Poetry

Finding My Purpose

Finding My Purponse

Feeling lost is no picnic. I really think it is the leading cause of depression. It’s at least a feeling I have to deal with from time to time. I’m a pretty positive person, full of energy, jam-packed with ambition, and overflowing with drive …on most days. I’m almost always busy, almost always going, almost never sitting still, and almost never bored …almost. My brain NEVER rests. There are some days I feel lost, drained, lonely, and completely unfocused. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.  That’s our little secret.

But, why?  Why do I go through those emotions?  Is it chemical? Is it physical? Is it mental? Is it genetic? Is it psychosomatic? Is it part of my PTSD? Is it hormonal fluctuations as I age further into menopause? It could be one, all, or a combination. I don’t always know the root cause. But, and this is a big but (sort of like my backside), I notice most often those feelings of depression, being tired, drained and lonely surface most when I’m without a purpose, when I’m in the transition from one purpose or the other, when life shifts and my needs and wants change – because that’s when my purpose changes, when my goals change, when my priorities have to be rearranged, when my emotions fluctuate and when my daily stresses and requirements shift.

I am a blessed, healthy, smart, capable, gifted and well-loved woman. I ‘should’ be happy ALL THE TIME.  I’m passionate …about EVERYTHING, I’m an empath, an artist, and a philosophical thinker – so I feel deeply about EVERYTHING – good and bad.  My joy is amazing, yet my grief is brutal, my love is overwhelming, yet my mistrust is deep-rooted, my belief is strong, yet my faith is full of doubt, I’m a walking, breathing contradiction.  But, God have mercy when I find purpose – because when I do, my focus becomes laser-sharp, my ambition becomes great, my gifts kick into action, and there’s literally NOTHING I can’t do that I set my heart and mind to accomplish.  My mustard-seed faith becomes activated, my strength builds, my courage grows, and I become unstoppable.

I amaze myself sometimes when I think of the things I’ve accomplished, the things I’ve overcome, the things I’ve survived, and the experiences (both good and bad) that I’ve had, and how they have shaped the woman I am today.  I’m only 48, but I’ve already lived an amazingly horrific wonderful scary exciting life.  I want to live another 48 years filled with even more adventures, accomplishments, experiences, and love …most of all love. Yet, I’ve done most of it alone, even when I was married or in close relationships I chased my passions alone.

I have loved very deeply, and I want to be loved just as deeply. I want to find a purpose that fuels me, but for this half of my life I want to share that purpose, drive, and passion with someone who loves me, wants me, and wants share their passions with me.  I have had many purposes in my life – daughter, sister, protector, mother, fiancé, wife, friend, student, cheerleader, fighter, worker, manger, boss, entrepreneur, reporter, gamer, survivor, teacher, humanitarian, coordinator, leader, singer/song-writer/musician, author, speaker, coach, editor, agent, buyer, step-mother, and girlfriend.  What’s next? When I find my next purpose – watch out, because I will be unstoppable.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Unforgivable

Unforgivable

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

The Joy of Writing

The Joy of Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

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On a New Road

On a New Road

I honestly never thought I’d be here – on this road that I’ve found myself meandering. I doubt often, keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, keep waiting for someone to tell me that I’m dreaming and none of this is for real that I’ve somehow made it all up in my head.  But that bad news never comes and I keep moving down this road.

Is it love? Yes, love is involved, but it’s so much more than that, so much deeper than that concept. I can love, have loved the unlovable, have had unrequited love, have lost love, and I’ve had some pretty fucked up kind of love when it comes to family.  No, love isn’t the issue.  I have no question that I’m in love – I just question the kind of love I’m feeling – because it’s all of them.

Honestly, for the second time in my life I don’t love ‘in spite of’ something, or for some circumstance. I don’t love out of obligation or passion or loneliness. Yes, we have passion, but we’re free. No, this love is deeper than passion because it instills peace and hope.  I don’t want to change anything about him or about us, yet being with him instills change in us both.  He doesn’t make me feel like I am not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or not badass enough, or from the wrong side of the tracks, or too good, too smart, too awkward – yet at the same time when I’m with him I feel beautiful, and smart, and badass, and more than enough, and silly, and safe.  It’s not in the words he says to me, because he doesn’t tell me senseless words – or colorful words to try and make me feel better. He doesn’t stroke my ego.  He often just tells me like it is, even if it’s something I don’t want to hear. Most of all, when I’m with him I feel safe, relaxed, and free to be me – all of me, the woman that doesn’t have to try so hard to always be perfect. I can be my silly self.  I talk his freakin’ ears off because I don’t feel inhibited in any way when I’m talking to him, or when I’m around him, nor do I feel judged.

He knows my darkest secrets, my greatest fears, my worst flaws …and yet he stays and looks at me the same way he did when he had only heard the great things about me. He doesn’t try to change the way I feel, the way I believe, the way I look at the world. He doesn’t tell me I’m wrong or stupid when he disagrees with me. Oh, he’s not perfect – I see him too – and all his flaws and I still think he’s beautiful. I love looking in his eyes, because I see a deep soul – with lots of wounds, lots of scars, lots of wear and tear, a lot of character, and many dark stories – but beautiful nonetheless. I see a caring heart, a nurturing soul, a warrior. I believe he would die or kill to protect me, to keep me from harm without a second of hesitation or concern for himself.  Honestly, I’ve never felt that before. I’ve always felt I had to protect myself or do the protecting.

