Posts Tagged With: Divorce

I’m Learning to Let Go

I've Learned to Let Go

I’m learning to let go. It’s hard.  Every time I’ve ever walked away from someone or something, left a relationship, lost a loved one, or watched my children leave to find their own way in this world, it takes a piece of me. What I’m learning I grieve most is not often the familiarity or the presence, but the dreams that were dreamed, the hopes that held deep in my heart, and the love that was attached to that person or thing or place.  I think that’s why when it comes to my children – their growing up and moving on is bitter-sweet, because the hope that’s wrapped up with them is still possible, it’s within their independence and journey in life.  But, losing someone to death, disease, divorce or a break-up leaves a huge hole in my soul.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s complicated.  I don’t like giving up on myself or on people I love and care about.  Often though I fall into an unhealthy situation when my hope and love for them begins to effect and become destructive to me. I hate losing. I’m the biggest optimist in the world, even when my mouth is often filled with Doubt.  I struggle, because my heart, my mind, my experience, my common sense will often scream one thing – yet Optimism and Hope will be in war with those thoughts.  I’m sometimes wrong, and someone or something will surprise me and turn out for the better and Hope will celebrate.  But, the realist inside me – the one who carried the pain, the scars, the doubts, and the cautious pessimism – hates to be right because she understands that when she’s right she damages hope and optimism.  She fears she may one day find they no longer have the strength to rise again as they have so many times before.

I’m learning to let go.  It’s devastating. I’ve searched my whole life to be loved and wanted.  But, those are the two things that have escaped me most.  I’m damaged.  I’m broken.  I’m sometimes still that little girl crying out to God trying to understand why I suffer, why I’m hated and hurt so much from the people who are supposed to love me, why my own parents and children have rejected me.  I let them go, but I always held out hope they would someday choose me.  But, even in that – I’m learning to let go.

I can’t make the world love me. I can’t make someone choose me.  I can only hope and try to remain optimistic.  But, eventually – if that choosing never comes and love never appears – I will walk away because I have chosen me, and I have learned to love myself – and no matter how much Hope wills it – I will only endure for a season.  I have learned to walk way. I have now walked many miles alone. I may always be alone.  But Hope and Optimism keep praying, keep smiling, and keeps trying = and I love them for it.

I am learning let go.  Maybe someday I’ll not have to anymore.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, family, friends, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith, Hope and Love

Faith, Hope and Love


Faith, hope and Love

Life has a funny way of sometimes jumping forward, pulling you back, or getting stuck in the present that you can’t move in either direction.  That complexity is what makes it life.  If everything worked the way we thought it should, or our thoughts always went in a forward momentum, or our hearts always moved in a particular direction, we wouldn’t be the complicated human beings we’ve turned out to be.  We’d be happy plastic people.  Isn’t that the way the song goes? We’d be strong in faith, solid in hope, and brimming with love, right?

Anyway, we are complicated, complexed, and often confused.  We are taught morals and values that create walls and boxes, and when life doesn’t go according to plan, we often crumble inside those boxes, doubting ourselves and becoming weak in faith, void of hope, and empty in love.

