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The Whimsical World of T.L. Gray – The Story – My Story – My Music

 

The Story, My Story, My Music

The Story – My Story – My Music

Just as Forest Gump asked his mama about his destiny, I’ve often whispered into the wind asking what destiny has been laid out for me. It’s hard to imagine what’s ahead because there are too many possibilities, and most often we can’t even fathom our true purpose in hindsight.  But if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we might just be able to see some hint of an idea. I envy people who are confident about their purpose and tackle it with all they are, all they have, and with their strength. For me, the things I’ve mostly done in my life were things I had to do, things that were necessary to survive. This has made me strong.  I can look back and see a pattern, a foundation that has led me to the person I have become.  Many times on that path I could have ventured into a different direction and ended at a different destination, but I am here.  I want to be able to bring you here, to see what I see, hear what hear, understand the perspective from my point of view.  So, let’s go back, way back to a different time, a different world, a different era.

Some people can’t remember much about their childhood. I’m one of them.  My life is comprised of bits and pieces of splintered memories, glued together with facts and timelines.  I often wonder how much is memory, how much is imagination, and how much is real.  Regardless, the pain is real, the joy is real, the love is real, and the hate is real.  So, does it matter? This is MY truth, and it is this truth that has made me who I am. So, as I filter through amber dreams, riding the waves of what was, my first stop will be a time of discovery.

I’ve always had a love for music, all kinds of music.  There’s just something about it that moves me, touches my soul in a way that most people can’t.  It’s always been a part of my life. I can hear a familiar song and am instantly teleported to a different time in my amber vault.  I’m not always sure what was about that particular memory that attached to that particular song, but I just let it do what it’s supposed to do.  MOST of the memories connected to music are good ones, but there are also nightmares and pain that make some songs hard to hear.

One such memory is back-dropped by Rod Stewarts, “If You Think I’m Sexy”. It was released in 1978, which would have made me seven years old.  I can remember sitting in my parents’ dark red Malibu outside a laundry in New Caney, Texas.  The summer sun colored everything in golden amber, shimmering mirages snaked across Highway 1485, and it must have rained the night before because a mud pooled just outside the back door.  I sat in the front seat of the car, my small feet up hanging out the window, sweat trickling down my face as I pressed the 8-track into the player.  The swilling of the notes of the song’s beginning instantly put me in chill mood.  In one hand I had a sweating Sunkist soda, and in the other a half-eaten Chic-o-stick, as my feet moved to the beat.  “If you want my body, and you think I’m sexy, come on Sugar let me know.”  I had no idea what the song was about, but I knew I liked it. I liked his voice, I liked the beat, and I liked the way the song allowed me to escape the Texas humidity.  Even at a young age I had a knack for song lyrics, for being able to pick out each instrument and follow its progression within a song.  Rod Stewart’s raspy voice comforted me.  I’m not sure why I needed comfort in that moment, I just know that after the song played for a few moments I reached up and wiped the tears that had snaked down my cheeks, because now I was lost in the song.

The rest of the memory is just bits of broken pieces, the sound of children playing, two little blonde babies running around in saggy diapers, another chubby kid with copper-red chair using a stick to dig for worms near the mud hole outside the back door and another skinny little boy begging me, “Sap, come play jacks with me.”

Sap. That was my name, or at least that’s what everyone called me. I’ll get to that story soon, as well as the moment I heard my real name for the first time on my first day of Kindergarten.  There’s something about a name. There’s power to the names we are called, or by which we are known, just as there’s power in familiar songs.  To this day I am still teleported to that memory outside that laundry mat every time I hear that song or Rod Stewart’s familiar voice. It seems to be a safe memory for me. Knowing the facts of where I was, what was going on at that age, I believe it’s good I have this memory.

Other songs that teleport me are Queen’s “We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions, and Another One Bites the dust.”  These songs were recorded in 1977, so it’s still around the same time that I first heard them, although the memory of me hearing them didn’t take place in New Caney, but in a trailer park in Huffman, Texas, so this was before the memory above. There was this drainage ditch outside the trailer park that served as a border of where I was allowed to roam, but I never stuck to borders. Inside, the trailer had lime green carpet and orange countertops.  I can remember lying on a linoleum floor, listening to Queen from a record player.  It was one of those big stereos where the player was hidden inside a cabinet top.  The sound of the needle when it made contact with the vinyl is so pronounced, and then the songs… the songs instantly took me away.  The room grew black as my imagination opened and I entered into a fantasy realm filled with flying horses, talking bears, and a single apple tree on a little island.  Island of the Magic Apple Tree was one of the first stories I ever imagined and ever wrote.  For some reason Queen’s rock anthems took me to this place.  Yet, for this one memory there’s also a dark side.  As the song ended, the arm of the record player automatically lifted from the vinyl and returned to its dock.  I looked around the trailer and saw ashtrays full of cigarettes and roach buds attached with feathered clippers, bodies lying around everywhere, some in bikinis, and some in cut-off shorts, empty liquor and beer bottles, and crying babies in a crib. I pulled a chair up to the gas stove, pushed away the bent spoons and empty needles to put a pot of water on the burner.  While the water heated, I mixed powdered milk and placed the bottles into the water.  That memory flashes every time I hear those songs, but so also the story.

There are many other songs that have both good and bad memories attached to them.  Music is strong. Music is important.  It affects me deeply. I listen to it, I play it, it moves my soul.

Well, that’s enough for today.  But, I’m not done with the topic of music, and I’ve only just begun with telling the story of how I got my second name, Sap.  Stay tuned.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray ©2017

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Body, Mind and Soul… Day Three

Body, Mind and Soul - Day Three

Good morning and welcome back. Yesterday I promised to speak about the soul. For the sole purpose of reaching my life goals and dreams, I have to set my mind on what I want to achieve. I have to focus, fill my thoughts with the things that will help me reach those pinnacles.  I need to protect my body, mind and soul from people or things that will steal, detour, or destroy the plans I have made.  Not everyone in my life is good for me, some will not only destroy the plans I make by sabotaging my progress in my physical goals, messing with my mind and peace, but they will also seek to destroy my soul.

