Thursday, January 9, 2014

Why it's about more than you and me...

I don’t think some people realize how difficult it is to return from darkness to the light. It requires a long journey filled with doubt and lots of introspection. It is not something that is easily done and once you have arrived at your destination, it’s a daily struggle to stay in that place. Most that are lost in the dark don’t care to return to light simply because of all it entails. You must strip away every layer of yourself, examine every piece of your heart and soul and face things about yourself that would be much easier to deny. To describe this process in one word: vulnerable. It is a powerful word and carries with it a great weight. Here you are, this person…a mere fragment of who you thought you were or who you envisioned yourself to be. If you are fortunate enough to survive that darkness and get to that place of light, you must fight like hell to remain there. And it always seems that the tiniest little thing could send you right back to that place you once were. Certainly life will throw you a few curve-balls, but for the person who has such a fragile spirit, it doesn’t take much to send them reeling. The demons of your past actions are already a force to be reckoned with, but to also face your inner demons…well, that’s just on an entirely different level. It’s bad enough that you must face yourself day in and day out; the number of insecurities present is ridiculously overwhelming. To take on other people’s insecurities can be just so that it threatens all the strides you have made.
                My past does not define me. However, it can never be undone. It is a constant reminder of the person I never want to be again. To be (or even feel) questioned without just cause draws out all of those insecurities and doubts I have ever had about myself. And while I know that I can’t hide from every query that will undoubtedly occur many times throughout my life, it hinders my progress to feel that way, especially when I have done nothing wrong. I know that a lot of this sounds like self-pity, but I do not feel sorry for myself or expect anyone else to feel sorry for me. I do not deny that I have made mistakes, some of which were monumental. However, to every inquiry that comes my way, I have to fight with myself that I am not becoming that person again. Perhaps there isn’t anyone who is holding my past against me and that (to me) is an accomplishment in itself. I tend to be my own worst enemy and take (what may seem like) innocuous things to heart. Even if it is someone else’s burden, if it involves me in any way, it becomes my burden as well. And to burden my heart with something that I cannot do anything about or that calls my character into question, is simply torturous. So, while you may think that you are not accusing, blaming or holding something against me, that is not how it is received. It took a lot for me to get to this place and I work on it daily. It has nothing to do with you, our relationship or even how I feel about you; this is much deeper than that. If you are going to bring me to this place, please make it over something substantial. Otherwise, the foundation that my heart and soul sits upon is compromised. I do realize that this is not your fault nor do I hold it against you. But that is the very thing I am trying to get across. All of this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with me. I am doing so well; please do not make me question myself when it is not necessary. My greatest gift to you is continuing to move forward. My greatest fear is feeling inadequate and going backwards.


I heard them laughing,
Calling you names
I wasn’t sure what to do
Surely, I would get the same
(So I walked away…)
The next day I saw them
They pushed you into the wall
Everyone walked right on by
No one said anything at all
(I didn’t either…)
I saw them again
This time, they kicked you as you cried
I wanted so much to help you
But my instinct was to run and hide
(So that’s what I did…)
You weren’t at school today
And I quietly wondered why
I felt so ashamed
For idly standing by
(I was wrong…)
I stopped by your house
To see if you were alright
Your mom looked like she had been crying
Told me she had been up all night
(My stomach was in knots…)
You took your life that night
You felt you had reached the end
Maybe I could’ve helped
If only I’d been a friend
(I guess I’ll never know…)
If I’ve learned anything
It’s “never walk away”
If only I had said something
You might still be here today

My Life as a Christian

I am a Christian.
I am NOT perfect.
My life is NOT perfect.
 I try hard not to judge other people…
But sometimes I do. After all, I am only human.
(Just like you).
 I pray. I pray for peace, I pray for love, I pray for the safety of those I love. I pray for those I know and those I don’t know. I pray for the hurt, the sick, the lonely and the dying. I pray for healing too. My faith is continually put to the test.
My survival methods are trust and prayer.
 I don’t condemn others for their religious beliefs, sexuality, life choices or mistakes.
I don’t harbor a sanctimonious attitude.
I don’t feel it is my place in this world to belittle anyone else for their choices. Everyone has their own path and just because yours doesn’t align with mine, it doesn’t mean that I am better than you.
I will encourage, support and pray for you if you are hurt, sick, lost or simply need some type of help.
My role model is Jesus. He embraced the people who were shunned from society. His chief principle in life was love. There isn’t anyone else I’d rather be like than Him.
There are some Christians who don’t practice what they preach. I try my hardest each and every day to be the model of a caring, loving individual and Christian.
Not all of us are hypocrites.
As long as I’m allowed, I will share my life, my love, my gifts and my faith with you. I will never shove any of this in your face or pressure you to accept any of it. That is not my purpose in this life. My purpose is to live, love and believe. I hope I spend my remaining days on Earth doing just that (and so much more).
Again, I am NOT perfect. The only thing in my life that is perfect is the love I receive from my Creator. That was, is and always will be…perfect.

