Illuminate

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© Copyright 2017 Kristie Bueno Photography, All Rights Reserved

The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Matthew 4:16

Radiate

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Forsaken

never to be trusted,
this most unreliable source
be warned if you leave it unattended
as it will always be led off-course

it’s influence guided by others
so fragile and so weak
fleeting from lover to lover
true love it continues to seek

betraying you at first chance
abandoning all rationale
drawn to the slightest glance
pathetically fruitless and futile

failing you time and time again
you question it’s every move
disappointing you so often
loyalty it could never prove

settling into the vacancy
it becomes isolated and detached
drowning in the complacency
it’s passion diminished and blanched

the victory it once sought
now defeated, no longer brave
its valor faded to rot
isolated, the darkness it craves

concealed, abandoned and deprived
silencing the secrets it hides
forgetting the pulse of being alive
lost in time, it submissively abides

accustomed to it’s absence
restoration will never start
eternally sentenced for its sins
confined to life without this heart

~ Kristie Bueno

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Circumstances

© Copyright 2017 Kristie Bueno Photography, All Rights Reserved

“I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.”

~ Helen Mirren

My oldest daughter found this gem hidden beside our parking spot as we prepared for our weekly journey into the grocery store.  She stopped in her tracks, proclaiming its beauty and how sad it was to be hidden inside a grocery store parking lot.

I offered that it might not be so sad; that maybe she didn’t actually find the sunflower, but just maybe the sunflower found her.  This flower has the ability to cause pause in someone’s day, allowing them a moment to reflect on its beautiful isolation and bewildering placement.  For a moment, the busyness of life subsided, all to spend this moment with a flower who rose above its circumstances to make a difference to all who pass it by.

I mentioned for her to take a photo of it so that she could remember this unique opportunity.  Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to open yourself up enough to let it find you.

Evanescent: A moment in time…

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Kindness

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”

~ Steve Maraboli

There is a young girl who dreams of what could be. Dreaming of what she wants to be when she grows up and planning every detail along the way. Her wedding, the exact specifications of her home and the family that will reside in it. She practices her signature with the last name of the true love that just might turn out to be the one! She loses herself in the greatness she thinks that growing up will bring her.

I was a version of that girl…and now I see my daughters becoming a version of that girl. A different version, but one that is their own. I could never have imagined that cell phones, texting and social media would alter the way that society communicates…that was never in my plan. As my girls get older, I realize more and more how many factors compete with my influence. The world has become a complete open book, there is no timeline as to when it is the “right time” to teach them what you think they need to know. In most cases, you are already too late.

These facts can become overwhelming. What can I possibly do or say to make the biggest impact on the rest of their lives? As new factors pour into their routines, other factors are falling away. It is a difficult task to impress upon them behaviors that society may not show them in return. I may not have known it when I dreamed of my children and what I would want them to become, but I always knew that I would want them to make a difference. I want them to know that they are empowered to change the lives of others. In every way that we interact with someone, we have within us the ability to make a difference. We are responsible for the effect that we leave that other person with…good or bad…it is by our choosing. We underestimate how impactful just a moment of an interaction can be.

Kindness. So many forms, so many ways…all at our disposal. Why not give it away to every single person that you come across?! Kindness has the power to change the world. It’s infectious…and it starts with just one-act, by one person. In a world that feels out of control, we can choose to control at least one thing…how we choose to treat others. People will always remember the way you made them feel.

Choose kindness. And in the moments that aren’t kind to you…you can still choose to respond with kindness, because that is when it is needed the most.

1/5/2017

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Clarity

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

As I get older, clarity is both humbling and inevitable. You discover that life’s purpose is to serve others, love unconditionally and find contentment in the small things. You let go of seeking approval from those who will never find it within you. You cherish the few that you are fortunate enough to call family, as blood doesn’t determine who God created your family to be.

You discover that you have a better relationship with your own heart; you trust its instincts and follow its guidance. And you become more selective as to whom you share it with. It’s been broken and battered, but it beats regardless of life’s treacherous events…it has survived.

You realize that it’s essential to ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt, to gracefully forgive the people who have scarred you; but most importantly you bravely find forgiveness within yourself for the self-inflicted pain and insecurities that have tarnished your well-being.

It’s time to live, free of the barriers that guarded you from the world. Life is short; celebrate every glorious day that you are blessed with.

8/25/2016

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Today

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.”

~ Stuart Scott

I read this today, it made me think. It touched a place inside of me that triggered an awakening. Today is all that matters, today is all that ever matters. And if I die tomorrow, I have failed.

