Musings

Assumptions and Snakes

Assumptions and Snakes

I made an automatic assumption yesterday about my boyfriend that turned out to be wrong.  I felt like a tool. I felt so bad I had to go and apologize to try to make it right with him, because that’s not the kind of person I want to be, and it’s not a behavior of which I’m proud.

I once heard a phrase that stated, “Don’t assume because it will make an ass out of u and me.  Ass-u-me.” It can and it does.  But, in no way does it mean I am to be stupid. Truth is truth, period. We are not to deny truth – but we can work on our assumptions because they are not always grounded in truth.

The Word says in Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep amongst wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and innocent/harmless as doves.” While I don’t consider myself a sheep, because I’ve learned the difference between sheep, wolves, shepherds and sheepdogs.  I’m a sheepdog. The second point I wanted to make was that I’m a wordsmith and dissect the meanings individually to understand the context in whole.  So my first question is how is a serpent wise?  Well, growing up on ranches, farms and woods, I’ve encountered many snakes and I can tell you they are careful, they are prudent, they are stealthy and are they are keen observers.  They don’t announce their arrival, but they might warn before an attack, but not always. They will attack when the time is right, when the opportunity presents itself, or when they are forced to defend themselves.  They’re patient. Man, I could go on and on about the wisdom of snakes.

The innocence/harmlessness of a dove, though. That’s more difficult. What makes a dove harmless or innocent? Doves are loyal. They mate for life and are very protective of their mates and offspring.  They are often considered compassionate creatures. They are not predator animals.  They’re the symbolism for the Holy Spirit and truth, and honesty, and good character.

I think altogether this just simply means we need to be discerning and hold our actions to a higher standard, to be careful with our judgement. Things, thoughts and ideas need to be kept in balance, things such as our emotions, our minds, our hearts, and our faith.  I have to make sure the decisions I make are not heavy in just one of these areas, but balanced between them all – being both wise and harmless.

My assumption was an emotional response, not to him, but to my previous experiences and preconceived ideas.  I unfairly judged him for the actions of others. I unfairly questioned his moral character without evidence or proof, or consideration.

Rev. Daniel Patrick once said, “Condemnation of new information, without consideration, is ignorance and arrogance of the highest order.” I had that posted on my office door for years, and that truth is sewn into the depths of my heart, soul and character. Yet, I condemned, judged, and propagated my opinion – falsely without consideration or thought. That’s NOT who I am.

One of the things I love about my current relationship is the honesty and the deep level of communication we have with each other. There’s NOTHING I couldn’t talk about with him. There’s probably nothing we haven’t already talked about (‘cause this woman *pointing to herself* is obviously a yapper).  I’m not going to always make the right decisions and say the right things and be wise or harmless. Sometimes I’m going to respond ‘out of balance’ with either my emotions, my thoughts, my fears, my faith, my understanding – or lack thereof, and neither will he. I can be stupid and vengeful.  WE are humans with free will.  But, I do believe with my whole heart that with good communication, with open honesty, and an integral fortitude to do the right thing, to make amends for our mistakes and learn from them – we can be imperfectly perfect with and for each other, and be quick to forgive.

I think that honest communication is the foundational key to any successful relationship – making us both wise and harmless. I don’t want to hurt him in ANY way. I don’t want to be hurt. I don’t expect him to be perfect – just open and honest. I love his flaws and I’m unafraid to bare my flaws. I know he will fail at times (don’t tell him that – he doesn’t believe in failure), but I know he’s a warrior and will get right back up and keep fighting. I don’t care about his failures, I care about his spirit and will and determination and drive to keep trying, to keep fighting. At times I am going to fail, at times I’m going to fail him – but I too am a warrior and I WILL get back up. I’m never out of the fight – I will always keep fighting. I just have to learn to fight right – not just know enough to get myself hurt.  I got to watch those assumptions and snakes.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

 

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Vain Words

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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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Finding Purpose

 

Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Small Victories

small-victories

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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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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Don’t Be So Quick To Judge

New Post

If you know me, if you’ve met me, or if you’ve read any of my blog posts over the past several years, you would probably say that I’m able to easily express my emotions, that I’m an emotional person, or that I’m clearly in touch with my emotions.  You’d be wrong. Very wrong. It takes a hard, concerted effort, and one that I have to work on EVERY day to express my emotions, or to even acknowledge them.  I sometimes fail. I sometimes fall back into my safety net, and cower behind my wall of steel, stone and ice, to protect myself from feeling the full impact of the pain that’s in my life.

