Romantic

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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Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Book Review, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Flash Fiction, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, poem, Poetry, Quotes, relationship, respect, Review, Romantic, Short Story, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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

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

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Faith, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Romantic, Short Story, Song List, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Someday

Optimist Vs Pessimist

 

I love this meme with Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Chuck is just being real, laying it all out there and sharing with his best friend that he understands his reality. He’s having that existential moment and struggle with his mortality, like we all face at times.  We are all going to die. Oh man, that is so simple, yet so profound, and really sucks!  Though I’ve technically died twice, there is a final death waiting for us all. We only get (1) one life.  ONE. That’s it! Sure, there are faiths, beliefs, and theories that profess we come back again and again – but right now, as me (Tonya), that stubborn-ass girl born on a hot July back in the early 70’s – I get ONE trip on this big blue ball as the flesh and blood woman sitting here this morning typing this blog post. But how long do I have? Who knows?  It could be another half century, or just a few more minutes.  We have no control over that. When our time comes – Death will come and claim his soul.  But what kind of soul will that be?

For a Beagle, Snoopy is one profound puppy.  He has this silent strength about him.  If you notice, Snoopy doesn’t respond with his emotions, but with controlled wisdom.  He is often silent, yet profound. I’m the opposite. I’m very vocal, passionate, and extremely expressive on both sides of the optimist and pessimist coin.  I’m like Chuck, always questioning the universe. Always pondering the mysteries of life. Always seeking the answers to my issues, but there’s not always a Lucy with her $.05 stand to answer my questions.  I believe a Snoopy has recently come into my life that doesn’t speak much, but when he does – he speaks with a profound truth – a controlled truth, a truth often void of emotional strings. It’s refreshing, and helps tether my emotional balloons.  I really hope he knows how much I appreciate him.

Snoopy’s wisdom reminds me to look at what’s important in life. It really hit home with me this morning.  Truth – is so profound in and of itself.  Snoops doesn’t deny the truth in Chuck’s proclamation, but affirms it.  TRUE – we will all die someday, BUT … man, wow …but on ALL the OTHER DAYS we will NOT.  Boom! That’s it folks.  THAT is the fucking key to life.  We have to live – really fucking live on all those other days. We have to choose to live. We have to choose to look at the bright side – the optimistic side.  Don’t worry about that ONE day, be in the moment of all the other days.  Take the leap. Eat the cake.  Kiss the girl. Be grateful and thankful and appreciate the world around you and the people that make those days good and bearable. Love each other. Love yourself. Stop hiding behind fear and stress and anxiety and pessimistic outlooks.  Cut the bullshit out of your life. Stop clinging to the excuses.  So what if you fuck up and make a mistake? So what if you get hurt? So what if you fail? Failure is just an opportunity to try again or try something else.  Jump!

My friend wrote something the other day about all the pessimistic fears, lies, and worries the mind, the body, and the ego says to us on a constant basis– but the heart had the key – the heart had the single optimistic profound message that outweighed the mind, body and ego all together.  “Hooyah” says the heart. Hooyah, indeed. Maybe my friend will send me his quote and I can share it with the world.  It’ll hit the center of your soul with its profound message.

There’s a world out there – and we all have a life to live.  Live it.  Chase those dreams. Time is limited, so live life now. James and I made so many dreams together, but his day came swiftly.  Since then, I’ve been doing the best I can to live the best life I can to fulfill those dreams we made knowing there’s no promise for tomorrow. I won’t wait for tomorrow, because I know the truth – sometimes my tomorrow, my day, will come. But on all the other days – it will not and so today I say, “Hooyah!”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musing, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Romantic, 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

 

 

 

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

Be Yourself

Be-Yourself-Pic

 

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

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

Setting Goals

Setting Goals

All of us dream of achieving or gaining something, even if we don’t always know what it is, how to achieve it, or even if we can identify it, but it’s there, it exists.  A dream doesn’t have to be something big, something fantastical, or unrealistic – those are just types of dreams.  A dream is something to aspire and desire to achieve in our life.  It’s good to dream.  It’s good to want to aspire and desire – well, sometimes. Sometimes we want something that is detrimental, destructive and dangerous – and from those dreams we need to learn to identify and protect ourselves.   Everything, like the force, has balance: positive and negative, black and white, yin and yang, destructive and productive, love and indifference, etc.  Dreaming is good.  Chasing that dream is even better – it’s the first step, and it’s often the first stumbling block the common person never surpasses.

A dream takes vision, takes a focused mindset, takes planning, takes calculations and demands cost in time, money, patience, and endurance in order to achieve.  It takes sacrifice – many of which most of us are unwilling to pay. We want the fulfillment of our dream to be like making a wish, or saying a spell and it magically appears, with no real effort on our part. We live in a Burger King society that wants what we wants, we want it now, and we want it our way, and we want it cheap. We’ve become obese, fat, and lazy in our efforts – and then we want to complain when we see others achieve what we didn’t have the time, patience or endurance to complete.  “It’s not fair!” we chant.  We’re right – It’s not – so we need to shut the fuck up.  It’s not fair the Spoiled feel entitled to what we’re not willing to work hard for, to sacrifice for, to suffer for, and to do what it takes in order to make happen.

One of the best ways that has led me down the path of dream fulfillment and success has been in setting goals. But – before we get ahead of ourselves – before I even write the vision on the wall of what I want, what I dream, what I desire – I have to first take a long, hard, honest look in the mirror and assess WHO I am. The truth of who I am, not the lies I tell myself or what I want to believe, but WHO I really am.  Once I’ve seen the truth and know the tools I have to work with, know the condition of my foundation and the storehouse of my supplies – THEN and only THEN am I now ready to start setting my goals.

Luke 14:28 tells us, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”  Take stock of what we have, who we are, and where we are – then make a list of what we need, who we need to be to complete our task, and where we need to be to achieve success.  Break those goals down into increments – Point A – to – Point Z, then Point A to Point M, and then Point A to Point G, and then Point A – to Point D,  and then finally, Point A to Point B.  Break them down, and then ONLY start with Point A to Point B until it has been completely fulfilled.

Don’t give up, don’t try to jump to another point (we’re not ready for those points yet) before we’ve completed the goal before. Be faithful to the dream and to ourselves.  It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to push us outside our comfort zone, past our governors, past what we thought were our capabilities.

It’s good to dream. So, get busy setting those goals. We need to write them down every day until they get into our souls. Count the costs – and then pay them. Change the Burger King mentality and it’ll change lives.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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