Tag Archive | challenges

Enduring LOVE <3

1464290543347eSmart_4___fancy26

“He drew a circle that shut me out – 
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in!” ❤

I don’t know who the original author of this lovely piece is but it’s so inspiring and full of Truth. 

“When they criticize you, love them for teaching you humility. 

When they heap scorn upon you, love them for helping you discover your resiliency. 

When they doubt you, love them for giving your dreams greater courage. 

When they point out your faults,
love them for their accuracy.

When they wound you, love them for showing you your capacity to forgive. 

When they try to stop you, love them for making your resolve even stronger. 

When they cast you into darkness, love them for helping you discover your inextinguishable light.

And when you stand victorious, when your love has conquered the impossible challenge, invite them to stand with you so they too can see love’s power and possibility.”

Love doesn’t exclude or seek revenge or resort to loathing. 

Let’s love, love, love, let love conquer the impossible, the negativity, the pain, the struggle, and include everyone into our circle of LOVE. ❤

Much love & light to you, always!

😀
xoxo Kim ❤

Advertisements

Limits

IMG_14170476_1

“The only limits we have are self-imposed.”

No matter what problem, pain, disability, challenges we have, it can’t conquer us if we don’t let it. We can still be happy, still succeed, and still live well.

Here is a fantastic song about still flying even with a broken wing.

A Broken Wing – mobile

A Broken Wing – desktop

“And with a broken wing
She still sings
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing
She carries her dreams
Man you ought to see her fly”
~ Martina McBride

What a beautiful message!

Nothing can hold us back if we don’t allow it to.

Let’s take those broken wings and learn to fly! 😀

Hugs & love,

xoxo Kim

Rainbows & Stars

image

“When it rains look for rainbows, when it’s dark look for stars.”

So, I stumbled upon this lovely quote today! And it happens to be dark, dreary, and rainy as I write this. Lol My very favorite kind of day!

To me, chilled, dark rainy days are not gloomy and depressing as many seem to feel. I LOVE these kinds of days. They awaken something lovely inside me. I also love sunny, warm, days with clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds! I love it all. All four seasons I am blessed to know all year long.

image

I complain about the weather on occasion, I confess. Lol I don’t care much to admit it but I do.  I wish I can say I *never* complain about something as stupid as the weather and I can  say that!  But it would be a lie. Lol And since that truth is kind of relevant to this post, I am here to admit it! ;-D And I’m generally very open and honest about myself. 

There are days it’s hot and I wish it were cold. There’s cold days I wish it were hot or warm(although rarely!). I don’t think there’s ever a rainy day I wish it weren’t raining though! Bring on the rain any day! It’s the same with snow! I love it! I love diversity though so it’s great that all days aren’t rainy or snowy.

image

But, this quote is a beautiful and simple reminder to appreciate the things that are going well even in the midst of negativity and pain. Some situations in this life seem overwhelming and unbearable and sometimes it may seem that even if there’s good things, the bad things are currently outweighing the good. But we can’t always change our current situation immediately.

Even if the unpleasant things seem to be more deeper or prominent or frequent than the pleasant things, we can still make a conscious decision to focus more on them when we can’t change the negativity or pain or unpleasantness right away.

This develops and strengthens our habit of appreciating everything we have no matter how big or small or simple. 

This ability is like a muscle. The more we work at it, the stronger it becomes. And even after it’s developed, it must be maintained so it doesn’t diminish. We have to practice, practice, practice even when we don’t feel much like it. Just like if you build your muscles. You can’t do all that work, develop a six pack, then stop and expect it to stay! It has to become your way of life.

It’s the same with positive mental habits. And negative ones too. The more you give in and complain and over-focus on the negativity, the stronger your negative habit becomes and the stronger the hold is it has over you. 

But negative habits can be replaced and overcome!

Of course, we have to tend to and think about unpleasant things and healthy venting is often necessary but we don’t have to dwell on it. 

Even in the throes of tragedy, depression, physical illness, pain of any kind, grief and loss, serious distress, this habit can be cultivated and maintained. It will not cure our problems, take away all of the pain, but it will help us cope and see the sunny side of things or at least see the sunlight seeping through the dark rain clouds even when the situation itself has no sunny side. Metaphors, I love them! Lol 😀

It was also raining a few days ago and I got some photos of the rain! As best as I can with just a phone’s (and a broken phone 😦 ) camera.

I have been feeling my creativity blooming again. I get these “things” every now and again where I’m so incredibly inspired to do something but don’t know what or how. It seems to come more when I meditate more frequently. Or read certain things. Sometimes it just comes out of the blue. I’m currently reading a novel (mystery) about a mysterious painter. I have a feeling it’s inspiring me on some unconscious level! 

I want to create create create! Photos, paintings, poetry, writing….anything!

My wonderful phone (even though these phones break so easily and quickly like inside for seemingly no reason, they are still wonderful phones, blackberry z10) has amazing photo apps which allow me to use bokeh effects, various other effects, and text on pictures, and much more and this sparks my creativity even more. I never thought of myself as creative but I think we are all creative to some extent, in some way, some more than others and some people are more in touch with their creative side. For some it comes so naturally and so easily, it’s ridiculous. (jealous) lol! 😀

But some of us have to struggle hard to find even just a thin sliver of our creativity. (That’s usually me) oh well!   🙂

But I’m so thrilled when I get fun ideas and plans and actually execute them even when they aren’t the most beautiful creations. Creativity is another “muscle” we must keep nourishing to keep it strengthened and maintained.

