Category: News

My Own Worst Enemy

Wanna know who it is?

Me.

I’m sure you guessed that right away. LOL  But it’s true.  9 times out of 10, I am my own worst enemy. 

Over the past months, coming up on two years actually, I’ve struggled with pretty much every existential issue known to man.  People grieve in different ways, and since I don’t do anything else like a normal person, why should I grieve like a normal person? LOL  

Well, I didn’t.

I can 100% say that my grief opened my eyes to a million different things that I needed to see and might not have otherwise.  It’s hard to say that the death of a loved one can benefit the living, but I daresay that it’s almost always true. IF we let it.  In a way, I think it’s a great way to honor those who are gone–to learn and grow and become better people BECAUSE of their life and the loss of it.  I think, in fact, that there may be no greater compliment.  If I could get a glimpse of the lives of my friends and family after I’m gone, and I heard them say that my death brought about amazing changes in their lives, I would consider my life (and my death) a raving success.  Life, death, grief, growth…they’re all strange and mystical things.  

It’s funny how you can be in a tailspin and not really know how much of your life is in disarray until it starts to fall back into proper alignment. I didn’t realize how far I’d drifted out to sea until I stopped looking at the people and things around me and looked back to shore.  I hardly recognized where I was at that point, and had almost no idea how I’d gotten there.  

But I know now.

I know how I got there–here. I let things and people and mistaken priorities pull me, slowly and gently, away from where I belong, where I’m most effective, where I’m most content.  I dipped a toe into dangerous waters and, before I knew it, the undertow had dragged me out to sea.  I’d let the current influence me, but, the thing is, that’s not who I am.  I was meant to swim against the current, not to go along with what everyone else is doing.  I’m unique, as are you, and we each have something individual and valuable to offer, but we can’t find out what that is doing what everyone else is doing, going where everyone else is going. Just because it’s the easy path doesn’t mean it’s the right one.

Before I knew it, I was miles and miles away from my best me.  I never would’ve thought I could drift so far.  I suppose I thought I was so deeply rooted that nothing could drag me from firm ground, but boy was I wrong!  Before I even knew what the heck was happening, my feet were nowhere near solid ground. I was so busy going along that I didn’t recognize I’d gotten a little lost, that I was simply treading water, trying every day to stay afloat and keep my head above water.  Lemme tell ya, that’s both exhausting and ineffective in terms of getting anywhere in life.  LOL  Thankfully, God brought all these realizations to my attention, and not a moment too soon.  When I looked out and saw where I was, I did a little evaluation and assessed my options.  Basically, there were two: I could stay where I was and eventually sink; or I could start swimming back to shore.  

So I started swimming.

And I swam.

And I swam.

And I swam.

And I’m still swimming.

(I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it, too)

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I’m finally headed back to where I should be.  I’m tired. I won’t lie. LOL  But I’m also determined.  And satisfied. And content. I’m happy in that deep and meaningful way that I felt when God was at the helm of my life.  I hate that I took the detour. I hate to fall or to fail, or any variation of either one, but it was worth it.  Even though it wasn’t ideal, I’ll be better for it.  I’ve learned innumerable lessons during this trip, more valuable than I know even at this point. I’d say I’ll be learning from this experience for many, many years to come.  But that’s okay.  If we aren’t learning and growing, we are stagnating and that’s not what I want to do with my life. I want to grow. Flourish. Blossom.  I want to try every day to be a better person, a more supportive sister, a more loyal friend, a bigger believer, and the hard lessons are usually the ones that accomplish the most.  I can say now that I very much look forward to what comes next.  I know I’m in the right place and it will happen at the right time and for the right reasons.  There is much peace to be had in that simple knowledge.  I forgot how much I missed it.

If, like me, you’re just making your way back to shore, welcome home!  And if you’re still adrift, feeling all alone in the dark, turbulent sea, start swimming back in the right direction. It’s easy to get lost sometimes, but shore has a pull, a gravity all its own. It’s like no other. You’ll feel it deep down if you pay close enough attention. Let it guide you, let it bring you back.  Because, as Dorothy said, there’s no place like home:)

Things I've Learned- Pt 1

If I can remember (which I probably won’t because I’m so scatterbrained it’s pathetic), I’ll similarly caption future posts that pertain to things I’ve learned, and just add a part number (1,2,3).  Seems like I learn something every day, but I’ll try to keep these posts to things that might help someone else instead of the minutia of my life. LOL

 

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This might sound strange, but during the last weeks while I’ve been unable to write, I found that I was much better about reaching out to people.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m concerned about my friends and loved ones on ALL days. I want to know how they are and how their hurts/problems/worries/lives are working out, but I always feel so busybusybusy that I haven’t really reached out NEARLY as often as I should’ve.  But now I can see that should be my number one priority through the day–other people.  Helping them, lifting their spirits, praying for them, showing even smallest kindness to someone.  It matters, and it makes a difference not just to THEM, but to US as well.

