Posts Tagged With: passion




Ever heard the old adage, “If it’s too easy, you’re not reading the fine print?”  Or yet a better one, “If it’s too good to be true, it often isn’t?” There’s always a catch when it comes to shortcuts, especially when it comes to dreams and big obstacles that come into our lives. We are a Burger King world where we want it our way and we want it now. But, life will remind us that it’s not always good to have things ‘our way’ and patience really is a virtue.

Right now I’m working on a couple goals, and healing from a huge obstacle that had been in my life.  I’m not making huge strides, but I am making positive progress, and that’s what matters most.  I’d love to have the speed of the rabbit, but I’m learning the steady pace of the turtle will win my race.

I write this blog, and post my posts on social media, and my smiling selfies, not so I can shout out to the world to look at me and see what I’m doing.  I write to me, and I post to me, as a way to remind myself where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.  It’s so I can track my progress.  How do I know if I’m moving forward unless I have these little reminders that mark my journey?

Some think I’m being narcissistic or vain, but I really don’t give a shit what they think. The only people whose opinion truly matters know who they are in my life. They know where I’ve come from, where I want to go, and encourage me every step of the way forward toward progress.  One of the best things I’ve done for myself these past several months was to remove myself from the toxic, judgmental, self-righteous selfishness that beat me down every day. I have surrounded myself with beautiful, loving, kind, considerate, thoughtful, generous, smart, and driven people – because I needed it.  I was exhausted and broken – and even reached a low point where I just wanted to die so I wouldn’t feel pain and disappointment anymore.  I did my best, but I realized that nothing I ever did or would do was ever going to change anything. I was out of place, running the wrong race.  But, now I’m free and I am so thankful for the beautiful people that inspire me.  See, that’s the difference – I’m surround by people that motivate, encourage, and support me, human beings I’m proud to know who don’t ask anything of me, don’t use me, and don’t take advantage of me, but only ask for me to be me and to be happy.

I needed to be saved – from myself.  I needed to be free – so I could rescue myself. I had to start all over again – from the bottom, but I’m moving up – one small step, one small accomplishment, one small decision, one small action, and one small moment at a time.  I’m making progress.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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What Does Your Rockwell Look Like?

What Does Your

I love Norman Rockwell paintings.  I think they’re probably some of the best artwork out there, in my opinion.  I’m by no means an art expert, but his work NEVER ceases to make me stop, pause, ponder, and feel.  Isn’t that the purpose of an artist?  I’m an artist too – I paint with words.  Sometimes I produce masterpieces, sometimes garbage, most of the time it’s something in between.


How we see the world, how we see truth, how we see each other, how we see nature, science, faith, justice… all these various views stem from who we are, where we are, and what we have, are, or will experience in this life.  How I see things today is not how I saw them at 5, or any age in between.  The pictures have been colored in more, the lines have become more defined, delicate and broad brush strokes have been added, techniques have been developed and experience has happened.  Also, time has moved – aging the older paint, making the fresh paint even more prominent.

I think about death and life.  I step back and look at the picture I’ve painted.  There are a lot of black and white, sharp images, dark images, but there’s also vibrant colors, soft strokes, and beautiful pastels.  But what does the big picture show?

The way Rockwell is able to capture a time, place, feeling, and ideal in his art, you can clearly see the story he’s trying to tell – and it’s a beautiful story.  It’s an ideal story, one that I’ve longed for most of my life.  In my crazy, mixed up, violent world – I’ve always dreamed of a Rockwell existence.  I almost had that kind of world, once.  I had all the appearance – the look, the sound, the image, the right job, the right family, the right standing in the community.  The only thing missing was real passion and love.

Why are we such cowards?  We cling so tightly to our ideals, we miss moments of adding a beautiful stroke of brilliant color to our pictures by being afraid to love one another.  We think love makes us weak, but it’s our greatest strength.  Love is what makes all the difference.  Love is what colors our pictures.  I may not live to see tomorrow.  Every day is a gift.  I don’t want to die alone and unloved, or having missed an opportunity to love someone else.  We only get one life.  There is no do-over.  Paint your life with lots and lots of love – and throw all that other garbage (expectations, philosophies, religion, tradition, rules) out.  What does your Rockwell look like?

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Eyes That See


Eyes that see – I love to look into your eyes, yet fear it at the same time.

Those dark orbs are full of truth, full of knowing, full of fire.

They see through me, past my mask,  and straight  into my fear,

Exposing my deepest hope, my greatest dreams, my darkest regrets.

They intrigue me.  They inspire me.  They see the truth of me.

But do you see it, or do your eyes only reflect the truth back to me?

You have eyes that see everything, even when you look at nothing.

I’ve tried so hard to hide – my mask is elaborate and hand-carved with great detail.

I’ve spent a lifetime adding thread  by thread, bead by bead, scar by scar,

Garnishing the perfect elaboration, building the perfect distraction.

But can you see me, or do your eyes only reflect me back to me?

I’ve looked into many sets of beautiful eyes,

And they have shown me the splendor of their hosts.

