Control

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FullSizeRender[700]Life is simple really. It is just a matter of moments and decisions that get you from one moment to the next. Simple. No mystery about it. Just one moment then another and another. You decide what to do in the next moment. You can get brave and plan future moments, most of us do. Then there are the moments that are planned for us one after another after another. Work, school, responsibilities and obligations are just preplanned moments.

Who or what is in control for your moments and thus your life is entirely up to you.

What about God? Will you let God control your next moment?

Each life is nothing but a series of moments that come and go. We live one moment at a time. How we choose to live the next moment is in our control.

What? You don’t believe that? What about obligations when you must do things you do not want to do? Yes, that is in your control too. You choose to participate in what is expected of you or not. You choose what happens. Don’t give me that, you are not in control, life makes you do certain things whether you want to or not.

Wrong!

Did you get up this morning? Yes? You could have stayed in bed. You control what you do, always.

So, stop with the he made you mad and the you have to do this or that. Don’t let me hear you say your boss, parent, spouse, friend made you do……..No, you are in control of every moment of everything in your life.

The only two things you are not in control of are other people’s actions and acts of God. Your reaction to those two things are still in your control.

Say it with me, “I control my reactions to the actions of others and I am in charge of moments in my life one moment at a time.”

Yes you will have to contend with the consequences of your actions; however you choose the action. Rolling the D20 is optional.

Believe in living your life your way.

~Lori O’Gara

Power of One

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As of 10 p.m. tonight, I have written three complete novels. One is published and two have release dates. It is a miracle that I accomplished in less than two years what I was unable to accomplish for many years before. There is one difference. I have the mental support that everyone tells you that you should have but you think you can do it on your own.  Well let me tell you I am proof that with the right person in your corner you can do amazing things.

All it really takes is that one person to have your back. That one person to make sure you eat and get enough rest. That one person to let you cry when the words won’t come. That one person to slap you (figuratively) back into your right mind when you feel sorry for yourself.  That one person who will tolerate your tantrums. That one person to celebrate with you when you reach your goals. That one person to be the strength when you are weak. That one person to be your voice when you have none. That one person to keep the faith. That one person to be proud of you and who lets the world know it. That one person to love you through it all.

Believe in the power of one.

~Lori O’Gara

 

Inspiration

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8c62fdfb94b70ed519b2ac5eaa01a446When I was in my teens and twenties my generation got our inspiration from bumper stickers, t shirts, and posters. The same Hang In There kitten hanging from a tree type quotes are now all over social media. Personally I think they are wonderful. Now, if people reading them would try to implement the positive ones into their lives and ignore the negative ones that would be better.  Inspiration can come from any where. There always seems to be the right words right there at the right time when you need it. If you scroll and you can’t find what you speaks to your inner peace, keep looking it will pop up in a second.

The problem with inspiration is it can be very persuasive and not always in a positive way. For instance, if you find out that your significant other is cheating, you may be inspired by one if the many artistic quotes to give him a Bobbit make over or the groovy Stella silent treatment. Have a little fire scarecrow. (For you whipper snappers, google….it is your friend.) None of those inspirations are very positive and may get you 5-20 in the state’s best accommodations. My advice, leave the vengeance to God and keep scrolling.

Seek inspiration that is positive. Save the quotes that inspire you to be a better person. If you read one and think, wow that is so very true and I can (choose one be/do/aspire to)  that then it is a keeper. If you read one and think, Damn sister I wouldn’t have shared that….then move along Sally.  Either way, use what the good Lord gave you for common sense and be selective. Share the positive…..oh c’mon…..just do it.

Believe in positive inspiration.

Peace out.

~Lori O’Gara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connections

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The invention of Facebook and other networking sites are a marvelous thing. I think about why people are drawn to such places to begin with. Is it the ambiguous nature about them? We can, if we choose,  hide behind fake names and locations. At first I thought that must be it, the ability to hide from the real world who we are and change to what we want the world to believe we are. Fantasy and smoke screens. The more I observed what was going on with social media and looked at who was using it, it seems that staying anonymous is not why we flock to them.