Something else I’ve learned recently is that the more my thoughts turn toward my own worries, the bigger those worries feel.  They grow and grow to the point that I feel consumed by them.  But by focusing as much as I can on others during those moments when I might otherwise be tempted to fret, it sort of keeps things in perspective for me.  What I’ve learned is that, in my humble opinion, it’s healthy to focus more on others than it is to focus solely on ourselves.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t think about or take care of ourselves.  I’m not saying don’t exercise, don’t shower, don’t tend to your own needs and responsibilities, never worry.  That’s not at all what I mean.  I’m focusing on myself in a big way now by making myself exercise every morning.  During that time, I’m completely focused on bettering my body and my spirit.  And when I work, I’m completely focused on my book.  But there are a lot of minutes in the day when I don’t have to be so involved in my own problems, when I could reach out to a friend or family member, or even someone I barely know on FB who is suffering some kind of setback. Or heck, even reaching out to tell someone whose life is in better shape than mine that I’m thinking of them, wishing them even more blessings, and that I’m glad to have them in my world.  Basically, I’ve learned that life is way better when we DO for others or DO with someone else in mind.  Personally, I think that’s the key to TRUE happiness.  

If you think I’m nuts, try it out.  Just in some small.  Let’s say for a week to start.  For instance, if you’re married, try focusing a little more on your spouse than on yourself when you’re tempted to worry about something going on with you.  Send him a random “I love you more than air” text or sneak over to his side of the couch for some cuddling.  Do something you know he loves just to make him smile. I should warn you, though, this kind of thing can be addictive.  That or I’m just plain nuts, which is HIGHLY LIKELY.  LOL  But seriously, I’ve found that bringing some kind of joy or relief to others is like crack.  I’m not even kidding!  A lot of them time, I feel like I’m walking on clouds after.  That’s not to say that it’s a magic pill or that it ALWAYS feels that way. Some moods/days/emotions just can’t be salvaged that easily. LOL  I am woman. Hear my ovaries cry. You know how that goes.  But most of the time, it’s a good feeling that goes so deep, other stuff can’t touch it. It’s really weird, but I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.  I’ve heard others say similar things, and I know exactly what they mean.  And, truthfully, I think this is the way it SHOULD be.  I think we were made this way. We’re made to feel great when we help someone else.  It’s like its own kind of reward.

Anyway, I’m fairly positive I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this.  To be a person who works with words for a living, sometimes blog posts just undo me. I’m not exactly sure this is the reason, but for the most part, I find it difficult to talk about myself. Almost as difficult as I find it to take pics of myself.  Maybe this is why I don’t like social media. I already fail at the basic tenets of it.  

 

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ANYWHO, in unrelated news, I’m writing again.  

Y’ALL, I’M WRITING AGAIN!  

 

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Truthfully, I can’t even describe what this means to me, what it feels like. I’ve never been one of those people who says I HAVE TO write. Like the stories or the characters HAVE TO come out.  That’s not me.  I’ve never felt that way.  But boy!  I can say that now!  After these last weeks, I can genuinely say that I NEED to write.  It’s just who I am.  It’s part of my life and my days and my BEING.  It’s part of my purpose. And when I’m not doing it, I feel lost. Adrift.  Like no matter what I do, something just isn’t quite right.  It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and it’s a little scary.  I can’t help thinking OMG WHAT WILL I DO IF I CAN NO LONGER WRITE?  Dude, lemme tell ya, that kind of thinking will get me nowhere fast.  LOL  I can’t even go there.  I’ll just say that it was a pretty miserable few weeks and I hope not to repeat it any time soon.  

It was during that time, though, that I had to find good ways to cope with all this THOUGHT SPACE that I couldn’t fill with my stories.  That’s when I decided I’d focus on getting in better habits (i.e., working exercise into my routine) and on keeping up better with the people I love.  Showing love, saying love, living love.  The funny thing is, I didn’t realize how much I missed those things in my life, how much RICHER life is when those things are a daily priority.  Now I just have to keep that up. Already I can feel myself wanting to slip back into old routines, but I’m determined to maintain my healthier ways.  It’s important to be balanced. I see that now more than ever.  Life can’t be all about work or problems or really any ONE single thing. It’s a delicate dance between all sorts of things that are all important. They all need attention, but each one will vie for a higher position in our list of priorities.  Every day, we just have to make sure we keep the things that SHOULD BE at the top, at the top, ya know?

Anyway, again, I’m sure I’ve done a terrible job of explaining this, but someone out there will get it. Someone out there might need it, so here it is. My own two cents. My own little experience on the road of life. I hope to have you an actual novel to read instead of my blog posts here before long. 

On that note…

 

OMG I AM SO EXCITED!  THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING!!!! This is one of the top 2 favorite things I’ve ever written, and I can’t wait to finish it!  Eeeeeeeeep

 

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Until next time… happy reading!  <3 

Your purpose in life is to...find your purpose?

Recently, I stumbled upon this saying, something supposedly said by Buddha.  There are 3 notable things about this saying as it pertains to this post.  1.  I’m not Buddhist  LOL  2.  The saying is not from Buddha  (you mean everything on the internet isn’t true?????)   3.  It started me thinking about what kind of inspiration, if any, people are drawing from this “quote” that’s causing them to share it so much.  Of course, I have no way of knowing what it inspired in others, but I’m here today to talk about where the fake saying took ME.

