Tag Archive | compassion

Blood donations help save lives💚 Alison’s Story

This is something I posted on social media and sharing here now. This mama and baby are doing well now, thankfully!! But the mom almost died during childbirth because of a rare and unexpected complication. Yes, that still happens! It seems like something that happened in like the 1800’s and not anymore but tragically, even today, some moms still die and almost die giving birth. If it were not for blood donors, this mom in the picture above, wouldn’t be here today.

This is horrific. This is why we desperately need regular blood donors and more of us. Blood donation doesn’t just help people live healthier and make things go more smoothly, that too. But in some urgent cases, like this here, it literally saves lives. This young mom wouldn’t be here today if not for people choosing to give a little bit of blood.

“Placenta percreta is the most rare and severe form of placenta accreta. This condition results in the placenta not being able to detach during delivery and risks catastrophic hemorrhage and death for the mother.”

Imagine if there wasn’t enough blood available that day when this occurred for this family. Or if one day there isn’t for another family.

Thank you to the Red Cross for sharing individual stories, like this, with us and showing the faces of the real people affected. They aren’t just imaginary even though we can’t see them and do not know them; they are real lives in need. And it can be any one of us one day in their position, needing a stranger to share some of that life sustaining stuff running through our veins. We would count on them to help us. So let us be just as quick to help those counting on us now. ❤💚 #veintovein #oneblood #itsinustogive #lovesomeonetoday #givelife #donate #blooddonor #redcross

Not everyone can or wants to donate blood but there are other ways to help, volunteering at the Red Cross, donating money, even just sharing links, information, the importance of blood donations. Many people don’t even think about donating blood. It doesn’t even cross our mind but some people would if it was brought to their attention. And some do not realize we can donate it regularly and when we learn, it resonates with us and we choose to. I’m trying to reach the people who have potential.

Much love to all,

xoxo Kim ❤

#GetUsPPE 💚💚💚 #GetMePPE

This is something I posted on social media last night and sharing here now. I already posted about it here before and will be again later. This isn’t over. Now we have healthcare workers quitting their jobs because they are fearing for their own lives because they don’t have the adequate equipment needed to keep them alive while they help save the lives of countless strangers. No one should have to work like this or quit work because of lack of proper safety measures. The horrific reality of it may not hit us as hard as it really is if we do not work in healthcare or have friends/family who do but let us all imagine and tap into that compassion and empathy we all have for others. We all know fear, pain, distress and all long for comfort, safety, happiness, health…now let us project that onto these real people who are doing their best to keep us safe & alive while fearing for their own lives. The average person, like us, probably cannot do much to help but there are people with power who can do more and are not.

My love goes out to our healthcare workers all around the world, both the ones who are staying and the ones quitting. 💚 Thank you.

Please consider donating money(and/or professional supplies if you have it or making the equipment needed if you are qualified) to https://getusppe.org/donate/ and/or signing the petition https://getusppe.org/advocacy/ to help ensure the safety of our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare healers. They are risking not only their own lives(and mental health – many are traumatized) but the safety of their familes, to take care of US, complete strangers. There is still a *SEVERE* shortage of personal protective equipment(PPE) in the U.S, which is crucial for keeping them safe. PPE is *NOT* an option or a luxury. It is a basic necessity, like food, drink, air is to all of us, for medical professional people to survive their work environment each day. They are in *mortal* danger without it and their family members can also be at risk and have to risk or already are experiencing family separation.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, along with their families, should be the first to be protected. Imagine going to work everyday at any job, and not having the equipment needed to work effectively. How stressful, frustrating, anxiety provoking, infuriating. Now imagine how much worse it is when the job is working in hospitals and health clinics, saving lives, and everything is running low and running out and having to wonder when and even IF there will be more of it. And on top of that, imagine literally fearing for your own life and the lives of your family each and every day, while choosing to save and take care of the lives of total strangers. Those strangers are us. They are all doing this for us. Protecting, serving, saving, caring for, and healing us. There is so much additional and unecessary fear and distress because of extreme lack of essential equipment. This is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated by any of us.

All of us can do something, even if just sharing the link to the organization and/or sharing the tags #getmeppe and #getusppe in the hope that someone somewhere will see it and help in some way. The situation is urgent and has been for a long while now. It is utter ridiculousness that this is a thing.

Our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers choose the jobs because of their passion for helping others. The least we can do is donate money and/or share a link and tags anywhere on social media or wherever. And sign the petition urging our government to get them adequate equipment *NOW*. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow…NOW.

Doctors and nurses have been pleading for help with this for months now and doing *everything* they can. And still greatly suffering with the lack of supplies they desperately need. Their emotional turmoil and distress with this is beyond what we, who are not healthcare workers, can fully imagine. How much longer can this go on? Something has to give, right? Immediate action in imperative. Let’s help them, please.