Even if you don’t feel very creative or have many ideas, you can just put pen or paint to paper or take photos and see what happens! It can become easier and easier and more conscious. And creativity isn’t just for artistic stuff, it can be cresting or finding solutions to problems or anything!

I hope this quote is a sweet reminder for you to look around, look within, look up and always see, feel those rainbows and stars even through the hazy fog and darkness. 

Xoxo Kim 😀

Serendipitous Strength

image

(that’s fake blood on my face for a haunted house attraction for Halloween)

I love funny and silly surveys for blogs and Facebook, like a list of weird, stupid, funny questions…would you rather be ridiculously rich financially but butt ugly physically or amazingly gorgeous, beautiful beyond belief physically but dirt poor financially? Would you rather eat hair or lick a toilet seat? Would you rather be in a dark, creepy room alone or in a well lit room with Michael Jackson? lol They’re funny questions. I would choose to be poor and beautiful. And I would lick the toilet seat over eating hair any day. Loose hair is disgusting. Aack! And I like Michael Jackson but not creepy dark rooms alone so I would choose the lit up room with him. ;-D

But anyway….i came across this question 

Would you rather be buried alive or stabbed to death? 

Horrible thought, right?! 

But I find it enlightening. It provoked me even more to think about the strength deep within me that I accidentally found and accidentally developed.

I would choose to be buried alive. 

Not so long ago, I couldn’t even imagine saying that. I just couldn’t imagine.

 First of all, if I am buried alive, maybe I can find a way out or someone can find me before it’s too late. Being stabbed is so violent! 
There are rare(at least I hope being buried alive is rare!!!) cases where someone has been buried alive and somehow escaped or was found before it was too late. 

I used to have an extreme fear of being closed in with or without others there with me. Closed in anywhere. Even a large room or building. I would avoid closed in places like the plague. Then my fear got somewhat better when I was eighteen years old in college. In this one building I wasn’t aware that we were allowed to use the stairs. It turns out, we actually were but I never knew til a long while later. Everyday I had to go in that building I had to desperately hope there were others waiting to go on the elevator when I was because I couldn’t bring myself to go on alone. I used to go early and just linger around the hall waiting for someone who was going on. (creepy, right?! :-O lol) I never said that I was waiting. Just when I saw someone going on, I would too. If the person got off before the floor I was going to, I would get off too then walk up the steps to the floor I was going. 

 Then I met a girl. One who had the same class and we got talking to each other and I found that she had the same problem! 
One day I got to the elevator and she was waiting too! And she told me she’s seriously afraid of small places and won’t get on without someone else! What are the chances?! I was embarrassed at first and wouldn’t really tell people but I opened up about it when I met her.

We conquered our fear together. 😀

I always thought of this fear as a weakness and never met anyone else that I knew of who has it this bad, my dad is like this but his never seemed as bad. Everyone I knew could get on with no problem, it seemed.

And when I met her, I was sooo happy! Lol Also, we were both very shy until getting to know someone better but we both had no problem with public speaking because it’s just something we had to do for class. We both loved meeting people we never met but were often too shy to initiate socialization first. But somehow we found each other! I haven’t seen or talked to her in many, many years. But the impact is everlasting. ❤

After that, I got more used to going in small places, elevators with people and I was mostly only panicked when I was closed in alone. Before that, I would avoid elevators at all costs and shake at the very thought of them or seeing them in movies. I often had nightmares of being closed in or trapped somewhere alone.
I couldn’t even stand walking by elevators or being in the same building with one. This was always the only thing that scared me about hospitals. I would shake walking through narrow staircases even with people. I felt like my body was turning to jelly. 

One day when I was a teenager I had to get on an elevator alone. I was in the US Constitution Center at some event and the only way to leave the building was to get on an elevator. They said I had no choice. There was no one else around and the security guard said I had to get on the elevator so I did. I went into a serious panic and I pressed my fingernails into the skin over my hip bone and just kept scratching until it bled and the doors opened. I was so scared, that was just what I did, unconsciously.

I never worked on this fear specifically but during my personal development journey, my quest to find healing, working on myself to help heal my depression and cope with tmjd “cluster headaches” without realizing it, I was conquering my fear of being closed in. With my personal development plan I teach myself and train my brain to know I can handle and conquer anything. To know I will always be free no matter what position I’m in in this life. To know life is a gift no matter what. To see positivity and opportunity in any situation no matter how dreadful.  I trained my brain with meditation and quotes and music and songs and writing to stay calm and composed for the most part, in any situation no matter what, no matter how painful physically or emotionally. I still struggle with this a bit sometimes, especially with severe physical pain. I’m much better at handling deep emotional pain than very severe physical pain. A certain level of physical pain that I experience occasionally can still seem too much to bear. 

It’s at a frightening level and it’s not common that people ever feel it to this extent. Not even prescription pain pills can touch it. 
But I work on myself constantly and even when I’m freaking out aggressively over a tmjd cluster headache, I still keep telling myself I will survive. 
I was trying to heal my depression and cope with it and cope with those head attacks.

