Tag Archive | comfort

Love’s Power <3

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“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

And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on….

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

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I struggle with a severe chronic facial pain disorder. It’s bad. And currently incurable with no known definite effective medical treatments.

“Pain is no evil, unless it conquers us.” ~ Charles Kingsley 

There are some treatments and home remedies that help sometimes. I’m not always in agony but I do have flare ups now & again that are just pure, raw agony. Agony beyond belief.

“Pain can be endured and defeated only if it is embraced. Denied or feared, it grows.” ~ Dean Koontz 

A kind of anguish that brings me to the point of despair.  I can’t believe my body is capable of experiencing so much physical anguish.   I can’t believe anyone can endure this.   It’s incomprehensible. It’s the most physically painful experience of my life. 

“While there’s life, there’s hope.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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And when this happens, sometimes I feel that I’m wishing I were dead. But as I have also mentioned, I also struggle with a severe depressive disorder that strengthened me and enlightened me. It awakened me.

“Today I will see something positive in all situations.”

I have developed a life philosophy that helps me see that life is a true gift no matter what. No matter the wretched agony I am currently enduring.

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

So last week in the middle of the night, lonely & grieving over the loss of my previous state when I wasn’t in as much pain, I thought I wanted to be dead. It was a very brief thought.   But I soon realized that it wasn’t true. It felt that way for a few seconds. And I remembered my own life philosophy that I have invested so much in, building and nurturing and maintaining.   All of the things I learned. All of my strength & inspiration.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all.” ~ Emily Dickinson 

And I kept going, kept telling myself life is good and I kept my hope alive that my severe pain would end or somehow I would learn to cope even though I couldn’t even begin to imagine how anyone can cope with this.  It’s just so agonizing.  

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein 

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It’s like the worst throbbing toothache anyone can ever have along with an earache & sinus ache all rolled into one all over my face and head. Just throbbing for hours or days almost nonstop, around my temples, eyes, jaw, sinuses, ears, shoulders, neck…. I was going out of my head, not knowing how anyone can live that way.  It takes an emotional toll on me.

“Hope is the little voice you hear whisper ‘maybe’ when it seems the entire world is shouting ‘no’.”

I was pacing the floors. Running in and out of rooms, wanting to scream and scream into the night until my throat was raw but my mouth wouldn’t open because my jaw locked.   I was devastated, furious, nearly to the point of insanity.  

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
Dalai Lama 

I am not an angry person, never have been. I rarely get furious and when I do, it subsides very quickly and I don’t deny or repress it but I almost never act on it physically other than civilized verbal/writing outlets, just telling people about my anger. I don’t yell or curse people out or cry and hit things.   I don’t ever feel like doing that. Not because I think it’s wrong or because I’m too shy, timid, or meek.  It’s just not in me to be like that, to express anger that way.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus 

But when this flared up last week, I was furious. I wanted to yell, scream, break things.   I wanted to throw whatever inanimate objects I could get my hands on and watch it break into a million Little pieces.   The way my body felt.

“Hope is the dream of a waking man.” ~ Aristotle

I did not want to hurt any living creatures. But I sure wanted to destroy objects. But I couldn’t because it was too hard to move. I could hardly open my mouth. 

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”
Napoleon Bonaparte 

It took a lot to not crack my head against walls. 
 Not out of anger but out of near insanity because of the pain and just having absolutely no idea what to do. It was driving me mad. I stood at the wall struggling not to crack my head against it.

I kept telling myself that when the horror ends if it ever does, I won’t even feel relief or gratitude until later, the first thing I will do is throw things and break things (alone so no one else has to witness or suffer) to release the fury I couldn’t express while it was happening. I felt like I wanted revenge.  Revenge on the pain itself. It makes no sense because the pain is not a sentient thing with consciousness. But it’s what I felt.

I kept reading stories and facts and poetry about chronic facial and head pain disorders. And I just couldn’t fathom the pain we feel. The agony we’re forced to endure.   It brings me comfort to read about these disorders, to know they are acknowledged at least by some people and knowing someone somewhere understands.   I love how we can take the tragedy of pain and turn it to beauty with poetry, drawings, songs….And if I could, I would take on all the facial and head pain in the world so no one has to ever feel what I feel. I can’t even begin to imagine someone else having to endure this. It’s unimaginable. Devastating.