How has that happened? Where did he come from? I wasn’t ready to meet him but I’m really glad I did. So, yeah – I’m in love and it scares the hell out of me. But if you know me – I face the things that scare me – and I’ll face this too.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

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

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

Vain Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

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

Small Victories

small-victories

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

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

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, Poetry, Quotes, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Company You Keep

The Company You Keep

They say, “You are the company you keep.” Who are they?  This time, it’s many of the people I’ve grown to respect and admire over the years, people who have gone before me such as Epictatus, Benjamin Franklin, Cohen, Albert Einstein, Voltaire, etc.  Japanese Proverb says, “When a character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.” English proverb says, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” Drew Houston says, “You become the average of the five people you hang out with.” In 1 Corinthians 15, “Don’t be misled. Bad company corrupts good character.”  Starting to get the point? And before I move on – for those who think keeping their own company solves the bad company issue – you can be the bad influence in your own life.  “Character is much easier kept than recovered,” Thomas Payne.

I say that, to say this …be careful of the company you keep.  If your life is falling apart and you keep suffering, you keep failing, you keep facing the same problems over and over and over, look around at your support system. If you don’t have a support system – then that too is your fault and responsibility.  You can’t blame the world for leading your astray or letting you down – because the world hasn’t been around. YOU led yourself astray and YOU let yourself down.  But, if you do have a support system – check yourself and check them.  Are they a strong, positive, inspirational, encouraging, moralistic, supportive, natural leaders, got their shit together, and successful examples? If not, then there might be the problem. The BIGGER question – are you all those things to your friends AND to yourself?  There’s another answer to your failures and problems.

We delude ourselves. I’ve done it. I’m guilty.  Thomas Payne is right, “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.”  We quickly and easily want to lay blame to others for our failures.  It’s his fault, it’s her fault, it’s their fault, I didn’t have the same opportunities, life isn’t fair, if I didn’t have kids, if I had only got an education, if I had the money, and so on and so on. I’ve heard the excuses. I’ve tried to use them, but when it comes down to it – I can only blame myself for making poor choices, either in ignorance or vanity.

One thing I have learned through it all – I noticed a pattern, am noticing the pattern again, and must conclude – the times of my greatest successes coincided with the times I surrounded myself with people that lent me strength to achieve those successes, who encouraged me, and who inspired me. No one ever did anything FOR me, I’ve fought hard for everything I’ve ever achieved through sacrifice and hard work. The times of my greatest failures and disappointments were when I surrounded myself with vampires, by selfish, lazy people, by bad company who took my love, my charity, my compassion, and my gifts for granted – and left me empty and dry. Shame on me.

We think the company we keep doesn’t really affect us, our life, our successes or our failures, but that’s just a lie we tell ourselves because we don’t want to face the truth: the company we keep reflects WHO WE ARE, where we are in life, and what we value. You can lie to yourself all you want, but if you want to know who you really are, not who you think you are, look at the people around you – look at the company you keep.

I am uncommon amongst uncommon people. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am filled with passion, integrity and good character.  I am driven. I am determined. I love myself and I’m working hard to cut out the leeches, the vampires, the excuses, the corrupt, the liars, and the thieves  – and surround myself with people who inspire me, who love me, who value me, who encourage me, who love and value themselves – because I am not done yet. I have achieved a lot in this world, but I have more work to do.  I’m not looking for perfect people – no such thing exists. I’m looking for uncommon people amongst uncommon people – the dreamers, the fighters, the people who don’t take no for answers, the people who never give up, and the people who don’t let excuses stop them. That will be the company I will be to others and the company I keep. Because of that – watch what I do, it’s gonna be fucking amazing!

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Life after Heartbreak

Life after Heartbreak

In the moment I can’t breathe and my sun has disappeared behind endless clouds and acid rain, tumultuous thunder, and incessant wind.  I hold tightly to myself, clasping my heart with all my strength to hold together all the shattered pieces.  I’m lost.  The storm has destroyed everything around me and I recognize nothing anymore. All I have left are pictures and memories, and even some of them are destroyed. There are no arms to hold me. There are no heroes to help me.  There are no words to comfort me. Only pain.

But the storm doesn’t last forever.

The wind calms, the lighting ceases, and thunder’s rumble wanes in the distance. I lift my face toward the gray skies.  The gentle rain washes away my tears and I open my mouth letting the refreshing drops land on my parched tongue.  I loosen my fists and unwrap my arms, stand to my feet, and lift my hands. I close my eyes and scream into the heavens until my throat is hoarse and I can scream no more.

Then I breathe.

I breathe again.

I listen to my heartbeat.

I breathe again.

I listen to the last of the rain drops fall onto the earth.

I breathe again.

I listen to the warm wind and feel it rush over me, drying tears from my face.

I breathe again.

I feel the warmth and see the red behind my closed eyelids as the sun parts the clouds and washes over me.

I breathe again.

I hear birdsong.

I breathe again.

I hear waves crashing against the shore.

I breathe again.

I open my eyes and see a sailboat in the distance.

I breathe again, this time faster.

I step into the water, it’s calling me deeper.

I breathe again.

I dive beneath the break and its commanding waves to surface on the other side. The sailboat is closer.

I breathe again as I swim.

I approach the boat, but see no way to climb aboard, until a hand reaches down towards me.  I look back towards the shore and see the remnants of the storm behind it and a hard lump forms in my throat. But, I turn away and grab the hand and exhale as I’m pulled aboard.

I smile.

I don’t know where I’m going, or what journey I am on, I just know I can never go back to where I was before.

There is life after heartbreak, and living to be done, and I breathe.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

**Painting by T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Complicated frustrations, Conversations with a Friend., Dream, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musings, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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