No more emotional suffering, added to the suffering already, because of lack of basic necessities that people need to LIVE, keep their families safe, & work effectively and without additional emotional trauma.

#getusppe #getmeppe

The money we donate goes directly to help our healthcare workers around the U.S. Every single one is worthy.

Please donate money if you are able. No matter what, it will be used in some way to help our healthcare workers.

Thank you to our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare healers for all the work you do saving lives; it can be an exhausting, devastating, stressful, terrifying, even traumatic job, along with all of the hope, and care, and healing, and positive impact, and love. But you show up each day for us. May you receive everything you need to keep your own self and families safe. Much love, strength, & light, xoxo

And thank you to everyone who helps in any way to get our healthcare workers #ppe . Even if all you do is share the links/tags, please do something!! Ty

xoxo Kim

The gift of Life 💚❤

Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons

I’ll bleed out for you“❤

Thank You to the Red Cross for making it possible to give life to multiple strangers every two months! What a gift!! 💚❤ Anyone interested and healthy enough can donate blood to the Red Cross every two months. I never knew this until someone posted it on social media a couple years ago. So in case there is anyone like me back then who does not know, and is healthy enough and also has the desire, here is the Red Cross link: Blood Donation . It is a fairly quick and simple process usually taking no more than one hour. I just lay on a bed thing and a Red Cross nurse sticks a needle in my arm and drains my blood. lol Not really drains it; that is a bit dramatic but fills up a bag. I never get sick, dizzy, or lightheaded or have any problems. And I go right to work after. We do not have to see the bag if we don’t want to. I usually don’t see mine but some days, a nurse puts it next to me on the bed when I sit up. I don’t mind and hope to get a picture of it one day but never got up the nerve to ask yet! lol I want to gross out my mom & sister and send them a pic of it😭😂😹🤣 I am not at all disgusted by body parts or fluids of any kind including vomit(I can eat while talking about vomit and my sister and mom don’t understand it 😹), bodily functions…or anything.

There is a blood donor app in the app stores on our phones:

Here is a screencap of my account.

It is possible to have some chronic illnesses and still be able to donate blood. Just so long as the illness will not make it dangerous to a blood recipient or us. They will let anyone know if it’s ok or not. No infections/viruses like hep c/hiv as this can infect the patient…Many, many people are in need of blood each day, every couple of seconds! There is always a severe shortage of blood donations, some days more than others. People in need count on the kindness of strangers to help them. ❤❤❤ There are other ways to help for people who cannot or do not want to donate blood. Sharing links, information, volunteering with the Red Cross…!! Thank you!!

Much love & light to everyone, everywhere!! ❤❤❤

xoxo Kim

Actions speak…❤

“Now I wanna tell you of a great love
It will light up
It will surely light up darkened worlds
If you just believe
Stoned love”

Stoned Love – The Supremes

There’s a man I was trying to avoid when I was out for work. I have nothing against him; he’s just not good news. lol Today, when I saw him, I turned around and began going a different way and he began yelling to me loudly, “Well fuck you too you fucking conceited bitch!!!” and he was yelling a whole slew of other insults at me all the way up the street. Strangers were turning to look at us.

I was very amused. And also very inspired by the word “too” in his one sentence “Well fuck you too…”

I never said “fuck you” to him and was not even thinking it. I was merely trying to avoid a less than pleasant encounter. As we can see, I did not succeed! I probably provoked an even less pleasant one than if I would not have turned to run!

The way he said “too” made it seem like I said it first. And maybe I did even though it was unintentionally and not verbally. We “speak” in ways that are not always verbal/language. Our actions say things just the same. And we may not always realize what our actions are saying to others or to what extent.

Turning my back on one of my brothers in this life/another sentient being, no matter the reason, is not very kind seeming or very pleasant to the one it is happening to. I was not trying to be unkind but was also not even thinking of being kind either. I was not thinking of the man at all. I was thinking of myself wanting to avoid something I thought I would not find pleasant.

What could I have done better? I could have looked at him and smiled and maybe even said hello, then be on my way. I could be very wrong but he does not seem to be the kind of person who would appreciate a warm smile or friendly hello. But I do not know him at all and this is pure judgment on my part. And even though it’s a completely neutral observation, based on things I have seen about him previously, not a negative judgment, who am I to judge at all and act on it in a less than pleasant way? For all I know, my friendly smile or warm hello, may inspire happiness in him, maybe joy, or a feeling of being accepted. He seems to be generally very unhappy and seems to have a difficult life. I have seen him have outbursts on people before for not doing him favors when he asked. And even if my smile and hello would not touch him for the better, the point is just to be loving and try. It puts positive energy out into the uni-verse. We can never go wrong with an act of kindness even if it is not received or appreciated as we intend or hope for.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding people we do not wish to encounter. It’s just we can still be mindful & kind about it. And there may even be occasions it’s necessary for our safety, to avoid someone. This was not the case here though. I don’t think he’s a dangerous man, just not the most pleasant seeming.