TMJD headaches, Migraine headaches, cluster headaches (also know as “suicide headaches” because they bring people to contemplate or attempt suicide), Trigeminal neuralgia (also known as “The Suicide Disease” because it drives many people to contemplate and even attempt suicide to stop the pain)….

“When you come close to sellin’ out,
Reconsider” ~ LeeAnn Womack

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It was so extremely difficult to focus on anything other than my pain.   It is torture. It’s hell. But I kept telling myself, life is still a gift. I will still go on. Hope kept me going.

HOPE.

I realized then even more, how important it is to develop a life philosophy.   A specific, firm outlook on life. So when things get difficult and devastating, we have our own life philosophy to fall back on. My life philosophy is all about love & compassion for others and myself and that life itself is a blessing no matter what and if I really try, I can find hope & strength deep inside to keep on going. I believe that no matter what terror and pain I encounter and endure, no matter how much pain I must experience, either physical or emotional, I will eventually conquer it and keep going and still be happy in general. And pain will strengthen me & teach me. Even when it currently does not seem that way.

“Take that first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

There’s always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for, something to smile about, something to look forward to….things can be handled positively. Life itself is pure blessing. 

Life.

I don’t just tell myself this occasionally. I live it. Every single day.  I write about it, meditate upon it, find quotes, books, writings, people, blogs, videos…that support it, nurture it, confirm it.

“Some people see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope.” ~ Unknown

I keep up on it constantly. In good and bad, beautiful, ugly, painful, everything, it is my life.

It’s a conscious, intentional decision, habit I have formulated. It often comes naturally to me but sometimes I have to force it, remind myself to maintain it even when it’s so difficult. 

If I really try, I can summon those hopeful feelings.

I have little lapses now and then where I falter or fall and forget or ignore my life philosophy that I have established.   It goes right out the Window.   But it’s ingrained enough in me that I always come back to it. Find it once again. 

“I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today.” — Og Mandino

I heard of this goal or project people do every year. They choose a word for the new year and make it a point to constantly live up to that word everyday for the whole year. I never felt compelled to partake in this activity because there are various words, not just one, that I intend to live up to.   Hope, gratitude, compassion, love, ALWAYS LOVE, kindness, honesty, inspiration, strength, positivity, HAPPY, optimistic, HELPFUL, the list goes on && on….Many of these individual words contain multiple other words… and I don’t want to only plan on living this word for one year but for always.   Forever & for always.

“And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you” ~ Mariah Carey 

But if I were to choose a word for 2014, it would be HOPE. This is something I need. It’s something I have been feeling so much of lately.  And when I feel that my hope is gone, I remind myself that it’s just temporarily misplaced, not forever lost.

Hope keeps us going. Even a small slither, a tattered string, a frayed thread can be enough…..

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.” 

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I find it usually more difficult to live in hope when I’m deeply depressed than when I’m in a lot of physical pain. Physical pain & illness often feels hopeless but it can also instill in someone, a strong, fierce will to survive, to do whatever it takes to live. Depression, true depression that isn’t just a low mood is often the opposite. It often saps the will to survive, the desire to do whatever it takes. So it’s extremely important to remember and keep reminding ourselves over and over that depression feels hopeless but it’s not. It creates lies and delusions that things are forever hopeless and can never get better and that life isn’t worth struggling for.

 “The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

But even with the severe agony of depression, it’s possible to have some sort of glimmer of hope, enough to keep going.   We may have to work harder to tap into it, to believe it. But it’s possible!

“Embrace your challenges with an open heart because through every challenge, strength forms.” 

I even bought a notebook recently, on one of the days my pain disorder was at its worst.   On the front cover it says “Live in hope.” and I bought a candle holder that says “HOPE.”

I found both of these accidentally but at the perfect moments. A perfect coincidence.

“I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.”
Abraham Lincoln

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Sometimes I can’t be happy and I can’t be completely positive or cheerful or pain-free but I can have hope. Hope for something specific or just a general state of feeling hopeful. 

