Posts Tagged With: Truth

To Thine Own Self Be True

To Thine Own Self


Shakespeare may have penned the phrase, but it’s a truth that’s existed before he wrote Hamlet, and one that has taken me a long time to comprehend.  I haven’t yet mastered it, but I’m working on it.

I’m finding the only way finding and being true to myself is possible …is by being completely honest with myself.  I am more than capable of lying to myself. I was a master at it.  If I were to bet or guess, I would say that a majority of us lie to ourselves quite often, rarely identifying and accepting the truth, because truth hurts.  Truth is hard to take sometimes. Truth is hard to face.  But, as the Good Book says, Truth will set you free. It really will.  It won’t make your problems magically disappear, but it will set you free so that you can begin the journey of living an honest life.

How can we live a true and honest life if we won’t face the truths in our lives? We want and demand truth from others, but how hypocritical of us if we don’t FIRST find, accept, and acknowledge truth within ourselves?  We are living in such an enabled society, where we even lie to ourselves because the truth is harsh and a hard pill to swallow.  It’s not OUR fault we are fat, lazy, and unhealthy and out of shape.  It’s society’s fault for making it too hard to eat healthy, by making poor meal choices more affordable and convenient.  It’s the Fast Food and marketing industries’ fault for my lack of self-control and discipline.  It is my cultural and socio-economical circumstances’ fault that I can’t afford personal trainers, gym memberships, and beautiful parks and recreation centers to work out. It’s our genetics’ fault that I have to work twice as hard as my skinny counterpart.  It’s time’s fault I have poor time management because I put other things in a higher priority  – like watching tv, sitting in restaurants, playing video games, chatting online or scrolling through social media outlets.   I have kids and don’t have the time and energy and money and opportunity.

We all have excuses.  We all cling to them when we want to justify our behavior, and then we moan and complain when we have to face the consequences of those decisions.  That’s the truth of the matter.

We all have the same 24 hours a day.  We all have obstacles in the path of what we need or desire in our lives. It may seem unfair when we try to compare ourselves to others and their opportunities.  Most often we tell the biggest lie to ourselves – “if I had the same opportunity as them …then I would.”  LIAR.  You don’t do it now – you won’t do then – you won’t do it even if you had EVERY advantage because you are NOT true to yourself FIRST.

When we truly have a passion for something, we make it a priority.  When we make something a priority, we have to take a truthful evaluation of where we were, where we are, and where we want to be – and THEN make some REALISTIC, honest, truthful goals – and then do them.  DO THEM.  One day at a time. One step at a time. One victory at a time.  One choice after the next, after then next, after the next – and NEVER GIVE UP. Don’t focus on the big goal, put all your focus on just making it to the next goal.  Be faithful in the little things …and you will be the master of many things.  But be unfaithful in the little things, you will also be unfaithful in the big things, and master nothing.

Success isn’t that you’ve gained something.  True success is when something has cost you – something you had to sacrifice a piece of yourself to obtain – and being true to yourself along the journey.  THAT’s the true success of anything.

Life sucks sometimes.  I mean it really, painfully, soul-crushing, can’t breathe, pushes you to the edge sucks sometimes.  I’ve had my share – and I know there’s more to come later.  But the best things I’ve ever accomplished in this life is learning to love myself, learning to see myself for who I really am, and then learning to be proud of the woman I am.  It isn’t my MBA, or my writing awards, or my publications, or my public praise, or anything I’ve accomplished that makes me proud of myself.  No, that confidence and pride comes from knowing what it took to get there – knowing the truths I’ve had to face – and being true to ME.

You want to get in shape – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better job – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want a better relationship – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to be happy – face your truth and stop making excuses.

You want to succeed – face your truth and stop making excuses.


To thine own self be true!


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

Assumptions and Snakes

Assumptions and Snakes

I made an automatic assumption yesterday about my boyfriend that turned out to be wrong.  I felt like a tool. I felt so bad I had to go and apologize to try to make it right with him, because that’s not the kind of person I want to be, and it’s not a behavior of which I’m proud.

I once heard a phrase that stated, “Don’t assume because it will make an ass out of u and me.  Ass-u-me.” It can and it does.  But, in no way does it mean I am to be stupid. Truth is truth, period. We are not to deny truth – but we can work on our assumptions because they are not always grounded in truth.

