Tag Archive | care

On being humble

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“When we embody love, we are the most powerful being in the universe.” ~ Emmanuel

I wasn’t always as developed as I am now. While I have always been empathetic, compassionate, loving, and understanding of others, not all of those qualities of mine were always as deep or as vast as they are today. I used to be more judgmental than I am now, sometimes criticizing people or things without thinking it completely through if it’s really necessary, sometimes overlooking the fact that I also do things that can, maybe even “should” be, judged critically.

“The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but more humble.”
 ~James Matthew Barrie

I think for most of us, we evolve the longer we live, the more we experience even if we don’t realize we’re evolving. And when we do realize we are becoming wiser, more educated, more aware,  it’s possible to let it run away with us, let ourselves become a little bit too stuck up or arrogant, too proud, let our heads get too big.

Sometimes I feel so enlightened in some respects. I see things so much more clearly than I did before. I see how wrong I was in some ways about some things. And there have been occasions when I caught myself becoming too full of myself, arrogant, judgmental when I would have an encounter with someone who I perceived as not to be as “enlightened” or aware as I am.
Someone who still holds opinions that are not very evolved or opinions I disagree with or someone who handles those opinions in ways I don’t appreciate or wouldn’t do myself.

Like when I would meet someone who did not realize things or know things that I now know or realize.  And I would criticize the person for it, totally neglecting to realize that at one point I did not realize this or something else, either and that right now at this very moment there are things I don’t know or understand, that I am so less developed than I will be in years to come, with age and much more experience. I’m not the most enlightened being on Earth and likely never will be.  And that’s ok.

It reminds me of when I would take certain Logic and critical thinking classes in college. In the beginning of one class, our professor told us that in a few weeks we would already know so much more than the average person about reasoning, arguing, debating. He said we would begin to see all the flaws in people’s reasoning in everyday life. People around us, people on TV, commercials, everywhere. He said him, as a Logician with extremely advanced reasoning skills and nearly flawless logic, couldn’t turn off his ability to instantly detect flaws in reasoning even when he would be out with friends having a simple or trivial conversation, watching TV whether it was comedy movies or political or religious debates, reading, everywhere. His knowledge of Logic, fallacies, arguments…is so superior he can’t help but just see how everyone else’s logic is just so flawed. He often had to resist the urge to correct everyone everywhere. 

I had a few philosophy professors who told us, although probably mostly in jest, that we may soon regret taking the class because all of  a sudden everyone around us becomes so “stupid,” unenlightened, or unreasonable that it’s nauseating. Lol 

They said we may become arrogant, inpatient, intolerant of everyone who has never taken a logic or critical thinking class. And it was true. I did start to detect flaws in people’s reasoning everywhere I would go, even in simple, everyday conversations. I noticed how fallacious so many arguments really are. Sometimes it was so frustrating to know so much more than the average person about certain things.

And years later when I began to actively practice and meditate upon universal compassion and general tolerance more than ever before and realized it’s the best way for me to be, I started to sometimes catch myself judging others who weren’t that way.

Sometimes I would give myself a pat on the back for being “just so much more evolved” than most people I know or come in contact with.

When someone would get worked up during an argument, sling an explicit insult at an opponent, argue in flawed ways like I used to do, I would be critical of those people, praising myself for being “beyond that.”

Now I quickly correct myself if ever I catch myself doing that. I’m usually patient in the face of other people’s impatience, gentle with other people’s aggression, non judgmental of someone else’s judgments, tolerant of other people’s intolerance and accepting of someone else’s lack of acceptance. I understand that not everyone will be understanding and I have more compassion than I used to, for those who lack compassion. 

Constructive criticism is often a good thing but it can be delivered in a humble way. Assertiveness is necessary in some cases, firmness and unwavering confidence and strength in the face of some injustice.

Love & compassion & acceptance that I write or speak of, in no way means backing down and not speaking up. It doesn’t mean letting people get away with things they should not get away with. It simply means knowing bad things happen, injustice exists in the world, people have differing and horrible opinions and do horrible things but we don’t have to sink to the level of getting even, wishing horrific things on people as punishments, slinging insults and hurting others to seek retribution.

It’s possible to be firm, assertive, grounded, loud, opinionated but loving. 

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It’s important to stand up for whatever our Truth is, to advocate for what we believe in, speak out against injustice, abuse, cruelty in any form, to defend those who need us, speak up for those who need supporters…but we can do this while promoting love instead of bashing those who disagree. “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

It’s not always easy but I believe it’s worth the struggle.

I’m very into Buddhism which teaches universal love and compassion. I’m not a Buddhist but I read about it everyday and practice many of their principles. There are more things I don’t know and understand about Buddhism than things I do know and understand. But I learn more and more each day.

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to incorporate many of their virtues into your own life.
And it’s compatible with religions including Christianity, Judaism, and others. Some people disagree or don’t realize. But Buddhists don’t necessarily believe in any specific god and their principles can go along with the principles of various religions.

You can think of Buddhism as a philosophy or as a religion.

Monastic Buddhists are seriously dedicated, hardcore Buddhists who follow everything in the Lamrim, every principle in excruciating detail and lay Buddhists are looser in their views or lifestyles. They take Buddhism seriously but don’t necessarily follow every principle of Buddhism.

