Passionate About Passion

So for those of you who don’t already know, I entered a writing contest a few months ago and I just found out that I won. WOOO. Considering I found out about the contest a few days before the final submission date and totally entered on a whim, this came as a huge shock to me. So with that being said, I am now officially a published writer which is so exciting and professional sounding and gahhhh :))))

BUT this post is not about that and I don’t want this to come off as braggy in any way. My point in telling you all of that is because after the initial shock and excitement of it all, God hit me with this amazing truth: He always has something up His sleeve and we usually have no idea about it. That little trickster.

But let me rewind a bit. As far as my writing goes, I’ve basically been writing as long as I can remember. Heck, I probably have a journal entry about popping out of the womb for all I know. But seriously, writing has been a huge part of my life since like…forever. I have journal entries about my recess struggles in elementary school (ugh mean girls) to when my Dad and Papa both got very sick to the deepest and darkest thoughts during my eating disorder. Pretty much everything that’s happened in my life has been written down. I keep all of those journals in a little drawer in my closet, locked and tucked away for no one to see. But there’s a sense of comfort in knowing I can pull out any journal at any time and be transported back to that time in my life, reliving those memories again and again.

I never really thought of writing as a career. I mean, I loved to do it, but it was always more of a hobby to me. But as I’ve grown older and older, I’ve started to see how it could become something I do for a living one day. How lucky I am to have found the thing that lights my soul on fire, yet also could make me some monaaay. But mostly lights my soul on fire, that’s the important part 🙂

It’s not just MY writing I’m hooked on, though. I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I  can remember. There’s something about opening a book and forgetting about your own troubles as you get transported to different scenes and characters and lives. It’s like a time machine almost. My fascination with books has only grown stronger and stronger as I have grown. You guys think I’m kidding when I say I’m at Barnes and Noble every day. Jokes on you.

This past year I’ve focused even more on writing, both my own and the works of others. I entered a few creative writing classes at school and absolutely fell in love with them. You ever have one of those moments that made you stop and think, “Yes. THIS is what I was made to do.” Yeah, pretty much me every time I had my writing classes. It was so exhilarating to feel like I finally found my purpose in life.

After that realization, I became even more obsessed with reading and writing, if that’s even possible. Poetry, in particular, became a newfound love of mine and something I’m now experimenting with on my own. I started this blog as I way to share my thoughts with all of you. I have an ongoing list of my favorite poems and quotations that I add to every few days. I have about thirty pages so far and I have a feeling this is only the beginning :’) I find so much connection in reading the words of others, like I know them and they know me even though we have never met. Interesting how someone can write something that resonates with you so deeply. Maybe we’re all more similar than we think. Maybe writing is our way of showing that.

BUT ANYWAYS, back to my original topic! Sorry that was kind of a long intro. I told you all of that stuff because I feel like God spends so much time preparing us for things we have no idea are going to happen. My love for writing, my love for reading, the summers I spent with my nose nuzzled in a book, the journal I carry around everywhere I go?  Those things didn’t happen by mistake. They were all preparing me for this moment and the moments to come. Maybe my thirty page list of quotes will be a thirty page list of MY quotes one day. You never know with God, you really don’t. Which is probably the most exciting thing ever (other than reading and writing of course). Lol jk, you win God.

My point is, the things that are happening to you right now are somehow preparing you for something in the future. The pain you’re feeling? It’s making you stronger for something down the road. The confusion you’re feeling about your own career path? God’s way of letting you explore and figure out what you truly love. The hours you’re practicing in hopes to be a famous athlete or singer or writer or whatever it may be, they’re going to pay off somehow, someway. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, happens by mistake and no minute is wasted. God is constantly preparing, constantly prepping, constantly scheming up something for us in the future. Oh how lucky we are to have a Father who looks out for us even when we are blind to His plan.

And one last point while I’m feeling super pumped about this! Listen to me and listen well: Find what you love and do it. Did you hear that? Find what you love and do it. Especially the last part. Even if you don’t think it will make you “good money” or it isn’t a “growing field” or blah blah blah. If you are passionate about something and you want to make it happen, make it happen. You’re the only one who can. Put in the hard work and follow your dreams. I hate how cliche that sounded but you know what I mean. Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate and always have that thought of “What if?” Eliminate that possibility for regret and do what you want NOW. After all, what’s a life without passion or purpose? Not one that I want to live, that’s for sure.

