Posts Tagged With: Hope

Recovery and Hope

Recovery and Hope

Good morning, world. We are a different place today than we were just a few weeks ago. It’s a worrisome time, and not one death is unimportant. Not ONE.  All lives matter.   Life is precious.  Life is not guaranteed.  There is no rule that states that if we do this – or do that – our life is guaranteed.  There is no promise for a tomorrow. BUT – there is hope.

If we’ve learned anything from this COVID-19 virus is that’s we are all connected, we do not live on our own island and the world around us can’t or don’t affect us.  Yes, it does.  We are all part of the societal machine – we all effect the world around us in either in a negative or positive way, but we are all ‘essential’.

In my recovery from this nasty virus, I can’t help but worry about the world around me.  Yes, I’m stressed like everyone else. Yes, I’m worried about the financial, social, and environmental effect this nasty virus is having on me, my family, and my neighbors.  Yes, I’m worried about the ultimate cost – not just of the direct effects of this virus – all the needless deaths, but of the emotional damage.  Those numbers are not just numbers – those are our neighbors, friends, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons that are dying.  This virus isn’t racist or prejudiced and attacks everyone, so it will require everyone in order to combat and kill it.

I am in recovery. My body is strong and it was the only weapon I had against this virus.  There is no antiviral, there are no antibiotics, and there is no cure.  All I could do was treat symptoms and help my body fight as hard as it could from this horrible enemy inside me.  My body is winning and my amazing and miraculous machine is producing its own natural antibodies destroying the enemy within and building up a protective immunity that will help me stay strong as this nasty bug continues to circulate through our world.

My heart breaks for those who had family and loved ones who did not overcome their battle.  All of them were precious lives.  I’ve been in a very strict quarantine, not just to protect myself as I fight this virus, but to protect others around me. There is hope. We will recover …from this virus.  Now, I must have hope we as a society will recover from the grief and pain of our loss.

Let us all love each other, be considerate of each other, and remember that we are all essential in our roles as neighbors.

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Complicated frustrations, Destiny, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Musing., Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being a Parent …

Being a parent

 

What is being a parent? Donating sperm or giving birth doesn’t make you a parent.  Not donating sperm or giving birth, also doesn’t make you NOT a parent. Love, kindness, discipline, sacrifice, giving into the well-being of another human being – that’s what makes you a parent.

God has given me many gifts.  Most of all, he has given me the opportunity on several occasions to be a parent. I haven’t always been a good parent. I haven’t always made all the right decisions. I have made some really bad choices and made some really bad mistakes.  There’s no ‘but’ in that, either.  I’ve learned some things along the way, mostly from my mistakes.  I suffer still some of the consequences of those choices and mistakes.

I’ve come a long way.  I’ve come a very long way from being that scared young girl facing the decision of becoming a teen mother.  I was terrified.  I lived in hell and felt I had no one in this world I could trust.  I had no one to take care of me. Yet, there was this life growing inside of me – a defenseless child that I would be responsible to care for, to protect, and to provide simple everyday things. I couldn’t even provide those things for myself.  I had dreams. I had an escape plan to run off to the military that was going to take me away from the abuse I lived under and secure me a future – but if I chose her – I couldn’t escape – not yet.  There were days I hated the choices I had. There were times I wanted to give up, to die, especially when I was ridiculed and called names at school (Yes, I was that popular high-school slut wobbling down the halls everyone felt sorry for, or made fun of, or called names, or glared at with their disapproving eyes.) Yet, every time I felt my daughter move within my stomach, my hands would cradle my big belly and hope would grow – hope for a great life, a good future, a little bit of love in my dark gray world.  I would pay the price to make it happen – no matter what it cost me. I was young (16), scared, and didn’t know ANYTHING about being a parent. Hell, I didn’t even know how to be an adult. So, I made some mistakes.  But, everything I did – I did in love – love for her – love for the hope that she was going to one day bring into this world.  I don’t care how she was made – I’m the one that made the decision to bring her into this world.  EVERYONE I knew wanted me to give her up or abort her.  The religious didn’t want me to have an abortion, but they didn’t want me to raise her either.  The rest told me on a regular basis I was wasting my life, sacrificing my future, giving up my freedom when I had another choice.  I didn’t know much, but I already loved her and I wanted her – so I chose her.  It kills me that as an adult she doesn’t choose me, but I still have hope, and not for a millisecond regret my choice. She’s a beautiful, loving, kind woman and I am so proud of her.

