Friday, December 28, 2012

Practice Grace

For as long as I can remember, I have thrust my way through life. I have been the archetypal bull headed Taurus, bolting through China shops, without a care in the world as to how many dishes I broke before I reached my goal. I have been a control freak. I have been obsessive. I have been thorny. I have been iron-willed. I have been unyielding. Of course, it is for these reasons that I have grown into the unstoppable force that is needed right now. 

However, every unstoppable force has an epicenter. This is mine. 
As things have for me -- since round about July of this year -- began to transmute, my soul has been undertaking a considerable evolution. My bull headedness is giving way to patience. My tendency to go bolting through china shops has been replaced with a deeper care and compassion for others (and their dishes); a trait that I admit I have been lacking since I was about 19-years-old. My need for control over everything is slowly dissipating. My obsessions are now turned to things that are more encouraging; to helping those who need it -- even if they don’t realize how much they do. My difficult and brash nature has softened round its once sharp edges. Although with these changes, my strong will remains, alongside my unbendable self; although even those steadfast, stony aspects of my persona have an undertone of gentility to them now. 

Because I finally learned something; something that I think I was supposed to have known all along…and that tiny something that makes the vastest difference in me is simply…grace.

Getting to Grace…
Fifty-three days ago, I wanted vengeance. Fifty-three days ago, I wanted to destroy someone in response to the damage and agony my children have suffered at his hands; in response to the ache and anguish I have suffered at his hands for a generation now. Fifty-three days ago, I couldn’t see past my rage. Yet time (and grace) has quelled that lust for revenge. In fact, like a candle blowing in a tornado, the flame of my fury has been snuffed out.

My rage, my anger, my hatred, my disgust has been replaced with grace; the knowledge that my desire to help my children see the light at the end of this musky, dank hole in the Earth of our souls has to be the prime meridian of my journey; because it is “right” thing to do, because that's what I was supposed to learn as part of this lesson. I imagine I have many of your prayers to thank for that.

Growing in Grace after Getting to Grace…
Yet, my longing for grace is more entrenched than you might see on the surface; much, much deeper, in fact. Because I also want to help spread light and healing to others; to genuinely do some real good in this world, and with my life. To truly be the change the world in a way that needs changing,  by being the harbinger for truth when it comes to one of the darkest, deepest, skeletal secrets of far too many families. But also, to impart grace to souls that need it so desperately.

You see, I have been chronicling this journey, much to the chagrin of experts in some areas, and even some of those near and dear to me, because I realized that in doing so, I can remember. I can remember how we felt on days that seemed as if there was no end. I can remember why we fight. I can remember why it’s so important. For without those chronicles, all of “this” runs the risk of becoming a distant memory; an unfulfilled promise; a black hole. 

To help me, I read these chronicles quite often, to remind me of what I need to be reminded of, to keep my mind fresh, to keep my will strong, to remain an unstoppable force. Yet above all else, my reading and re-reading has granted me grace.

The Story Ebbs On…
And while I hope my doing what I have to do, by extending grace instead of enacting my own brand of vengeance, will not mean that my story ends abruptly, I am also gently reminded by the man upstairs that no one is guaranteed tomorrow, no matter who they might be.

In other words don’t put off even the smallest bit of good you can do today until tomorrow. You never know when you will miss your next sunrise.

So, for as many days as I am granted, I give the one thing I am good at giving: my words. I’m lending my voice for as long as I can, to whomever will listen (or read). I do this in the hopes that my copious chronicling changes things; in the hopes that my silly words on a page do what I want them to do; to heal, to motivate, to teach, to spread benevolence. And, bearing that in mind there are two words I want to share with you today:  

Practice grace.

When someone hurts you, show them grace. Show them mercy. However, do not be dim witted enough to fall into the traps of evil men or women again.

Instead of getting riled up at the person who has slighted you, show them a little grace.

Of course that doesn’t mean you should let people walk all over you, nor does it mean that the extension of grace will be met with grace in return. There remains such a thing as righteous indignation. There remains such a thing as a valid outcry for justice. On these things I am resolute, and on these things, so should you be; so should we all. 

However, it is poignant to remember that just a little grace can go a long, long way. Because it is only through grace that healing can begin -- a tie in to the pick for the ‘Soundtrack of Life’ at the bottom of the page (a concept I will delve into later).

What? I have to keep you people coming back, don’t I? 

My wish for you. Yes. All of You....
I ask you to do one thing today and everyday moving forward. I ask you to only remember these two words every time you get angry, each time you are sad, every time you are motivated to honk your horn at the woman at the freshly turned green light who is holding up traffic and updating her Facebook status (yes, that would be me): I ask you to practice grace. That’s it.

You know me, I like to keep things simple….

But, of course, I have to leave you with a question; a call to action as it were. How do you intend to practice grace in your own life? I honestly want to know. For if my simple words might hold the power to changing the world, know that yours can too.

And if you like what I have to say today or any other day, PLEASE SHARE IT! And then...share it again! 

Today’s pick from my ‘Soundtrack of Life’: 

Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 3:02 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Unstoppable forces meeting immovable objects...
Two things happen when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object: They either harmonize to create something of intense beauty, or they destroy everything in their wake.

I have come to realize in recent days that it is my role, right here, right now, these days past and these days moving forward, to be an unstoppable force. Trouble is, I have come up against two immovable objects…and this fight isn’t what I anticipated when I set sail on the winds of change over 52 days ago.