And much to my amazement this was helping me all along with my fear! My phobia(i wasn’t actually diagnosed with a phobia but it may have met the criteria, I don’t know for sure) wasn’t destroying my life usually, because I was just able to mostly avoid small places but there were some occasions I couldn’t and had to be closed in somewhere.

Some people have a phobia where they can’t avoid the thing they fear or even if they can they can’t help but dwell on it constantly and it runs their lives. That was never me but there are occasions I embarrassed myself in public, especially as a kid, when I had to go on elevators or narrow staircases. And occasions I was extremely fearful knowing I had to go in a large building where there’s elevators. Somewhat recently I went on a job interview. I did not get the job but I had to go on an elevator by myself, they wouldn’t let me on the stairs going up, I asked, I was told no. I wanted to run out but I had the interview scheduled and I knew it wouldn’t be good to have them waiting and I never show up, years ago I would have been out the door so fast with the interview the last thing on my mind. So I reluctantly got on the elevator, alone, and while my heart started to speed a bit because of being closed in and for a few seconds I was overwhelmed in immense fear, like panic, I handled it so well. No panic. No breakdown. Just staying calm. It was so surprising. And just as much of an accomplishment as getting a job! Maybe more?
It wasn’t a happenstance. I worked to get to this point. (though unknowingly lol) I am so strong now. In so many ways.

 Then leaving the building I had a choice to take the stairs or the elevator. Just a couple years ago I would have taken the stairs without a second thought. Even last year. But on the interview I made the CHIOCE to take the elevator alone to get more practice and was even more calm than the first occasion going up! What a great accomplishment for me! 
It may not seem that big to some people but for someone like me, it is a tremendous thing.

Also I don’t like closing doors to small rooms even in my own house but in the bathroom there are parakeets flying around and we have to close the door. I was getting a shower one day and had to close the door. The handle is broke and I got locked in! I went into a bit of a panic. Not a full blown panic, but an intense fear, I guess you can say.  Not how people with panic attacks do. Not that bad. But I was pulling the door and banging on it hoping someone would hear. No one did. But I calmed down and reminded myself. Life is beautiful no matter what. I have the sunlight streaming in the window, I have my senses, the parakeets, meditation, Buddhism and Stoicism ….the window is too small for me to fit through so that wasn’t an option. And it’s on the second floor, it wouldn’t be safe to jump. I don’t want broken bones or whatever. But just some years ago I would have jumped if I could, risking injuries. I was there for like 20 minutes before I finally got the door open.

A couple nights ago I went to the Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary with my sister and my dad for the Haunted attraction. It’s a real abandoned prison that is in a state of semi-ruin, almost 200 years old. It’s said by ghost investigators to be truly haunted all year. Lol  It’s open all year but the rest of the year is just a prison exhibit to learn of its history, which is very interesting.

For the Halloween attraction every October, we get to walk through the dark prison inside and out in the courtyards when it’s at night, in groups. It has lights flashing, people screaming, monsters walking around, “prisoners” trying to attack us through their cells, monsters, all kinds of creepy, scary stuff. There’s lock down, the infirmary, night watch, an abandoned bus in a junkyard and other attractions we walk through. Things randomly and unexpectedly jump out at us, sometimes screaming and with weapons! There’s 3D things and people jumping through walls at us. They come right up to us with weapons holding them over our heads or up to our faces. Lol Isn’t it insane that people actually take pleasure in this? But something about a certain kind of fear is quite thrilling for people. Like amusement park rides and sky diving. And scary movies & books.
Also, I think our brains are not aware of the difference of what is real and what is not. Seeing, hearing horror in movies and things, the human brain cannot distinguish the difference. We know it’s not real but some part of our brain does not know and it has a negative/fearful effect on is, even later. That’s why too much fake horror isn’t good for us. I used to have a psychiatrist who told me that and I noticed it too when I read too many horror books close together. It has an unpleasant effect. He advised me to avoid fake horror all together. It’s not good for anyone and especially those prone to anxiety or depressive conditions.

It’s fun. And scary. I’m not afraid of monsters and ghosts and stuff but it’s kind of startling to have people looking all dead with blood all over them, screaming and with weapons jumping out in the dark at me with just an eerie glow around the prison.

image

(inside the prison – imagine walking up this long hallway knowing at any moment something or someone can and probably will jump out at you. Lol creepy!)

image

(it was the perfect night for a haunted house – or prison – because there was a full Moon or almost full Moon and I kept seeing it when we walked in and out of the prison into the courtyards)

They’re not allowed to touch us and we are not allowed to touch them. But this year they had something different where the bravest of the brave can wear a bright pink glow necklace they give us and this gives the monsters (the actors working in the prison) permission to touch us, grab us, snatch us, hold us back, separate us so we lose our groups, toss us into secret passageways, and do other terrible stuff. I haven’t been there in a couple years until a couple nights ago. So this was new to me.

image

I love haunted houses and stuff but my one fear has always been being separated and ending up in a small, dark place alone. This still scares me. I fear dark places as well but not as much as small or closed in places. 

But I decided to be brave that night and wear the necklace. I was abducted, strangled, held back, got my hair pulled, forced by two monster dentists to sit in a dentists chair so they can pull out all my teeth…they put the loud thing all the way to my mouth then I escaped! 