From the time we are born we are told how important family and friends are, often to the point that we ‘put  up’ with toxic people in our lives because we happen to be related to them or grew up around and with them. We essentially are taught to be tolerant and acceptable of abuse if we had the misfortune of being born within an abusive family or on a particular side of the tracks. As a child, we have no choice.  As a young adult, we are often tortured during those transitional years of dependency to independence, and some of us have to navigate that journey into adulthood with an already damaged soul.

Our souls are the most precious part of who we are.  Our exterior, our body, our skin, our faces, our strengths, our genetics, our culture… those are not the great and important aspects that truly define us as human being; those are the shallow parts.  The depth of who we are as a person is the part known as our soul. This is the part of us that defines the difference between right and wrong, compassion or apathy, love or hate, our integrity, and our self-esteem, etc. This is truly what defines our beauty.  But the world is shallow and most often can’t see beyond the exterior, physical, shallow aspects until we’ve entered into a relationship with someone, and thereby endangering our souls from the choices we made.

Come on, we’ve all done it. We’ve all at one time become infatuated with a beautiful smile, a set of dimples, strong muscles, or long, beautiful legs. We’ve fantasized about who we wanted that person of our infatuation to be, and it was good… while the fantasy lasted. But then we got to know the person behind the dimples, behind the muscles, behind the smile, behind the crocodile tears, behind the legs or the boobs, and that picture wasn’t as pretty as the one we had first imagined. Soon, those things we first found attractive was no longer eye-catching, because the soul became more and more evident. This has happened to everyone.  My question is this: How much damage did we allow to happen to our souls during this time of infatuation?  How much damage do we then cause to the next soul that comes into our lives because of the state of our now-damaged souls? Can you see the cycle?

We have to protect ourselves – our bodies, our minds, and especially our souls. We have to forget all that fucking nonsense that was drilled into us as children that we have to ‘put up’ with toxic people because they’re relatives or from the ‘hood.  We don’t HAVE to do anything or allow anyone into our lives that we don’t choose. If they’re toxic, selfish, detrimental to your own well-being, vampires that use, abuse, or take us for granted, disguised as friends but add no value to our lives, only there with their hands out when they need something – CHOOSE to protect and love yourself enough to walk away.  Choose to protect your soul. Choose to fight for yourself. Don’t allow them to infect your own soul and bring you down.

Here is a truth that I hope will change your life. It changed mine.  So, listen, and listen carefully.  IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO SAVE THE WORLD. It’s not.  We don’t possess the power to save anyone from anything.  People have to want to save themselves. This is what I’m trying to tell you today.  YOU have to want to save YOURSELF.  It’s God’s job to save other people’s souls, not yours.  If the world would concentrate on saving themselves, focus on being a good person with a beautiful soul, and then they will have a beauty that the rest of the world can see.  They will possess goodness, kindness, and compassion the world needs.

Protect your soul.  Stop allowing people to use you, to take from you when you have nothing for yourself.  Surround yourself with people who sow INTO you, who encourage you, who lift you up; not take from you, drain you, and takes advantage of you and what you have. Until you are strong enough to be an example, to be a light, you’re sacrificing your own light, your own soul.  How can you be a light when you’re filled with darkness, and pain, and your soul is so damaged from the abuse of those who claim to love you most?  It’s not selfish to cut these toxic relationships out of your life. Separate yourself – no matter if it’s a parent, a sibling, a gown child, an ex, a childhood friend, a neighbor, or a co-worker – it doesn’t matter who they are.  If they’re toxic and they have an ugly soul, or your soul is too damaged to deal with their drama – protect yourself.  This is YOUR life.  You only get ONE. You don’t get a do-over.

Protecting yourself, your body, mind and soul, is not going to be easy.  It will require dedication, determination, and devotion.  Love your body enough to do what is necessary to be healthy, to be fit to enjoy the things that make this life adventurous.  Love your mind enough to do what is necessary to be brilliant, open, and inquisitive, seeking out those dreams and ideas that will fulfill your life and give it purpose.  Love your soul enough to be a good person, a light in a dark world, deep love in a shallow society.  This is YOUR choice.  This is MY choice.

I’ve been a lot of dates that remind me constantly of how much the world is so focused on the shallow outside, how much there is a lack of vision, drive, and determination in the pursuit of happiness, and how many dark souls are out there just waiting to use and abuse me.  It hurts my heart. I’m so disappointed in what I’m finding.  I had to quit dating before I fully lost faith in men and in society in general.  I’m an odd duck.  I actually care about the world around me and the people in it.  But I keep dreaming, I keep praying, and I keep working on MYSELF to become the best person I can, hoping that I may be a light for someone.  I can’t save the world. It’s not my job. I am responsible for everything I do and say, but I’m not responsible for what the world hears or how they respond.  I hope I am a light on a hill, and that is why I work so hard to make sure I protect and focus my love on my body, my mind, and my soul.

Until next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Philosophy, relationship, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victim: Made or Chosen

 

Victim

Shit happens, and most of the time shit happens to us beyond our control. If you’re a human being and have meet another human being, then shit at one time or another has happened to you. You’re not special. You’re not unique in THIS aspect. We don’t always see what someone else has endured, but EVERYONE has had shit happen to them. No matter how cushioned or sheltered or privilege of a life they live, or how depraved, everyone has experienced pain, disappointment, abuse, neglect – shit. Everyone. Every – one. Understand that? I know some of you right now are thinking about someone who you think has had a perfect, sheltered, and uncomplicated life, but you’re wrong.

What makes us different is how we individually process the shit that’s happened to us, and how we allow it to affect us. Some of us have endured horrors unimaginable, yet are mentally and emotionally amazingly strong. The strongest are the ones that refuse to allow the shit that’s happened to them break them or repeat the cycle of abuse to those around them. When you can take a person that has been abused, neglected, and beat down, and they spend their life and make it their mission to encourage, help, and love a hateful world… that is a true hero, a beautiful soul. They are not victims, they are victors, survivors, over-comers. On the flip side of that is a weak person that has allowed their souls to be filled with all the shit that’s been piled onto them to consume them and transform them into the monsters that tormented them, and now torment others. They are the new monsters, predators, abusers. Then there are those that dwell somewhere in the middle – strong in some areas, and weak in others. This is where much of society lives. This is also where victims dwell. 

