Tag Archive | courage

Welcome to rock bottom -the only way now is UP

“Face to face, out in the heat

Hanging tough, staying hungry

They stack the odds still we take to the street

For the kill with the skill to survive”🐯

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Here is a post I wrote a couple days ago and just edited it a bit.

“Welcome to Rock Bottom

One day, after another routinely dreadful morning, I sat in my car looking at our office and thinking, ‘I DO NOT want to go in there. I hate my job. I can’t stand Frank. I don’t make enough money. I am so underutilized! Should I leave the company? Would I even be missed? What’s the point of all this anyway? Is this really my life? This can’t be my life.’ And there it was. I had finally reached it—I was at rock bottom. As I mentioned, I believe rock bottom is the moment when you finally find the power and the strength you’ve always been lacking to change your today and go on to create a better tomorrow. I knew I couldn’t get any lower, and at that moment, I realized that all of the training, coaching, reading, and inspiring I’d engaged in just a few years earlier had not disappeared completely. I started to sense something deep within. There was still a tiny spark of hope that things could get better. That internal spark was like a smothered flame that just needed a little air, and as soon as I realized the spark was there, it was as if someone poured kerosene on it. I started to think: ‘If my circumstances won’t change, maybe I can change the way I look at my circumstances, and maybe as a result, they actually WILL change.'”

These are wise words by Kevin Clayson, author of Flip the Gratitude Switch. I have experienced “rock bottom” before, just like he mentions here, where it’s like I just can’t get any lower, so desperate, plummeting to the lowest depths of my despair, until I can’t possibly sink any lower. Pulled deeper and deeper and deeper into some dark, seemingly endless abyss when finally I realize there is an end. And I have reached it.

What do we do when our world is crumbling on top of us, when everything shatters, when it’s hard to stand, so difficult just to live & breathe, and we are pulled so low we can’t go any lower?

We rise.

Usually when I have experienced this “rock bottom,” it’s with depression and sometimes when my chronic physical pain disorder is flaring up to what seems like unbearable levels and my body is wracked in physical agony beyond belief. The only way I can get lower when I’m like this, is to be put in the ground. I haven’t experienced these things in a long while. My physical pain disorder has been doing so well. I have been experiencing mild to no pain each & every day. Thanking my lucky stars! And I can’t even remember when I was last depressed! I’m so happy!

But it’s true, this morning I realized I have hit “rock bottom.” A different kind of rock bottom. Not depression of any kind or physical pain. But still I have found my self in a very low place in this life. Two months ago, I think it was, October, I wasn’t depressed or in physical pain but was in Hell everyday for a couple weeks. It ended for a while and now is back!🙊😱

This Hell I speak of is fear. Terror. Not just a bit of anxiety. Fullblown fear. It’s not fear in general but about a specific thing. As I mentioned here, in a post titled Serendipitous Strength, I used to be deathly afraid of being closed in small places that I can’t just get out of the second I want to, especially elevators and especially when I’m alone. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Why is a mystery. As a child, I had breakdowns going on elevators even with my mom & dad.

I healed myself. It is an incredible accomplishment and awe-inspiring. The fact that I had a relapse doesn’t matter. It doesnt change how incredible it is. I healed this fear once and can and will heal it again.

I never worked on this fear specifically but during my personal development journey, my quest to find healing, working on myself to help heal my depression and cope with tmjd “cluster headaches” without realizing it, I was conquering my fear of being closed in. With my personal development plan I teach myself and train my brain to know I can handle and conquer anything. To know I will always be free no matter what position I’m in in this life. To know life is a gift no matter what. To see positivity and opportunity in any situation no matter how dreadful. I trained my brain with meditation and quotes and music and songs and writing to stay calm and composed for the most part, in any situation no matter what, no matter how painful physically or emotionally. (Out of my post Serendipitous Strength)

The #1 one thing that helps me with my fear is my Buddhist studies, not even just meditation but the writings I read even when I don’t put them into practice as intended. Just the reads are so powerful. All of these other things, quotes, songs, basic mindfulness…, helped me to a great extent, with depression & chronic pain and when I found Kadampa Buddhism, I found deeper healing and healing for this fear.

Somewhat recently, I suffered a relapse and my old fear returned to me with a vengeance. The second the elevator doors close and I’m on there alone, my first thought is “I’m screwed” and a sense of panic arises.

