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Bloom.

I’m struggling with a severe depressive episode that is very hard to bear. I saw this a few minutes ago while walking up a street. I’m so thankful I found it! I was walking in the rain, hopeless, empty, and looked up and came face to face with this inspiring message!

I have a post written about my current struggle & will share soon! Not a very pretty post but very real. I hope this message here can be a reminder to someone in need! ❤

Much love & light,

XoxoKim

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Inner beauty ❤

Recently, my Teacher told us that someone called him (physically) ugly and also said he is old. He responded by telling the person that it’s ok if he’s old and is ugly on the outside because he’s beautiful on the inside & that is what matters. He encouraged us to think that way also. It doesnt matter if we are old and/or ugly. If we are compassionate, joyful, peaceful, look for the goodness in the world & others while wishing them the best, that is true beauty. Theres nothing wrong with celebrating physical beauty but inner beauty is the true gift! And living longer is a blessing! Age isnt a flaw. I love this little gem of wisdom!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Dream.❤

“I had a dream; I had an awesome dream
People in the park playing games in the dark
And what they played was a masquerade
And from behind the walls of doubt a voice was crying out
Say you, say me
Say it for always
That’s the way it should be
Say you, say me, say it together
Naturally”

Say You, Say Me – Lionel Richie

May 11th, 2018

I had a dream last night while I slept. We were all running through a park, late at night, in the darkness, playing, all adults. It was almost like a game of hiding seek or a game of tag. It was beautiful and comforting in some way but there was a kind of loneliness & longing throughout. We were all running after each other, trying to find and catch each other and most of us were strangers to each other. There was a sense of child-like joy and we were laughing. It was hard to see in the dark and there were so many people. There was one person I really wanted to find. More than anyone else, she’s the one. I knew she was there but couldnt find her. I ran through the darkness and the crowds of people, my sense of longing increasing with every step. Stumbling through the dark, reaching for her, finally, I found her. We came face to face and she embraced me. Not in a physical hug but in warm, welcoming, loving energy and a beautiful smile. She welcomed me completely. She accepted me and was happy to see me. My whole being was overcome in awe of her beauty. I lost her again. In all the darkness and strangers and trees and paths. Again, I ran to find her. It was like running through a maze of people and trees and darkness. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of her but couldnt reach and every now and again, we would come face to face. She would always welcome me. It was always beautiful and always brief. Then I would lose her again. I felt her near but just couldnt reach her. But on those occasions I did, there was so much love, so much joy, so much beauty before the darkness and crowds and trees took her away again. And somehow it was enough even though it wasnt. Those brief moments we encountered and embraced were so full of love that they are enough. Even with the pain, theres so much love. Even with longing and sadness and loneliness, there can still be joy and laughter and gratitude. I woke up this morning with a greater sense of love than longing. I woke up in awe. And this song played in my head.

I love dreams & especially ones that seem to have a deep purpose. This dream was two nights ago and soon I may post about one I had last night, another very healing one.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Xoxo Kim ❤

Responsible Dog Caretaking

This is not a happy, cute post about dogs. I wasnt going to put “dogs” as a tag so as not to mislead anyone looking for cute doggy pics. All you’ll find here are pics of painful injuries brought on by an aggressive dog as a result of humans (including myself) acting irresponsibly. But I decided to put the “dog” tag since it does involve dogs.

I was looking through pictures on my phone for something inspiring to post and found this. Just one of my many injuries when I was attacked by a dog (completely unprovoked[like I wasnt approaching her or talking to her-she just came at me], just wanted to attack me and no, NOT a pitbull or anything close to pitbull breed – a big chow chow who is not fear aggressive, just vicious aggressive with mostly humans & occasionally other dogs) almost a year ago. It’s STILL not healed. But looks way better than this now. And I have (usually mild) chronic pain where I did not before and permanent damage. Im scarred for life. It would have been worse but her human was able to intervene eventually, and distracted her enough for me to get away. Tried coming after me again, even bit him to get him to let her go (which he did) and get back to me! A couple of lessons here:

1.) If we have a dog we know is outright vicious, we never let that dog near anyone (humans or other animals who dont live with us), at least not without a muzzle(we have to learn how to properly muzzle a dog though so as not to accidentally hurt or kill the poor baby) . Not only can it result in injury, even death to a human or other animal but can result in the aggressive dog being seized and destroyed all because someone wasnt responsible. It’s a senseless tragedy all the way around.

2.) If we know a dog is aggressive, no matter how bold or brave we are, stay away!! Even if just for practical purposes like not being ripped to shreds. We may not be scared or we may be terrified & brave but we still know what can occur. I knew this dog is aggressive as I have been bitten & threatened by her previously on multiple occasions and witnessed her attacking another dog (a completely sweet n gentle chow) where I had to put myself in danger to rescue the innocent dog being attacked.