“You are not the victim of your body. ” ~ Dr. Christiane Northrup

And even if the thing I hope for can’t or will not happen, I can have hope for something just as good or something even better. I am surrounded in hope. Filled with hope.

“In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Even though it benefits us to have hope though, it’s detrimental, I believe, to put off current happiness & peace of mind hoping for something better or hoping for something impossible. Hopelessness isn’t always despair; sometimes hopelessness about something we know can’t happen or won’t happen, is just acceptance and liberation, then we can move forward hoping for better things.

Hope should be exhilarating and motivational and inspiring, not something to hinder us, keeping us in invisible shackles. So when we find what we have been hoping for just won’t happen, we can move forward to new hope. Live in hope.

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
Aristotle Onassis

“A Picture of Pain”
by Bear Peterson

“I tried to paint a picture,
Of how I really feel.
But I could not find the colors,
To make it all seem real.
Not one color was hot enough,
To show the burning pain.
Not one color bright enough,
To make me wince again.
Not one was dark enough,
To show the isolation.
In the end saw one thin line,
Worn, frayed and almost broke,
To my mind that one thin line,
Is a single thread of hope.” 

(poem about migraine headaches)
– See more at: http://www.ahmablog.com/2013/05/ellen-draft-3.html#.UrsePZpOnHw

Much happiness, love, & comfort to you all. I hope you find healing if you need it. And if you are struggling with any kind of pain, temporary or chronic, physical or emotional, please know I am very understanding.   I can’t know, literally, how you feel, even if we have the same thing because we are two different beings, but I have some sort of deep understanding and much compassion.

“You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear” ~ Mariah Carey
Xoxo Kim

P.s. When the worst of it finally ended, I felt relief & gratitude and did not throw things, scream, and break stuff. ;-D

“Be happy not because everything is perfect nor because everything goes your way. Be happy because everything sucks but you are doing just great. “

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“You could go the distance, you could run the mile, you could walk straight through Hell with a smile.” ~ The Script

Pain & my gratitude list for today

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

I am struggling hard with a somewhat severe flare up of my facial pain disorder. It’s not as bad as it tends to get sometimes but it’s bad. I had difficulty sleeping last night because the Throbbing pain kept me awake. My jaw locked shut and I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough to even fit my soda bottle into it.  The chronic pain disorder that I have (TMJD) sometimes causes sufferers to experience the locking of their jaw either locked shut or open.  

It’s literally physically locked and can’t be forced open/closed until it decides to on its own. There’s no known cure or definite effective treatment. Most of the best treatments seem to be home remedies such as heating pads and cold packs, facial massages, stretches, avoiding certain things like gum chewing and hard food, avoiding stress because that tends to aggravate it…

My pain disorder is the most physically painful experience of my life. I’m not constantly in severe agony like some people but I am in pain more often than not and it flares up every now and again to severe agony that is debilitating and seemingly unbearable.  

I struggled with this since I was a little girl but I had no idea what it is or that all the symptoms I experience are connected. I thought it was a sinus/ear condition complication since I used to have recurrent ear and sinus infections and my pain disorder affects those parts of the body. I was always afraid to tell my mom about my weird, confusing symptoms.

My left arm goes dead/weak, I experience sudden and temporary deafness, searing pain like a very severe tooth/ear/sinus ache all over my face, jaw, ears, around my eyes, temples, and now my neck, shoulders, head, and down my left arm. It used to only be on the left side of my body, now it’s on my right side as well.

My condition got worse and worse through the years until a couple years ago it became unbearable to me. I would scream out loud for hours through the night into the early morning until my throat was raw and sore and my mouth tasted like blood.   Sometimes I couldn’t even scream or cry, all I could do was squeeze the bars on my bed with one hand and hold my throbbing face in the other and writhe in agony.  

Physical pain frightens me when it reaches a certain point. I begin to panic. I have always been this way and I don’t know why. So when it flares up really bad, I am scared out of my mind. Every year I develop another symptom. When a doctor told me what this condition is I struggle with, it was one of the worst moments of my life. It felt like my life was shattered to pieces. That was around when my depressive disorder was really starting to get better in general. I was happy and hopeful.

