Tag Archives: Diamante Lavendar

What Does It Mean To Be Broken?

Brokenness. What does it mean? To be sad, to fall apart, to mourn, to be unsure of why you’re here? In my opinion, yes and no. People think they are broken when horrible things happen. People also think they’re broken when they have the perspective that they’ve lost in life. My perspective is a little different.

Growing up, I thought I was the definition of broken, which by the way, is “reduced to fragments; ruptured, torn, fractured, out of working order.” (Dictionary.com). When I was two, the abuse began. It continued until I was twelve. I aged thinking that I was “the black sheep”, “the family scapegoat.” Then, in my early twenties, I lost my first living child ten hours after she was born. At that point, I was decimated. But now I realize I still wasn’t broken.

Twenty six years later,  I just buried my second daughter.   I have learned what broken really means. It means your will, your perspective on life, has been crushed into powder. You have no will left. What it means is that all old mindsets have been destroyed and you are forced to create new ones. Broken is BROKEN in every sense of the word. You don’t know who you are anymore, everything that you held as truth is no longer ringing true and you have no preconceived notions to fall back on. You’re in uncharted territory. You’re a babe in a very new, large, scary woods.  You are truly BROKEN.

Brokenness is a state of renewal.  It is the most raw, deeply pained position in existence on this planet.  It is the existence of nothingness.  But nothingness is a place ripe with potential.

When new recruits join the military, they are put through tremendous pressure.  The concept behind it is “breaking the will to form a warrior.”  And, to be honest, the brokenness I’ve been feeling is precisely that..and then some.  There is no way out but UP.  You can’t fall further, you can’t go deeper.  You can only climb up.  And the climb can be exceedingly painful…one tiny step at a time.  Brokenness is a state where you can’t focus on being broken because you’re so far down that if you only think of your brokenness, you WILL quit.  No doubt about it.  You are forced to look up, to turn to the light and to rebuild yourself one moment at a time.  You must relearn, you must form new truths, you must fight to survive by staying positive and reminding yourself that your ego has been destroyed.  An example of the positive side of brokenness?  You are grateful your ego has been destroyed so that you can build a new you from the inside out.  Literally.  If you focus at all on how hard it is, you’re guaranteed to fail…and fail big time.  Why is it a good thing your ego has been destroyed?  Because your ego is a lie.  It’s not who you really are.  And that’s the beginning of a whole new life.

I’m sure many of you can relate to what I’m saying.  I have finally reached my brokenness.  If you have too, you’re not alone.  In your own strange sense of newness of life, embrace it.  It will lead you to ultimate heights if you let it.  After all, it is our deepest desire to prosper.  Brokenness forces us to do it.  And do it big.

What Is Christmas?

Most people, when asked about Christmas, will give answers like: “It’s Jesus’ birthday. A time to spend with family and friends. A time to give gifts and drink and be merry.” Me? Well, I have a much different perspective.

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You see, in November of 1990 I buried my first child. After having lost one prior. And then this year I buried another-also in the month of November. I have been molested and abused, had a very rough start in life. I’ve tried to be positive, to set a good example, to be a good person, to do the right thing. Yet the pain in my life persists like a deep affliction. The years have molded me into someone who has paid the high price of great suffering, someone who knows torment and agony. I don’t know why. I don’t pretend to know. I only know the cards I’ve been dealt and it’s been a bad deck.

So when I am asked about Christmas, my answer now will be, “A time to be grateful for what you have. A time to cherish those surrounding you on Christmas eve and Christmas day-and to remember that they don’t belong to you. They belong to God.  Because you never know when everything will change in the snap of a finger.”   And it does. And it will. It is inevitable. This life is not fair and it holds no promises. I never dreamed I’d bury my almost 19 year old daughter a week and a half before her birthday. Only three weeks before Thanksgiving and a month and a half before Christmas. You never know when the reaper must heed his call. So be grateful for everything you have in the given moment because life hold no guarantees.