If you’re shaking your head, because you don’t believe it – let me explain.

I have PTSD, and a pretty bad case of it. For those of you who instantly just filled your mind with the idea that those who battle with PTSD are weak, you’re fucking wrong. Let me repeat: YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG!  THOSE who FAIL to face their truth and battle with their PTSD are the weak ones, not the other way around.  The strongest of souls fight battles every day most of us don’t even have an idea of their struggle, because they’re not weak-ass pansies throwing their problems on everyone else, looking for that pat on the back, or that bit of sympathy. They acknowledge their pain, face it, and deal with it head on no matter how hard, how much it hurts, how much it’s going turn their world upside down.  They are not quitters.

I hate pity and sympathy. It irritates the shit out of me when people feel sorry for me when they learn about some of the struggles I’ve been through. I hate it. It’s one of the reasons I had kept my mouth shut for so long, because I hated to see that look on their faces or hear that sound of pity in their voices – and then watch as they begin to treat me like a victim – with kid gloves, afraid to offend me, afraid to be themselves in order to not hurt me. If I broke so easily, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  I’m the strongest fucking person I know in this world and I hate being treated like a victim or a fragile flower. But that’s the kind of world in which we live, where people want sympathy and excuses for their failures instead of someone refusing to carry their lazy asses and tell them to pick themselves up off the floor and fight.  I hate fucking excuses and I literally hear them day in and day out.

I don’t pity others.  If you come to me with your sad story – you WILL tug at my heart strings. I’m a fucking bleeding heart – but then you’re going to stir the warrior inside and I’m not going to come to you and put my arms around and you pat you on the back.  I’m going to get in your face and ask you what the fuck you’ve done to pull yourself out of the situation, to protect yourself from it happening again, what you’ve learned, and what you’re doing to fight to protect yourself.  If I see you fighting – I’m going to jump in the lion’s den with you and do whatever is necessary to help you succeed.  But, if you’re cowering in the corner – and want me to do the fighting for you – THAT SHIT AIN’T HAPPENING. I’ve nearly killed myself saving fucking victims. I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  If you’re a victim, if you are immobilized because you can’t get over your shit – I can’t help you. I have no sympathy for you.

I don’t want to know what you WANT to do. I want to know what you’re DOING. I respect someone flat on their ass because they’ve failed attempting to fulfill their dreams, or attempting to overcome something that’s holding them back, than some whiny-ass bitch with a bunch of dreams but doing NOTHING to make that dream come true. I admire people that don’t give up. I admire people that aren’t afraid to own their failures and mistakes. If your ass is broke because you half-ass everything you do, take short cuts, or have a bitter attitude that you’re struggle has ANYTHING to do with your culture, skin color, opportunities, sex, or breeding – I can’t even talk to you. FUCK YOU. I hope you lose everything you’ve got so that way maybe you’ll be forced to struggle to fight for everything and learn to respect yourself and learn your worth and stop making fucking excuses for your failure. YOU own your success or failure.  And we more than likely have a different definition of failures – because some failures are victories if there was something learned or gained.

THAT is an example of my PTSD.  I will help, protect, fight with, and be open with honest, straight-forward people. But, I don’t trust most people. I don’t even like people to touch me or get into my personal space.  If I hug you or allow you to touch me, it wasn’t nothing – it took a huge effort and a whole lot of trust. And being able to write my truth – that took a long, long, time to get to this level of freedom. My breakthrough came when I started writing to MYSELF. When I started to love the warrior inside, the woman that deserved to be acknowledged and appreciated.  It took me until I was almost 30 years old before I could even cry.  I never said the words “I Love You”.  Ask my first husband. All we ever got to was, “I like you a whole lot.”

So, the point I’m getting at is this – when you meet someone who has a hard time expressing their emotions – quit expecting them to respond to things and situations in the way YOU would respond. They are not you.  If you see them struggling to express, step back – you don’t know what they’re carrying. Now, don’t give place to victims. Don’t placate or enable victims’ excuses.  And don’t take disrespect from them either. No matter what they’re struggling with – love yourself enough to expect to be treated with respect. If you don’t get it, ask for it. If you still don’t get it – show them your back because they’re nothing but fucking vampires and they’ll suck the life out of you in an attempt to fill their own emptiness. Treat people with respect for who THEY are – take the opportunity and time to find out HOW to relate to them. That’s the ultimate expression of love and respect is actually observing and giving someone the focus and time to get to know THEM for who they are inside.  If you’re too busy, or too self-absorbed, you’re a shitty friend and just move on for their sake.