I believe with all my heart that victimization is a mindset, and one that is chosen. I can feel the excuses dwelling up inside your mind right now. There is ALWAYS an excuse, always a reason, always a diagnosis for the victimization. I’m not disputing that. SHIT happens. Things happen to us beyond our control, at the decision of someone else, and it’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s painful, and it causes damage. I have endured unimaginable shit.  But HOW we respond to the shit that happens to us is OUR decision and completely in our control and up to us. How we allow this shit to affect us, to guide us, to destroy us, etc., is also up to us. We choose to become heroes, or monsters, or victims. We choose to fight with a will of steel or a pill, with a determination or an excuse.

Sometimes laziness is because we’re simply fucking lazy and have a weak will, not because we can’t face or handle the shit that was thrown at us or that covers us. Laziness is a CHOICE. Laziness is weakness, and a state victims choose because doing what needs to be done is hard. Cleaning up the shit in our lives is hard. But if we want to live a clean, victorious, strong life, then we must be willing to do the hard work to make it happen. All by ourselves! Because WE choose it. We don’t need a pill. We don’t need a diagnosis to tell us it’s okay. We don’t need someone else to tell us we can. We must face the facts of who we are, where we are, and then make a fucking choice. When WE don’t work on cleaning up the shit in our lives, because we choose to be victims, then what we are really doing is being lazy and leaving the mess for someone else to clean up. Guess what, victims… you’re becoming the shit-slingers now, throwing your shit around for someone else to clean up. You become the burden to those who love and care about you. YOU are creating more victims. Many of you reading this right now just shut that thought down because you don’t’ like to face the truth, you’d rather hide in your corner and wear your victim cape. You can’t make a change until you face the truth. Life isn’t fair. It never has been and never will be. Get over it.

What I’m talking about is changing a mindset. STOP thinking you’re a victim. No, changing your mind to become a victor, an over-comer doesn’t mean that the shit will stop flying and your life will become perfect. There is ALWAYS shit flying. ALWAYS. What changes is YOU and who YOU choose to be, and how YOU effect the world around you and the people you love and who loves you. You can’t save the world, but you can choose to save yourself. Victims whine and complain about how they were treated, and how unfair the world is to them, but do they think about how THEY treat the other people in their lives with their victimhood?

Changing your mindset will change how you respond to the world around you. It will change how you respond to everything in your life. Being healthy, be energetic, being successful, being focused, being compassionate, making a difference in your body, your mind, your heart, and your world. It will change how you love, how you forgive, what kind of person you are at home, at work, at play. You don’t be like everyone else around you. You will destroy all the boxes, be an outsider, not be understood, and most often unaccepted.  But you will be AMAZING, inspirational, and be something good in this shitty world.

The choice is yours. There are no made victims, only chosen ones. There are no made victors, only chosen ones. There are no made monsters, only chosen ones. Choose.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

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Valued Vs. Liked

Valued vs Liked

VALUED VS. LIKED

 

I read a meme the other day that said, “There’s a difference between being liked by a man and valued by a man. A lot of guys like you. Not many value you. Be valued.”

On our moral compass, all human beings want to be valued. But, we also want to be liked. Why does it have to be one or the other? I’m just brazen enough that I want both.

But what does it mean to be valued? Per the dictionary it means, “Considered to be important, beneficial; cherished.” My inner 10-year now wants to go down that rabbit hole and ask, what does important mean, what about beneficial and cherished? See where I’m going… wanting to get to the deeper existential meaning?

I have this philosophy I try to live by, it’s one that was instilled in me as I began my journey to find the god of my heart and prayers. I didn’t want a religion, and still don’t, but I wanted to know the spirit I called out to in my darkest moments, in my highest moments, in my quiet moments. I lived in a world of tragedy and it had me question the very fabric of the universe, the very heart of man. What I witnessed was cruelty in its highest form and my small mind couldn’t understand it, but became determined to live a life contrary to it. I was raised among greed, selfishness, anger, violence, shown a world where I saw taking, but never giving, hating but never loving, anger but never peace. You hit first, or you’ll get knocked down. Take or it will be taken from you. Be a better liar, because you’re always being lied to. It wasn’t wrong, that was the world I witnessed, but it was a world I didn’t want to be a part. For a while I lived it and realized it was a never-ending cycle. The world was never going to change for me, but I also learned I had the power to change MY world. So, I made myself a promise to be better that what I had given. To be a blessing to those in our life, and not a burden. To always leave a place we’ve been better than when we left it. As a guest, be courteous and thankful. Give thanks, show appreciation, be understanding, and always be honest.

Yes, people will still take advantage, lie, and mistreat us, but our actions can’t be based on them, only on ourselves. We are not what happens to us or what others do to us; we can’t control the actions and decisions of others. Who we are is how we respond and what we decide to do. That’s our character. We can color it, paint it, disguise it, lie about it, make excuses, blame everyone else, pretend, present a false picture, but the truth of who we are will always eventually come out, because it is evidenced in not only the ‘big’ things we do, but mostly in the little ones…today, every day, after day, after day, after day.

Everyone can pretend for a little while, but time will always reveal the truth. We also leave a footprint of our true character… just look behind us and see the path we leave behind. Is it one filled with victories, accomplishments, and love… or chaos, heartache, and one disaster after another? We can all pretend to be anything we want, and even lie to ourselves about it, but if we want to know what kind of monster we really are? What footprint do we leave behind?

Being this way won’t always lead to us being liked by our fellow human beings. In our minds, we think it should, but it doesn’t. When we take the high road, we are often resented instead of liked, because we become a reflection and most people really don’t like about themselves.

I believed most of my life that my mother hated me because I was unlovable and unwanted, but I’m beginning to understand that my stubbornness, by courage, and my strength were the things she lacked within herself and she hated that reflection, not me.

