Posts Tagged With: pain

New Year Resolutions

New Year goals or resolutions


It’s that time of year again.  For those who don’t make resolutions this post may be just what you need to read. For those who do make them, maybe this will help you. In Forrest Gump fashion, “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Resolutions for me are promises I make to myself and no one else.  Many, many, many changes have happened in my life due to the resolutions/promises I’ve made in the past – so for ME, they work. I think they work for me, because I take promises and vows very seriously, and these are promises to me, to my heart, and to my soul, and they deserve my best.

So, what are my resolutions this year?

  1. Let the past go, live in the moment, and start focusing more on the future.

I realized I had been holding tightly to some past hurts and deep rooted pain.  This was pain I thought I had dealt with, but had only managed to bury.  I needed to see it. I needed to feel it.  It came out while having one of those very rare, deep, open conversations with someone – where you talk about shit you didn’t even know you needed to talk about; that heavy shit. It was so heavy, it cost me a relationship, and I’m so sad about that, but I’m not sad it happened.  It needed it to happen. I needed to see it. I needed to face it.  It was a godsend that it happened when it did.

  1. Let my feet be quick to walk away and my mouth be swift to say, “No.” – it’s not my job to save the world.

I have patterns and I need to start paying close attention to those patterns. One of those patterns is always being there to lend a helping hand, always being someone that sees the needs in others and forgets that I have needs as well, because I will compromise to meet their wants and needs.  I’m not God. I’m not Jesus. I may be Supergirl, but my cape is ripped, my boots are torn, and there’s Kryptonite in the marrow of my bones.  It’s not my job to save the world anymore, and there’s no one to save me.

I love people, especially the people in my inner circle.  But, I tend to gravitate toward the lonely, the broken, the damaged, the hurting, and the forgotten – because that’s how I feel.  I love people the way I want to be loved. I invest in people the way I want to be invested into, and I see people the way I would want to be seen.  BUT – it doesn’t happen that way.  They don’t love me, they don’t invest into me, and they don’t see me   – they don’t even see themselves – and I know that, but I have had this foolish notion that my love would be all they need and it would show them the way.

So, my resolution this year, No – a vow to myself, is to invest in ME, love ME, and see ME.  My heart wants to help others– but my mind is ready to fight this round this year. I’ve put on my running shoes, picked up my shield, and in order to protect myself I have readied my feet to be quick to walk away from these certain types of people and let my mouth be swift to say, “No.”  I have to put me first. I’ve been broken and my soul has been crushed, and I won’t be one damned bit of good to someone else until I’ve healed. This isn’t going to be easy for me, but I know it’s what I need to do. For those I walk away from – you’re just going to have to forgive me. If you can’t – I’m sorry.

  1. Dust off my Adventure List and start ticking off some more of those boxes.

If you’ve known me for any certain of time, then you have heard about my Adventure List – a list of Adventures that I want to do or experience before my time expires on this earth, or I get to old or feeble to complete them.  To some, they call it their ‘bucket list’, but I believe life should be one series of adventures after the next.  I started my Adventure List – and then I put others’ needs before my own and my List has been collecting dust. THAT is the only thing I am ashamed of these past few years. I had made a promise to myself, and looking back over the past 4 years, I’ve realized I have neglected that promise. If someone comes into my life – they MUST care about me enough to help me fulfill my dream, not ask me to choose between them. THIS is part of that anger I’m feeling.  I’ve never come first – it seems …not even from myself.  I have a lump in my throat right now because this is one of those bitter truths I’ve had to face – I never come first, MY wants and needs have never been put first.

I’m dusting off and going to update my list over the next few months – you’ll probably see a bunch of blog posts  about it as I start to tick off those boxes, and I’m shifting my focus – have already shifted my focus – to fulfilling my adventures.  Getting Anthony shipped off to the Navy is at the top.

  1. Live ALONE.

My door is no longer open to ANYONE.  I’m sorry – but I can’t do it anymore. I’ve literally given up my privacy, my space, my life, my room, my time, my goals  – to provide and take care of the needs of others.  My children are grown and capable of taking care of themselves. I’m in no committed relationship with anyone. My door is not open. My sign reads: “No Vacancy”.  The next time I live with someone will be because I have made a vow to share my life with someone, and I don’t see that ever happening. If I have a friend in need, I will work hard finding them somewhere ELSE to go, but it will not be with me.  I’m done taking care of the world. My dog Bella is the only being that will live with me. I don’t want a roommate. I want peace. I want space. I want my fortress of solitude.

