Saturday, October 1, 2011

For Good. . . .

Have you ever put a theme to your life? Better yet, have you ever put a motto or mantra to your life? Well I do, constantly. I am continually chaining them. They basically evolve as my life evolves. So, here's the blog on my current one.

Yesterday I met up with an old friend from college. We laughed and talked over an early dinner and came across the subject of children. Specifically the way we each raise our own kids. This handsome gentleman and I found out that we each have a daughter with eclectic fashion sense and have had days where we wondered if they should be seen in public wearing their new designs or not. But what made this conversation even more interesting is that we both revealed our mothers are way too similar in their reactions to their respective divas. We both believe that our mothers would most definitely try and "fix" the outfit for public viewing. Where we both viewed the outfit as not harming anyone and therefore not worth making the child feel bad about themselves or their creativity by trying to change it.

We laughed a bit at this coincidence and then it triggered a thought that led me to stand upon my soap box for a moment and talk about how I handle such situations in my household. Two weeks ago was Stake Conference in my home ward. It was such a wonderful conference. My Stake President spoke about his family and the ways of the world and such and he said something that stuck with me so much that it has become my new motto. He talked about how kids today have a hard time because in a nutshell, they don't feel very loved. And even in times of trial or stress, he would always tell his kids "because I love you the most!" That stuck with me so much. Almost hauntingly.

I realized that more often than I'd like to admit, I have a hard time with my own mother. We tend to clash with our parenting styles and with the way we view the world around us. Now, I love my mother, so very much. But I do feel that way sometimes. That thought made me fear that my own girls might at some point, think that way about me. So I decided to take that lovely quote, "because I love you the most!" and put it to good use.

There are times in everyone's life when we question. We question the way we were raised, the way our lives are going. We question the ones who love us and have led us along the pathways of life. And because of those questions, we make choices. Some are better than others and some leave us feeling less than a worthy person. I having made many choices in my life know the affects, good or bad, it can have on a person. So when I see my daughters struggle and rely upon my love, all I can do is hope I have invested enough of it in them for them to feel the security it offers. The more love I give them, the more secure they will feel. The more love I give them, the more accepted they will feel. The more love I give them, the more loved they will feel. The more love I give them, the more they will trust it and me.

I hope that every time I praise my beautiful daughters, a small sheet of batting is layered around them. I hope that over time there will be a thick, warm blanket of love protecting them from the storms of life. I want my love to be what protects them. I want them to know that I love them more than a clean room. I want them to know that I love them more than an A+ paper. I want them to know I love them more than what other people think because I love them the most. Out of everyone else in this entire world, I am the one who loves them the most! I want those words to encompass them daily so that if their choices leave them feeling low or struggling, they will believe that I STILL love them, because I love them the most.

This small little quote, this small little concept has ultimately changed the way I think for the better. I have come to realize that nothing in the world is more important than my girls. Not my needs, not my desires, not my dreams because no matter what I want my future to look like, if I don't invest in my girls' lives today, my future will not be so bright.

So I ask you this, What have you loved the most today?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Time After Time. . . .

Today I was out on a lovely Sunday drive with a charming young man when our topic of conversation veered onto a childhood subject I find myself continually excited to force my girls to experience. I say forced because they have no control over it, and rarely see it coming. The most warning they receive that this event is quickly approaching, is me shouting "Hang on!" over top our usual singing or loud laughter.

Let me start at the beginning: When I was a young girl, my dad owned this big, yellow Ford truck. Back when my home town was small, you could hear this truck roaring down the mountain side from his work as he headed home. I loved this truck dearly. For me, it was an iconic part of who my dad was, and to me, he was a cowboy, mullet and all. Now when we were younger, seat belts were not only not enforced, but most of the time weren't even in the vehicles I rode around in. But this leads me to the fun part, when my dad loaded us three older kids in the truck to go anywhere, we always had to pass over this large gutter out of the neighborhood, and my dad being the child at heart kind of guy he is always drove over that gutter at full speed causing us to fly into the air and bounce back down onto the colorful seat with a grin the size of Texas. That is one of the fondest memories I have of my dad, sitting there in his truck with him in his blue jeans, white t-shirt, straw cowboy hat on, Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash playing loud and him pounding out the beat on the dash board as we bounced around the cab.

So as for all great traditions in the world, you want to pass them along to those little ones that follow in your wish-you-were-a-better-example footsteps. This is the tradition I force my girls to love. This is the surprise I always look forward to on certain stretches of roads and that same little gutter just past my house.