Then my mysterious physical disorder flared up. It physically paralyzed me. I stayed wide awake for four days straight. With not a second of sleep. I screamed night after night til I lost my voice. I contemplated suicide.  Not because of depression, for once. I wasn’t depressed.

I thought I would die because of not sleeping day after day.

I thought about buying or stealing drugs to help me stop the pain. Someone gave me prescription pain pills illegally.   I was desperate. I took them. I took one. It wouldn’t work. I took a few more at once. They only took the edge off but I began feeling like myself again and was able to sleep.

When I thought it was a sinus/ear condition I believed that can always clear up but when the doctor told me it’s a chronic and currently incurable pain disorder that really has no professional treatment, I was absolutely devastated. It took everything I had not to crumble right there in her office.

Doctors often don’t like prescribing pain pills for pain disorders because they think people just want drugs and the chronic pain conditions can’t always be seen objectively with tests and sometimes pain pills don’t even work anyway. And I wouldn’t want to live on pain pills in general or take them frequently.

I had no idea what to do or how I would go on living. She gave me suggestions for how to ease the pain and prevent severe flare ups, like facial massages.  I never knew I can touch my face because I thought that would make it worse. Just the mere thought of touching my face horrified me. Many nights before the diagnosis, I would lay in bed and imagine a human hand stroking and massaging my face wishing desperately that someone could do that for me but never knowing it can really be done without exacerbating the pain.

I would imagine the hand in different skin colors and sometimes imagine it invisible.   When the doctor told me it’s not only ok but necessary for me to massage my face I was doubtful and terrified.   That night I kept thinking about it, trying to get the courage up. I would put my hands to my face then lose the courage to touch it. Then one moment I touched my face. Then I pressed on it and massaged it and I couldn’t believe it actually mitigated the pain. It wouldn’t take it away but made it almost bearable.  

The more I massaged it each day, the less my pain would become. Now that’s one of my greatest techniques. 

The thing that helped me cope with my physical pain disorder is my depressive disorder.   Because of years living with a depressive illness and learning ways to cope with it, I was already used to making myself better with personal development techniques and positive/optimistic thinking.  So this prepared me for the worsening and diagnosis of this physical ailment. I knew I am strong enough to handle this.

One of the many great things about struggling with a severe depressive illness for years and working hard to get better is, it can strengthen us beyond belief and prepare us for anything, if we allow it to. I always thought of my depression as a “curse” for the most part, for many years, but it’s actually one of my greatest blessings, as horrific and agonizing as it is.

It made me so much of what I am today.  

Suffering with severe pain of any kind can be excruciatingly lonely. When I’m suffering with a severe flare up of TMJD pain, I see everyone around me going on like usual not even realizing how incredibly blessed they are. So blessed. To be able to go on like nothing ever happened, having fun or not, laughing, eating, planning, talking, sleeping…

Not in severe anguish or despair. It’s like that with depression too.

But depression and physical pain can also open us to realize the simple but profound blessings all around. When I’m in too much pain, either physical or emotional, to do much of anything, I often see things in a way I overlooked before the pain flared up.

I see the moistness on cold soda bottles, the vibrancy of the colors in Nature, the texture of food…and I would do just about anything to go back. Back to where I was before.   When the pain wasn’t so bad.

The good thing is that we can strengthen or develop the habit of seeing the simple greatness surrounding us so even when we aren’t in agony, we can bask in the simple treasures of life. I often do this more now, even when I’m not in pain.  

That’s the good thing about pain. It can teach us so much. But not everyone will experience pain to that degree and depth and I hope they never will.   I want to teach “ordinary” people without pain disorders to be constantly and consciously grateful for not being in pain, for all the simple things, the beauty of life.

Many people will say they’re thankful for everything when the concept arises but I believe we should think about it more often than just occasionally. 

I don’t want tragedy to have to hit to make people awaken to the beauty and gratitude and abundance we are blessed with.

I will admit, sometimes I feel sorry for myself when I’m in too much pain. Especially at night when I’m in my bed or pacing back and forth in my bedroom while all the world around me is asleep and I’m in my own hell suffering beyond belief.   And I believe that’s ok. Ok to feel sorry for myself on seldom occasions.  But I don’t make a habit of it. Instead I make a habit of being strong and thankful and optimistic and positive whether or not I’m in pain.

