Archive for October, 2009

Taking the Blinders Off

October 24, 2009

How many times have we listened to friends talk about their relationships and we can see it’s the wrong one or something is just not right, but they play the “ignorance is bliss” card on us? And we’ll say, you need to take those blinders off. Why is it so hard to take those blinders off? Why are we so scared to see what is right there in front of us?

A friend of mine on facebook always does these great inspirational messages. Yesterday morning she posted an awesome one:  Albert Einstein said: “Most people see what is, and never see what can be”. So I ask you, family to uncover those eyes; explore the possibilities and you will be amaze of all the beautiful things around you. Have faith in what God promise you… and walk in it.

I can’t get this message out of my head. People see what is, and never see what can be. I guess sometimes we lose the forrest for the trees. Happiness could be right there in front of you but you’re too afraid to grab a hold of it. The answers to your questions, the possibilities – right in front of your eyes, but we refuse to uncover them. Maybe it’s because we get stuck in a holding pattern of our everyday lives. Or, we don’t believe we deserve better, or that there truly is better out there.

I am just as guilty about having blinders on in my own life. You get comfortable in your everyday routine, you get complacent that “this” is all there is to life. I’m trying to take my blinders off, looking at the bigger picture and take a chance. In doing so I have gotten hurt, but ya know- no regrets. No risk, no reward – right? But if I don’t take the blinders off, then I stay complacent in the life I have – and I know there is more for me out there. Taking the blinders off isn’t just about analyzing the romantic relationships in your life, it’s also about the friendships that may be poisonous, it’s about life opportunities that could be passing you by…..

So, I’m going to try to keep the blinders off in my life. And I hope you will start to do the same.

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Wrestling Demons

October 16, 2009

Ok, so most of my fighting matches and blogs have been centered around karate, but this one is going to be a little different. Inside all of us are demons we are constantly battling to be the better person we know we can be. The demons that whisper good-for-nothing temptations in your ears. The demons that just curl themselves up in a suitcase for you to carry as extra baggage all your life until you decide to deal with it, until you decide to wrestle.

The big demon I am wrestling right now is Mr.Sandman. You have infiltrated my dreams long enough to no avail. You gave me hopes and beliefs that were not grounded in anything but mirages. And like a camel walking to water, I ran straight to your mirage with open arms, only to end up grabbing at empty air. Just like the feeling you left in my heart – empty. You sprinkled your magic dust in my mind to dream that the universe would grant me that one more wish, only to wake up with a haunted halo.

“Confront the dark parts of your self and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strengths.” – August Wilson

Everyday when I wake up I have demons to wrestle – will I be able to walk, will I make it through the day without a seizure, will I be able to breathe, will I have extra fluid in my chest from my heart. Will I be strong enough to fight it all off, still keep a smile on my face and keep my focus on where I am going in life. Will I truly have the strength to not give up on my fight. Will I be smart enough to make it to where I need to go. Will I know that I’m not all alone when there’s no one there to hold my hand. Will I wake up alive. Will my heart function okay on its own. Maybe that’s the difference between you and me, Mr.Sandman. I don’t have a choice. These demons wait patiently for me as I sleep and seem to be several cups of coffee ahead of me when I wake up. So ready or not, they attack as soon as I get out of bed. Whereas you can simply pack all of your demons in that luggage you carry around. But battling these demons makes me stronger. Battling these demons makes me a better person.  Battling these demons keeps me alive. And soon enough, these demons will get tired of wrestling with me and will move on to the next soul to haunt. And the fact that I am brave enough to get up and fight them everyday, makes my angels sing even louder and motivates me even more.

So, Mr.Sandman, what’s your excuse? What do you possibly have to hide behind? What could be so terrifying that it is greater than life? You know what your demons are. You know the door is right there to walk through to get your battle started, so what’s holding you back? What are you so scared of? That you might actually become a better person, that you might actually feel happy and more alive than you ever felt before? That you might experience some relief from not carrying around all that baggage? (because I promise you, it’s a hell of a lot lighter load) That maybe it’s time for you to finally grow up? That maybe your two regrets don’t have to be regrets but actually dreams you make come true? You are the only one in charge of your own happiness. So own it!

Here’s one thing I do know, when God sends us down strong paths He gives us strong shoes. I happen to also have a pretty good pair of boxing gloves. But in true martial arts fashion – you have to be good on your feet and on the ground. So I keep my demons guessing all the time on what angle I’ll hit them with. You have to figure out what artillery you need to fight your demons. And as angry as I am that you have crossed over the line to the other side to be my demon versus the sweet something to look forward to in my dreams, I wish you all the best with your fight. And hope you find your peace.

Poker Face

October 15, 2009

Several years ago I tried my hand at poker in Las Vegas. Yeah…. let’s just say I lost some money. Guess that means I’m not that great of a poker player. I think one quality that makes a good poker player is the ability to count cards. To know how the deck is stacked against them, or what cards are left you may have left to play with. To me, this is a very important part of the game. If you can’t, then you could easily get blindsided with a pair of Aces you just can’t compete against. Another quality of a good poker player is having that all stoic poker face. Guess that’s why a lot of professional poker players wear sunglasses. You can read so much in someone’s eyes – so why not keep them hidden from the rest of the world? Right.