I have two other children, who are also now adults, who make me smile every time I hear their voice, or see their texts, or video chat, or am able to wrap my arms around and hug them.  I also have the most beautiful grand-daughter. I love them with a love that is indescribable.  Not because I gave birth to them or genetically related to them.  Not because they’re good human beings.  But, for love.  The love I feel from them and for them. That love isn’t granted just because of genetics.  I never had that love for or from my parents.  Not ONCE, not EVER did they ever hug me – and if they had, I would have not felt that love.  My parents gave birth to me, but they were not parents – they were manipulative abusers that took a long time for me to escape.

I now have another child, another chance to be a mother to someone who needs a mother.  I look at this kid and see the manipulation and emotional abuse he’s been through and I remember that lost, scared, angry little girl I used to be – and I try to be the mother I needed, the friend I could have used, and the love that was desperately missing in my life.  Maybe he won’t have to face the same hard choices I had to face – and he will make better decisions, and his life will reach even greater opportunities.  Most of all – he is loved. Every day.  I am hard on him, I don’t let him get away with anything, and every day is a constant learning lesson – because I want him to be a good man. I want to teach him the things of this world that is going to make him a descent, caring, productive, and good man.  I find it ironic – He now has the opportunity to escape his abusers and run off to the military and secure himself a future.

Being a parent is hard.  It’s sacrifice. It’s constant love, constant worry, constant energy, constant demand, constant giving of your time, your focus, your life, your space, your money, your peace, and your choices. It’s about providing what is NEEDED, not wanted. It’s providing a place of understanding, communication, and learning – constantly.  I can’t give up.  I want to give up at least once a day – but he’s worth it.  He is worth every little inconsequential sacrifice. Just like my daughter was worth it. Just like my other two children were worth it. Just like my grandbaby was worth it.  Love is worth it. Hope is worth it.

Being a parent is a privilege, not a right.  There are some really shitty parents out there. I’ve been one at times, but I wouldn’t change one single solitary moment, not even the bad moments – because it was from those moments I learned most.  I didn’t give birth to Anthony, but I am his parent, I am his mother – because I love him and he’s worth everything I do for him. I get the best part of this relationship – his love in return. That is being a parent.  Those who pour love into him …are his mothers and fathers, not genetics. This young man is lucky – because he is now being surrounded by people pouring love, life lessons, instruction, and encouragement into him (thank you Scott).  When he gets into the Navy he is going to be surrounded by new brothers and a new family …and once again I am filled with hope.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Never Quit Never Surrender

Never Surrender

 

I’d love to say that I’ve never quit anything, succeeded at everything I’ve set my mind to accomplish, but that would be a lie. I have quit. I have ran away. I’ve turned my back on a dream, on people, and even on life at times. I know how to quit. But, I also know the cost of quitting and it’s a lot more than what have cost me to dig in and keep going. I’m not just talking about the good things I’ve quit, but the bad as well.  I’ve quit smoking, I’ve quit bad relationships, and I’ve quit bad eating and exercising habits. Those choices may have been for my good, but they are under the category of quit.

So, to say “Never Quit” is to set a false expectation, a false reality, because there are times I will need to quit, there are things I will need to quit in order to succeed, in order to move forward, in order to protect and thrive. But what do I replace it with, because the sentiment is the same for those things I do want to achieve, I do want to succeed, and I want to conquer, because in order to do so I have to have this ‘never quit’ attitude or else I fail when it gets hard. Anything of value is going to get hard, guaranteed. What is the true war cry, what is the true sentiment, what truth can I grab hold of with both hands to be my strength and my shield as I go through my challenge?

Perhaps, “Never Surrender” is the better sentiment.  To surrender, means to concede, yield, capitulate, give in or give up, to relinquish control, to cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.

I have goals, dreams, and objectives to complete in this life – and they’re hard. My workout this morning is hard. My job is hard. Survival is hard. Trying to maintain a healthy balance of everything is hard.  Each of those goals and objectives has an opponent, an adversary, an enemy, and I must maintain control of my objective despite those difficulties. I cannot surrender or else I will lose everything I’ve worked for so far.

I made a meme this morning that hit my soul – that gave me that little extra boost to stay faithful and strong to my dreams. It says, “If you quit now …you’ll end up right back where you first began. And when you first began, you were desperate to be right where you are now.  See how far you’ve come? Keep going. Don’t Stop. Don’t Surrender. It’s in this moment, with this decision, that will determine if you fail or succeed …until the next moment when you must face the decision all over again.”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, love, Musing., Quotes, relationship, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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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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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

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