Archive | August 2013

It doesn’t take a talent to be mean <3

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There’s a song I used to listen to over & over when I was a little girl. I can’t remember exactly how old I was but I was very young, not even a teenager yet.

My dad introduced me to the song and I was instantly hooked. I never paid much attention to the words or to the message the singer conveys through her song.
I just loved her sweet, soft, & gentle voice and the music. The song is,
“I’m Sensitive” by Jewel.   I remember asking my dad what “sensitive” means and he said it means the girl is easily hurt, saddened, or impacted by other people ‘s actions and words.

And I remember asking him if this girl is really sensitive or if she just likes to sing that she is. I remember him saying “No, she’s really a sensitive girl.”

 I remember thinking, “I want to meet this girl.”

I think one of the most poignant lines in her song is:

 “It doesn’t take a talent to be mean.”.

This couldn’t be more true.   Destructive criticism, cruelty, intentional insults, slander, toxic gossip about others, verbal thrashings,  is no special skill or trait and nothing to be proud of yourself for engaging in.

“I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things you say
It doesn’t take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Your words, even untrue ones which were only said out of anger or jealousy or to make yourself feel better about your own life or self, can have long lasting, devastating effects on the people you inflict them upon.

“You always tell me that it’s impossible
To be respected and be a girl
Why’s it gotta be so complicated?
Why you gotta tell me if I’m hated?
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Things don’t always have to be so complicated. Love. It’s simple. Your words impact people. For better or for worse. 
So why not speak lovingly of yourself and others about yourself and other people?
Let your words heal, not hurt. Bring people up, not down.

Do you have the right to be cruel? To sling ugly words at and about people? Absolutely!  At least in U.S. Culture, you are legally protected by our Constitution and so in many cases you do have the legal right to say unkind things .   And I don’t argue against that. You have that legal right. And I support your right. And my right.
But just because we can do something doesn’t mean we always should or that we have to. The fact that we can say just about whatever we want and not get in legal trouble is a gift that we tend to take too much advantage of by taking it to the extreme and spewing toxic things out about people.  Just because I argue against your words or your intentions doesn’t in any way mean I’m arguing against your right so say what you will. (the argument that people who speak cruelly of others often tend to turn to is something like “I have the right to say what I want…” but I am merely objecting to your cruelty itself, not you legal right to be cruel; you can, if you insist, continue to be very cruel)
You have the potential and often the legal right to knock people down with your words. But you always have the potential and the legal right to bring people up with your words, your warmth, your smile.
And you can choose whichever you want.

What will you choose today?

“I was thinking that it might do some good
If we robbed the cynics and took all their food
That way what they believe will have taken place
And we’ll give it to anybody who has some faith
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

This line is brilliant. What you believe or look for is often what you will find. When you’re in a negative state of mind looking for the bad, you will see it everywhere.   When you’re in a positive state of mind looking for the good, you will see it glittering all around and within you.

“I have this theory that if we’re told we’re bad
Then that’s the only idea we’ll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see”

Just like the previous lyrics, we will find what we are searching for. And if we’re surrounded by negatively critical words and allow them to affect us too much, we can start to believe them or just be lowered by them and our views are clouded. But if we are surrounded by beauty, we will become beauty. And our views will be positive and we will see with clarity. There’s is always, always, always something beautiful. To be seen. Or heard. Or felt. Or known. Always. Look for it. It’s there. Let that be what you are and become, not the ugliness.  

“‘Cause anyone can start a conflict
It’s harder yet to disregard it”

Yes, anyone can cause problems for others, and drag people down and do things to watch people suffer. 
Do you really want to do that? It says more about you than those you slander and gossip about. Even if your accusations and claims are true. Necessary constructive criticism is one thing, cruelty is another.
A person criticizing others just for the thrill of it may feel big & bad but that person is really very small.

“I’d rather see the world from another angle
We are everyday angels
Be careful with me ’cause I’d like to stay that way”

Beautiful ending to a beautiful song. We can train our brains to see the world however we wish to see it. I love how she is a sensitive girl which means she can be easily hurt but she wants to stay herself. Don’t change your beautiful self just for the ugliness of others.  It’s good to be affected by people and things.   It’s good to feel. To live. To have heartbreak and healing. To be broken then whole. To let people in. To give people and things the chance. A chance to know us, love us, hurt us, and heal us.  It’s better than putting up walls and locking people out, we can be hurt, crushed, devastated but it let’s us have deeper, more purposeful relations with people, ourselves and the world than when we live in fear of being crushed. If we lock people out and numb ourselves to our surroundings, it’s true that we may protect ourselves against the pain of rejection, abandonment, and someone we love or anyone seriously causing us pain but we also deny ourselves the depth of true relationships, the sense of closeness, the positivity of people uplifting us, and deep satisfaction of letting the world in. If you make it so you cannot potentially feel deep pain, you also make it so you cannot feel true, profound joy. Is it really worth it?
As the saying often goes, “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved.”. How cliche, right? But for good reason!

I can’t remember when or why I stopped listening to this song. Maybe my cd broke or I lost it. Have you ever just been reminded of a song that was once a significant part of you so long ago? One you listened to over & over and loved deeply?   And now you can’t remember or understand why or when you stopped listening to it? It seems to have eventually just slipped out of your grasp and got away .   That’s like this song and me. I never got tired of this song but haven’t heard it or even thought of it in decades. Then I received an e-mail by Johnathan Lockwood Huie. 

http://www.jonathanlockwoodhuie.com/

One of the ones he sends every morning with his beautiful inspiration. 
He sent a list of quotes and one is Jewel ‘s quote in one of her other lovely songs:

“I’m having a bad day. I am not size six.
My legs are not skinny as sticks,
and, someone’s got to pay.”
– Jewel

Lol 
When I read this quote I automatically remembered Jewel’s other song, “I’m Sensitive” and I thought “Whatever happened to that song?! Where did it go?! Where did I leave that song?!, packed away somewhere deep in the abandoned crevices of my brain I no longer tend to.” I vaguely remembered the tune, the lyrics, her gorgeous, soft, caressing, comforting voice and I wondered if I would still love it as much. Hoping I would. I found it, downloaded it at one something in the morning after I opened Mr. Lockwood Huie’s e-mail, yesterday morning. I always receive those e-mails at that hour every single morning and it couldn’t be more perfect. 
I was half sleeping so decided to wait til later that morning to listen to the song so I can really take it in and get the best of it.   Fully, deeply, truly.  When I finally listened again to that song that I haven’t heard since I was about eight years old, maybe younger, I did not only love it as much as I did then. I love it more. 

It’s beautiful. And now has much more meaning in my heart than it did all those years ago. I’m old enough now to truly understand it. I have my own experiences now to relate with much depth. It’s not just about aesthetics any longer.

