Posts Tagged With: Hope

What Do We Want?

What Do We Want


Do we really know what we want? What drives our wants, what fuels our needs and desires? Is it the propaganda that our mind is bombarded with on a consistent daily basis of our culture, education, media and social media? Is it with keeping up with the Jones’? Is it tradition, idealism of the American Dream that has been planted in our minds from birth? Is the very idea of entitlement grated to us by our own Constitution – in that pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness?   I’m sure it’s a mixture of all of that – plus our own imaginations.

I think everything we want FIRST starts as a thought and/or felt as a need. We want love, we want passion, we want purpose, we want vision, we want success, we want wealth, we want health, we want fame, we want direction, we want faith, we want family, we want connection, we want understanding, we want enlightenment, and we want freedom, etc.

I think about other countries not as fortunate as this beautiful country in which I live and sometimes ponder what my wants and needs would be if I was from a different place, a different race, a different culture, or a different life. But, it’s foolish and a waste of time to think on those terms, other than for better understanding of our neighbors’ plight, because I am NOT that person and THIS is the life I’ve been given. I was born into this body, in this race, into this culture, into this part of the world. That doesn’t make me any better or any worse than anyone else – it just makes me …Me. Who I am and who I choose to be – is in every choice I make, and in every want and need I have, and how I go about fulfilling them.

What I want and need today is different than yesterday and tomorrow it will be different than today – because life is fluid and ever changing. I don’t want to get tripped up always thinking “what if” and miss out living life today. Yes, I have dreams and hopes for tomorrow. Yes, I have memories and some regrets for yesterday. But today – today I want – to live my life to fullest, to be happy, to be loved, to love, to laugh, to appreciate, to work hard, to be in the moment. I have many fears, because I’m over-thinker, and those fears haunt me always – fear of failing, of getting it wrong, of misunderstanding, of making a mistake, of being naïve, of being taken advantage of, of being used, of being vulnerable, of being hurt, of being unwanted and unloved. But, I face my fears because I’d rather be all those things – WHILE I’m living my life to the best of my ability, than having missed all those things, and the good opposite by hiding away in my fear. So, I will kiss the guy. I will take the chance. I will make the move. I will face that PF360* machine. I will spend the money and book the trip – because I only get one life. I only have one chance to live. That’s what I really want – to live, to really fucking live.

So, let’s do this.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray




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

Find Something Worth Dying For …


Irish Gladiator

A friend of mine has an Irish Gladiator banner hanging on his wall that says, “Find something worth dying for, and live for it.” I call this saying a Scottism. For several weeks now that phrase has been rolling around in the back of my mind, trying to find a tendril of understanding to latch onto, because in its simplicity it’s very profound.

Just the first part alone – the very first part – to “find.”  To find indicates an effort, a movement, the making of a decision that’s followed by action.  FIND – seek, explore, hunt, track down, identify, discover, uncover, etc. It doesn’t say wait for something … but FIND.  Get off your ass and hunt it down!

That’s where we fail as a society right out of the gate.  We’ve become a culture that doesn’t hunt, that doesn’t seek, and sure as hell doesn’t find. We want everything given to us without any effort of our own, and then lie to ourselves and tell ourselves we ‘deserve’ it.  I once heard another statement that said, “Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve and Mercy is Him holding back what we do deserve.” What the hell do any of us really deserve?  We often get what we seek to find. If we seek shit, we find shit. We seek destruction, we find destruction.  If we seek shallow plastic, we find shallow plastic – and then bitch about only having shallow plastic.  Oh, what a world in which we live. But, thank God not everyone is that way – just the majority of common people. I thank God that “I’m uncommon amongst uncommon people.” LOL (Shout out to David Goggins for that motto – it’s ingrained into my soul now.)