Now today's lovely Sunday drive didn't only spark that story to my mind, but grew a topic of conversation from it that led to a very simple statement, "You must find joy in life. Even if it's a bump in the road." The Lord is like our personal GPS. He is going to say, "Turn left" and drive us through bumps, ditches, pot holes, detours, construction, wrong turns, traffic jams, 4th of July weekends, uneven surfaces, dead ends, cattle crossing, off road, and Arizona. All the while, your ac goes out, the baby is crying, you get a flat tire, your alignment is off, you're stuck behind a double belly gravel truck throwing rocks, you hit a deer (Or in my case an owl. Ask me if you ever really want to know.), drive past the great salt lake when the humidity is 100%, wish that you had another cd besides Justin Bieber's greatest hits, the sun hits you right in the eye and all you have to drink is yesterdays warm Diet Coke.

Why do you think the Lord would do all of this to us? Why does he intend on us hitting the rocky parts of life? My belief is that he wants us to find the joy in it. Through adversity we learn. Through our trials we are sculpted and shaped into someone new, someone stronger, someone who is more prepared for the next detour in life, and ultimately someone who is happy. The Lord wants us to be happy. He wants us to smile and giggle and be joyous! Even, when times are hard.

When my sister lost her baby boy five years ago, I remember at the viewing her smile. I remember that she smiled at everyone while I blubbered out in the hall and hid because I couldn't handle it. But there she stood, greeting everyone that came through with a smile. She will forever be for me, the shining example of strength, love and faith in our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus the Christ. I know she didn't want to "Turn Left" but she did, and she did with a smile.

For those of you who read my blog somewhat regularly, you'll know that I don't usually know where I'm going with most of them. Once again, I don't know where to lead, so I guess I'll just lead off. I'll be the first to say life sucks. Life is hard, and life is very hard. But what I've learned through all of my "left turns" and especially my "I'm not turning left, are you kidding me?" turns, is that the Lord gives you those little moments of happiness, joy, or peace that can help you through, you just need to look for them. So the next time the baby is crying and you are driving through your metaphorical Arizona, try and figure out what joy you could have in that moment and pull over, grab that kid and love him until he falls asleep and you can continue on your way. Or like when you hit that owl, completely shattering your windshield, instead of thinking the worst, maybe smile and be happy that you now have an infamous story people are going to want to hear you tell over and over again. Or when you hit that same bump you always hit every time you go down this same road, you smile and make sure the kids don't see it as a bump, but more as a fun part of life.

So I ask you this, Have you hit a bump in the road today?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Space They Cannot Touch. . . .

I haven't blogged in a while, and I feel it was due to a shift in my thinking. As most of you who read my blog know, I usually write about my dating life on here. My last post was around the time I started dating someone exclusively, but upon our break-up I wondered why I started dating him in the first place. I've dated since then and realized he was so far from what I truly wanted, I feel almost ashamed I called him my boyfriend.

So why did I chose to call him that? Why did I accept that as my best?

In early spring I wrote a talk that I needed to give in church about forgiving yourself. I remember that the member of the bishopric, a close neighbor, actually dropped by the house to ask me to speak. I almost laughed out loud because there was no way of me avoiding this moment. He was standing at my door asking me, how could I say no to that? Deep inside I was honored to be asked to speak because I rarely get asked, but when he told me the topic I almost started to cry because I knew the Lord wanted me to speak on this subject so I would listen.

I'd like to share a part of that with talk with you. The question raised is why some people have a hard time forgiving themselves.

For the most part, the difficulty lies in the fact that we have the deepest and most personal insight to the transgression. It happened to us, and only we know and remember the depth our Godly sorrow reached. The Godly sorrow that changed us from the shame of our transgression to the mournful heartbreak our offense towards God truly was. In essence, we went through our own personal Gethsemane. We whole heartedly took upon us our sins and claimed responsibility over them. We spent our days praying, willing to pay the price for forgiveness. We experienced pain, sadness, shame, guilt and humility, among other emotions that weighed us down. Bringing us to our Savior’s feet in search of the healing power only His atoning sacrifice can bring.