As he was yelling, I was laughing and thought about turning around to smile at him and show him I have nothing against him, that we’re in this life together. But I was afraid my laughing and amused smile may be misinterpreted as arrogance or me mocking him. He already perceives me as conceited. I am just someone who is very easily amused. I laugh at everything. It was not about mocking him or not caring about his unhappy situation. It just seemed funny yelling at and cursing someone out in public and a bunch of curious strangers turning to look. How dramatic! But he doesn’t know that. So I kept going. My back stayed turned on him as he slung all the insults he could come up with.

But this interaction reminds me to be more mindful and loving not only with my words but with my actions, even when there is something I wish to avoid. Our actions say things to each other. I wasn’t truly trying to say “fuck you” but my action did say something very unpleasant. It said something like “I want to avoid you…you’re not worth my time…I would rather not deal with you today…I don’t care to see you…” so basically yeah, turning my back said “fuck you.”

Just that one word that he uttered to me, “too,” said so much to me. It holds so much wisdom, he may not have fully, consciously realized but he did realize to some degree. In this moment, he was wiser than I was. He was letting me know that I said so much without saying anything at all.

“What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real” ❤

More Than Words – Extreme

I’m so very thankful for the life lesson. Imagine how many people will be touched for the better, in the future, by the wisdom he revealed to me. It’s really true, anyone can be our teacher if only we let them. A seemingly difficult person, a loving person, a child, a homeless person, an animal, an insect, an old person, any situation…Let us be alert in each moment and interaction, with anyone, and welcome any bit of inspiration and wisdom they offer us.

And let us be more gentle and kind in our words, thoughts, & actions. They touch others for better or worse. Let it be for the better. Let’s smile at each other more, say hello, make eye contact, acknowledge each other, and validate each other’s existence, be more welcoming of one another, even those who may seem unpleasant or difficult. It doesn’t mean we have to hang out with someone for an hour, go over and have a chat, or become close friends. All we have to do is look at each other and smile. 🙂 Let our actions say, I see you, I love you, I acknowledge you, I hear you, I am you, we’re in this life, in this love together…❤

Thank you, Brother of mine, for your life lesson. When I see you again, I won’t turn my back.

Much love & light to all,

xoxo Kim ❤

Keep Loving…❤

Keep Loving – Empty Hands

“Whether you’re different, same, ignorant, or intelligent
Whether you tell the truth, lie, or embellish it
Whether you live in gratitude or for the hell of it
It doesn’t really matter, we’re still one single fellowship
Whether you’ve been lustful or livin’ celibate-
Whether you’re an optimist or only see the negative-
Whether you’re dead broke or rich from inheritance
It doesn’t really matter, we’re made of the same sediments
Whether you got a family or single parentin’-
Or you’re Asian, African, European, or American
Whether you pray-to-God or atheist is irrelevant
Cuz what you got inside is the same as all your brethren
So keep loving,
It’ll change your heart; it’ll change your mind”❤

“May I be happy; May all beings be happy” ❤

Recently, on social media, I saw a thread where a single young mom, with multiple divorces, with five kids, and various dads, and a few pets, was being ridiculed, destructively criticized, mocked, slandered, judged…by complete strangers all because she had multiple kids when she was very young and has a history of failed romantic relationships, which she said broke her heart. By what she wrote, she clearly loves her kids and pets. The comments people were writing are vicious and mocking. They called her “trash” and other insults and were sarcastically calling her “a real winner.” They said she would always be single and no man would ever want her and many more insults. They mocked her because she made a couple spelling mistakes. They ridiculed her for her interests and activities she likes to do for fun(makeup & fashion are a couple). They even criticized her physical appearance! They talked about her hair and everything. And for every unkind comment, there were a bunch more people who “liked/loved” each toxic comment, even ones who did not comment themselves.

One person posted her picture on his account as a screen capture with some facts about her and him and his online friends all got together and began saying as many insults as they could about her. He blocked her account for the post so she wouldn’t see. There were over 100 comments. I’m in awe (and not in a pleasing way lol) that 30 something year old adults and older are still cyber(and maybe in person as well!) bullies! I can even understand just being unkind once in a while or even in general but actually mocking and ridiculing people just for laughs. There are better ways to heal and cope with our own pain than doing this to someone else.