And I hope you always remember, dragging other people down doesn’t bring you up. You may *feel* temporarily uplifted but it doesn’t make you any better. Destructively pointing out other people ‘s ugliness doesn’t make you pretty. Unnecessarily magnifying their flaws will never perfect you. It says nothing about them and all kinds of things about you. 
Whenever we feel the need to hurt others emotionally merely because we just feel like it we should stop instead and examine our own lives. Instead of trying to destroy others, we should work on ourselves.
I, myself, am not completely innocent of speaking unnecessary, unkind words about others but I know I am above that and I can choose kindness or at least not choose cruelty.

~Kindness is a gift we can all afford to give.~

Will you be the one bringing light to that person in the darkness?

Xox0 Kim

P.s. I would include a link to the YouTube video of the song but I’m using my phone and can only seem to be able to get the mobile version of YouTube. I don’t know if that can work for anyone not using my phone.
😀

Blessings Upon Blessings

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“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
 
I believe that Gratitude, while being a brief, fleeting feeling that occurs when something unusual and pleasant happens or something “big” happens, can also be a way of life. With practice, we can live in Gratitude everyday, in general and not just occasionally. And it can become natural, not forced.  Even with difficulties and struggles and pain, Gratitude can be our way.   And it can be a deep, ingrained feeling.   It’s probably not realistic to expect everyone to be extremely grateful every second of every day but it is possible to be thankful in general, even while experiencing various struggles.
 
Today, I woke up early in the morning. My dog woke me up taking my blanket off me again, as she has been doing ever night/morning now. She loves blankies. I wasn’t ready to wake up and I laid in bed and my body filled with immense gratitude. I thought of everything and everyone associated with me, family, friends, pets, work, my experiences, good & bad,  my body, my health, future possibilities, my senses, my growth, my phone and all its apps, being awake, existing, the seasons changing, the coming Fall, philosophy books, personal development ….and it was as if my whole being, my very essence was just overflowing with gratitude and pure love. It was an amazing experience.   And not because all of those things I thought of are flawless or without pain or struggles, but even with the problems, they are true blessings.
I have felt this before now and sometimes feel it frequently, much more often than I used to experience. 
 
There are different degrees of gratitude. And different ways of experiencing it.  There’s the basic kind where we can just think of things we have that make our world better and know we are better having them than not but then there’s the kind I felt this morning, the deep kind that caressed every strand of my existence, tingled in every cell of my body, nothing specifically provoked it, nothing  big or uncommon happened to me to lead me to that feeling. I was just basking in the sweet beauty of just being.
 
Gratitude can be a conscious decision, made into a habit which then becomes automatic, easy, natural, your nature.
 
This is what I work on so much and do so well but there’s always room for development. It’s not a destination but a journey, a beautiful, wondrous journey.
 

Ever since I was a little girl all the way until I graduated college, there have been class/group activities, usually around the “holiday season ” where the teacher or someone would go around the group and ask us a few things we’re thankful for.  Every single occasion we have been asked this, throughout the years, most people would say “friends & family” and nothing more after that usually.  Even now on Facebook and blogs people express their gratitude for their friends and family. And it often stops there. 

It’s absolutely amazing to have friends and family, especially good ones and we should definitely be grateful for them. 
But those are obvious things to be thankful for, almost everyone automatically thinks of those when asked “What are you grateful for?” . What about everything else? The overlooked blessings?    What about all the simpler things we take for granted, the everyday blessings that go almost unnoticed?
 
What about those?
 
I recently purchased a book that my mom gave me the money for. “The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude” by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
 
It’s a book she wrote, a page for every day of the year with space provided for the reader to list a few things s/he is thankful for.
 
In the beginning of this book she lists 150 blessings that are often overlooked by people in general.  A few of the things she lists are: “The Kindness of Strangers”, “The aroma of something delicious wafting from the kitchen”, “Your boundless imagination”, “a walk in the woods and becoming aware of life all around you”, & “When hope is restored”.
 
This inspires me deeply. I always think of the simple things and often write and speak of them. I love reading other people’s lists and especially when they have unique, uncommon things on those lists.  
 
And I have comprised a list of my own of blessings often ignored or overlooked. Things that we often don’t even think about but would probably feel the painful loss or absence of or just not have as much joy if we did not have these wonderful blessings.
 
1.) The feeling after an illness heals or pain subsides. The feeling of being “my old self again.”
 
2.) falling into bed after a long, hectic, crazy day.
 
3.) not having a Sleep condition.
 
4.) being able to experience physical pain and discomfort.   This let’s us know something inside or on the body is wrong and motivates us to move, switch positions, turn throughout the night and day to protect our muscles and joints.
 
5.) being able to walk
 
6.). All of our senses
 
7.) body organs
 
8.) my body
 
9.) Doctors 
 
10.) Morning 
 
11.) the four seasons
 
12.) Police officers/detectives
 
13.) books
 
14.) being educated enough to function
 
15.) the beauty all around 
 
16.) body fat – without a certain amount of healthy body fat, we would be sick or not as healthy as with it
 
17.) laws and things established to protect
 
18.) the ability to make choices
 
19.) breathtaking beauty
 
20.) a place to live, a house
 
21.) air conditioning in the excessive heat
 
22.) cool nights
 
23.) being in awe of Nature’s sweetness
 
24.) water
 
25.) sustenance to nourish the body
 
26.) medical equipment
 
27.) life saving treatments
 
28.) all the functions and systems of the body
 
29.) my heart
 
30.) my hair
 
31.) not being sick
 
32.) energy
 
33.) being able to stand. 
 
34.) my spine
 
35.) not being in constant pain
 
36.) life lessons learned 
 
37.) technology 
 
38.) my ability to dream 
 
39.) hot tea on a crisp Fall day
 
40.) being alive
 
41.) waking up 
 
42.) sunrise
 
43.) poetry
 
44.) new beginnings
 
45.) empathy
 
46.) random acts of kindness 
 
47.) people who make the world better just by existing 
 
48.) people who make the world better even after they’re no longer living
 
49.) the first snowfall Of the season 
 
50.) the stars up above us in a midnight sky
 
51.) electricity, gas, heat, water, stuff that makes living easier and healthy
 
52.) arms & legs
 
54.) organ donations by generous people
 
55.) people who save lives 
 
56.) people who impact lives for the better 
 
57.) college professors 
 
58.) teachers 
 
59.) facebook and blogs
 
60.) second chances
 
61.) people who forgive
 
62.) rest
 
63.) pleasant surprises
 
64.) things turning out right
 
65.) fun, satisfying jobs
 
66.) love of all kinds
 
67.) the Moon
 
68.) phones 
 
69.) the will to live
 
70.) the desire to live
 
71.) wanting to win
 
72.) self acceptance 
 
73.) self love
 
74.) looking into a mirror and loving what you see
 
75.) when you can’t stop smiling
 
76.) being genuinely happy for no reason
 
77.) great online friends and acquaintances and strangers I come across
 
78.) feeling accomplished
 
79.) falling asleep to the sound of rain
 
80.) waking up to the sound of rain
 
81.) gratitude itself
 
82.) life itself 
 
83.) politicians (lol I know! But they help with laws and policies and they got some guts putting their views out there knowing people will criticize them both constructively and destructively, insult them viciously and all!, maybe even want to kill them?! Come on, we have to give them that much, right?!)
 