And still I put myself in harm’s way again later because I am brave. Unfortunately, I let my bravery lead to stupidity.

So ultimately, this is my own doing.

3.) We cannot expect to to be able to hold onto an aggressive dog(without a leash) while someone is walking by because that dog will clamp her/his teeth onto the skin of the person holding on even if the dog loves the person, to get to the one s/he wants to attack. And while some can endure it and keep holding on, most will probably let go. This isnt about being selfish or not caring. It’s not a conscious decision to put the self above another. It’s an automatic impulse. When we experience pain, our first reaction is to stop it, pull away, let go.

If someone ever says to walk by an aggressive dog and s/he will hold the dog back by the collar or just around the tummy, DON’T listen!! This is *extremely* important. That dog can very easily get to us still. It’s not safe. This happened to me. And it happened to others. There was a woman years ago, Diane Whipple, who was attacked & killed even when the dog’s human tried to restrain him. He kept getting loose and KILLED her. The dog, a canario, was later destroyed. And recently a small dog was killed, in Philadelphia, when pitbulls escaped their house and attacked him walking by. Their humans did not do their best to keep the attackers inside. I was told that at least one of these pitbulls was euthanized. These heartbreaking tragedies could have been prevented very easily. This poor girl and small dog (and all the others killed by dogs) could have still been alive today or at least longer than they were and are DEAD because people choose to be irresponsible.
I am scarred and damaged because we chose to act irresponsibly.

It’s not a complicated matter like some things. There are things that are very controversial (gun control issues, abortion, healthcare…) and may have great points on all sides and flaws on all sides and can seem difficult to come to a confident conclusion. But this issue here is clear-cut and doesnt have to be controversial. It’s simple and easy. Please lets take advantage of the simplicity and ease of this issue. Keep aggressive dogs inside and don’t allow guests near them & keep all dogs on leashes while out & about.

(Another girl was attacked by the same dog I was and these are just some of her injuries. She was attacked all over the body, hands, arms, legs)

4.) dogs must be leashed/kept inside & not let loose when it can result in a catastrophe. Other than non-aggressive dogs in dog parks or on their own property when it’s safe, they shouldnt be running around where they can attack or be attacked or injured in some other way. Our dog may be the sweetest, most loving thing but if that dog feels threatened in any way by another dog, our dog may not be so sweet about it n provoke/perpetuate aggression so it’s not ok having them running loose in public.

(More injuries caused by same chow chow)

There are many more injuries brought on by this dog, the chow chow, that are not shown in this post.

This is not my only or last encounter with an aggressive dog where something horrifying happened that could have been prevented. I have had innocent dogs on leashes who were attacked and injured, thankfully not killed(because neighbors ran over and helped us!), by a dog who escaped out of his house. My dogs werent the first he attacked. His family knew he was able to escape and admitted that he attacked at least one dog a day walking by on a leash. When he heard another dog walking by, he would push his door open and run out and viciously attack. They knew. Yet, they let it continue. Day after day. Hes not aggressive with humans but he accidentally bit me and ripped my bracelet off n broke it, trying to get to one of my dogs. Lock the doors. Bolt them, block them with something if thats what it takes to keep other dogs and humans as well as the aggressive dog safe. These things are easily preventable!

5.) There are vicious n loving dogs in all breeds. Theres no breed that should be “banned” or all killed. Large dogs who are aggressive can do more damage than small ones because of their size. It isnt about them being more likely to attack. There are some vicious little chihuahuas and many pitbulls & chow chows who are big teddy bears.

Most dogs, just like most humans, are great!!

Dogs can be assholes too! Lets be responsible with them. I still LOVE dogs!! {[(All breeds)]}

Much love & light

xoxoKim❤

Today

(A pretty picture I took today – April 14th, 2018 but when I publish it, it will probably say April 15th because it’s nearly 10:00pm now)

“By effort and heedfulness, discipline, and self-mastery, let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”

Today, I got onto an elevator for work. I could have taken the stairs but chose the elevator. I was on the 4th floor of the apartment building. Going back down, I felt that the doors were taking longer than they’re supposed to to open and guess what?! I felt not one ounce of fear!! Not one little flash of fear, anxiety, panic, nothing!! And did not even feel a sense of panic coming on or anticipate it like I often do. This is incredible progress! This has to be my greatest accomplishment in this life, ever!

In case anyone reading this is confused or it seems like no big deal, here is some background info. about my experience with phobic fear:

F.E.A.R

It actually freaking happened

Welcome to rock bottom-the only way now is up

Serendipitous Strength

Phobia.