  1. Write More
  2. Play More Music
  3. Read More
  4. Paint More
  5. Explore More
  6. Laugh More

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Dealing with Loss

Dealing with Loss

Life is constantly changing and in those changes sometimes things get lost, things that are essential to our hearts and souls, to our minds and well-being.  It would be great if we were able to accumulate and keep everything and everyone that came into our lives, especially the people who we love most and who have impacted us most in our lives, but we can’t. No matter how much we wish it, how much we want it, we came into this world alone and we will leave it alone, and along the way we will have to deal with loss.

The worst pain I ever felt in my life was losing someone I loved, especially because it was hard for me to love in the first place. It took me so long to open my heart and let that love in – and then to have it taken from me so quickly. I still find myself waiting – waiting for someone that is gone in my life to just walk around the corner and greet me again with that beautiful smile, to  speak words of encouragement to me when it seems like everything and everyone is against me, to tell me I can when I don’t believe it.  But, he never comes – and I keep waiting.  Even today, after twenty-six years, I feel this empty space he left behind.  But, I only have to close my eyes and I can picture him smiling at me, urging me forward in my life, daring me to take those chances, and trying to provoke me into giving love another shot.  I talk to him all the time, because I know what he would say to me.

Right now someone very special to me, someone I love deeply and care for greatly, is dealing with a loss and I don’t know how to help him. I know the pain he is in and I want to tell him it gets easier and eventually the pain goes away, but it doesn’t.  I want to tell him that she’s in a better place, watching over him, and he will see her again someday, but I really can’t make that promise either because I don’t know if it’s true or not. I have faith it is, but it’s not something I can promise. It’s not my call. I know the emptiness he is feeling inside. I know the questions, and the doubts, and the fears, and the anger, and the bargaining, and everything else that comes with grief.  I’m so scared he’s going to be weak like me and let that pain build a door and a wall that will push everyone else out – and go through the motions of life but not really live.  But, I can’t stop him.  It’s got to be his choice.

What comforts me when I think about my loss is remembering the smiles, the laughter, the conversations, and the dreams we built together.  When I’m hurting or doubting, I hear his words and his voice pushing me forward and encouraging me.  That’s what I want for Scott – I want him to think about what ‘she’ would want for him, what ‘she’ would tell him if she was sitting beside him, what ‘she’ would want him to do. He knows what she would say. He knows what she would want. And THAT is what I want him to push for, to strive for, and to make happen in his life.  He has a fighting motto – “Find something worth dying for – and then live for it.”  I pray he heeds his own motto.

Ecclesiastes 3 reads, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, and time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:12: “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”

That’s what I want for him – to be happy and to do good while he lives.  To live in the moment, to live in the day, and not just merely exist.  He is in a time of mourning, but he must look toward the new sun and not dwell on what is gone for more than a cycle of the moon (30 days) lest it become work of the enemy to steal his strength and joy.  I know the pain of holding on too long. But, what can I say or do?  I am helpless because this is his journey, his walk, and his burden to bear.  James whispers to me when I’m feeling overwhelmed and helpless to do anything to ease his pain – and reminds me that where there is much grief there is much love. All I can do is love and pray and wait.

Dealing with loss is not easy. It hurts. It hurts badly.  I can’t save the world from feeling loss, but perhaps just try to remind it that there is/was/will be love in the world too.  I know that James loved me and he always wanted what was best for me – and knowing that, I have tried to live my life pursing love, pursuing happiness, pursuing the dreams we built together.  I want him to be proud of me, as I have become proud of myself. For my children, when I am gone, I would want them to be happy, to be loved, to live each day as if it were their last, to take chances and risks, and to not be afraid to fail and get back up.  That’s what makes life valuable.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dreams, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Importance of Setting Goals

The Importance Of


I just can’t do it. I can’t be the kind of person that lives by the seat my pants and plan to have a bat in my hand to take a swing at all the objects life wants to throw at me. YES, there will always come an unexpected obstacle, and we should ALWAYS be ready and willing to be spontaneous, but that doesn’t mean we don’t set goals for ourselves or design an outline to help control the direction we walk.

All life is chaos.  It’s fluid, it’s moving, it’s modifying, it’s ever-changing, and most of all it’s full of drama.  Not matter how much we protest, we can’t remove drama.  However, by the goals we set, by the structure we build around our lives, we sure as hell can have an effect on the kind of drama we attract and deal with on a daily basis. I touched fire.  I got burned. There’s a scar. I touched it again, and got burned again, and it left another scar. While I don’t completely remove fire from my life, I now know better than to touch it again. I won’t live my life without fire. But, I also don’t let fire trap me or burn me up anymore.  I am born of fire. It’s a part of my soul. I’m just learning how to control it better.  Can I get burned again? Absolutely, but it won’t be because I reached out for it.