But in your eyes I don’t only see your beauty, but mine.

The first time I ever met their gaze it felt like the foundations of the earth shook,

My knees wanted to bend in worship to the god standing before me.

One glance and a fire ignited deep into my bones.

I’ve tried to run. I’ve tried to hide. I’ve tried to ignore and to deny.

But can you feel me too, or is the fire I feel my own passion reflecting back to me?

Eyes that see – will you look at me and tell me the truth?

~T.L. Gray

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Etching Scars Upon Our Souls

Etching Scars Upon Our Souls

There’s something inside me, a certain flickering flame, one that for a brief period of time burned really bright. So bright, in fact, it threatened to consume everything inside and around me. With both feet, I surrendered to it. It was magnificent, wonderful, and greater than anything I could ever imagine.  But it was only for a moment.  Over the past year it’s been dying.  I felt it slipping away from me.  Every day it grew smaller, colder,  and darker.  Every once in a while It would flare, just for a second, before it dimmed even more. The difference is that I’m not doing anything to stop it, now.  I’ve done everything I could. I don’t understand why it has to be this way, but I’m praying it will hurry and die completely.

I can close my eyes, hear a particular song, or come across a familiar scent and instantly be transported back to that particular moment when that flame burned it’s hottest.  I can still feel myself shaking as I stood on that curb, and in the background heard the sound of jet engines.  It’s like an adrenaline sting  – ice and fire at the same time.  I’ve tried to hang onto that feeling for as long as I could, but I’ve finally reached a point – to let it go.

Recently, I’ve sought to see if another flame could be lit in its place. For a brief moment, the band-aid held. While there were definite sparks, there was also something missing inside.  I’ve felt this emptiness before.  It’s familiar.  It’s the same numbness and void I felt standing in a little restaurant many years ago staring down at a set of dog tags.   I can still hear the sound of those tags clanging against one another,  reflecting the sunlight off their dented faces, sliding around along the riveted chain that held them. They made a distinct sound.   Even to this day I can’t breathe when I think of that moment.  What I find odd,  I pass that little restaurant almost every day now –  and though it’s closed, I can still feel the pain of that moment as if it were yesterday.

There are some moments in our lives that create these shadows, imprints, rifts in the universe, etching scars upon our souls.  They never go away.  Some are good, some are bad, all are significant.  This is yet another scar.  But as I have survived the others of my past, so too will I rise above this one.  This latest burned brighter than all the ones before.  Perhaps the next one will consume me completely.

Till next time,

~Scarred Soul

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Perfectly Imperfect


Perfection.  It’s a novel idea, but it doesn’t really exists; it’s an illusion.  Even in things or people we think are perfect, that perceived perfection is only for a moment, at first glance, at first inspection. As we become more familiar, we begin to see the flaws, the cracks, and the imperfections.  The key is to maintain the same level, or even a deeper level, of affection for that person or object as these imperfections surface.

None of us are perfect.  None.  Not one.

Being single and Valentine’s just around the corner, I’ve been considering the type of man I’d like to date.  At first my idea of the ‘perfect’ man popped into my mind, and boy my list of requirements was long.  But as I thought about it, it’s the imperfect, flawed, and damaged man I wanted most.  Not a wreck, not unstable, just flawed. Let me try to explain.

I don’t want someone who will do what I want, when I want, or tell me what I want to hear, obey my every command, or fulfill my every want and desire.  No, I didn’t mistype that sentence.

I’m a passionate  person, and passion is what gets my heart pumping and causes excitement to flood through my veins.  I’m passionate about love. I’m passionate about life. I’m passionate about reading, writing, marketing, hiking, exploring, being adventurous, being a friend, being a mother, etc.  But, I’m not passionate for these things because they’re readily or easily available at my wish or command.  They’re hard to acquire, participate, and procure, and require dedication, determination and devotion.  I respect them, admire them, and love how they affect my life, because they make me a smarter, healthier, happier person – a better woman.

A man who doesn’t challenge me, doesn’t push me out of my comfort zone, doesn’t stand up to me, doesn’t encourage me, doesn’t inspire me, doesn’t push my buttons sometimes, doesn’t argue with me (not just to argue but stands for what he believes), doesn’t earn and receive my respect, doesn’t stir up my passions, doesn’t make me want to be a better woman, so they’re just not the man for me.

I want a passionate man in my life.  I need someone to care about me as a whole person, because I’m a mess, flawed, broken, and shattered.  I don’t need a man to complete me, to hold me together, to hold me up.  He’ll just get tired of being my hero.  I need one that will help me put my pieces together so I can stand on my own, who can stand beside me, and together we fight the dragons of this world. I need to inspire, push, challenge, stand up against, encourage, and argue with him for the same reasons I need it for myself.  I need someone that will protect me, whom I can protect, a partner who I can stand back to back with… still fighting our own battles, but have each other for strength and support. Bottom line – I need someone just as passionate as me.  Not perfect, but perfectly passionate.