My heart goes out to all who are suffering or struggling with pain of any kind, physical or emotional, whether it’s chronic or temporary.   When I’m having a severe  flare up, I hurt for myself but all I can mostly think about is the ones who have it worse and my heart breaks for them. There are people living in constant agony and not just occasional flare ups. And some people’s situations makes it harder to handle or live with. Since I myself have pain disorders I thoroughly understand what it’s like. Even if I never experienced chronic pain or severe agony I would be compassionate and understanding for people who do have it but the fact that I have it makes me understand more what it must be like for people always suffering.

Whenever I have a severe flare up, I try to make it a point to list a few things I’m thankful for. I have a choice to either sink into despair and focus on the pain all around or focus on beauty and hope. Today I choose Hope & Beauty.

Here’s my list:

1.) I’m thankful for the books and plays I’m blessed to have come across.

2.) I’m grateful for the songs I’m blessed to know.

3.) I’m thankful for personal development/self-help techniques

4.) for posting here

5.) for the people I have met on and off line

6.) for my body that functions very well

7.) for everything I have learned

8.) for the cold weather

9.) the beauty outside my window

10.) for blogs

11.) for animals

12.) for life

Pain is real. So is hope.

Much love, blessings, & strength to you all.

Xoxo Kim

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But I Keep Holding On

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We walk around with stories or theories in our heads constantly, everyday. We have stories and theories about why things have happened and what will result if certain things happen. Sometimes our theories and stories are so strong and we are so convinced that they are accurate that it takes over our lives and we see no other way. They can be negative and they can be positive.

And we have a choice.

In Dr. Gottlieb ‘s book, “Learning from the Heart”, which I have previously written a couple posts about, one of his life lessons he writes about is how theories are just that, theories. They may or may not be true. You may have a negative theory in your head such as “If I don’t get a promotion at my job, I’ll never have more than I have now, I’ll be stuck getting paid next to nothing, I’ll never move on…” or “I went out with him and he hasn’t called me in two days that means he doesn’t like me and I ‘ll never see him again!”

First of all, your theory may not even be correct at all. Just because you don’t get a promotion now doesn’t mean you never will or that you’ll be stuck forever. You may accidentally stumble upon a new opportunity or you can work extra hard and find a new job. And you really have no clue why the boy/girl doesn’t call you back. Maybe he’s sick or extra busy or stressed. Maybe he totally lost your number. Maybe he doesn’t want to look desperate. Or….maybe you are correct! Maybe he’s just not that into you.

We should choose theories or stories that benefit us until we find out the truth. Let’s not go walking around with the worst theory ever. Let’s keep an open mind to limitless possibilities. And the second lesson is that it will seriously benefit us to ponder the worst theory, our worst fear. What if he doesn’t like you? What if you’re being rejected? What if he found someone he likes better? What if you don’t get promoted? What if you don’t get the job? What if it doesn’t all go as planned?

Let’s imagine the worst so we can imagine how we will cope when the worst does in fact happen. As long as we live, bad things will happen to us and we must learn to cope, heal, move forward & live with it.

So it will benefit us to keep an open mind, not assume the worst but KNOW that if the worst is true we will live and keep going.

One of Dr. Gottlieb’s examples is when his editor at the “Philadelphia Inquirer” severely criticized one of his columns. Dr. Gottlieb was devastated and experienced strong unpleasant emotions like terrible anxiety and self -reproach. He imagined getting fired or quitting this job he loved so much. For a few days he lived as if he were no longer a columnist. Then his fear decreased quickly.

Dr. Gottlieb also experienced fear before his surgeries which he had to have after his tragic accident. He feared death and imagined what life would be like for his girls if he were to die. He chose to just be with his fear instead of repressing it or running or denying it. Eventually the fear dissipated. Bad things will happen to us every now & then but we will get by. Just sit with your fears and emotions. Let them run through you, acknowledge them.