The Word says in Matthew 10:16 – “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep amongst wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and innocent/harmless as doves.” While I don’t consider myself a sheep, because I’ve learned the difference between sheep, wolves, shepherds and sheepdogs.  I’m a sheepdog. The second point I wanted to make was that I’m a wordsmith and dissect the meanings individually to understand the context in whole.  So my first question is how is a serpent wise?  Well, growing up on ranches, farms and woods, I’ve encountered many snakes and I can tell you they are careful, they are prudent, they are stealthy and are they are keen observers.  They don’t announce their arrival, but they might warn before an attack, but not always. They will attack when the time is right, when the opportunity presents itself, or when they are forced to defend themselves.  They’re patient. Man, I could go on and on about the wisdom of snakes.

The innocence/harmlessness of a dove, though. That’s more difficult. What makes a dove harmless or innocent? Doves are loyal. They mate for life and are very protective of their mates and offspring.  They are often considered compassionate creatures. They are not predator animals.  They’re the symbolism for the Holy Spirit and truth, and honesty, and good character.

I think altogether this just simply means we need to be discerning and hold our actions to a higher standard, to be careful with our judgement. Things, thoughts and ideas need to be kept in balance, things such as our emotions, our minds, our hearts, and our faith.  I have to make sure the decisions I make are not heavy in just one of these areas, but balanced between them all – being both wise and harmless.

My assumption was an emotional response, not to him, but to my previous experiences and preconceived ideas.  I unfairly judged him for the actions of others. I unfairly questioned his moral character without evidence or proof, or consideration.

Rev. Daniel Patrick once said, “Condemnation of new information, without consideration, is ignorance and arrogance of the highest order.” I had that posted on my office door for years, and that truth is sewn into the depths of my heart, soul and character. Yet, I condemned, judged, and propagated my opinion – falsely without consideration or thought. That’s NOT who I am.

One of the things I love about my current relationship is the honesty and the deep level of communication we have with each other. There’s NOTHING I couldn’t talk about with him. There’s probably nothing we haven’t already talked about (‘cause this woman *pointing to herself* is obviously a yapper).  I’m not going to always make the right decisions and say the right things and be wise or harmless. Sometimes I’m going to respond ‘out of balance’ with either my emotions, my thoughts, my fears, my faith, my understanding – or lack thereof, and neither will he. I can be stupid and vengeful.  WE are humans with free will.  But, I do believe with my whole heart that with good communication, with open honesty, and an integral fortitude to do the right thing, to make amends for our mistakes and learn from them – we can be imperfectly perfect with and for each other, and be quick to forgive.

I think that honest communication is the foundational key to any successful relationship – making us both wise and harmless. I don’t want to hurt him in ANY way. I don’t want to be hurt. I don’t expect him to be perfect – just open and honest. I love his flaws and I’m unafraid to bare my flaws. I know he will fail at times (don’t tell him that – he doesn’t believe in failure), but I know he’s a warrior and will get right back up and keep fighting. I don’t care about his failures, I care about his spirit and will and determination and drive to keep trying, to keep fighting. At times I am going to fail, at times I’m going to fail him – but I too am a warrior and I WILL get back up. I’m never out of the fight – I will always keep fighting. I just have to learn to fight right – not just know enough to get myself hurt.  I got to watch those assumptions and snakes.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray



Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Faith, family, Life, love, Musings, Philosophy, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stand Up

Stand Up 2

I may not wear a cape, be bullet-proof, or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I do defend the weak and put myself in harm’s way to protect others, and that includes protecting myself. I stand up for truth. I stand up to bullies. Does it ever cost me? Yes, many, many, many times.  But, I won’t stop because it’s part of a moral code by which I live. (Yes, I’ve been watching a lot of Dexter later and I too have a code and a Dark Passenger – it may not be to kill serial killers (blood makes me nauseous), but it’s called PTSD and is triggered when danger or bullying is present. It’s THE reason I changed my college major from Early Childhood Education to Business. After doing an internship for a local elementary school, I realized I couldn’t be a teacher, which I was really good, because I knew I would end up in jail if I remained in that profession. I’d go home most evening in tears because I had recognized the signs of abuse and neglect, or lack of discipline which is also another form of abuse and neglect. That internship made me realize I had an elevated level of expectation for parents, and while I saw MANY great parents, I also saw the piece-of-shit scumbags who called themselves parents but were no more than spoiled-ass-selfish bullies walking around in the skins of adults. So, I admire teachers today that are able to handle that knowledge and not allow it to affect them. They are one of my greatest superheroes.