I was almost forced into a small cell and into a weird tunnel but I ran screaming. And the monsters laughed at me. Lol

Most people did not take the necklaces and some who did decided to take them off and toss them so the monsters could no longer touch them. Even my dad took his off and hid it.

Chicken shits. Lol ;-D

I was one of the brave few who kept mine on throughout the entire prison, not once taking it off. Yay me! Lol Although at one point the thought occurred to me but I sucked it up and kept going. 

image

(me with my medal of honor lol)

It took balls. Especially when most people were not wearing them so there was not many choices for the monsters and so the few of us who were wearing them were the ones who kept getting all the attention. At one point I was the only one wearing a necklace where I was and two monsters came up and said since I was the only one wearing one right there,  I was the “chosen one.” I was snatched while everyone around me ran away, even my dad and sister (thanks everyone! Lol) and had my hand held under some device that came down and was supposed to pierce my hand but when it touched me it was just rubber. Lol The thought of it was scary but I knew they couldn’t really injure me. But it’s sometimes difficult to shake the “what if…” paranoid thoughts in these situations. “What if a crazed person got in and switched the fake torture device to a real one??” “What if there’s a mistake and I accidentally get crushed or trapped somewhere??” but those are just fleeting thoughts and not really serious. 

I knew I could have been dragged and possibly tossed into a secret, small, dark place alone. But I took the chance. I would have NEVER ever been able to make that choice, probably even a year ago.

The thing that really inspired me to take and wear the necklace is in the beginning a monster said “you came here for fear so get all the fear you can get…” encouraging us to take the glow necklace. This also inspires me in general, to take advantage of every opportunity in life to live to the fullest, whatever “the fullest” is to me at that moment. To soak up all I can, all the thrills, the beauty, and feeling there is to feel. 

Being alive is an opportunity to take in everything we can, to feel. To live. To experience. To grow. To love. To make mistakes. To learn. To feel pain and beauty, sorrow and joy. Misery and happiness. To take full advantage of our senses. 

I been to this prison for the Halloween attraction a couple occasions years ago. The first day I went for the haunted attraction I was hugging, holding hands with, and clinging to people I did not know. Lol It was my first year in college, I was eighteen years old, and I went as a group with other college students, all girls and one boy. The boy wanted us to go first because he said he was the only boy. But we told him no, since he’s the boy he had to be in the front.
Lol we were holding onto each other like our lives depended on it.

It’s one of my favorite memories. And after the event was over and we were walking up the dark street outside the prison, a drunk person jumped out at us and we all screamed. He wasn’t trying to scare us and just looked at us like we were all nuts. 

Now, being buried alive would be way, way more terrifying than going on an elevator for less than a minute! And being locked in a room.
And way more horrifying than a fun tour through a haunted prison for Halloween.

 But I know now that I would survive emotionally as long as I survived physically. I would go into a deep meditation and have my Buddhist and stoic principles and my life philosophy and inner Truth, my authentic Self  to help guide me til I become physically free. I would still be frightened and panicked at some points. And maybe feel as if I can’t go on but I know I can. I have my life philosophy that I work on every single day without fail.  I can survive anything as long as I stay alive. As long as I’m free in my mind, I am free. Truly free. You can be free too if you’re not already, with lots of hard work and practice. We don’t have to allow anything or anyone to restrain us.

If you work to heal one aspect of yourself you can be strengthening yourself in deep ways you don’t even realize in other aspects as well.

I want this for everyone. Whatever pain, physical or emotional, whatever fear or problems, I want us all to find a way to conquer it. A way to cope. There was a point where I never ever thought I could ever heal my suicidal depression but I did. I never knew I can get better. It’s like a completely different world I live in every day now. One of love and light. I do still have days, hours, weeks, and months of despair, deep suicidal depression. I have days where I’m genuinely happy the whole day almost, but have random depressive thoughts and suicidal urges coming at me uncontrollably for what reason I don’t know. Sometimes triggered by something, occasionally not provoked by anything I’m consciously aware of.

But for the most part I am so happy and free. I am not cured. I will never be cured. I’m sure of it. But that thought no longer generally restrains me. I am open to being cured but I won’t count on it anymore. But I got better. I never ever thought my fear of being closed in could be vanquished but it is. It’s also not completely cured. My heart still races in small or narrow places, sometimes I still think there’s no way I can be closed in alone and survive with my sanity intact, I still avoid closed in spaces for the most part, but I conquered it and can handle it now. ME! I can’t even believe it!
And the tmjd cluster headaches I have which feel like cluster headaches, also known as “suicide headaches” and are not really headaches but head attacks. Like the worst toothache and earache imaginable but worse mixed with a severe burning sensation in the face, head, eye, temple. A literal hell that lasts for hours. Like a hot poker being driven through my eye socket and being held there for hours. Like my eyeball being gauged out of its socket through the back of my head. For hours. I never thought I can ever handle this. But I do. I survive each one. Not always without screaming uncontrollably for hours until I lose my voice. But I survive. There are people who have died by suicide not because of depression or any mental illness but because the physical pain seemed too much to bear. When I’m having those “headaches” sometimes I do think about ending my life even when I’m not depressed or miserable at all, because the physical pain seems unbearable like it has to end right then. That’s not the way to go. I can survive. This is the most difficult pain to cope with usually, luckily it’s not always frequent. Pain is but not to this level.