Back to the Scottism I’ve been working on – Find something worth dying for…” If you really think about that – what on this earth is worth dying for? For me, EVERY bit of it is intangible. I would never die for stuff, titles, money, opportunities, or luxury. Yet, I watch people daily sell their souls and step over humanity to obtain these things that will one day burn to ash. No, all the things I would die for are intangible – Love being the greatest of these. Freedom – and man it has a high cost.  Faith – I would die for faith – believing in something bigger than myself, and in someone I love. Family – I would die to protect my family. Hope – I would die to keep hope, because I know that without hope I would already be dead.  Purpose – I would die trying to live with a purpose. But, not much else.

I think before we put our lives on the line for the things we deem worthy to die for, we should really consider the true cost. It shouldn’t be a whim, but a truth we diligently had to search for, dig for, and then find.  But, once we got it – once we’ve given it the respect of discovering the truth of it – then and only then does the second part of that statement come to live – and hit home.  THEN … LIVE for it.

Dying for something is actually the easy part. True strength is coming from being able to LIVE for the things we would die for. God, if we would really take the time and think about all the stupid shit we waste our time chasing and started loving and appreciating the things in this world that were truly important – truly worth dying for – our lives would have so much more meaning and value. We chase after pretty faces, cold hearts, baseless and useless shit – and then bitch about it – because the truly valuable things are not easy, often not pretty, and on the surface doesn’t look spectacular. But, how blessed are we when we do get ahold of it? When we truly open our hearts and let the real shit in – the real pain – the real love – the real purpose?  Wow, just wow. Thank you, Scott for that inspiration. I don’t know where you got it – and it really doesn’t matter – because it’s latched onto my soul now.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Monday Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee


Most people are not morning people, and even more so not Monday morning people.  I’m one of those irritating happy morning people, especially on a Monday.  Why?  I have a theory.

Shit happens, but I’m still going to hope for a better day.  As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage and all the people are merely players.” All life is drama.  The differences are the types of dramas we find ourselves and how they affect us.  I hear people say all the time they don’t want any ‘drama’ in their lives.  Well, too damned bad, because as long as we live and breathe there is drama.  We can’t escape it.  We can try, but it won’t work.  I’ve tried many times. I’ve told myself on many occasions that my life would be better if I could stop feeling and the drama would leave me alone. Yeah, but that’s bullshit.  I knew it was bullshit when I said it, and knew that saying it wasn’t going to change anything.

While we may not be able to control the presence of drama in our lives, we do have control on the kind of drama we allow, we run toward, we desire, and to which we choose to run away. My choice would be the hero’s tale, but I often myself wrapped up in a tragedy.  I desire the epic romance, but often find myself in a myopic comedy.  I have been hurt deeply many times, but even still I have ‘hope’ for a better day, a better tomorrow. My trust may be broken, my faith may be weak, and my expectation may be so vapid that it disappears with the slightest breeze, but I still cling to hope for a better story, MY story.  Why, because I love myself.  I love the woman I am. I don’t deny my mistakes. I don’t ignore my faults. I don’t pretend.  I love with all that I have, all that I am, because I know what it’s like to be unloved and unwanted.  I know how rejection cuts so deeply it leaves a scar that burns.  I know what it’s like to look into the eyes of someone you love so deeply, to see no love staring back.  I know that pain.  I know what it feels like to cling to that dying hope that things will change, that love will overcome, or that the story doesn’t have to end the way feared.  But, I can only hold onto that false hope for so long, because there’s another hope that is seeded deeper within my soul I won’t allow to be sacrificed in its place.  And it is THAT hope that gets me up every morning, especially on a Monday morning.

Regardless of how the day ends, I lift my warm cup of coffee to this glorious Monday morning, holding fast to the hope that this day will be the day that leads me down the road of MY story, that it be filled with MY drama, and that I feel all the love and beauty I’ve been searching for my whole life.  I already walk in my story, and I already have all that I desire, because it’s wrapped up in that woman I see in the mirror every morning.  The only difference is my ability to see her – and that is my hope – that I see her more clearly every day and don’t allow the drama and hurts of the world to hide her from me.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Faith, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Musings, Philosophy, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith, Hope and Love