For work, I sometimes have to get on elevators. For about ten months I had to seven days a week, mostly by myself. Thankfully my fear was healed. But in a fraction of a second, while on an elevator, by myself, I suffered a relapse. I made the mistake of watching the numbers go up and waiting for the doors to open and you know when we watch & wait, a second feels like forever. I felt the doors took a second longer than usual to open and that’s all it took to bring that breath-taking fear crashing back into me. Flooded with terror, when the door finally opened, I stumbled into the hallway, trembling inside & out, legs like jelly, dizzy, panicked.

And my fear has been with me since then. I no longer have to be on an elevator every single day anymore and that may be part of the problem. I’m no longer accustomed to it and no longer have that chance to practice being calm on an elevator everyday. Now with those two things, the relapse & being out of touch with elevators, I nearly fall to pieces when I have to get on one by myself. I’m not scared anymore if I’m on an elevator with a dog or a human.

What if the elevator malfunctions while I’m on there myself and I’m trapped inside a box for who knows how long? My worst nightmare. I know I can handle it. My conviction is strong. But I don’t always feel that I can handle it. My conviction never falters. I know anyone can handle anything if we train our brain and adjust our attitude. But sometimes I focus too much on the feeling of not being able to handle it. And i fear if i get trapped, I will become a blubbering wreck and never recover. Two or more weeks away and when I think of it, my head is in turmoil.

(Photo not mine)

I am not someone who curses a lot out loud, in writing, or in my head. It’s not that I think it’s wrong. I love when people curse a lot. Lol It’s just not me. But early, this morning I was walking up a street thinking about how in a few weeks I will be required to get onto an elevator(the doors for staircases in some buildings open to get outside but are locked on the outside to get upstairs so elevators are generally required), most likely alone, and everyday for at least a week, and how I’m going to be living & breathing fear, I’m going to be a total wreck in my head, just like two months ago, and I just thought Fuck this shit. Seriously, fuck it. I am done. Not done with life or with work. I am done being conquered by this fear. So done. And I realized I have hit rock bottom two months ago and am still here now. And I remembered Mr. Clayson’s story about how rock bottom is our opportunity to rise above. I will rise above this fear. I will conquer it.

How? I’m not quite sure but I know I will. I will discipline my brain. And I have a few things in mind. More intensive Dharma practice & gratitude practice, The Work, rhythmic breathing, desensitization…

There is no place for this fear. I don’t want it and I won’t have it. I don’t have to accept it because it can be changed. Two months ago I found it difficult to focus on anything other than this fear. I spilled coffee all over because my hands were trembling, My legs were shaky and I was lightheaded. After getting off an elevator, it took me so long to recover, those mornings & nights. Outside I probably looked a bit shaken up but inside, I was wrecked. (I did face my fear and kept getting on elevators though, {BY MYSELF, ALONE!!!, ME!!! On an elevator ALONE!!! Whhhaaattt?! Holy guacamole!} which is a display of great strength & courage. I did what I had to do while not repressing my fear) I felt that I couldn’t even stand up straight each day.

This is unacceptable and I will change it. Whatever it takes. I will not avoid elevators and will not put up with this terror. And there’s no place for it in my world. It’s not welcome here and I do not have to accept it.

I healed my fear mostly with Buddhist philosophy. And I will again. This is the main thing that brought me so much deep healing and I know without a doubt, it will again. I just have to concentrate.

Recently, I received a Dorje Shugden Empowerment and I am totally counting on it (& my previous Empowerments) helping me cope with & heal this fear.

Om vajra wiki witrana söha.

OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI

Just like Mr. Clayson shares in the excerpt above, it can feel like all our previous strength, wisdom, personal development is down the drain, but it’s not. Somewhere deep inside, there is strength, wisdom, courage even if it seems to be long gone or seems like we never had any to begin with.

What I am promoting here is not necessarily any specific techniques like gratitude, meditation, conscious breathing or philosophy like Buddhist philosophy, though I do generally promote those. Here, I am just suggesting that we rise above our fear, pain, struggles…and keep going. Keep moving up. Pro-act. Let’s not sink to the bottom and stay there. Do something. Whatever it takes. Whether it’s professional help, meditation, personal development books, exercise, gratitude practice…find something, do something, and just keep going.

(Photo not mine)

It can be done. I did this before and if you are reading this now, so can you. I was able to make the choice to face a fear so powerful that I feel it can drive me insane, like I will lose all sense of language and awareness…, face it & conquer it and completely overcome it. Whatever your issue is, grief, fear, depression, addiction of any sort or something that may seem less serious…you can face it and overcome it. It’s not the problem itself that is actually the problem; it’s how we attach to it, perceive it, view it, react to it…and we have a choice to change that.

“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.”

We can & we will.