For some this process can take a great length of time. It can take such time that we become accustomed to the feelings of guilt, shame and sadness. They become a part of us, they become a part of our identity. Our belief system becomes one of where we tell ourselves, we are not worthy and we are constantly reminded of the things we do not get to do because of our sin. We are being held back until we are worthy to move forward again. So for some, when that moment of forgiveness comes, in that twinkling of an eye when we are changed as it says in 1 Corinthians, old habits can still die hard.

When God forgives us, the scriptures say that “He remembers our sins no more.” This does not mean that our all-knowing Father in Heaven forgets our sin, but rather he chooses to not bring up our sin in a negative way. Forgiving yourself is not about forgetting. It is about not bringing up the offense to yourself in negative ways. Forgiving yourself is simply letting go of what you are holding against yourself so that you can move on in Christ.

This talk filled my thoughts late last night as I pondered past relationships, including my former marriage. I realized that in relationships, because of my less than perfect past, I was seeking to be accepted over what was acceptable. (After my divorce, I literally felt like a discarded piece of trash.) I needed to be accepted by others because I wasn't accepting myself. I wasn't letting go of who I was which stopped me from believing in who I am now.

So I now look at life a bit differently after I finally listened to my own words. I have to put all of my trust in the Lord just to survive my day. He knows the intent in my heart, and if I listen, he will guide me to where I need to go. He is the one that accepts me, and if he loves me, I trust him enough to love myself.

God is not only okay with us liking ourselves again, He prefers it that way.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Forget You. . . .

The Two Week Curse -or- The Two Week Blessing?

I haven't really decided how I want to state all this, but I have had yet another two week curse encounter in dating. I fondly name it the the Two Week Curse because this last gentleman I've dated is #3 in a line of dates this year alone that seem blissfully happy in a relationship with me until week two comes around and then they seem to disappear much like Houdini or Hugh Jackman. (Mmmmm Hugh Jackman!) Anyway, they seem to be very eager and dominating the relationship's direction until one day they just stop contact with no explanation at all. Now I'm a big girl and can handle someone telling me that they don't want to see me anymore, or that they're not ready for dating, or that their cat is sick and need to spend all of their spare time tending to it's every need. I can handle that. What I can't seem to grasp is the cowardly way that men just run from any sort of confrontation in dating. I believe I will never fully understand why men play these games and state "no drama" when they themselves are players and dramatic artists.

So this rant now leads me to reflect upon a previous post, You Can't Always Get What You Want. . . . As funny as it sounds to call my dating life a curse, and I will continue to do so for humorous purposes only, I so believe it is a blessing. It makes me laugh to think that any of those men could possibly be worth my time. Their fear of being honest is one of the biggest signs to me that I just dodged a bullet. And not just any bullet, but a bullet that would end up breaking my heart. Or a bullet that would suck all the positive energy right out of my day. So I smile, laugh quite a bit and move on.

So I ask you this, Have you laughed at someone today?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Kill. . . .

I was having a conversation with a friend this morning that prompted me to write a long email about an experience I once had, which brings me to the question of the day. Have you ever had something you loved be ruined by past relationships?

I almost laugh at this question because it can seem so ridiculous to outsiders but absolute to those it's affecting. For example, my ex loved two bands more than just about anything. He'd listen to them constantly and I half way blame them for the drastic change in his character that lead to our divorce. One band I could just leave well enough alone. But the other, I actually liked quite a bit. Unfortunately I cannot enjoy most of their music because I keep envisioning my ex singing the lyrics and the parallels between them and his life start to upset me. To some they'd say I was being petty, or childish, but to others, they can completely understand that I am just not ready to like that band again.

So why do we put such emotional attachments, good or bad, to things that don't really matter? Does that band really matter to me? Does that band mean enough in my life span for me to harbor anger in? Or does my ex mean that much to me still (or do I hate him that much) that I would let him spoil something I once loved?

I was married to my ex in the LDS Salt Lake Temple in 1998. I entered in there only one time after that because of my brother. However because of the decline in my ex's desire to go back there with me, my love for that once memorable place began to be tainted with negative feelings and resentfulness. After 12 years away from that temple I decided I wasn't going to let my ex keep me from the place that once was my childhood aspiration. I wasn't going to let him ruin it for me. I got a friend to go with me and keep me on my course. (He had no idea what I was trying to do.) I cried most of the time because the pain was very real for me in there, but I came out a new woman. I came out a woman who remembered how important and sacred that place is. It is no longer a place I dread to go. In fact I can positively say it is my favorite temple to visit.