84.) waking up early and not having to go anywhere 
 
85.) lazy days
 
86.) productive days
 
87.) the things that children teach us
 
88.) being me
 
89.) thinking clearly 
 
90.) belly laughs that hurt so good. ❤
 
91.) feeling included
 
92.) free blog hosts such as this one
 
93.) animal friends
 
94.) bookstores 
 
95.) inspiration
 
96.) sappy love songs and love letters 
 
97.) seeing lovers holding hands and smiling out in public 
 
98.) cheesy love, that head over heels kind that makes people want to gag when they see it, sitting on the same side of the table at a restaurant, posting love letters and lyrics on each others walls on Facebook all day…that kind of sap. Lol ;-D ❤
 
99.) impressing people
 
100.) trying clothes on and loving how you look in them!
 
101.) the perfect cup of coffee
 
102.) the feeling when snuggling with a fur friend at night.
 
103.) the feeling of giving someone a gift
 
104.) helping others 
 
105.) seeing old people out walking, smiling, with wrinkles and walkers and canes and still going strong, happy to be
 
106.) babies
 
107.) weddings 
 
108.) therapists 
 
109.) true, strong, friendship
 
110.) baby animals
 
111.) energy
 
112.) being happy
 
113.) joy
 
114.) a sense of belonging 
 
115.) finally having something it feels you have been waiting for your whole life
 
116.) watching a child or a puppy learn something new
 
117.) seeing someone try something the person has never experienced before – like water ice! ;-D ;-p
 
118.) suddenly remembering or hearing a song I love and listened to over and over years ago and forgot about for so long! ❤
 
119.) the feeling of love when my dogs happily, joyfully run to greet me after a long day out of the house  (or after just 10 seconds of walking out of a room and walking back in!) 
 
120.) the psychological pleasure of eating delicious food!  
 
121.) the stunning, breathtaking beauty of the Moon
 
122.) the feeling of being in an Ocean
 
123.) basking in the sunlight 
 
124.) letting go of a problem you held onto for years and feeling so much lighter
 
125.). Eye contact and smiles 
 
126.) actually liking/loving people you have no choice but to be “stuck with”
 
127.) walking in the rain and the feeling of liberation it brings
 
128.) dreams when you’re asleep
 
129.) accidentally finding a great book and loving it
 
130.) meeting a kind and random stranger and having an uplifting conversation
 
131.) trees
 
132.) being pleasantly surprised
 
There are so many blessings all around and within.
 
Much love & blessings & happiness to you all.
I truly believe the more we give thanks, the more we have to give thanks to & for. ❤
❤ 😀
 
Xox0 Kim ❤

Some Saturday Inspiration – mini positivity book

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Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved notebooks & pens. <3. I used to buy gel pens non stop, various colors, scented,  sparkled….all kinds of pretty pens. I always loved the stationary aisles and I would carry my notebooks and pens everywhere with me. I would write my name over & over with hearts all around and a heart on top of the “i” in my name instead of a circle! Lol. I drew stars and happy faces and I would write about everything I loved then, all the TV shows I liked, candy, school, fun things and all.

 
I still love notebooks & pens. And have many. I still love stationary stores and aisles. But with all the technology and all I have somewhat lost touch with writing in journals and little notebooks with pretty pens. I often write in my memos section on my phone. And I have Facebook & this online blog where I post inspirational stuff way more than in notebooks with pens. I decided to reconnect with my desire to write in notebooks more frequently.   I will still use all the technology as usual but I will also use the pretty pens more.
 
I have this little….thing. lol I don’t know what to call it exactly. It’s a stack of index cards held together by two metal rings and has dividers.  
On each card I write an inspirational, uplifting quote or song lyrics. I carry it around with me for inspiration.
 
Today, I will share some of the quotes I have written in here. 😀
 
1.) “And I know just where I’m going. I’ve packed up my troubles and I’ve thrown them all away. ‘Cause this time, little darling, I’m coming home to stay.” ~ Lionel Ritchie 
 
2.) “You can be greater than anything that can happen to you. “. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
 
3.) “Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.” ~ Henry van Dyke
 
4.) “O, with what freshness, what solemnity and beauty is each new day born; as if to say to insensate man, ‘Behold! Thou hast one more chance! Strive for immortal glory!” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe
 
5.) “Normal Day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day 

I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ~ Mary Jean Irion 

 
6.) “If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey 
 
7.) “The chief beauty about time

is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour
are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.”

Arnold Bennett

 

8.) “If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” ~ David Carradine

 

I hope you love the quotes! And the little inspirational book idea! ;-D

 

❤ 

 

Xox0 Kim 😀 

 

 

 

 

 

An Inspiring Conversation

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” I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU. “~Mayor John Pappas (City Hall, 1996)

About a year ago, I had a conversation with someone at work one night. At first, I found this conversation to be very unpleasant but shortly after the conversation ended, I felt energized, inspired, uplifted, and so hopeful.

This conversation is one of the things which has had the greatest, positive impact on me in my journey to recover my suicidal depression.

A person was talking to me about drug addiction and people who struggle and have struggled with addiction. She had a very negative view of people who have suffered substance addiction, even the ones who have overcome it and no longer consume illegal/recreational drugs.

She basically held the view that drug addicted people are lost causes who are bound to go nowhere in life. And even when they recover or heal, they will always be “druggies”. “Druggies” who even after recovering will never find redemption or worth.

I couldn’t have disagreed with this girl more. I see so much potential and hope and light in almost everyone I look at. People are remarkably strong and resilient and can overcome and move forward even when it’s hard. Even when it’s painful and all seems hopeless. Even when it seems impossible. Even when it’s all just so dark. 

There can always be light. When I look at a person, even a troubled, difficult, broken person with great obstacles and challenges, I don’t see an addiction or an illness or a mere label or a “lost cause”. I see a person.   A light. Possibility and hope. Hope for healing.   Hope for change.  

Everyone has something to contribute to this world and everyone around us whether or not they realize it and even when it feels impossible.   You may feel so empty, so broken, so devoid of life, so hopeless but you are not beyond healing or hope or love.

A person who has struggled with addiction and has overcome or healed that addiction and no longer takes drugs/alcohol has acheived an incredible accomplishment. It takes great strength and courage and dedication to pick up the broken pieces, the shattered parts of self and put them together again and become whole. There may always be scars, cracks, breaks, pain..but it’s possible to move forward and find true happiness, true joy in existence.

