Posts Tagged With: Blog Post

To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self


Shakespeare may have penned the phrase, but it’s a truth that’s existed before he wrote Hamlet, and one that has taken me a long time to comprehend.  I haven’t yet mastered it, but I’m working on it.

I’m finding the only way finding and being true to myself is possible …is by being completely honest with myself.  I am more than capable of lying to myself. I was a master at it.  If I were to bet or guess, I would say that a majority of us lie to ourselves quite often, rarely identifying and accepting the truth, because truth hurts.  Truth is hard to take sometimes. Truth is hard to face.  But, as the Good Book says, Truth will set you free. It really will.  It won’t make your problems magically disappear, but it will set you free so that you can begin the journey of living an honest life.

How can we live a true and honest life if we won’t face the truths in our lives? We want and demand truth from others, but how hypocritical of us if we don’t FIRST find, accept, and acknowledge truth within ourselves?  We are living in such an enabled society, where we even lie to ourselves because the truth is harsh and a hard pill to swallow.  It’s not OUR fault we are fat, lazy, and unhealthy and out of shape.  It’s society’s fault for making it too hard to eat healthy, by making poor meal choices more affordable and convenient.  It’s the Fast Food and marketing industries’ fault for my lack of self-control and discipline.  It is my cultural and socio-economical circumstances’ fault that I can’t afford personal trainers, gym memberships, and beautiful parks and recreation centers to work out. It’s our genetics’ fault that I have to work twice as hard as my skinny counterpart.  It’s time’s fault I have poor time management because I put other things in a higher priority  – like watching tv, sitting in restaurants, playing video games, chatting online or scrolling through social media outlets.   I have kids and don’t have the time and energy and money and opportunity.

We all have excuses.  We all cling to them when we want to justify our behavior, and then we moan and complain when we have to face the consequences of those decisions.  That’s the truth of the matter.

We all have the same 24 hours a day.  We all have obstacles in the path of what we need or desire in our lives. It may seem unfair when we try to compare ourselves to others and their opportunities.  Most often we tell the biggest lie to ourselves – “if I had the same opportunity as them …then I would.”  LIAR.  You don’t do it now – you won’t do then – you won’t do it even if you had EVERY advantage because you are NOT true to yourself FIRST.

When we truly have a passion for something, we make it a priority.  When we make something a priority, we have to take a truthful evaluation of where we were, where we are, and where we want to be – and THEN make some REALISTIC, honest, truthful goals – and then do them.  DO THEM.  One day at a time. One step at a time. One victory at a time.  One choice after the next, after then next, after the next – and NEVER GIVE UP. Don’t focus on the big goal, put all your focus on just making it to the next goal.  Be faithful in the little things …and you will be the master of many things.  But be unfaithful in the little things, you will also be unfaithful in the big things, and master nothing.

Success isn’t that you’ve gained something.  True success is when something has cost you – something you had to sacrifice a piece of yourself to obtain – and being true to yourself along the journey.  THAT’s the true success of anything.

Life sucks sometimes.  I mean it really, painfully, soul-crushing, can’t breathe, pushes you to the edge sucks sometimes.  I’ve had my share – and I know there’s more to come later.  But the best things I’ve ever accomplished in this life is learning to love myself, learning to see myself for who I really am, and then learning to be proud of the woman I am.  It isn’t my MBA, or my writing awards, or my publications, or my public praise, or anything I’ve accomplished that makes me proud of myself.  No, that confidence and pride comes from knowing what it took to get there – knowing the truths I’ve had to face – and being true to ME.

You want to get in shape – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better job – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better relationship – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to be happy – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to succeed – face your truth and stop making excuses.


To thine own self be true!


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Keep Moving

Keep Moving

While my imagination loves fairy tales, magic, and the miraculous, my mind understands reality, and the reality is that if I want something or I want something to happen in my life I have to do it, to make it happen, make the choices needed, and then act on them.  Money doesn’t just magically appear in my bank account – never, not once did I find any extra currency in there – though I swear often that there’s an invisible troll taking a toll every time I use it.  Fat doesn’t magically dissolve in my body, though I sometimes think it magically appears. We know that isn’t the truth either.  Relationship’s don’t just begin or end without effort and/or neglect.  That reminds me of a meme I saw one time about cheating where a guy trips and falls on top of a woman exclaiming, “It was an accident!”  No, the accident happened with the momentum of texting, talking, smiling, and flirting.  That’s when the cheating first began.  By the time he ‘tripped’, he was already deep into the betrayal. There’s no accident about it.

What I’m trying to convey here is that I have to make a plan and set goals, make preparations for those plans and goals, make the choices that will help me achieve those plans and goals, and then have the strength and discipline to fulfill them regardless of how I feel or of convenience.  Nothing just magically happens.  Check marks don’t just appear.  Yes, sometimes the universe will bring me a surprise, but for the most part there are laws that govern this world much the way our natural laws govern our science and nature.  Facts are facts. Those laws are that we reap what we’ve sown.  The key is …we have to sow. We have to plant. We have to water. We have to make sure we get the right amount of sunlight.  We have to protect our gardens.  We have to pull up our own weeds.  We have to make sure we put the right kind of shit in the ground. We can’t plant one thing, yet expect it to grow something else, though we do. Man, I can’t tell you how many times I see this on a daily basis – this belief in reverse magic, in magical harvests, in expecting and wanting what we didn’t plant, earn or deserve.  It’s crazy.  Our society is so franchised, so drive-through, so … I want it my way, and I want it now, but don’t ask me to plant, grow, etc. I want YOU to prepare it for me.  I just want to lay back in my perfect body, consume what I want, when I want, not face a consequence, not lift a finger, not work for it, and yet have the strength and blessings of the gods.  How arrogant we are.  Yet, we will tell ourselves that’s NOT what we expect.