Yes, I’m judgmental.  I don’t care about your faith, your sexual orientation, your skin-color, your genetics, your linage, your social status, your education level, your achievements, your bank balance, or anything you own or don’t own. That’s your business, and I love and care for you as a human being.  BUT, as a human being, I do mind how you treat others and the world in which we all live. Parents – I hold the most judgement and expectations. Parents have the responsibility to care, protect, and TEACH their children what is right.  It is human nature to be selfish and destructive.  Yet, our main responsibility as a parent isn’t just to provide food, clothing and shelter.  Those are the least of our responsibilities. It is to teach our children to think beyond themselves, to be kind, to be compassionate, and to become a productive member of the society in which we all live. It is our responsibility to teach them to be responsible, thoughtful, and self-sufficient. These things can’t be taught by words alone, but by example. Look around, people.  We are FAILING as parents.  We have an influx of disrespectful, unfocused, entitled, non-driven, irresponsible cry-baby bullies entering into adulthood. They are handicapped and their path to success is greatly diminished because they don’t possess the basic skills to reach success, and they blame the world for their failure. Those skills were never honed and developed in their formative years due to coddling and excuses and laziness.  We have a society of enablers and addicts, and I’m not just talking about drugs.  We have an epidemic of emotional and psychological diseases and the biggest is called “excuses”. And how do we help the helpless?  How do you set boundaries and expectations in preparations for a harsh world?  The world is HARD.  The world is SELFISH.  The world doesn’t give a shit what you’ve been through or how you feel.  To succeed in this world, you have to WANT to succeed and then FIGHT for it.  How the hell can we expect a society of crybabies to fight for anything when they have no respect for themselves, for the world around them, or the parents that raised them?  That respect isn’t going to just magically appear.  No, they will be spoiled, disrespectful bratty adults as they enter the work force.  They are and will remain bullies.  You don’t have to be a bigger kid picking on a smaller kid to be a bully.  You just have to be mean, manipulative, and selfish and cause hardship to someone else by abuse of power or position or manipulation. These same childish bullies remain the same disrespectful bullies as adults in the workplace and society. Believe me, they don’t see themselves as bullies. Bullying doesn’t just happen on the playground; it happens in the workplace, at the club, at the gym, on the streets, etc. There are parents bullied by their disrespectful children. There are teachers bullied by their undisciplined students. There are employees bullied by bad employers. Bullying has no preference, it’s an equal opportunity offender.


I’m not a big girl. I may have a big ass, but I’m not physically intimidating by any means.  But, let me see bullying, and meanness, and manipulation, and gossip, and my dark passenger comes active in a protective way.  I’m considered a bitch because I speak my mind and I speak the truth, especially in the shadows of manipulation. It often costs me, because most people are afraid to speak the truth, because they’re afraid to face the costs.  The costs are NEVER fair.


I believe with my whole heart – that IN truth darkness can’t dwell, and prosper, and be successful.  Abuse ALWAYS happens behind closed doors, in secret whispers, and on the flapping lips and itching ears of Gossips. It spreads like an infectious disease among the weak and small-minded. Want to recognize a bully? Be quiet and listen – because they often speak the loudest, and the longest, and they move like a tumbleweed blowing whichever way the wind takes them.  They feel emboldened and justified by their decisions and behaviors and have that constant need to be acknowledged, receive that pat on the back for all their accomplishments, even those not of their own making, yet taking credit for all the work. They don’t like to be questioned.  Confidence doesn’t mind questions, but Insecurity deems them a threat.


So, I stand up to bullies. I speak for the weak.  I speak for truth, even if it hurts.  Truth is the only thing that sets us free.  So, again – I may not wear a cape – but I stand up.


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

The Slavery Debate



Let me start this article with stating a fact, one that is going to change the perception of many of you who dare to read this article.  I am a white woman.  What do I know about slavery?