XOXO Tate

 

Keeping a Heavenly Perspective

I needed today. I needed fresh air and trees and adventure. Sunshine, leaves, and a mountaintop perspective. There’s something to be said for leaving the city behind and spending a day with no phone, no worries, no obligations. Just me and the trees. And my boyfriend lugging along complaining how long we were hiking. Ahhh perfection.

Towards the end of the day, Chris and I went to my favorite place IN THE WORLD (yes, more than Disneyland) and as always, it filled my soul to the brim. It was surprisingly vacant for a Saturday, which me and Chris were thrilled about. It’s always a good thing when you see more trees than people. We spent the afternoon exploring and laughing and admiring the beauty around us.

While we were hiking, I had this huge epiphany moment. Actually here’s the exact place where this moment happened so ya’ll can get a clearer picture:

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Beautiful, isn’t it? The water, the trees, the way the sky is reflecting off the lake. It was one of those moments that you’ll remember the rest of your life. One of those moments when you feel like everything is right in the world. One of those moments where you can’t help but thank God for what He has made.

And THIS is when my epiphany started. I was just sitting there soaking everything in when I had this thought: I don’t think anything could ever be prettier than this. Like I was fully convinced I could check “VISIT PRETTIEST PLACE EVER” off my bucket list. But then…God hit me with this thought: If you think this is pretty, just wait until Heaven. And then my head started spinning and I started thinking about Heaven and Earth and Jesus and nature and everything in between. And here’s what I came up with:

This place is not our home. Earth is just sort of a pit stop before we get to our final destination. A nice pit stop, none the less – none of that motel 1 crap. We’re lucky that we get to stay here for awhile and experience moments like the one above. We have sunshine and mountains and flowers and rivers, oceans and animals and forests and canyons. We live on a beautiful planet full of people and places that will never fail to take our breath away. But this is not our home. And if we think the things HERE will take our breath away, I cannot even IMAGINE what Heaven will be like.

I wish I could describe what I think Heaven will be like, but I know it’s above and beyond my wildest dreams (raise your hand if you just started singing Tswift). I have some ideas of what I hope is there, some requests I may ask God if He could have arranged. I hope it’s one big party with all of us Christ followers, a reunion where I will finally get to see my dear loved ones who have already passed. I hope there’s some type of movie theater where we can watch undercover footage of events in the bible as they actually happened. Can you imagine being able to see Jesus walk on water? Or being nailed to the cross? Or sitting down and breaking bread with His disciples? I hope heaven is full of people and animals and creatures we may not even know exist. But like I said, this is just a guess, just something I think about from time to time. Quite honestly, I have no idea what God has in store for us up there. I mean, does anyone really?

And that’s the most beautiful part of it all, the most wondrous part of it all. Heaven is one big mystery and I’ll have no idea what it’s actually like until I’m up there one day. Oh, what a glorious day that will be! The day I will finally fall on my knees and meet my savior and discover the magical mystery of the world above. I think it will be overwhelming and exciting and all of those things, but I also think it will feel like coming home. After all, that’s where we really belong.

On the dashboard of my car, I have a little note that says, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” Cancer, heartbreak, addiction, road rage. There is no pain too big for God. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO PAIN TOO BIG FOR GOD. He heals our pain in all different ways: sometimes it’s time or meeting the right people or losing everything until all we have is Him. And sometimes, it’s being sent home to our real home, Heaven. Death is not something to be afraid of when you know it’s followed by more life. Can it even be considered death if it’s just our physical bodies that die? Our souls, the REAL part of us, will always be alive. Our last breath on Earth will be followed by our first breath in Heaven. And that is something to be excited for, not fearful of.

I hope you soak that in and really think about what we have in store for us. We’re here for now, but we’re not here for long. Keeping a heavenly perspective will allow us to enjoy the time we have left on Earth, but be excited and expectant for the life we have after that. Heaven, here we come!

XOXO your happy little camper,

Tate

COME

So here’s what I’m not gonna talk about today: religion, rules, “good” vs “bad” Christians

and here’s what I am gonna talk about today: Jesus, loving people, doing things

I put that little disclaimer up there because I don’t want people to automatically be turned away because this is a “religious” post. Quite frankly, I hate the word religion. I love Jesus, but hate religion (and yes, there is a big difference).