Well, if those two qualities make a good poker player, then I think it’s pretty obvious why I suck at this game. While I am great at reading the enemy (or for most times the competition), when it comes to matters of the heart, I can never properly count the deck or even see when the deck was so clearly stacked against me that I had no way of winning straight out of the gate. The passionate nature in me makes it impossible for me to keep expressions off my face. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And even in the darkest pair of Prada sunglasses, you will see the pain, hurt and emptiness resonate brightly through my eyes when I have lost, or am about to lose.

In the book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch says, “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” How profound that is. I can’t change the fact that I have Multiple Sclerosis. There is no cure for it. But what I can do is change everyday how I play my hand depending on the cards MS wants to deal me. And over the years I feel I have become quite the master at this one. You dealt me a hand that would take away my legs. I called your bluff and got them back only with a pair of crazy eight’s!! Every hand you have dealt me, I have methodically, carefully, yet strategically played my way through to where I held the winning card in the end. (why some of this wisdom didn’t carry over to Las Vegas, I know not….) Since I was winning so much there, you decided to raise the stakes on me and deal me a new hand with a failing heart. And right now we are still playing this particular round of poker….. but I’m feeling pretty confident.

The irony here is that I can count how the deck is stacked against me with MS, and I’m slowly but surely getting there with my heart. But when it comes to love, I am the worst poker player around. The cards are dealt and I didn’t even count to see the critical ones that were left to be played. The cards that would make it impossible for me to win. See, the deck was stacked to where I had no chance of ever winning this particular hand. And since I wear my heart on my sleeve, my opponent was able to read my hand without me ever uttering a word. Strike two!! But being the daring and competive person I am, I raised up the anty – all or nothing! But he drew the Queen of Diamonds, and for this round – that was all he needed to kill my hand. Strike three! Maybe we’ll meet again at the poker table, maybe not. Maybe I’ll entertain another match one day, maybe not. Maybe I’ll stop playing cards all together and just stick with chess…..

What I do know is that while my card game is clearly up on this poker table, I still love to play and will move on to the next interesting gamble I can make here in Vegas. But let me leave the winner of this last hand with one piece of advice, and this comes straight from the Eagles – “Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds boy, she’ll beat you if she’s able. You know the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.” Your Queen of Diamonds may have won out for this ONE hand, but always remember that you can never lose when you bet on the Queen of Hearts. Even being down a hand, in the end, she’s always the winner. Too bad your sunglasses are a little too dark to see that. Maybe that poker face doesn’t help you win just as much as you think.

I Know Sometimes It’s Gonna Rain…

October 14, 2009

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,
It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Today I am trying to remember how to dance. God knows it has been pouring like mad here in Atlanta, so there is no shortage of puddles to jump in. But for whatever reason, I can’t seem to remember my moves, or how to even begin. I put my dance shoes on – nothing. Pulled out some of my old costumes – no inspiration. I even put on one of my favorite dance movies – Breakin’ – and nada….

Just as the rain is coming down in gallons outside, the tears just flow like buckets. Normally I can find some cryptic way to write about what I’m feeling or what is going on in my life without just flat out coming out with the words. But tonight the storm is brewing and I can’t remember how to dance. My heart is so heavy right now. I don’t even know where to begin……

How did I get to this point? What was I thinking putting all my eggs in that basket? Why did I take the chance? Who convinced me to believe it could work, or be okay? And why did I believe them??? Was it ever really worth it? When did I stop seeing the writing on the wall? How do I pull my hands out of the fire? Where do I go from here? Why can’t people tell you the truth? How do I explain “that” without it hurting them? Could this have been prevented? Why don’t they understand? What were they thinking…..why, why, why? Can it be saved? Were the consequences not even considered? Will it ever change? What happens next? Where do I find my dance steps? Can I stop the stealth? Are you ever really ready? How do I prepare?Do you think……. Is it possible…… What if……..

I look back at different life experiences and there were times I didn’t know how I would get out of bed the next day. I didn’t think my heart would ever feel again. And I know tomorrow will come, and I will wake up and continue on with my life. I mean, hell, I have survived a lot worse than this. And will continue to do so. But dancing is what makes me smile, dancing is what makes my life exciting. Dancing is what gets me through the day.

The tears will slow. The pain will cease. The sun will rise again, and I will start a new day. And in the rays I will find my step, Lindsey will get her groove back…..

But in the meantime, it’s gonna rain.

What We Have Here is Failure to Communicate

October 8, 2009

As I am writing this it’s killing me that I can’t think of what movie/song that is from. Guns’N’Roses I think……. Ugh! I just felt it captured the kind of day/week I’ve been having. Why is so hard for us to just say how we feel, or what it is we are feeling? Why do we have to sugar coat things, or dance around the issues? Have our relationships become so casual that we don’t have the kind of ties that allow you to speak freely to one another?