One of the things I love completely about genuine Buddhism and true Buddhists or pro Buddhists is that they teach and promote certain principles and ways of life but they do not enforce them or judge those who do not adopt those views, attitudes, and ways. They teach, guide, advocate for but fully accept that others will not and they embrace those people anyway. This way they remain peaceful within and allow others to be what they will.

I think sometimes when some of us become enlightened on something or think we have and realize we were wrong or utterly ignorant or clueless previously, it can instill embarrassment into us, embarrassment that we did not know or realize this all along, it’s now so obvious, how wasn’t it always this blatant? And the humiliation is so strong we want to avoid it, repress, deny it and run fast away instead of facing it. So what do we do in this case? What makes it easier to avoid confronting ourselves on how wrong or clueless we were before? What’s often easier than admitting I was wrong? Judging, criticizing others who are in the place I used to be in, those who know less about something I now know more about, those with an opinion I once shared but now converted to a “better” one. It’s easier than confessing that I was wrong before and now realize or have become enlightened or changed. It’s easier to verbally attack the me I see in someone else than the real me, my own flesh and blood.

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I believe it’s important to stay humble no matter how much more I think I know. Or how right I think I am.

There will always be those who know more than me and those who know less. Those who are more primitive and those more evolved, people who are cruel and seem stupid and those whose intelligence is way out of the average person’s league, people with extreme compassion and deep understanding of others and ones who couldn’t care less to try to understand, open minded and narrow minded, educated and uneducated, enlightened and still in the dark….and to me, they all deserve compassion, empathy, and to be embraced in universal love even if they don’t display that same love or care to be embraced in it. I can still wish them the best and let them go their own way while going my way. That is true, pure, selfless love. At some point I have been and will be again, many of those things I mentioned above. 

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~Hug the hurt
Kiss the broken
Befriend the lost
Love the lonely~ 

I believe in Universal Love, higher love, all encompassing love and compassion, being One with all that is. 
Not everyone will agree and that’s ok.

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Loud & Proud No Matter What

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I believe we should be proud of all our accomplishments, big and small, alike.   
Accomplishments such as kicking a bad habit, healing or recovering an addiction, quitting old detrimental ways…are still great accomplishments even though some people think they are not because they believe those things shouldn’t have been started in the first place.

I subscribed to this page:

http://www.inspiregreatnessnow.com/Free/day1_okJuK.shtml

And the man who the page belongs to said he is grateful he no longer cheats on women who he is in a relationship with. He wrote that it may seem like a bizarre thing to be thankful for but it was a very destructive part of his life at one point and he finally stopped.  Now his life is better.

I don’t see that as a bizarre thing to be proud of or grateful for. It takes strength and courage to admit to a problem or being wrong then working to change it and also to share with others. 

Everyone makes mistakes.  As I have said, no one is perfect in everyone’s eyes. No matter who you are or how amazing you are, someone out there somewhere,  thinks or would think, if you met the person and the person knows about it, that something you do, say, think, or feel or something you previously did, thought, felt or said is/was wrong. Someone will see flaws in you.

It seems as if we often tend to negatively judge people based on the seriousness of the consequences of their actions instead of the morality of the actual action, I guess you can say.  

For example, people often severely criticize people who take drugs and get addicted. The fact that someone takes recreational drugs and gets addicted may have serious, devastating consequences but it says nothing about the character of the person or the person’s general morals.  Some people never take drugs but are just very unkind people who want to drag others down and go out of their way to hurt people merely for the thrill.   And many people who do take illicit drugs or have previously taken them are great people with beautiful personalities who would never go all out to hurt people just for the thrill.

A couple months ago someone told a lie involving me at work.  I forgive the person and believe it was a mistake and not typical of her. Not a mistake as if she wasn’t aware of what she was doing, she knew, and she had malicious intentions, although I have no idea why because we always had a good relationship with each other.  But I view this as a mistake, something she should not have done but she did.  This could have cost me my job.

But I don’t view this as something that defines her personality or character.   It was a mistake, a wrongdoing, a negative act but I choose to look at her as the whole person she is and not as a horrible person based on one vicious act.

People have advised me to feel bitter towards her, to seek revenge, to see her as a horrible individual.  But I choose to move forward with an open heart, forgive her, and “forget.”

She did not admit she was wrong and she lies to the bitter end but I don’t believe her lying now has to do with being malicious towards me any longer.  I think it now has to do with her not wanting to admit she was wrong, feeling as if that’s a weakness on her part.  She has to lie to back up the main lie so as not to confess that she was initially wrong.  So even if she’s sorry, she won’t say it because that would be admitting she was wrong.

However, she did express guilt in other ways and seemed to be trying to make up for it by being extra kind and helpful.  That, in my opinion, is better than an empty “I’m sorry” anyway.

For months I have been angrier than I have ever been, some moments, to the point of fury and it was seeping into every aspect of my life, not just work. I would forgive then go back to holding a grudge off and on but I finally let go, for myself and for her. I don’t want to be angry. She doesn’t want me to be angry.  And it’s done now.

So, my message here is that mistakes you have made and will make, usually say nothing about who you are as a whole person and even if you aren’t as great as you can be, there’s always the possibility for change. You may have to work hard.  It may be awkward and feel uncomfortable now and then but it’s worth it.

And when you accomplish something great like realizing you were wrong and you change your ways or work on yourself for the better that is something to be proud of yourself for no matter what others say.