I can definitely empathize with Mother Mary as she watched Jesus die on the cross. Losing a child is excruciating. Losing two is devastating. Three?  Deplorable.  It changes you forever and you must try with all your might not to become angry and jaded. It helps to know God, to believe in the beauty of Heaven. This Christmas, tell everyone around you that you love them. Even those you disagree with. It may be your last chance. You truly never know.

I leave you with this: Christmas is an attitude of love. Live it every day of your life. Make sure you do so that you have fewer regrets. Love brings out the best in everyone and this world is in desperate need of it. This world is full of suffering.

God Bless. Try to have a Merry Christmas.

You Are My Bridge

 

You are my bridge. My bridge to love and light.

You are my hope. The hope of my destiny.

You are my dream. The dream of success which you carried for me.

You are my safety. The safety of love and acceptance you gave me.

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Remember me. As your mother, the one who cherished you.

Remember me. As your friend who valued your opinion.

Remember me. The broken one who needed your tenderness.

Remember me. The vessel you poured your light into.

 

I miss you. The days of laughter and content.

I adore you. Your sparks of humor and helpfulness.

I remember you. My little angel with a bright future.

I hold tight to you. Your memory of rainbows and sunbeams.

 

I admire you. You lived with a rare condition.

You have great strength. Despite the bullies and false friends.

Though you were different. You were a shining example.

You are an original. Truly one among millions.

 

Your favorite color. Pink like the passionate sunrise.

Your shining eyes. Deep blue like God’s heavens.

Your wavy hair. Red, brown, blonde and gold; a mane of beauty.

Your pouting lower lip. The most beautiful smile of caring.

 

Your creative tendencies. To make art and take pictures.

Your quirky side. To tie tight knots and laugh heartily.

Your passion. To love life despite letdowns.

Your imagination. To know angels and possibilities.

 

You are beautiful. Though you didn’t believe it.

You are precious. Though you couldn’t see it.

You are worthy. Though you didn’t realize it.

You are amazing. Though you felt ordinary.

 

Let me see you. When my heart aches to be with you.

Hold me close. In the times that I’m hurting.

Give me love. Throw your soft arms around me.

Kiss my cheek. So I know you are near me.

 

You are perfect. Fun sized and abundant.

You are tender. Hugging me with your mercy.

You are gentle. Forgiving and helpful.

You are gorgeous. My baby, my angel incarnate.

 

God Bless you Celby. I’ll write for you for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to run into your arms the moment I take my last breath here on earth. Wait for me. Meet me and bring me home.

 

What Is Responsibility?

When we think of responsibility, we tend to think of being reliable and doing our jobs well. Whatever it is that we do from day to day, the perception of doing it well is seen as responsibility. Also the concept of showing up when needed, being there for others and taking good care of what we’ve been given in life. But is that it? Or is there more to being responsible?

This is a topic I’ve thought about for years.  The average person considers responsibility to be a consideration only within their personal realm or space.  But what about reaching beyond your comfort zone?  Here are some other ways I’ve found responsibility to be key and essential in life.

Being a good example when no one is watching.  When you see someone drop a wallet on the street, would you pick it up and bring it to them?  That is an important aspect of social responsibility.  If we want this world to resonate on a higher level of consciousness, we are responsible to be good even when nobody notices.  Doing this passes kindness along and increases a personal level of social responsibility among ourselves and others.

Doing the right thing without expecting a reward.  Something as simple as picking garbage up off the street makes you a more responsible person.  Instead of walking past wrappers and other things tossed out of car windows and thrown over shoulders, you can choose to take it upon yourself to clean up and brighten the world around you.  Even if it’s never acknowledged, you know you did the right thing.  This will increase your personal consciousness and self esteem which always ends up rubbing off on others you know.  Even if you don’t purposely try to make them aware of your beliefs.  And when others see how responsible you are, it will motivate them to be more responsible!  (At least some of them!)