We choose what to do with our own power. Sometimes we give it away to others, letting them direct our lives. Other times we hide it away by not doing anything at all. And other times we take a hold of our power and use it to create something that will forever shape who we are for the better.

I ran across a t-shirt about a year ago that made me angry. It was a man's shirt that said "No Fat Chicks" with a picture of a cute fluffy chick under a prohibition sign. I was practically livid at the sight of it, being that I am a fat chick. Then I suddenly had this moment of brilliance. I decided to buy it and wear it proudly. And I do. I wear it to the gym. I get so many women smiling at me as I'm working my fat tail off that it makes me proud I turned that offensive t-shirt into a positive anthem, in my most humorous and somewhat demented way.

I don't know how much longer I will quickly change the channel on my radio when particular songs come on. Or cringe at the sight of certain classic rock t-shirts. I'm not sure I will ever cross that bridge. But I do know it's possible to flip it. To take the power I would be giving away and make it part of my own powerful self. To grow from it instead of having it deplete me. We are all powerful beings and we ultimately decide where that power goes.

So I ask you this, where have you put your power today?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good Day. . . .

"It's gonna be alright. No matter what they say. It's gonna be a good day, just wait and see. It's gonna be okay cuz I'm okay with me. . . ."

Funny thing about those lyrics, I found myself listening to them at 10:30 pm, alone in my bed, in a bit of a down mood. Needless to say the irony was not lost on me. I laughed it off and then began to imagine myself saying the words to the song. Suddenly my bit of a sad mood began to change to a more pumped up, cheerleading pep rally sort of mood. So much that I jumped out of bed, turned on my computer and began to write.

Have any of you toyed with the notion of positive thinking? And I mean real positive thinking? Positive thinking where nothing will get you down? Not even Jury Duty? Well this has been an endeavor of mine for the past month. Anytime I feel myself getting angry or sad or disappointed or even stressed, I literally stop myself and say NO! Tell myself this will get me no where and choose to change those thoughts or feelings from the negative to the positive. This is no easy task. Years of self doubt and a constant need to please others has always left me with a deep level of sadness in my life. (Especially now that I'm dating, rejection is the main course.)

Something that has helped me is music. Music speaks to me deeper than anything. It's like the private language of my heart and soul. So when a friend told me to make a playlist on my mp3 of songs that uplift me, I did. (Funny side note, I don't have an ipod, I own a ZEN media player. Zen meaning meditative state meaning state of enlightenment. ~Just thought I'd throw that in for good measure.)

Now getting back to the aforementioned song, I tend to listen to music in terms of music videos or live theatre. Basically play them out in my head. You could say I listen in creative 3D. So as I laughed at the lyrics Jewel was singing I imagined myself actually cheering up. Actually saying the words that created a visual "Happy Heidi". The thoughts of my seemingly less than happy evening of retiring to my little twin bed alone began to lift and change to all the wonderful things that led me to my exhausted state. All the hugs and kisses my girls gave me today, the chance to make a wonderful dinner for my family and enjoy it with them, the spiritual enlightenment I received even though a daughter was sick and I missed church, my daughter feeling better by mid-day, getting all my needed laundry done for the week, my sparkling clean bathroom, the chance to talk with friends, the many text messages that brightened my day, etc. etc. and etc! I could go on forever completely destroying my sad thought of going to bed alone, but you get the picture.

I'm probably too tired at this point of the evening to actually make sense of this blog, but I want to challenge all of you readers to think positively. Find the silver lining, or in my case green lining because green just makes me happy, and live and breath that. Be happy with who you are today. Love who you are today, tomorrow, and every day after that. Finding happiness today is the only way it will find you tomorrow. I urge you to just try it. Find what lifts your spirit most and use it to your advantage. Whether it's music, books, or twitter, say NO to the negative and welcome in the positive. I guarantee it will change your life. It has changed mine.

So I ask you this, have you noticed if the stars are bright tonight?

Firework. . . .

So it's been a rough weekend for my girls. I don't usually talk about them on this blog, but I feel like this topic is one that all parents face. How do you protect your kids from the disappointment and heartbreak you have no control over?

My two younger girls recently auditioned for a popular musical. They received call backs and could not have made me prouder by their performances. I was beaming with pride for the courage and strength they showed standing there on their own, singing their hearts out in front of strangers, and baring vulnerable parts of themselves to people who could so easily crush their spirits. It was definitely a Mama Bear moment.