I have difficulty deleting apps, songs, pictures, and other files off my phone, even ones I never, ever use or even care about.   I always have this fear like “What if I change my mind and delete it and can’t get it back again?!” or “What if later I would come to really want this stuff on my phone and I forget all about it and never know to put it back on?!”.   Lol things like that. So because of this, I can’t put on new stuff or take new pics.

But two nights ago, yesterday,  and today I overcame my limiting fears and decided to go on a deleting spree, deleting everything I don’t use.  Some things I wrote down just in case I may want it again. 

I let my reasoning prevail over emotion. Now is what matters and now I really need more space on my phone.  And I probably will never want those apps and the truth is I can install most of them again if I want later.

This may seem like a trivial thing to be proud of but I must say, I’m proud! Lol. For me, that’s an accomplishment. 

Also, I’m a slob. It’s true. I leave empty soda bottles and candy wrappers around my house and my mom gets so mad. That’s not something I should do ever. But I do.  So when I actually avoid doing that on my own without being told, I feel a sense of accomplishment.   

I hope you will go easy on yourself.   Forgive. Learn.  Move forward. Be honest & open with yourself.

Lol My message here now is that you should be proud and thankful for all of your accomplishments no matter how trivial or important they seem to you or to others. Every little thing you do that contributes in some way, big or small, to a better you, a better world, a better environment, a better relationship, or a better anything is worth being proud of and grateful for.  Even the simplest things.

And this will get you in the habit of seeing the good in you and acknowledging and celebrating your positive aspects and successes. I believe this can lead to a happier life.

What are you holding onto that you should be letting go of?
What should you forgive yourself for?
What would happen inside you if you admit that you were wrong? Admit to yourself?   To others?
Why are you holding on to self resentment?
How about you make the decision to let go now?

Xoxo Kim

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Until It Is Carved in Stone

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(second photo not mine)

Hello darlings, I’m here to knock your socks off this lovely morning.   It’s just after 12:00am. Yup! ;-D

Have you ever read a play called “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder?  I have and it’s amazing. It’s beyond amazing. It was produced and published in 1938. It won the Pulitzer Prize.
It takes place in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s.

I first read it when I was twenty – six years old. And whoa am I so beyond pleased that I did. Thank You to Sarah Ban Breathnach for mentioning this play in her book “Simple Abundance”!!!! Sarah Ban Breathnach is another one who has one of the biggest impacts on me with her beautiful writing.

The play is about a young woman, Emily, who dies during childbirth. She’s twenty -six years old.  It starts out when she’s a young girl and it’s all about her and her family and friends and all the people in their small village of Grover’s Corners.  It’s so small everyone knows each other.

The girl dies at age twenty – six years and she “wakes up” in the afterlife where she meets again, all those who she has known during their living years.  The girl, Emily, is freaked out, grieving, and just devastated that she lost her life and can never again have it back.   She was always a happy girl with a wonderful life while she was alive, but just like most of us tend to do, she usually took most things for granted. Never stopping to just be and allow gratitude, wonder, and awe to surge through her at all the simple joys like the white fence surrounding her house, coffee, flowers, the way people look at each other, the simple ticking of clocks and folded laundry…

Other than people dying throughout the play, the play is extremely uneventful and has received criticism for that fact but the very essence of being uneventful is the whole point of the play. It is the heart, the gut of it, if you will.

Mr. Wilder intended to show people through his wonderful play, how beautiful, wondrous, amazing, lovely… life IS even when it’s so simple, monotonous, agonizing,  and lacking in big events.
While this may seem like a play depicting an idealized view of American life, it actually is not.   The message is that life is good while being painful, it’s heartbreaking but breathtakingly beautiful.  

One character in the play, Simon Stimson, is a pivot of this message. He struggles with alcoholism and is known as the town drunk but he serves as a message to people . He is a tortured soul who constantly cries out for help but people refuse to help. They are steeped in denial and overlook his desperate pleads for help.  He eventually dies by suicide. The message here is that society, friends, family, people….we ignore, deny, repress, overlook so much of life. Even when one of our own is desperately pleading, screaming out for a helping hand.

   In the version I have, there is a beautiful forward by Donald Margulies.  

Donald Margulies states, “You are holding in your hands a great American play. Possibly the great American play.”
He goes on to say if you have read this play many years ago, perhaps in school as a requirement for some class, you will greatly benefit by reading it again.  But now, read it more mindfully, soak up the incredible message this play conveys.  Draw on your own life, your own experiences to really receive the deep wisdom of this play.

Donald Margulies admits that he is envious of any person about to begin reading this play who has never read it previously. He loves this play passionately but reading it again isn’t the same as reading it for the first occasion, he says.   But he is a teacher/professor and gets to watch others experience again and again which he loves.  

The title of this play “Our Town,” itself, is a pivotal message. The town in the play, “Grover’s Corners” is a representation of human life everywhere.   It can be extended to all of American life and beyond, all around our world.  We are all human and we all share basic human traits no matter our culture, country, society, nationality, religion, skin color, sexual orientation, political views, experiences, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, opinions…

“Our Town”, as Margulies states, is a “microcosm of the human family…”. It is all towns.  Everywhere.  This play captures the universal experience of simply being alive.

Act III of this play is breathtaking. Mr. Margulies states that he was shattered by it and that is how I feel as well.  Shattered then put back together once again but not without a few scars, a few breaks, a deep enthralling sense of enlightenment and compunction.