The overwhelming majority of comments were this. Only a couple people commented with something positive to say about her or to come to her defense. Probably because they knew if they stepped in to defend her, they would be bashed too, like bullies in the schoolyard. Except here, we’re all adults. I can imagine there were probably other moms like her reading and maybe angry, crushed, feeling low about the comments, that can also apply to them. And people with bad spelling/grammar may have been reading and feeling inferior.

I can just imagine what all these people would say about me if they had the chance and knew things about me! For all I know they already are! This can happen to any of us! Imagine someone on your friends list or a follower of your account taking a screencap of your pic of yourself and posting it to that person’s own account so all the friends can roast you without you even knowing! There is a game called “roast me” where people put their own pic on so online friends can say as many insults as possible! lol! But this person has no idea she was subjected to this.

If we stop and think how this can be us or someone we know, it can deepen our compassion/empathy for those it happens to. This applies to anything good or “bad.” When something happens to a stranger, pleasant or not, imagine if it happened to us or someone we know and remember that stranger feels the same way we would were it us it happened to. And even if we wouldn’t care if it happened to us, others may be devastated or angry if it were them. So that’s another good thing to keep in mind, that we all handle things differently and have different reactions. And all are valid.

I think this is also a good example of how we can influence each other for better or worse. What if this young woman posted her own picture and facts about herself where all those same people would see? They probably would not have reacted the way they did. They saw the original poster of the screencaps and went along with him, probably to please him and have a feeling of “all in this together,” and have some laughs while coping with their own pain/unhappiness. I don’t believe any of those people have good self esteem or are happy or they would not have done that. Focusing on someone else’s mistakes, pain, misfortune…helps take our mind off our own but so does focusing on love, well wishes, happiness for others. Let us influence each other for the better! ❤

“…Now, many years later, I understand the power of loving-friendliness. It helps us swallow the bitterness of life.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta ❤)

I was so confused about all the destructive criticism. I couldn’t understand it. Why would we want to drag someone down like that? What provoked all this unkindness? Instead of seeing her as one of our sisters in life, a fellow sentient being, they saw her as a punching bag, an easy target, an opportunity to get out all their own pain by inflicting it upon someone else. My confusion lessened a bit when I remembered the saying:

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

I believe that is the reason people choose to try to make someone else hurt or suffer; those people are suffering themselves and do not quite know how to process it. The man who began the thread to ridicule this person, just the day before, admitted to being depressed, anxious, suicidal, and socially isolated, and in need of a friend. He admitted that his quality of work is suffering because of his poor mental health. Is this a justification for trying to inflict pain upon others? Absolutely not. But understanding this can help us help someone to heal.

Some of us turn our own pain to greater compassion for others and some of us turn our own pain into bitterness to try to hurt others. Anyone who does this can change it for the better. Choose kindness.

Let us remember to be kind even to those who are acting in an unkind manner; the ones we feel deserve it the least are probably many of the ones who need it the most. Loving them does not mean we condone what they do, just that we know kindness makes the whole world a better place. Love heals. Our Love for them may help them become more kind one day. Just keep loving even when it’s difficult.

“One who truly loves himself will not harm others. She who loves herself will tune in to the energy of loving-friendliness and understand how magnificent it would be if every heart in the world would share this feeling.”❤ (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

I want to share some love here and tell everyone it’s ok to have a difficult, messed up, unpleasant…past(and even present), ok to make mistakes and have a history of failed relationships, whether they are married ones, romantic and not married, or platonic friendships; it does not mean someone is a bad person or that the person will never be a good girlfriend/wife(or whatever gender/gender identity) or friend to someone else.

And yes, if you’re a single mom(or even not single) with five kids(or even just one kid), and love your kids, you ARE a winner no matter how young or old you were when you had them(or adopted), no matter how many different dads they have, and no matter how many failed relationships or breakups you have experienced. I know not all kids have a mom & a dad; that’s just the example I’m giving because the woman here was being criticized for having multiple dads for her kids.

And not everyone has good grammar/spelling skills. And some people are doing the best they can writing in a language that is not their native one. Some people have learning disabilities to some degree or just not very skilled at something. (I am terrible at basic math) And I think most of us on occasion slip up and spell something wrong or write something that is not correct in terms of grammar. I definitely do this myself. Sometimes it may be autocorrect or sometimes just me slipping up. It’s really no big thing.

Kindness is always good but especially these days when so many of us are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress of any sort, suicidal tendencies….In our society (U.S.), and maybe other societies, we are too judgmental and too critical of each other and our own self. One word of kindness or one word of cruelty can go a long way. If someone is already struggling, just one simple, brief compliment or wishing someone well, can possibly allay the person’s pain a bit or even if not, at least bring some love, joy, and comfort, to the person in the midst of the struggle.

And if someone is already suffering, callous remarks, or even just a cold tone, can add so much to the pain, even more than intended.