Why judge someone negatively for previous mistakes or a health condition or a choice that got out of control?

I have never struggled with addiction of any sort and cannot possibly know what it’s like.   All I can know is that it is painful, devastating, heartbreaking and difficult for the person who is addicted and everyone around that person and that it IS possible, with help & support of various kinds, to get better enough to live and be happy living. Whether or not the person is completely recovered with no more urges or still has urges that are difficult to resist. Even someone who relapses now and then.

It’s not always easy for an addicted person to know this or to ask for help or to not relapse.   And people struggling with addiction deserve empathy, understanding, compassion, love, encouragement.   They aren’t monsters. Many of them may steal and assault people and become unrecognizable to those who knew them before the tragedy of addiction but they are not all bad people . Underneath the devastation and the addiction is an amazing person who can find hope and healing.

After this girl I had the conversation with left me that night I started to think about our contrasting views. She viewed people who struggle with addiction as some of the lowest people on Earth, worthless, bad, taking up space in a world they don’t deserve.

And I view them as the people they are. Worthy of love, empathy, care, acceptance, compassion…

And I started to think about how we need more people in this world with my view. We need people with better understanding and compassion.

I thought of my own struggle with suicidal depression, which back then, a year ago, was not as healed as it is today, right now.

I thought of all the moments I wanted to kill myself in this life, feeling as if I had nothing to live for and never ever would , as if I was worthless, empty, nothing, as if the pain was just too much to bear, weighing too heavy on my life, to go on.

And I realized if I ever kill myself, I kill my compassion for others, my love, my empathy, my understanding, my acceptance, my open mindedness. If I kill myself, I kill all the chances I will ever have to help another, before those chances even begin. If I kill me, I kill the opportunity to tell someone s/he is not a lost cause, not an addiction, not a loser, not deserving of callousness and abusive insults and cruelty. I kill the chance to tell someone there is hope.

I’m not an expert on addiction. I don’t know exactly how to handle an addicted person, especially one who is acting out. They may need firmness every now and then and not all sap and gentleness, I don’t know. But that’s not my point anyway; my point is that we need more people with compassion and positive views of troubled people. We need people who will not destructively criticize and tell people there’s no hope for them.

This goes for any troubled person or anyone who has made mistakes with serious consequences, not just addicted people. 

And that if you ever kill yourself, you kill every positive aspect of yourself, your opportunity to eventually be fulfilled and healed and find or create a sense of purpose, and your opportunity for growth and your opportunity to impact the world and maybe even just one life for the better.

You’re under no obligation to live for others, it’s yourself you should live for. But there are people who need you to live, you may not have met them yet and maybe won’t meet them for many years, maybe you never will but your life will somehow touch theirs.  Someone, somewhere needs YOU to LIVE.  And eventually you will find or create a sense of purpose for your own existence.

Live for yourself and your own empathy and care and love. And live for all of your good qualities and possibilities.

I vowed to myself that night after that conversation which at first I believed to be unpleasant, that I will never take my own life. We should all live for ourselves. But when I used to get suicidal, I did not want to live for me. I saw nothing in me worth living for. But that night I vowed to never, ever end my own life even if I feel like it because if nothing else, there’s  one thing in me worth surviving for, my concern and care for others.   My empathy, my ability to see beyond illnesses and difficulties and troubles and mistakes, my desire, my longing to help heal and console in any way I can. This fulfills me.  I know those aren’t my only reasons for living, my reason is just to be,  but when I’m contemplating suicide I usually see nothing to go on for.  But this view is something I will always believe in. Helping others, also helps me. We are all connected.

I don’t live to be a “slave” and used by others, I allow myself to be fulfilled by helping and positively impacting anyone I can.

There are many, many people like me who feel this way about people, that they can heal and are deserving of compassion and love. And if I kill myself there will be one less of us.

(No one should kill themselves even if they aren’t compassionate or empathetic or caring.

Since that night, I haven’t seriously contemplated ending my own life. And if I ever do again, I have a sweet reminder of something worth living for.

And there’s also another lesson to be learned here, anyone can be our teacher even those who are unpleasant, even unpleasant encounters can be inspiring and teach us valuable lessons. This young woman who I debated with that night, this at first seemingly unpleasant encounter, provided me with the chance to think about things which have filled me with hope & inspiration. 

And here I am today, still inspired, still hopeful, still going strong.

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Xox Much love, blessings, & hope to you all.

~Kim

“Don’t judge me by my past, I don’t live there anymore.”

“Possibilities are everywhere.”

“Always go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.”

“Your past is a gift to guide you, it doesn’t have to imprison you.”

Thank You <3

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Thank You so so much to my new followers & the old ones too. And the people who liked and commented on my posts. Words really can’t express my true gratitude & appreciation. <3. I love knowing that people have read & like my content & blog!!! :-D. I appreciate every one of you and your encouragement & kindness!! 😀

 

 

 

Priceless Gifts <3

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(picture taken somewhere in Center City, Philadelphia, I saw it on a pole and just had to take a pic!)

i have purchased a book a few months ago, and it’s called “Priceless Gifts” (How to Give the Best to Those You Love) and is written by a psychologist, Daniel A. Sugarman, Ph.D. He is a clinical psychologist and the book was published in the 1970’s. 1978 to be exact. I haven’t read the book yet but I will.

I read the list of gifts on the back cover. Even though it was written decades ago, the twelve gifts that the man lists are timeless and still apply today.

They are psychological gifts, not material gifts. This book, even though I haven’t read most of it yet, inspired me to create a list of my own, of priceless psychological /immaterial gifts that I believe are incredible to bless others with and to receive.

While my list is inspired by this doctor’s list, not all of the gifts I list here are ones in his book and the descriptions underneath each gift, even the gifts I took out of the book, are my own. Next to each gift that is also in his book, I will state that I got it out of the book.

1.) The Gift of Time(in the book):  
Being with someone who needs/wants you at that moment is an amazing gift.   Whether you are having fun doing entertaining activities, talking to one another, or just sitting close to show you care when a person wants company is an amazing gift.   It shows the person that you care enough to take part of your day and make that person your top priority at that moment. What better way to make that person feel loved, valuable, and cherished!?

2.) The Gift of Active Listening/ Undivided Attention (in the book) : 
We usually hear what people say and respond.   But how often are we truly, fully listening? It seems we are frequently only partially or half listening while multitasking, doing other things while a person talks to us, mindlessly/mechanically responding.   This is not being fully receptive of or acknowledging that person’s needs and desires at that moment. Even if you accurately hear what that person says and even provide a relevant, pleasant sounding response, that is not always good enough. A person can tell when you are not fully present even if you don’t know the person can tell and maybe even if that person doesn’t consciously know it or realize it at that moment. Make the person feel s/he is the center of your world at that moment. It can be quite offensive spilling your guts to someone only to realize that person is playing with a phone, texting someone else, watching TV, drifting off, or off somewhere daydreaming giving you empty, half mutters while you speak. Whether the person is talking to you about light topics such as her favorite food, book, or movie, or more deep topics such as his problems, pain, future dreams, that person wants your attention! S/he cares enough and believes you are important enough to talk to and trusts you enough to share with you so repay the gift and really, truly listen fully with your whole heart and drown out everything else while that person speaks. (unless you’re driving or something, be careful!)