While I may not be liked by many people, I am valued. Those that know me, or have known me, know my character, my soul, my heart. Those that don’t know me and don’t like me, more than likely don’t like themselves. I can’t help that. That’s their problem, not mine. I used to care, but I don’t have time for all that wasted energy. I’d rather pour that energy into the people I love and care about, into myself, into my job, into my goals and aspirations.

While I’d love to be both liked and valued, I’d rather be valued. Like my face, like my ass, like my smile or my eyes, like my stuff, like my accomplishments, none of that stuff is really important and I refuse to be a person who lives their life trying hard to get that approval from the world.  As for me… value me as a person.  The friends I have in my life – I don’t always like them, but I love and value them. Sometimes I like them, but let’s keep that to ourselves.

What about you, reader? Are you a person that would rather be valued or liked?

Till next time,

~The Valued T.L. Gray

 

 

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Where We Are

Where we Choose

We are exactly where we choose to be. I’m not talking about any situation we may find ourselves, because sometimes things outside our control come in and effect our lives.  But, the condition we are in while inside that situation is completely up to us.  We choose how we face our circumstances.  We also choose our success or failure in that battle by the selections we make in how we fight it, who we select as our source of strength, encouragement, and support.  If we surround ourselves with defeatists, we will be defeated, because they’re going to drain the hope, the life, and the strength we need to fight, leaving us weak and vulnerable.  If we surround ourselves with positive, driven, deep thinkers and overcomers, then we will draw from their positive energy and gain the strength we need to make us strong.  Once we are strong, we will then have the energy to give back, to pour into, and to help others.  

The greatest way OUT of our darkest times, deepest holes, shattered hearts, and bouts of hopelessness is to change our atmosphere.  Here are a few little changes you can make that will help you change your success or failure.  We can’t stop things from happening.  We can’t protect ourselves from tragedy or from the choices and actions of people who will hurt, use and abuse you.  BUT, we are where we choose to be in our responses and reactions.  So, if you WANT to change your circumstances, you’ve got to change your atmosphere and set yourself up for success, not surround yourself with the things, choices and people that will contribute to your defeat.

1.        Fill your playlist with positive and energetic music.  Stop listening to songs filled with anger, defeat, heartbreak, stress or other influences that lead your mind down a dark or dangerous path.  There is a time and place for all songs and all types of music.  Music plays a huge part in determining how we feel, what we think, what encourages us, or makes us feel more defeated.  Always listening to angry songs, you’ll discover you carry around angry thoughts and feelings.  Always listening to party songs, you’re going to find yourself choosing to party.  Think about what you need in your life, think about where you want to go, and then choose the songs and music to fill your playlist with songs that will get you to that point.  If you’re struggling in your life right now and can’t see a way out, then listen to songs that inspire you, that encourage you and give you hope.  “Let’s Get it Started”, let your “Eye of the Tiger” play over and over.  Then, after that, “Don’t Stop Believin” because once the change happens inside you, you’ll start making the choices and decisions outside to put those changes into effect. Sometimes we need “A New Pair of Jeans” to be “Feelin’ so Fly” and start skipping through our “Beautiful Day.”  “Get up, Stand Up,” “Walk,” “Dream On,” because “I Feel Good,” and I “Don’t Give Up,” nor will I “Let it Be.”  Fill your life with the lyrics that are going to push you.  “I’m a survivor, I’m not gonna give up, I’m not gonna stop, I’m gonna work harder (Destiny’s Child – Survivor),” “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down (TubThumping – Chumbawumba),” “Stronger than yesterday, now it’s nothing but my way, my lonliness ain’t killing me no more, I’m stronger (Stronger – Britney Spears),” “I get by, with a little help from my friends (Joe Cocker),” “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller (Stronger – Kelly Clarkson), “I’m walking on sunshine (Katrina and the Waves).”

Get it? You’re already feeling better just hearing those song references in your head right now. So, check your playlist. That’s the power of music. Stop listening to those angry, depressing, and defeatist songs.  Inspire yourself.  Change the atmosphere.  Music puts energy in the air around you. Put the right kind of energy in the air, into you, and let it flow through you.  YOU ARE WHERE YOU CHOOSE to be. You make the choice of what you listen to.  Edit.  Edit.  Edit.

2.       Fill your life with positive and energetic people.  Who are you hanging around with?  Who are talking to? Who are you getting advice from? Who do you spend most of your time reading their posts, texting, chatting with, talking to? Who is influencing you?  Look around and evaluate the people in your life. Everybody is either pouring in or pulling out energy from and to you.  They are either building you or tearing you down.  They are either making your life better or more complicated.  Here’s a couple tips that shouldn’t have to be said, but often the most overlooked and cause the most damage to our efforts of change and success.  Don’t take relationship advice from someone that has a long history of bad relationships.  Don’t take financial advice from someone always broke and needing help.  Don’t take loyalty advice from a cheater.  Don’t take exercise advice from a couch potato.  Don’t take dietary advice from a food addict.  Honesty isn’t found within a liar.  Life isn’t found within a vampire.  Energy isn’t found in a zombie. Love isn’t found in the player. Integrity isn’t found in deceitful.  Maturity isn’t found in the immature. Success isn’t found in those always in a disaster.  Surround yourselves with those who’ve been THROUGH some shit.. not ones still going through it, again, and again, and again, and again.  The only thing you’ll learn from them is how to keep failing.  But the ones who’ve been down and have gotten back up, who have pulled themselves OUT of their darkness and tasted success, who’ve actually ACHIEVED some things in their life, those are the people who will inspire you.  Being down isn’t  a bad thing; staying down is.  Failure is when someone doesn’t reach higher or beyond their boundaries and circumstances.  Staying around the same type of friends will create an atmosphere of the same defeat.  You’ll find yourself dealing with the same problems over and over and over and over again.  That’s insane according to Einstein.  So, change your atmosphere. Think about what you really need in life, and then make THAT change. 

