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Unconditional Love

There is such a thing as unconditional love. And when you love someone, I have always believed that a part of them will always be in your heart. For this reason, I have always tried to end relationships on a nice note and with a hug. The fact that these two people walked the Wall of China, to meet in the middle and give each other one last hug before never seeing each other again, is beautiful. What an amazing, loving and respectful way to handle when a relationship comes to an end. Relationships never have to end in an ugly or dramatic way…but of course it takes both to make that happen.

This is such a beautiful vidoe and it will make your day.

Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again.

At her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, where she shared a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing and this is what happened.

After Your Dreams Come True

We work hard, all of our lives to reach our goals. We set them, we have dreams, we do what we can to make them come true. And certainly that is the case with me. I have worked, so hard, sacrificed, fought tooth and nail, set goals, burned both candles at the end, struggled and tired, failed and succeeded. And here I am, standing at the red rimmed edge of my dreams. They are right here, right before, right within reach, I can see them, feel them, smell them.  I have accomplished my dreams.

But now, as I look around, I wonder…now what? What do you do when you accomplish what you set out to do? What do you do when you have attained your dreams? It is truly magnificent, and I am happy. Life is wonderful and good, and I have to pinch myself evetry day to make sure I am not dreaming. I have accomplished it. Finally!

Now what?

Well, for certain I shall enjoy all the fruits of my labor, years long. And there is still work to be done, but the hard stuff is over. all that is left is to enjoy all the seeds I have sewn. But yet I cannot help but wonder what shall I do next?

OFr some of us, we never stop learning, never stop reaching, never stop growing and discovering. I want to always be doing something, always have a goal. So next is to set new goals, new heights which to soar. I am my family to keep settled, as right now they need me. And I will be there for them. Nothing bad will come to them, not on my watch. But beyond that, what do I want?

That is one of the keys in life – define what you want and go after it. And asI look around I have all that I want except one thing: Love. That four letter word that has illuded me all these years. That is what I want.  And I have so much of it already, in my family, in my friends, in everyone around me. But I want that best love, that last love of my life. I want someone with which to share this wonderful life I have been blessed enough to have. Someone who will be my best friend and confedant, and I theirs.

I want someone who needs me, and someone who will be OK with me needing them. It is a unuversal need, to be needed. To know that what we have to offer is beneficial to those we love.

And so it is, that I start my wonderful, magical journey to find that love. I am seeing a wonderufl man already…will he be it? I dom’t know, but I sure intend to find out. Wish me luck!

To Rise or Wallow, That is the Question

Wallow or Rise

We all go through hard times in our life. All of us, as some point, will be hurt deeply, be betrayed, lied to, mislead and broken hearted. That is the risk sof being human, the risk of loving and being loved and the risk of being open to living life. All of us, during our lifetime, will have bad things happen to us that we do not deserve. We are given life, no one promised us it would always be fair or easy.

But I have a theory about those bad times. I think you have a choice – either let those times drag you down and hold you back like a ball and chain, or use those bad times as a stepping stone to rise above it all and become a better, finer, stronger, more comapssionate person.

Some people shoose to wallow in theri misery and pain. Those are the ones who lie to themsleves and others. Those are the ones who use others and hurt them as a result of the pain they are feeling inside themsaelves. It is a ref;ection of their own self loathing, and it is toxic. Have you ever been around those kinds of people? They make you feel good for a while, then, they start istreating you and blaming you for it. Get away, and run fast.

That is what happens when you choose to wallow. You become biiter, twisted. That is a terrible place to be. Going through the bad times are hard enough, who would want to stay there and add to the misery? Not me, but some people do. Don;t be that guy (or that woman).

Know that those bad times are only temporary. The pain is only temporary, even if it is so strong it’s almost blinding. It won;t be loike that in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year or even 6 months. DOn’t let the temporary bad events make a negative permanent impression. And you know what? Those people who hurt you? It drives them crazy to know that you are happy and doing well without them. Having a great life and being happy is truly bthe best revenge.

So don’t be afraid to sore, don;t be afraid to step over the hard times and rise above the pain, anger, fear and confusion. The view is much better from up here, I promise. And it’s never too late to start, so what are you waitin for?