Life...and what's really important

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. For some reason, my mind has been preoccupied with life and its true meaning. I have been studying and researching aspects of grief and of joy and how they relate to life, death and all else encompassed in the world around us. What my mind has centered on is how there isn’t much in this world that is truly “important.” A friend of mine who passed away from cancer put this into perspective for me quite a while ago and it’s now starting to sink in. He wrote down some of his thoughts shortly before he died and they had a huge impact on me. He wondered why there were so many trivial things that we seemed to zero in on. He concluded that when you were facing a life-threatening prognosis, NONE of those trivial things mattered one bit. With this sentiment, I must agree. Why do we spend so much of our time and energy worrying about our weight, how others perceive us, our jobs, money, etc…why is it that only when we are faced with death do we consider the things that make life worth living? Why do we waste so many precious moments being angry with others, judging others or worrying about things that we cannot control? I think we can all agree that status, power, money, etc…cannot be carried over when you die, so why oh why do we place so much importance on all of this? I am, from this day forward, pledging to embrace life and all of the beautiful things in the world. I want to focus a lot less on the superficial things. So, when I find myself having a “moment” (which we all will because humanity itself is imperfection), I am going to re-focus my attention and energy into something else. If I find myself wanting to judge someone, it’s time for me to kiss and hug on my boys. When I find myself stressing about my weight, I will give my husband a big hug. When I find myself worrying about money, I will tell my parents how much I appreciate all they’ve done (and continue to do) for me. And when all else fails and I am feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, I will open my Bible and read. I will pray, I will sing, I will do whatever is necessary to change my outlook at the time. It is my humble vow to make the most out of whatever time in life I have. It’s too tiring to spend too much of my precious time focused on the things that just don’t really matter much. I want to be able to remember what the sky looked like on a cloudless day. Or the brilliant colors of the evening sunset. I want to recall in great detail all of God’s creatures, big and small. I want to dance in the rain, sing at the top of my lungs and not care how I sound, marvel at the creations that I take for granted on a daily basis. I want to live a life of pure beauty. I want to be able to see the joy in my deepest pains and sorrows. I want to make the absolute best out of life that is afforded to me. And when my time on Earth is done, I will be able to sing and dance all the way to heaven, knowing that I am leaving this life in peace. Something much more beautiful awaits me in heaven, but to be able to make the best out of my time here is something quite glorious.


Her wings were slipping
As she fell from grace
Yet a look of content
Remained on her face
She held her breath
As she shed a tear
Her entire world was crashing down
And she couldn’t find anyone near
 Losing her composure
She closed her eyes
 She pictured perfection
And suddenly she could fly
She soared above it all
All fears and sorrows gone
 She caught a glimpse of the morning sky
A new day dawned
 She felt the wind in her hair
A sense of peace ensued
Clearly the compassion of God
Was the reason she flew!

Writing is my Artistry

A blank sheet of paper is my canvas. With fluid movements, I write words on my canvas. Words that I hope will inspire, motivate, change or move even just one person. With my words, I can paint some of the most beautiful pictures or recount a painful memory. I can illuminate, illustrate or define a variety of topics. I can be as personal or impersonal as I choose to be. I can write to myself or entertain an audience wherever my words travel. I can write from my personal perspective or create a story of pure fiction. As long as I have a piece of paper and a writing utensil, I can write any place of my choosing. My inspiration to write can come at any time and at any place. A tiny spark can transform into a brush fire within a matter of minutes. I generally don’t get to choose when something will come into my head for me to write down. My only hope is that I can get my words down as quickly as they are being processed in my mind. There are times I can write for days, yet other times I am blocked for weeks (or longer). My passion for writing is a love like no other; at times, it has been my only saving grace. It is because of writing that I am self-aware and expressive. It is my creative outlet, a gift from God that I do not want to squander. Therefore, I write as often as I can. I try not to excuse myself from it or let the hustle and bustle of life keep me from it. While I would love to have my words published someday, if that never came to pass, I would not stop. Writing means much more to me than words on paper; it is my life and a great love of mine. There is little in this world that could keep me from it. As long as I am able to get my thoughts down on paper, I will always be a writer.

A Woman's Worth

It is a woman's nature to give. We do it openly and freely. Many times, we give and receive very little (if anything) in return. Sometimes, this is done at the expense of our own well-being. Our complexities run deep and our range of our emotions stretches beyond any string of words that can be written. Our giving nature (over time) causes us to become somewhat delicate, yet we have an immense strength that supersedes our fragility. God created woman with a purpose; she is the pillar of faith, hope and love. She can carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, cry a river of tears in her soul and return to you a smile that lights up a room. If a woman could reveal the scars on her heart from all the pain she has endured, it would likely look like a war zone. And yet, she perseveres. Why? The simple answer is that she understands the true beauty of the world around her. She sees all that life has to offer and she jumps in headfirst. Even through pain and suffering, she waits for the rainbow at the end of the storm. She knows that when she finds that "sweet spot" of happiness, it will have been worth it all. See, even in the worst of circumstances, a woman can find the value in hardship. Therefore, know that when a woman gives you her love, she does so with a bandage over her heart. She trusts you to slowly pull that bandage away and yet, it is often ripped off instead. A woman has so much to give; subtle nuances may be all you've seen, but the river runs deep. A love like ours should be cherished and revered. Women, take heed for you hold the key. Don't give your heart away to anyone undeserving of your love. Nurture all that you have and save it for those who earn it. If you find yourself engaged in a battle, do not allow yourself to become broken. God did not give us all these wonderful and amazing qualities for us to completely shut-down for anybody. If we know our own worth, we will convey that outwardly to everyone around us. Don't let yourself be downgraded by anybody else or worse, by your own admission. Stand tall, stand proud and be thankful for the many things that you make you the brilliant woman you are!