Religion feels scary to me. It feels big and overwhelming and forced, like there are certain things I have to follow or I’m kicked out of the club. Who knows, maybe I even need to know the secret code word to get in the club. Religion seems boring, black and white, and ultimately exclusive. You can count me out.

But Jesus! Ohhhhh Jesus. The Jesus lifestyle is a messy one. It’s not bound by rules or regulations or things you “should” or “shouldn’t” do. Instead, it’s bound by love and grace and overflowing joy. Jesus is not complicated or strict or judgy in any type of way. Everyone is welcome in His club, whether you know the secret code word or not. But there is one thing you must do to be a Jesus follower and that one thing is to come.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” -Matt 11:28

Come. To. Me. Just come. That’s all you have to do and I promise the rest will fall into place. When you come to Jesus, you will get a taste of His love and peace and overflowing joy and you will never want to turn back. You’ll feel the touch of His hand and hear the softness of His voice and it will finally feel like you are returning home. But at first you must come.

Whenever I read my bible I try to make it really personal by entering myself into the story. So for this one, I went back in my mind to all of the times I wasn’t following God. All of the places, the boys, the memories I’ve tried to forget. I pulled them out of my memory and pictured them just as they were, except with Jesus in the corner. I pictured Him being there for everything, seeing everything, and without any judgement or shame, telling me to come back home. Not to get punished or in trouble, but because He simply wants something better for me. He just needs me to come.

Does this resonate for any of you guys? Can any of you picture those moments where Jesus may have been lurking in the corner, whispering you to come home? It’s a pretty powerful image. The fact that He would come down and enter my messy life so that I could join in on His perfect one completely blows my mind. Now that is true love.

And let me get one thing straight. I’m not saying that once you follow Jesus your life will be butterflies and roses. The Jesus life is a fulfilling life and one that I want to live forever, but lemme tell ya, it’s tough. My problems didn’t automatically stop when I followed Jesus and there’s not an imaginary bubble that protects me now from any other problems. But what there is is someone I can go to with all of those problems, all of that messiness. Someone who won’t judge me or condemn for it, but will simply hold me and reassure me through it. If only I would come.

I said in my little disclaimer that I was going to talk about three things in this post: Jesus, loving people, and doing things. I’ve pretty much covered the first one, but now I wanna dig a little bit into the last two. Once again, these aren’t religious things that you are forced to do as  Christian. However, once you follow Jesus and get a taste of His goodness, you can’t help but want to do the same. Loving people and doing things just happen to be the two biggest ways.

Remember how I said the Jesus life can be hard? Well this whole loving people thing is part of it. I know I’ve talked about this in one of my earlier posts, but it’s worth mentioning again. Loving people requires time, effort, and patience and sometimes I’m a little low on my levels of time, effort, and patience. Like I always say, patience is a virtue…that I do not possess. Lol buuuut I’m working on it! But anyways, loving people takes all of those things and it’s not always easy, especially when it comes to “difficult” people. I hate using that term because I think I’m a difficult person myself, but you know what I mean. Or the people who are just downright mean, or know how to get under your skin, or ohhhh those brutal high school girls. But Jesus doesn’t pick and choose who He decides to love, does He? Remember this isn’t an ultimately exclusive club. And if I want to be more and more like Jesus, I must love more and more people. And love them well, for that matter.

And doing things! Ahhh the exciting part! The Jesus lifestyle is an adventurous one, my friends. As cheesy as it sounds, Jesus will take you places you’d never thought you go. He gives us each a sense of purpose and passion and it’s our job to go do it. If your heart’s in Haiti, go there. If you’re musically talented, lead worship. If you like kids, play with them. Wherever you go, whoever you meet, whatever you do, your job is to show the love of Jesus. This “doing things” part is our way of being the hands and feet of our Savior.

So that’s all I have for you today, friends! COME to Jesus, LOVE people, and DO things. Simple as that.

xoxoxoxoxoxo

Tate

Beauty: A FEELING or a LOOK?

When do you feel beautiful? Notice I said FEEL and not LOOK. I’m not interested in when your selfie gets the most likes or when your “eyebrows are on fleek” or any of that crap. I’m interested in the good the stuff, the soul-wrenching stuff. The moments when you feel most yourself, and you feel most beautiful.

I’ll give you a few examples. I feel beautiful right when I wake up in the morning. When my eyelids are still sleepy and my hair’s a mess and my naked face is sprinkled with too many freckles to count. I feel beautiful when I pour my morning glass of tea and it fogs up my glasses and I remember I still have my retainers in. When I look in the mirror and see nothing but my little old self is when I feel most beautiful.