When the word ‘slavery’ is mumbled within our society today, it is almost ALWAYS associated with the African slave trade by the white Europeans of early America.  But that’s only ONE faction, one truth, one piece of slavery, and it’s not even the whole picture. Yet this one particular faction has rooted a segregated hate that is very prevalent in our current society, and continues to spread its anger and hate like a cancer through our youth with the access to social media – a place where that bias and hate is spread like a incurable disease.  However, I wish our  youth would use this amazing access via the internet to hunt for the truth and search history on their own.  But, most don’t. It’s too much work, requires too much time, and in this ADHD society, it costs too much focus.  It’s easier to just listen to the lessons of more hate, more anger, and more division in our movies, music, videos, art, pop cultural, and political incorrect insensitivity.  It’s easier to let others think for us and tell us what we feel, what we know, and what we should do about it. In ignorance, the issue of slavery has been relegated to racism, which in essence slavery has nothing to do with race.  YES, there was a race of slaves that were enslaved because of their race, but that doesn’t make all slavery about race.  In truth, even THAT particular slavery was more about economics than race, yet the hate that was bred, nurtured, and spread came down to race – on both sides of the hate – and continues today in a generation that has never known slavery, only racism.  Lest we forget the millions of Native Americans that were marched out of their homes, across a harsh land in harsh conditions, dying daily along the Trail of Tears was a form of slavery too.

Slavery isn’t a black or white issue.  Racism isn’t really a black or white issue.  Hate isn’t a black or white issue.  Hate is hate. To hate someone, belittle them, think them inferior or less human because of the color of someone’s skin, because of their culture, because of their sex, because of their education, because of their status in society –  is simple ignorance. Ignorance breeds hate and fear, intolerance and indifference. Slavery is pure evil.  To own, to trade, or treat another human being as an object, as inhumane, as property, is wrong on EVERY level. To also turn a blind eye to it, is just as evil. Yet, we turn a blind to slavery everyday, often because we are too busy arguing with each other about our prejudice, intolerance, and privilege, or lack thereof.  While we are arguing about how ‘unfair’ life is –  there are child slaves working 15-20 hours a day in sweatshops and workhouses, there are young girls and boys being kidnapped from their homes and sold to the highest bidder to perverts, there are young girls being married off as young as five and six years old to old bastards, traded like pieces of property, and then raped and beat and expected to accept it as okay behavior, there are millions of women who are not allowed to speak, to be educated, to even be seen, raped and then stoned to death for being raped, and it is culturally accepted.  Yet, I don’t see pop stars, rappers, actors, civil-rights activists, or political pundits out here fighting against this slavery. We think it’s a problem ‘over there’. Young Africans being kidnapped by their own people and sold to the highest bidding white European was at one time a problem ‘over there’. Millions of Jewish people led to the gas chambers, stripped of all their dignity and humanity was a problem ‘over there’.  A whole village of white Moldovian girls being kidnapped, drugged, beat, and sold to the highest pervert is a problem ‘over there’.  A young woman being ganged-raped by a group of men being stoned to death in the streets for being raped is a problem ‘over there’. Mexicans trying to escape to a better world and using their last peso to purchase their own enslavement from mules is a problem ‘over there’.  Or is it?

American’s don’t often realize how much goes on right here in their back yards.  Human trafficking is a big business, and our society would be shocked if they realized how many humans – black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, European, child and adult, are transferred through our safe American streets on a daily basis. We’re too busy hating each other over an atrocity that happened a hundred years ago.  Yes, African slavery happened.  Yes, it was wrong.  But, what Black America seems to forget is that freedom came at a cost.  There was a high price paid for that freedom and that price was paid by people who believed what was happening was wrong  – and that included a LOT of white people.  Slavery isn’t a race issue, it’s a bondage issue.  Ignorant racists don’t hate black people because they were slaves.  Ignorant racists hate black people because they’re ignorant and believe they are superior by their white genetics.  Ignorant black people don’t hate white people because their ancestors were enslaved, they hate white people because of the racists acts that have been inflicted upon them and by them.  My Jewish ancestors were slaves many times, but I choose not to hate Egyptians, Germans, Americans, or even Africans because of it.  I hate slavery, period. I hate intolerance, period.  I hate hate, period.