And even if we’re not struggling, we love acts of love!

“Metta is not ordinary love. It is the quality of love we experience in our whole being, a love that has no ulterior motive — and no opposite. It can never become hatred; the love-hate dichotomy simply does not apply.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

We’re not responsible for someone else’s suffering, feelings, choices, happiness…we’re responsible for our own. But we can still remember the impact our choice of words, comments, remarks, both in person and online, can have on others and choose to be kind or even just saying nothing when we just cannot bring ourself(this is a word lol) to feel or be kind. Sometimes holding our tongue is an act of kindness. Constructive criticism is good in many cases. But intentional destructive criticism is always toxic and unnecessary. I am not innocent of this and think most of us have room to grow.

Who cares if we’re financially rich or poor, working seven days a week or out of work, have ten kids or are childless(I prefer childless over childfree because “childfree” makes it seem like children are a burden as opposed to a gift. I never wanted kids; I just have no inclination, but still love them and know they are a gift! Many childless people are offended by the word “childless.” “Childfree” is what I find off-putting), single, happily taken, divorced more than once…whatever! Who cares if we are neat and organized or a total slob(me!), very educated or not much of an education, very intelligent or not so much, look like a supermodel or not society’s concept of beauty, and we all may have interests/activities someone else thinks are dumb(sometimes I play with virtual pets lol), whatever mistakes we have made and will make, doesn’t matter…We’re all the same underneath and all have things others can mock us for or criticize us for. And all have qualities someone, somewhere would love if the person/s knew us.

No matter what or who you are, I’m your safe space even if we disagree on something. 💚

“Though we all have the seed of loving-friendliness within us, we must make the effort to cultivate it. When we are rigid, uptight, tense, anxious, and full of worries and fears, our natural capacity for loving-friendliness cannot flourish. To nurture the seed of loving-friendliness, we must learn to relax. In a peaceful state of mind, such as we get from mindfulness meditation, we can forget our past differences with others and forgive their faults, weaknesses, and offenses. Then loving-friendliness naturally grows within us.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

Let us remember to always be a bit kinder than necessary to everyone we meet.

And “ourself” means all of us together, not any specific group. We learn that “ourselves” is the correct grammar and it is also. But a loving Buddhist Teacher taught me that “Ourself” implies Oneness and togetherness, including ALL, so I prefer that version!

Chants of Love:

The Chant of Metta

Om Mani Padme Hum

&

Loving-Kindness Meditation(13 minutes & 26 seconds)

May I be well
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be loved

May you be well
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be loved

“Loving-friendliness motivates you to behave kindly to all beings at all times and to speak gently in their presence and in their absence.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

Much love & light, always,

Kim xoxo❤❤❤

Every two seconds {Blood donation}❤❤❤

“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.” (redcross.org)

Schedule donation appointment

There is an URGENT need for blood donations at the moment!! Our country(U.S.) is currently experiencing a SEVERE blood shortage, worse than usual. It’s a state of emergency! We always have a shortage of blood donors but sometimes it’s worse than usual. Every two seconds a person needs someone else’s blood to survive. Childbirth and surgery complications, massacre/accident victims/survivors, traumatic injury, sickle cell disease/cancer, and other diseases…these are people with interests, goals, dreams, a favorite color and movie, favorite songs, people with plans and hobbies, people with friends, family, pets, people who want to live and count on us who are healthy, to give to them. We are the luckiest to be in a position to help, to be alive and healthy, how about give back and pay it forward by sharing a bit of our health & life with someone in need, a fellow human who is just like us? As long as we feel healthy and know we do not have any infectious virus(such as HIV or Hep C), it’s good to give it a try. Even with various health conditions and medications, such as heart problems, being diabetic, increased blood pressure, birth control, depression/anxiety meds… as long as the conditions are kept under control and we do not feel sick, we may be qualified to give the gift of blood. It’s worth a try just so long as our blood is pure & healthy. Remember, every two seconds!! It’s senseless for someone to die when there are enough of us to donate. Let’s line up to give just as soon as we would line up to take if we were the one in need.

One thing, it is important not to donate blood merely to be tested for a virus such as hep or hiv. This is because if it was recently contracted, it may not show up for six, or maybe more, months, on a medical test but can still infect someone just as much. So after an accident of some sort (needle stick for example) or high risk activity (such as sexual contact of any sort with an infected person or sharing needles with someone, even someone not known to have an infectious disease), it’s important to wait at least one year before donating. We want our recipients to be safe.