Think of a current or previous situation you have been faced with where you had a theory, a negative one. Where you jumped to the conclusion that the worst was/is true and that you would not be able to handle it.

What if you changed your theory that you felt so strongly is/was true? What if your conviction is off? As Dr. Gottlieb states: “To let go of something we’ve always believed in requires a leap in faith – trust in something that is unknowable. And I think the task for all of us is to have faith in our own resilience. When that happens, we are exposed to many more possibilities.”

Take that leap of faith. It may be uncomfortable to let go of something you have felt so strongly for so long but move outside that comfort zone to better things.

There are so many less dramatic theories we can be having in our heads.
Maybe the friend who ignored you on the street wasn’t paying attention, maybe you were rejected for a job for lack of experience, not lack of qualification or intelligence, maybe the person who doesn’t like you back is just not compatible with you and there’s nothing wrong with you, maybe if you lose your job something better will come along…..

So why not have faith in a more positive theory or be open to the fact that any theory may be accurate but still know that you CAN survive the worst and you WILL survive!

Keep on going!

Also here’s an update for anyone who knows I have been struggling so, so hard with depression and anyone who cares. My depression is so much worse than it has been in a while but nowhere near as bad as it used to get sometimes. Today I had a few brief suicide “visions”/fantasies but not plans or contemplation. I’m working hard to avoid that.

If you want to take your mind off certain thoughts, it’s best to not directly try to avoid those thoughts or feelings or they will likely become stronger. Instead try to distract yourself and escape the bondage by doing something pleasant to take your “mind” off it. I have been thinking/reading about Philosophical theories on various things. I love Phil. And I attended college for it and took it just for fun. I felt it helping me today

It’s all good.

I hope you are having a great day and find some consolation & strength & hope. I am so happy I learned personal development/self help techniques to help me along with medication. Years ago when I would be depressed I wouldn’t usually know what to do. I try not to dwell on the negativity of this and instead tackle it and see it as a challenge and find creative ways to handle it. Some moments I feel I can go either way, be sucked into a severe Depressive episode or go the other way and hold on til this ends. I’m holding on for now!

And I hope you will too if you’re having some challenges and struggles no matter what they may be. See if you can be creative and find various ways to cope with it instead of giving in to despair.

😀

“I know this pain
Why do lock yourself up in these chains?
No one can change your life except for you
Don’t ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your heart and your mind
Is it really fair to feel this way inside?
Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day?
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day” ~ Wilson Phillips (“Hold On” lyrics)

Baby, hold on for one more day. Everyday!
Xoxo Kim

Every Storm Runs Out of Rain <3

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(old picture of me I recently found taken on December 31, 1991, I was 5 years old

“I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today.” ~Og Mandino

Two days ago in one of my posts I mentioned that I’m struggling with symptoms of depression.   I can feel an impending episode of severe depression about to hit. It’s starting out like all the others.  Sometimes I can prevent it if I really try hard before it pulls me in to the point of no return for weeks or months.

I can feel suicidal feelings and thoughts about to manifest. I don’t want this to get out of hand so I made a conscious decision yesterday afternoon to do all I can to try to keep it right where it is until it goes or to help lift it.  I am so tempted to give in and cave but I keep going. I feel as if I’m about to crumble but I’m staying strong.   It’s not easy. It’s extremely difficult.  

I can see things all around me that I find immense joy in when I’m not depressed. Crunchy & colorful Fall leaves, the beautiful sky and city lights, animals, people, the sounds all around, pumpkin Spice coffee & hot tea….

I see things I want to want, things I want to be interested in.

But I feel disconnected like I’m not taking full pleasure in it all. I am having memory & concentration problems. Forgetting the simplest things.  When an episode is coming on, my senses often become less sharp, things seem bland like There’s no flavor or rhythm in anything, I get furious off and on (I generally don’t have anger issues), I take every little thing too personally when any other day I wouldn’t even care about it, I have an extreme low feeling beyond a normal low mood, everything looks bleak and gray….stuff like this.

One thing that helps me immensely is quotes & positive writings.   I love, love, love quotes that inspire me and bring me a sense of consolation. I love to read them, meditate upon them, and share them with others.   Sharing is caring.