I feel beautiful right after I finish a workout. The last step of my run, the final hip shake in Zumba (try it, it’s fun), or when I finally reach savasana in my yoga practice. I feel strong, powerful, and resilient. Oh, and beautiful.

One more because this one’s important. I feel beautiful when I’m surrounded by the people who love me. My family, my friends, my boyfriend. Oh and my little kitty, Sadie Marie. But when we’re sitting around the table for Family Pizza Night, laughing our heads off, I realize that I feel happy. Not only happy, but loved. And not only loved, but beautiful.

So you get the point. I gave you those three examples just to get the wheels spinning in your own head, but know that your reasons may be completely different than mine. But personally, I have found one common theme in all of those moments and it’s this: It’s not about what I LOOK like, it’s about how I FEEL. When I wake up right in the morning and look like a 12 year old, I’m probably not looking my best. But boy do I feel that way. After I finish a long run in the Arizona heat, I would probably be described as “hot” or “sweaty” or “cheeks as red as a tomato”. “Beautiful” may not be in that description, but it sure is in mine. And when I’m with the people I love, MY people, I don’t really give a crap what I look like. I could be in my pajamas with zit cream on my face and they would love me just the same as if I were wearing some expensive dress with a MK purse to match. My point is that beauty really doesn’t have anything to do with your outward appearance, but your feelings about your appearance.

Which is where our society comes in. Our culture benefits off of us feeling insecure about ourselves. Every product promises to give us clearer skin or more voluminous hair or will help us LOSE TEN POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS. You know what I have say to all of that? BULLSHIT. You can have clear skin and voluminous hair and be the most fit person in the room, but does that guarantee you will actually FEEL beautiful about yourself? Absolutely not. Actually, because of the competitive society we live in, it’s quite the contrary. There’s always a new product coming out, something more to improve on. Your skin could be EVEN CLEARER, and your hair MORE VOLUMINOUS, and now its TWENTY POUNDS instead of ten. So we then find ourselves stuck on this hamster wheel of never feeling good enough and never feeling beautiful. And THAT is an exhausting way to live.

So let me propose something to you. Instead of searching out PRODUCTS to make us LOOK more beautiful, why don’t we seek out EXPERIENCES that make us FEEL beautiful. Forget about the perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect body, WHATEVER THE HECK “PERFECT” even is and go out and DO SOMETHING. Do something that makes you  feel like you. Go on a hike. Go for coffee with a friend. Go to church and be reminded of your true beauty, the beauty given to you by the Father himself. Spend time in nature, ride a bike, write or read or create or DO ANYTHING that lights a fire in your soul and makes you happy you are alive. Because I promise you, THAT is when you will feel most beautiful.

Whenever my self-esteem starts to drop or I start to feel like I’m not good enough, instead of focusing on my outward appearance, I take a check on how I’m doing inside. Am I feeling lonely? Underappreciated? Misunderstood? Checking in with myself usually tells me WHY I’m feeling the way I am. More likely than not, it’s not about my body or my hair or whatever I’m nitpicking that day. We’re just so used to taking out our emotions on our physical appearance that it feels like the natural thing to do sometimes. But I always make a point to really sit down and do an inventory of what’s going on inside.

There’s a quote that really sums up this whole blog post, and one that I read several times a week.

“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.” -Warsan Shire

While this quote is something important to think about, it’s something even more important to do. Actually get up and document those moments. Take a picture when you’re with the ones you love and you feel on top of the world. That shirt that may be really simple but makes you feel confident? Put it in the front of your closet and wear it every day of the week if you want. Write about the feeling when you reached the peak of the mountain, or felt liberated going out without makeup, or did something that really made you feel like YOU. Like the quote says, RECREATE and REPEAT. Because when you really focus on making your life and experiences beautiful, you, in turn, will feel exactly the same.

Happy Sunday, my little beauties!

XOXO Tate

Oh and one last quote from Emma Watson because this girl speaks the truth. Can you say beauty and brains?!?

“Feeling beautiful has nothing to do with what you look like. I promise.”

Okay I’m really done now BYEEEEE ❤

The Good Gift

Alright guys, I just listened to Robcast #9 and I AM PUMPED. But let’s be real, when am I not pumped after listening to a Robcast? You’re right, never. The answer is never.