I understand if someone cannot or just doesn’t want to! But just in case anyone does and needs a reminder or inspiration, please try to donate some blood to the Red Cross! Especially now. We are in DESPERATE need!! This is an absolute emergency. There are people all around the country potentially dying of lack of blood/blood products. Of course I care just as much about those in other countries but since I’m in the U.S., I can only help the people here with my blood but I invite people all around the world to donate to your blood banks wherever you are if it’s safe for you. Thank you!! Unfortunately, I can’t donate it again until April. I think they should just take it now since we’re in a lack of blood crisis. But since it’s not safe for me, as all my blood is not replenished yet, they won’t! But I think it’s even more unsafe for the people who need a transfusion, to not get one. So what if I’m a bit anemic! It’s worth it to save a life.

I would give them ALL my blood if I could! But that’s not legal. I plan to stay alive as long as I can to keep on giving this life sustaining liquid flowing through my veins! How beautiful! Life is beautiful and I want to share it with as many as I can. If you have O-negative blood, what a gift! You can give it to almost anyone! It’s the blood most in demand, the universal loving blood. I don’t have that kind even though I’m a universal lover myself. ❤❤❤ It would be fitting for me to have O-neg!

~Love someone today~

#veintovein ❤

I’m wishing you much love & light, wherever in the world you are! And lots of healthy blood!

xoxo Kim

When things fall apart❤

(Not my image)

“No one’s head aches when he is comforting another.”

In the beginning of December(the December that was just here like two seconds ago), I bought a book, at Book Traders, in Olde City, Philadelphia, “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron. It’s a Buddhist book that can apply to everyone. It’s a guide for how to handle fear and other unpleasant emotions when things are difficult in life. I was currently not experiencing anything difficult when I saw the book on the shelf and for the most part do not have many struggles in life or anything too severe in general, and so was not inclined to buy it, even though it seems like a very good book, but felt drawn to it for some reason. I love self-help/personal development books even if they are not ones I really need(not that I “need” any self help books but if we struggle with a certain issue, books on that topic may be helpful). For example, books about general anxiety or self-esteem issues, I have never struggled with serious general anxiety or self esteem issues(other than sometimes when I would be very depressed – I was diagnosed many years ago with Major Depressive Disorder and have been suicidal for years but much better now) but often find that even they have inspiring, uplifting things that can apply to me or are just pleasant to read. I especially love Buddhist books. I only had a limited amount of money for the bookstore and wanted to use it wisely! I kept going back to it, feeling that “pull.”

So I bought this book even though things were looking up and not difficult for me then.

Not long after I bought the book, my world crumbled on top of me. Again. And I was shattered to pieces.

Shattered to pieces.

Shattered. To pieces.

I wondered if I would, could ever be put back together again.

I have these “headaches.” They are not frequent but are shattering. There is no effective treatment currently known for them. They’re like cluster headaches. The source of the pain is in my jaw, not actually my head. It feels like a throbbing toothache but way, way worse than that, along with severe burning pain on the one side of my face & head. Like a hot rod being driven through the eye-socket. Like scalding hot water running down the one side of my face, taking all my skin off with it. It can feel like broken glass moving around inside my face or like someone clawing at all the muscles/joints/inner skin/elastic tendon; they feel like an icepick going through my temple, like part of my head being sliced off….They ruin me.

The pain can come and go off and on for days until it goes away for good(then comes back maybe the next year or more or sometimes sooner). It usually happens at night more than during the day.

Ultimately/Generally, I do not mind that I have these headaches. They are excruciating but it is what it is and they are rare; I don’t get them often. Once in a blue moon. Usually during Winter months, especially in December. They last a few days then gone!

I was hit with a couple somewhat recently. Ouch! I havent had one this bad in so long, I forgot how to handle them and found myself wanting to scream and hit my face(this kind of pain can provoke us to have the overwhelming urge to hit our face/head or bang it against a wall – it’s an unfathomable level of pain). I used to scream all night when I would have them years ago til my throat was raw, I lost my voice, and my mouth tasted of blood. I can’t remain still with them. I have to pace constantly all night long into the morning. Wringing my hands, keeling over, sometimes. I have once stayed awake for four days & nights straight with them. Not one moment of sleep in 4 days & nights. This was many years ago.

It’s a nightmare.

Hell on Earth.

They devastate my entire existence. They are powerful.

When I have these headaches and shortly after they end and when I vividly remember them even if I havent recently experienced one, I am reminded of the suffering and potential suffering of all of the world, of all sentient life. My deep empathy is brought out even more deeply. My compassion is set on fire and I long to heal the whole world but in a good way, not a depressing, helpless feeling even though I cant heal the world as I do not have that power. Just the feeling of that kind of compassion for others is beautiful and inspiring. Just to be in that state. These headaches inspire that compassion even more deeply in me.