I am here cheering you on right along with cheering myself on. I have a lot of work to do and it’s every bit worth it. Keep going.

“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on!!”

Much love & light & strength to you,

Xoxo Kim❤

P.s Elevators are the worst invention in the history of ever!!! I have a few choice words for the inventor! Blahhh!!!

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Dare to live

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This is not my photo but it’s inspiring so I’m sharing it!

I love how it can be interpreted as living, like living to the fullest, doing what makes us come alive, taking risks and adventures or daring to live in its most basic sense, just carrying on, breathing, keep on living, breathing, loving.

If you have ever been suicidal, you know this takes courage & much strength.

However you interpret it, I hope you are inspired. ~Hugs~ ❤

😀 ❤

Good Day to you! (or night!)

xoxo Kim

For them. <3

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(this is not my photo)

I wrote this a month ago but never posted it yet. It has been saved in my drafts for a while. So here it is!

Caution: This may be a trigger for some. It’s about my suicidal urges. I hope you click it off and not read if you have even the slightest concern that details about my suicidal inclination may trigger serious distress. Or you can just scroll through and look at the inspiring photos instead! 😀

One night and early in the morning recently I experienced violent suicidal urges. I haven’t been extremely depressed. Like I said, it can just appear out of nowhere and then leave out of nowhere. This was triggered by something in my external environment. It’s usually not triggered by anything but it can be. Usually problems I have don’t trigger it but recently a problem I encountered did trigger it.

Sometimes when this happens and whatever my problem is goes away, it’s too late and I’m already pulled in. The problem going away won’t always pull me out of the depression or suicidal urges/thoughts.  The damage is done. 

The problem I encountered ended kind of quickly and everything was peaceful and calm again and it was over. But my suicidal urges lingered on all through the night and into the morning and even later in the day. I still have them once in a while. 

It’s not really important what the problem is/was. I mentioned here before how I am extremely playful and love to joke and clown around. My sister doesn’t like it. My playful personality often clashes with her more serious one. My jokes are never insulting or degrading or mocking. They never have been and they never will be. I am not that way. Sometimes when my sister leaves a room or my mom does, I just joke around and say “don’t be too long.” Or “hurry back” or something dumb like that. Sometimes if someone asks me to get something, I bring something else as a joke. Like my mom asked me for an envelope when we were in a post office one day and I brought a very large envelope over just to be funny. She wasn’t amused. She said no one likes a clown. 
But I’m amused still. Lol 
One day years ago my mom wanted a tuna sandwich and I convinced my sister to let me bring her back the two feet long one. It was hilarious! Still is! At least to me! 

My mom thinks it’s annoying and my sister finds it beyond annoying when I joke usually. 

My mom is easily amused but not as much as I am but she doesn’t like when people can never be serious. It’s not that I’m never serious; I just have a very playful nature and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

My sister doesn’t handle things well at all so something I see as an innocent joke to be funny, she sees as an attack on her.

One night she was leaving the room and I said “don’t be long!” and laughed and she got revenge on me by taking my clothes and hiding them and taking a bottle of soda and pouring it all over my bed. I had to sleep in wet sticky stuff I couldn’t get up because it was late at night.
Occasionally the memory still provokes those horrible urges. 

My mom and dad mostly took her side and made me out to be a monster. This doesn’t happen often or anything.
They said my joking has been going on too long. They did not agree with how she handled it but I was still the “worse one” for acting dumb.

Also, I love to compliment people. Sometimes I’m too shy but I’m much better with it. I love to compliment the girls at work when I love their clothes, makeup, or hair or anything. I’m not shy around my sister so I’m frequently complimenting her on her style and hair and stuff. But she thinks or claims to think I’m mocking her or just joking when I do. And I’m really not. Again, I’m not like that. So she told me recently never to compliment her again and even if I’m not mocking her, she couldn’t care less about my opinion of her, good or bad. It’s ok if she doesn’t appreciate my compliments and doesn’t care what I think. It’s unfortunate but I’m not crushed. Not everyone will love and appreciate us or warmly receive our good intentions and that really is ok! 

But I never want someone to think I’m making a mockery of someone or joking like that! I never would!

I’m not sensitive like my sister. I can handle stuff like people talking negatively about me (when I’m depressed though, it can add to it) but I don’t like it and would never do that to someone. 

My sister doesn’t mind me writing about it. I’m not writing as an insult to anyone to make anyone look bad. My sister writes about our arguments and stuff on Facebook. I don’t like people taking problems with family and friends to social media trying to make them look bad (even when it has nothing to do with me). It’s inappropriate. But I think it’s ok to express our problems certain ways, unbiased ways like I’m doing. It’s good to write about/share our problems and life lessons learned. Generally, I don’t write things that involve others but occasionally I do but not in a negative way. 