Faith Hope Love

Life is hard.  One of the sad realities is that we are often lonely souls, even when we are surrounded by other people.  We are born alone, unless we are a twin, or a triplet, or a quadruplet.  We also die alone, unless we are part of a multiple catastrophe like a plane crash, natural disaster, etc., that takes a lot of people at the same time.   But, you get the point. We are individuals.  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes… I’ve heard all this bullshit before.  What I’ve learned in my nearly 46 years on this rotating ball of iron is that we are social beings and we need interaction with other humans, with other souls, and no matter what we achieve in this life, gain or lose, it’s our faith, hope and love that matter most.  The rest are the non-essential details.

Sex, money, fame, success, the American dream, etc., all of it is bullshit if we don’t have faith, hope, and love.  Sex alone is fucking boring (pun intended). Sex with someone without love, is even worse, it’s empty and does nothing to abate the loneliness inside the soul and attacks the love we have for ourselves.  Money and all the things it can buy is powerless because it can’t buy love, respect, or faith.  I love having money, for the purpose that I can spend it making the people I love happy, or providing what they need, or being there for them if they need me. If there’s no one to spend my money on, it has no value.  Yes, I need a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and clothes on my body to keep me warm or covered.  Basic essentials are important and it takes money to supply those needs.  But, possessing those things isn’t living, it’s surviving.  Surviving is natural, and some of us do it better than others. Some of us are lazy, stupid, and immature and surviving becomes a major importance in life – but what do we strive to survive for?  I’m not living so that I have somewhere to sleep, food to eat, or somewhere to lay my head.  I don’t want to eat to live, I want live to eat.  I want to see the world, but I want to see it with someone who will enjoy all the places we go.  Like Whitney said, I want to dance – with somebody. I want to laugh – with somebody.  I want to cry – with somebody.  I want to dream – with somebody.  I want be someone’s cheerleader and share in their successes.  I want to be a shoulder they can cry on when their world starts closing in on them and squeezing their hope.  I want to have someone I can come home to and share all the exciting or boring things that happened that day.  Life is meant to be shared.  Love is meant to be shared.

I have been hungry, homeless, and in need, but I’ve never been helpless, or lazy, and I know how to survive.  I have loved with my whole heart, and it’s been broken so many times.  I have many people who love me and care about me, but I’m lonely, my faith is weak, and my hope dies a little more every day.  I have to encourage myself. I often feel unnecessary, lost, and unwanted by this world, most often forgotten.  At times I don’t want to be here anymore because I’ve lost purpose, direction.  I’m not wanted or needed and I know the world would keep turning without me in it.  But inside, deep inside, there is a soul that clings tightly to her faith.  Oh, I get angry and feel betrayed by that faith, but don’t you see – those are all evidence that it’s still there. You don’t get angry at what you don’t believe.  It’s because I believe so deeply that I get so angry.  There’s a soul that holds tightly to hope, a hope for a better tomorrow, a hope for peace, a hope for love, a hope for purpose.   And that same little soul is wrapped in love; love for a hateful and selfish world, love for a beautiful  and kind world, love for those who’ve already gone, those who are right in front of her, and even for those she’s yet to meet.

Sometimes I lose focus and allow that loneliness to consume me, the pain of it to engulf me, and I make bad decisions, do rash things, put myself in harm’s way, and fight the thoughts of giving in and giving up.  I want to, but I fight back.  I put on my smile – my armor, my shield, my sword.  I focus on the positive. I give thanks for the souls that are in my life and who take their time to listen, to let me know they care.

Yes, one day I will die and leave this place behind.  The ONLY things that will matter when I’m gone is the love I left behind.  That’s it.  NOTHING ELSE matters.  When James died, all he left me was love, and it’s gotten me through so many years, so many tears, so many times.  Just a little bit of love. I’ve done some AMAZING things with that little bit of love.  Imagine what I could do with a little bit more, fired by my faith, and infused with my hope?

