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

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



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

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

Find Something Worth Dying For …


Irish Gladiator

A friend of mine has an Irish Gladiator banner hanging on his wall that says, “Find something worth dying for, and live for it.” I call this saying a Scottism. For several weeks now that phrase has been rolling around in the back of my mind, trying to find a tendril of understanding to latch onto, because in its simplicity it’s very profound.

Just the first part alone – the very first part – to “find.”  To find indicates an effort, a movement, the making of a decision that’s followed by action.  FIND – seek, explore, hunt, track down, identify, discover, uncover, etc. It doesn’t say wait for something … but FIND.  Get off your ass and hunt it down!

That’s where we fail as a society right out of the gate.  We’ve become a culture that doesn’t hunt, that doesn’t seek, and sure as hell doesn’t find. We want everything given to us without any effort of our own, and then lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we ‘deserve’ it.  I once heard another statement that said, “Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and Mercy is Him holding back what we do deserve.” What the hell do any of us really deserve?  We often get what we seek to find. If we seek shit, we find shit. We seek destruction, we find destruction.  If we seek shallow plastic, we find shallow plastic – and then bitch about only having shallow plastic.  Oh, what a world in which we live. But, thank God not everyone is that way – just the majority of common people. I thank God that “I’m uncommon amongst uncommon people.” LOL (Shout out to David Goggins for that motto – it’s ingrained into my soul now.)

Back to the Scottism I’ve been working on – Find something worth dying for…” If you really think about that – what on this earth is worth dying for? For me, EVERY bit of it is intangible. I would never die for stuff, titles, money, opportunities, or luxury. Yet, I watch people daily sell their souls and step over humanity to obtain these things that will one day burn to ash. No, all the things I would die for are intangible – Love being the greatest of these. Freedom – and man it has a high cost.  Faith – I would die for faith – believing in something bigger than myself, and in someone I love. Family – I would die to protect my family. Hope – I would die to keep hope, because I know that without hope I would already be dead.  Purpose – I would die trying to live with a purpose. But, not much else.

I think before we put our lives on the line for the things we deem worthy to die for, we should really consider the true cost. It shouldn’t be a whim, but a truth we diligently had to search for, dig for, and then find.  But, once we got it – once we’ve given it the respect of discovering the truth of it – then and only then does the second part of that statement come to live – and hit home.  THEN … LIVE for it.

Dying for something is actually the easy part. True strength is coming from being able to LIVE for the things we would die for. God, if we would really take the time and think about all the stupid shit we waste our time chasing and started loving and appreciating the things in this world that were truly important – truly worth dying for – our lives would have so much more meaning and value. We chase after pretty faces, cold hearts, baseless and useless shit – and then bitch about it – because the truly valuable things are not easy, often not pretty, and on the surface doesn’t look spectacular. But, how blessed are we when we do get ahold of it? When we truly open our hearts and let the real shit in – the real pain – the real love – the real purpose?  Wow, just wow. Thank you, Scott for that inspiration. I don’t know where you got it – and it really doesn’t matter – because it’s latched onto my soul now.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Be Yourself



If you’re in my life and I like you, well, simply I like you. If I do like you, I like you just like you are, just like I discovered you, for who you are. Well, for the most part. We are ever-evolving souls, moving from one stasis to another, morphing from one state of being into another, going from caterpillar to butterfly, and carcass to maggots.  I’m an optimistic in hopes that those changes are for the better towards progression, but I am completely aware we are all capable of the worse towards regression. I’ve been there a few times. I’m human, and so are you.  Be Yourself.

I think my biggest battle is setting my expectations of someone on my ideals of who I want them to be and imagine them to be, instead of who they truly are, because again – I’m an optimist and hopeless romantic. But don’t mistake my romanticism for a lack of the ability to acknowledge realism.  I do see the flowers on side of the road – but I also see the potholes, the dying bees, the faded lines, and the carbon-footprint.

Some people are perfectly imperfect and have become inspirations for me and I unapologetically love them for it. Some people have disappointed me, not because they couldn’t be perfect, but because they didn’t strive for it. I’m going to be myself. And who I am is someone who strives to succeed, who strives to be perfect, one who understands how to take their failures and learn from them, who never quits, who never gives up, and who loves with their whole heart.  I speak truth, even if it hurts. I respect truth, even if it hurts.