3.) The Beautiful Gift of Loyalty: 
When a person shares secrets with you, s/he expects you to keep them to yourself. It’s not good to blab them to anyone. Many of us have someone we believe we can trust with someone else’s secrets but then the person we trust may also have a person or persons s/he trusts and may tell the person’s secrets to that person thinking it’s Ok to tell and that it will stop there.     But then that person tells people and on and on and that’s how “secrets” get around. It’s not that the people who tell other people’s secrets are necessarily bad people and likely they don’t want to sabotage or hurt anyone. They just want to talk and be the big bearer of “news” but it does not always go over too well. So when a trusting person comes to you, it’s best to let that person’s secrets stop when they get to you. (unless it’s potentially life threatening.) 

And it’s also best not to gossip about or judge a person, negatively, who trusts you, with other people. Be loyal and true to the person who opens up to you.   It’s unkind and a betrayal to trash talk the person or spill their info out to others. Let the person come to you and be a true friend and listener. That is a true gift. And if you are being truly loyal you won’t join in when you hear other people saying unnecessary negative things about your friend.  

4.) The Gift of Acceptance (In the book) :
Just about everyone we meet is going to have at least one (probably more) opinion, trait, characteristic, or thing about him/her that we will not agree with or not like. But that does not mean we have to give the person up or not like the person or reject the person or try to change him/her. We can gently state our opinion in a kind way if it’s truly necessary and intended to help or connect with someone and then be done with it. But we can accept the person for all that person is. “Flaws” and all. We can disagree, argue, debate, but still love, cherish, tolerate, and accept. We don’t all have to be identical to get along well and love.

“I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.” ~Bob Dylan

5.) The Gift of Positive Support:
I think just about everyone desires and craves the true support of a great friend or family member or others.   Humans are social creatures and like to belong and be accepted and want positive encouragement.   We may not always agree with something a family member or friend thinks or does but we should want to see the person happy and healthy no matter what. And we can still support a person, in general, even when that person does something we oppose or thinks something we disagree with.
As stated in the above gift description, we can gently and kindly state how we feel when necessary, and allow the person to think or do as s/he pleases without interference, rejection, and negative judgment. Unless a person is struggling with unsound judgment as a result of illness of any kind or alcohol or other drug intoxication, and wants to do something potentially life threatening to the person or others, we should support the person in her goals and be happy she is happy no matter what.  
This also goes when a person accomplishes or attains something we wish we will gain or accomplish.   A little bit of jealousy is a normal emotion and is Ok. But don’t let it destroy your friendships or other relationships and happiness for that person. People will always have things we want and can’t or won’t get but we can still be happy for them even though we may feel somewhat jealous or disappointed for ourselves not having it.
6.) The Gift of Sharing/ Self Disclosure (in the book) :
It is a true gift to others to hear of or read of your own problems and struggles, successes and dreams, pain, goals, failings, life lessons, and happiness. It can remind them that they are not alone and it can inspire them to feel happier and act on their dreams and it helps them get to know you and connect with you on a deeper level and trust you more. It may help them open up and share their own stories more comfortably. Sharing is caring! A healthy balance of Sharing with others and actively listening to them speak is amazing! What a true gift!  

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

7.) The Gift of Seeing the best in people (in the book) :
Everyone has things about them that are good and bad. No one is perfect in everyone’s eyes. Even the best people you know will have pain, setbacks, problems, failings, struggles, and negative aspects about their lives but instead of focusing on the worst in them, focus on the best!

Let the person know you cherish her/him and support her/him in her endeavors no matter what and that the good is what stands out. People want to be around those who lift them up and appreciate the great and not just criticize the bad. Think of your own “bad” or “negative” qualities. Would you like to be around people who can’t get over them and always point them out and criticize you over them? Or do you want to be in the company of people who love and nourish and cherish your amazing qualities and overlook and accept the bad? Give that gift to others! 😀

And try this: instead of saying “I love you but…..” try saying “….. but I love you!”.

8.) The Gift of letting them make their own decisions without negative judgment :

Many friends or others may want and seek your input on some things and want to know how you feel and if you are true, close friends, they will likely cherish and appreciate your desire to help and your willingness to open up and contribute to their lives. But this doesn’t mean they will or should always take heed of your suggestions or advice. In the end the decision is theirs.   It is their life and they are responsible for their own life. The ultimate decision is theirs.  They may not always make decisions that you like or want but you don’t have to negatively judge them or criticize them for it. And you don’t have to feel coldly rejected or seriously crushed if they should choose to not do what you suggest. It doesn’t mean they don’t value your opinions or take you seriously, just that in some cases, they have different needs or views.  Provide your input and let them know you are right by their side no matter what they choose and if things do not work out well, you are still right here to help them see it through. 
It is good for people to allow others the space and liberty to mess up, make mistakes, experiment, be uncertain, but still support them in their attempts and experiences with true, unconditional love, acceptance, and loyalty.   What better gift in this life than a friend like this?!

9.) The Gift of True Empathy:

This isn’t to say we should “feel sorry” for people in an arrogant way as if we are somehow above that person or more fortunate than that person. It is to say that we should acknowledge that other people are just as sentient as we, ourselves are. They can feel like we can and they have needs and desires as well as we do. And we should really try to a certain extent to understand how that person must feel even if we haven’t experienced the exact same thing. Not to say “I know how you feel”. That can seem cold and like you are overstepping your boundaries. The truth is unless you can literally get into someone else ‘s head you don’t know exactly how that person feels whether or not you have similar experiences.   But we can have some degree of understanding and much compassion and concern for another person. Whether we know the person or not.  
We all have pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, and we can use our imaginations and draw on our own experiences to empathize with someone even if our experiences aren’t exactly the same. Having empathy for animals is also important.

10.) The Gift of Unconditional Love:

True love, to me, is unconditional.   If I truly love someone, no matter what that person says or does, I will continue to love.  I may feel the need to distance myself in certain ways if that person is doing things, excessively, that are detrimental to myself but my love will not falter or decrease. This even goes for people who want to live without me in their lives.   I will be unhappy, crushed, that they feel the need to abandon, reject, or give me up but I want them to be happy with or without me. And I will not stand in the way.