More and more people are being true to their identities on these sites. Posting real pictures and real parts of their life for all to see. There is a shift from hiding to openness, but controlling who sees the inside of our lives. If someone hurts our feelings we simply delete them from our friend list. If someone is nice to us we add them. We share what we want them to know and keep our secrets to ourselves. I have 300 plus friends on Facebook and know about that many more. I feel emotionally connected to about 1/4 of them and the other 3/4 of them I feel happy to know. I use a real picture of me, but screen what I share very carefully. If  we can still make up things and control what we share, but the big question is why? Why do we find it easy to post who we are, what we really think and feel on a screen?

For me as a Christian and a writer, I love the concept of captive audience. I can share my words and maybe reach someone who I couldn’t actually speak to in real life. That is one reasons I keep a Facebook account. The other reason is the connection to family out-of-town. It’s good for that too.

Let’s not forget that Facebook is public. What we post on there is just as if we said it in a crowded room. If you won’t say it out loud in a room full of 300 people don’t post it…..really, think about it.  It is easy to think that somehow the screen shields us when in reality your friends are more apt to read what you post than to listen to what you say. So remember, if you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face don’t write it on a wall in cyber space where the world can read it.

Believe in connection.

~Lori O’Gara

Write, Write, and Write

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“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – Gene Fowler

Like many writers I have pieces and parts of stories,  novels, and  poetry. I have scraps of characters, plots and settings all over the place. They are written on scraps of paper and in notes on my computer and in my phone.  Most of which are complete ideas but not completely written. As I work through actually completing a novel I have learned just as much if not more about myself as I am about writing. For instance, did you know that you can procrastinate for several minutes just by staring inside the refrigerator even when you aren’t hungry? Or that If you snuggle your loved one taking a nap is easier than forming sentences?

I have discovered that I am an expert at not writing . I can find other things to do very easily. Not that writing is hard, it isn’t. Writing is the easy part. Writing and still living a normal life is not so easy. You still have to eat, sleep, spend time with family, and work (unless you’re independently wealthy). I like to eat and play. I am not wealthy so I have a job that I love. When I sit down to write writing happens. I manage to consume wine and get words down. The hardest part is getting the time to sit down in the first place.

I found that just making myself sit and write when I have time will get words out and stories will come to fruition. Even if I don’t want to write,  the sitting and writing something, even nonsense, is the best way to start. Once I start writing the stopping is not as difficult.

Believe to do something productive, even if you don’t fee like it.

~Lori O’Gara

Light

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Create what sets your heart on fire, and it will illuminate the path ahead.~Unknown

Light is what allows us to understand the world we live in. The detection of light is powerful tool for probing the universe. It is through the study of light that we can understand the composition stars light years away or the living cells in us. It is no accident that humans can ‘see’ light. Our language reflects our fascination with light. Isn’t it said in scripture somewhere that after groping in the dark, we see the light and understanding dawns.

To me light is almost a living thing. It embraces us on the outside with visible light and on the inside with knowledge. God is the source of all light. He put the sun and stars in the universe. He gave man the knowledge to create light. He gave us fire and later man harnessed electricity. I know scientists can explain to me that light is a form of radiation. God made the radiation. We can trace all light to Him.

Create what sets your heart on fire. Create your light. Make a difference in this world of shadows. Even when we see shadows in our lives we should be encouraged. Shadows can not exist without light.

Believe in the light of good.

~Lori O’Gara

Listen to Your Heart

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Recently I gave a thirteen-year-old girl the some of best advice I had received. I did not know at the time when I got the advice that I would one day pass it along to someone else, but I did. She needed to hear it. It was perfect timing for what is going on in her life at the exact moment that she needed it. Just as it was perfect advice that I received at the very moment that I needed it. It is the kind of advice that once you hear it is seems so simple you wonder why you didn’t think of it for yourself.

I want to believe that it is a biblical truth and that it is from God. He sent this truth to someone and that someone sent it to me. Now I have passed it on like a mantel of truth to the next generation. I will pass it on again and again as it is needed, because it will be needed again. That is how this advice of truth works.

Here is the catch. Just because someone hears this truth does not mean that they will receive it and will use it. It must be followed exactly for it to work. Like an exact recipe. If you deviate from the truth it will not turn out right. It will fall like a cake with not enough flour in the mix. This truth will fix a multitude of problems. It isn’t a miracle cure. It is not easy to do sometimes, often not. Often it is where the rubber meets the road and the difficult decisions must be made. It is the difference between moving forward and standing still in your pain. It is healing or not.