When I get these headaches I am so, so happy for everyone who does not have them. Everyone I look at anywhere I go, I think at least that person is not suffering with one of these. And it’s so beautiful. Always, that heals me to think I am so thankful it’s me and not them. I want to take on all the head pain (and any other kind of pain that exists) there is in this life so no one else ever has to experience it, even if it would make my own pain worse, sevenfold.

These headaches rip me open and I am stripped to the bone. All layers of various experiences pulled back and stripped away, discarded, disregarded, dismissed. Specifics no longer matter. Raw agony effecting something universal. It is beautiful. It is agonizing.

All my innermost wisdom, my deep knowing, rising to the surface and bleeding out onto the world like hot, hot, hot lava. My face burning and throbbing and aching, the pain pulsing & screaming & burning relentlessly. Ripping me apart. Tearing me to shreds. Burning. Screaming. Burning.

Cruelty like I have never known before.

Cruelty.

Cruelty.

Torture.

Cruelty.

I brace myself as I begin my descent back to some primitive state, something animalistic unleashed in me, losing all sense of reasoning, all conditioning, all knowledge of human language, as I want to scream like a wounded animal in the night who knows nothing but anguish. I have always felt that they reduce me to half the woman I am and chain me to a world where there is nothing but fear & pain, and myself, where I lay amid the ruin of a life that a mere few seconds ago was complete, whole, sane…then destroyed in a matter of seconds, without warning. Without warning, I am a wreck on the floor in the fetal position holding or hitting my face and head, confined to Hell. Screaming in my head. Without warning, I am roaming the night, like a hungry ghost, screaming for some relief that never seems to come. Without warning, there is just fear and pain and me. And agonized screams that taste like blood.

With these headaches, I come face to face with the primal connection we all share, the basic humanness, the sentience, the potential. The underneath. And it is beautiful. So beautiful. To experience ruin like this so deeply, is a gift.

With these headaches, I know insanity; I know addiction; I know homelessness; I know all physical & emotional ailments; I know loss of all sorts; I know hunger & poverty & war & ugliness. I know callousness. I know what it is to be a criminal, a thief, a traitor. A wild animal. With these headaches, I am the predator and I am the prey.

I don’t know all of these things on the surface as I have never experienced them all themselves but I am intimate with the underpinnings, the core, the soul of them.

Through these headaches, I know destruction; I know desperation, despair, agony; I know impulse, rawness, destitution, longing, fear. I know aggression. I know Sickness. Something primitive. I am reunited with the most ancient ancestors and everyone who has come before me since the world began.

I know something gutteral. I know ruin.

And through this, I also know tenderness, compassion, love, humility. Beauty. Empathy. Gentleness. Oneness. I know wholeness. I know complete strangers who I will never meet or lay eyes on. I know beings who haven’t yet come into the world.

There is something about the raw, unearthly pain of these hellish headaches that deeply humbles me and allows me to experience a deep, deep oneness with all sentient life in a kind of way that nothing else does. I experience that oneness anyway but these headaches allow me a deeper intimacy with it. To know it at a greater depth. They allow me the advantage of breadth of all experience.

I think of all sentient life, human, animal, insect, whoever else may be out there. I hear their agonized screams, their pleads, their cries, the misery, I taste the longing, and I want to calm it all, to love away the hurt, to bring warmth and love where there is cold & yearning. I want to dry the tears of all who cry.

I want to love, love, love until the fear runs out. Then love some more. I want to love until the pain burns itself out. Then love some more.

I want to sate all hunger & quench all thirst.

Because I know this pain, I know all pain.

I know all despair.

I know it well.

I know the darkness and I know the light.

This pain is rare; most will never experience it, but there is something universal about the underpinnings of it, the desperation it brings, the fear, the dread.

There is something ancient at play. Something we have all known since beginningless time. Something we know irrespective of our location in the world. Something that knows no borders or customs or culture. If we were all stripped of all our conditioning, our culture, our skin, our superficial experiences, all our appearances, we would be identical in this something.

We all know or have the capacity to know the underpinnings of all experience. We all know the raw pain of these headaches if we know any suffering or pain or fear at all.

Most of us have experienced or can experience some sort of fear, anxiety, desperation, concern, pain, anger, terror, loss, love…we don’t need these headaches to bring us those experiences. The headaches are a reminder. A gift.

All painful experiences are a gift in disguise. They give us the opportunity to rise above and evolve into something even better, to reach out into the uni-verse and love someone today, even a complete stranger. Painful, terrifying experiences may seem like a malicious enemy but they can really be a loving friend to us if only we let them. A friend who shows us “tough love” on the surface while ultimately allowing us to deeply know a warm, soft tenderness at the core of our suffering, at the core of all suffering. A tenderness so sweet & loving, so warm, so gentle but so fierce.