Take all the sex, money, fame and success and all those materialistic and vain things people kill, betray, and abuse themselves and each other to obtain… and shove them up the world’s proverbial ass.  Give me faith – faith in myself, faith in God, and faith in my friends.  Give me hope – something to chase, something to strive for, something of value to achieve. And give me love – the binder of all things.  With these three things I will conquer the world and myself, and the devils that whisper in my ear that I’m unnecessary, unwanted, unneeded, and unloved.

Faith, Hope and Love.  1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, and I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for Love

Looking for Love


Life’s a little crazy sometimes.  Well, for me, it seems like it’s crazy all the time.  But, isn’t that what we all think?  While we believe we’re unique and individual, aren’t we really pretty much the same, with the same needs, the same wants, the same desires?  The only differences lie within the degree of each?  Who knows? I may be wrong in that assumption.  I can’t really speak for anyone else, only for myself, and in that… these are my individual wants, my own selfish needs, my own personal desires.  What do I really want right now in the middle of my crazy life?  What is it I’m looking for?  I suppose it’s the same thing I’ve been looking for all my life… I’m looking for love.

I have love in my life, have had love in my life, and am sure I’ll have new love in the days to come.  I’m loved by my kids, by my friends, and maybe even loved by a man or two.  But, am I in love?  Maybe, maybe not.  I’m too damned scared to know, or too damned scared to try.  The last guy I fell in love with, I fell hard, and I fell deep, and I fell on my ass because he didn’t fall with me.  Hitting the ground after such a huge leap leaves a person scared to jump again no matter how much they want, no matter how much they desire to feel the rush of falling, the excitement of dreaming, and the hope of a future.  But I want it.

I have a lot of love to give, but I also have a huge empty space inside that I desire to fill.  I’ve made room for friends, I’ve made room for family, I’ve made room for the things in life and the dreams I dream, but I want to make room for someone that I can share that life, those hopes, and dreams.  Last year, I closed that room when I thought I was going to die.  It’s been a long road back to approaching that door, and having the courage to reach for the handle and throw it open.  It’s been hard.  It’s been scary.  No, it’s been terrifying. But I did it.  With the love and support of my dear friends, I’ve once again grabbed that zest, that desire, that hope to live.  That part of me that was ‘living out loud’ is beginning to hear the music again.  It’s been one hell of a climb back up the mountain.  I’ve had some very steep parts that I was only able to hang onto by the tips of my fingers and pull my whole weight as I struggled to find a foothold.  But, I’ve made it.  Love helped me.  Love guided me.  Love lifted me, when I couldn’t lift myself. Ah, dang it, now I have that stupid song stuck in my head, “love lifts us up where we belong…” And now… now I have something to share and something to give.  But, oh Mylanta, am I afraid.  I’m so scared I’m trembling.

What if I fall again?  What if I jump and find myself hitting the bottom on my own? What if, like another song I know, I find myself looking for love in all the wrong places?  It seems I’m drawn to the weird, the awkward, the damaged, the broken, those who’ve been in the trenches and carry the scars, those that have walls as thick as my own, if not thicker, or to the impossible, the improbable, or the forgotten.  I’ve never chosen the easy way, but damned… for once can’t it be easy?  I think that’s why I love fairy tales and superhero stories so much… though they have great obstacles to overcome, everything always works out in the end.  So, I keep hoping that someday it’s time for my story, my fairy tale, my day to shine… and love will come looking for me.

Till next time,

Princess of Impossible Dreams


Categories: Blog Post, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Focused Leap

Focused Leap

I find it hard to really focus sometimes.  I don’t think it’s because of some medical reason, but more of huge mental and psychological issues within myself.  When I find myself looking for distraction it often means I’m wanting to hide, to escape, to avoid, to protect.  But from what?  It could one of a million things.

I’m a fighter.  I’m strong-willed.  I’m confident and courageous.  But, I’m also very afraid.  I’ve been burned. I’ve fallen hard.  I’ve been so down, so lost, and so hopeless at times that I didn’t want to live anymore.  I’ve seen and experienced horrors that would make nightmares pale in comparison.  Yet, I have survived.  I have overcome. I have defeated.  Though rejected in the most cruel way, I still hold hope to be loved.  Though abandoned, I still hope to be wanted.  Though despised, I still hold hope to be desired.

