the next step

Why Size Matters.

Women will give coy smiles and giggle, then say, “It’s not about size, it’s how you use it.” But that’s a lie.

Because a heart closed by fear, pessimism, and doubt can’t be used, not fully.

Let’s go Dr. Seuss for a minute with the Grinch.

00 grinch

The dude had serious issues beyond eye twitching and dressing his dog up like a reindeer. Why? Because the Whos down in Whoville were celebrating life. Okay, Christmas, but there’s a bigger picture here. They were happy and he wasn’t, so they weren’t allowed to be happy.

This goes back to heart.

The narrator cleverly inserts: “But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

00 grinch heart

(CSI-like Exhibit A)

Closed or shrunken hearts can happen over time. Let’s face it, life isn’t always happiness and giggles. Cycles of unhealthy relationships are handed down from generation to generation like keepsakes. Moreover, if you’re not willing to participate in the negativity and codependency, then your punishment is withheld affection and love. Yes, love is used as a punishment in these dynamics.

But people have the power to smash the crap out of those cycles and make different choices.

I’ve written it before but it bears repeating:

The heart is like a universe, incomprehensibly vast and continually growing to accept new situations and people; never filling up because it’s endless.

While it can’t be filled, it can close off or get smaller.

How to stop it?

Well, there’s no ultimate manifesto of love, but I have a few ideas that are working for me.

  1. Only allow positive things and people in. This isn’t a call to arms to block out everyone who might be having a bad day, but it is a suggestion to love people who are chronically negative from a distance.
  2. Watch your words. Pay close attention to what you say, think, and write. If the majority of it isn’t positive, then stop and change it. Bring your thoughts and words back to hope. Evaluate the negativity, then turn it around to see the lesson in a situation or how to change it altogether.
  3. Make a conscious choice to take responsibility for your own personal happiness. Do, say, live the things that make you happy, and stop doing the things that don’t.
  4. Walk away. If someone is committed in a Grinch-like way to arguments, fighting, gossip, and misunderstanding everything you say, then pull up stakes. Life isn’t a battle. You don’t have to prove a point or argue one. Save your sanity and peace, then slip out the backdoor.
  5. While I’m on the subject of gossip… Don’t.  Gossip is an ugly habit and hurts people. Period. So embrace the love and turn the conversation to how your kid picked every flower in the garden because he thought it was Mother’s Day, then destroyed the kitchen making soggy cereal and glitter laden cards. Everyone will chuckle, and you’ll all feel better.
  6. Be honest about what you want, who you are, and do it unapologetically. Again, not a screw you to the world. A simple to say: this is what I want for my life, and I respect what you want for yours. Sometimes, people don’t want the same things. Sometimes people choose to accept who you are and sometimes they don’t. The ones who support, understand, and respect your choices (and you) will stick around. The others will lose interest and find something or someone else to occupy their time. Not good or bad, not a statement about your worth or theirs, but a sincere realization that not everyone will get you. They don’t have to because it’s not their life.
  7. Control is an illusion, so don’t waste time or energy trying to master it. We have control over one thing – our choices. Not the consequences, not other people, not anything else that exists in the world. Only the choices we make. Take your time, choose as wisely as possible, then learn from everything that happens afterwards. If it gets totally screwed up, then make a different choice next time, but don’t wallow in what ifs. That’s a quick road to depression, anxiety, and crippling fear. This is 40 plus years speaking here. Again, save your sanity.
  8. Life is an adventure, so live it. Sometimes I go out and enjoy the world, but most days I’m perfectly content with doing that in my own backyard. If skydiving is your adventure, then do it. Just don’t ask me to go with you. I don’t jump out of perfectly good planes.
  9. Peace is an active pursuit, find it daily. Whether you’re into meditation or vegging to music or driving dirt roads with the windows down, take a moment each day to actively pursue things that put your soul at ease. Peace isn’t going to come find you, you have to search it out. As you remove negativity from your life, it’ll get easier to find, but it still takes conscious effort to live until it’s a natural state of being.
  10.  Remember your heart is a universe and big enough to love the entire world. Do you have time to love the entire world? Probably not, but my point is – just like when a new baby is born – hearts and families expand to accommodate one more person. It’ll continue to do it for the rest of your life. New family members, friends, and even strangers on the street, there’s no end to how many people you can love. And just like the Grinch’s heart, yours will grow and grow until it’s nearly bursting out of your chest. But don’t worry, it won’t pop or anything. It’s custom made by some cosmic force to be pliable and stretchy.

