Posts Tagged With: Disappointment

Good – Get After It

You’re probably going to see this a lot in the near future, because when I heard Jocko Willink give this little speech on his podcast on YouTube, it hit me – deep in my bones and it’s burning it’s way into the center of my soul.  I hear Jocko’s voice, but I feel God’s prodding.

Listen to it.

Listen to it again.

Listen to it every morning when you first wake up.

Listen to it with your heart and soul.

Listen to it with purpose.

Listen to it until you get it.

Then, when you get it …listen to it some more.

This speaks to the Warrior in me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Complicated Life

Complicated Life

Some of the most profound conversations happen at the oddest times, often unplanned and unexpected.  As I was falling asleep last night, my mind half suspended between listening to the repetitive beating of my heart, being grateful to be alive, and trying to catch the swirling thoughts filtering through my mind, I focused on one particular idea fading in and out.  Without thought, perhaps subconsciously my soul reaching out to a distant friend, I sent the following text message, “Will life always be this complicated?”

I didn’t expect a response.  I closed my eyes, pulled the blankets up to my neck, and hugged my pillow as I started to drift once again into the land of dreams and thoughts.  A deep sense of longing for something familiar overwhelmed me.  Scenes of my life, people who’ve come and gone, flashed through my mind’s eye.  The world keeps changing, nothing ever stays the same, and the people I have loved most in this world have disappeared from my life for various reasons. I hated that moment. I remembered the shallow promises from each one, reminded that life never works out the way we plan, the way we hope, or the way we’ve been led to believe.

I have no regrets, because I’ve lived my life as open and honest as I could, and tried with all my heart to be enough, to be my best, to give my best. It was never enough. It’s my own fault, because I believed the lies, I hoped for the false dreams, I set my expectations high.  I thought I could control the outcome with discipline, faithfulness, honesty, faith and hope.  I controlled nothing.

The response I received was but a simple word, but it opened the floodgates inside my soul. His words have always been able to do that to me. No matter the state of our relationship, which at this time is non-existent, my muse answered, “Ahuh”.

I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, the tears of disappointment, of heartbreak, of facing the reality of a situation.  I saw the good of life mixed with the bad, the happy moments meshed with the moments of utter pain, a brief glance of love mixed with the face of indifference.  It was all one big mess.  I responded, “That’s nice to know, good night.”

He responded, “If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be life.”

That broke the dam inside and I lashed out, “Why doesn’t it come with an instruction manual, or at least a YouTube video, with guidelines?  Instead we have fuckups leading fuckups into one rut (a ditch without end) after another, and the independent sojourner aimlessly wandering in never-ending wastelands.  Yet, I still dream of paradise (which turns out is actually a sectioned portion of Hell).”  Meaning – nobody knows the answers, and if we think we do, it’ll turn out to be another lie.  We have preachers, prophets and priests telling us their interpretation of God’s guidelines, but all live as hypocrites.  We have the politically correct demanding its own set of rules in the name of intolerant tolerance.  We have the pacifist, atheist, and various deist all demanding a voice, screaming over each other, but not listening.  I am as a child standing in a desert, looking for an answer, but only able to hear a roaring sandstorm.  It’s choking me, filling my ears, my mouth, my eyes, and my lungs full of bitter sand. I can’t breathe.  My soul needs water.  I’m thirsty.

I long for the day when I can close my eyes and finally rest, yet I fight like hell to keep that day from coming as long as I can. Ahuh, life is certainly complicated.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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There’s nothing that makes my stomach hurt more than when I’ve disappointed someone, or even myself.  I just want to fold into a tight ball and disappear into black space than feel the gut-wrenching ache that weighs heavy inside me.  It’s not so much a feeling stemmed from being unable to please someone, because I try my hardest never to do something to please -just to please, but from knowing I’ve let them down.  I’ve learned a very hard lesson:  I can’t live my life making someone else happy.  I will fail every time, because their happiness isn’t something I can make, guarantee, or sustain.  That is something they must do for themselves, just as I must do for me.  But, I do want to please those whom I love and deeply care about, because it pleases me to please them, and I hate when I disappoint or anger them. I love and deeply care about my friends, and hate to see them in despair, especially at my hands.

In my attempts at being open and living my life honestly, I sometimes lack a filter of what should and shouldn’t be shared.  I’m not talking about sharing secrets.  I’m talking about involving them or revealing things about them as I share about myself. I’m really trying to work on this aspect of my life, but find I often cross a proverbial border and say too much; reveal that which was not mine to reveal.  Lately however, in my crossing the line I violated someone else’s privacy, and hurt them.  Even now my throat tightens and my heart aches because of my actions.  There’s no way for me to fix the mess I’ve created, and I can’t promise that I’ll never do the same thing again, because this is the war that rages inside me. 

I understand other’s need and desire for privacy – and I respect it as much as I respect my friends.  My problem is a deep rooted conflict, one I’m constantly battling, but often fail to make much progress.  Being forced as a child to live a lie, to protect, to hide, to conceal and to deceive really messed me up.  I was good at it, because I had to be in order to protect the things I thought I needed and loved most.  When I broke free from that bondage, I vowed to never lie, to never deceive, manipulate and hide the truth – because these were not my sins to conceal or carry.  But, in casting those shackles off, I went to the opposite extreme and have spent the better part of the last couple of decades being confused, lost and not having an identity of my own – yet I did this honestly.  It’s taken this long to discover who I am – and it wasn’t a light bulb moment, but a spiral of moments piled one on top of the other, made of trials and errors, mistakes and successes, faith and fear.  But in the midst of that chaos, I found me – and I’m a complete mess.

So now, in this next phase of my life, I’m trying to piece the real me together and it’s turned my world upside down.  I’ve never been more scared in my life, but also more complete; a balance somewhere between the two extremes.  I’m not the scared, angry little girl who had to fight for survival, nor am I the suburban wife, mother and business woman who felt lost going from one thing to the next trying to discover who she was, what her purpose was in life –yet getting lost in who she was expected to be by others.  I’m both and yet something new altogether.  I’m still finding me, sewing the two sides together, and this is good.  I’m not whole yet – but well on my way.  Sometimes that scared, angry little girl still surfaces and she kicks, screams, bites, flees and hides and doesn’t share a damned thing… and sometimes the control freak takes over, pushes down the emotions, cuts off all ideas and attempts to address self to care and tend to others and spills everything… and sometimes, just sometimes …the two works together and I find myself in a medium.

I wish I was perfect.  I wish I was whole.  I wish I always made the right choices, said the right words, and did the right things.  I wish I didn’t have doubts, or fears, or irrational thoughts.  I wish I didn’t have feelings of being abandoned every time I made a mistake.  I wish I never disappointed anyone, even myself.  I’m sorry for what I’ve done or haven’t done, but I won’t apologize for who I am, because I’ve fought very hard to get to this point and I’m not going back.  I only hope that’s not disappointing, because that’s all I can give.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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