You know someone is a good teacher when that person can slap you with a truth so profound it brings you to a sense of ruin, leaves you with a sense of pudency, remorse for old ways, living and never knowing.   But it’s good to have someone or something break you down to the bone, pierce you to the core, punch you in the gut , knocking the wind out of you,   shatter you just to build you back up with a new sense of life, a new philosophy, a newfound strength, rebirth. 

Let it rip your heart out, shatter it to pieces, almost beyond recognition then let it glue it back together and move you forward with some scars to remind you to be mindful of the wonders of being alive.   The wonders we ignore, overlook, and slap in the face day by day.

Now I will leave you with some poignant quotes or lines out of this play.

In the play when the stage manager is interviewing one of the main characters, Mr. Webb, about their town, Mr. Webb says this:

Very ordinary town, if you ask me.  Little better behaved than most. Probably a lot duller. But our young people here seem to like it well enough. Ninety percent of ’em graduating from high school settle down right here to live-even when they’ve been away to college.”

Mr Webb: “…No ma’am, there isn’t much culture; but maybe this is the place to tell you that we’ve got a lot of pleasures of a kind here: We like the sun comin’ up over the mountain in the morning, and we all notice a good deal about the birds. We pay a lot of attention to them.    And we watch the change of the seasons; yes, everybody knows about them. But those other things – you’re right ma’am, – there ain’t much….”

When Emily died and found herself in the afterlife she insisted on looking back at her previous life.  The other dead people strongly advised against it as it would be too agonizing and despairing to see a life we once lived and can never , ever return to , but sweet, innocent Emily just had to see for herself.   They urged her to choose an “unimportant” day as opposed to one she viewed as very important.  One dead woman told her to choose the “least important” day of her life as it would be “important enough.”  And it would still be incredibly painful.

Emily chose her 12th birthday.

Here are some things she said as she looked back, as if watching a movie.

Emily: “Oh, that’s the town I knew as a little girl. And look, there’s the old white fence that used to be around our house. Oh, I’d forgotten that! Oh, I love it so!…”

Emily:(softly, more in wonder than in grief.)  “I can’t bear it. They’re so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old?  Mama, I’m here. I’m grown up. I love you all, everything. – I can’t look at everything hard enough.”

Emily: “Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me.  Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I’m dead. You’re a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally’s dead too.  Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway.  We felt terrible about it – don’t you remember?  But, just for a moment now we’re all together. Mama, just for one moment we’re happy.  Let’s look at one another. “

When asked if she was happy looking back, Emily responded, “No…I should have listened to you.  That’s all human beings are!   Just blind people!”

Here is what Simon, the suicide victim says after death to Emily:
Yes, now you know.  Now you know!  That’s what it was to be alive.  To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those…of those about you.   To spend and waste time as though you had a million years.   To be always at the mercy of one self – centered passion, or another.  Now you know- that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to.   Ignorance and blindness. 

Emily:
Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover’s Corners….Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking….and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths….and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you.  Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every,every minute?
Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some.”

Think back to days in your life, maybe a birthday, a holiday, a special event, a graduation, a wedding….what was important to you then?  The perfect napkin patterns?   The perfect gift?  Being a perfect entertainer? Spending a certain amount of money?  Looking good?  Getting gifts?

What was really, truly important?  Napkin patterns and “perfect” gifts?  Or looking into each other’s eyes.  Really looking. Hugs.  Warm embraces.   Really tasting that hot tea or coffee. Looking up at the sky and feeling awe surge through you.  Genuine friendships. Tucking your kids into bed.   Really listening as we speak to each other.  Stopping to see the flowers, to feel the sunlight, to hear the cars on the expressway, the birds chirping, to feel the warm blankets at night.  Cuddling with your fur friends.   To smell the honeysuckle and the roses and the warm cookies baking, to feel the rain on our skin , the soil beneath us.

Think of any “ordinary” day. What about clocks ticking?  What about the refrigerator buzzing?   What about the cars parked on your street? What about the concrete beneath your feet? What about the feel of air on your skin? What about the walls in your house? The ones you look at every single day. Do you ever stop to notice them?   Or are they so mundane you don’t give them a second thought?   What about when you’re making your coffee or tea? The sugar and cream going into it?  Look at that. Really.   Just look.   When you brush your teeth, get a shower, wash your hands, inhabit your body and your life.  What if you died but were allowed, for a few minutes to look back on this life, wouldn’t you miss all this?  Miss it ALL with a passion so potent it can knock the stars and the sun into oblivion?

It’s not just the big things, the holidays, the birthdays, the weddings, babies, and graduations.  It’s not just the pretty things, the sky, flowers, sun, butterflies and birds.   It’s everything.   All of life. The cars screeching in the streets, getting out of bed. Walking, driving to work, standing in lines, paying bills, stress. Wouldn’t you miss all that?  
What if your life changes dramatically?   What if someone dies on you?   What if you are stricken with a long term illness or chronic pain disorder?   What if a close family member or friend, a pet becomes terminally ill?   What if you become paralyzed tomorrow or something else drastic happens and your life doesn’t look like this anymore?  Oh, how you would long for the mundane, your old monotonous ways, your old stress and concerns.

It’s too late for them, but not for us. We are still alive.   Still so blessed with this gift. THIS life.

And now with this awareness.

We can wake up and do all the things alive people can do. You can die at any second whether or not you realize or believe it.  

Isn’t Thornton brilliant?  Isn’t he still touching people long after his own death with this wonderful play? His beautiful, profound message?