It’s a big, big thing! I suffered another terrible relapse recently and now I healed it again and can get on elevators myself with no fear! I have been working hard to heal this phobia. It doesn’t always take long to heal a relapse. Phobias are weak, even though they feel extremely powerful, and they lose their power very easily when properly faced again & again.

“Unlike many other mental health problems, phobias can be brought under manageable control or even totally destroyed, sometimes within hours. This is a far cry from some of the medium- to long-term work which is required for other mental health issues. So the good news is that phobias are relatively easy to deal with, providing you have the correct knowledge, support and treatment plan, along with a determined and proactive attitude. In life there are many REAL problems, which we all have to contend with, so my view is that we should conserve our energy to tackle those by ridding ourselves of the UNREAL threats, which are the hallmarks of a phobia.” ~Patricia Furness-Smith

The way I am recovering mostly, is exposure in combination with Buddhist philosophy (that can apply to anyone at all, not just Buddhist people – see Dhamma quote above). Even without the meditation part (which is also great!), I find Buddhist philosophy so very helpful in healing my fear (and in general!).

The reason that this is such a big accomplishment is not the amount of work it takes or the duration of treatment but the amount of courage & strength it takes to face it. It is hard!!

I am working on not just recovering but building my mindset in a way to see elevators as a safe place, a place of comfort, a space where I experience a feeling of being embraced in warmth & safety, security (i know security is an illusion but dont mind feeling secure in a place I once felt seemingly unbearable terror and panic). I don’t just want to tolerate them and don’t want them to just be a mundane thing or task I have to perform. I aspire to come to seeing them as an opportunity for a few moments of simple joy or pleasure.

I may not be recovered just yet or my recovery may be shaky and at risk for relapse again. It’s new and not quite ingrained yet. But it will be and then evolve into something more. I feel that Im already inclined to view elevators as a warm, cozy, safe place. Why not? They are safe for the most part. In there, alone, I am protected against the dangers of the world. I can feel that to some degree but not in great depth yet. Im working on it!

This is my goal!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Phobia.

Roll With It – Steve Winwood

“When life is too much, roll with it, baby
Don’t stop and lose your touch, oh no, baby
Hard times knocking on your door
I’ll tell them you ain’t there no more
Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck’ll come and then slip away
You’ve gotta move, bring it back to stay
You just roll with it, baby
Come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby”

Recently, I chose to do something incredibly brave, to aid in my recovery. Every part of my body was telling me to run. There were all kinds of physical sensations all over my body, unpleasant ones, including light-headedness, fear, dry mouth, trembling sensations in my hands & legs, heart pounding…but some intuition deep inside was telling me to stay. The physical urge to run was much more easy to listen to and I was tempted. But I made up my mind. The intuition deep within is the wise voice, softer, gentler, just a whisper to “stay” next to that loud screaming “RUN” but definitely wiser. And I wont let the voice of fear drown the voice of wisdom.

So I chose to STAY.

I was standing before an elevator, alone, on the 2nd floor of a building. Right next to the elevator is a door to the stairs. I could have easily walked through the doorway to the stairs and walked down in less than a minute, which is what my intense fear was urging me to do.

But I chose to listen to that quiet but strong intuition telling me to empower myself, not my fear. For me to continuously avoid my fear (of small, closed in places, especially alone in elevators), at all costs, is to feed that fear. To give it power.

For me to face my fear, no matter how immense, no matter how suffocating, traumatic, terrible it is, is to loosen its grip on me, release me of its bondage and empower myself.

This is a fear so incredibly powerful, it knocks the wind out of me and weakens my body. I become lightheaded & disoriented and feel as if I may actually die. I have to face it & embrace it to conquer it. A cruel, twisted kind of irony to have to subject myself to the very thing that scares me most, but it is what it is.

I would have taken the stairs in this building anyway as it was only the 2nd floor but I saw this as an opportunity to evolve and I took it.

So I bravely stepped into that elevator and pushed the “1” button with my near trembling finger and watched in dismay as the doors closed on me, completely expunging my sense of control and actual control. The second the doors close, I am no longer in a position to choose. I cannot choose to run, to change my mind and take the stairs as I cant open an elevator on my own.

As the doors close, I instantly wonder if I have made a bad mistake. Maybe I should have run, taking the safe route, the easy way, the stairs. Sometimes, in buildings, we don’t have access to the stairs and I have no choice. But on this occasion, I had a choice and chose to lock myself in a big, mechanical box, alone.

But instead of completely breaking down, I stood strong and focused on my breath, each inhalation & exhalation and I became one with that breath. I felt the fear every few seconds, trying to get the best of me, that impending sense of panic threatening to overtake me, and acknowledged that fear then let it go. I felt it dissipate with each in breath & out breath. And before I knew it, there were the elevator doors wide open, inviting me to walk out into the rest of my day. Simple as that.

See, it’s really not so bad, is it?