There are no promises.  There are no guarantees.  There is only hope.  All evidence points to an impossible existence, but I need only to remind myself of all the impossible things I’ve already accomplished.  The only thing stopping me is choosing to focus.  Once I make up my mind, turn my attention toward the thing I desire most, that’s when I leap.  I always leap.  It always requires a leap of faith.  I leap knowing I could fall, knowing I could crash, knowing it could destroy me.  But even more… I know not leaping would kill me.

What focused leap do you face?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

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

Categories: Musing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Image We Project

The Image

I really need to stop looking beyond the projected image, because it gets me in trouble every time.  Most often it just gets me hurt.  I suppose I do it because I have this insane idea ingrained into my head that if I treat others how I would want to be treated it would just magically happen in return.  It’d have to be magic, right?  Because, seriously, who else walks around thinking about how they treat people?  Who spends the time to peel back the layers in an attempt to really get to know someone?  Who looks beyond the skin, the image, the resume, the labels, the skills, the talents?  I tell myself all the time… “You do, surely there are others.”  Well, the magic hasn’t happened yet.  I don’t know why I keep getting surprised and hurt, but I do.

I look at the world around me, and I see example after example of a culture and society that can’t even get beyond skin color, much less any deeper layer.  We’ve got riots going on all over the country because of racial bigotry and hate (and that’s not aimed at only the ‘white-privilege’ community, but the ‘black-oppressed’ community too).  Hate can’t see past the outer shell and it sure as hell don’t solve anything.  I don’t want to hear one word on either side of this debate – because at this point all I see is hate, and violence, and stupidity.  Whatever efforts were made to open up a much needed dialogue, to peel back another layer, has been destroyed when the fanatics took over and started robbing, looting, burning and acting like dumb-fucking idiots.  This whole situation has become lost and out of control and the ones fueling it, stirring it up, are the biggest hatemongers of them all.  (No, I don’t want to debate, talk, or discuss it in anyway.  Don’t respond to this post with anything to do with this whole issue. I’m done with it.  Seriously, I’m done.  I won’t engage and you’re wasting your time.)

Want to know how someone feels about something or someone, get them angry.  It is how a person responds to adversity that you see them for who they really are, what they really feel, what they really think – things they’ve suppressed, hidden, and pushed down.  It doesn’t mean they can’t change their minds – and once felt, always felt is a myth.  Feelings change.  Thoughts change.  Responses change.  That’s why forgiveness is so important.  Don’t hate them for how they feel at that moment – try to figure out why and then work on changing it.  But it does reveal a part of the truth, most often things they don’t want to admit even to themselves.  I know it helps me see what I sometimes can’t recognize within myself.  When I get angry, I begin to look around to see if I can recognize what hurt me, because 99% of the time my anger is a result of being hurt, most often me hurting myself.

Do I always succeed and rightly recognize my triggers?  Hell no.  I’m often just as wrong in those assessments as I am in trying to understand the motive behind someone else’s aggression.  I’m a hot mess and I know it.  I can’t help but wonder, surely there’s others like me.  Does everyone have all their shit together, but me?  Does everyone else always know the right thing to do, the right way to feel, the right way to respond, the right way to diffuse and understand the situation, except me?  Does anyone even give a damn to find out what’s beneath this outer layer?  Can they see the eyes behind the mask, or just the shiny glitter on the outside?  Can they see the pain behind the smile?

I just want to close my eyes. I want to be like a turtle and hide within my shell.  Most of all, I want to stop feeling, stop caring, stop hoping, stop loving.  My cruel blind father introduced me to many of the evils in this world, but he also taught me how to see it differently – not with my eyes but with my mind and my heart.  My invalid mother with MS taught me the cruelty of guilt, but also by taking care of her the beauty in sacrifice.  My weak brothers taught me the stark reality of betrayal, but also what it meant to protect.  My indifferent husband taught me the pain of being unloved, but also the pride of being faithful and dutiful and the strength to love myself.