You can die right now.

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So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go make eye contact.  Go smile at a stranger.   Go embrace someone.  Go look up at the sky.   Hold hands.  Sit in a warm, cozy cafe with a friend and truly listen.  Go listen to people. Listen to what they say. Listen to what they don’t say. Take advantage of your senses, of being alive, Share a banana split with your mom, sister, or best friend, hold a door for someone and really want to, buy someone coffee or tea, And if you plan on getting married, forget about the napkins if they don’t turn out right, if you plan on celebrating the holidays, forget the “perfect ” material gift.  The true gift is your presence and your love and care.
I am a blessed girl. Truly.

Now.

Xoxo Kim.

P.s. And oh, yes, go read “Our Town” please. Ty

“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 

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“There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.” ~ Alexander Woollcott

“Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.” – Rosalind Russell

“So the sidewalk is crowded, the city goes by
And I rush through another day
And a world full of strangers turn their eyes to me
But I just look the other way

They roll by just like water
And I guess we never learn
Go through life parched and empty
Standing knee deep in a river and dying of thirst” ~ Joe Cocker (and other singers)

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” 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

Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’ – One Year <3

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“What I am well that’s what I am.
I tell you, baby,
That’s just enough for me.”  ~ Alice Cooper

“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 movie quote)

Hello, lovelies,

Here is something I can’t believe I’m writing today. I never thought I would live to see today.  
Never in my wildest dreams. I feel a tingling in my wrists.

Almost everyone who knows me knows of my super long battle with severe, suicidal depression. I have suffered with long term mild/moderate depression for much of my life with recurrent severe, despairing, debilitating  long episodes of depression and psychosis on top of that. Day after day, year after year.

My entire life has been consumed by severe, agonizing depression, in a vicious way. And I won’t sugar coat it or butter it up. I was suicidal almost every day for nearly fourteen years. I fantasized, obsessed, planned, contemplated, attempted…in various degrees ending my own life.  Some days I thought I wanted to die but really I just wanted to end the pain, not everything. But many days I did want to die. Not just to end the pain or to find solace but to end my life, everything, good & bad alike. Everything.   It wasn’t always relief I was longing for. Not a purpose I was searching for. Not changes or a better life. Just my own death. It was that bad.

Many days I even had great self esteem, I liked myself, loved myself even, had no problems, everything was beautiful.   But I wanted to be dead. I had no idea why. And when I would try to analyze myself to understand why, I would become even more suicidal. As I have mentioned, there are different degrees of feeling suicidal or thinking of it. It has chemical underpinnings and attitude/environment/circumstance can contribute to it. Sometimes it’s just purely chemical.

Telling people doesn’t faze me. When I’m currently dangerously suicidal I don’t tell people usually, out if fear of being put away.

But I will tell people about the vicious darkness that has consumed me. And I will tell people about Hope & Healing.

I’m not embarrassed by this disease and it’s not pretty but I won’t conceal it. I spent hours upon hours a day for many years just fantasizing about ending my life, I have come so close on many occasions when fear would stop me, fear that it wouldn’t work and I would just be sick, injured, or paralyzed…

I have experienced “black outs” where I would “come to” and find myself in the process of ending my life without realizing I was doing this at first or consciously knowing how I got there.

Some days I would be happy but still have hours of despair in the middle.

I was never able to go more than four months without being suicidal or thinking about it to some degree, mostly though, I couldn’t even go a few days without it.

I tried different things, various medications, dosages, therapists, psychiatrists, hospitalizations, self-help, personal development techniques…until I found the combination that works best for me. Not a cure but ways to heal & cope.

I am generally very happy now.  But I still struggle with the severe episodes.   Not as frequently or as long usually But they still occur. I still struggle with horrifying Psychotic breaks. 

But today is October 1st. My last serious/semi serious suicidal thought/urge was one year ago, October 2012. I cannot remember the exact day. But I know it was in October. Since then I have experienced excruciating episodes of despair, depression, psychosis but I kept hope alive. Knowing it will end and the sun will rise again. 

Medication helps keep me stabilized so I can work on myself in other ways to care for me. I can’t say I’m recovered and don’t know if I will ever be. But I learned to live with it and to cope. 

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I have been struggling for the last few days, feeling an episode coming on. I learned to usually detect impending episodes and be able to prevent a full blown one by monitoring and consciously changing my thinking and actions.

But it’s so hard. I keep feeling suicidal thoughts trying to emerge, not just brief, fleeting ones, but ones that I will begin to entertain and dwell on. Over a year ago they would have taken over by now. But somehow now I am managing keeping them at bay.

 I know some of my triggers but it’s not always triggered by something necessarily, sometimes it just comes out of nowhere.

Last night while I laid it bed, I wanted to let it just have me, have its way with me and succumb to depression and those suicidal thoughts trying to creep into me. It takes energy and motivation that I just don’t always have or feel like working on. Sometimes I don’t even want to.

This is more than just a low mood but it’s not a full blown episode.   I still haven’t had one of those suicidal thoughts.   Something keeps me going. I keep feeling so hopeful then hopeless then hopeful then hopeless. Then hopeful again. 

I keep telling myself after all this, I won’t let myself succumb.   One year is a big accomplishment for me. Those thoughts and urges were so much an integral part of me for well over a decade that it’s incredible to think I finally lived a year without them.  And because of work I did for myself.  This thing has symptoms that must be managed just like other illnesses. It flares up every now & then. It comes & goes. It’s more bullshit than I could have ever wanted to put up with. I’m sorry. {not sorry}.  