 

Life sucks sometimes. We all go through struggles where can’t seem to catch a break, bills just keep piling up, responsibilities just seem so overwhelming that we get to the point where we think we’re going to break, that we can’t hold up too much longer.  Our hearts have been mangled, our lives turned upside down, and no matter how far we run, how much we try to drown the pressure or numb the pain, we can’t find relief. Our bodies ache and begin to fail from carrying the weight of our stress and pressure for too long. We spiral, we fall, we push away the wrong people, surround ourselves with even worse people, find comfort in playing with fire, destruction, just to feel something.  We listen to things that constantly remind us how much life sucks, and we just stand in one single spot, turning and turning and turning but getting nowhere. Stop!!!!!!!!!  Please, just STOP!!!! Breathe. Pray.  Know… “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

 

3.        Our bodies carry our stress and pressure.  Change your atmosphere by changing your body.  Start working on the outside and watch the changes happen on the inside.  Start exercising, because exercise releases endorphins and adrenaline, and dopamine.  Don’t turn to alcohol and drugs, turn to diet and exercise.  Do something good for your body.  Feel good.  Feel strong.  Feel healthy.  As you change your body, and work on changing mind by changing your atmosphere, music, and friends, your soul will change.  Have sex, but even with that, the kind of sex will play a big role in that transformation.  While emotionless, uncommitted, and casual sex can be fun, it will add no value to your life, only help contribute it to your defeat.  We often think casual sex doesn’t affect us, but it does.  It affects our souls, it affects our minds.  Nothing is more healing than the gentle touch from fingers filled with honest love and affection, a hug that is honest and as strong as the love of the person wrapping their arms around, and don’t even let me get started with a kiss that you feel down in the deepest part of your soul.  Having casual sex has no real benefits, but comes with a LOT of added problems (std’s, possibility of someone getting hurt, sharing intimate moments with someone that doesn’t care, infidelity, lies, problems, stresses, unwanted pregnancies, etc), but making love – making love with someone that deeply loves you, adores you, respects you, trusts you, someone filled with integrity, honesty, and a pure heart – is a conduit that gives and receives hope, inspiration, and energy. 

We are where we choose by the choices we make.  No matter where we are at this moment, it’s not where we have to stay.  If your heart is broken – love another and let another love you.  If you need help – help someone else and let someone help you.  If you need inspiration – inspire others and let others inspire you.  If you need encouragement – encourage others and let others encourage you.  Just be careful who you choose, what you choose, and how you choose to give and receive.  It makes ALL the difference.  It’s our choice.  It’s our responsibility.  We are where we choose to be and how we choose to be. Protect and fill your mind, your body, and your soul with the things that will change your stars.

“Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dreams, friends, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

I Will Remember

i-remember

As the moon travels through phases and the planets rotate through the universe, so too do all things in life continually change, time when things grow closer together, and then move farther apart.  Yet all are still part of the same universe.  Sometimes two objects that had been inseparable in a gravitational pull get jarred by an alien object and the two celestial bodies fall out of rotation and separate. I will remember.

I will remember falling in love on that picnic blanket and the way your arms felt wrapped about me.

I will remember the way your muscles moved as you rowed the kayak down the crystal-clear river.

I will remember your happy-food dance.

I will remember you riding a bike way too small just to spend time with me.

I will remember the long talks, the moonlit walks, and the smell of cigar and Yeager.

I will remember hands coming off the steering wheel on the ride home from the airport.

I will remember watching the clock, waiting anxiously for the breaks and lunches just to hear, “Hey, babe, what’s up?”

I will remember the song recommendations and the stories of what those lyrics meant to you.

I will remember your reaction when you took me to hunt for Pikachu.

I will remember the way you’d hold my face with your strong hands and stare me in the eyes, placing your forehead to mine.

I will remember jumping the curb.

I will remember you stealing that shaker.

I will remember how dogs love you.

I will remember the good mornings and good nights.

I will remember the sea turtles.

I will remember Ormand Beach, Rainbow, Wakieva, and Gennie Springs.

I will remember your beard, camouflaged shorts, superman shirts, and flip-flops.

I will remember your ‘dirty’ picture – all covered in paint.

I will remember your redneck imitations.

I will remember your horrible driving.

I will remember binge-watching Netflix, Walking Dead, Stranger Things, and Futurama.

I will remember your voice, your touch, your smell, and how I felt in your arms. 

I will remember what it was like opening my heart and letting you in.

I will remember the Fourth of July, my Birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

I will remember all the pictures.

I will remember Amicalola Falls and Sweetwater Creek with you and the boys.

I will remember the fishin’ hole in Sebastian, the Inlet, and the beach.

I will remember how you stood by me for my first tattoo.

I will remember Orlando and our foodie tour, and how you carried a casted woman upon your back.

As I move farther away through the universe and feel your pull less and less, there are also some things I will choose to forget, like how it seemed in one day my whole world shifted and my sun just left.  My universe shook and you pushed me away, stopped answering my texts and ignoring my calls, and then disappeared behind your fortified walls. Did you even love me at all?  You promised that you’d never hurt me, yet you crushed my soul, ripped out my heart, and left me alone. But I will survive. I will go on. 

The moon is still changing and the stars realign.  I keep praying for heaven to send me a sign.  But of the love and the good memories and good times, those I will remember, for all of time.  I loved you then, I love you still, I will love you forever, no matter what universe we’re in.  Though the distance grows father and farther apart, you’ve aligned yourself with a different circle, and a different heart.  You’ve chosen to run with a different kind of crew, confirming how much we are through.  I will well, I wish peace, I wish you healing, I give you release.  I will remember.

 

~T.L. Gray

 

 

 

 

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Sunrise Healing

sunrise-healing

I’ve been watching the sunrise lately at different beaches.  There’s just something about it, something about watching that big ball of fire break through the morning clouds, rise out of the sea to greet me, that just does something for my soul.  I can’t explain it.  I can’t even really describe it.  I may have a whole thesaurus at my disposal, but in that moment, I’m speechless, without words, just full of feeling, full of life, full of appreciation.  Medicine to my bones. 

I’ll have to find my spot.  I know it’s out there somewhere.  Went to Indialantic, stopped by Starbucks and got me a warm Carmel Macchiato, and walked over to the beach to find myself surrounded by more than half-dozen of other people I assume arrived for the same reason.  Except they wanted to socialize instead of be in the moment.  It didn’t upset me my quiet was disrupted, but it did help me realize that’s exactly what I wanted… silence, solitude, an intimate moment with me and the world. 