This is you on love, only maybe not so green and minus the Santa suit. 🙂

00 grinch heart grows

 (CSI-Like Exhibit B)

Is this going to change the world?

Maybe, maybe not.

Can it change your world?

Well, that’s for you to decide. All I know for certain is I’ve been traveling this path for a while and slowly putting these into practice. Sometimes I really suck at it, but I’m getting better. And in the process, I’m living happiness and peace in a way I never have before. When I screw up, I make a different choice. When things start flowing, I keep doing them. Things like lying in the backyard and hanging with my family while watching the sun set. If that isn’t pure love and happiness, then I don’t know what is.

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Categories: allowing the positive, conscious choices, happiness, heart, honesty, journey, life, love, patience, peace, relationships, self reflection, spirituality, the next step, what matters to you, what once was | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Promise of Spring

000 winter road

 

Winter’s long hand is blanketing the world outside my door. The crystalline white swirls down, reaching over everything to hide color and light. Even the busy road vanished, now a silent empty reminder of travelers I’ve never met.

Somewhere in the distance soft light promises to break the spell, but I know it’s simply an illusion — my personal mirage in an entirely new desert.

On days like these the only sound is her laughter. Some video or other amuses her twelve year old mind into a fit of temporary joy, and I’m thankful to hear something other than my own thoughts. She’ll be here for a handful of years yet. Experience has taught me they’ll go fast, too fast, then she’ll tackle the world outside our door with fire and passion. Though I’ll miss her laughter desperately, I won’t hold her back, even if I could. She deserves a shot at making this life everything or anything her brilliant mind can imagine.

I see the stinging loneliness ahead, but don’t weep. In this weather, my tears would freeze before hitting the ground, and the beauty of this place inspires more quiet smiles than sorrow.

The only thing left is to wait and wonder what comes next, though all I see is the snow. No brilliant images of a house full of laughter. No fiery dreams of a hopeless romantic. No illusions of life other than the gentle cold of winter.

And in this I find peace.

The last few years have been brutal, and my passion for tasting life wanes with each passing day. Less of a retreat, more of a slow slipping into concrete reality. In the hollow left behind, no sound or pain exists, not even a whisper. And, in most ways, I grateful to finally understand there is nothing more than walls, laughter, and crystalline water.

Outside the world is still and cold, waiting for the promise of spring. Inside, it’s warm and laughter breaks the din of an otherwise motionless day.

Somewhere beyond my view things are changing, and I can’t help but smile with somewhat giddy anticipation. Perhaps I wait for spring as well.  Perhaps this dormant hibernation is simply a time to reorganize priorities and put a too long past to rest in the hard ground. Whatever the reasons, this isolation suits me for now, so I have to believe its purpose is yet to be revealed.

And in this I find hope.

Winter’s long hand will rest soon enough. For now, I cherish quiet days and the giggling of a not-so-little redheaded child.

Categories: breaking illusions, caves, Choice, found, hope, innocence, lettng go, the next step, what once was | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

10 things I Learned by Crossing an Ocean

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I’ve seen this quote a lot, especially lately. Its purpose is to tell people not to invest energy into someone who’s not willing to give it back, or at least part of it. Why drain yourself when they don’t really care, right?

Wrong.

 

Wait, listen to my reasoning first. Here’s the thing, while they’re refusing to jump puddles, I’m having a hell of an adventure crossing that ocean. It’s not always about the time or energy you’re investing, but the things you get to experience in the process.

People refuse to cross oceans out of fear. They don’t think they’ll have the time or energy or anything worthy to give back. Even hopping a puddle is intimidating sometimes. You ever seen Poltergeist 3? That dude got sucked right down into a puddle in the middle of a parking garage. Seriously, those freaking things can be wells of darkness. And what if they turn into giant oceans and sweep us away? See, even crossing a puddle can be frightening.

My last two relationships took me places I’d never been. Whether actual states or emotional states, I expanded my universe by meeting new people and going places I might not have otherwise gone. In the process, I learned important things about life.