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Being fair and extending a helping hand.  We all have moments and situations come up where we have the opportunity to help another person out who may have the possibility of hurting us.  Sometimes being a responsible person is offering a hand up with no assurance of it turning out well.  At times, it’s good to give another person the benefit of the doubt.  And if it ends up biting you in the end?  Well, at least you tried.  I’m not saying to be a doormat and allow people to walk all over you.  What I am suggesting is when you are able, knowing that if the situation would fall flat, you are still willing to take a chance, take it!  Sometimes these are the best moments in life:  moments that can not only change you but the people you’re walking out on a limb for as well.  Actions like this not only increase your personal responsibility level and your self esteem but also the personal responsibility levels and self esteem levels of those who you’ve given the chance to.  When out of nowhere if you decide to trust someone and it goes well, it’s a very beautiful thing!

Doing your part to remedy societal issues.  Society has a sad way of “passing the buck” too many times.  “Oh, they’ll take care of that,”  or “I don’t know much about that.  Let someone else deal with it,”  or “I just don’t have the energy.  It’s a losing battle anyway,”  are all excuses created to keep us from feeling responsible.  But the reality is, we can all do something with the resources we have, even if it’s something small.  It really doesn’t take much to donate a coat to a shelter or to provide a bag of groceries to someone who’s hurting.  Maybe even secretly leave Christmas gifts on a needy familys’ doorstep or fill a bag with a few essentials from a dollar store to donate to a charity.  There are ways of filling in the gap with the resources we’ve been given.  If we’d all do our part, we could create huge waves of responsibility to ripple through our communities.

Take care of our planet.  Our children inherit this planet from us.  What we do to it, they’ll have to deal with.  Why give them more pain and heartache?  Take an interest in healing this world on a physical level.  Learn more about solar and wind energy, begin to grow gardens in our yards or stop using pesticides on our lawns.  There are numerous efficient chemical free ways of dealing with issues like this.  Why spray more harmful things into the atmosphere for our children and grandchildren to breathe?  Why kill off more animals and plants and eat GMO foods that are riddled with hurtful carcinogens?  There is no good point to these types of things. And engaging in harmful behaviors only makes things worse and worse.  It’s time to start paying attention and go back to healing this planet before the domino effect of pain becomes too great for us to conquer!

Rise above destructive thought processes.  If we all close our eyes to the hurtful things going on, who is going to make it better?  We need to increase our awareness….our level of responsibility…and understand that we each have a piece in this puzzle.  If we pass all of the responsibility on to our neighbor, our friend, our senator, our president, how can we expect anything to really change?  Yes, our elected officials can make changes but nothing compared to a global realization that we can all make a difference.  Even the poorest of us!  We can grow gardens, we can stop using pesticides, we can share with our friends and plant trees and spread kindness.  There are literally thousands of things we can all do.  No matter what our socioeconomic level or level of education.  We need to pull together to make amends!

Responsibility is a way of life.  It’s a process of thinking that we need to commit to.  Responsibility doesn’t just happen.  It’s cultivated.  And if we begin to cultivate it into the younger generations, just imagine the changes it could bring!

How Can Love Bring Healing Into Relationships?

A focus on hate in society can be debilitating. Many believe that to stand up for what is right, an argumentative attitude is necessary. Unfortunately, argumentative attitudes only further complicate things. Many mistakenly decide that force may be required to change minds. But like Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other humanists have realized, hate only begets more hate.

In order to find some type of middle ground or resolution, love must be brought into the equation on some level. Why? Following are some great reasons!

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1.  Love increases compassion and empathy.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune”. (Dictionary.com).  When people enter into conflict with a sense of compassion, they feel the pain of their adversary.  It makes them realize how they would feel if they were in their adversary’s shoes.  Compassion is essential in bringing about change during times of conflict.  Likewise, empathy, “the psychological identification with feelings, thoughts or attitudes of another” (Dictionary.com) is also essential in bringing about change.  Until we can understand what someone else is going through on a personal level, we truly don’t know why change needs to take place.