If I care about someone, I’m Nancy-Fucking-Drew. I’m always asking questions, observing how they respond to me, quick to apologize if I over step, and am honest – brutally and openly honest.  A lot of people can’t handle truth because we live in such a disconnected world, hidden behind our social media and self-help bullshit, quick to just ghost and hide from responsibility and then whine and complain that shit don’t work. We’re too quick to swipe left or right, and when things get hard (and ALL fucking life is hard at some points) we run back to level one where it’s easy. We get offended too easily. My best friend right now is someone I’m not afraid to get in her face, and she’s not afraid to get in mine, because we know we may get mad, but we will always be back the next day to work it out.

I actually had a guy tell me the other day he doesn’t like drama. He doesn’t respond to drama and only wants to hang out to have ‘fun’.  I’m sorry – but that’s not a FRIEND. That’s a fucking acquaintance, or what they call a ‘fair-weathered friend’.  I don’t need those in my life. I love my sunshine and I love to share my sunshine with my FRIENDS who’ve been through the storms with me. They deserve my sunshine. Fucking fair-weathered friends don’t deserve anything from me – especially my time. My time is valuable and precious. When I’m with my friends, they have my full focus. I need them at times, and I need to be there for them at times.  Yes, we shouldn’t surround ourselves with negative people. I will be the first to send someone stepping if all I hear out of their mouth is negative bullshit. But, there’s a huge difference between a negative person and someone going through something.  I am deep, and I’ve got deep wounds and no weak ass punk is going to be able to handle my truth. That’s probably why I love badass Rangers, mean ass Marines, and those warring Navy SEALS. They make street thugs look like fucking pussy cats. I’m the daughter of an International Cartel Drug Dealer – and I’ve seen some shit – but I don’t have anything to worry about when one of these guys have my six. NOT ONE FUCKING WORRY. They can handle it.  But, no matter how tough they are – emotions may not be something they easily handle. But that in no way makes them weak.  Those who don’t take the time to try and understand how to listen, how to relate – they are the weak ones. A warrior is deep, and only deep can hear the deep.  Leave all that shallow ass bullshit for those fair-weathered friends.  I’m not a frogman, but I swim in deep waters.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Brotherhood

Brotherhood

 

In an attempt to bury my head and to keep myself from feeling sorry this Father’s Day weekend, I delved into binge-watching the show SEAL Team starring David Boreanez.  I watched all of Season 1 and am part way through Season 2 now. It’s a great show. I found myself teared up a few times, and on the edge of excitement and/or tension at other times.  The storylines were familiar, sometimes too familiar, but I thought they were well-written and not glamorized in Hollywood fashion, beating us over the head with their slanted agenda.

*Small rant* – Usually when someone has a personal agenda when they write a story, the story isn’t balanced, and that imbalance makes it not work. The general population is mostly ignorant, but a bad story is a bad story regardless if observed by the ignorant or intelligent alike. *Getting off m soapbox*

But, I think about the moments in SEAL Team that brought me to tears and asked myself why that particular scene affected me so much, curious as to what truly touched the nerve and evoked the emotion I fought so hard to suppress. When I’m alone I try not to suppress my emotions because my home is my safe place, but it’s a hard habit to break.  I didn’t realize it until this morning what moved me so much – the brotherhood.

For as long as I remember, I have loved and admired Military personnel. I don’t really prefer one branch above the other, though at times one may have my attention more than the others.  James was an Army Ranger – so Rangers were my focus for a long time.  Emilio was an Army Drill Sergeant.  Jeff was an Army Ranger.  Homar is a Marine. Jenna was Army. Evenlyn was Army. Brad was Navy. Matt is Marine. Chris is Marine. Matthew is Reserve. John was National Guard. Scott was Navy SEAL, and so on and so on.  I have many friends who have served this country in the Armed Forces from every branch – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard.  I am drawn to them and feel a kinship, yet still feel on the outside.  But, why do I love them so much?  I think it’s because of the ‘brotherhood’.

James was the first person to ever make me feel loved and safe. It should have been my family, but I didn’t have that kind of family.  I had many brothers, and though I love them and will always love them, we were not a brotherhood.  I carried them, but there was no one to carry me. I had to learn to carry myself. I had a biological mother and father, but make no mistake, I was an orphan. I was married for two decades, but was never really wanted or ever felt at home in his family. And I’ve been in a couple relationships since where I just didn’t belong. James was killed in ‘93 and with his death I lost that sense of belonging. Just before he died, I would hear him talk about his brother’s on his team, and I was jealous, but only a little because I knew in his heart I was also part of his team, that I held a part of his heart just like his brothers.  I wish I had got to know them, but I couldn’t even tell you one of their names. I think I’ve been seeking them out in all the service men and women I’ve met over the years.