11.) The Gift of True Friendship:

As stated above, even if I must distance myself permanently or temporarily, if someone is my friend, I will always be here as a friend or supporter if that person should need or want me. I may never hang out with or have deep conversations with that person again but I can still wish her the best.  I will not reject a friend over disagreements or differences no matter what. I want to know the good and the bad, the happiness and the sadness in the person’s life. I want to write or talk, just to say hello some occasions, I want to see the person and bask in his/her successes and be a true listener and console during moments of stress or pain. I don’t want to be an “occasional” or “seasonal” friend who comes and goes or one who makes pathetic excuses to never hang out. True friends are interested in the good and the bad and will put things on hold now and then to tend to their friends when they need or want them most.

12.) The Gift of Full Forgiveness:

For both you and the other person, forgive. Let go. Even if feelings of resentment or anger reappear every now and then, in general it’s best to accept and move forward, or move on and forget and not let your body frequently fill with fury and negative energy.   And not throw a mistake a friend made back into that person’s face again and again or during different arguments.  A True, genuine, strong, positive, loving  friendship is definitely worth forgiveness. You don’t have to always forgive everything and everyone but in general it’s probably best to try to let your body relax and ease up.  This isn’t letting the person off the hook or get over on you. It’s quite the opposite. The person hurt you but no longer has power over you or your life. And if that person is a true friend and is genuinely interested in your welfare that person deserves forgiveness. And you deserve the liberty that your forgiveness will bring you. 

13.) The Gift of appreciation and expression : There’s nothing better than knowing a person genuinely appreciates you and all you do. Let your friend, lover, kids, coworker, doctor, secretary,  maybe even a stranger and anyone else you appreciate know just how grateful you are for that person’s presence in your life or how that person has touched you for the better. Tell them in person, send them an electronic message, a phone call, a card, or small gift, a hug, anything….just let the ones you appreciate know somehow! It will make them so thrilled!  

14.) The Gift of inspiration:
Be a positive, uplifting person.   Speak positively of yourself and others and the life you are blessed to know. It’s uplifting and a good example to other people and will make you feel happier and uplifted too. Care for yourself and share your wisdom with others even though some people will not welcome it. Many will! This will inspire people around you to also love and care for themselves and others. If you come up with a great idea about anything or discover an inspirational quote or beautiful poem or photo, share it with people! Bring out the best in people. Smile. Make eye contact. Say hello. Be a blessing. Be a friend.

15.) The Gift of validation/letting others give to us:
Let people think and feel how they do instead of trying to emotionally force them to believe other things. Let them express it. Your input is good but degrading, denying, and ridiculing people’s emotions is not good. If someone is in a bad mood, trying to cheer that person up is sweet but telling the person to “get over it” or that there’s nothing to be feeling low about or criticizing the person ‘s low mood is often detrimental, aggravating, and not helpful.  
You don’t have to lower your own mood to match theirs; you can find a good balance to console them.
And when someone pays you a sincere compliment, even if you disagree or are very modest, it’s good to just be happy the person feels that way about you! Saying things like “that’s not true!” or “you’re just saying that. ” or “No I’m not that good looking or intelligent ” will just invalidate the person’s positive feelings about you and deny the person the positive emotions of complimenting you. That person wants you to feel happy and pleased and the person really feels that way about you whether or not you feel it about yourself and it’s not good to tell that person s/he is wrong.   A true compliment is a gift to you, why throw it back in the person’s face?!  Just a sweet & simple “thank you” is a great response!

16.) The Gift of your life:
If the person is a true, trusted friend to you, share the good and the bad of your life and show genuine interest in the good and bad of that person’s. It’s not good to a person when you only want to vent or gossip and not tell your success and happy stories as well and if you have problems, big or small, a friend wants to know. So if you want to express them, don’t hold back! True friends are genuinely interested in the good and the bad. And it’s good to let your friends complain and vent to you about negative events in their lives and to take pleasure in their happiness.  True friendship is about the good, the bad, everything….

“You’ve given me the best of you and now I need the rest of you.” ~ Billy Joel  

17) The Gift of communication :

Tell your lover, family member, friend when that person is doing something to really affect you. If people are hurting you, they may not realize it or the extent of it. And it may not be intentional. They don’t always realize how much it impacts you. You can save a relationship or the quality of it by positively and effectively communicating.   You can gently tell them that what they are doing is negatively affecting you and tell them you cherish your relationship with them and want to work on it for the better.     And don’t just tell the bad things!   Celebrate and acknowledge the good as well! Communication is very important in ANY kind of relationship!

These are just some things I find crucial to relationships of any kind and beautiful blessings to people. I believe they are good for people in general. And when you give these lovely gifts, you not only bless the person but you, yourself will be blessed.  You may disagree with some of them or many of them. Or all of them?! ;-D
 Lol

My intention is NOT to tell people what they should do or have to do or to negatively judge people who do not do these things! I don’t always do all of them myself and I make mistakes but I try my best to frequently live this way and I truly believe these are great and priceless gifts to others.   I don’t like to tell people how they should live or what they should do! Who am I to do that!   I’m in no position for that!   Of course I’m not! But I do love to provide suggestions in case they will help people and share what helps and inspires me. If someone is not inspired and does not want to take my suggestions, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat! 😉

Xox0 Kim

27 Lessons Learned

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In May, this year, I turned 27 years old. I have learned much in my 27 years, inside of school and out of school. I find that many of the most important lessons are ones learned through experience (good & bad) , adversity , challenges, blessings, and some even through reading or hearing about or witnessing other people’s experiences and techniques. I decided to create a list of 27 of the most valuable life lessons I have learned in my 27 years. Here is in honor of the 27 years I have been blessed to know!

1.) Attitude & a strong  and pleasant life Philosophy  is just about everything. It usually doesn’t matter what happens to us, it’s how we respond and react to and view the situation or event, that contributes to or results in our happiness, joy, & peace of mind or suffering and chaos. We cannot always control every thought, every emotion, or our attitude at literally every second but with practice we can become good at basically & generally choosing how to respond and what thoughts and emotions we dwell on.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

2.) True, pure love is selfless. If I truly love someone, whether it’s in a platonic or romantic way, I want that person to be happy & healthy, & fulfilled with or without me no matter how painful it is to me. I won’t try to stand in the way, sabotage, or drag people down for leaving me or living their own lives even if I don’t agree or like it and even if the person’s plans don’t include me. “True love doesn’t have a happy ending; true love has no ending.”

3.) We all have things that someone else doesn’t have and we all lack things that others do not and we may want. We all possess certain characteristics or material possessions  that others won’t. No matter what I have there is someone who has more and someone who has less. Someone who has better and someone who has worse. Someone who is more skilled and someone who is less skilled. Someone who can do the job better and someone who will do worse.   And this fact will never change.   But instead of dwelling on lack, I will dwell on abundance and gratitude, and blessing, for all that I do in fact possess and everything I am. Why focus on lack?   We all lack something and always will. We all have something amazing and always will that we can focus on instead. And it’s a choice to see in terms of lack and loss or to see in terms of prosperity & abundance. It is best for me to fill my head with positive  thoughts of abundance and gratitude, and blessings. We can just look around and look within and count our blessings. It may take some practice to begin to generally and frequently *feel* blessed and gratitude but if we develop the habit of looking and taking notice of the positive, we are likely to start feeling blessed and not just making lists of our blessings without truly feeling it.  No one can replace YOU as the person you are. No one can be better at being you than you. If the grass appears to be greener on the other side, water your own grass.

