Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


Learning how to fight!

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 11.52.39 PM

Well, some might call it ‘communicate.’

Years ago I had a friend who told me a story. He said when his parents fought, they stopped speaking to each other. Their record was six months! They later divorced. Can you imagine? I can’t. I get over things very quickly, but not everyone does.

I came across the following article posted on Paulo Coelho’s Website. It’s from The Manuscript Found in Accra. It made me think of my temper and a recent reaction I had to something a friend said to me. My heated response had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Afterward, I realized it’s merely a reflection of how I am feeling, the hurt and sadness that’s in my heart, towards the relationship I now have with someone for whom I care a great deal. I think I have to learn how to fight!

I wanted to share it with you.

If someone confronts you over ideas or ideals, step up and accept the fight, because conflict is present in every moment of our lives and sometimes it needs to show itself in the broad light of day.

But do not fight in order to prove that you are right or to impose your ideas or ideals on someone else. Only accept the fight as a way of keeping your spirit clean and your will spotless. When the fight is over, both sides will emerge as winners, because they tested their limitations and their abilities.

Since both respect the courage and determination of the other, the time will come when they will once again walk along hand-in-hand, even if they have to wait a thousand years for that to happen.

Meanwhile, if someone merely wishes to provoke you, shake the dust from your feet and carry on. Only fight with a worthy opponent, and not with someone who uses trickery to prolong a war that is already over, as happens with all wars.

Such cruelty does not come from the warriors who meet on the battlefield and know what they are doing there but from those who manipulate victory and defeat for their own ends.

The enemy is not the person standing before you, sword in hand. It is the person standing next to you with a dagger concealed behind his back.

The most important of wars is not waged with a lofty spirit and with your soul accepting its fate.

It is the war that is going on now as we are speaking and whose battlefield is the Spirit, where Good and Evil, Courage and Cowardice, Love and Fear face each other.

 

 

 

Do it now…Paulo Coelho

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 8.56.37 AM

March–my month of introspection…

I’ve always tried to live my life as if each day, each moment would be the last one. It’s not as easy as it sounds.

After the publication of my memoir on healing LOVE The Beat Goes On, I received a particularly hurtful attack on my person. The title of the review was elegant: A Woman of Privilege and Passion. It was not about the writing or even the message, it was an attack on me as a woman for following my dreams, picking up my life in one country and moving to another–to save my life. It was the hurtful and spiteful way she attacked my life as being one of Privilege. And any of you who grew up as Military brats know that moving every three years, breaking attachments or worse, finding it impossible to make attachments, is far from a privileged life. But what it does do is allow you to move on when your current life becomes life-threatening.

I’ve been reading Coelho ever since I released my latest novel Lie To Me an exposé on sex for money and a reviewer suggested my book defied Paulo Coelho’s Eleven Minutes. I don’t remember reading his works before but then anyone who knows me will tell you I have a terrible memory! I’m now up to my fourth Coelho book The Zahir, and in his books, I’ve found answers to many things. But most importantly, I’m learning how to be unapologetic about my life choices.

Does guilt ring a bell for any of you? I grew up with Catholic guilt as an extremely important part of my decision-making process. I’m learning, finally, to get over myself. I’ve worked hard my entire life and done incredible things. I’ve always said I’m “blessed” but although that may be true–it’s how I choose to see my life–I’ve made choices, often very painful choices. Not everyone around me was happy with those choices, I’m sure. But I forged on because I followed the path of the life I was destined to live. And for that decision, some suffered, including me. But in the end, I saved my life–my life as I know it today.

I highlight when I read. It’s one of the things I love about my iPad/Kindle App. I can go back over the notes and nod my head in recognition of passages that fill my soul with sighs. The above message is not new, but is one we should all think about, especially at a time like right now!

This past week I made one such choice. Am I nervous about it? Yes, very. Can it change the direction of my life? Possibly. Is it the right thing to do? Well, if it was put in front of me, I tend to follow my intuition. Can it hurt me? Potentially. But the fear of lost opportunity or regret is stronger than the fear of making a mistake.

“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” Paulo Coelho. 

The Little Pieces

 

IMG_6416

© Lynda Filler Photography

 

 

I love you

with all those little pieces

the ones left lying on the floor like garbage

discarded chunks

of bleeding broken heart

 

I tried to fix them

used Crazy Glue

thought crazy would work

 

because I must have been crazy

to have fallen for your smooth moves

and slick lines

and empty words

and unfilled promises

 

it doesn’t matter

whether you played

with me

or against me

or hurt me

 

because like the saying goes

it’s funny how someone can break your heart

and you still love him

with all the broke and busted pieces

left lying on the floor

 

 

© The Love Fix