Nature soothes me. It always has.  It was my beautiful sanctuary in my world of rage, of pain, of chaos.  As a child, I often ran to the woods to get lost among the trees, trails, and let my imagination take me on an adventure somewhere far, far, away. 

While the sun gets all the attention, I know that it’s not the only element that cleanses my soul.  There’s the wind, the waves, the water, the sand, the smell of salt in the air, the cry of the birds overhead, etc.  They all work together like a well-choregraphed symphony, each in tune, each have their individual parts to play.  It’s a movement that never stops.  It ebbs and flows, softens and builds, rises and falls, yet keeps going on and on and on and on.  This is how our souls also move… continually, non-stop, without pause.  Sometimes it’s in full motion like a hurricane, and other times a soft, gentle roll, yet its moving, it’s playing, it’s dancing, or it’s dying. 

The sunrise heals my soul.  My soul has taken a beating lately, and I can’t express the sunrise healing I’ve been receiving lately.  Let it heal.

Today the clouds are thick and the wind is a little hard, and there’s a little chill in the air, but… let it rise.  Let it rise. 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

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

Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

1 Corinthians 15;33 – “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”

Life is good at times, and very hard at others.  There are always things, experiences, and people that come in into our lives that enrich us, bring us happiness and joy, and at the worst moments test us, push us to our limits, and some even break us.  Being broken hurts. But it’s often the bad decisions and mistakes we make that we learn from most.  But the consequences of those mistakes and bad decisions don’t ever leave.  Sometimes we deal with them for the rest of our lives.  Sometimes the pain or the love never fades.

I’ve lost a good friend lately, or at least I thought they were my friend.  I’ve also been reunited with some distant friends, and have met some new ones.  These encounters are highlighting the meaning of friendship to me as well as showing me how important the people we allow to surround us or come into our lives effect everything, color our vision, pour into our lives or suck the life out of us. We have to be careful, because our own souls are at stake.  Bad company corrupts good character. We are who we surround ourselves.

Be careful who you surround yourself.  Cut out toxic people, because you can’t help them. People must want to help themselves.  You want to really know a person, look at their friends, look how they spend their time, look at their priorities.  People lie to themselves.  They tell themselves they’re a good person, just trying to help, just trying to make good out of a bad situation, but what do they do?  Do they drown their feelings? Do they ignore their responsibilities, lock themselves away and shut themselves off from the positive people in their lives?  Look at person’s friends and you’ll see their ambition, their hopes, and their priorities.  Look at the trail they leave behind them.  Is it a road of destruction, drama, chaos, or love, ambition, etc?  Look at their direction they’re headed.  Do they have dreams, or are they just existing from one chaotic moment to the next in survival mode? What of their families? What of their character?  Do they put aside their own selfish wants to make sure they provide the right kind of influence and atmosphere for those they love?

Humanity needs a purpose, we need a vision, we need something to hope for, else we become lost, our souls wander aimlessly waiting for the next predator to swoop in at opportune moments. Low, selfish people want to tear down everyone around them, to feel something for themselves.  Real friends want to build up those they care for, open opportunity, and not be afraid to dig in, dig out, and pull up.

Realizing that someone you loved very much, slap you in the face and choose a path of destruction, cuts deep. Sometimes we need to feel that pain to remove the rose-colored glasses from our eyes and take a good assessment of what is truth.  When someone is on a path of self-destruction, nothing you can do will help them because they’re not listening and they don’t want help. The best thing you can do is let them fall, because they HAVE to WANT to help themselves or nothing will ever change.  You can help them a million times, and they’ll come back a million more with their hands out.  In truth, you’re not helping, you’re enabling. Trying to really help them – they will cut you out, because they don’t want to be helped, and they sure as hell don’t want to hear the truth. They will surround themselves with others on that same path and level of destruction. They can lie to themselves about who they are, their character, their motives and their what path they’re on, but look at who they surround themselves and you’ll see a person’s true path, no matter the lies they tell you or themselves.

On the flip side, those who want to change their stars will surround themselves with people that encourage, that inspire, and that love.  You want to be loving, surround yourself with loving people.  You want to be happy, surround yourself with happy people. You want to be successful, surround yourself with successful people.  You want to get healthy, surround yourself with people that have a healthy lifestyle or healthy habits.  You want to succeed, surround yourself with others that strive for success.  You want to fall in love, surround yourself with others who are in love or also want to fall in love.  Don’t ask a broke man for financial advice.  Don’t ask a whore for advice on love. Don’t ask an addict about self-control.  Don’t ask a liar about respect.

Protect your circle of family and friends.  We might not think that bringing a toxic person into our lives and around our families isn’t dangerous, but every action, reaction, response, comment, and non-comment that toxic person makes effects those around them. Those around us are either building or tearing us down. 

We are all human, and all have times of doubt, depression, and fights with our demons.  But those times are temporary in a good, kind, and loving person.  But toxicity from a vampire isn’t temporary, it’s a deep poison that comes out in every pore, and its fragrance is pungent and poisonous to everyone around them. Cutting them out and telling them no, and walking away doesn’t make you a bad person.  I have a huge heart and have tried to help anyone I see in need. I’ve sacrificed so much in my life for the people I love, for humanity in general.  I’ve brought strangers home to put a roof over their head, fed the hungry for more than 20 years, visited the elderly listening to their stories, visited the imprisoned and helped them envision a brighter future, write resumes, and give hope they have the power to change their stars. I’ve spent the majority of my life doing volunteer work because I have a bleeding heart and I hate, HATE, hate to see the pain and oppression in this dying world.  I have walked in picket lines, in demonstrations for equality for women and minorities, I have prayed with the dying, I have worked with animals that have been abused, and I have stood outside the back door of an abortion clinic to offer open arms instead of judgement and condemnation. I’ve went without food to make sure someone else ate. I’ve spent time with wounded soldiers, written letters, and held them tight.  I have helped build water wells and schools for children in third-world oppressed countries. I’ve supported programs that help rescue young women from human trafficking.  I am a survivor of every kind of abuse you can imagine and have seen the true ugliness of humanity, yet I still hope, I still believe, I still fight like hell to protect those I love, protect those who can’t protect themselves.  I love children so much, and am a natural mother to all kids.  You should see my gaming clan – it’s filled with kids from 6 to 12, 14, 15, 19, 21 year-olds. I mother them all. Yet, I’ve endured one of my own children run away, another battle with drugs, and another disappear into obscurity.  I’m divorced. I’ve lost someone I loved to war.  I was abandoned by my family and rejected by another. Yet, I still believe in love, in family, in friends.