So if you are ever in a situation you are 100% convinced without a doubt you can’t or won’t survive, remember, it feels that way, it’s not true. I never knew I can ever survive the depression and tmjd cluster headaches but somehow I do. I survive each one. My conviction was deep, that I couldn’t survive but I do survive and now my conviction is even deeper that I can and will survive whatever comes my way.

And you can too, whatever it is. It can get better.  <333 ❤ Much love, hope, & strength to you.

Xoxo Kim 

Living for the simple moments {beauty all around}

image

“Underneath your blackest emotions,
far above your brightest wishes,
stands a world for you to hold” ~Samael

I was watching videos about children who suffer with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. It’s currently incurable and is a lifelong struggle for them. They suffer immensely and so do their families and those close to them who do the best they can to cope and help them cope.
They suffer hallucinations and delusions, some pleasant and some not pleasant. 
They talk to things no one else can see.
Unlike some children, these aren’t imaginary friends playfully made up for fun, they are hallucinations the brain makes up as a result of an imbalance in its chemistry. It doesn’t function the way most people’s brains function. They literally see, hear, feel things that aren’t there for everyone else and often, they believe they’re real. And to them they are very real.

You can tell a hallucinating person that what that person is seeing, hearing, or feeling isn’t really there and it’s possible the person will know it’s not really there but that knowledge will not make the hallucinations any less real.

That can be an additional stress on someone. Knowing what the person is seeing, hearing, feeling isn’t really there but not being able to make it go away, even feeling the need to respond to certain hallucinations knowing they’re not really there. It can be so frustrating.

Sometimes their mental illnesses provoke some of them to act violently against other people not because they’re bad people but because their brains don’t function properly. Not everyone with a mental illness is violent as a result but some can be. Most aren’t.
In other ways they can be just like other little kids. They like to play, go outside, run around, swing, laugh….

People with mental illnesses, children and adults alike, are a whole person underneath, a person separate than the illness. But sometimes the sickness seems to take over.

It’s a heartbreaking struggle.
 
One of the most inspiring parts of one of the videos I watched is when a little girl’s dad said he has only two hopes for his little girl. One that she stays alive and two that moments of happiness will always find her throughout her days even when most parts of her days are an agonizing battle, he hopes she will always find something to be happy about in the midst of her pain and struggle. 

image

This can be viewed in a more negative light like that it’s too bad that all someone has is little moments throughout the day because everything else is just so bad.
Or it can be viewed in a positive light that there are always moments we can embrace to be inspired and joyful, single moments scattered throughout each day that we have, to seize and hold on for. No matter how much pain we’re in.

 It’s a beautiful coping mechanism. Mental illness and physical illness is heartbreaking and devastating but as long as we stay alive and hold onto any little bit of happiness or joy or anything that can make us smile or giggle about, we can make it.

We can’t always hope to be cured or to be generally recovered or to go in remission right now. We can’t always hope that pain will end right now. Some things just won’t be cured and some people will have to struggle most days or everyday just to survive and do basic things. Some people will have severe flare ups every now and again, of an illness physical or emotional that will feel near impossible to cope with.
And even temporary pain or struggles that we know will end eventually, can just seem so overwhelming, so absolutely unbearable. 

But as long as we live and can find those glimpses of magic hidden in the midst of the pain and darkness, we can have something to hold, something to hope for, something that encourages us to keep going, to get out of bed, to move.

The reflection of the sun on windows and signs and water, the blueness of the sky, white fluffy clouds, a steaming cup of hot tea, a funny movie, the depth of inspiration a beautiful song can bring us, a poem, friends, family, animals, photography, books, the vibrant colors all around, random acts of kindness, strangers, hot fudge sundaes, peanut butter, the gentle flapping of butterfly wings, helping someone, funny jokes….whatever touches you in a deep place. 

These things, the simple beauty all around, are always beautiful no matter what our situation is but for some people with certain illnesses or disabilities or in certain situations, they are all we have at the moment. Just moments of simple beauty and joys. Sometimes it’s really all we can hope for, to have solitary moments of joy or happiness or some small sense of pleasure in the midst of our darkness.

And it can be enough.

I know this because when my depression/psychosis is flaring up for hours, days, weeks, months, whether it’s a full blown episode or just some symptoms, sometimes all I can do to stay alive, to find the motivation, the inspiration, the courage, and strength to carry on, is grasp onto all the single happy or joyous moments throughout every day of my darkness & despair. Focus on the goodness that still does exist.