It’s hopeless.  I want to submit, but submission requires trust, and trust is something I don’t think I can ever give.  I’ve tried.  Damn, I’ve tried so many times.  I’ve failed. I don’t even trust myself. My fear, my stubbornness, and my lack of trust – keeps me doing the stupid shit that causes people to get angry and push me away and makes me run.  Oh, I run.  It’s what I do best.  I try so hard not to run, because I know running doesn’t solve the problems, just packs them down deeper so they can surface and cause an explosion that ruins any progress I might have made. Yet staying – staying incites hope, and hope leads to pain.  It’s painful to hope for something and then watch that hope die. Faith has you believing you’re something more than what you’re not, and it’s awfully painful when you’re made of aware of how you’re really perceived, what your true standing is in someone else’s sight.

I love myself. I think I’m a beautiful, passionate, loving, faithful and honest person. I love to laugh, and I really love to make others laugh.  I’m a natural cheerleader.  I truly care about the people I’ve chosen to let into my inner circle, which is small, tight, and something I protect with vivacity.  I’d do anything to protect them.  Everything I am, everything I have, every gift, talent, and knowledge I possess,  I share with them – without hesitation – as long as I’m wanted.  I’ve lived too many years giving to those who didn’t want me… I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t.  Finding out that I’m no one to those I deeply cared for, that I’m nowhere near as precious to them as they were to me… takes my breath away.  I literally can’t breathe. But I will.  I will inhale …and exhale …and wipe the tears away …and go on with my day.

Till next time,


Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Philosophy, Spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unlimited Mysteries



“There are unlimited mysteries waiting to be discovered among our stars, within our atoms, and to everything between and beyond.  Yet, the biggest mysteries of all are not anything that can be learned – they must be felt.”~ T.L. Gray


I’m a facts and figures nerd.  I like to know how things work, where things come from, what are the results, reactions and consequences to every thing, every choice, every action.  I try to see beyond the obvious and read between the lines.  Needless to say – this has led to some great discoveries, but it’s also led to some painful truths.

But, it’s those other mysteries I can’t figure out.  While I may not know all the secrets to the universe, and understand that I’ve only begun to understand this vast universe to which I’m a part, there are things within and around us that I don’t think will and can ever be defined – not in its fullness or entirety.

What are these undefinable facts, truths and mysteries?  Faith, Hope and Love.

All three of the these things defy logic. They are as unique to each of us, as we are to each other – meaning that their meanings change from person to person, yet they still hold to some universal understandings.  The very things that make us unique, our experiences, our culture, our personalities help shape and filter the understanding we each have of these three things.

I only want to focus on one at the moment… love.  We try to set rules, boundaries, reasoning and logic… yet I find case after case, example after example of exceptions. I get it WRONG… all the time!  Yet my failure to identify, explain, or justify doesn’t change the fact that I feel and experience it.  It is most often the source of my greatest joy and my worst pain.  It doesn’t apply to the situations I want.  It feels what I don’t want it to feel, for who I don’t choose, when I don’t choose it. I have no control to turn it on or off, and even sometimes I don’t realize it’s been activated until an absence reveals what my mind never acknowledged.

Love has really caused some major difficulties for me lately.  It refuses to leave a place that often causes me a lot of pain, and showed up unexpectedly somewhere else.  I didn’t see it, would have vehemently denied it, but now that there’s an absence… a hole… I feel the empty vacuum, as if the earth has went off balance and my thoughts are muddled… and I have to say… it really hurts. Had I seen it, recognized it, acknowledged it, perhaps I could have made different choices.   Someone recently called me stupid for some of the thoughts I have on love.  I think they might be right.  Now, that leaves room for the other two immeasurable mysteries to play a part… Hope and Faith.  But whatever you do, don’t ask me to define them.  I can’t.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Philosophy, Romantic, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at