That is the woman I choose to be.  Yes, I’ve been successful in many areas of my life. I’ve got an MBA, I’m a published author that’s been nominated for many awards, I’ve owned my own successful business, I’ve ministered in front of thousands, many of my friends include celebrities and people in the top of their field, I’ve cooked some spectacular gourmet meals. My resume is amazing.  I’ve done some AMAZING things, I’ve jumped out of an airplane, zipped down the tallest tree-top zip line in the world, rode the white rapids, climbed a mountain, and hiked some amazing trails.  Yet, for a while I’ve forgotten about this woman.  I allowed toxicity into my life. Not anymore. I’ve learned to say no.  It is not cruel to wear garlic and ward off the vampires.  It’s an act of compassion. I have fallen on my face more times that I can count, yet I get back up.  I’ve recently found myself once more with my soul crushed on the ground, but I’m getting back up. I’m surrounding myself with people who encourage me, support me, and are a positive influence in my life.

It’s not my job to save the world. Someone else already did that. It’s time for the world to save itself.  If we climb out of our holes of disparity, by our own determination, grabbing hold of the arms willing to reach out to help, we now have an arm to offer someone else what WANTS to climb out.  But how can we offer help to someone that’s in the same hole?  The only way out is to climb on their shoulders or else have them climb out on ours, and that might not even be enough. You want to get out of your own darkness, then call on true friends already above ground, surround yourself with others that want to see you succeed, that inspire you, that encourage you, that focus on the positive and quit the blaming the world and everyone else for their situation. I’m drawing people into my life that don’t push me away or shut me out, but let me be the cheerleader that I am, that lets me encourage them, help them, and inspire them, because doing these things for others helps me be me, helps me remember the woman I am, strengthens me by their love, their support and their encouragement.  They’re not sucking the life out of me, but pouring life into me.  These are my true friends. 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Proverbs 12:26 “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

Proverbs 13:20 – “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9 -10 – “Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work.  When one falls, the other can help his friend get up.  But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls.  There is no one to help him get up.”

Proverbs 18:24 – “One who has unreliable friends soon comes ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 27:6 – “You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts.  But your enemies want to hurt you, even when they act nice.”

Proverbs 16:29 – “A violent person entices their neighbors and leads them down a path that is not good.”

Proverbs 22:24-25 – “Do not be a friend of one who has a bad temper (or bad character), and never keep company with a hothead, or you will learn his ways and set a trap for yourself.”

John 15:13 – “No one has a greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friend.”

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Faith, family, friends, Instructional, Life, love, Musing, relationship, Relationships, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Self-Motivation vs. Luck

self-motivation

Self-Motivation. I can’t express how much this is essential to any source of success in my life. If I’m waiting on the world to motivate me to achieve or reach my goals, I’m going to be sorely disappointed. The world is essentially lazy and inherently selfish. It doesn’t give a shit about me or cares whether I reach my goals or not. I may be lucky and have a friend that will be there to cheer me on, but they’re not going to hold my hand or carry me to my finish line, and I shouldn’t be so damned co-dependent or lazy to expect them to do just that. But, alas, we live in a very, very, very lazy world, or else I’m just surrounded by a bunch of lazy enablers with an excuse and diagnosis for everything.

I understand depression. I have been suffering with it most of my life, yet as with anything and everything else, I don’t let it control me. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted anything in this world, I was just going to have to get it on my own. I suppose that’s the bright side to having parents that didn’t take care of or give a shit about me, it forced me to learn to take care of and give a shit about myself. To have no one to depend on, taught me to depend on myself. To have no one to trust, I’ve learned to trust myself. As for motivation, I’ve also learned to be my own cheerleader.

Someone made a comment to me this weekend, one that at first really, really pissed me off. I know they didn’t say what they said to hurt me, but I don’t they understood the gravity of what they said because they come from a different life, a different experience, and a different generation. What am I talking about, I’m still pissed.
I’ve enjoyed some great successes in my life, and I’m very proud of them. But, I want to make one thing very, very, very clear. NONE of it was handed to me, and NONE of it just fell in my lap by luck, birth, circumstances, etc. NONE of it.

The comment that set me off was, “You’ve had a very lucky life. What I wouldn’t do to have one-tenth of the opportunities you’ve had; you’ve received many of the things I only dream about. Some people have all the luck.” It was clear this person doesn’t know shit about me. YES, I’ve accomplished a lot of things, and some of those things are huge accomplishments, but not one of them just “fell in my lap”. I have fought like hell and sacrificed more than I can ever give account to receive each and every one of them.

My degree? My stomach pitches when I think of how many days I practically starved to death because the two jobs I worked paying for every book, every class, daycare for my kids, diapers, rent to the dumpy trailer I lived, gas and repairs to piece of shit car I had at the time, sleeping only 2-3 hours a day, splitting a box of macaroni with my babies because that’s all I could afford to eat often forgoing a bite for myself to make sure they had enough, juggling to pay either the rent, lights, water or gas for that month, crying myself to sleep feeling like the worst mother in the world because daycare or babysitters or terrible family members were raising my kids instead because I was so busy just trying to survive. But, yeah… that degree just fell in my lap because I’m a privileged white girl that just had the world handed to her. I didn’t have student loans or parents to fall back on. I had ME. Only ME.