The Best Place

The Best Place

Last night, as my father lay on the couch and my sister, mother an di were sitting around the dinner table talking softly while having cheese, crackers and wine, Dad said something very sweet and meaningful. He has not been feeling well after his last chemo treatment. Theyu live in Southwest georgia, and come up to stay with me when he gets his treatments.

Last night as he sat up to get some water, he said that this was the best place he could be, right here, in my house, surrounded by his family and those he loves most. Yes, I am a Daddy’s Girl.

Many men do not realize how much influence they have over their daughters, espcially when it comes to love and dating. I hold such high standards because of the kindof man my father is. I knwo what honor and integrity are because of watching him. I know how a man should treat me, because of the way he not only treats my mother, but by the way he treats every other woman he comes into cantact with as well. He protects women, he respects them, he treats them with kindness and respect.

Little girls choose their partners, lovers, husbands and know how they should be treated in relationships by watching their fathers. Never forget that guys, as those little eyes and ears pick up much more than you realize. So be the kind of man your daughters would be proud to know. It will make a difference in your life and theirs, trust me.

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A Graceful Night Out

Most people who know me would not associate me with the word Grace. If there is a way to trip, fall, spill, stumble or otherwise fumble, I’ll find it. The stories of my cluminess are many and legindary – like when I feel face first on the beach in the sand, when I fell over a footstoll lin the furniture store, landed ass-up in front of a hot guy, the time I was taking a pre-employment drug test and dropped the cup when handing it iff to the technitian…in front of a hot guy. And those are just a few.

Last night my sister and I went out to play trivia and meet with another dear frond of mine. He is Jewish, older and rides a Harley. This unlikely friendship started several years ago after I kept seeing him in my appartment complex and eventually worked up the nerve to ask him about his life. We have been good friends ever since. Last night we talked, drank beer, got caught up, laughed and had a great time.

He is a very spirtitual man, very knowledgeable and I respect him tremendiously. Toward the end of the night, I told him of my journey to find Grace, Divine Grace, or to have as much Grace as possible. I asked him what he thought the definiation of Grace was in the sewnse that I am seeking. He said:

“It is keeping your mouth shut and withholding judgement. Don’t be the catalyst. Don’t be a doormat, but sit back and watch more, let things develope in their own time and let people learn their lessons without telling them. That is the only way they will learn anyway. So sit back, shut up, and don’t judge.”

I love him. In that short explanation, he summed up exactly what I needed to do. And when you think about it, it seems so simple. The bottom line is that it is easy to practice Grace when you are having a great day, and all is well. However, it is much harder when you are angry, hurt, or feel slighted. So I am going to take his advice, and I will hold my togue. Easier said than done for this feisty red- head.

But we strive, as humans, to be better, do better and have better. It is our nature. And so I will strive too. And I will be human, I will have monets, make mistakes, falter, but I will try, with all my heart to sit back, shut up and not judgr. It is not my place to judge or tell someone how they are wring, even when they have dsone wrong to me. Let God sort them out.

Now, if only there was a cure for falling, slipping, tripping, spilling, fumbling, tumbling, shuffling and sliding!

Pride, Grace and Moving

We all  must learn to ask for hlep at some point in our lives. This is a very hard thing for me. It truly hurts my prode when I find that I cannot do something myself. I. Hate. It. But I had to swallow my pride and do just that recently. My nephew will be moving in temporarily and for 2-3 months my office needs to be his bedroom. Easy enough. Except that a huge heavy desk had to be moved out of the room, into the garage and the bedroom furniture on loan from my parents moved from their van to my nephews room.

So, I swallowed my pride and asked my most recent to to please, please, please, help unload and move. This was hard for me and he did not make it easy. Why not call the man you are dating now? (He runs his own company, is not available during the day and had a family emergency). Why not just get some movers? (hmmm, it costs at least $200 to get them, and since I have 2 people moving in, I am a bit short on cash at the moment). Why not get another friends? (I don’t ask a lot of friends for help. Very few people. Ever. Pride).