Till next time,

~The Imperfect T.L. Gray



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Happy Monday



“There’s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can’t hear it. Most people’s deaths are a sham. There’s nothing left to die.” ~Charles Bukowski —The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, 1998

I love Monday’s.

I know a lot of people don’t like the second day of the week because they have to trudge off to some job they hate, begin another useless cycle of the rat maze they’ve built for themselves.  I know it well. I’ve done it.  But, it wasn’t for possessions or prestige, but for provision.  It was my responsibility to provide for my family.  But to endure the monotony I became like a zombie, going through the motions without any heart, crying on the inside for some spark of life. The more I reached for that spark, the more the other rats in the maze scoffed at me, spouting their tales of responsibility, uniformity and practicality. That’s not how I was created.

Now I’m alone and can make more daring decisions, do without most of worldly possessions and just concentrate on meeting basic needs, living a life every day seeking purpose and passion. The key is ‘living’.

I don’t want regrets.

If my time should come tomorrow, I want those I’ve left behind to know I lived every day to the fullest chasing what truly makes me happy. THAT is the inheritance I want to leave my children.  Chasing, dreaming, hoping, seeking, exploring, experimenting, loving, losing, listening, watching, holding, letting go, touching, … living.

Have a happy Monday.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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Passion vs. Indifference

Passion vs Indifference

Photo by T.L. Gray


“Some men are too dull to feel what might happen. Others torture themselves with maybes and populate their dreams with horrors more terrible than their worst enemy could inflict upon them.”
― Mark LawrencePrince of Thorns

This is one of the reasons why I’m a Mark Lawrence fan.  There are baubles of wisdom such as this all through the Broken Empire series.  While I zip through his books on a first read to discover what happens plot-wise and character-wise, I then slow down, take my time and meditate on many of the passages, such as the one listed above, and really sit back in awe at his wisdom.

This phrase has been rolling around in my brain for a few days because I find myself once again at another crossroad, with another huge decision to make, and teeter back and forth concerning my choices.

I’m guilty of doing everything described above.  At times, not because I’m dull, but perhaps because I’m numb, I can’t even form the words in my mind or heart of what might happen, so I feel and think nothing, pushing all thoughts away.  Then other times, many times really, I lose sleep worried over all the possibilities of what could be successful, and terrified by all the fears of what could be disastrous.   Welcome to humanity.

However, if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose the latter, because I’d rather feel fear and uncertainty than nothing at all.  Indifference, in my opinion, is the worse state to exist.  Anger, hate, fear, hope, love and anticipation are all varying degrees of passion.  I’d rather be passionate, even if it’s passionately wrong, than be passion-less, indifferent, or dull.  I might as well be dead.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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I love kissing, though it has played a strange role in my life.  I remember my first kiss.  It wasn’t that deep and passionate or soft and sensual kind.  It was the innocent and sweet kind of experience.  I can remember the way his warm, soft lips felt on mine, even now after 38 years.  Time stopped in that moment for me.  Not because it was a kiss, but because I think it was the first healthy expression of affection I ever received.  Under the art table in Mrs. Bonnet’s class, with finger-paint smeared on my smock, James Sylvester kissed me. But more than that, his kiss made me aware there were things such as sweetness and beauty in the world.  Does he remember the kiss?  He says he did when nine years later, at the age of fourteen, he kissed me again behind the bleachers at a dog show.

There’s something quite intimate about kissing, at least for me.  I don’t just kiss anyone, it has to feel right.  I’m one of those people who don’t just do something to do it; it’s got to mean something.  When I was teenager, I watched all my friends around me kissing all the time, but I never quite understood how some of them could be so casual about it; quite often kissing more than one person in a single day.  I felt their free expression cheapened the experience.  At least it did for me when I took a chance and engaged in a few careless kisses.

I know that was my doing, making the act of kissing something precious, something special.  Don’t get me wrong; in the privacy of my room, I fantasized plenty about kissing, even practicing on my arm, my pillow, and even myself in the mirror.   But when an opportunity came to engage, I often turned my head.  Needless to say, during those awkward teen years, I didn’t keep boyfriends very long because they took my lack of kissing as a sign of disinterest.  When I did find one I enjoyed kissing, who I opened my life and my heart, I discovered they enjoyed kissing many other lips besides my own.

I recently came out of a very long, committed relationship.  Although I deeply care about this person, we were never a couple that kissed.  We have kissed, but it was always awkward and devoid of passion, like kissing a brother or a best friend.  I want passion.  I want fire.  I want chemistry.  I want a kiss that I can feel all the way to my toes.  I want to feel the tingle still on my lips long after the kiss is over.  I want the memory of the kiss to cause my stomach to flutter and take my breath away.  I want lips that are swollen and chapped from the excess and pressure of a good kiss.  I know this exists.  I’ve had a small taste.   I want someone who will want to kiss me when I’m eighty and it mean just as much as it did the first time.  I won’t apologize for wanting these things.  In fact, I think it’s about time I started reaching for the things I want most in this life, including a kiss.

If you have a kiss like that, cherish and appreciate it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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