Now let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. What about those people who just don’t know the right way to tell you how they feel or the point they want to get across? So instead of being comforting or motivational or even the reality check you may need, they come across as mean and hateful. Hence their words are lost forever in the abyss of “I’m not listening”.

Part of what I think makes it difficult for us to communicate is the baggage we carry around from past relationships – whether intimate or family or friendship. People don’t want to get hurt again, god knows I don’t. One of my good friends and I were talking about what some of our baggage is that makes it difficult for us in relationships. Like for example someone who has been cheated on may have trust issues. As we went through analyzing the life of relationships that is Lindsey we came across a big suitcase I’ve been toting around and hadn’t really considered it before. Evidentially I have confidence issues in people’s feelings for me – again whether they are intimate or personal or just friendship. See one day I was happily married living my life and the next day I was getting a divorce. (Ok – wasn’t quite that trivial, but you get the point none-the-less). And on the friendship side, I have given and given until there was nothing left for me to give, only to end up empty handed; without even the friend there anymore. So my baggage, my luggage is that I need to know where I stand in relationships. I don’t assume anything. I won’t assume you like me, or love me or want to date me. I won’t “read between the lines”. I won’t pick up on insinuations or subtle hints. Those are all blocked out of my psyche or emotional radar.

I say all of this because sometimes we just need to tell people how we feel. If you love, tell them. If you want to be a better friend, then do it. If you want to be the emotional support for someone, then plant a root and let your tree grow. If you think someone is doing a good job, let them know – they may do an even better job. If you think someone is spectacular, then let them know it. Especially in today’s world where everyone is either losing their job, their house, their spouse or their confidence; we could all use a friend.

Don’t let another day go by without telling those you love that you love them. You just never know when someone’s life is going to get cut short, or when this may be the last time you get to say goodbye.

Ponderings of a Sleep Deprived, Heavily Medicated Lunatic

October 5, 2009

After 48-hours of very little sleep, back to back seizures and some pretty heavy medications….. a few thoughts ran across my mind…. WARNING: The following is written off of very little sleep and lots of muscle relaxers!

– Why do I always forget to buy toothpaste when I’m grocery shopping? Even though every time I put it on the stupid list, I still forget it….. And it forces me to make another trip to the store! Ugh!
– Why do we say “sticks & stones may break our bones but words will never hurt me”? When in fact they hurt like hell…
– Has anyone ever really challenged a fast food restaurant that says your meal is for free if they fail to give you a reciept?
– Is Krystal truly better at 4 o’clock in the morning after a night of heavy drinking?
– Why do we hurt the ones we love the most first and push them away?
– When the low fuel light on my gas tank blinks, how many miles do I really have left?
– Why can’t people in Atlanta drive?
– Does Chick-fil-A reuse left over chicken nuggets for the next morning’s chicken-mini’s they serve for breakfast? Don’t get me wrong here, I think it was genius finding a way to let me have chicken nuggets for breakfast, but just wondering….
– Is everything really just black and white, or can we healthily & happily live in shades of gray?
– Can you name one soap opera star that has truly died on a show and never returned from the dead?
– Why can’t the pharmacy assistant at the Walgreen I get my prescriptions filled ever smile? Or say anything nice? She really wants to make your prescription re-fill experience as miserable as possible.
– On Days of our Lives, how many times can Bo and Hope marry, divorce, marry, separate, re-marry and think this really is “forever”?
– Why does every celebrity couple out there think they need a reality show? Do they honestly think we give a damn about their live???
– Why is Watershed the ONLY place I will eat a pimento cheese sandwich (unless I make it myself because I have his recipe)? Other places can say they use the same exact recipe and I don’t trust it……..
– When will the world realize that tuna in a can is not real fish??????
– Why do people think that yelling their argument/point is going to make the other party hear it any better?
– Why is it so hard to say I’m sorry when you truly are, and truly mean it?
– And when someone does say their sorry, why is it sometimes so hard to forgive and forget?
– When I’m at the MS Center, why does everyone automatically assume people want to tell their life stories with the disease? Sometimes we just want to get our IV’s, listen to our iPods and move on…..
– Why does every Mayor in Atlanta promise to fix all the pot holes, yet nothing has been done?
– Is there truly an end date in site somewhere in this century to the road work being done on I-75?
– Be honest, can you really tell the difference between Ragu and Prego spaghetti sauce?
– It takes about 2 seconds from when the traffic light turns green for me to release my foot off the brake and hit the gas. Why is this never fast enough for the guy behind me?
– What are those ladies really saying about you at the nail salon as they give you a pedicure??
– Is breakfast really better when eaten for dinner?
– What in the world is it in Paula Deen’s Chicken Pot Pie that makes it so damn good?
– Do all actresses use fake eye lashes, or are some people naturally born with thicker eye lashes?
– Why do I always grow my hair out in the summer when it’s hot and cut it in the winter when it’s cold???
– Why is it that Jack Daniels has 0mg of sodium but it not good for your heart, yet red wine has 35 mg of sodium and is supposed to be good for your heart???

– If he really does love her, why won’t he just tell her???????????? Maybe she needs to hear it……