 

  1. Love is always worthy of a hundredth chance.
  2. Giving a hundred percent means I have no regrets whether or not something works out.
  3. People are bent on explaining their vision for their future and even if you listen to all of it… for hours on end, sometimes they won’t in return, but it doesn’t change what you’ll want for your future.
  4. We ALL see the world from one perspective, ours, and often won’t agree because we’re a summation of individual experiences. But sometimes we will. Cherish those meetings of the minds.
  5. People can be draining and impossible and selfish and a general pain in the ass, but they’re also loving and cuddly and giving and kind and worthy of every ounce of our time and energy.
  6. Leave nothing unsaid, unwritten, undone. Go all-in, whether or not they’re willing to, and do it without regret because you’ll regret not doing it more.
  7. Do it wrong, screw it up, get emotional and passionate, embrace every moment from beginning to end and live out loud.
  8. Waste time. Literally waste time on something you think will be nothing because you’ll find it was everything when it’s gone.
  9. Be afraid, be terrified, tell yourself a thousand times how none of it will work out, then get the hell off the sofa and do it anyway. Every success and every failure teaches us more about ourselves than any self help book. You only learn by doing it and, whether you have to cross the freaking ocean a gazillion times or just jump over a puddle, you can be proud you had the courage to stand up when everything else in life was telling you to sit down.
  10. And one final thought as you journey across those sometimes unforgiving waters of life…

 

 

 

 

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At the end of life, when time slows and darkness descends, what do you want to remember? Sitting on the sofa, afraid to cross that ocean because people are draining and aren’t willing to go all-in, so why try anyway? Or that one summer when you journeyed somewhere new to meet someone incredible, knowing they only needed a temporary distraction, but which ended up being one of the most loving and connective moments of your life.

You get more than you think, and most of it isn’t tangible, but all of it worthy whether or not they’re willing to do anything in return. Sometimes the greatest gift we give is to those who can’t give back, those who will never see you walking the ocean because they’re still looking down trying to figure out how to jump over a puddle.

Categories: Choice, journeymen, patience, peace, relationships, the fear that binds us, the next step, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

How to Not Apologize for Being Me

00 GIRL-BLOWING-BUBBLES

 

Yesterday I posted this on Facebook:

“I won’t hide or change who I am to serve the whims of someone else. I won’t lie to hide someone else’s untruths, but I also won’t tell everyone everything just because they think they deserve to know. This is my life. I try to live it with kindness, directness, love, and wholly unapologetic. Though I’m not always good at it, I’m working hard to become better, the very best version of myself. And that’s good enough for me.”

Let’s break this bubble down.

 

Permission, perception, acceptance, extreme diplomacy, compromise to a fault, insecurity, fear, apologizing for who I am and what I want.

 

I’ve lived the better part of 40 years in a state of…

“Is it okay with you that I want to be happy? Does it make you uncomfortable when I do <insert dream, goal, passion>? Are you proud of me now? Do you still like me?”

Pathetic. Yeah, I’ll call like it is.

My point is I’ve lived my life hyper-anxiety ridden because I worried about everyone else’s happiness, lifting everyone else up, compromising my ideals and, sometimes, morals to be accepted and loved. I desperately wanted permission from other people to live my life. I wanted respect. I wanted some insane form of puppy dog approval from my masters as if that was the litmus by which I’d find ultimate happiness.

Where did it get me?

Twice divorced mother of four with few people I could count on and no money in the bank to pay for a pack of gum, not to mention important things like say rent… or power… or maybe food.

It also put me in the deepest, darkest bitch of a hole. One so deep I’d actually considered checking out. Dude, I was making plans. Like who would take care of my kid and how to divide up my crap plans. Like measuring how much damage it would do to my kids versus how much damage I was doing to them by being their mother plans.

We’re talking serious freaking abyss of nothingness with no foreseeable way out, save one, and me posed at the ready to take ticket to somewhere better than here. Because, in that moment, anywhere was better than here.

What stopped me? One word, the quietest sound I’d ever heard, not even a whisper. 

No.

For the first time in my life I said it.

No.

 

Then I said it again, a loud hush of hot breath following closely behind.

No.

 

And finally I yelled it out loud into the emptiness of that crushing black place until I heard it echoing back.