2.  Love promotes more discussions and less arguments.  How many times have you tried to “get down to business” when anger is coloring your perspective?  Anger is like a flame that burns anyone who gets too close.  Anger is a natural facilitator of arguments.  It is nearly impossible to be objective when the flames of anger are burning bright.  Love, on the other hand, makes us more capable of being objective, thus facilitating more discussions.  And it is possible to have discussions without anger being involved.  It’s perfectly okay to agree to disagree-and much healthier than fighting, too!

3.  Love helps us to identify with an adversary’s perspective.  When we are able to identify with another human being on the level of humanity itself, anger is automatically driven to the background.  When we realize that we are all essentially searching for the same things on the level of being human, we experience unity and forgiveness.  Unity and forgiveness are critical in bringing about essential, peaceful changes.

4.  Love creates an atmosphere of acceptance.  When the kindness and compassion of love enter any picture, an atmosphere of acceptance is cultivated.  This is a widely understood topic even by giants in the movie industry (like Disney) with thousands of movies being centered around the topic.  Even children’s movies (one of my favorites entitled Brave)  speak of not only accepting others but also accepting ourselves….a beautiful mindset with a ton of benefit!

5.  Love reduces pride.  Now don’t get me wrong…pride in itself is not a bad thing…unless it is allowed to become the predominating mindset.  An inflated sense of pride causes us to believe that others owe us something.  Some synonyms of pride are conceit, egotism, vanity and vainglory.  (Dictionary.com).  How many times have you tried to reason with someone that is convinced they are overly important and you owe them the world?  It is darned near impossible to reason with people like that.  What is the outcome of vanity and an inflated self concept?  Argument!  And usually arguments with those types of personalities don’t turn out very well!

6.  Love increases a sense of value and worth among people.  Let’s look at the definition of love.  Perhaps I should have earlier, but the definition proves this point.  Love is “a feeling of warm, personal attachment or deep affection as for a parent, child or friend.”  (Dictionary.com). Love is easy when it comes to those closest to us.  It comes naturally.  But when you’re talking about your enemy, it can be much trickier.  Love with strangers and acquaintances is a decision, a life style you choose to lead.  It is responding with dignity to someone who you may not necessarily agree with.

I created a quote a while back that said “Lay down your weapons; embrace and be one; Forgiveness will reign when the battle is done.”  I got some backlash about this one!  But my meaning behind it was “Treat others with respect, as you would like to be treated.  Only then can you mend broken mindsets and societal patterns.”

How can we expect to find peace among the dissension when we aren’t even willing to lay our differences aside?  It’s impossible.  It will never happen until we make the decision to live with more loving attitudes!

7.  Love increases understanding.  When someone comes to you with a request, you must have a sense of understanding about what they’re talking about!  Love cultivates a sense of understanding.  That “aha” moment when we realize what someone else is going through makes all the difference in the world when it comes to us accepting them and being more loving.  Love breaks down barriers, arguments and all forms of hate and prejudice because it allows the beautiful knowledge of understanding to emanate among the souls of those discussing different scenarios and situations!  Understanding definitely diffuses arguments!

8.  Love promotes respect.  The nature of love is the nature of respect.  And the nature of respect requires that respect be given in order for it to be received.  When you respect someone, you care!  You listen, you lend a hand, you really want to make a difference!  That’s what love is all about!  It is impossible to say you love someone or want to make things better for them and yourself without experiencing some form of respect.  Respect is a precursor for the kind of caring that meaningful change requires.

9.  Love promotes hope and possibility.  With hate, there is little to no hope involved.  There is pain, anguish and agony.  With love?  Well, there is the hope of a better future because people are willing to discuss problems and understand each  other’s situations!  Hate leads to discouragement.  Hope leads to enlightenment!

10.  Love promotes a sense of responsibility.  Hate?  Well, it creates an environment where people feel helpless.  They become despondent and stoop to lower types of emotions and interactions such as apathy, anger and resentment.  Love creates a sense that everyone can make a difference.  When we each believe we can make a difference, our sense of personal responsibility rises.  So what’s better for our society?  Helplessness or an increase in caring and personal responsibility?  I think that one is pretty self explanatory!