Also, if you don’t know what Robcasts are, whaaaaaat are you doing with your life?? They’re these awesome podcasts by a guy named Rob Bell. They’re called Robcasts because his name is Rob… Get it? Like instead of podcasts….Robcasts. Genius, that man. But anyway, Rob Bell is a pastor, writer, speaker, and overall spiritual badass. I’m not sure those two words should go in the same sentence but moving on.

Alright. Robcast #9. The Good Gift. Go listen to it right now. Or just read this summary of me ranting on and on about it because I’m telling ya, it’s awesome. He’s awesome. Just spiritual badass things, ya know?

In this podcast, Rob talks about a word called eucharist. Don’t worry, I’d never heard of it either. But anyways, eucharist is a word that means “the good gift.” Spiritually speaking, this good gift is Jesus. Body broken, blood shed, eucharist given. Simple enough.

But then Rob goes into how we can all be eucharists to this world. Each of us have a good gift, one that’s given to us by The Good Gift himself. Your gift might be patience or the ability teach, musical talent or the gift of hospitality. Whatever it is, you have it, it’s yours, and it was given to you by God himself. Now wouldn’t it be a waste to not use that gift, to hide that gift? Trust me, I know it’s easy to hide your talents because of things like fear and rejection and all that crap. But also trust me on this, the world NEEDS your gift. That’s why it was given to you. You have something this world so desperately craves and it’s your job to give it.

Now let’s talk about being tired. I know a lot about this topic; I’m a tired girl. But we all know that there are different kinds of tired. There’s physical tired and emotional tired, mentally tired and relationally tired. I don’t think relationally tired is an actual thing but sometimes people are just TOO MUCH and I CAN’T DEAL and I HATE EVERYONE. So yes, relationally tired is a thing in my world. But there’s also a thing called eucharist tired and this is when your soul is tired. It’s different than normal tired; it’s a fatigue, an exhaustion that you can’t quite describe. You’re worn down and dry and feel like you can’t go on one more day. Sound familiar? Eucharist tired, my friends. Eucharist tired.

Rob goes into this and describes the remedy for when you find yourself eucharist tired. It’s something called a eucharist rhythm. A eucharist rhythm is the concept of caring for yourself and letting yourself rest so that you can go out into the world and give your gift to your greatest ability. So basically, eucharist rhythm is just a big fancy term for self-care.

Rob further explains this concept by going into an example about the blood of Jesus. Listen up because this is good. So like I said earlier, eucharist is the “good gift” or the blood of Jesus shed for us. That in and of itself is good. Great. Freaking spectacular. But when it comes to euchairst rhythms, it’s about letting that blood pour back IN. Jesus’s blood poured OUT so that we can receive it, use it to spread our gift, and then ultimately let ourselves rest and have the blood pour back IN. It’s a cycle, a circuit, a rhythm. A eucharist rhythm.

Just let that sink in for a sec because it took me a little to wrap my mind around all that.

…….. waiting for your mind to wrap around it ……

When you really sit down and think of it, all of life is a eucharist rhythm. It’s all a balance. Too  much work is not good, too much rest is not good. Too much of ANYTHING is not good. That’s why I strive to live a life of balance. A little of this, a little of that. Everything in moderation. Work, rest. Run, walk. Cupcakes, kale. Socializing, alone time. Crying, weeping. Movement, stillness. There is a time for everything, which just so happens to bring me to one of my favorite bible passages.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Rob closes up by emphasizing the importance of these resting times. If you’re anything like me, you feel lazy when you’re not being “productive.” Sometimes I literally have to write in my planner, “relax for twenty minutes.” It’s hard for me to relax, to chill, to simply be. But Rob states that when you aren’t necessarily being productive, that’s when you are HONORING your body. NOURISHING it. HEALING it. Your body needs rest and when it’s giving you those signs, it’s your duty to take care of yourself and give it what it needs.

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with one last statement from Mister Bell. Truly think about this one and be honest with yourself about what this looks like for you.

“What does it look like for your body to be broken and your blood to be poured out for the healing of those in the world around you?”

Lots and lots and lots of love,

Tate

People Come and People Go

“People enter our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. We only get disappointed if we try to force relationships beyond their purpose.”