It sometimes requires you to break before you can bend. If you follow this advice and trust it, it will work out right. It is the cross roads of survival. It is where things happen, good or bad.

What is the truth? What is this advice that will be there when you need it? If I tell you will you promise to use it correctly and share it when the moment presents itself again?
If you said yes, if you agree keep reading if you said no, you do not want that kind of responsibility, stop reading now.

Here it is, here is the advice.

“Listen to your heart. Trust your heart. Your mind will lie to you but your heart will always tell you the truth. It will always tell you what you need. Your heart is always right.”

Easy yet not. Simple yet complicated. Predictable however unfathomable.
Listen to your heart. Always.

Believe what your heart tells you. It will never  steer you wrong.

~ Lori O’Gara

 

 

Trust & Love

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Love is handing another person the weapon that will destroy you and trusting them not to use it. Love and trust go hand in hand. I have learned that even if you know that you will get hurt or suspect that you may get hurt, it is always worth the risk to love.

To trust is a choice. Once someone has broken trust is hard if not impossible to get it back. There are some of us who can’t trust even when there is no reason for the doubt. Trust does not come natural to those people. They will doubt you while loving you. They will keep you at a distance.  It is human nature to protect one’s self. We must keep life in perspective. Remember people are not perfect. You are not perfect. The one you choose to love is not perfect. Trust them anyway. 

Believe in love and choose to trust those who mean the most to you.

~ Lori O’Gara

Believe is a Verb

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To believe is to act. It is not a passive thing to just believe in something. You have to act on that belief.  Before you can act on your beliefs you must have something substantial to believe in and make a commitment to it.

The Latin term notitia means “believing in the data” or the information. It’s an intellectual awareness. You can’t believe in nothing; there has to be content to the belief. Once you have decided what exactly you are going to believe in, you then have to put your trust in that belief. Once you trust something as truth you can act on the truth.

Fiducia refers to the fiduciary commitment. You can’t believe without commitment to your beliefs. Our cowboy, William Porter, who we meet in We Will Get There,  is the embodiment of commitment to a belief in God. He made a promise to God and he honors it because of his loyalty to his chosen belief. The very act of dedicating one’s self to a belief is the first action in believing.

Don’t be one of those people who say, “I believe in…” this or that and then show no devotion to that belief. This type of person’s beliefs are faltering and ever changing. No one trusts a person like that. They are the people who follow the latest trend but never stand for anything real. They are gullible and believe anything that their friends are believing. They are wishy washy and flighty. They bring stress to those around them. They them self’s find it difficult to be at peace.

Decided what it is you will believe in, make a commitment to it and then act in the best interest of that commitment.  Wrap your soul and your life around your beliefs. If it is right your institution will tell you so. If it is wrong you will know that too. Believe in goodness and in what is right.  Be a trust worthy believer.  Believe in what makes your heart happy. Listen to your soul.  Then take that belief and act on it in truth and compassion. Bring peace to your life and to those you love through your commitment of belief.

Believe in commitment to the truth.

~Lori O’Gara

Escape

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How many times have you wanted to escape your life? We hear stories all the time about people who have dropped everything, quit their job and hopped on a train going anywhere. Running for whatever reason to get to something they think is better than what they leave behind. Greener grass on the other side of the fence thing. Sometimes they run to avoid facing a truth that is staring them in the face. In reality unless you are independently wealthy, running isn’t an option for you. I know it isn’t for me.

Other people use things to virtually escape. Drugs, sex and alcohol are the obvious things they use. Now there are video games, social media and other things that serve as perfect escapes. Others use the ostrich method, one of my old favorites. Ignore it and it will go away. Escape, running, hiding all to avoid problems.

The Perdido Key novels are full of people running. Krystal Sabine hides behind OCD and Bloody Marys. Brianna uses sex and runs away on the first flight out of town. Later we will meet other characters who run, medicate and use other ways to escape. (Spoilers!) In the end they learn a similar lesson, among other things, you can’t hide or run from the truth. Ignoring it, running from it, or hiding from truth will not make it go away. It only makes the bad stuff worse. Truth will not leave until it is dealt with or faced in one way or another. 

What are you running from? Maybe it is time to stop running.

Believe that you are strong enough to face whatever truth you are running from, hiding from or ignoring.

Believe in your strength.

~Lori O’Gara