I have overlooked so much, and I now have so much to do. We have all been told so many times that life is too short, but do we really allow that to drive our daily behaviors and actions? We not only must ask ourselves if we have spoken what we feel to those we love, but we must ask ourselves would we be leaving our lives behind in the manner in which we want to be remembered. I cannot answer that question without a heavy heart.

I am overwhelmed in the changes that wait upon me, I can only pray that I am not too late.

3/14/2015

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Me

I close my eyes
And see the stage
The curtains would rise
I would be free from my cage

It’s dark now
The curtains all torn
The props and colors cease to bow
The lights shine no more

The audience is full of my ghosts
All knowing of my fate
Sitting, smiling, spirits lost
Others just wait…

Wait…

But I finally see the door
I can leave this place behind
It doesn’t hold me anymore
Only the fractures of my mind

My chest is empty
Hollowed by the shadows that walk these walls
Again and again I try to pass them by
But every time they trip my fall

I close my eyes
To see what use to be
But the memory too quickly dies
And once again, I am me

~ Kristie Bueno

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The Darkness Within

They came to you with ease
Their poison seeping into every pore
Infecting you with their disease
You felt their words settling into your core

You weren’t the only one writing your pen
Their presence becoming evermore aware
You discovered the voices and the demons within
Numbing and soothing, making it easier to bear

You welcomed their darkness
Loathed the comfort it brought
Seeking their lullabies while you rested,
Their blackness nestling into rot

Your soul became their haven
You forgot the goodness from before
The words begin to quicken
And you wrote more and more

But it was not you pressing upon the ink
The sonnets that you composed
And the potion you continued to drink
Provided the serenity of being exposed

Your essence now belongs to them
Your soul no longer your own
The exchange of sorts is not so grim
For they thrive inside each precious bone

Your life continues so seamlessly
In this unspoken silent decree
Your demons lie so easily
You unconsciously nod and agree

Writing and writing, screaming violence
But changes never come to be
Your voice has been silenced
And your ghost, nobody sees

You belong to them, there is no escape
All of the beautiful and dark words are gone
You search and search, the room is changing shape
How long have you been so withdrawn

You must find solace in this exile
You must believe one day you will be found
Your precious words so fragile
Will be forever pressed upon your burial ground

~ Kristie Bueno

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Flawless

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

~ Marilyn Monroe

As life changes us, we become less flawless. We become more cautious, less trusting, and we require more from life. We begin to have expectations, and we want to be fulfilled and accepted. And because we will never fit a mold, whether it’s one we think we should fit or one others think we should fit, we settle.

We accept the flaws, but we don’t realize that we have seen it wrong all along. Flaws are what make us exquisite, we are unique and one of a kind. We are intricately wired to be our own individual. We are empowered by our hearts and our minds. We decide our own happiness.

I cannot be defined by what the world deems acceptable. I’m comparable to no one, a classification all of my own. My imperfections are what makes me who I am. I will not apologize for my shortcomings, I will only ever be me.

We are exceptional! There will only be one of us…ever. We are part of a grander puzzle, we are so perfectly cut that we must stay true to ourselves for it to all fit together. We must stop forcing what isn’t meant to be, because we will only fit exactly where we are supposed to.

7/26/2014

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Possibilities

“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”

~ Robert Frost

In the beginning, we are all gifted with the ability to love unconditionally…and then life happens. Our paths are crossed with dark forests, flooding waters, and devastating cliffs that hold us motionless. We become scarred and damaged, and we learn to protect ourselves from these treacherous terrains. We become untouchable, we forget what it feels like to be enraptured by another human soul. We choose to not take risks, and this helps us to forget that what we want most from someone else is the exact thing we deny all others. Truth, forgiveness, trust, acceptance…unconditional love.

We are unable to tell the truth, to forgive, to trust and to accept, because we are incapable of doing any of these things for ourselves. We find ourselves affected by choices of other people, we allowed their judgement to transform who we are. And, we forgot that it was okay to accept imperfections and mistakes and bad choices…that it’s okay to be different…that it’s okay to be you.

We want to be wanted, we want to be missed, we want to be loved; so we must grant ourselves permission to do the same. In the beginning, we are taught to treat others the way we want to be treated. How did we lose that? So, trust…yourself! Forgive the confusion and missteps, expose yourself to the uncertainty of the universe, but most importantly…love the way you want to be loved!

Gandhi is known to have said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”, imagine if we all did just that…

7/18/2014

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