Dignity ˈdignitē/ noun

Dignity
/ˈdignitē/ noun

1. The moment you realize that the person you cared for has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you, but a headache.

2. The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad.

3. The moment you stop comparing yourself to others because it undermines your worth, education and your parent’s wisdom.

4. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter.

5. The moment you realize that no one is your enemy, except yourself.

6. The moment you realize that you can have everything you want in life. However, it takes timing, the right heart, the right actions, the right passion and a willingness to risk it all. If it is not yours, it is because you really didn’t want it, need it or God prevented it.

7. The moment you realize the ghost of your ancestors stood between you and the person you loved. They really don’t want you mucking up the family line with someone that acts anything less than honorable.

8. The moment you realize that happiness was never about getting a person. They are only a helpmate towards achieving your life mission.

9. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.

10. The moment you realize that you were always the right person. Only ignorant people walk away from greatness.

~Shannon L. Alder

Never Settle

Too many women I know have stood or prayerfully waited for too long, thinking that they are doing the right thing, the good thing, even the God thing: NEVER SETTLE for anything less than extraordinary. If you are not in a relationship where EVERY DAY you feel loved, ADORED, cherished, and that it is made abundantly clear by his actions that you are the best thing ever to happen to him, imperfectly perfect yet perfectly suited, a blessing, BEAUTIFUL, sexy, appreciated, AMAZING, full, sated… depending on the circumstances, fix it right now, or ruuuuun. Don’t look back at your life, your journals, the signs… and say, “OMG, I should have never accepted that and/or left that three years earlier!” Let us instead pray dangerously —wantonly, lustily, passionately— let us demand with every ounce of our strength, FREEDOM!

~ Just L (Goddess Wisdom, a re-post from January 19, 2012)

Miss Them, But Do Not Ache For Them

Every morning you wake up with someone you love, take a moment to be amazed they are there beside you, be grateful you are alive to bear witness to another day of living and loving another human, be fascinated by this person who was vulnerable enough to wake up beside you– be it one night or one thousand times one thousand nights– place your hands over each other on your heart and embrace this sweet present so many long for. And if one morning you awake and they are gone forever, miss them, but do not ache for them.

~ Just L (Goddess Wisdom, January 14, 2019)

When You See Someone You Used To Love And They Are A Stranger

On a pub / band crawl with friends in Vallarta, I enter the bar and have to squeeze by you as you were setting up your drums near the crowded entry door…

Wow, Kevin, You could not after two years, muster a simple, “Hello.”

Recall, I was ecstatic with my life in Oregon and having traveled/worked in 14 countries. You, Kevin, are the one who deliberately stopped the band – your band – two years ago to introduce yourself to me.

Two years later, I realize you are the dark one who requires another’s light to shine.

That makes me so sad. When I first met you, you were sparkly, with a wide smile and genuine heart. Between the two of us, we had the whole world. You broke my heart with the promise of your whole heart; all the while you deceived me.

I will never understand how one spends intimate moments, sharing deep love and vivid dreams, and yet can deny the spark that launched a thousand dreams ever happened. You must be really empty if you can spend two years loving a woman, accept every gift (not just ‘things’), and put on record that she is the angel you have been praying for, but cannot spare a second to acknowledge her. That is a sad commentary on your soul. I pray you find your way back to the musical magic that originally jumpstarted your heart.

The fact you could not acknowledge the woman you loved, the one who believed in you so much, she sacrificed her own work-life to help you realize your dreams. The positive-energy woman who led her life out loud with so much enthusiasm for living and love for you that her son and daughter-in-love carved out a special place for you at their wedding table. The faithful woman who regularly made her way across the miles to you and waited for you while you went through the Visa process. The understanding band widow. The one who kept the home fires burning hot so you could fall gently into the quiet retreat of solitude.

You greedily took it all, all the while knowing you would never be able to keep your promises. As there were others who were also this woman.

This is why I left you.

This is certainly why you have lost your manners, and your voice.

The rest will simply be the rest…

~ Just L (January 12, 2019)

Author’s Note: I write poems of love and loss. This is neither of those.

Did he deceive me from the beginning? I will never know. What I do know is the rest of my life will be as fabulous as before he entered it. As for him, all I know for sure is that lack of integrity has a way of making one miserable.

September Stalker Vibes

“The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves.” -William Penn

Why would “___” (who has a multitude of fake social media profiles), a presumably educated and intelligent adult woman, who has never met me and knows nothing of substance of my life and loves, but has continually stalked me over the past two years post this kind of crap?

She also obsesses on my poetry site every week, presuming my every word has something to do with her life, which she then uses to cause others in her life tremendous pain and suffering.

How sad. Doesn’t she know this only causes others to feel embarrassed for her, and now me.

I feel a strange mix of compassion and pity for her.

Especially, when she tries to insult me with words like “OLD” or “DESPERATE” or implies that if my life was all that wonderful, I wouldn’t have to brag (write) about it…

OH HONEY! Just wait. 55 is far from old. I will forever be a young spirit. I am self-employed, I am free to travel, enjoy the finer things and savor the simple treasures. I have experience and wouldn’t trade that for the world.

And as for my life? It is simply MY life and I feel extraordinarily blessed that I have been able to create it in spite of challenges or hardships over the years. I am proud to be a woman who inspires others to reach higher and a mother my adult children admire. I have the deep pleasure of satisfaction of being a leader in my profession, in part because I have consciously cultivated deeply authentic, lasting relationships.

This Thanksgiving I will be hosting my family near and far, as well as my ex and his longtime love. We will celebrate our children, our successes, our resiliency, our shared stories, and laugh with truly grateful hearts.

I challenge you to do the same. Apparently, you have a lot of time on your hands and a lot of years in front of you. May time humble you.