But what if….

What if…the doors wouldn’t have opened?

What if…i would have been stuck in there all by myself?!

What if…the elevator malfunctioned and no one knew until way later or ever???

What if…one occasion it just doesn’t open and im stuck in there alone forever?!?!?!

What if….those incessant what ifs…relentless & plaguing…

After the doors close and sometimes even when Im not on an elevator but recently got out of one or will soon have to get inside one or sometimes just thinking about it, these are the thoughts that ensue. These what if’s…

But “what if…” doesn’t matter. What IS, is what does matter. And whatever is just is and that is that. I will breathe and focus and roll with it and endure until it’s over. And it will be over eventually, whatever “it” is.

After stepping off of the elevator, I planned to go right to another elevator and step inside, just to face my fear again.

And while it’s very helpful and wise and necessary to face our phobic fear again and again and again, there is such a thing as “too much, too soon” and “overdoing.” I know the value of breaks and rest and moderation and balance. Preserving energy and choosing wisely is a good thing. Generally, we have to keep facing this fear and not running. But a break when needed is also necessary. I felt that running directly to another elevator would have been more draining and detrimental than good. This may not always be the case but this moment, it was. Deep inside, I knew a rest is what I needed then, not more trauma.

Remember to keep going but also remember to rest when needed. Running, falling, once in a while is ok. Just keep getting back up!

Im not recovered. Not even halfway to recovery. And I may still have relapses and probably will before & even after full recovery. Who knows? But I discovered a place in me with a strong foundation that isn’t easy to be demolished and can be rebuilt even if it is.

Im not sorry to have encountered this struggle. I dont wish it never happened to me and dont necessarily wish it would just go away. Of course, I want this fear to heal and thats why im doing all this work. But i dont mind it. It’s a gift to have this opportunity to get better and have deeper empathy for others in similar situations. I see so much beauty in it.

Just last month, I think, my fear was so frequent, so intense, so debilitating, I became depressed and suicidal. I could hardly hold a toothbrush. I wanted to die just knowing that it’s possible to be trapped in an elevator alone. Just knowing it’s possible. Not even because it may happen. Just because it’s possible. My depression became an entity of its own and was not even just about the fear anymore.

Now here I am. Strong and still standing.

I want to share it because i believe we all have that strength to endure any battle and be even better for it. We all have the strength to see beauty in any struggle and to reach out to others in any way we can, to inspire and uplift, or just listen and understand.

The way to recover is to seize opportunities to practice no matter how difficult it is. It is very, very difficult but worth the struggle, the trauma, the pain, the terror.

Im not posting this to brag. Lol Im posting this because one night I was laying in my bed desperately longing to meet someone. A strong woman with some sort of severe phobia, preferably one similar to my own but any would do. I pined for a woman who faces her worst fear and lives to tell about it. A woman who conquered or conquers that fear. One who chose to rise above and lift others along the way.

I laid in my bed and fantasized and hoped so much to meet this strong, confident woman, either in person, in a book, or online and dreamed of being cloaked in her strength, enveloped in her compassion, lifted by her motivation, and empowered by her story. Inspired by her light.

I wanted to find blogs, books, stories… that chronicle her experiences.

I wanted to find this woman somewhere, anywhere, but couldn’t find her.

Then it hit me….

I can be this woman.

I am this woman.

I’m her.

So here I am, sharing my great fear and hoping to inspire, lift, help empower, and console someone who is struggling.

If you are someone who is struggling with a phobia/anxiety of any sort, maybe a social phobia/anxiety, or fear involving being on an airplane when you have to get on one(I have to get on elevators for work and feel your pain!), insects, or maybe a less common fear like fear of swallowing or fear of dolls, maybe a fear of dogs or noises… or any difficult situation, I embrace you in my love & am cheering you on. We all have different triggers but it’s that terrible, breathtaking panic & fear, outright terror, that we can all relate to.

Keep going. You got this!

Xoxo Kim❤

Someone you can be proud of❤

Recently, I saw this outside of a school for young children and LOVE it! What great values/characteristics to possess/display and teach children about. There’s nothing here about being physically good looking, being popular, religious (it’s a religious school, catholic, I think), financially rich, or even being intelligent, hardworking, or motivated. Not that those aren’t good things but they are not the most important or what really matters for being a good person. Someone chose great adjectives to encourage children to be, ones of substance and that will positively affect others. So beautiful!

I felt so proud upon seeing this sign but not sure what im proud of. Lol I have no kids and dont know any who attend this school. I dont know any of the staff/faculty there, that I know of, and have nothing to do with the school or people associated with it. I just see it when im walking dogs. But I am so pleased with the message! It’s an inspiring message for adults as well! Even adults can use a reminder every now & again!

Much love,

Xoxo Kim💜