I read something in this book that seems to mirror my own experience here. I will share an excerpt:

“I once attended a lecture about a man’s spirtual experiences in India in the 1960s. He said he was determined to get rid of his negative emotions. He struggled against anger and lust; he struggled against laziness and pride. But mostly he wanted to get rid of his fear. His meditation teacher kept telling him to stop struggling, but he took that as just another way of explaining how to overcome his obstacles.
Finally the teacher sent him off to meditate in a tiny hut in the foothills. He shut the door and settled down to practice, and when it got dark he lit three small candles. Around midnight he heard a noise in the corner of the room, and in the darkness he saw a very large snake. It looked to him like a king cobra. It was right in front of him, swaying. All night he stayed totally alert, keeping his eyes on the snake. He was so afraid that he couldn’t move. There was just the snake and himself and fear.
Just before dawn the last candle went out, and he began to cry. He cried not in despair but from tenderness. He felt the longing of all the animals and people in the world; he knew their alienation and their struggle. All his meditation had been nothing but further separation and struggle. He accepted-really accepted wholeheartedly-that he was angry and jealous, that he resisted and struggled, and that he was afraid. He accepted that he was also precious beyond measure-wise and foolish, rich and poor, and totally unfathomable. He felt so much gratitude that in the total darkness he stood up, walked toward the snake, and bowed. Then he fell sound asleep on the floor. When he awoke, the snake was gone. He never knew if it was his imagination or if it had really been there, and it didn’t seem to matter. As he put it at the end of the lecture, that much intimacy with fear caused his dramas to collapse, and the world around him finally got through.” (pp. 3-4)

What a beautiful reminder of how, fundamentally, we are all the same. No matter what, we are all capable of suffering. We all gravitate towards relief, pleasure, happiness, comfort, life and all ultimately want to avoid fear, and pain, and suffering of any sort. We can use our own experiences with fear and/or pain to teach or remind us of compassion and empathy. Remember whatever we are experiencing, others are as well or already have or can experience it. We are not alone in our fear, pain, anger, suffering….and we can use it to deepen our love for all sentient life, let it bring us closer to the oneness that we all share, the humaness, the sentience.
Let it humble us and inspire us.
Let us be kind to all living beings. They are us. We are them.

Let us bow to the things that bring us so much fear & pain. They are our sacred Teachers. They are the bridges that lead us to each other. Let us bow before them in extreme gratitude and boundless reverence.

Here are two videos of young women experiencing headaches similar to the ones I have:

Cluster attack #1

Cluster attack #2

These videos are kind of “graphic.” The two women are screaming hysterically, uncontrollably, in unimaginable physical agony. It’s not an exaggeration or overreaction. It is literally impossible to exaggerate the pain of these attacks. It is so, so, so severe already, there is no way to exaggerate it. If you do not have earphones and there are people around, you may not want to click on the links with volume up. If you want to click on them at all.

They were diagnosed with Cluster Headache Disorder(CH), considered to be the worst pain known to medical science. Many women with them who have given birth, have said it’s worse than the pain of childbirth! Holy 💩!!

I was not diagnosed with this headache disorder but I have another disorder that mimics cluster headaches, migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and severe toothaches, and other kinds of pain. My disorder is not as bad as Cluster & Migraine disorder. My pain is less frequent & often less intense. But it does get so bad.

For Cluster Headache Disorder, breathing in oxygen through a machine can help with the pain sometimes. They themselves are not life threatening but many people become suicidal while having one of these headaches, not necessarily because of depression, but because the pain is so immense it’s hard to imagine living even another second with it. The one young woman is in a hospital participating in a trial thing if I understand correctly.

Wouldn’t you give anything to take their pain away? I would in a second take it all on myself if I could, to stop theirs. I find their suffering so unbearable. But it doesn’t depress me. It doesn’t drag me down. It motivates me to want to act on kindness in any way I can. It inspires in me a deeper love, a higher love.

Higher Love – Steve Winwood

“Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart; I’ll look inside mine”

Also, I haven’t yet read the book in its entirety but what I have read up to now, is very inspiring, as you can well see!

He’s My Son -Mark Schultz

“I’m down on my knees again tonight.”

This is a song about a mom & a dad on the verge of losing a sick child to death. It’s a beautiful, warm, tender, gut-wrenching song. It guts me and leaves me hollow inside. I do not know their pain but the deep, desperation of the message and choice of words and the music has always reminded me of the pain/desperation of cluster headaches & similar pain. Of course, I think the struggle of having a sick child is way, way worse. But there is just something about the desperation here that resonates with me in a deep way.

When things fall apart, let us remember to take all the life lessons, the pain, the wisdom, the fear….and let it fuel us to reach out & love others.

Much love and light to you who is reading this. I wish you peace, love, & comfort. Joy, hope, and gratitude. Health & happiness, always.

Xoxo Kim❤