I know I’m not completely innocent because even though I don’t intend to infuriate people, I know my jokes annoy them. I just don’t think they’re that bad because they are not abusive or insulting, just dumb and immature. It’s just how I am. 

I’m thankful to be the way I am. I won’t change me ever but I can just not say joking things to those who can’t take a joke. There will always be those who love the playful me and those who do not. I don’t have to put too much into those who don’t. 

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This is me a few nights ago. I felt a sudden burst of inspiration to get dolled up, put on a pair of five inch heels and take pics of myself. ❤

This isn't about slandering anyone, it's about my experience and my decision to hold on when it seems so much easier to give up and kill myself. Instead of just hinting at something or saying I recently experienced a problem, I will say what it is. 

I haven't been this suicidal in quite a while. Not this bad.
:-O

 It's not just suicidal thinking; it's very impulsive, violent urges all throughout me and images in my head that are extremely hard to resist. Sometimes it's just thoughts but on more seldom occasions, it's this. And sometimes I don't know how much longer I can hold on when it's like this. They get harder and harder to resist. 
I know it's a choice to act on them or not and I don't have to but it's so hard when it's like that.
And sometimes I want to act on them and terminate myself. 
I would never kill someone else, I'm not that much of a monster, but this is only me.

 I have horrible urges to throw myself in speeding traffic when I'm out walking sometimes, just out of nowhere, but I never would because that would involve others.
I have other urges too sometimes, like recently when I was alone at night, that won't directly involve others. I won't ever hurt anyone else or take anyone else out with me when I go or involve anyone in my nonsense. No matter how low I sink, I always know never to hurt or even involve anyone else directly, no living sentient beings, no humans, no animals, no insects. I used to go to the subway often when I was in college and plan on ending it or just seeing if I was able to get up the nerve. Sometimes I came so close. Usually I couldn't bring myself to go not even close. It was so so scary. When the train comes speeding, loud and clanking and that lethal air blasts at me and I take a step back. It’s so very different than merely fantasizing.

I knew it is selfish because it can make people late for things like work and appointments and scare people who have to see. But I thought their inconvenience would be nothing next to my pain and I justified it. But I realized later that it's not ok to involve others even if they won't be hurt. No one else should ever be interfered with just because I have problems. And imagine the psychological damage some may suffer having to witness something like that and the poor person in charge of operating the train. It wouldn't ever be that person's fault but still that person would have to live with that. And some people suffer serious guilt even if it's not their fault at all. 

So now I only seriously contemplate ways that won't interfere with others directly. It's true that someone will have to find it and it won't be pleasant for whoever it is. But when almost anyone dies, any way, the corpse will have to be found. I can't help that. 

Anyway, usually things like this problem don't depress me. I'm very easy going. But that night, it just triggered me to become depressed. Very, very depressed. I was already depressed in a very mild way off and on for a few days. 

I felt like nothing has any flavor, I had no purpose and never will, nothing sounds or feels right, nothing really interested me too much, soda had no fizz to it, colors weren't as vibrant. I had some slight desire. Like for food, reading ghost stories, and taking pictures but nowhere near as passionate as usual. It was like it was weakened or covered in plastic, like everything covered and I couldn't really touch it. I knew it wouldn't matter if I killed myself because I really wanted to die and no one would have cared anyway and there was no purpose in anything for me. I saw no reason for me to live and I did not want to live at all. I wanted everything to end, not just the pain, the good with the bad. I just wanted to be dead. But I kept holding on anyway. 

I remember seeing a bright red car that brought some sense of feeling back into me.
The color so vibrant and lovely. All was momentarily ok. It reminded me that there's always beauty in the ugly, light in the darkness, even if it's very simple, like a bright red car.
It's possible for things like that to help me to a certain extent even when I'm in the deepest, darkest despair because I'm naturally very positive and I strengthened my natural habit of seeing the beauty and goodness around me, even more, with practice through the years. 

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As depressed & suicidal as I have recently been and I still saw all positive, happy, beautiful things just jumping out at me. Even when I wasn’t trying. It was annoying some occasions because I wanted to die so badly, so desperately, but felt guilty and absurd acting on it when there was all beautiful things and positive thoughts jumping into my head uncontrollably. Lol My mind is so much in the habit, both naturally and an intentional conscious habit I have practiced & developed, of positive thinking and an attitude of gratitude, that I think so positively even when I’m on the brink of killing myself. Now, it’s not always enough to stop me or make me want to live but it’s so helpful (and annoying) and makes it less likely I will go.