 

Next I said another word.

Yes…

to my happiness.

Yes…

 

to giving myself permission to follow my dreams.

Yes…

 

to saying no to all the people who have an opinion about how I should live my life.

 

Here’s the thing, everyone has an opinion about how to live, but that perspective only applies to their life, not anyone else’s. That’s their truth, and I respect the choices they make for their universe. Why? By definition it’s their world, and I don’t have to pay their bills, or raise their kids, or wear their shoes. So, how the hell can I possibly know what’s right or wrong for them? I can’t.

The flip-side.

They can’t possibly know what’s right or wrong for mine. More than that, they don’t have permission to because this is my life. And this is its new doctrine:

 

  1. Don’t ask permission to be happy, but don’t walk all over other people to live my happiness.
  2. Expect respect, but also give it. The caveat is not allowing people in my life who disrespect me via their words and actions.
  3. Be kind always.
  4. Have compassion for those struggling, but don’t take on their struggles as my own. This is a particularly difficult thing for me because I want to save the world *dons Super Woman cape*, but I now recognize I can’t do anything for anyone unless I’m doing it for myself first.
  5. Say no more than I say yes because I’m not every woman and it’s not all in me
  6. Give myself permission instead of asking everyone else.
  7. Opinion isn’t fact.
  8. Stop being afraid of what other people think and do it anyway. (See #1 and #3)
  9. Accept responsibility for allowing people to behave poorly and disrespect me, then move on and stop allowing it.
  10. Always strive to be the very best version of myself.

 

Short and sweet, a list of personal commandments to live my life. These are my truths, born from years of experience, birthed from the joy and pain of four decades. I have no answers moving forward. The outline for my future is a cartoon sketch, which is bound to hold just as much laughter as tears. None of this will be easy, but all of it will be worth it.

And therein lies my ultimate truth.

Only I can craft my happiness and purpose.

Be certain it will involve lots of bubble blowing. 🙂

The questions I leave for you: What does your happiness look like? Are you living it? 

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, heart, lettng go, life, love, mistakes, moving forward, pain, relationships, self reflection, the fear that binds us, the next step, the universes we create, what once was | Tags: | 7 Comments

First Steps

“And  the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the  risk it took to blossom.”
~ Anais Nin

* * *

Pain.

We suppress it. Look for any possible means to avoid it. Some people choose drugs and alcohol, others throw themselves into love, while still others are addicted to chasing after it as a completely different type of escape.

I did everything I could to avoid feeling the pain of losing that relationship—threw myself into writing, created the entire illusion of a life, including temporary relationships that would dull it for a time. Sure, they were all very nice, and the life I’ve created is less of an illusion now, but the truth is I needed to feel the full unbridled emotions of loss in order to move forward.

We all need to mourn. For many, they never get the chance to say goodbye. The long slow transition from lovers to friends hadn’t allowed me the closure I needed to let go of the first to fully embrace the second. I do blame him for part of that. My repeated attempts to say, “This is the end of the romance we had” were met with opposition because in some ways he was never ready to let go either. But, and this may sound harsh, his selfishness in not allowing that final moment, that final kiss prolonged what should have been a faster transition.

There would have been pain either way, but at least there would have been closure too.

After lying in a puddle on the kitchen floor, trembling and sobbing, the white-hot stabbing pain in my chest became a dull ache. It’s not over completely, one day of mourning isn’t likely to bring finality to anything, but it’s a start—one that was a long time coming to bear.

Happiness and bliss are wonderful, and I’d like to say that we grow more from love than anything else, but we’re human. So I’m not going to lie to you. Pain, loss, grief, anxiety, fear—they’re all a part of the cycle of growth and life. We must dig deep to find the tools to deal with them, instead of burying everything in an endless cavern for fear we won’t survive. We’re stronger than that, and built to withstand the successions of death and growth that face us. It’s a fact of our existence that everything eventually ends.

We are then confronted with another fact—The Next Step.

Where do we go after challenging our demons? Up?

Do we wake to another sunrise, drag out of bed, and then fall down into slumber to start again? Yes… and no.

Well, after a bout of compression (down cycle) we then move into expansion… or at least we’re supposed to. Some people get caught in a Bi-polaresque growth/death scenario because they have yet to fully deal with the pain. It’s rapid and destructive and tends to pull people back repeatedly. As long as we’re imprisoned there, we’ll never reach the expansion (up cycle) part of the journey.