I was thinking about God and family this morning.  Well, how religion often portrays God, really.  I thought about the scripture in Philippians 4, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything through prayer and supplication make your requests known to God… “, and I remembered being told more times than I can count not to worry about things, that God is watching out for me, He’s got me in his protection, and He’d make a way for me, to protect me; that my worry was detrimental and contrary to my faith.  I’ve always wondered at those who would quote this scripture to me, if they’d ever suffered any real loss, any real tragedy, any real heartbreak, any real disappointment, any real set back or failure, because I had.  For many years I felt weak in my faith because I still worried about the things that threatened my welfare, my children, my family, or the life I was trying to provide for them.  Yet when I expressed those worries or fears, told with a smile NOT to worry, to have faith, to trust God would see me through it. Yeah, like all the things I already went through, that’s what I feared.  Many of those things I worried about happened no matter my faith.  Instead of feeling the strength I had often felt growing up in a severely abusive childhood, I felt like a failure, weak, and a disappointment to a god that was supposed to love and protect me.  But it’s easy to talk warfare when you’ve never been in true battle. It’s easy to talk of a father’s love if you’ve never known a father’s love.  But, what of us orphans who never knew love, never had a father to protect us, but a father from whom we needed protection? What of a soldier on the battlefield of life, one that’s seen the brutality of war, the ugliness of mankind? How can we ask them not to be afraid?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the past, not really the experiences I’ve had, but the woman I used to be.  I was strong, but so lost.  I was damaged, yet impenetrable.  But what’s changing for me now is love.  I’ve known love, but I didn’t quite know how to accept it.  I’ve loved deeply, but I didn’t know how to express it.  I’d like to say it’s because of the love that’s growing for my Dominican Marine that’s creating/inspiring this new outlook, and perhaps that’s part of it, but it’s more of the love I’m receiving from him, from my best friends Jenna and Kenny, from my kids, but mostly it’s from the love I’m receiving for and from myself.

I heard my ex-husband is getting remarried.  I’m happy for him, because I’ve only ever wanted him to find and feel love.  Everyone knew we married for convenience, to fulfill responsibility, and I could never be the woman he wanted, the woman he loved, and he often made sure I was reminded I was not wanted, or desired, or acceptable.  I am not without blame, because I always knew I was never in love with him either, though I respected and was faithful to him, I couldn’t give him the love he needed. What hurt most in our divorce wasn’t our separation, because now we both had an opportunity to find the love we desired, but the loss and separation of family.  His family was my family for two decades, and really the only real family I ever knew.  His parents were the only parents I ever really had and I loved them dearly. Still do. I miss them. Now they’ll have a new daughter and I hope it’s one they can be proud to love.  The bond I have with my natural brothers isn’t one of love, but one of survivorship, and while that bond brings us together and keeps us connected on some level, it’s also the foundation of the huge wall that keeps us separated, well… that and the lying, stealing, cheating, drugs, etc. My kids love me, but they don’t need me, and they’re getting on with their lives knowing they don’t have to worry about me. I loved them more than myself and only hope they understood and felt that love from me. I often fear I damaged them because of my own lack of being able to show what was inside beneath my thick armor.

I am a vagabond, a woman without a home, without a people, without a family, yet I am a very blessed woman because I am rich in love, in friendships, and in faith.  While I worry about the cares of this world, I am not afraid. Not because I cling to a scripture, to a promise, or to a faith in a god to protect me, or a man to save me.  I cling to a knowledge that shit happens, but I’m strong and I’ll overcome it, and I’m not alone, because LOVE is with me.  God is love.  God is with me. I love me. I love my kids. I love my friends. I love my Dominican. That love … that love is my strength.  That love helps me heal from a past, gives me hope for my future, and surrounds me as I walk through my present… in all its complexity and simplicity.  Faith is good. Hope is beautiful.  But, love is the greatest of all these things.

Till next time,

~ Love’s Lover

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The New Bachelorette: Dating After 40


Dating in the 21st century is so different than it was way back in the 20th century, which was the last time I entered that field, if what you could even classify what I did as dating.  And dating over 40 is even more …well, I’ve not yet been able to truly designated it yet. There was no internet back then, no online dating, no meetups, and social media.

I’ve been married for 20 years, so that’s been two decades of having a status where I held a specific mindset – unavailable, taken, spoken for, off limits, half of a whole, not an individual, committed, married, married, married.  Throw being a mother, a leader in the church, and a career woman on top of that… and any semblance of that sexy, single woman… disappeared, as it should.

My marriage dissolved.  Now what?