I don’t feel I belong anywhere, and that I’m constantly on the outside looking in the windows of all the brotherhoods around me.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been loved in this world – by my kids, by my friends, even by my ex-lovers. They all loved me – but they were not my brotherhood.  This world is a hard world and I’ve had to fight my whole life to survive it. I am a survivor. I’m not a victim. I’m laughing/crying right now, because I’m thinking about Marcus Luttrell, and I want to say to him, “You think you’re the Lone Survivor? Yeah, you’re the one who survived Operation Red Wing, and you lost your brothers (my condolences), but you had – and still have – a brotherhood.  You were NEVER alone. You have a brotherhood until the day you die. You’re so fucking lucky.” I mean that with the utmost respect. He’s one of my true life heroes.

So, I think I’ve discovered what it was that truly evoked my emotions this past weekend. It was Father’s Day and I was lost. I have no father, no father-in-law, and no husband that’s a father, no boyfriend with kids, no son with kids, and no son-in-law with kids to celebrate with and/or for. I loved seeing all the people honoring and loving their fathers. I was so jealous.  Angry at those assholes who did not honor their fathers.

God is my father. He is also my brotherhood. I believe He put this love in my heart for warriors and brothers in arms. It’s not the uniform I love – it’s the bond of love that is formed in these teams.  The tighter the team – the stronger the bond. Maybe I’ll find my team someday. I think my biggest hope is that one of these brothers could someday love me the way they loved their brothers, and that they would fight for me, protect me, and be there for me with the same dedication, fight and determination – willing to sacrifice it all. But, if not – I got this.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moderation is for Cowards

 

Moderation is for Cowards

I recently heard a quote that missed my head and hit me right in the soul that it’s taken me a few days to digest it.  It said, “Anything in life worth doing, is worth overdoing, moderation is for cowards.” I don’t know the author of this quote or even where I heard it, but it reminds me of another quote by Hunter S. Thompson, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” David Goggins recently inspired me with, “Choose to be uncommon amongst uncommon people.” But, I suppose my favorite comes from Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”

There’s something to be said about giving our all, our best effort and our energy into what we want to achieve in this life.  I have a spirit of excellence. I don’t know how to do anything half-assed. It’s not in my psychological makeup. Call me an A-type personality, OCD, or an over-thinker, none of those names matter – because what I feel it comes down to, in the base, in the foundation, in the root  of my very being …is that I’m not a coward.

I am afraid of a lot of things. I’m afraid of fear. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of disappointment.  I’m afraid of judgement.  I’m afraid of not being enough, not good enough, or being too much. But Fear doesn’t rule me. Fear doesn’t control me. Fear sure as hell doesn’t stop me.  I believe everyone is afraid of rejection, judgement, and failure in emotional, psychological and physical aspects.  But, excellence and facing those life obstacles, standing up to fear …is what separates us, and moderation is for cowards.

Cowards lie to themselves and everyone else around them. They pretend life is some fucking fairy-tale as they smoke their peace pipes and stick their heads in the sands of modern philosophy. They’re excuse makers and moderate pussies. Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

I believe hate is bad, and the way our world hates each other breaks my heart. But, hate is better than indifference. Indifference is the cruelest emotion.  Indifferences doesn’t care. Hate is at least filled with passion.  Those who are indifferent and don’t care – cause the most damage in the world.  Those who don’t feel it necessary, or are afraid to feel emotion, love, or passion, those who don’t give their best or approach everything in life with everything they have, who wants to do everything in moderation – are cowards, nothing more than a yellow-bellied sap-sucking woodpecker banging their beaks against the grain, causing a ruckus but changing nothing. A complete nuisance and waste of space.

I don’t have time or patience or respect for moderation cowards.  I don’t care what you do, but whatever it is – do it with excellence, overdo it, do it well, be uncommon and make it happen – or else get the fuck out of the way for the real heroes. Take a chance.  Make the jump. Fight the good fight.  Kiss the girl. Leave the hiding to the cowards, let them fight over the breadcrumbs life has to offer.  Not me – I am a warrior and I seek to surround myself with warriors who can’t accept moderation.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Who Can Bear Such Weight?