Now, I’m not saying that up cycles are all giggles and laughs, but what’s important is the emotional and spiritual growth that happens because of the new tools we learn. Better ways to tackle anxiety, facing a loss instead of hiding from it, accepting failure as a part learning a better way to do something, creating long-lasting relationships built on a basis of love and trust, living in a daily state of happiness because you’ve seen the darkest days and know that the sun will eventually rise. All of these build a foundation. In them, we find that life can be as remarkable or ordinary as we choose to make it.

Ordinary is fine. However, most people choose it not because they desire a generally calm state of being, but because they’re afraid of facing pain, loss, grief, anxiety, and fear. Hiding ourselves from the world won’t stop any of those things from finding us, and can actually contribute to extended compression cycles in which no growth occurs.

Remarkable takes less work than most people think, but requires greater risk—risk of heartache, of loss, of failure, of everything not turning out in a precisely calculated way. But some of the best things, the greatest blessings in my life happened by sheer accident. I didn’t seek them out, but was open enough to let them in when they appeared.

That’s the way the universe works, it’s random and beautiful and calculated and spontaneous all at the same time. We may not know what lies in wait around the next corner, but after facing the darkness and coming out alive… what do really have to fear and what can we gain by risking it all?

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, choosing faith, heart, hope, journey, lettng go, loss, love, moving forward, relationships, taking risks, the fear that binds us, the next step | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Rebalance

*

Subtle pangs

once was of yesterday

fades away to background noise

the poise in rebalance

a cadence finding new notes

she totes their love

in secondhand bags

 

The changed man

surrenders to golden cord

the lord of perched light

faith and sacrifice

his entrusted wind

this bliss of stillness

the hallowed skin they touch

a rush of mute witness

 

Spiritual soul mates

drawn to embrace

the grace of Heaven’s gaze

obeying their every breath

the next step

still waits before them

while, their poise finds rebalance

a cadence trapping new notes

will he tote the bags with her?

Categories: heart, hope, in the cards, not giving up, relationships, soul mates, the next step, unconditional love, what matters to you | Tags: | 2 Comments

Purpose

Some people search their whole lives for it. Few see a glimpse; fewer still, will find it.

Even as a child, I knew my soul purpose in life was transition. Whenever a friend was going through a life-changing event, somehow they always turned to me for advice and support. As I moved into adulthood, the trend continued. The more I fought it, the more pain I felt until, one day, I stopped fighting.

I would say it’s a gift, an honor to help people, but honestly it’s not something you ask for. Not only is it completely draining, with that unconditional love and support, loss usually follows. Even if you become lifelong friends, which typically doesn’t happen, you have to let go in order for them to spread their newfound wings.

It’s similar to letting a child go out into the great big world. You want to hold on because you invested so much energy into the relationship (and you love them), but you understand that they need to take the next step. Eventually, everyone must stand alone, strong and heart-ready to face the world.

This is where I typically falter.

When you create such strong connections and watched so many people take that step, you don’t want to lose them. Sometimes you fight, sometimes you cry, and yet other times you lock yourself away in a cabin for the weekend aware that you are better for having known them.

Eventually, you’ll regain balance, make peace with the loss, and find renewed passion for this blessing the universe handed you.

I’ve met some incredible people in my life: writers, poets, artists, musicians, racecar drivers, pilots, architects, engineers, politicians, professors, rocket scientists, and everyday hardworking people.

The one thing that will never change, no matter how much pain I experience, is that I’m thankful… no… honored that they were part of my life.

 

*   *   *

“…try and see my heart…”

Categories: choosing faith, contentment, heart, lettng go, pain, purpose, relationships, the next step, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Pretty Dreams

When the walls come crashing down around you, your first instinct is to hold onto everything else that makes sense. You reach for something that seems solid—only to find it’s actually a shadow.

The initial reaction is surprise.

Such care and love went into building each layer, how could it possibly not exist? The foundation felt so firm to the heart, at least, in the quiet moments when the world stopped spinning.

The reality is no matter how much you put into building something, if the other person isn’t willing to give back, then you really didn’t create anything at all. It’s a figment of a relationship, a pretty dream, just like the stories we write.