I hate when I hear white racists try to justify their hate.  I hate when I hear black racists try to justify their hate. I hate when either of them try to placate their hate in a joke.  I hate when they spew their bullshit in public and want a pat on the back for their stand – but what are they standing for? Civil rights activists that marched across those bridges were not ONLY black. Civil Rights isn’t only a black issue, yet I am literally told almost on a daily basis how I don’t belong or don’t understand, or that I too am a racist because I’m white. No, it’s because I call them on their bullshit. Suck it up whiny babies.  If you want to do something to change the hate, then get off your lazy whiny asses and start doing something.  There are programs and organizations out there in the world that are currently fighting against slavery.  BTW – our welfare system is another form of modern slavery.  It promises aide, but it comes with a cost. There are programs that are helping free and rescue victims of human trafficking going on TODAY. There are organizations out there fighting for women’s rights around the world, not just here in the United States.  There are people of all color, sexes, and cultures DOING something about slavery besides spreading hate. If you’re doing NOTHING about it, then shut up. Shut your hateful spoiled mouth. I don’t want to hear your stupid angry songs about how ‘unfair’ life has been.  I’m angry about it NOW. I’m angry about what happened in the past, what’s happening now, and what’s going to happen in the future.  I have had nightmares hearing victims tell of their plights, learning how children are suffering today, knowing that when I put my head on my comfortable pillow at night they are in pain, alone, scared, and living in conditions I can’t even imagine. I have looked into the eyes of a young girl that has been rescued from human trafficking and THAT is worth fighting for. I didn’t care what color skin she had, only that she had been freed. I understand bondage more than you’d expect. I have lived in bondage, been beat, abused, raped, held captive and forced to do things I knew were wrong and didn’t want to do, and I’m a white girl living in America. So, excuse me when I don’t think your racist song or joke is funny, or when I get upset when I hear someone who had an opportunity to bring people together instead want to cause more division, more separation because they are ‘angry’ about unfairness.

Life is NOT fair, but ALL life matters.  Not white lives, black lives, blue lives, brown lives, yellow lives, animal lives, or sea life that matters.  ALL life matters. Slavery is wrong.  Hate is wrong. I don’t need a religion or a law to tell me that it’s wrong.   It’s WRONG, period.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Complicated frustrations, Conversations with a Friend., Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Philosophy, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where To From Here?

Where To From Here


Have you ever been in one of those transitional states where the past is almost behind you, but you’ve not quite stepped squarely into your future?  I hate that place of transition – but it seems that’s where life is lived – in a moment of transition.

I’ve been here for a while now.  I’m not complaining.  I’m moving. I’m breathing. I’m feeling both anguish and hope, but the key is that I’m feeling.  I’m awake. I’m aware.  I’m not just existing from moment to moment, counting down the days to the weekend, to reach the weekend and have it pass in a haze.

A very close Sergeant  friend of mine seems to live in the day.  I admire that.  I’ve been working hard trying to apply that to my life, to focus only on the here and now and what I can do to make my life better, happier, and more full in the day, in the moment.  The moments I’ve been able to do this have resulted in some very awesome adventures.   But this way of thinking goes against my very nature.  I’m a planner… I like to make lists and count all the costs of time, energy, heart and money before I start anything.  This is how I’ve been taught.  Responsibility, excellence, and accountability were drilled into me so fully that I already had everything figured out before I made the ‘leap of faith’.  (Yes, there was a hint of sarcasm in the oxymoronic example.)