I no longer have long term general depression in the middle of each major depressive episode but sometimes I still have temporary depression or depressive symptoms in the middle of each recurring episode and it can be difficult to cope with. Having depression or any mental illness or pain can feel like a different world than where everyone else is. Even when my depression is not flaring up and I’m not depressed at all, even when I’m happy, there are some occasions I think about it and it feels like I live somewhere else, somewhere that is very different than where people without depression live. It’s like another place, another time, another world. To know I have this dark place I slip into and have lived for so long.
To have random suicidal thoughts and urges that can appear suddenly for seemingly no reason.
It can be a struggle to feel like I’m normal. 
People say there’s no such thing as “normal.”
And that it’s good to be different and “crazy” and unique.
But in some cases there really is such a thing as “normal.” People who always want to live, those who don’t have to battle random or frequent suicidal urges, ones who don’t have unpleasant images and thoughts flashing across their brains, people who don’t have their whole body crushed in an invisible heaviness where they can’t even stand up straight, ones without panic attacks and flashbacks and frequent anxiety, food obsessions, seriously disordered eating habits ….(i don’t have anxiety or panic attacks or body image issues/eating disorders and never have but many, many people do and it’s a serious problem that is very painful for them)
This is normal to not have all this. 
And for people who have any of it, it can be a difficult struggle to try to be regular.
I know people without health conditions like this may not be “normal” in other ways but in this context they are.
And it’s not good to try to force ourselves to be society’s or someone else’s idea of normal while not being true to ourselves. 
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Yes it’s good to be “unique” but not when unique means battling violent urges to take myself out for days/weeks/months.
And “crazy” is good when it’s all fun and games and playing, acting funny and silly but it’s not good when “crazy” is a true illness.
It’s not always easy to handle and it provokes pain in me, even when I’m not depressed sometimes. Just thinking about it.
Not always. For the most part I feel and am normal. But it can be a struggle sometimes.

 The psychological consequences of having this condition, even when it’s not currently acting up, are profound and we have to find ways to cope with the pain and struggles and the very fact of having them when we are someone with a mental disorder.

I know I’m not a victim. That’s why I’m posting this, because I have found a way to empower myself and I hope it helps someone else. This life is still a sweet blessing. Just because we have bad things and painful things happen to us, doesn’t mean we are victims.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~Jawaharlal Nehru

image

 I’m alive. And as long as that remains true, there is hope. Even when I can’t feel it.

Sometimes the simple things are lifesavers, crucial parts of my coping mechanisms. 
They are all there is. 

I honor all the brave families and other people for sharing their stories, for sharing their pain and struggles with the world. Mental illness, medication, mental illness in children, specific ways of coping, treatment…are all very controversial. People disagree on the nature of some illnesses, whether or not they really exist, if certain treatments are ethical, the way people handle these illnesses and so much more. Anyone who shares a story like this that reaches a large audience, on blogs, YouTube, tv…, is bound to receive criticism of all kinds, some intended to be constructive, other critics intending to be malicious and inflict pain or anger upon those sharing their story.
There will always be loving supporters and those who just want to hurt.
Anyone who shares their story is brave and strong and deserves love and compassion whether or not we agree with everything they do or say or believe.
The people who share their pain with the world do the best they can the best they know how. 
No one chooses to be mentally ill. We have to take the life we were gifted with, healthy or not, and do the best we can with it, bloom where we’re planted, create a firm, strong foundation with everything we know, everything we experience, everything that is thrown at us.

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~Anne De Lenclos 

Mental illness, pain, being suicidal…none of these are choices but acting on them is often a choice. Acting negatively or acting positively. Giving in and giving up or finding it in us to keep going with everything we have. We have the choice to do something to better ourselves, to hold on, to inspire, bring hope, consolation, encouragement, and understanding to others. 

I choose to hold on, to keep going, to inspire myself and anyone else I can along the way.

image

And I hope you will always do the same whatever your situation is. And if you need reminders every now and again, look for them. Take photos of happy things, write positive quotes and affirmations in a book so you can always look at them when you need inspiration, always remember words, books, things that have helped you and let them continue to help you. Remember an occasion when you were happy and filled with joy and hope and full of life and know you have it in you to feel that way again. If you can’t remember when you last felt that way, then know there’s always hope as long as you’re alive.  The world is full of pain but it’s also full of hope, healing, happiness, love, and possibility. Endless possibilities.

image

“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 Pappas, “City Hall” movie quote)

Xoxo Kim

Love’s Power <3

image

“I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight
That to someone’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet felt a tinge of regret 
For being a little too kind.” ~ Unknown 

I work at a store. It’s window service and we sell ice cream and water ice all year long. We make ice cream sundaes, banana splits, gelatis, and sell soda, candy, and some other things.

I get tips a lot. When someone gives me a tip it’s often one or two dollars or some change. On seldom occasions someone gives me a big tip. The biggest tip given to me at once 
was around eighteen dollars. That is very rare. I’m always very grateful for tips no matter how much or how little the money is, and the person who gives me one, more for the kindness than the money itself. People don’t have to give me a tip but many do, out of the kindness and goodness of their hearts.

One of the most inspiring tips I ever received is 25 cents. 

One busy night at work I saw an old man in line. I love old people. I think they’re cute and am deeply inspired by their deep wrinkles, graying or white hair, their slow movements, laugh lines, their aches and pains, the gnarled joints that reveal strength, endurance, and determination, passion, longing, and vitality entrapped in deteriorating eyes and ears but set free through the power of Touch, their wisdom, that all reveal an undying desire and will to live and survive, to keep going, to push through it all with that sparkle still in their eyes, the smile that never fades, the long life of happiness, heartache, joy, and battles and beauty they have been blessed to know.

The man was looking to his side, smiling warmly. I felt an instant warm affection for him. I saw deep wrinkles around his eyes and mouth, white hair on his balding head. His arthritic fingers had difficulty moving, grasping and his posture wasn’t straight. But he still has something to smile about.