Still, you hold onto the pretty dream because it’s familiar. So, even when the words “I’m done” come out of your mouth, you rearrange the world to give it one more shot. That’s when the truth becomes clear like the morning fog burning off the ocean when the sun comes up. In the end, everyone else is still more important than the want or need they claim is everything.

With all that lies around your feet, it’s the straw that will bring the mountain tumbling down. Or so you think.

The truth is—you’re strong than you might believe.

There’s only one thing left to do now: leave the keys by the sofa you spent so many long nights laughing on, leave the ring on the chair where he sits to write whispers from the universe, and take one long look around before walking away.

Then spend the weekend in a quiet cabin in the woods drinking wine, writing, and remembering that—in order to give to someone else, you must first take a moment for yourself.

Categories: certainty, heart, lettng go, life, love, messages, purpose, relationships, the next step, tomorrow, writing | Tags: | 2 Comments

Safety Net

 

There’s a part of us that wants to save them, to be the safety net when they go strolling across the wire. We know each unsteady step could be the next to cause the fall. The problem is they need to keep walking because you can never grow if you stop. I want to save him, from the pain and uncertainty. Maybe it’s my ego that wishes he’d come running into my arms when the entire world becomes unsteady. My heart tells me to reach out and pull him down, but my head knows better.

If you hold too tight to something it stops moving completely because your iron grip doesn’t allow for anything, even breath. Few crimes are as great as the one that causes someone to wither and fade. I’d be the last to keep him from the journey. Not all mountains can be scaled hand-in-hand. This is one he must climb alone. I’m left as the star tucked just behind that cloud over there. When the wind returns to push him forward it will clear the sky long enough for a light to call. It’ll be my voice echoing out to lead him home.

 

Intrepid heart

Steadily climbing

Finding, the hills are mountains

The footings are off

The soft ground threatens

It swallows the unsure

But he’s pure, of intention

 

Sky mapped

Little stars

Holding scars, long past their due

He’ll keep walking

Arms stalking his shadow

Just in case he falls

Watching it all, from a distance

 

Mountains scaled

Journey’s end

He’ll bend, but never break

In the wake of triumph

She’ll gather the glow

So slow, to catch every piece

Placing each back in the sky

Then fly, up to join them

Categories: Drive by life, freedom, heart, journeymen, lettng go, love, messages, purpose, relationships, the next step, tightrope walkers | Tags: | 2 Comments

Contentment

Most days I’m content with the way the wind blows and the sporadic rainfalls of late summer are just enough to clear my head. But the last few months have driven me far from that peace. The simple pleasures of the now are no longer within my grasp. And the frustration is starting to wear on me.

This pathological search mode isn’t part of my baseline. Typically everything has a place and I know where to find it when the need arises, but lately I feel a push I can’t quite quantify. It feels as if I’m being pushed to find the answer to a question I don’t even know. Maybe that’s wrong, because if you broke it down, I think you’d find that something is missing. A part of me that I never noticed before seems empty.

I spent many nights blaming it on the addictions, the lack of contact, writing too much or too little, and those everyday stressors we encounter. The truth is something in me just isn’t there. So my entire being is grasping at straws hoping to catch the right one. The exhaustion of continually pulling back the wrong straw has led me here; back to the page, because if I write it out maybe sense will follow.

I have my doubts, but then that shouldn’t surprise you. I talked about taking risks in my last post. The biggest of which, for me, is believing in myself. Maybe that’s the answer…maybe not. And in those words I reveal something about myself, I think. I am, at the core, a person who needs to find the answers in order to find peace. But how is that possible when the question is obscured?

You may or may not read this. You may or may not care, but then it’s not your job. In the end, I guess it’s just another leg of the journey. Without growth we stagnant and I can think of no greater crime than to sit in one place and never take the next step. So, though I don’t know the question…or answer, I’ll continue to search. Until I find the question, until I know the answers, until the universe shifts again, until exhaustion takes me and I can no longer continue.

~   ~

~   ~   ~

“There’s just too many words we’re never meant to learn…”

Categories: answers, belief, contentment, Drive by life, life, love, messages, patience, questions, relationships, searching, self reflection, taking risks, the next step | Tags: | 6 Comments

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