A reason, a season, or a lifetime. That’s what it comes down to, friends. It seems a little harsh but its the cold honest truth. And sometimes the truth hurts a little, especially when someone you thought was a lifetime person only ended up being a season person. That’s some tough stuff right there.

I’m writing this post because it’s something I personally struggle with. I’m a sensitive person, I get attached easily, and I don’t move on very quickly. Let’s face it, sometimes I don’t move on at all. If someone comes in my life, I assume they’re not gonna leave. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Just like the quote, some people only come for a reason or a season and that is not something easy for me to accept.

First things first, a REASON. These are the people who come in and out of your life for well, a reason. To teach you something, to give you a lesson, to show you something only they could show you. Several people come to mind. Ex boyfriends came and went for a reason. To teach me how I should be treated (or shouldn’t be for that matter). Certain teachers came into my life for a reason – to show me that teachers are more than just teachers; they’re humans. Certain doctors came into my life for a reason – because they knew just how to help me at just the right time. But sometimes, I think the people that come into your life for a reason are mostly strangers. People you don’t go out of your way to meet. People that randomly pop in and out but somehow teach you something along the way. You may never see them again, but they taught you something you’ll never forget. Whether it was a homeless person on the side of the road or a check out lady at the grocery store, you ran into them for some certain reason. Our job is to find out that reason.

Alright, my least favorite…a season. A week, a month, a year. Maybe a few years if you’re lucky. These are the people that come and stay, but not too long. Before you know it they’re gone. Blink your eyes and they’ve disappeared. With or without warning, addressing or confronting closure, they’re gone. Tough stuff, but I think I’m starting to understand it a little. I think God gives us the right people at the right time. I think He strategically places people into our lives that He knows we NEED. Maybe we don’t necessarily want them, but we need them for one reason or another. In certain times in my life, I needed certain friends to be there for me – to love me when I was unlovable, to hold me when I was hysterical, to be there when I wasn’t fully there myself. In certain seasons of my life, I needed that support of that boyfriend, or the compassion of that youth leader, or that sense of belongingness that came from being on a team. But when the season was over, my relationships with those people were over too. Come and go, come and go. New people for a new season. Bring it on, God.

And dun dun dun.. a lifetime. These are the people that are stuck with ya. Muahahhaha. It’s crazy to me that you could meet someone for the first time, a lifetime person, and have absolutely no idea. Doesn’t that just blow your mind? Like the first time you say hello, the first time you look in their eyes; you could be looking in those eyes for the rest of your life and not even know it. Crazy, man. But lifetime people are important because they’re there for all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ups as well as the downs. The tears alongside the laughs. They’re the consistent, reliable people that you know will always be there for you no matter what. Listen to me for a sec, will ya? If you have one of those people, never let them go. Ever. Fight for them like they fight for you. Love them not just for a reason, not just for a season, but for a lifetime.

I’ve probably mentioned in some of my other posts the concept of Love and Let Go. It’s pretty simple. You love people and then you let them go. Whether that be for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. The loving part, now that’s easy. I can love and love and love and love some more. But the letting go part? That’s the toughie. What really helps me when it comes to letting go is focusing on the fact that some people were never meant to be in your life forever. I repeat, some people WERE NEVER MEANT to be in your life forever. When God decided that you two were going to meet, he had an expiration date on the relationship. He knew when it was going to start and when it was going to end and that was it. Shouldn’t we trust God enough to respect his expiration date? Yeah, sometimes I wish I knew the expiration date of certain relationships so I could prepare for their ending. Like why can’t people have little numbers on the side of their arm signaling their date of departure just like milk cartons have expiration dates? Same thing basically. The milk’s not good anymore so you throw it away. The relationships’s not good anymore so you throw it away. You leave. And you don’t look back. Human expiration dates – now that is a topic I will have to bring up with God tonight during my prayers.

This whole reason, season, lifetime thing puts everything in perspective for me. It makes me not want to go back to old relationships, try to rekindle the fire of past romances, attempt to save a fading friendship. Because maybe, just maybe, those relationships were perfect just the way they were. Those people came for a reason, a season, and that’s it. All done. Case closed.

But my lifetime people, those are the people I choose to focus on. My family, my closest friends, my kitty (does that count?) I’ve been blessed with a few lifetime people – not a lot, but just enough. They’re supportive and encouraging and selfless and hilarious. They love me when I don’t love myself and hold me up when I’m falling down. Beautiful people, I’m telling you. And I thank God every day they’re the ones without an expiration date.