Then I saw what he was smiling at. His grandson. An adorable little boy.

The little boy also had a radiant smile. A joyous smile that seemed to light the night.

He was so eager to order his own food. Usually when kids come with adults the adult orders the food for them. But occasionally a child wants to ask for her/his own.

This little boy, probably around ten years old, was so happy to ask for his own food. A “special needs” child, it was somewhat challenging for him but he attempted, succeeded, and was so proud. He asked for food that costs $2.50. 

I spoke to and smiled at him encouragingly to show him how well he was doing. And his grandfather stood back and watched proudly.

The little boy handed me three dollars and I gave him his fifty cents back. He stepped aside to put mustard on his food and let the others in line come up to order. When I went back to the window the little boy said to me, “Excuse me, do you have a tip cup?” 

I gladly accept tips but I don’t ask for or expect them and never put a tip cup out. One of the girls I work with does though and her tip cup was on the shelf next to the window since it was just me working that night, so I put it out the window when he asked and he took one of his quarters he got as change, smiled at me, and dropped it in. Again, he was so happy and proud. What a kind and thoughtful 
little boy. Full of courage and love.
Glowing with confidence.

My heart welled up with love and gratitude and inspiration.

I said “Thank You so much!!” and smiled and he smiled that unstoppable smile and joyfully replied “You’re welcome!” and they walked away hand in hand. A little boy and an old man.

This little boy doesn’t let a disability stop him or a struggle or a challenging circumstance. He bravely speaks up, exercises his independence, and reaches out in love.

The quarter he gave me is a beautiful, tangible reminder of love, strength, and courage.

I love to help people. It’s one of my favorite things. I’m a very shy girl, sometimes a little bit too reserved, and sometimes I let it limit me. 
And sometimes I let my depressive disorder limit me.
Sometimes when I’m deeply depressed I let myself sink and not be the best me I can be. I submerge into a deep abyss and stop everything. Stop writing and reading and sharing uplifting quotes and ideas, stop smiling, repressing all of my creative urges…
And there have been occasions I was in a position to reach out and help someone or speak up or even just make eye contact with and smile at a stranger or someone, to give all of myself, to express my love and compassion and instead, I held back, stood back or looked away in fear. 

Fear of what I would look like to others, fear of not being good enough, fear of trying to help but actually making something worse, fear of making a misjudgment and someone really did not need my help or want my kindness, fear of messing up in front of someone and looking silly not in a good way, fear of someone negatively judging me for some reason, fear of coming off as useless or rambling, fear of being misunderstood, fear of someone seeing me truly, seeing me for me and not liking it, the real me, fear of someone not “properly” receiving whatever I wanted to offer, fear. 

Fear.

I let it interfere with my loving compassion, the tenderness that my heart longs to lavish on the world, I let it interfere with my desire, my longing to reach out and embrace, console, heal, and love.  

I don’t always let it stop me. But too often, I do. 

And a little boy reminded me of that one summer night when he reached out through the loving kindness in his heart and showed me love even though it was a challenge for him.

He was bold enough to ask for what he wanted. And brave enough to love.

And through his own love, kindness, and courage, he was able to encourage and teach/remind me of a lesson. Love is more powerful than fear. More powerful than pain of any kind.
It’s more powerful than any struggle or challenge or disability. It’s more powerful than pain and despair, depression and the desire to give up. If we summon the love in us, it’s more powerful than anything else.

“Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack

The only true disability is the choice to let fear or other unpleasant emotions stand in the way of love. And that disability can be corrected.

My love, my kindness, my willingness to help will not always be gratefully appreciated. I will experience forms of rejection, ridicule, apathy, people who see me for me and don’t like what they see. I will be misjudged now and again. I will be disliked, not appreciated, ignored. And that’s ok. I don’t love merely to be loved in return, to be appreciated and cherished. Those are amazing things to have but I don’t expect or demand them in return for my love, compassion, and kindness.

If someone does not receive my kindness and love the way I intend, it’s ok. It can be painful but it’s worth the risk. I will move forward and love some more. There will always be someone who does not care for my help, love, friendship, and kindness and there will always be someone who does. I won’t always know for sure who will open up and receive my love and compassion and who will not.

“Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack 

But I won’t stand back in fear of those who won’t. I will love again and again. And if it touches someone for the better, my dream is fulfilled. If it’s denied, ignored, ridiculed, criticized, and rejected, I will go on loving. My dream is still fulfilled. My dream to BE a being of love. To be an example of love. Love for others and the self. Love for people I don’t know personally and for people I do. Love for the most loving and beautiful people. Love for difficult people and ones who just don’t care. Love for those who aren’t easy to love.

“I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud.” ~ Jim Croce 

Love can be an emotion, an affective feeling and it can be a verb, an action, an expression. Whenever we reach out to make the world a better place or touch someone’s life for the better with the light of our own lives, we reach out in love. 