Unfortunately, my girls did not make the cast.

I have not told them yet. I am in such fear because I will deliver news that I know is going to deliver tears and I am not prepared to watch them hurt over something I cannot control. Is a parent ever fully prepared to witness such pain of a child? I don't think there is anything in life that would make this part of parenting any easier. However, here we are, at the front of this lifelong battle.

When I was recently divorced, I took it hard. My long battle to become whole again took me places that were less than my parent's ideal. I went through a very dark time and hurt quite a bit. I watched my parents panic because they didn't know what to do for me. My dad broke down to me one day saying, "I don't know how to fix this." And in complete honesty, I didn't want him to, nor felt I was even broken in the first place. But what he did next surprised me. He said "Go". Go and do what you need to do, whatever it is, go do it. And with those words of wisdom he handed my life over to me. He didn't abandon me, but he let the pain of my life take it's course and heal the way God wanted it to heal.

I think of Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and their relationship to us on this topic. Heavenly Father weeped and hid at the edge of the universe when his Only Begotten Son suffered pain and heartache on the earth. When Christ died on the cross, God could have so easily taken that suffering from him. But he didn't. He stood by and let it happen. God stood by knowing that it would make all of us stronger because of the experiences it would create.

Like the experience with my dad, Heavenly Father has told us to "Go and do". He has handed our lives over to us and stands with us as we face the battle front of our own mortality, knowing full well that each experience will create a stronger, more prepared spirit for the next phase in life.

There are many tragic things in this life that some of us must face. There are many trials that are seemingly not right. That they are not how things in life should play out. But, unfortunately they do. It would be wonderful if we were saved from the pain of this life. Saved from the places that are less than ideal. But if God did that for us, if our parents did that for us, would we be prepared for anything in this life?

Standing by is not something this Mama Bear wants to do. I want to growl and fight to protect my girls from all that would pain them. But what a disservice I would be giving in return. So instead I chose to give them love. I chose to be like my Father in Heaven and love my children no matter what road they travel on in hopes that they will focus on that more than the pains that strike deep. That they will seek that love continually in their lives and grow strong enough to not let the trials in life keep them down.

Life is so hard. Giving love is not. So I ask you this, have you loved your kids today??

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gentle. . . .

I've had something on my mind a lot lately. Something that keeps popping up in conversations and little moments in my day. It's the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday was Ward Conference and the theme for the year in my stake is the Atonement. The talks presented by my bishop and stake president were wonderful and have stuck with me. They've stuck so much that even little songs on the radio or conversations with friends or thoughts of marriage and dating have brought up the Atonement in my mind. This is something I am very grateful for.

About 18 months ago I had a personal experience that forever changed my course in life. It's too personal to share, but still the idea of one remains. It was not a good one. I've spoken of it in past blogs, but it was something that caused me to question my entire existence on this earth. I am happy to report that I am still alive and owe my life to Jesus Christ. I am embarrassed to reveal that I had such a questioning in my life, however, am more than willing to share my personal conversion that was 30 years in the making.

I pleaded with God for many months over trials in my life. Many days were spent in tears over questioning and confusion as to where I should go. (Divorce can do some serious damage to an individual and my heart goes out to all who experience this.) Emotion guided choices and consequences prevailed.

Going back to my bishop's talk in ward conference, he spoke of the parable of the bicycle. For those who don't know it, it's in the book, Believing Christ. It's about a girl who wants a bike and works to save all she can to get that bike but comes up short. Her father then says he'll make up the difference and gets her the bike. It parallels Christ's willingness to make up the difference in our own lives through His Atonement. But what struck me the most is when my bishop then stated how He'll give us a new bike when we wreck the first one he give us. That even when we damage and destroy that beloved bike, He's still willing to give us another because He loves us that much.

I had prayed and prayed for so long before my forgiveness was given, that when this parallel was spoken, I realized I had broken my bike. But not only broken it, I destroyed it to an unrecognizable pile of ash and Christ still gave me a new one. That His Atonement was so continual that even when I keep dinging up this new bike, He's there to polish it and make up for all my mistakes.

Now this may be a concept that is old to some of you. But to me, it was what I needed to hear to again, partake in the bond I have with my Savior and His atoning sacrifice. I know that I am going to keep dinging up my bike and though I pray that my lessons in life will be gentle I know that they will be hard. That they'll be hard because the Lord wants them to be.