My publications? No one saw the years of writing stories late in the night because it was an inconvenience for everyone else, it wasn’t practical, just years and years and years writing stories that no one ever read. No one saw the hours and hours and hours spent helping others with their work, editing, critiquing, encouraging, watching them one by one go off to gain success and then forget I ever existed. The years of ghost-writing for other people, never being able to take credit for the hard work I’ve done. The marketing, the networking, spending many, many, many late nights barely able to keep my eyes open going over my work, editing, editing, editing, writing, writing, writing, and busting my ass making sure that everyone I met, everywhere I went, everything I did would bring attention to my work. Submitting and submitting, receiving rejection after rejection. Getting one little writing job after the next, after the next, after the next. No one saw the shit ton of money I spent out of my own pocket on bookmarks, websites, entrance fees into festivals, marketing materials, ads, etc, etc. No, my success just fell in my lap because I’m lucky. I sure as fuck didn’t earn any of the nominations or awards.

My dedication? I once had these two authors I was trying to help become published and successful, because I believed in them and thought they were very talented. I believe both blame me today for their lack of success. For a very long time I spent so much of MY time, MY money, and MY effort trying to promote them, ignoring my own work, but I couldn’t get them to promote themselves. They had some fucking lame-brained idea that they were so talented that success was just going to fall in their lap without any effort on their part. They were too good to even make any personal appearances; they were gifted artists, after all, akin to the Cormac McCarthy’s and Charles Bukowski’s of the world. They obviously believed I didn’t work for my success either or else riding on my coat-tails would grant them the success the easy way. I fought for them until I found out I had cancer, and then I didn’t give a shit anymore. I don’t think either of them have done anything still to promote themselves, but I really don’t care. I can’t believe for them, and bottom line, they have to have their own self-motivation. I had this other writer that I spent more than a year helping her write her auto-biography, but when a better opportunity came along, none of the work I had done mattered.

Healthy Living? Beautiful Face? Oh, yeah… I’m lucky. The one-hundred and thirty pounds I’ve lost, and maintained for nearly 10 years, that was lucky too. It sure hell doesn’t require a regular workout routine, a regular diet of healthy living, having to say no to temptations, being disciplined, getting myself up at 5am every morning, pushing through the pain, or learning how to say no to the donuts. Nah, it’s my genetics. I just wake up this beautiful on my own because I’m lucky. My muscles don’t hurt, my back doesn’t ache, my joints don’t scream at me, and my eyes just automatically pop open on their own. Hell, my workout outfit dresses me every morning, not the other way around. There are lots of excuses I can use to stay in bed longer, to avoid the treadmill, and feed my pity, or pop a pill for every little ache and pain. For those mother-fuckers who think a surgery lost this weight and maintained the loss for me, you keep telling your fat-asses that. It shows your ignorance and your dependency on excuses. My surgery saved my life, but it had nothing to do with my weight loss or the maintenance of my health… which is all self-motivation and sheer determination. Surgery doesn’t make someone walk away from the doughnuts, no more than an insulin shot keeps someone from eating sugar. But, hey… we are an excuse generation. There’s a million and one reasons WHY we CAN’T do something.

So, here I am this morning. I still have 10-20 holiday pounds to shed, still got a blog to write, still got dreams to chase, still got a job to work, still got a life to live. Who’s going to open those doors for me? Nobody. But, that’s okay because you know what? I know how to open my own fucking doors. What a concept!!!!!!! You know what? I am lucky. I’m lucky that I have a mind of my own, a will of my own, and self-determination all of my own. I know so many depraved mother-fuckers out there that can’t even get their asses out of bed because they’re too busy feeling sorry for themselves, and they blame the world for their lack of success. God, I’m so lucky I’m not one of them.

Till next time,
~Lucky Mother-Fucker

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Conversations with a Friend., family, Health & Fitness, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Ask

ask

Ever read something, and the moment you read it, your universe moved? You’re not quite sure how, but there’s a definite paradigm shift deep in the center of your soul? I read a comment recently, that the moment my eyes processed the tiny font on my phone, my mind filled with a thousand strings of thoughts, flashed a thousand images, and like an electric current surging through my body, sparked a thousand feelings all at once. Goosebumps popped up on my arm. The hair on the back of my neck prickled.  Tears welled in my eyes. A knot didn’t just form, but augmented in my throat.

Someone messaged me, “I believe I’m an answer to something you’ve asked for.”

Seeing those words, something inside shifted.

Something I asked for?  I don’t remember asking for anything, not anything consciously. In fact, I’ve spent so much of my time, love, and energy on everyone and everything else around me, concerned about their needs and wants, I’ve had no time to think about what I want. Seeing those words, reminded me of my promise. They also reminded me of other words I’ve been given not too long ago, “I can’t give you what you want.”

Right before I asked for a divorce I made a vow, a promise to myself. I wrote it down on a magnetic memo and posted it to the refrigerator, to remind myself every day of that promise. I still have that memo posted in my bedroom right now.  It states, “I will never again waste my time, love, or energy into that which does not first invest those things into me.” I broke my promise.

So, I ask myself, what do I want? My soul whispers, Ask.

“I want to receive what I freely give.  I want someone to give a shit about me.  I want to be someone’s first thought in the morning. I want someone to care about the things that make ME happy.  I want someone to know about what I’m worried about, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared of, what I’m determined to do, how I feel, what I dream.  I want someone to think about me in the middle of the day. I want someone to want to talk to me, to want to share with me what’s going on their day, in their life. It makes me happy helping others, nurturing what other’s need, helping them realize and reach for their dreams, help pick them up and pull them out of their difficulties. I love and care about the people in my life, and I worry about them, and I do everything in my power to help, to encourage, to support.  I give so much of my heart loving and caring for them, and I just want someone to love and care about me. I want someone to give a damn about what had me curled in tight ball for nearly two days, or what had me so upset I couldn’t eat, or what excited me so much I couldn’t sleep.  I want someone who WANTS to talk to me, to spend time with me, to offer arms to hold me when I’m scared, to caress me when I’m feeling frisky, to ravish me when I’m excited, to encourage me when I’m doubting, to calm me when I’m frustrated.  To be there for me, not with their words and empty promises, but really be there for me. I want someone to love me.”

I don’t think that’s too much to ask for, so why am I so afraid to speak?  Maybe the universe hears my heart instead of my words.

Categories: Blog Post, blogging, Conversations with a Friend., Dreams, Faith, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Romantic, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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