I hope you, too, will reach out in Love if it’s your true passion. If Love is your Way I hope you honor it and love. Love any way you can. Writing positive and uplifting comments to people on blogs, statuses, videos, encouraging your friends and family unconditionally, volunteering to help people or animals, being a loving mother or father or friend, working to help people, giving to those in need, smiling sweetly at people, helping homeless animals or people, sharing uplifting quotes, a warm hug or friendly hello, providing warmth and light to those in the cold darkness…you don’t need money or a specific job or even a lot of time. You can incorporate love into your every day. The most simple acts of kindness are enough to light up the world.
Even when you struggle to move your tongue, I hope you speak in Love.  And when your hands tremble in fear, I hope you still reach out to touch. When your heart is broken and scarred I hope it continues to guide you, anyway. And when you’re lonely and your arms are holding yourself tightly in your sorrow and despair, I hope you find the strength to let go and embrace another, someone else who may need your loving arms, your broken heart, your deep understanding. When your eyes are filled with tears and pain, I hope you find the courage still, to look deeply into someone else’s and find something that resonates with you, look into someone else’s eyes and see a reflection of yourself.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s
about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

I am forever grateful to all of those who remind me. Remind me to love, to take risks, to honor me, even though it won’t always be easy.

“Everyone needs reminders that the fact of their being on this earth is important and that each life changes everything.”
~Marge Kennedy

I heard and read the word “encourage” my whole life and knew what it means for about as long as I can remember. It means to bring some kind of support to someone, to help give someone a push to keep going. But until now I never realized the word “courage” in it and the “en” in front of the “courage.” To inspire courage. Like the word “enable.” able=ability “en” to empower or allow. To help someone find the courage that dwells deep within.

It’s an interesting revelation.

We have courage or potential for courage deep within us already and someone can help coax it out for us, even a young child.

We often think about what we can teach and remind children but let us stop for a minute and think what a child can remind and teach us.

Xoxo Kim

Be Average. Be Unique. Be YOU!

image

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton

image

“Live to express, not impress”

There’s this fear of being “average” or having an average life. A life that looks just like everyone else’s life. 
One that doesn’t stand out. One that isn’t radically “different” in some significant way. A need to find, list, and ponder ways in which we are very unlike everyone else.
And there’s this fear of being “too different,” of not “fitting in.” An urge to repress parts of the self that may come off as “weird” or “not cool.” An urge to mold parts of ourselves into things that look like everyone else’s things.
There are people who force themselves to do things, wear things, be things…they don’t really like just because it’s the style, trend, the in-thing.
Then there are those who are just the opposite.
They make it a point to resist what is currently popular just to be different and stand out, perhaps for shock value. So when they’re with a group of “clones,” they can say “I don’t have a smartphone” or “I don’t have a social media account ” or “I don’t watch tv” or…..and watch the looks on people’s faces, the “really?!,” “Are you kidding me?!!?” looks. 
They get to be different. Unique. Because they rebel against the masses.
This is great if it’s something they really don’t want because they naturally aren’t attracted to it or they feel it’s somehow detrimental to them but if we avoid things just to be different, we deny our true selves. Which is the same as conforming. Denying what we really want and who we truly are, merely to “fit in.”
Anti-conformity is denying who we really are or what we really want, merely to be or appear to be different.
But underneath you will always just be you.
And that’s ok.
No matter how much you resist conformity, there are ways you are still average, just like the next person.
No matter how much you conform, you are different somehow.
It’s a struggle to find the perfect balance of being “different enough” but “similar enough.”
Conforming but bringing our very own uniqueness to it.
A struggle that is unnecessary. Uncalled for.
We don’t have to be different in significant ways than the average person. We don’t have to be exactly the same, carbon copies of everyone else.
We’re all just average and we’re all very different.
I’m very much the same as everyone else but I also have my own uniqueness.
If I provide you with a description of myself, my personality, it will fit some other girl somewhere, very well. I love old music, stilettos, makeup, photography, chocolate, cake, dark poetry, happy songs, comedy movies, romantic comedies, love songs, vanilla frosting, personal development…
Someone else somewhere can say all this too.
 But we will still be very different than each other.
Just like if I provide you with a physical description of myself, my physical appearance.
It will fit someone else perfectly. Long brown hair, blue eyes, 5 feet, 5 inches, kind of thin….
But we will still look very different.
Because we are different. No matter how similar we will ever be to another, we have something that makes us different. Maybe that something can’t be identified or named. Maybe we can’t put our finger on it but it’s there.
We have our own perspectives, ways of looking at things, ideas, opinions, views, experiences, wisdom, knowledge, a combination of things that are unique and no one else will ever be. Even if we have an identical twin or triplets or anything.
But we are also average. Just like the next person.
We have desires, needs, goals, lives…hearts that pulsate, smiles that convey happiness and warmth, a longing to connect with others, blood that flows….just like everyone else.
The struggle of finding the perfect way to appear next to others and compare with others is not a necessary one. What is important is being our best selves. Living your passions. Basking in the beauty of life. 
Answering your calling. Whether it’s work, hobbies that are just for fun, travel, writing, watching TV, playing with your kids, adopting a child or pet, volunteering, helping people in some way…
Looking within to our authentic selves, honoring that Self, our Truth. Your Truth.
Forget conformity.
Forget anti-conformity.
Remember YOU. 

“So you think you know the answers, oh no
Well the whole world’s got you dancing
That’s right, I’m telling you
It’s time to start believing, oh yes
Believe in who you are, you are a shining star” ~Lionel Richie ❤

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Xoxo Kim

image