So I decided to compose a list here of comforting quotes of hope & strength to help me and anyone else who may need little reminders to stay strong & keep going. I also have my positive Playlist of songs I have been listening to.

Maybe I can’t pull myself out of this.  And it does feel like it will never end but I can do things to help myself and keep reminding me that it WILL end no matter how permanent it feels.

I want to give in but I know that’s not good.   It’s my responsibility to care for myself and do what I can to see it through. If I had a physical illness flaring up, I would do what I have to to manage, ease, and eliminate the symptoms and that’s exactly what I must do with this.

But with this it’s hard because depression saps energy, motivation, and kills the will to live while physical illness often strengthens the will to survive and motivates people to do whatever it takes to keep living and get strong and healthy. 

Sometimes it’s hard to believe I have depression as an illness and I just believe I’m just worthless and empty and that’s why I’m so depressed. But I often know now that I have a condition and I remind myself that. Last night it was really taking a whole lot of energy not to become suicidal.  It’s so hard.

As hard as it is though, I know I have the choice. The choice to keep going…

I’m very happy & inspired because I have been receiving sweet messages by people on Facebook and here expressing gratitude to me for sharing all the uplifting pics, quotes, words,& messages I share everyday. That’s so sweet and I’m thrilled to know I am able to touch lives for the better.  Social Media, when used positively, is so amazing for reaching people, even ones we don’t even know, all around the world.  Just one simple picture shared or one quote or word of encouragement can brighten someone’s day immensely.

This is another reason for me to hold on, so I can help others, share my stories/experiences, reach out to people in various ways, and inspire as deeply as I can in any way I can. I am very shy at first and don’t always reach out to people first but I am extremely open, even with strangers, when the opportunity comes up. I don’t mind telling my entire life story, good & bad, to someone I met two seconds ago. And I love to hear/read people’s experiences/stories good & bad. I have always been this way. My mom gets frustrated with me sometimes and yells sarcastically, “That’s it, just tell the world all my business!”. Lol and that’s just what I will do.

To me, there’s no such thing as “Too much info.” and people “airing out dirty laundry” is a good thing! ;-). As long as it’s meant to connect with, share with, express, bring awareness to, help & inspire and not merely meant to be a drama queen! Lol. 

I accept people and their mistakes and “flaws”. I may not agree with a view a person holds or with something someone has done but I will love the person just the same without negative judgment. I am in no position to judge like that. I am no better or worse than anyone, my life is no better or worse, my morals are no better or worse. I live & let live and I know that things people do that to me seem wrong or not good, usually say nothing of the character or goodness of that person.  The best, greatest people can slip, fall, make mistakes.   And all I want to do is provide empathy, unconditional love, compassion, acceptance, understanding, hugs, kindness, friendship, support, & encouragement.   Not destructive criticism, insults, negative judgments, guilt trips, grudges, or whatever.  I was never someone who is outright cold, callous, critical, cruel, and judgmental or a troll. I have always been loving & understanding but now I am even more that way than ever. I have judged people previously when I shouldn’t have, I said/wrote things merely  to annoy or anger when someone would make me angry. I have been arrogant.  I have been rude.  Sometimes I was somewhat vicious but not now. Sometimes I would disagree with someone’s political views and while the disagreement itself wouldn’t irk me, the specific argument would and I would respond unkindly.

 Now I only want to put more love out into the world. Believe what you will. Do what you feel is right for you. Stand up for what you believe in. Advocate.  Maybe I will disagree with you, maybe I will oppose your views and what you advocate for but I will never oppose YOU, the person and I will show respect for your decisions and how you feel whether or not I agree. Maybe it’s me who is wrong and not you, anyway. Maybe your “mistakes ” aren’t even mistakes, just things I disagree with.  I will see you as the whole that you are, the medley, the “miracle”, the beauty. I don’t see mistakes you have made, flaws you may have, things you do or have done or believe that I disagree with. I see you.  

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~ Ben Franklin 

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Here are some quotes helping me tonight. And I hope they touch you in some way as well.