I love goals. I love having aspirations and dreams.  The spirit woman that lives within me – she’s dances in the sand with her bare feet, she lifts her arms to worship the sun and moon, she bathes in their light and warmth, she closes her eyes and sees the beauty of all that God has done in, around, and through her, she breathes life, and to her NOTHING is impossible.  Freedom isn’t free. Peace isn’t given. Hope isn’t alive without first being planted and watered and harvested. Love – love has so many colors, so many valves, so many branches, and so many facets like a diamond. Health must be maintained. Prosperity isn’t guaranteed but must be pursued with passion.

I am so blessed because I can reach unimaginable heights of peace, love, success, health, and imagination and I don’t need drugs, alcohol, sex, or another person’s attention or money in order to reach them. I’ve never been a drug or people user.  My drug is love – life. I’m not blind to the evil of this world, I’ve often been its victim, but I don’t strive to escape the pain or dull my senses so I don’t have to feel, or separate myself to try and protect myself from getting hurt again. I’m not a coward. I’m sorry, but I believe with my whole heart people who use drugs, money, sex or people are COWARDS.  No – I fight like hell to rise above it, to heal from it, and to learn. The heartbreak I’m going through right now, I choose to face ALL the pain, so I can heal.  I face all the uncertainty of every day. I have no security but myself.  So, I understand the importance of setting goals. I have dreams that I want to make a reality. I have responsibilities that I need to fulfill.  I’m a grown ass woman and I face my own problems and I take care of my own responsibilities and bills. I’ve got my shit together.

I was angry and greatly hurt from the neglect I received from my last relationship, but the person I was angry at most was myself – because I neglected ME.  I set my dreams and needs aside, ignored my goals and wants, and drowned in the despair that followed allowing the toxic darkness to consume me. Love wasn’t enough.  I got lost.  I misplaced that girl with her all-consuming fire.  But, I’ve found her again – and together we dance under the moonlight, and in the sun, and in the rain, and the spirit wind moves all around us.  My biggest goal is to never lose her again.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Destiny, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Falling Out of Love

Falling Out of Love

Is this really possible?  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced it on both sides of the coin, am experiencing a form of it now, and yet I still don’t understand how such a thing can really occur.

It’s easy to get angry at the opposite end of a love affair falling apart.  We are beings that change, adapt, evolve and go through several metamorphosis on a constant basis.  There’s no such person that always ‘stays the same’.  Yet, as much as we change we are also creatures of habit.

I think the part that hurts most in a Falling Out of Love experience is the change that occurs when the habits, especially the habits that made us most happy, are the ones that change.  I.e. – Simply saying ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’… and having that suddenly or slowly stop.  I had a friend and it drove him crazy with me simply sending him a good morning and good night text every day.  He never understood that it was my way of saying to him that he was important to me… that I thought about him in my early morning thoughts, wished him well through the day, and then as I meditated before I fell asleep he was a part of those thoughts as well.  But because my habits bothered him, I stopped (mostly)… and with it… I stopped thinking about him so much.  Days sometimes go by where I barely think of them at all, or mention his name, or concern myself with his well-being.  I miss him terribly, but I don’t want to bother him either.  The daily wishes… were more for me than for him.  I’ve been forgotten, left behind, and abandoned a lot… and I never wanted anyone I care about to ever feel that from me. So, I try to keep the ones I care about most fresh in my thoughts. Yet,  I still sometimes find myself reluctant to send a simple, “good morning” thinking I’m bothering them.

When  you’re in a relationship, regardless of the type of relationship, we develop habits on how we relate to one another.  Those tend to be the first things that change when the relationship changes.  It’s always small changes, a slow pulling away, that happens when a relationship is fading out.  Those are painful if you are observant enough to see them.  The absence of these habits produces emotional holes.  If you are  used to communicating with someone every day, consistently, and they suddenly stop or those communications get farther apart, it hurts. It hurts because you know the embers are dying and unless the coals are flamed, they will fizzle.

This is where my stubbornness hurts me most.  If I feel someone withdrawing from me, I slam up my walls preparing myself for the pain I know is coming.  I should be pumping air onto those smoldering coals, but instead I withdraw further away.  I run… emotionally and physically.