Deception and lies hurt – the person telling them and the person being told them. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want to deceive anyone. I want to love people for who they are inside and out.  I want to be proud of my friends and lovers. I want to be inspired by people willing to be themselves.

It’s hard in this world today to be our true selves, mostly because we don’t know who we truly are to our very core. Do we display our truth, or our ideal of our truth? In this world of social media, it’s too easy to create a persona of who we think we are and who we want to be, but it’s hard to be completely honest and vulnerable – because we fear judgment. The world is cruel. But, I’ve learned over the years that freedom to be my true self, and that be okay, and that be good enough is the ultimate accomplishment. While I do care to have the love and respect from the people I love and respect – I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of me or my behavior. I just have to make sure it’s okay with the woman in the mirror. If she’s okay with it, I’m okay with it.  I care what my friends think and feel about me, because I value them – just as they are – and their love and respect is important to me. I care what my boyfriend thinks about who I am and the kind of woman I am, because I want him to trust me and love me for the woman I am – not who I was or he thinks I will be someday, but who I am in this moment. I don’t want to change who they are, either. I have come to love them as they are – imperfections and all.

I’m glad they’re not perfect, because I’m very competitive. I want them to be proud of me and the woman I’ve chosen to be, and I’m going to be myself, all the fucking perfectly imperfect parts of me.  I’ve told my boyfriend all about my dark, ugly demons, scars, and imperfections. If they haven’t scared him away by now, I think he might just stick around for a while.  I adore him just like he is – as himself. I adore my best friend just like she is – as herself. I adore my kids just like they are – as themselves.  Be yourself, and let me love that person.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray


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

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

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




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

Keeping it Balanced


Keeping it Balanced

Balance is the key to just about everything. As Einstein once wrote, “For every action there is an equal, but opposite, reaction.”  As human beings, we get off kilter, off center, off emotionally and off physically when we don’t have balance in every area of our life.  We need our Yin-Yang in balance and operate from a centered position.

If I don’t eat a balanced diet, I will become unhealthy. Each of our bodies are different and have different responses, metabolisms, and digestive systems.  It is my responsibility to understand my body, and become a good steward of it.  It is my temple. It is my duty to nurture and protect it, and treat it with respect and dignity. While it is perfectly okay to treat it with delicious delights that tantalize my tongue, I must balance it with the nutrition and dietary supplement it needs. I have a slow metabolism and vitamin deficiency.  It is MY responsibility to make sure I eat the right foods to give me energy and nutrition, and take the vitamins I need to keep me healthy.

If I don’t get a balanced workout when I exercise, I will either not see the results I need or see too much results in what I want or don’t want.  My body is a machine and needs constant maintenance, and that is my responsibility.  It’s no one else’s job to get me to workout.  I love encouragement and support, and having a workout partner helps keep me on track, but it comes down to making a choice and seeing it fulfilled.

I have to balance work and play.  If I work too much, that makes me a work-a-holic and neglectful of my body and soul.  If I play too much, I neglect responsibility and accountability.  I must balance the two.  It’s important to have a job or career that gives a sense of purpose and pride and sharpens the skills within me to help me provide for my wants and needs.  It’s also important to chase my dreams and passions. They are important too.  Having a sense of purpose is important. Having drive and passion are important, but I must keep them in balance or they will become the harbingers of destruction or addiction.  Nothing hurts worse than having no purpose.

And then there is love and friendship … and those too must remain in balance. There are extremes from neglectful to obsessive, from fantastical to practical, and from underwhelming to over-bearing. Balance is key.  Love and friendship are important.  Any good relationship must have reciprocal feelings – a balance of give and take.  When there is unbalance, it becomes painful and destructive to both sides.

Take time and look at life and see if things are in balance. If it’s too good to be true or just underwhelming – then it’s not in balance.  Seek balance in everything.  When someone tells you they are afraid to feel something, afraid to do something, or afraid to commit to something – run because there is no balance and there will be no peace.  They’re vampires – dead things seeking to such the life out of you until you are dead too.  Many people speak balance – but where there is no love, no passion, no drive, no responsibility, no faithfulness, no diligence, or no duty … there is no balance. Try driving on unbalanced tires – that’s how an unbalanced life feels.  I’m seeking balance.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray


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