With one object, destruction is the only outcome. With the other, I see something beautiful and hopeful rising from the pits of despair. While it seems as though my fork in the path of my road should be clear, it isn’t. And it isn’t clear because these two immovable objects are interconnected. By hurting one, I harm the other, risking the potential for hope lost, of destroying something beautiful hidden under the surface. I suppose that even an unstoppable force has to sometimes retreat, to lick her wounds, restructure and try again.

So that is what I do.

And while I try to grab ahold of some of the simple joys and pleasures in life these days, to cling to the hope and abundance the holidays bring, I admit…it is more difficult some days than it is on others. Yet on the days I consider giving up the fight and just accepting that this is my life now, I am reminded of one simple, perfect truth: If I don’t do this, who will? And I know that nothing worth having is easy to get….

So I get up, I brush myself off and I fight on, in my way, in mine time at my speed. And I sit back and watch as things fall into place almost exactly the way I think they are supposed to.

I’m learning how to walk by faith these days, not sight. And while giving up control is a challenging journey for me, it’s one I continue to chip away at…just because I believe in something bigger than me.

Because when your focus shifts to creating something beautiful out of the ashes, instead of making more ashes, you’ve already won.

So, take a stab at this one for me dear readers, What do you imagine happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? 

One of my picks for the 'Soundtrack of Life' : Be blessed!
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 4:29 PM 1 comment READ FULL POST

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged about…well…anything. You might feel as if I owe you, dear readers, an explanation for my online absenteeism. The truth is…I don’t. This is my proverbial pen, my blog and my rules -- if I hadn’t already made that abundantly clear by now. However, I come to you today, 42 days after a catastrophic, earth-shattering event that turned my entire world upside down as a new, improved me; a me that I haven’t been in a very, very long time. A “me” that is ready for the next steps in a journey that I know will change the “rules”. A me that is full of light and a “me” that, even in the midst of dealing with things that are utterly horrific; even after have been brought to my knees on more than one occasion over this holy grail of evil, a me that is more “me” than I have ever been. And, quite frankly, I like her. She’s a mix of the old and new. A mix of a woman I probably should have been all along. I’ve missed her, and I’m enjoying every moment of getting to know her better. Strong, capable and unstoppable. I rather like her. 

See, it’s all about light in darkness
I have had some dark days over this period of pixelated silence; awfully, vastly, enormously dark days. However, even in these darkest of days I have been surrounded by light. I have the most incredible support system of family, of friends, of acquaintances, of professionals and of experts who have helped me bridge the gap of my most glaring of personal taboos: asking for help.

I have asked for help more in these last 42 days than I have in…well…my entire life. And even when I haven’t “asked” for help, it’s been given readily and without request for anything in return. Essentially, my faith in humanity has been dramatically restored. Well, at least some of humanity -- but I’ll get to that later.

Where I was, where I’m at and (most importantly) where I’m going
I have become more organized than I have ever been in my life. I keep everything these days -- well the important everythings, anyway. I have files, I have backups and I have a system that would rival most librarians. I (literally) have over 20 different ‘projects’ I’m juggling, I’m constantly on the phone, sending email campaigns, promoting my personal brand of ‘rule change’ and I’m getting help at every turn, at what is now seeming to be at the perfect moment. For these things and more, I am blessed more than I could have ever imagined.

In addition to my blogging, writing and columns, I have been blessed with a new job opportunity that has incredible income potential, and will even help my little family do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: travel and see the world. I’ve cleaned up the past in ready for the future, and I’m ushering in a new, improved era for myself and for my children, and I’m doing it all blissfully, happily with my family and my friends by my side…but no man…and no want for one either. And truthfully, I like it. I have found a certain solace and peace in being ‘alone’. I welcome it. There is freedom and solace in it.

I have more blessings, more peace, more serenity now (not a Seinfeld reference) than what I have had in five years, and even though everything isn’t exactly “perfect” yet, it’s getting there. And even in the wake of all of this sadness, for these moments of breaking sun I am happy. Because even on the darkest, longest of nights, the sun rises. And the dawn is coming; this period of endless night will soon be over. Because no matter how hard the night fights the sun, the sun rises triumphant, bursting over the horizon with such overtaking force the night has no choice other than to retreat.

So what now?
Well, I’m going to be around. I’m going to be blogging -- at least once a week -- but I have other, more important matters that require my immediate attention. However, what you are going to see here in the coming weeks, months and years, will be the same sarcastic me that you’ve come to know and love, but something a little deeper, someone a little more tangible too. And that’s because this period of darkness for me, gave way to the most incredible light ever. I’ve finally figured out what I was supposed to do, who I’m supposed to be and what I’m meant to do on this big blue marble we call home: I found my purpose. And it’s not just a momentary purpose, it’s something that will make my life better (certainly) but will help many, many others as well.  

So, I leave you with one thing to ponder: “What’s YOUR purpose?” 
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 9:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST
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    Shauna made her mark in blogging starting in 2008 and has been on the front page of major publications such as Yahoo!,, MSN Money, CNN Money and more. Her finance and real estate expertise are world renowned and free to the average user. Shauna also runs a marketing consulting company and is the team lead for one of the largest teams in San Antonio, TX - Rockstar Agents and RE/MAX North. 


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