Ever since I was a young girl I kept wishing over and over and over (on the rare occasions I wasn’t wanting to be dead) that I could go one year without those suicidal thoughts & urges but I never saw it happening. Until now. Yup, mind=blown. Lol

Depression, psychosis, suicide contemplation are traumatic. All of it. Even recovery or remission is traumatic. It’s weird.   It’s beautiful. It’s freaky.   It’s unfathomable.  Not having those thoughts day in and day out.

And I never get used to it. Every second of every day, almost, I realize how amazing it is to not only be alive but to actually want to be alive.   To be happy in general. To have a strong will and desire to live.

I am overwhelmed.   When I’m in immense physical pain or sickness and it goes away, I have this amazing feeling, a conscious awareness of not being sick or in pain.   But after a while I usually go back to no longer being aware of it, consciously. I get used to it again.

But not this.

This, this never gets old. Not being in an almost constant state of depression, not having thoughts and urges to kill myself everyday all throughout the day, it never gets old. Even after a year, I am almost always conscious of it.

So much zest. So much life. So much passion.

I still get depressed.   I get angry, sad, unhappy. I can be ungrateful and bitchy some occasions.   But in general, I am the happiest girl in the whole USA! Lol ;-D

As I sit here writing this, I feel so many emotions swirling through me. I feel pain, sorrow, and grief, love, gratitude, happiness, confusion, loneliness, elation, heartbreak, and hope. So much hope.

Sometimes when I think back to all my days of horrifying despair & depression & psychosis and I see where I am now, I feel inspired. I see how much I have evolved, I see my growth & all my lessons learned. I have come a long, long way.  But other occasions, thinking back to those days of agony when my depression was so ingrained into me and threaded throughout all my life, I feel drained, horrified at the mere memories. Now I feel a mixture of all those things.

Pain is real.   But so is hope.

I want anyone who is feeling hopeless about anything at all whether it’s something seemingly serious or something which seems trivial to know that thoughts and feelings and perspectives change.  It may take work and it may not change right this second but you won’t be sad forever. Hold on, you got this. 

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Look where I was & look where I am. Look at me now! 😀

“Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider” ~ LeeAnn Womack

Go on, take chances. Live. Love. Maybe loving will be a mistake and you will be crushed, abandoned, rejected, ignored, devastated, not loved back…but love anyway. Live anyway. 

Love doesn’t ask for changes, it doesn’t ask for favors or to be loved back, love doesn’t demand someone to think or feel or act a certain way. Love simply loves.

“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you. ” ~ Norman Vincent Peale. 

“I am 99.9% sure it will never get better. But it’s the 0.1% that keeps me going. ” ~ Unknown

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill

“If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane” ~ Jimmy Buffett

“Come Monday, it’ll be alright.” ~ Jimmy Buffett. (Jimmy Buffett mentioned that he wrote this song in a C.A. Hotel room when he was suicidal and it saved his life.& I am so thankful. ❤ .)

For all those who don’t feel as old as they are and never will

I rounded first never thought of the worst
As I studied the shortstops position
Crack went my leg like the shell of an egg
Someone call a decent physician
Im no pete rose, I can’t pretend
Though my mind is quite flexible, these brittle bones don’t bend

Im growing older but not up
My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
Let those winds of time blow over my head
Id rather die while Im living than live while Im dead” ~Jimmy Buffett 

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Pour me somethin’ tall and strong
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care
It’s five o’clock somewhere

I could pay off my tab
Pour myself in a cab and be back to work before 2
At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder
What would Jimmy Buffett do?

Jimmy Buffett spoken:
Funny you should ask, Alan
I’d say
Pour me somethin’ tall and strong
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care

Pour me somethin’ tall and strong
Make it a hurricane before I go insane
It’s only half past twelve, but I don’t care
He don’t care
And I don’t care
It’s five o’clock somewhere

Jimmy: What time zone am I on?
What country am I in?

Alan: It doesn’t matter

It’s five o’clock somewhere

Jimmy: It’s always on five in Margaritaville, come to think of it

Alan: I heard that

Jimmy: You’ve been there haven’t you?

Alan: Yes, Sir

Jimmy: I’ve seen your boat there

Alan: I’ve been to Margaritaville a few times

Jimmy: All right.
That’s good

Alan: Stumbled my way back

Jimmy: OK Just want to make sure you can keep it between the
navigational beacons

Alan: Between the buoys.
I got it

Jimmy: All right.