Come on, be real. Isn’t it what we expect?

This world is a beautiful and ugly place at the same time.  Over the past few weeks I have seen many, many, many examples of love, compassion, charity, respect, and bravery from people – and I’ve seen selfishness, hate, fear, depravity and gluttonous greed. Life is complex and complicated in its simplicity.  But somewhere in the balance there is peace.

I have to keep moving. I have to keep working, and hoping, and praying, and expecting, and sowing, and reaping.  I have to keep making choices every day that are going to help me or hinder me, bring me life or frustration, to help me thrive or knock me off course. If I fall, I have to choose to get back up.  If I run, I have to learn to rest.  If I fear, I have to be brave.  If I’m empty, I have to fill myself. If I have the opportunity to love, I choose love. I have to keep dreaming, I have to keep planning, and I have to keep seeking my balance, my peace, and my happiness.  As much as I wish I could say a magic word and it be done, I know that’s not the reality of it – and I have to keep moving.  In this selfish world, my joy comes from choosing to love, to find purpose, to give, and to serve.  I have to choose it. I have to do it.  I decide to make my bed first thing in the morning, to love instead of run in fear, and then take the next step, and then the step after that, and so on.  I have to keep moving – THAT’s when I’m most happy.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Life, love, memes, Muses, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Letter from a Reader

Awww… I want to cry. I just received the following message from someone that reads my blog. BTW – I responded and told him I appreciated his letter and that I won’t publish his name, but that I wanted share what he wrote because it touched me. He answered, “I figured as much. I read your blog everyday. I think I had an idea of how you’d respond. Thanks for respecting my privacy and you’re more than welcome to share my words.”

Anyway: Here’s his message:

Dear, T.L.,

Yes, I’m writing with a greeting. I can’t help it. It’s how I was taught to write. I’m from the old school of things. When a man wants to write a letter to a lady, he should open with a greeting.

I know we’ve never met but I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year. I first stumbled upon it reading a review you wrote for Anthony Ryan. By the way, that was one of the best book reviews I’ve ever read. I purchased the book immediately and Mr. Ryan didn’t disappoint. Raven’s Shadow was everything you’d written and more. I hope Mr. Ryan appreciates your enthusiasm for his work.

I’m not writing to flirt with you, only to tell you what reading your blog has meant to me. It’s literally changed my life. I’m highly professional and somewhat of a high profile, but inside I struggle trying to self identify. I’ve lived my life being defined by everyone else around me. In my case, it’s been a good definition. I can’t complain.

Some of the things you’ve written touched me very deeply. There were times I misdirected those feelings, believing perhaps I was falling in love with this beautiful soul being poured out week after week in front of me, but I kept telling myself you weren’t real, more than likely a created persona to enhance your writing career. Yes, I’m a skeptic. I’m in the entertainment business and question everything. Just when I’m convinced of this created persona, you then write something so naked, so heart-breaking, you’d literally have me weeping at my desk. I knew in those times that you were a real person and you were being honest while sharing the intimate pain of your life.

So many times I wanted to write to you and tell you how beautiful you were to me. I’ve seen some of your pictures and think you’re a very pretty woman, but the beauty I witnessed poured out in those blog posts have greatly exceeded your pretty face. It broke my heart to see you often doubt yourself, doubt your worth, and believe yourself to be unlovable. It boggles my mind how you’re alone. I wish there were more like you in this world. Every time I received a new email notification that you’ve posted a new article, my hope was always to find you’d found your happiness. I wouldn’t have to wait long when you would post again and it be something happy, something brave, something that showed you did see yourself as the beautiful soul you really were. I sometimes pondered if you were perhaps bipolar because you often went from one extreme to the next. I slowly began to understand your process. All this time I had felt like you were writing to me, or at least to a captive audience, but you were not. You were the audience. You have been the targeted reader all along. I want you to know you’re simply amazing.

I don’t have a blog and never will. I’m not as brave as you to expose myself the way you do, but I am taking a page from your example. I’ve started writing a journal to myself. The first few entries were stilted, odd, and somewhat confusing, but freeing at the same time. I’m not the same caliber of writer as you, but seeing my words on the page helped me see them in a different light and understanding. I’m learning a lot about and not struggling so much with self identity. You’ve restored my faith in people. You’ve reminded me about the important things.

I want to thank you Ms. Gray for sharing your heart with unknown strangers as myself. I sincerely hope you find the happiness you’re searching for. That man will be one of the luckiest men in the world, because I have no doubt he will be loved like he’s never been loved before and appreciated like he’s never been appreciated before. I may not know you, but I know your heart. You once wrote a post about why you call someone in your life Beautiful. You, my dear, are the truest example of Beautiful I’ve ever seen. I work with beautiful faces every day, but they do not possess the kind of beauty I witness in you.

Please keep writing. I believe you’re changing many hearts across this world, not just mine.

Your Faithful Reader

*** With a hand full of tissues, I’m wiping the wet tears off my face and gobs of snot dripping from my nose. *** This just made my day. Hell, it’s made my week, my month, and probably my year!!!!

Categories: Muses, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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