““You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

4.)  This world is full of ugliness, craziness, greed, tragedy, bad people, discrimination, inequality,  and heartache.   But it is also filled with beauty, love, perseverance, growth, friendship, kindness, blessings, consolation, lessons learned, hospitality, healing, hope, strength, and great, incredible, good people.  When a tragedy occurs and it’s blown up in the media, we see strangers reach out in love and kindness to strangers willing and eager to help heal and allay the pain. We can focus on and dwell on the ugliness or learn to dwell on the beauty and healing instead. This is never to say we should ignore and deny pain and tragedy, we should definitely acknowledge it and make true attempts to help in any way we can but never let it drag us down and keep us there, seeing the world through negative, dark lenses. We will on occasion experience difficulty and be overwhelmed by what we witness and feel and experience and this is ok but we can muster up the strength and passion to go on positively and keep going and find joy in being alive.

When it rains it pours but soon the sun shines again.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” -Martin Luther quotes

5.) When you’re at your lowest point and can get no lower, the only way now is up. When you’re lower than your lowest depths of despair, there is a light above waiting to be seized and held. When it feels as if there’s no way out other than to stop existing, to stop breathing, there is new air, new life, and new opportunities to be felt and taken. No matter how low you are, you CAN get better. I know.   “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill 

6.) No matter who you are or what you are, no matter how good or bad or average, there will ALWAYS be someone to want to drag you down,  reject you, make fun of you,  negatively gossip about you, make you feel low, point out only your flaws, magnify your imperfections, see you fall, laugh in your face, want you to lose, not like you and even loathe you. And there will be lots of people like this, the more people you meet and the more successful you become, the more likely you are to encounter negative people & rejection(and positive people too & acceptance). You cannot please or satisfy or be loved or liked by everyone. It’s not happening. And that is ok.  When someone does not like you that is that person’s problem, don’t let it be yours!   Be true to yourself. Love yourself. Live your dreams and plan your goals how YOU want, not how anyone else wants.   And if you change to please a person who doesn’t like you now, then you’ll have someone else not like you. Trying to please everyone is not only detrimental to you, it’s not practical. It’s a physical impossibility.   And you are under no obligation to dedicate your life to please anyone else at the expense of yourself.   Be you. Love you. 

“While it is natural to feel some degree of
need for the approval of others, be careful.
If you find yourself unwilling to
take actions that others disapprove of,
you have lost control of your own life
and have given your destiny to others.
An excessive need-for-approval
is a sign of low self-esteem,
and in severe cases, a condition termed co-dependency.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

7.) You’re never too old. It’s never too late as long as you’re living. You can wear cartoon characters on your clothes if you want, You can wear bright clownish/ parrot -like makeup as a middle aged or old woman if that’s what draws you.   You can read children’s books and sleep with stuffed animals and that’s ok no matter what people say or think.    As long as you’re mature enough to care for yourself and not hurt or interfere with others, it’s ok to be youthful and child-like and find wonder in every breath. Child-like is not the same as childish or immaturity. There are no 7 wonders in the eyes of a child; there are 700, 000 +.   Go to college if you want, take fun classes, hold hands and giggle out in public, jump rope outside, wear those cupcake earrings….do what you want! Don’t let your age or what people think of it restrain you. “As long as you’re living no matter how long you have been traveling down the wrong road it’s never too late to turn around and start over.’ ~Unknown

8.) Kindness even to people we feel may not deserve it is a strength and not a weakness. We are not always kind and we do not always feel like being kind. Maybe sometimes we want to be vicious, even cruel but that accomplishes nothing but putting more pain out into a world where there is already too much. Avoiding this is a great strength. “Don’t treat people as bad as they are; treat them as good as you are. “. This is not being fake, it’s being mature enough to know that kindness and being civilized is better than drama and negative arguing and uncalled for negative encounters.

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right to pray for them because they are like us, too.”. ~ Larry Aitken

“When you are in an upsetting situation, try loving everyone involved and pray for them, hard as they may be. Loving doesn’t mean sentimentality but rather a rational esteem for them as persons.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

9.) Money & material possessions and even a great job are not the only or ultimate successes. They are great and can bring us some senses, often fleeting, of happiness or thrill or make us happy about those specific things but they will likely not make us truly, genuinely happy in the truest, purest general sense.  Love can do that, self- love and unconditional love for life itself.  .   Life -satisfaction as a whole can make us happy but material possessions often will not. We never need big things or lots of things to be truly happy.   The simple and beautiful things can be enough if we let them. Look at the beauty of the sky. Soak in the beauty and richness of this life. The sunlight, the moonlight, the stars, your senses….we never need a reason to celebrate. No birthdays or anniversaries, LIFE itself is reason enough to jump for joy and celebrate! Sweet simplicity.

“Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.” 
Robert Browning

10.). You are the one ultimately in charge of your happiness and well being.   Others can help greatly along the way but you are the one who has to work the hardest for yourself.   Therapy can help but cannot, itself, cure you, most likely.   Therapists can help, friends & family can help but you are ultimately responsible for yourself.

11.)  I have the power to choose. I may not always feel like I am responsible for my circumstance but, ultimately, I am. Even the choice to do nothing is a choice. When I look at where I am right now and truly think about it, I will realize I play or have played a significant part in it. I may not have realized all along that I was making choices to get where I currently am but I was. This thought empowers me because I am aware that I can get where I want to be. If I am ultimately responsible for my pain, suffering, and unhappiness then I am also responsible for my happiness, joy, and fulfillment.   I do not choose everything that happens to me but I choose how to respond and I have more control than I may sometimes think. Often, if I’m in a situation I do not like, I can think back and see how I was/am in some ways, responsible and I can now make more positive choices to change it. If I have a victim mentality that life merely happens to me, then I have no control but when I have a “life architect” mentality, that life responds to me and I have the ability to choose and proact, then I am empowered and in control. 
I can’t choose and control everything but I can choose and control enough. 

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” 
― William Jennings Bryan
12.) Many of us live in a stressful, fast paced, demanding society which pressures us into thinking we should live a certain way or we’re not living “right”. We’re expected to overwork ourselves or we’re “lazy” or “dependent” , to have families of our own by a certain age or we’re “old spinsters” or outcasts or “alone” or going against tradition.  We are pressured to obtain advanced school degrees or have impressive jobs to bring purpose to our lives….but There is no one specific meaning or purpose of life. There is not a reason out there waiting to be grasped. We each create our own purpose and meaning. There is no “one size fits all”.    Maybe it’s to have a job helping people, healing with compassion and kindness or being a stay at home mom, basking in the joys of being a mom or daddy, or maybe yours is a specific hobby like drawing or sculpting, or maybe you dedicate your life to research of some sort. Or maybe your purpose is simply to live, to be, to breath.   Maybe you live for the simple moments, the beauty around you, to help people every chance you get, to inspire and to be happy just to be, to be the best you that you can be. Whatever you choose, that is ok. That is great. Find your purpose and embrace it. Live it. Love it.