The truth is we can make a difference.  Each and every one of us.  Even if we only influence one other person for the better, think of the ripple effect that can have on an entire society?  And the reality is, most of us are able to affect more than one other person.  Many of us are able to affect hundreds of people throughout our lives depending on where we work, where we live, who we associate with, where we go, etc.  Love is a powerful force for more reasons than those I just listed above.  If we all make the choice to embrace it, what a beautiful world this would be!

 

 

 

Meet Artist Sherry Shipley!

Sherry is a member of my group Emotive Art on Fine Art America. She recently was tied for first place in a contest with her piece entitled Getting To Know You.  Sherry’s art flows beautifully and is full of color.  Here is her winning piece:

getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley

Statement from Sherry:

Art has been a part of me all my life. I could never stop drawing as a child and in high school picked up my first paint brush. That was 1965. I have been painting ever sense.

Over the years I have explored many mediums and expanded my art skills when I attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

I depict animals in my art to create a feeling of wonderment with our connection with these creatures and a bond that only a true animal lover can feel. Animals have been depicted in art and stories since the beginning of time and our bond with them lives in legends and lore.

My art creates and reveals that bond in bold and colorful images either through letting the paint flow and working the images into it or use of lines that weaves the design around the subject to create it’s own story.

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A short bio:

Growing up in the shadow of the Cascades, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest inspired my love of nature and wildlife. Trips to the mountains have supplied a stunning and endless backdrop for my wildlife subjects which I have been painting for over 40 years.

My work has been seen in galleries from Seattle to New York. My wildlife art designs have sold on shirts and tote bags in Alaska, and many of the lower 48 states.

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If you enjoy this piece, you’ll love looking through her portfolio!  It’s stunning!  Here’s the link:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley.html

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you’ll be back soon!

Breaking The Silence Video Clip!

My book Breaking The Silence is now a double award winner in the genre of Inspirational Fiction! I am so grateful to Mom’s Choice Awards for their gold medal and to Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for their award! It is humbling, to say the least, since Breaking The Silence is written about my life (though places and names have been changed). It has been a surreal experience to have such good come from such pain and turmoil.

Here is a video clip I created about Breaking The Silence with excerpts from my book:

 

If you are a victim of abuse or know a victim of abuse, please pass this information along.  It is my desire to help those who feel trapped by their pain.  I want them to know it is possible to heal.  Breaking The Silence is my story of agony and abuse to hope and healing.

God Bless!

 

 

Crying For A Savior

The pain you caused
Has left permanent scars
Like armies of demons
In my brain.

I am stilled by agony
In unguarded moments
Like razor blade cuts
Across my heart.

It’s been years
But somehow
Your deathly grip
Still holds me fast;

I crawl
Like a wounded animal
Through the dust and debris
Of the past

Crying for a Savior.

How is it
That after thirty seven years
You still reach me
From the coldness of your grave?

Groping and grasping,
Ripping my flesh off in layers,
Stabbing your evil
Through my heart and soul?

Will I ever be free
To live as I dream of living
Or will I forever be
Your prisoner of anguish and shame?

I deserve to be happy
I dream of it every day
But somehow your memory
Always succeeds

At burying me with you in a Hell you so adeptly created for both of us.

 

In Order To Be Successful You Have To Be Reliable

So many times we dream about things we could do or be, only to give in too easily to despair and hardships on our journey. If we really want to succeed, we need to remain reliable to our dreams and ourselves through the good times and bad. Setbacks happen to everyone making success seem like smoke on the horizon…something we think we see but we’re unsure of how to go about achieving it. Or we know how to achieve it and stumbling blocks shorten and delay our stamina. To succeed, we must keep our dreams just ahead of us and continue to strive, to be reliable!

In order to be successful you have to be reliable by Diamante Lavendar

We hear overnight success stories and they do happen from time to time.  More often though, we have to work tediously and slave for our dreams to become a reality.  I am reminded of the saying “nothing in this world worth having comes easy.”  The seemingly overnight success stories often are built on a platform of hard work behind the scenes.  Even the singer who wins the reality show has spent years perfecting his/her voice.  Overnight success is rare.  Very rare.