I DO think every person is born with a purpose.  I’m Christian, so I believe it’s a God-given purpose, and I think we are most definitely supposed to not only discover that purpose, but fulfill it.  Hopefully it won’t take our whole life, though. LOL  Hopefully, we will find it early enough that we can spend many years working out our calling, living out our purpose. I think fulfilling one’s purpose brings a kind of contentment that few other things in life can provide. It’s a sort of sweet spot, and if you’ve been there before, you know how badly you want to get back to it and basically LIVE there:)

During the last couple of years, I’ve spent a lot–like A LOTTTTTT– of time wondering about my purpose, wondering if it’s one specific thing or if it can be more than one, and wondering if it changes as we grow and age and mature.  To this day, I don’t have answers to any of those ponderings, but I THINK I know of at least two purposes for my life.  One is to feed the hungry. That’s a burden I’ve felt for quite some time, and I’m already on that road, hoping to do more and more as time goes on.  But it’s the second calling that’s a little harder to work out. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with since my father died in December of 2015.

My dad was one of the greatest men I’ve ever known.  He was brilliant, funny, kind, strong, dedicated, and he left a profound mark on those who knew him.  At his funeral, many stood up and told of the ways he’d touched their lives, things even we (his family) didn’t know about.  He never told us. He just went about his life doing good.  What a role model!

Well, when he passed away, I began to struggle with my writing. I wanted to write things that matter to…someone, things that would leave a good mark on others.  A few months after he went to be with Jesus, I wrote The Empty Jar, my favorite and most meaningful book to date, and the one I’m most proud of.  Why is it my favorite?  Why am I most proud of it? Because it mattered to me and it mattered to others.  It wasn’t a big seller for me, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to share something of ME that touched someone else.  And if it touched only one single reader…well, then it would be worth it, more worth it than that all the dollars in the world.  I was SO FULFILLED after writing and releasing that book!  

 

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Fast forward to now. It’s almost a year later (I published TEJ on May 6, 2016) and I’ve written several books (only two of which I’ve published, one of those being a novella), yet I haven’t felt fulfilled since I finished The Empty Jar.  It’s like my soul longs to tell a different kind of story, stories that are far deeper than romance, stories that are about REAL love and REAL sacrifice and the REAL strength of the human spirit.  I’ve tried to settle back into my old routine, but I just can’t do it.  It’s like my chair holds the imprint of a person I no longer am, like I don’t fit in it quite the same way anymore.  I’m meant for something else. I just don’t know exactly what yet.  And, yes! In case you’re wondering, it’s so frustrating!  

 

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So what’s my point with this rambling post?  

I don’t know. LOL  

I just wanted to tell y’all, my amazing and wonderful and loyal readers, what I’m struggling with so you’d know why I’m not shouting about a new release or revealing a yummy cover. I’m not dead or becoming a vampire or flying to the moon.  I’m just…waiting.  I know many of y’all are, too.  Waiting ON ME!  And I’m so sorry I don’t have something for you–a book, a date, anything at all that’s concrete.  Why?  Because, honestly, I don’t know what’s down the road for me, what my next story will be or when it will come.  I don’t know much right now.  I only know that I’m supposed to wait. I’ve been praying so, so hard about it and I keep getting that same answer/non-answer–WAIT.  I don’t know what I’m waiting for–a story line, a new direction, a bolt of lightning.  I only know that He’s telling me to wait, so I’m waiting.  I’m trying to do it with grace and patience, but lemme tell ya, as the world’s most impatient person, this is particularly hard for me. hehe  But I’m doing it!  

I.

AM.

DOING IT!

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(Let’s take a moment here to enjoy the gorgeousness of that ^^^^^^)  *swoon*

I truly believe that one day soon, I’ll be back on here to tell you about an amazing new story I’m working on, and I truly believe it will be part of my purpose, and that I will feel fulfilled again. I have faith that I will write what springs from my heart, and that it will reach out and touch someone else’s.  I believe THAT is my purpose–to write things that move and inspire and heal. It makes me so happy to even THINK of it!  But I’m not there yet, so until that moment comes, I’ll be over here, rocking in the corner.  

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Just kidding:)  hehe  I’ll be smiling and laughing and living each day with gratitude and hope, because THAT is how we wait!

For those who want to know what happens next, I’ll post an update when I have one. Fingers crossed it won’t be long!

And for those who don’t…

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hehehe  Kidding:)

Have an amazing day, and if you have a story to share about finding YOUR purpose, slap that baby on here! I’d love to hear about it, and, chances are, someone else will, too:)

All my love, 

M

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p.s.  If you haven’t read The Empty Jar, but wanna, here are the links to it:

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TheEmptyJarAMZ

B&N: http://smarturl.it/TheEmptyJarBN

iBooks: http://smarturl.it/TheEmptyJarIB

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/TheEmptyJarKobo