The true Leap of Faith I took was when deciding to live my own life – for me – landed me flat on my face. It had me questioning everything I ever thought or believed.  It forced me to look at myself honestly.  Who likes to do that?  The woman reflected back at me broke my heart.  I hated who she had become because she wasn’t herself.  She didn’t know who she was or what she wanted.  She’d spent too much of her life trying to please and take care of everyone else – her god, husband, children, pastors, church, family, job, career, fans, etc.  Only as each of those things were snatched out of her hands (and literally all of them did at one point) did she face the fact she couldn’t save or help anyone until she saved and helped herself.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been loving me and taking care of myself in every way.  I’m establishing a relationship with myself.  I’m learning my likes, dislikes, fears, hopes, values, ideals, dreams, limits, pleasures, capabilities, weaknesses, sensibilities, desires, etc.  I’m dating myself, and I have to say I really like the woman I’m turning out to be.  I’m crazy, I’m passionate, I’m hungry to live, I’m adventurous, I’m imaginative, I’m sexy, I’m low maintenance but high class, I’m honest, and I’m brave.  I’m often afraid, but I face my fears – especially facing the truth.  I’m compassionate, optimistic – yet stoic and realistic.  As one friend recently told me – I’m a contradiction of contradictory contradiction.  I will stand against a tempest and beat my chest in defiance, yet curl into a ball and wish to close my eyes and drift from existence all in the same day. I love deeply, yet believe I’m unlovable.  I’m not afraid of confrontation.  I hurt honestly.  I’m not always right (oh, boy do I know that) but I’m always wrong – honestly. I can admit my mistakes. I don’t try to hide my failures, embarrassments, or fuck ups – but own them and try to learn from them.  I over think and question everything.  I’m a mess.  But I’m never boring and often quite funny.

So, where to from here?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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

The New Bachelorette: Dating After 40 – The Truth

The Truth


My saga into twenty-first century dating over 40 continues and let me tell you, it’s been eye-opening.  I’m learning about so many new things like Catfishing and Polyamory, right along with the tried and true traditional vices like Adultery, Cheating,  Hook-Ups, Herpes and Open-Relationships.

Some of those things I expected to encounter, others have really forced my eyes wide-open in suspended disbelief.  But there’s something else I’ve noticed that I think is even more detrimental and destructive among this wild world of dating… and that is the truth, or lack of it.  So, I thought I’d share just a little bit today.

I’m a writer.  I understand fantasy, fiction,  and fairy tales.  But that world seems to be much more sensible, logical, and plausible than the profiles of many of the current online and offline daters.

Most online profiles read like a laundry list of fantasies and falsehoods of how some people see themselves, or what they think makes them sound good and appealing.  I don’t mind those that say they love the outdoors, it seems EVERYBODY loves the outdoors.  But damn… if you haven’t spent any time in the outdoors in the last couple of years, you don’t really love the outdoors.  You love the idea of the outdoors.  I don’t mind that you love to travel, but how many stamps are in your passport or how many adventure photos do you have?  Sure, EVERYBODY loves to travel, but why waste space on your mini-bio writing something you only love the idea of and have no immediate plans to go anywhere? EVERYBODY is loving, compassionate, and loyal,  except we’re all single, alone or divorced, so there’s been some trouble in one of those departments by either us or our former partners.

But, even so… those are all wonderful qualities for at least the ones we should strive for in ourselves and in a potential relationship.  However, the profiles that KILL me… that literally have me rolling my eyes and shaking my head are the ones where the dater has absolutely NO common sense.  Here are a few examples of what I mean.

  • Don’t post a picture of your truck/car/motorcycle – I immediately pass over those because what that picture tells me is that you’re materialistic and you find your value and worth in the things you possess.  I’m neither about to become another of your possessions, nor come second to your toys. This goes for guys who boast about how much money they make.  I wish they wouldn’t even ask that question.  (Yeah, I know – unfortunately there are gold diggers out there and the sugar daddy’s who like them. Pathetic really.)
  • Don’t post a picture of your beer, fish, six-pointer, or your golf clubs.  What this says to me is that if I’m dating you, your first love is “YOU” time, that you love spending time by yourself in the woods hunting, fishing, drinking, and golfing.  There’s nothing wrong with these things in moderation, nor the fact you might love them.  But this is a dating site.  The smart thing would be to show me what fun things you’d want to do WITH a date or a partner… not how you’d spend your time alone.
  • For God’s sake, and this if very important,  take a shower, comb your hair, put on a freakin’ shirt and please, please, please …smile.  You don’t know how many pictures I see where the expression on the guy’s face looks like he’s saying, “I hate my fucking life and I’m pissed at the world.”  I’m thinking,  “Wow, you’re a load of fun and I so want to hang out with you.” (Please understand that was said with the thickest of sarcasm.) If you can’t show me being with you will make me happy, I’m running in the other direction. I want to be happy.
  • Don’t post pictures of you holding up a wad or fan of money, or shirtless poses, or other distinguishable (and not so distinguishable) parts.  That’s saying, “I’m looking for a hooker. I don’t value you as a person, just a vagina. You mean nothing to me, I just want to get my kicks, use you, objectify you, and then toss you aside for the next good time.”  There are other websites for that sort of ‘dating’.
  • Guys, please, get someone to take your picture or get a smart phone that has the reverse photo capability.  I literally laugh out loud at the dozens upon dozens of selfies make with the guy looking like a total dork holding up his camera phone in front of a mirror.  Not that using the camera phone in such a way is dorkish… but it’s the expressions on your faces when taking those kind of photos.  I’m looking for smart, intelligent, creative, a man who can think on his feet.  If he can’t handle a simple cell phone, how will he ever be able to handle me?
  • Post a photo.  If you don’t post a photo, you’ll get no response from me or probably anyone else.  The only ones who would respond would probably be the women who’ve broken all the above suggestions themselves and not getting any responses from anyone. I’m not just a pretty face, nor am I looking for just a pretty face. I look at the eyes, the smile to see if I see life or a spark of life in them.  Not posting a photo tells us ladies that you’ve got something to hide or are ashamed of your looks.  Yes, we women love our eye candy just as much as you guys do, but NO WOMAN likes a man with low self-esteem.   Not any real woman.