It’s five o’clock.
Let’s go somewhere

Alan: I’m ready.
Crank it up

Jimmy: Let’s get out of here

Alan: I’m gone” ~ Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett

This song never fails to uplift me.
And this one:

Well you know those times when you feel like
There’s a sign there on your back
That says I don’t mind if you kick me, seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You think it can’t get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don’t know where you are
Used the needle of your compass, to sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie in a bottle of jim beam
And she lies to you
That’s when you learn the truth

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

I’ve been deep down in that darkness
I’ve been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different deamons breathin’ fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled I’d fall right into the trap
That they were layin’

But the good news is there’s angels everywhere out on the street
Holdin’ out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one’s that you’ve been draggin’ for so long
You’re on your knees might as well be prayin’
Guess what I’m sayin’

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going” Rodney Atkins 

“I may be lonely but I’m never alone.” ~ Alice Cooper

” I fearlssly walk into battle
With a shine on my boots and my teeth
Never flinch, never blink, never rattle
My blood is like ice underneath

Oh, I’m the reincarnation of patten
And I’ve got Hannibal’s heart in my chest
God told me I would have rivaled
Alexander the great at his best.” ~ Alice Cooper


But you and me ain’t no movie stars.
What we are is what we are.
We share a bed,
Some lovin’,
And TV, yeah.
And that’s enough for a workin’ man.
What I am is what I am.
And I tell you, babe,
Well that’s enough for me.” ~ Alice Cooper

Good day to you all.
P.s. This auto correct on my phone is more insane than I am, constantly changing words to weird things, even changing words to completely different words & bizarre symbols out of nowhere and spelling correct words incorrectly. Luckily I usually catch it before hitting send but occasionally I don’t and am embarrassed if I am writing to someone I don’t know well. The worst is when it changes a word to a different version. It changes “their” to “they’re” so embarrassing! Lol. It recently changed “unfazed” to “phased”! Seriously?! Shit’s off the walls! Thanks auto correct! Thanks a lot, I just love being mortified! It wrote this one day “jesus_20267475.html”. I saved it to show people. Lol I wrote some ordinary word and auto correct deleted it and wrote that thing! Whhhaatt?! Yup, my phone has lost its marbles! I guess we’re made for each other.

 ;-D. Remember, when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.

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Blue skies ahead.

Hope lives here.

Embracing Life as the Whole That it is

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“I love this crazy, tragic
Sometimes almost magic
Awful, beautiful life” ~ Darryl Worley

Life is full of beauty & pain, despair & hope, heartbreak & healing, heartache and growth, learning and evolving, Tragedy & dreams, setbacks & blessings. It’s full of grief, loss, winning & losing, wonder & awe, laughter & tears, smiles, good & bad, happy & sad, simplicity & chaos, comfort, consolation, solace, confusion, clarity, inspiration, love.

I cherish the simplicity that glimmers amidst the chaos & disorder, the smiles that shimmer through the tears, the laughter that still finds its way through heartache, the beauty that glistens in pain, the stars & the Moon that sing through the darkness, the still that rests beneath the clatter.

There is hope in the sunrise, comfort in the moonlight, life in the blue sky, love in the setting sun.

I find joy in the simple treasures, my long hair blowing in the wind, The rhythm of life pounding through my chest, sunbeams gently caressing my soft skin, the sweetness of hot tea, early mornings in bed with my dogs, the sounds of the city & the sounds of Nature dancing into my eardrums, starlit nights, daylight, the way the trees sway in the soft breeze, raindrops & snowflakes.

I want to live all of life, feel, embrace it for all that it is, happy, sad, good & bad. I don’t want to miss a thing.

HATE has 4 letters, but so does LOVE. ENEMIES has 7 letters, but so does FRIENDS. LYING has 5 letters, but so does TRUTH. HURT has 4 letters, but so does HEAL. Transform every negative energy into an aura of Possibility. It is our perception that makes the difference in the way we feel.”

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Xoxo Kim

Beauty in Unlikely Places (updated) <3

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I have been thinking about things that I find to be beautiful which many people do not. Things which many see as ugly, mundane, inappropriate, disturbing, less than lovely.

Here, I have comprised a list of some of those things:
 
❤ weeds- I can't count the
moments I have stopped to snap a gorgeous photo of some "plant/flower" I have found to be beautiful, only for my mom or sister to inform me I'm taking pictures of ugly. Dead. Weeds. But I continue on because to me, weeds, are just beautiful.

❤ Rain/snow/sleet – just about everyone around me complains about "miserable" weather. Rain. Lightening. Thunder storms. Snow. Blizzards. But I love it.

❤ Muddy puddles – yup. I take countless pictures of puddles. With mud. And dirt. And stuff. Sometimes they have oil rainbows. I guess car oil does that.  I find wonder in the unlikeliest of places.

❤ Signs of aging – Wrinkles, Gray hair, Laugh lines.. getting older is a true blessing. It brings more experience. More lessons to learn & to teach. More wisdom. Many people die tragically young. We are blessed to be whatever age we are. If we live to be old, gray, wrinkled, it means we had more days to live & to love. To bless & be blessed. To see things, to know things, we could have never imagined. Embrace your age. Embrace the signs of aging! Scream your age off the rooftops. Be proud you survived and are still going. ❤

❤ Body fat – yes I'm a girl who loves body fat! It's a sign of health. It has a function. It's not ugly. It's beautiful.  

❤ The female physique – I am a girl who really loves checking out other girls. I'm not romantically attracted to them but I find them to be very aesthetically pleasing. Not in a sexist way, I know a woman is much more than just looks! And I am interested in personality, thoughts, views more than anything! But I love girls' curves, clothes, Boobs, nails, hair. I even call girls sexy. Hott. Beautiful. Gorgeous. I have been told "girls aren't supposed to check out other girls or call them hott. ". And I say whatever to that! I like tight, revealing clothing for myself and other girls. I don't see it as disrespectful or degrading.   It's great to be confident and love our bodies. If you got it, flaunt it! And if you don't, flaunt it anyway! Lol ❤ ;-D

❤ Dark poetry/songs – I like poetry that can beautifully capture the dark side. Sad songs & poems can be inspiring & comforting. I love happy ones as well! I like how pain can be made into beauty. Poetic, lyrical,musical, educational….beauty

❤ Monday Mornings – not that I'm usually awake on Monday mornings. Lol ;-). So maybe that's why I love them so much! But Monday mornings are, to me, symbolic of new beginnings. New hope.  Mornings are always beautiful 

❤ Public displays of affection – some people find this inappropriate but I love to see lovers holding hands, kissing, embracing. ❤

❤ Babies with food on their faces, snotty noses, messes on the carpet: I love babies/kids and I think it's cute when they make messes. I would never mind having my carpet or furniture splashed in paint by little creative hands exploring & creating. Just beautiful. 