Never give up.  Unreliability and irresponsibility will kill a dream every time.  Believe in yourself and know you can achieve whatever you believe you can.  Then, if you persevere, chances are you will succeed…if you don’t give up.

And never be afraid to lend someone else a helping hand.  You never know when the favor will come full circle to bless you in the end!

Spotlight: The Sleeping Town by F.A.R.

Cover

It all began the day Michael Walker woke up and everyone else didn’t. Powerful forces are at work, and the small town of Redfield might not survive it. As the uncanny becomes commonplace and truth remains elusive, Michael struggles to discern between friend and foe. Should he fail, not only will his head become a stranger to his neck, but the rest of the town might soon follow his fate.

Reviews:

Format: Kindle Edition

I really liked The Sleeping Town. I really liked this book’s take on magic. I won’t get into it too much because it’s kind of special to the book and I don’t want to ruin anything. Suffice it to say, I thought it was pretty original. That really helped me get into this book. So many books just have a generic view on magic and the like, so when you come across something that’s a little different, it’s easy to get caught up in. There are a lot of things in the book that I really liked, but I don’t want to mention because they were just kind of special to the book itself and I don’t want to ruin anything.

Even though I didn’t say much, I did really enjoy this book and recommend it for anyone looking for something a little different.

By ALY on November 27, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

This book was interesting. The description sure does not give much away. But I liked the book. Michael has his struggles for sure but the book kept me on my toes. I was always wondering what would happen next. I think a good first book. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Interview with F.A.R.:
1.  Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
The Sleeping Town is my first book. It is the story of Michael Walker as he wakes up and finds he is the only one in the entire town who did. The book can roughly be divided in two parts. The first part is Michael trying to figure things out and finding himself increasingly out of his depth. The second part is after he identifies the supernatural force at work and tries to do something about it… and finds himself increasingly out of his depth.
I decided to write it, because I have been coming up with ideas for stories since I read my first book. I kept thinking about what I would have liked to see happening and how I would done certain things. Eventually, I got brave enough to sit down and actually write one of those ideas. The Sleeping Town is the result of that.
2.  Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?
As a matter of fact, I do. Just a few days ago I finished the first (very rough) draft of my next book, Devils of Black and Gold. It is a darker tale when compared to The Sleeping Townbut I had fun writing it. It features a guy who thinks he might be a werewolf, a series of bizarre murders, and a cop who is definitely not getting paid enough. Additionally, I am about to start working on the sequel to The Sleeping Town later in October.
3.  What would you like your readers to know about you?
Seeing as how I’m using an obvious Pen name it would be easier to think about things I don’t want readers to know about me, but here it goes. I’m Latino, F.A.R. are my actual initials, and I like to use the kitchen. I’m not saying I am any good at it, but I do like cooking every now and then.
4.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Tough question. There are so many I would like to meet, but if I had to pick just one… James Spader. Stargate, Boston Legal, The Blacklist, Age of Ultron. How can I not be a huge fan?
5.  Favorites:  color, food, acitivity, place?
I have always been a fan of orange as far as colors go. My favorite food is Fettuccine Alfredo. My favorite activity (other than writing) is swimming. Whether it is in a beach or pool, I love it all the same. My favorite place is a nice park in the middle of autumn.
6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Well, it is a bit presumptuous of me to be giving out life advice, but if I had to give one it would probably be something like, “Go for it!”
I spend a lot of time thinking,”I want to write a book.” Years if I have to be honest. During that time I got very little book-writing done. One day I got fed up with that. I started writing every single day and didn’t stop until I had a book, If there is something you want to do, you can’t just think about it. You need to bring that thought into action.
Where you can find The Sleeping Town:
https://www.amazon.com/Sleeping-Town-F-R-ebook/dp/B014CBA48A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1470526248&sr=8-3&keywords=the+sleeping+town#nav-subnav
Where you can find F.A.R.:
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/FarBooks