I want a relationship just as much as the next person.  I love my life and I want to share it with someone.  What I look for in a man for that relationship is so much more than a hot body.  Actually, if your body seems to be the thing you present most or first, I often pass you right by, no matter how good-looking you might be.  I’m mostly looking for qualities in a man that will tell me he will value me, he will pay attention to me, he will care for me, and he will share his life with me.  The profiles that appeal to me most are pictures of the guy smiling, having fun, showing affection to his family or his children, and showing me his accomplishments.  Nothing is more attractive to me than seeing a man beam with pride toward his children or of something he’s worked hard at and accomplished in his life.  It shows me where his heart is.  If I can see the love he has for them, I’ll be able to see the love he would have for me.  A brilliant mind, astounds me. A passionate soul, stirs my passions.  A compassionate man, melts my heart.

But, I guess my idea of ‘dating’ is so much different than the average norm.  It seems sex and physical attraction is up front and center.  Don’t get me wrong, I plan on having lots of wild, crazy sex, but within the confines of a relationship.  My body will follow my heart, yet it seems the world seems to think that the heart will follow the body.  Yes, before I enter into a relationship, there has to be physical attraction, commonalities of interests, and differences enough to bring a unique perspective so there will be balance.  Yet, I’m discouraged most often because I feel like I’m alone in this pursuit by the profiles I read day after day after day.  But, I know that’s not the truth, because the truth is buried deep beneath all these layers of peacock feathers.   It’s truly a treasure when I come across a profile where the guy is just being himself, being honest with himself, making him the most attractive man of the day, at least it is for this bachelorette over 40 looking for love and truth.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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





It’s such a simple term, but one of the hardest things to face.  We glaze over the word as if we had mastery over it, yet we don’t really even grasp it.  Many of us deceive ourselves into thinking we walk in its essence, often in a cloak of self-righteousness.

I’ve been learning a lot of lessons about truth this year.  Many of these are hard truths about me.  Sometimes I’m proud of what I discover, other times make me cringe and I drop my head in shame. But, I can’t make an informed decision unless I know and face the truth.

We walk around in this world and profess hopes and dreams as truths, and we judge our fellow humans with the same measure of truth we apply to ourselves.  But what is that measure?  Is it the real truth?  Do we really look at ourselves honestly and question our motives, our actions, and our words?

How often have we mistaken an others’ intentions, actions or motives because we judged them with our own set of truths? 

We all judge and condemn each other – that is the truth.  We fight amongst ourselves believing WE hold the real TRUTH and those in opposition are wrong.  All of us.   My heart breaks a little more every day when I witness how we treat each other in this world.  I’m not a bleeding heart, but my heart has been battered, bruised, abused, neglected, hated, judged, rejected, broken and discarded all my life, that is the truth.  Yet, I still cling to a hope. 

Truth.  There really is only one and we only have two choices… seek it out or not.  Knowing the truth doesn’t answer all your problems, but it will at least give us a more accurate picture so we can at least take appropriate actions. 

Today, take a moment… and ask yourself, “What is the truth?”

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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