❤ cars screeching, people laughing late into the night , the sounds of the city, music through the walls, the sounds of people partying all night- this annoys a lot of people. Someone being loud late at night. But I have always found it so comforting.   I like knowing someone somewhere is up & alive while I'm laying in bed.

❤ pineapple pizza – delicious. But people tell me it's just wrong. Lol

 ❤ the scent of dogs. Lol I think dogs smell good, their fur, it's just a cute Lil scent.

❤ the feel of dogs licking my ears. Lol. It feels funny & it's cute! 😉

❤ Insects/bugs/snakes/rodents – I like creepy crawlers & not just the "pretty" ones. I also like centipedes, millipedes, sewer rats….

 

What unlikely things do you find beautiful? Is there anything “weird”, “bizarre “, “ugly”, “plain ” , “unusual” that you somehow find incredible wonder in? If not, take a look. Maybe you can develop a positive habit of seeing beauty where it at first seems there is none.
As I have previously mentioned if we look hard enough, we can find beauty even when it’s hard. Even through the tears, glittering amidst the pain & heartache.

Wonder what it would be like to have a journal of Beauty? Maybe like a gratitude journal but slightly different? You can use it every day or especially when you can’t seem to find beauty anywhere. I never tried it but I will! We can list things we find to be beautiful, any kind of beautiful.   They can be things commonly thought of as beautiful or things usually viewed as not so pretty. They can be things seen or things felt. Heard or tasted, smelled.
.anything. If it’s beautiful to you,it matters.

May you all find something lovely to experience whether it’s auditory, visual, tactile, or anything….

Xoxo Kim

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i stumbled upon this beauty on the counter at work one night. She’s not dead and that thing is not her leg off. It’s a scratch in the counter. My sister thought she was dead and that her leg was off. She may have been slightly injured but still beautiful. Still alive & well. I picked her up with my hands, gently and put her in the tree outside work so no one would freak out and kill her. 😀

And the picture all the way at the top is in fact a puddle of mud that happened to have a heart thing in it.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are 7 million.

Heart’s Flowers <3 {—–{—–@

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“Deep within the sanctuary 
Of ourselves there is a glade,
Where the grass is always greenest,
And the flowers never fade.
Nowhere is a garden sweeter,
Than the one love’s own hands tend,
Where affection falls like sunlight, 
Warming and awakening. 

Everlasting are the blossoms, 
That are nourished in the heart,
Little lights and little shadows,
Who can tell the two apart?
He who plants the smallest kindness,
Sows indeed a mighty seed,
For through years, like little acres, 
…Only love uproots the weed!” ~ Grace E. Easley

I came across this poem today by Grace E. Easley 

Isn’t it lovely?!

It may be hard to feel or recognize but with self work and some inner exploration and authentic self excavation we can find/create it. We can meditate, write freely in a journal or wherever you want, answer deep life questions, ponder, and reflect to find our truth and love deep within no matter what the outside world brings to us or around us.

When we nourish and cherish ourselves and tend to our deep inner needs, we can grow and find that we are all we truly need to be joyful. Nurture yourself. Care for yourself.   Give to yourself. Love yourself. As well as others. Little lights & little shadows. As the poem states, “who can tell the two apart?”. 
Pain & pleasure. Darkness & light. Happiness & sadness. Weakness & strength.  They contrast each other and one seems painful while the other seems like a gift.   The truth is negative feelings and experiences can also be gifts to teach us and guide us and allow us to truly appreciate the goodness and realize it.   

A life of all profound joy & happiness & positivity, if it were possible, may be good to a certain extent but if we just always felt a pure state of pleasure, happiness, and joy with no pain, no negativity, no darkness, no struggles would we ever be able to truly, fully, recognize and appreciate the goodness? What if there were no struggles or adversity? Can we ever truly grow and have depth and substance? I think adversity and challenges help us become. Become all we can. Grow and appreciate. I would never recommend to go out intentionally looking for direct troubles and inflicting pain upon ourselves or others just so we can grow or help others grow and learn but troubles and problems are inevitable as long as we’re living and so we can use them to our advantage and sculpt ourselves into someone who is stronger and wiser. We can choose to view them in a more positive light.   We can practice seeing them as blessings in disguise instead of a curse, an affliction, seeing ourselves as victims.

I think it’s good to sometimes take certain risks even if we don’t look for direct trouble.   By loving, we risk losing or rejection.   Filling out applications, we risk rejection. By trying we risk failing or not succeeding how we want to. By speaking up, we risk ridicule or criticism.   But all of this can teach us and strengthen us if we let it. 

These are some of my thoughts for the day. I hope everyone is having a beautiful day or night wherever you are and if not I hope you find some consolation & healing when you need it most.

Xoxo Kim