Blog update. 

Due to the constraints of life I will not be updating this blog for a long time, if ever. Just too much going on launching my writing career, being a super librarian and taking care of my family. 

I will be regularly blogging at loriogara.com

The content will be similar and fresh. All the stuff you’ve liked about Breath Pray Write and more. 

Please follow me there! 

Thank you for understanding. 

Lori 

It’s my Choice

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I choose truth.

I choose to care.

I choose to trust.

I choose to provide.

I choose to accept.

I choose to make our life, our future a priority.

I choose to protect.

I choose to cherish.

I choose your family as part of my family.

I choose to be happy.

I choose to love.

I choose you.

Best Advice I can Give

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Tonight I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the best advice I had ever received in my life. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself. Once you hear it you can’t unhear it and it seeps in to you mind just when it is needed from the first moment you hear it to the next and the next and the next moment. It is advice that will never spoil and never leave you. It is tried and tested. It has proven itself to be true and worthy of use repeatedly. It is a universal truth. I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation.

I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because you see, it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works. Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right and true. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It isn’t an easy process to follow. It is a necessary step in to finding your path and finding your way in life. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not. It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust yourself it will work out right. Right always wins over wrong. Lessons will be learned and life is lived. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad. What is the truth?

What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?

 
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, that you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

 
Here it is, here is the advice.
“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will away tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

 
Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart, then follow it.

Always.

Fireproof (aka The Love Dare)

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I usually only review books and this isn’t a review technically it is an opinion. I watched the movie Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it I recommend you do, married or not. The movie is based on the book The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick. A firefighter, Caleb tells his father John about his impending divorce, and John challenges Caleb to commit to a 40-day test called, “The Love Dare.” Caleb reluctantly agrees to do the test, but more for the sake of his respect for his father than his marriage. He wife initially sees through Caleb’s half-hearted attempts to win back her heart, which deepens Caleb’s frustration. But with his father’s encouragement, Caleb continues with The Love Dare, and eventually makes a life-changing commitment to God and his wife. As a result he saves his marriage.

The love dare is an interesting concept that challenges you to do things that in reality you should already be doing for and with your spouse or partner.  Some of the dares are a simple as speaking nice and the others are more challenging. The end result is a refocus of your heart and actions on the choice you made to love the other person.

The book and movie shows that the Biblical love and marriage is a choice. If you make the choice a priority your marriage will be a strong partnership. There are no fool proof ways to guarantee that the person you choose to love will love you in return. All you can do is stay true to your promise and love them.

God chose to love us. We chose to love him and each other. Love is never the wrong choice if done for unselfish reasons. The Love Dare is that choice in unselfish action.

What is Marriage?

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What is marriage? Is it a wedding ceremony and a license? Is it a commitment to love honor and obey? Marriage is defined by Webster’s as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law or by the rite by which the married status is effected, an intimate or close union. No mention of love.

Marriage existed before any government was organized. For thousands of years, people were getting married without a marriage license. Even today, there are some countries that have no governmental recognition of marriage and no legal requirements for marriage. Government endorsement is usually necessary for certain benefits, however. In American history, up to around the 1920’s, there was no such thing as a marriage license. The states invented them as a way to dictate who could and could not get married. Primarily as a way to stop white people from marrying black people. Still no mention of love.

Some people believe that a man and a woman are married in God’s eyes when they have completed some kind of formal wedding ceremony. There is an event, action, covenant, vow, or proclamation that is recognized as declaring a man and woman to be married. Love may be present, maybe not.

But does the very act of getting married constitute a true partnership? Does connecting yourself to another in the bonds of marriage mean that you are equally respected, loved or wanted?

Though many of my characters that I write choose to get married, I for one do not like what marriage has become in today’s society. It is an institution that gives people carte blanche to dictate what another person can and can’t do. I consider myself an expert on how not to be a spouse and how not to preform life as a married person. I should know I have had three failed marriages. Just as it takes two to make a marriage work it takes two to destroy one as well. I know I have been there. Usually it plays out that one person gives up sooner in the marital timeline than the other. The vow is broken, hurt happens and loss is felt. Often a marriage dies long before the participants are willing to admit it. How many times have you known people who stayed married for the sake of the children or other reason that is not that they truly liked being together? Notice I said marriage not love.

As I have said many times on this blog and other places, love is a choice. Love is a promise to cherish the other person. You choose to love or not. There are couples who are more devoted to each other without a marriage license than others who have been married for years. It is society that has conditioned us to believe that those who are in committed relationships but are not legally married are somehow not valid partnerships. Somehow we are taught to believe that two people can’t be devoted if they do not get married or we think maybe they don’t love each other, trust each other, or care about each other enough to get married.

