Boundless Beauty. (300 words)

I hate to be the bearer of bad news in my own expectations or the facilitator of less than my absolute best when I am actively pursuing my dreams. I want to grow tired of the lies I sell myself and follow my heart as it leads me to truth. But it takes so much more than hopes and good thoughts to inspire lasting and effectual change.

Sometimes, you have to break down completely before you will ever follow through.

I am not infallible. Every day I wake up just like you with a choice to do better or to stay statically still. I could go on and on about the times I wasted or the balls I let drop while the world around me refused to stop–but none of that will matter unless I choose to make a difference now, for me.

When you are not emotionally connected to your actions, you will continue to fail without any regard to who you are taking down with you. You will emote and feel things deeply but forget that it is not all about your problems. It is about finding a path in the middle towards achieving and maintaining peace. Peace that can not exist if we are constantly fighting.

I do not want to hear “suck it up” when the truth in love inspires us to speak words of healing over people who are truly suffering. There are a thousand ways we can say the same thing without wounding sensitive spirits with our harsh expressions.

Some days this is harder for us to do–but the most beautiful things have a way of happening in spite of you.

beauty, life, expectations, hope, love, blog

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– Jen Cosby


The Coincidence of Obedience.

Words will always pour out of a writer’s heart as long as the right door is opened.

I went back to my home church in the month of April.  After many excuses and in spite of my infamous stubbornness, there were multiple occurrences that led me to believe that now was the right time. For one, I ran into a church member and friend at the city-wide Spelling Bee in which our children were participating. The day of the 1st test, I was stuck in what seemed like an unnatural amount of traffic and I thought to myself, “There’s a reason this is happening right now.” We finally make it to the library where the Spelling Bee is held and right after we check in a little girl runs up screaming my daughter’s name. I turn around to see four faces I have not seen in over a year.


It is important to note: I do not believe in coincidence. Every moment in life we have the opportunity to make decisions, but each cross road we ultimately come to is intentional. At times, I did not like where I was headed and made the choice to correct my course. Sometimes, I would choose to keep going on a path I hated, towards a sad and lonely ending. Still, in either direction there was a voice–one that rang louder or quieter depending on my choice. The 2nd occurrence happened on my way back home from visiting my family in Virginia. I could hear a thought in my mind saying, “It’s time to go back to your church.” Not only did I hear this thought, but I also knew and felt the exact time to go. It was also around this time that one of my pastors reached out and asked me directly when I would be coming to see my family.

The answer was very soon.

Regardless of how I left or the emptiness I once felt, it was time to return to the place I knew I belonged. Ironically, walking into those doors again felt familiar and comforting rather than intimidating or wrong. I was reminded of the kindness of these people whom I had known for a number of years. Now, I could see with clear eyes how I should have stayed and asked for help. Help, that I did not feel I deserved at the time. I also remembered the hurt that burned in my chest when I left and no one seemed to notice. I realize now just how hard it is to reach someone who does not want to be reached.

Especially since the person who needed to be reached, was me.

It is my hope that my future decisions will bring me closer to rather than pushing others away. Life is already difficult enough without me being the perpetrator in my own narrative. I choose to be brave and strong–to allow people to love me through my mess and to see me fully. I choose to speak my truth and walk forward knowing that I am doing my best. And the best, is yet to come. authentic_life_lessons_truth

Wait of the World.

It could be worse.

Every lie fed to starving insecurities could actually turn out to be the truth. Every hope drained after selfish decisions were made could make the most faithful believer doubtful.

Some of the people closest to me failed to acknowledge the holes they left in my heart. My self, included. Damage, is nothing if not habitual and I fight daily to eliminate my scars. I do not want to be seen as the person who cannot move forward. So, I try to cut ties with feelings I know deep down are not factual. After a certain amount of time, all self-perceived outside wounds are actually inflicted by you.

When you forgive someone, do you hold them to the same standards before they fell? Do you adjust your expectations to guard against future disappointment? Do you continue to share experiences together, pretending everything is the same as it once was?

The answer is a resounding and emphatic “No”.

Now, I do not trust most of my decisions and cannot understand why I continue in this hurtful cycle. I cannot reconnect to the core of my innocence because the feeling of safety is gone. I still hurt in ways I choose not to explore because sitting with uncertain pain leaves me weary–and unable to see the road in front of me.

quotes, strength, weight of the world, lifeI know I need vision. So much so, I am willing to invest the time it will take to get it back. I used to spend intentional time ignoring the frustration that comes with waiting for a future I should not expect. I try not to run away from it now, but hope is a disposition that will only spring up out of my desperation.

Sometimes, we tend to forget.

I carry an immortal soul within this temporary body that I neglect. I thought I would keep it to myself, but this process of sanctification will not let go of me. Even in the wake of my failures, I know better than to let myself be swallowed. I have been sifted and separated. I feel restless and empty. The truth is I am closer to redemption than I ever cared to believe.

But I still dangle at the end of this string, until the One who sees all comes to rescue me.


Fight or Flight Syndrome.

When someone loves you completely, you can feel the full force of their desire. A knowable certainty sparks your soul with a recognition of undeniable truth. It feels like walking into a room and instantly seeing your person in the midst of a crowd.

quotes, relationships, love, fight, warrior

A magnetic force impossible to divide.

The opposite is true if you doubt someone’s love for you. Instead of freedom, doubt will taint your movements. You will walk with tightness around your rib cage and pain in places you cannot soothe. Feeling like you can not remember what life was like without the ache.

Women wear love on their face. Watch as blood rushes to crimson red cheeks and eyes that smile without even trying. Compared to men who strut like proud peacocks. Their chests filled up to the brim with the natural high of being in love.