For those of you at any stage in your life, whether you have a trike or training wheels or are a seasoned cyclist, I pray that you partake in the Atonement of Jesus Christ every day and know that you are loved because of your flaws. That he loves you knowing full well the outcome of your trials. He loves you. That will never change.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Breath You Take. . . .

Have you ever had one of those epiphanal moments where you come across a logic that you've never discovered before? Well I had one of those today. (And I'm sure someone else has discovered this because nothing is original at all anymore.)

In my mind pondering drive today, I came across an idea that helped me feel good about this messed up world. Nothing in this world is perfect. NOTHING!! And for all you religious persons out there, bare with me, Not even religion. -Now hear me out. I am a faithful LDS member and still feel this way. Nothing in this world is perfect, not even religion because it will always touch something that is not.

In science there is this point of freezing, it is the coldest point of cold anything on this earth can get. And nothing on this earth can completely get there. (Now for all you science geeks out there, back me up. I know there's a better way of explaining it and that I did learn this concept in high school.) Picture a snowball. And it's in an environment where it rests upon the tip of a mile long pin in the air in the middle of a freezer that can in fact freeze this snow ball to that lowest point of all temperature, but it never gets there. Why? Well it's because it's touching that mile long pin that is attached to the floor a mile away that transfers enough heat to keep that snow ball from becoming that perfectly frozen ball of science. It is proven in a much more scientific way than I can explain that nothing on this earth can reach that frozen point. I feel the same way about life on this earth. That nothing will ever reach that perfect point on this earth. At least nothing tangible to us. Because even the gospel touches imperfect people.

Now this in no way wavers my testimony about God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact it strengthens it. It proves to me that faith is what will get us to that perfect place. That nothing on this earth will support a perfect life except God and every step I take on this earth is imperfect no matter how guided I may think it is. So how in control are we really? Well, we are in control of our choices for sure, but they are never perfect choices and once I grasped that, the Gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ was opened even wider to my small mind.

This may only be epiphanal to me. And that's okay, no one's perfect. However, I do hope this gets you thinking that every step in life is more a learning experience than a line of mistakes. Forgive yourself and move one, become stronger, walk with love, and remember NOTHING is perfect so smile. We're all a bunch of screw ups.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lasso. . . .

My grandfather died in April. It's been really hard on my grandmother to be without him. Today I met up with some of my female cousins and we got on the subject of Grandma. One cousin commented that when she talked to her last, Grandma had said how she's just praying for the Lord to take her. As the outspoken cousin she is told her that just because you want it so bad, he's not going to give it to you. He's not going to give you an out.

That logic resonated with me. It stuck with me throughout my day and into my evening with a very charming man. This man has been very honest with me and told me how he cares for me, but that he's not looking for a relationship. It's becoming perpetually more and more difficult to see him because I want something so much more than he's willing to give. Therefore, I always come away heart broken from our outings. So this logic of God not giving us an easy out echoed almost with a laugh at me tonight. I've probably touched on this before, but have you ever wanted something so bad that it's anti-productive?

In aerobics, there's a point of exertion that's called anaerobics. It's where you have your heart rate up so high that it's just burning oxygen instead of fat. Making all your efforts counter productive. You are essentially trying so hard that you are no longer effecting your goal. I think of my grandmother and myself in this notion. She wants to be with her husband so bad that she's no longer living. And I want to be loved by someone else that I'm no longer living. We both put forth such effort to achieve our goal, whether it's in action or thinking, that we become exhausted and ultimately still too far away from our goal.

So how does one bridal that passion of the heart? How do we ignore the pain and try to heal even when every part of our being is engulfed in the trauma of our desire? The only thing I can decide is that I need to focus on something else. Basically ignoring the pain. My grandma has been obsessed with changing things in her home. Going through all of my grandpa's things, removing them from the home. I know most of her kids don't understand why she's doing what she's doing, but I do. It's something tangible that she can focus on to forget the pain. For me, it's running. I foresee it becoming a bit of an obsession. But I'd rather be alone doing something I love, like running than being alone with the reality of why I am.

I haven't given up on the idea of being one in a pair. I don't think I ever will. However, I'm going to need to do my best to ignore it for the time being. One day, I hope to be strong enough to handle it head on. But for now, I'll just deal and try not to want it so much. My efforts in life need to count. My daughter says this saying all the time, "You only have one life. Enjoy it!" Believe me when I say, I plan to.