I’m not saying that’s the thing to do.  On the contrary… that’s  the thing NOT to do.  I’ve never saved a relationship by walking away or letting them walk away.  But, it’s one of my triggers.  It’s one of my self-preservation psychotic moves.  Just because I will stand back and allow people to walk away from me, doesn’t mean I don’t care or that it doesn’t hurt.  It  hurts.  It hurts a lot.  I still have holes where people have walked away from me and I let them go.  But it doesn’t mean I ever stopped loving them.  How is that even possible? For me, I have truly loved them all, and in some ways still do.  What died was the relationship, the communication, the connection, but the beautiful things I loved about them are still there.  Perhaps it’s just me because it sure seems they stopped loving me.  I don’t think any of my exes hate me, but did they ever really love me?  Do they think fondly of me on those rare moments I brush across their thoughts?  Who knows.. it doesn’t matter because they’re not here now.  They walked away or else let me walk away.  I had friends I thought would be in my life forever that are nowhere to be found.  I had lovers who I couldn’t imagine my life without.  Yet, here I am today alone, yet still breathing, still living, still existing, just not in their world.

So, did the love just fall away? Did it just stop? Or just the effort to fight for it? Will I ever be worth fighting for in someone’s life?  To maintain a relationship with me, they’ll have to fight for me, because I won’t stop them if they ever chose to leave. Watching them leave is the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced, because I’m helpless to stop, to change, to save the fall.  I’ll never be where I’m not wanted.  Never.   Being in a relationship like that doesn’t just hurt emotionally, it kills the soul.

I don’t the answer.  I don’t know if falling out of love is possible, but falling out of habit is very much real.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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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

Complicated Simplicity

How much pain can a person truly handle before they break?  A person can break, I’ve seen it, experienced it, and am not convinced once broken we can ever be whole again.  But can we survive?

The hardest part of my faith for me is to trust that God will not allow more than I can handle.  That is His promise.  That is a promise I don’t understand.  It seems simple enough, but complexity and simplicity often happen at the same time.  Complicated Simplicity. What an oxymoron.

I’ve looked into the eyes of a person and saw fire – flames of life burning in them so bright they can’t help but make the world around them sparkle with hope, joy, laughter. It’s easy to believe in those moments in that promise.

I’ve also looked into a pair of eyes and witnessed such pain and depravation and literally watched the color of their irises dull and their whole countenance pale in despair. This is when we hope for that promise most of all.

I’ve also looked into a pair of eyes as their souls slipped away and death consumed them. It’s not something that can really be explained, nor is it something I would recommend.  Where is the promise here?

All these experiences leave behind scars… a tendril of essence that becomes recognizable when you see it operating in all the other sets of eyes in the world.  I truly do believe the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul.  I want to hold onto that promise, but I doubt, and I waiver, and I fear.

When my walls are up I avoid allowing people to look into my eyes.  When my walls are down I seek as much eye contact as possible. Our bodies can lie.  Our mouths can lie.  Our hands can lie.  Our thoughts can lie.  Our feelings are often the biggest liars of all.  But the eyes… the eyes can’t lie.  In this new technological world, it’s becoming easier to lie because we feel comfortable behind our screens.  Black font replaces our attempts to conceal our eyes, mostly from ourselves.  Again, another example of Complicated Simplicity.

 What complicated-simple truth would my eyes say today?  I’m reminded of a quote from my first published novel where Cain rolls over, away from the fire, away from the view of his new friend.  Tears spill out the corner of his eyes and he whispers, “No more.  I can bear no more.” Unlike my character Cain, I’m not immortal. I can break.

There was a moment when I opened my eyes this morning.  A brief moment – where time stood still and the universe turned toward me, and waited for an answer.  I had a choice.  Live or leave.  Fight or give up.  All thoughts left my mind.  All feeling left my body. Then I heard my spirit singing the soft echo of a song I haven’t heard in years from a group called Switchfoot ….

Welcome to the planet.

Welcome to existence.

Everyone’s here.  Everyone’s here.

Everybody’s watching you now.

Everybody waits for you now.

What happens next?  What happens next?


I dare you to move!

I dare you to move!

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor!

I dare you to move!

I dare you to move!

Like today never happened, today never happened before.


Welcome to the fall out.

Welcome to resistance.

The tension is here.  The tension is here.

Between who you are and who you could be.

Between how it is and how it should be.


I dare you to move!

I dare you to move!

I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor!

I dare you to move!

I dare you to move!

Like today never happened, today never happened before.


Maybe redemption has stories to tell.

Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell.

Where can you run to escape from yourself?

Where you gonna go?  Where you gonna go?

Salvation is here.


I moved.  I got up. I put my feet on the floor.  I breathed.   So complex, yet so simple. Today, I’m still broken but I’m alive.  So, yesterday was not more than I could handle. I’m not saying I handled it well, just that I survived.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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