Marriage as ordained by God is a spiritual connection that is grounded in faith not government. Faith in God, faith in each other and faith in your choice to be together.  It is not based on the human’s faulty idea of marriage that is a contract and dictated by social norms. It is the choice and promise of commitment to that one other person is what is important. Love and devotion do not require a piece of paper or even a ceremony. Ultimately, that is between the couple and God. Only God knows our true heart (1 John 3:20).

A marriage license is just a piece of paper. If there is no love there is no point.

Trust is a Choice

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Trust is a fragile thing. Trust is a choice. Once someone has broken trust is hard if not impossible to get it back. There are some of us who can’t trust even when there is no reason for the doubt. Trust does not come natural to those people. They will doubt you while loving you. They will keep you at a distance. Hurt and life have taught them that humans are fallible and hurt you. It is not like they always set out to hurt you, they just do. People are self preservationist. It is human nature to protect one’s self. Survival of the fittest and all that. Sometimes that means other people get hurt. We all do it. If you say you don’t hurt people you are dead or lying.

If you have read my blog before you know that I have a strong opinion that love is above all things the only reason for living. It is the reason we choose to be with other humans. What are we to do if we are to love, can’t trust a soul and are scared of getting hurt?

We must keep life in perspective. Remember people are not perfect. You are not perfect. The one you choose to love is not perfect. Your children are not perfect. Trust them anyway. Learn what the people in your life are capable of doing and not doing. If you can’t love and trust them where they are in life, then don’t have them in your life.

However, if you can love them despite their faults. If they can love you despite your faults. If the good in a person outshines the bad, love them.  If you can manage to trust each other even when it is difficult to do so, then do the best you can to make it work.

I am not saying that this is in anyway easy. Trust is one of the hardest things in life to do. Like love, trust is a choice. Trust and love are not emotions they are choices. We choose to love and trust. We can just as easily choose not to.

 

 

Becoming Me

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What makes you say that is me? Is it what you do? How you look?  How you feel? What is it in your life that make you who you are? Ever felt that you became a different person? Ever discovered that you became weaker than before? Do you feel that you are not being yourself anymore?  From a young age, we are conditioned to act in certain ways in order to feel loved. This is the beginning of our loss of personal authenticity. We are taught to function in society we must conform. Your authentic self is the real you that is beyond all of those conditioned beliefs and thinking patterns that you have accumulated throughout your life.

I have spent the last thirty years becoming someone I did not recognize. I was so concerned about not offending anyone and not looking crazy to the outside world that I become some version of me that I did not know. I didn’t see this happening. It was a gradual process. One sacrifice here. One compromise there. One held word here. One concession to do something that I didn’t really want to do but did it to keep the peace there. Before long these things become who I was. I evolved in to this person that did not want to upset the status quo. I chalked it up to this is what a good mom and a good wife does. I ignored my intuition for the longest time because I felt so obligated to others. Their happiness was more important than my own. I had been a mom for twenty some odd years and a wife for thirty some odd. Somewhere along the way I lost me. Please do not misunderstand. It wasn’t all bad. My baby girl was the best thing that came out of that time of my life. She is amazing. I am not sure how she turned out to be so wonderful, but she is. I did find love and happiness along the way. I had good times during all this but the core of who I was ended up not being who I really was. I used to have my own way of speaking, behaving and thinking, and I felt like it was hiding somewhere. Every time I let out a small bit of who I was, someone or something would make fun of it, insult it or say it was stupid. I would tuck it back in. I became a stranger to myself.

One day I woke up. I looked myself in the mirror and said, that is it. No more being someone else. No more putting everyone else’s idea of who I should be above who I really am. I will be me. If the rest of the world doesn’t like it, that is too damn bad.

I am beginning to understand the intention behind every action I take and I am making a conscious decision to do only what is right for me as a true version of myself. I am gathering the courage each moment and to sometimes say no to anything or anyone that doesn’t allow me to be myself. I focus on what is in alignment with my personality. As a result I am better to others. I can be more honest to them. I am not hiding and lying to protect them or me. I am a better listener. I am fully present in my life. I am more authentic. I am more empathetic.

Being myself is risky. Something could go wrong, and then whose fault would it be? Mine. I have come to accept responsibility for my actions. This I found out is a gradual process too. It is painful, exciting, and freeing to become who you really are on the inside and outside. I have lost friends. I have lost family. They could not accept the real me. They liked the me who was compliant. The me that was their comfortable person. The let’s not rock the boat person. They preferred the watered down version of me. Did that hurt to lose them? Yes, extremely painful in some cases. What I gained is priceless. I have gained a life. I have gained a sense of purpose. I have gained my sanity.

I am becoming me and I like me.