It is a terrible tragedy when lovers forget how much they once meant to each other. They lay–back to back in bed at night, praying for the busyness of the next day instead of being present with the one they love. The sense of an abrupt ending choking their waking thoughts.

Panicking  in pursuit of the quickest exit route.

My greatest fear was not that I would never fall in love, but that the one I loved would fall out. And it is funny how fear will manifest and color every decision when it is allowed to roam unchecked. I said I wanted love, but I kept love at an arm’s distance. I refused to give love access to the dark spaces poking holes in my heart. Careful to protect the lies I was taught to feed to my mind.

Love for me, was abandonment.

The parent who loved their addictions more than me. Or the friend who was more accurately an enemy. In love, I was a fighter without the necessary training. Every time I found myself in its cage, I lost the match within minutes of the bell ringing.

I believe every lover has a chance to recover once you remember that you are part of the same team. Most matches are lost because the group effort is at an odds. One person is stuck doing all the work while the other refuses to be their relief. Some people defer to the “finishing move” instead of fighting for the ones they love.

I know you lost love once.

That you fought unprepared with a teammate who could not care less. I know you blamed yourself for their ambivalence. That you thought being smarter, thinner or quieter would win their affection. But you were wrong. You are worth more than a love who stands on the sidelines while you defend what you believe. You deserve love that will meet you farther than halfway. You deserve a person who will stand with you on equal footing.

After all love is two fighters, with both feet in the ring.


I am:
eternally grateful
for the rare opportunity
to remain present in the last
place I failed.
instead of overreaction I
can see clearly and accept
how I feel.

Though feelings are not facts,
I must acknowledge the ticking
time bomb that is my heart.
When disappointment knocks,
it can lead to a burden of pain
that I do not wish to carry anymore.
I will not accept or claim defeat
before true happiness
has a chance to redeem.
I will not walk anxiously with
questions or doubts.

Some say:
I am stubborn.
A fixed star.
many explorers will
endeavor to touch.
While others
will surrender

Little do they know
there is a raging fire
burning deep within
my soul.
Paving its way through
fear and sorting out
all my insecurities.

Regardless of who stays
or leaves–
I will always be able
to count on me.



State of Recovery.

girl, art, drawing, recovery, inspiration

Dancing in a pool of submission as the waves crash all around. I stand up, no matter how unbearable the drought. A beautiful girl with shameful tendencies. Mental illness wreaking havoc on my recessive genes. I wanted to get well. So I took resentful steps away from the thing that was driving me insane. Mad with regret, I suppressed my heart’s desires until I knew I could handle the pain.

I remain here–feeling stagnant and stuck while I focus on myself. Terrified that this defensive stance may have attracted unnecessary help. I turned my other half down. Sacrificed an eternal connection for temporary affections that left us both without. Now our paths deviate from their original course–on mandatory quests to alleviate the self doubt.

I believe–one day something great will find me. Unfortunately, the consequences of our interaction caused a terrible delay. Battered and beaten by choices meant to draw nearer– only created additional scars and pushed you away. Through you, I learned how to carry my anxiety with dignity. Instead of leaning dependently, I swallowed my pride and took control of my own, individual life.

My muscles strained under the initial magnitude of the weight.

In time, I started to recover. Healing took the place of my midnight insomniac heartache and I found the will to dream again. I remember being haunted every moment I closed my eyes–constantly reliving our beginning and our subsequent demise. I could have chosen to die. Had I let the disappointment continue to bury me I probably would not be here today.

I chose life. I determined that I would be better and do better for me. I fought. Digging my way out of the pit I jumped into purposely. Refusing to see nothing but the end of the darkest tunnel I have ever known. Now I can say without shame or guilt that you were right.

One day you will realize, so was I.

The New Era.

Yesterday morning, I wrote something from a very dark place. Fed up in my heart and sick to my stomach with some of the trials of life. If I am angry with the way things are going, I turn to writing to relieve stress and get difficult feelings off my chest.

But at all times, I must be careful not to tempt the door of bitterness.

I firmly believe all things happen the way they are meant and for reasons that are sometimes unknown to me. Especially when the outcome is nothing like I originally thought.

For example, this past Saturday my teacher dismissed us early from a 3 hour class–which never happens. This professor schedules work up until the very last minute. Yet for some reason, after our test he let us go half an hour early. 5 minutes into my drive I received a call from my sister telling me a family member needed to go to the hospital.

Had I been in class at the time, I would not have gotten her call.

I am learning that, no matter how I feel in the midst of chaos–I must be firm in the direction I am called. We make decisions based on what we feel is best–but sometimes our decisions are wrong.

And nothing feels as bad as being dragged away from a path you were never meant to be on.

So you made a mistake and now have to adapt to a new, uncharted course. How does it help you now to focus on things you thought were forever–but instead are gone?

The short answer is, it does not.

When things go south, or crap hits the fan and I am required to do something hard–the first thing I often try to do is deny that anything is wrong. I retreat into my subconscious thoughts and pull back from making a compromise. Or, I will do the exact opposite. I blow up, throwing daggers and knives at the people I love.

Neither of these reactions will ever lead to a positive resolve.

I do not want be a person who lives on fluctuating emotions. I want a stable existence, not nonsensical drama for my writing. I want to collaborate with people who inspire a creative and productive life. I crave people who talk others up instead of pushing them down. I need people who are willing to give everything to someone who needs it–people for which the term selfish, does not register at all.

art, schloe, butterflies

“Set Your Heart Free”  – Christian Schloe

After I deleted my unnecessary rant I was granted a small glimpse of the new era to come.

Funny how that seems to work.

We talked about our similar interests and parallel course–splitting up when our paths went in opposite directions.

I waited by the elevator thinking about our conversation. But when I turned around, there he was–standing right behind me.

I blushed when he said, “I want to know more”.