The result of me swallowing my pride? The ex came over and helped, everything was moved into place. The desk is dismantled and in the garage, the bedroom furniture is where it is be and the room is ready for my nephew to move in.  And my ex and I saw each other where we were not yelling at each other.

The moral of the story? Maybe it is OK to ask for help. Maybe pride is not always a good thing. Yes, we can write it and read it all we want, but until we really know it, it does not good.

And Grace. Yes ther is that word. It is very hard to have Grace toward someone who hurt you. And he did, a lot. And I have to admit, I have been very snarky to him. I am a fiesty southern red head, and he expected me to do that which I already told him I was not capable. I told him how I would react if put in thyat situation. And true to my word, I acted just as I said I would. He was surprised got very angry. And then I was snarky. And I enjoyed being snarky. That’s the thing about being feisty, you enjoy it.

But that is not Grace. And that is not forgiveness. It is hard to forgive when you are still hurt and angry, and it is hard to be Graceful when you enjoy being feisty. But that is what I must do. After all, my ex showed more grace than I when he showed up to help, moving heavy furniture, facing my mother and sister, still smiling and moving heavy things. I could learn from him in that regard.

And my life has been so blessed with so many good and wonderful things, that I should be less pridefull and more Gracefull. I cannot, in good conscience, ask for the blessings in  my life to continue and still behave in a way that is not condusive to having Grace. And so that will bemy motivation.

Pride, Grace, and moving.

Twists and Turns In the game of Life

We all remember that game called Life…you spin the wheel, move your man and follow the directions on the space you landed. Sometimes you ended up with a lot of money, sometimes kids, sometimes lots of things. But there was never any way to know how it was going to go, no matter how you thought you had it figured out.

It is amazing to me the many twists and turns on which life takes us. One thing is for sure, it’s never boring. My life is great, however that does not mean that there are not bad moments, days or worries. There is a saying that life is what happens while you are planning. This, I have found, is so true. And there are some things for which you simply cannot plan, some things that will throw you for a loop, some things for which you just have to roll with the punches so to speak. As a woman who plans, this can be a but unnerving.

Mom and Dad will be here today for Dad’s latest chemo treatment. If this doesn’t work, the doctors are not sure what will be next. Though I have a lot of Faith that things work work out, there are still worries. There is taking care of Mom who will be just about sick with sorry so we much be strong for her.

Money will be tight for the next 2-3 weeks. Temporary cash crunches are just that, temporary. And in that amount of time I will be completely out of debt and debt free is a wonderful place. I don’t believe in using credit cards. After being in finance for so many years, I saw first-hand how easy credit has helped destroy this nation. So I don’t use credit unless I have to. But writing about easy credit and people living beyond their means could be the subject of many blog entries.

My sister and I are having a great time, but it is difficult for her being away from her family. She has been married for 25 years and they have never really been apart. I do as much as I can for her to make her feel better. And in the middle of all of it, are my Lenten Disciplines. Practicing Grace. And God has a sense of humor. I am good except with one person, my latest ex. And I just enjoy being snarky to him because he hurt me so bad. But practicing Grace means letting all of that go, and being nice. He actually accused me of only being nice to him when I needed something. No, I am trying to be nice because of Lent. But, I can only do what I can and let others think what they may.

I may need to add Pride to my list of things on which to work on for my Lenten Disciplines. I have a hard time asking for help. I have been on my own for a long time, and it hurts my pride deeply to admit I cannot do something on my own. As a result, I tend to go to the same people over and over for help, so to avoid anyone knowing that I need. But that is for another entry.

There are also more belly dance classes and photography classes for which I have signed up. There are the photo-shoots scheduled with my agent, new headshots, my book, work is crazy busy, the new relationship that we are exploring, running more and longer, learning the new iPhone, getting my nephew moved in, and a few other things.

 So life is very good, better than I ever thought, but still there are twists and turns in this journey. It is not yet the end of the second month of the year, and it has been so much more than I expected. So many things have not been planned, both good and bad.

So plan all you want, but make sure you have some room for the unexpected, because it’s coming. And really, would we want it any other way? Think of the roads which we take, the people we meet along the way, and the unplanned events that happen in our lives. The twists and turns are what make life…life.