I’ve watched the reality shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for a few seasons now and I’ll have to admit that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the idea of one person dating several people at one time.  It just seemed preposterous to me, full of confusion, conflicting emotions, and surely a lot of controversial issues such as honesty and faithfulness.  Because that’s all I knew – honest faithfulness.  I couldn’t understand how a person could be with one person one night and feel this deep ‘connection’ – and that be an honest connection, and then the next night feel a ‘connection’ with a different person.  It was an odd sentiment my brain couldn’t wrap around – because I was of a commitment monogamous mindset.  I only knew how to focus on one person at a time, and that did not include me.

My motherhood changed.  Now what?

Through the help of someone I love dearly pushing me out of my cave (the place I put myself to lick my wounds, heal, and begin my journey of self-discovery) and into the dating world of the 21st century, I’ve entered into my own new Bachelorette experience.  I’m now past the point of writing down, dreaming, and thinking about what I want in my future partner -my prince charming, to getting out there and discovering if he actually exists. It’s scary, yet it’s exciting at the same time.

My single status has begun.  Now what?

What do I know about dating?  NOTHING.  I know how to be married.  I know how to give up my life for someone else.  I know how to deny myself and do what’s expected to fulfill an obligation.  Being single, the first thing I’ve learned is that I had to start thinking about me, what I want, what I don’t want …not what I think I want… but truly search my heart and soul and decide what kind of life I want the next phase of my life to consist.  I can’t know what I want until I figure out who I am… who I really am …and what really makes me  happy.  That’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years. I have a list of those discoveries I’ll detail in another post.

While the proverbial limos are pulling up and my potential Prince Charming steps out and introduces himself, I find myself standing in my present circumstances, looking better than I have in years, nervous anticipation filling my mind, and fear of all the unknowns pushing and pulling me. I’m taking a deep breath and telling myself to ‘breathe’.

Stay tuned for future posts on some of the things I learn while my adventures as The New Bachelorette: Dating After 40 begins.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Romantic, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ghostly Image


Photo by T.L. Gray – French doors to my new apartment.

I don’t know a whole lot about souls.  I can’t see one, can’t prove they exist in a court of law, and can’t give scientific evidence to establish any claims, but I can say this:  who I was a year ago is not the same person I am today, and hold hope to be different tomorrow.  I’m in transition from one reality to the next; one state of being into another; cocoon into butterfly.  However, in this transition, I’m afraid of losing some of the best parts of me with the worst, or losing myself altogether.  But I take comfort in Bukowski’s quote, because he’s right.  The fact I worry about losing parts of me, means I’ve still got those parts left to lose.

I’m going through a marital separation and in the process find the dissolution of the relationship is only one piece of the development.  Pulling our lives apart has many threads, many rungs and affects every section of my life; and the disconnection is very painful and confusing; my soul being divided. One part of me grieves for what was and could have been, yet another part of me is excited and hopeful for what can now be, but the whole thing is terrifying. 

Another thing I notice during this transformation… I can be really solid one minute and completely feeble the next; a ghostly image of my former and future selves. I’d love for everyone to only witness my strong moments, but I can’t – hell, I refuse to – hide my weak ones, because they’re evidence my soul still thrives and fights for life.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Back to Me


Sometimes we have to walk away from all we’ve known to find ourselves.  It’s taken a long time for me to find me, and I can’t allow someone or something to come in and make me lose myself again or pull me back into an idea or situation I’ve found the courage to leave.  People and situations come in and out of our lives because we are ever changing, growing, and discovering. 

I’m not the same person I was six months ago, or a year ago, or six years ago.  There was a time I needed something different, because I was different.  I’m a new person now, and my needs have changed.  If we haven’t changed together, then I must leave you behind.  I can’t turn around and go back, that person doesn’t exist anymore.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t love, need, appreciate or respect what we had together; it’s just not what I need any more.    Whether it’s a marriage, a close friend, a lover, a career, a culture, a way of thinking, a passion, or a place …I have to be true to me or I’m no good for anyone… especially me.   I’ve got to love me or I have NOTHING for anyone else.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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