Atlas

 

The Hollies have a song that I’ve heard most of my life “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” However, I have always felt heavy.

 

That song has meant many things to me over the years. When I first heard it as a child, I thought about my real brothers. I didn’t have that great American childhood, instead I lived a nightmare. Yet, there was nothing I wouldn’t do for my brothers to protect them, to feed them, or to keep them safe. I never felt they were a burden to me because they were my brother’s, and they were mine to carry. I lied, I stole, and I fought for them. Many years I suffered abuses by keeping my mouth shut so I wouldn’t lose them or have them taken away from me. But, I did eventually lose them as we became adults and drifted our separate ways. They didn’t need me anymore.

Then, I had children of my own – and they were not heavy either.  Life was hard, there were difficult decisions and sacrifices to make, along with many mistakes. But, they were never heavy.  I did what needed to be done. There wasn’t a choice, not in my heart or in my mind.  But they too grew up, and didn’t need me anymore.

I’ve been married once, engaged a couple times, and had a few relationships since then – and all of them were heavy, but not too heavy to carry – not for me. I gave everything, gave all of who I was and what I had to give.  But one by one they left me and didn’t need me anymore.

None, in my eyes, were ever too heavy for me.  None with anything I couldn’t bear or any sacrifice I wouldn’t make, and I made many. But, I have ALWAYS felt too heavy for anyone else to carry. I refuse to be carried. I refuse to be a burden. I refuse to be dependent on anyone else because I don’t trust that anyone could carry me. The weight I carry is too heavy, and the things I hold are too deep.  Perhaps it started long ago with parents who blamed their problems on my existence, or brothers who claimed opportunities were lost because I abandoned them, or children who ran away from me because I was too hard and expected too much, or lovers – one after another walk out the doors opened for them and never fought for me.

I am a Lady. I will always hold open the door. I will never capture, or trap, or manipulate someone to stay in my life. Only the really strong and the really deep will ever be able to stay, because I’m not dainty, and I’m sure as Hell not easy.  Like Atlas, I carry the world on my shoulders. Who is my equal? Who can bear such weight? My burden is not light. My truth is not easy. My scars run deep.  I think that’s why I’m fascinated with heroes, warriors, fighters, gods and giants – a hope one of them will be strong enough. But, it’s a faint hope. I’ve seen too many backs of great, strong men, who thought they could carry my weight. I’m just too heavy.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Make Me Laugh

 

Make Me Laugh

Want to steal my heart? It’s not hard. It’s simple – make me laugh.  Be silly. Make funny faces. Do silly dances. Share silly memes.  Dress up in silly costumes. Stay clever shit.  Look at the bright side. Snort when you laugh. Pee on yourself if necessary, but laugh.

Life is hard. Every day is a struggle to fulfill our responsibilities to ourselves, our friends, our families, our communities, and our world. We grind and grind and grind and grind. It’s our curse. It’s our burden to bear.

Life is full of struggles and atrocities and sometimes pure evil. I feel all of it down to the very center of my being.  I grieve for the broken, the abused, the neglected, the tortured, the hungry, the homeless, the fatherless, the orphans, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the forgotten, the battered, the lost, the weak, the addict, the dying, the bullied and the rejected.  I feel the pain, I taste the earth’s salty tears. I’m not blind to them. No, I am very aware of them – and because I feel so deeply and love so passionately, I’m often overwhelmed with grief.

So, make me laugh.  Show a little kindness. Stand tough, stay firm, fight the good fight, and do what is necessary to protect, to guard, to save, and to defend – but don’t forget to live, to laugh and to love.  Power to love and to laugh in the midst of this cruel world is the greatest power.

Don’t be idealistic.  Don’t be unrealistic. Don’t be a bleeding heart and shut your eyes to the truth to embrace an ideological fairy tale with unrealistic expectations. Leave that shit for the fantasy books.  Make REAL observations. See the UGLY truth. Do the hard shit – so that there can be a REAL solution.

Rev. Daniel Patrick used to tell me, “Confirmation of new information, without consideration is ignorant and arrogant in the highest order.” Don’t be stupid, face the truth and then find something good among all the ugliness. Be a hero, make me laugh.

Laughing in the moment isn’t denying the pain – it’s facing it – it’s being balanced. The only true thing that can conquer hate is love, loneliness is being friendly, selfishness is by being selfless, being in need is by giving to others and addressing other’s needs, and being sad is by laughing.

Want to steal my heart? Make me laugh.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

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