picture. There are no pictures of me for MOST of my life up until the last few years. I didn’t take pictures of myself and others didn’t take pictures of me either. Why should they? I didn’t love myself, so how could I expect them to love me? I didn’t. They didn’t.

I had a reckoning with God and with myself. It wasn’t a pretty process. It was filled with facing a lot of shame, a lot of anger, and a lot of hurt. But, I faced it – and the other side is stunning. I grow more beautiful everyday – regardless if anyone else agrees or not. Their opinion really doesn’t matter to me. I grow more graceful with every new strength, every new accomplishment, and every new selfie. My smile is genuine because I am genuinely happy. Yes, I have some hard moments, sad moments, and painful moments, but even still – I’m happy because I’ve learned to rock my own world.

I’ve learned that nobody else can love me the way I have learned to love me. I’ve been with ME my whole life, and I will be with ME until I die. I’ve seen and experienced everything I’ve been through. There are no secrets, there are no surprises. I know every failure, weakness, success, and strength. I know every shameful moment, low moment, proud moment, embarrassing moment, and every joyous moment. When I look in the mirror, I smile because I LOVE the woman looking back at me. I’m proud of her. I respect her. She is a survivor and a rock star. I know about her fears and her sacrifices, and I’ve watched her face death and rejection a million times, and a million times she stood back up. She has been abused and unloved by the world for most of her life, but she didn’t give up and still fights every day. She’s honest – woefully and painfully honest, and that is beautiful.

Someday her hope is she will find a partner to share all the wonder that she is, who will love her just as much as I do, and who will rock her world …or not. She’s already got me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

 

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What Do We Want?

What Do We Want

 

Do we really know what we want? What drives our wants, what fuels our needs and desires? Is it the propaganda that our mind is bombarded with on a consistent daily basis of our culture, education, media and social media? Is it with keeping up with the Jones’? Is it tradition, idealism of the American Dream that has been planted in our minds from birth? Is the very idea of entitlement grated to us by our own Constitution – in that pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?   I’m sure it’s a mixture of all of that – plus our own imaginations.

I think everything we want FIRST starts as a thought and/or felt as a need. We want love, we want passion, we want purpose, we want vision, we want success, we want wealth, we want health, we want fame, we want direction, we want faith, we want family, we want connection, we want understanding, we want enlightenment, and we want freedom, etc.

I think about other countries not as fortunate as this beautiful country in which I live and sometimes ponder what my wants and needs would be if I was from a different place, a different race, a different culture, or a different life. But, it’s foolish and a waste of time to think on those terms, other than for better understanding of our neighbors’ plight, because I am NOT that person and THIS is the life I’ve been given. I was born into this body, in this race, into this culture, into this part of the world. That doesn’t make me any better or any worse than anyone else – it just makes me …Me. Who I am and who I choose to be – is in every choice I make, and in every want and need I have, and how I go about fulfilling them.

What I want and need today is different than yesterday and tomorrow it will be different than today – because life is fluid and ever changing. I don’t want to get tripped up always thinking “what if” and miss out living life today. Yes, I have dreams and hopes for tomorrow. Yes, I have memories and some regrets for yesterday. But today – today I want – to live my life to fullest, to be happy, to be loved, to love, to laugh, to appreciate, to work hard, to be in the moment. I have many fears, because I’m over-thinker, and those fears haunt me always – fear of failing, of getting it wrong, of misunderstanding, of making a mistake, of being naïve, of being taken advantage of, of being used, of being vulnerable, of being hurt, of being unwanted and unloved. But, I face my fears because I’d rather be all those things – WHILE I’m living my life to the best of my ability, than having missed all those things, and the good opposite by hiding away in my fear. So, I will kiss the guy. I will take the chance. I will make the move. I will face that PF360* machine. I will spend the money and book the trip – because I only get one life. I only have one chance to live. That’s what I really want – to live, to really fucking live.

So, let’s do this.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

 

 

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Get Your Own Dirt

Get Your Own Dirt

 

If there’s one thing in my life that discombobulates my mind, it’s knowing something …and then really KNOWING something – receiving that revelation and understanding of something profound.