1.) Choose love. Choose to release all resentments.
Forgive everyone. Choose to release all regrets.
Forgive yourself for all decisions that you have ever made that didn’t work out as you hoped.
Forgive yourself for any financial decisions
that didn’t meet your expectations.
Release your regrets if you choose
the “wrong” spouse or the “wrong” career.
Today, choose love.
Choose to love yourself.
Choose to love your life.
Choose to love all the friends, family, co-workers,
acquaintances, and others who share your life.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

2.) Choose what lies in the shadows to be a matter
for discovery and adventure, rather than fear.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

(This is a great concept. We can look at the unknown as an adventure and learning experience instead of fearing & dreading it and we can see difficulties as challenges to help us grow & strengthen us as opposed to seeing them as horrible afflictions and seeing ourselves as helpless victims)

3.) Choose to be as a young child –
fully awake, eager for the next experience.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

4.) Life is lived in the living.
Set aside convention, caution,
and arbitrary “rules” about how
life is supposed to be lived.
Choose! Explore! Adventure!
Live life to the fullest.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

(yup, follow your own way)

5.) Choose Inner Peace.
Nothing is worth losing your inner peace.
Take action as circumstances require,
but never surrender your inner peace.
Stop. Breathe deeply.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply again.
Then, and only then, take action –
from a peaceful heart.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

6.) Affirmation:
Today I choose the higher road –
the path of charity, acceptance,
love, selflessness, kindness.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

7.) Live life with no regrets and no resentments.
Whatever happened in the past,
forgive yourself and others. Choose love.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

8.) It is nearly a certainty that some
of your expectations will not be met today -choose Joy anyway.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

(beautiful! :-D) 

9.) Much in life can be seen as ugly or beautiful – it’s our choice.
Why would we choose to see any part of life as ugly?
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

(yes, let’s choose to look for beauty everywhere we can)

10.) Choose to Dance Lightly With Life.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

(yeah, don’t be so serious, lighten up.     ;-)) 

11.) “The doors of wisdom are never shut.” ~ Ben Franklin 

(so true, no matter what happened or is happening, there is a glimmer of hope still sparkling and an opportunity to learn & grow)

12.) “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” ~ Ben Franklin

(this reminds me that one little negative thought or action can really take a great toll on me but one little positive thought or action can help me immensely.)

13.) “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” ~ Ben Franklin

(yes, good things come to those who wait but not to those who wait too late!)

14.) “Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.” ~ Ben Franklin

(love with all you have, take chances when you really, really feel the need….and if it doesn’t work out, don’t regret it because at that moment you felt everything you did/said and also how will you ever know what may happen if you don’t try. if you must regret then do and regret what you did, don’t sit it out and regret not taking action, not loving! <3) 

15.) “Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning , only asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults in the first.” ~ Ben Franklin 

(this is beautiful!)

16.) “We must indeed all hang together or, most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” ~ Ben Franklin

(let’s stay together <3)

Today I am making the decision to give more when I feel like giving up and to hold on when my heart has had enough.

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And I hope you, too, will make that decision when you feel broken. <3. Keep making that decision over and over everyday that it hurts.

When I come close to selling out, I will heed LeeAnn Womack’s heartfelt message and reconsider. I will think of that little girl in the picture above. That little girl is me and I came into this world to live and to love and to exist and to be.  To inspire & encourage.

Yesterday I wasn’t so sure but today I feel that I’m doing somewhat of a good job kicking this thing in the ass.

“I came to Win
To Fight
To Conquer
To Thrive,
I came to Win
To Survive
To Prosper
To Rise
To fly”.

 And that I will.

“I saw you standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you’re feeling like you just can’t win, but you’re trying
It’s hard to keep on keepin’ on, when you’re being pushed around
Don’t even know which way is up, you just keep spinning down, ’round, down…

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

So hold your head up and tell yourself that there’s something more
And walk out that door,
Go find a new rose, don’t be afraid of the thorns
‘Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin’

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It’s gonna run out of pain
It’s gonna run out of sting
It’s gonna leave you alone
It’s gonna set you free
Set you free” ~ Gary Allan

“I’ll look back on this and smile because it’s life and I chose to live it.”

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(not my photo but I love it!!)

Xoxo Kim

P.s. Keep on keeping on, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

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(not my picture, I found it on the net)