“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.” 
― Joseph Campbell

13.) It’s ok if people don’t like you or appreciate you. It’s ok to be disliked by people, even ones who you really like. You CAN go on living. You CAN still succeed. If you like or love people who don’t like or love you back, it will hurt, but you can move forward and heal. Or stay stuck and dwelling on the fact and that is detrimental and will interfere with your growth. It’s healthy and it’s normal to want to be accepted and included.   Humans are social creatures and have a need, a longing to belong but we do not need everyone to love us or accept us.  Like yourself. That’s all that matters. And for all the people not liking you, there’s so many more who can and will, and already do like you.

14.) We don’t need a new year to start anew. How many people do you know who have goals and dreams they plan to achieve and realize at the start of a new year? They can’t wait for the current year to hurry up and end already.  They get pumped and inspired and energized at the mere thought of a new year about to begin. And they make resolutions they plan to start on Jan. 1st.  But imagine feeling that inspiration at ANY part of the year?! New Year is good & symbolic of new beginnings but new beginnings can happen anywhere, any place, any time.  How about now?

15.) Everyone has pain and struggles and they all deserve love and compassion and empathy even when someone else’s problems seem worse. Just because a person has or seems to have a worse problem or greater pain than another, it doesn’t take away the person’s pain who seems to have a less severe problem. Everyone can benefit by kindness and empathy and having a loving, caring, active listener. There should never be a “pain contest or competition ” to see who has worse problems and pain and judge people negatively. What doesn’t seem so bad to you may be to someone else. 

16.) About friends. Quality over quantity. One true friend is better than 20 or more acquaintances. And blood doesn’t really have to be “thicker than water”. True friends are better than family who doesn’t even care about or even think of you. 

17.) Kindness & compassion should be bestowed in general, not just to people we know & love. We don’t have to like or love everyone equally, that is unrealistic anyway, but we can still be kind and empathetic in general. Remember each person you meet has a life and a story and a breath, pleasure & pain, needs & desires just like you and the ones you love.

18.) My intense, extreme empathy is a gift and a blessing to me and to others even when it feels like a curse.   It’s good to care and have the true ability to deeply understand. I have the tendency to literally feel pain when someone else does. Feeling immense pain at the knowledge of someone suffering is often agonizing and sometimes despairing.   But it helps me connect with people and provides me with more depth and the ability to identify with another even when I haven’t exactly experienced it myself.    I would never say “I know how you feel.”. I don’t know how someone else feels and never will but I can understand to some degree and experience much compassion. But I would never overstep my boundaries and assume I know more than I do. That is pure arrogance.   Some things I can never even begin to imagine but can still be understanding and compassionate.  While I take on the world’s pain, I also have the ability of taking on the world ‘s pleasure and basking in the success and happiness of others even when I, myself am not feeling happy or successful. When one wins, we all win.

19.) The past can be a gift to guide us and doesn’t have to imprison us or hold us back. It can be our teacher. Let the bad strengthen us and the good bless us with sweet memories to cherish forever.

20.) Every person, young & old can teach us something valuable. No matter how pleasant or unpleasant that person or our encounter with that person is, we can learn something.   Inspiration is everywhere.

21.) Life is a gift. It doesn’t have to be taken so seriously. Let small things slide.   It can be painful and unpleasant but that is the price we pay for being blessed with a gift so priceless. If someone gives you a beautiful gift you were never entitled to to begin with (or even if you are) and it is an unexpected and truly incredible gift that just is shockingly beautiful but isn’t perfect, you likely would not complain about its flaws. You weren’t expecting it anyway. It wasn’t something that had to be given to you in the first place.  So you would probably bask in it and cherish it and embrace or accept its flaws.   Life is that gift.

 22.) Other people are just as important as me even if we have strong opposing views. They are as convinced as I am. Their conviction, their compassion is as strong as mine is. And often, even their longing and attempts to do what is right and their sense of justice is as passionate as mine. They frequently have good intentions. And it’s wise to step outside of ourselves often and attempt to see how and why people do the things they do and feel the way they do even when it’s hard and startling.   I may disagree with people, even get angry at them or their views but they deserve a chance and my respect. It’s ok to have differences.   You don’t have to change your views but it’s good to make genuine attempts to understand a view other than your own.

23.)  People are often misunderstood but well- intentioned. They often aren’t trying to be assholes or cruel even when it seems that way. Sometimes it’s thoughtlessness or differing points of views. It’s hard sometimes, to think about things and the world employing a perspective other than our own. I try to understand people as best as I can and give them a chance.  I believe that people in general are basically good with good, selfless intentions but often seem cold, selfish, arrogant, and uncaring. Many people or their actions are just misunderstood and misinterpreted or miscommunicated. I try my absolute best to understand people and give them a chance.

24.). The present moment is the only moment.   It is priceless and great. It is all we have right now. If you learn to live in the present you will be amazed. Let the past teach you and cherish your memories and plan appropriately for the future but LIVE for now. Then you won’t constantly mourn or be destroyed by your previous experiences and won’t fret or overly anticipate your future experiences.

25.)  Pain can strengthen us and make us more whole than we were previously.   Underneath my wholeness lies a broke- ness  that has led me to where I am NOW. Beautifully WHOLE.  

26.) People don’t have to be like me, think like me, look like me, live like me, or breathe like me to be beautiful like me.

27.) Age doesn’t matter as long as you’re alive.   There’s no reason to wish to be younger or lie about or conceal your age. You don’t have to feel the desire to keep it a secret. Shout it off the roof tops! You are blessed, truly blessed to be your age.  Every age has its blessing. However old you are now, you know more than when you were younger. You have likely evolved in ways that was not true before now.   So why want to regress back to a less developed age? And if you want to be younger but know all you know now, what’s the point then anyway? It would be the same as now but just with a different numerical label. And maybe you look older now but so what? It’s part of the blessings of living. Your “flaws” are reminders of all you have survived and learned. You can feel young, BE young, at any age! Cherish it! Embrace it! Many people die tragically young. You are still here, allowed to live this long! Beauty deepens with age. It’s better to be over the hill than under it!! :-D. You are a survivor.

These lessons I find to be true to me; I do not attempt to force any of them upon anyone. You may disagree with me on some or all of them and that’s ok. Different people have different views.   I hope you can find light & inspiration  in some of them.    

X0xo Kim

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