Though my brain is a supercomputer, my processor sometimes takes a little time in its internal Google search to find an answer, and that answer isn’t always the right one – it becomes the ‘understood’ one. The greatest thing I’ve ever learned in this life, and what I feel is the most important lesson and greatest revelation, is how to learn. As super as my brain is – I don’t know everything, I don’t always retain everything, and I don’t always understand everything in its fullness and entirety.  But, don’t tell anyone that – I’d have to kill you.

What surprises me though are those truths we know, that are right in front of us, but we don’t see them. We will stumble all over them, and yet remain blind to them. It’s like knowing Christmas falls on December 25th every year, yet we find ourselves scrambling at the last minute because it jumped up and surprised us and caught us unprepared. That’s a sneaky holiday!  Actually, we are just poor managers of our time.  It’s like the concept of death – we KNOW that we know, that we know, that we know it’s inevitable, but our brains just won’t process the reality of our mortality and we are ALWAYS caught off guard and unprepared when it affects our life.  In truth, we use an immeasurable amount of disbelief in our lives every day – YET, we feel we are masters of our universe and have judgements and opinions on everything. We boldly proclaim what we would do in certain scenarios of life – especially things we see other people going through and struggling with, but we are so full of shit. Often we are NOT who we think we are in our minds. The person in our minds is the person we WANT to be – but actually doing and being that person takes so much of a concerted effort.  And come on, let’s be honest, most of us are too lazy to give even a minimal effort, much less a concerted one.  BTW, for the illiterate, concerted effort means something that is coordinated by multiple people or requires a lot of effort – something hard.  I know, I’m being a smartass.  I’m in one of those kind of moods.

So, what is it I’m really trying to say this morning? I just want to remind myself I’m a human being, full of perfect imperfections.  I’m stupidly intelligent and naively cunning.  I know enough to know I don’t know much of anything at all, and if that’s the case for me, I really live in a sad, sad world, because I’m uncommon, even amongst uncommon people. It reminds me of a story I once heard that was so simple, yet so profound, it changed my life. There are a few variations to it, but the truth of it is the same in its telling.

Story:  A group of scientist petitioned God, because they had made a huge discovery and wanted to speak to Him. They approached him as a group, so proud of themselves and their accomplishments and said, “God, we’ve come to a consensus and we are here to tell you that we don’t need you anymore. We have learned how to even make man in our own image from the very dirt of the ground, like you, through cloning. We can grow anything through splicing of cells and seeds, and we can cure any king of disease and don’t need your divine healing any more. We have done all this through our knowledge of science.”

God nodded his head and replied, “Men, you have done well. I applaud you for your efforts and your diligence and am proud of you in all your accomplishments.  I only have one request.”

The scientist, with their chests poked out, feeling so grand in their accomplishments, replied, “Sure, what might that be, God?”

“Next time, fellas, get your own dirt.”

End of Story:

When I first heard that story, I didn’t get it.  I thought about it for a long time and then it hit me. The truth smacked me upside the head so hard it caught my breath.  We as human beings are highly intelligent and we know a lot of stuff – but there’s more stuff we haven’t even begun to understand. We are arrogant and egotistical.  For those of you who still haven’t got the ‘moral of the story’ it’s this: While we can do a lot of things in this world – and they are great accomplishments, we can ONLY manipulate what already exists.  We can clone a cell, split an atom, and replicate a seed – but we can’t give life to anything. We cannot create, which means to make something from nothing. Yes, we can harvest a sperm and an egg, but we can’t make it bond and create life. We are great manipulators.  While we can do amazing things with the dirt we have, we still have to have dirt in the first place. We can’t make the dirt. We can’t breathe life into anything or anyone.

In those times when I’m getting a little haughty and high-fallutin’… I remind myself that it’s not my dirt. When I’ve been blind to truths staring me in the face that I’ve been tripping all over, I remind myself I’m only human clay, made from dirt, and will return to dirt.  I love knowing things, but I love even more really KNOWING things. The key to that is a KISS – keep it simple, stupid.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

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