~ Lori J Bumgardner instead of Just L, because there is nothing poetic about this (September 29, 2018)

Ignored
It seems you are the “bunny-boiler”.

Author’s Note: Images taken from public posts on facebook. Any publishing by a facebook user using the Public setting is a release under a free content license.

Please just stop stalking me. I guarantee you that I am not your problem. I broke it off with him earlier this month. He was never mine anyway.

Trembliiing

She notiiiced the tremors were getttting worse

This terrrrified her

She had always relied on her intelllligence

Yet this requiiired her hands to work

After all, for 25 years she has writttten for a liviiing

But after her BMW kissssed a freight truck last November

Before that delightful triiip to Italy and France

To write about love and wiiine and her passion for hiiigh fashion

She had to hiiire an editor.

~Just L (September 28, 2018)

What if… *mind blown*

What if the reason for meeting him (#1) was that the Universe made sure he (#1) abruptly broke it off with me knowing I would seek solace on a beach in Mexico and meet him (#2) who would ensure I would return and entice me to stay just long enough to meet him (#3) who had not built his home when I arrived, and would distract me just long enough for him (#1)to realize his solace was with me all along?

*mind blown*

~Just L (September 27, 2018)

Author’s Note: Never underestimate the Universe or the magic of edibles. *laughing*

After Afore

11:11 am

I step out of the shower
Conscious not to slip on the tile
I glance at the microwave
11:11, it blinks
Make a wish
If only I could go back to that grateful poem
The one I wrote in January, I think
I select a pink dry-fit dress
Put my hair in a high pony
Anti-aging eye cream in spite of the humidity

1:08 pm

The heat of the day beats down on my shoulders
The convertible top down and the wind in my hair
I am headed on a picnic with friends
Where hummingbirds linger just a little longer than elsewhere
The water tastes of Hibiscus
A trio of shrimp tacos is delicious
The scent of summer rain is heavy in the air
My friends smoke a joint and laugh without a care
I retreat to my own thoughts for a while
And mimic listening.

5:25 pm

I stare at my computer screen
Trying to calculate the extortion rate of my life and love
Or trying to write a business plan for a client
Pretty much the same thing at the moment
There is no poetry in this task
I grieve the immense loss of a place I once had
Before trust was shattered, afore I dared ask
My resilient thick skin is wearing thin
I start to cry
Must I fight vulnerability? Do I give up or give in?

8:25 pm

Right now I am thankful for the rain shower head
I wash my hair as if I am shooting a commercial
I need these 5 minutes however superficial
If I had a bathtub I’d likely sell suds swimsuits
Sauvignon Blanc meet Mr. Bubble
I meticulously shave to remove all stubble
Why do women go through this ritual?
As if I expect a suitor to knock at my door
We’re nowhere near the fun, f*ck, and eat stage
A worn out sleep T is hardly a magic elixir.

1:16 am

For the first time in many weeks I’m relaxed
Sunk deep into the goose down mattress topper
I feel both heavy and high
In that moment before falling fast asleep
When the anesthesiologist tells you to count backwards from 10
9, 8, 7….
Right before I drift to Never-never Land
I feel a cool breeze graze the fine hairs on my spine
I smile
Everything is going to be just fine.

Everything is just fine.
It always is.

~Just L (September 27, 2018)

Author’s Note: 584. Why do I still count days?

Ditch The List

I am notorious for making lists. To-do lists, wish lists, lists of gaps in my wardrobe or decor, client deadline lists, etc. I am to a fault highly organized and punctual.

I also have a repution for living my life with a can-do spirit and abundant optimism. So much so Lori’s “la la land” was where people thought I lived 30+ years before it became a popular musical.

This week a pastor and author friend sent me this kind message: “I was thinking about you yesterday. It’s amazing to me how you have gone through so many trials and tribulations and still come through them on top, optimistic, energetic, beautiful, and looking to the future. Love being around you – which hasn’t happened enough lately!  … Could use a Lori fix.”

His note immediately lifted my spirits, but more than that it caused me to pause and think about how I navigate the world with such resilience, joy, and dare I say grace?!

After all, I am asked this very question (How do you navigate the world with…) quite often as if I know a secret or have discovered an elusive formula.

I have lots of answers: Forgive early and often, follow your bliss, make yourself happy first, only give from your overflow, be grateful, enjoy the present, grieve as long as it takes… the list goes on.

Throw out your list!

A longer list doesn’t make you more productive. In fact, you may find if you ignore your sacred to-do list for two weeks or a month, many of the items are no longer important.

I actually discovered this while living in Mexico for six months last year as when I returned home to six months of mail, I realized only about 5% of it required my attention.

Do you have a list of things you’ve promised to do for other people? Is it so big it causes you anxiety? Are you on this list anywhere?

I am not giving you permission to not keep your word. I believe strongly your word is your bond. I am not ignoring that we all have obligations, which very often are quite challenging. What I am saying is … asking rather, “Why are you signing up for things that you are not passionate about?” Guess what? Other people are likely passionate about some of the very tasks you are slogging through. Stop filling the space and feeling resentful. Get out of their way, for God’s sake.

As a very competent and capable person I know firsthand it is easy to fall into the trap of volunteering for everything. Stop it.

Whenever you say yes to something you are saying no to something else. Too often it is you (or your family), or a longer-term dream.

Do I still make lists? Of course, I do! But more often than not –  unless it is a shopping list – I write it down and never look back.

These days I am too (hmmm, busy is certainly not the right word, though some who do not know me well think I am always busy) enthralled with speaking dreams into the Universe and watching with awe how the Universe conspires to help me achieve it.

I have found that putting me first is the best way for me to be my best self and better to and for others.

Write that down.

~Just L (September 20, 2018, Goddess Wisdom)