So that’s it, peeps. That’s my little piece of advice for letting go, for moving on, for leaving the past in the past. Some relationships are meant to last forever and some are not and that’s just how it is.

Hope ya’ll are having a lovely day!

Tate

YOU are the ocean

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.” -Rumi

I am one person in a state of 6.7 million, a country of 318.9 million, a universe of 7.1 billion. I am one person in one state out of fifty states, in one country out of 196 countries. I am seemingly insignificant. Small. Unnoticed.

Or am I? Rumi argues that we are not just a drop in the ocean, but the entire ocean in a drop. We don’t just live in the universe; the universe lives in us. We reside in the world, but the true world, the real world, resides in our soul.

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

This entire concept of being small, yet large. Insignificant, yet significant. A piece of the world, yet the whole world. This completely blows my mind. It makes me look at the world differently and look at myself differently. It makes me wonder why we look to the world for fulfillment when the real place we should be looking at is inside ourselves. Our hearts, our minds, our spirits – this inner world that just so happens to live in the outer world.

This is why I like yoga so much. It challenges me to view myself in a different light. While society tells me I am small and imperfect and insignificant, yoga reminds me that I am whole and beautiful and complete. I am whole because I am me. I am whole because God is in me. Yoga is my way of connecting the two.

The Hebrew word for breath is Spirit. In yoga, the focus is on your breath. It is your way of connecting with  yourself, connecting with the Spirit. Whether you call it God or Jesus or the Divine or Love; the name does not matter. We are connecting to something greater than ourselves; a force that connects us all universally, but knows us each of us by our own individuality. Breathe in the Spirit, breathe out the Spirit. Breathe in His grace, breathe out His praise. Breathe in love, breathe out hate. Breathe in your own world, breathe out the world we inhabit. Breath, spirit, connection. This is yoga.

As a Christian, Christ lives in me. Jesus, the Savior of the world, resides in me. If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will. But I think that’s what Rumi was talking about. He believed in Divine love, of faith, of a force greater than himself. He believed in prayer and meditation and inner peace – the same concepts Christians believe. But to me, this quote directly relates to Jesus being inside my body, flooding my spirit with his grace and love and compassion. He is the ocean and He is inside of me. I am just a drop but because I have Him, I am the ocean as well.

There are so many bible verses I could bring up that relates to this, but I think Galatians 2:20 sums it up the best.

“I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”

“Crucified with Christ.” I die to myself so that Christ can live in me. The term “I die daily” that Christians often say – this is what it means. My desires, my sins, my selfishness – I die to these things so that Christ’s love, Christ’s grace, Christ’s compassion can live in me.

“And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”He’s IN me, people! His home is my Spirit. His Spirit joins with my Spirit. How, you ask? Through breath, through connection, through mediation. He pours out of me so that others can see him THROUGH me. My words, my actions, my thoughts – I pray that they are always a representation of me. Though I am only a drop in the ocean, I have the entire ocean in me. May everyone I come in contact with be able to see this Ocean, this Savior, Jesus Christ, inside of me.

There’s a song I love and the lyrics go something like this. “Let them see you in me. Let them hear you when I speak. Let them see you when I sing. Let them see you, let them see you in me.” That song is my battle cry, my last prayer, my final breath. I have so much inside of me – so much love and light and peace. I want others to experience it as well! I want others to feel it as well. I want others to experience this ocean as well – wave by wave, sinking deeper and deeper into the love of the Divine.

Which brings me to another lyric. “If His grace is an ocean we’re all sinking”

We can’t comprehend God. He is too big, too large, too magnificent for words. He is the ocean after all. And even the ocean on this Earth has not been fully discovered. We have only explored 5% of this world ocean. FIVE PERCENT. There is a whole new world out there, a whole undiscovered space of water and mystery and beauty. If something on Earth like the ocean can’t be fully described or discovered, how could God be?

That’s why we’re sinking. Sinking in his grace, his love, his compassion. Sinking deeper and deeper into the Soul of who He is. The more we find out, the more we love Him. The more we read and study and discover, the more we want to be like Him. We are drawn to Him like people are drawn to this worldy ocean – for it’s peacefulness and beauty and mystery. For the way it makes us feel small, yet large, Insignificant, yet significant. A piece of the world, yet the whole world.

“You are not a drop of the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.” -Rumi

Tate