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(mine! 😀 )

I couldn’t believe some of the inspiring shit running through my head when I was trying to muster up the “courage” to kill myself. 
I would think of all reasons I should die and be convinced then my mind would come up with: 

“But….you can be greater than anything that can happen to you!…”

“But…there’s always something to hold on for…”

“But…all I have to do is change my way of thinking about these things…”

“But…we all have something to contribute to the world…how can I if I end it…”

“But…I can use my pain to our advantage and potentially help someone else…”

“But…there’s still so much beauty surrounding me…”

“But..don’t sweat the small stuff! And it’s all small stuff!..”

“But…it’s all about the attitude and I can change the attitude!”

“But…be Brave! Keep going!…”

And more….

Often for every agonizing thought and great reason to kill myself, a positive, beautiful thought would uncontrollably pop up, a reason to live.

Kept getting in my way. Blah! Lol 😉 

There’s something so positive ingrained into me and threaded throughout my whole existence. There’s so much love in me even when all I want is to be dead. 

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(lol this isn’t my photo)

Also, when I want to but don’t kill myself, it’s not always because some part of me truly wants to live. It’s not necessarily ambivalence, though sometimes it is. It’s just that we all have this biological/evolutionary will to live, which is different than a psychological desire to live. Nature has equipped us with this to keep our species going. A single celled organism with no consciousness has this same will to live.
It doesn’t mean the thing “wants” to live.

Even long after the desire burns out and the will is reduced to just a shred, this will to live is fierce. A thin sliver is so fierce. It’s not my choice. It’s primitive to keep me going, it doesn’t mean I want to. It’s hard to overcome it. Suicidal urges are unnatural to it. They contradict it.
And it’s often stronger than those urges.

 It annoys me when people say/write that just the fact that we’re alive, shows we must not be sure if we want to die. No. I have been so sure. 
It’s just this evolutionary thing or whatever, really gets in my way. 

That night and early in the morning I battled recurrent violent urges to kill myself. Even in my slumber. I dreamed of dying. Taking myself out. I even had a certain method in mind and a plan. I had uncontrollable images flashing through my head of what I wanted to do to myself, what I planned to do. 

It was so physical. 

I kept getting up in the night, getting ready to go then changing my mind. 

Whenever I seriously considered killing myself that night and early in the morning, I thought of all the inspirational things I post and share and truly believe in. And I thought of the sweet messages people write to me expressing encouragement, gratitude, appreciation….and I wasn’t sure I wanted to throw it all away just like that.

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(not my pic)

I know what it’s like to suffer and to experience true joy & happiness & love and my main intention with the things I post is to uplift others and inspire anyone I can. How inspiring can I be to others if I intentionally kill myself? That’s a very unfortunate message to send to the world, don’t you think? When things are too agonizing, painful, overwhelming, we give up? 

I don’t want to end with that kind of energy. I don’t want to leave that negative energy in the uni-verse. When/if I kill myself, that negative energy will linger. It’s not good for others. And it’s just a bad, bad message to the world. Every single act I perform, every word I speak, every breath I take has the potential for a ripple effect to some degree for better or for worse. So why not make them all positive? Or positive as possible. 

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(this isn’t my photo)

And I thought of all the potential I have to touch someone else for the better even if just a very small, simple way. Each day I live, each moment, each breath, is a chance to love someone else. Each encounter no matter how brief, can brighten the world for another. And this is true for all of us. 

No matter how much pain I’m in and how much I want to die, how much it feels like I have to die, I can still help someone else somehow. 

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(not my photo)

For a couple hours, I laid in bed in a near catatonic state, no energy to move, no desire, no strength to even pull a trigger if I had a gun. At some points, when I’m depressed, I have literally zero desire for anything other than death and can’t even think of living to help others or for the good things. Sometimes even the joy the good things can bring, doesn’t seem enough to keep me alive.  I seriously could hardly move or even breathe. 

And I thought of all the poor people who lost their battle with depression and suicidal urges.

I want to carry on for them. 
I don’t really know if it makes sense but it does to me. 

It doesn’t mean they weren’t strong or inspiring or beautiful or would have never wanted to live again. They just couldn’t see it then. But if they held on longer, even just a second longer(suicidal thoughts and urges can be so fleeting, coming and going,…a fraction of a second can make all the difference), they could have found that strength, saw their own beauty. So I want to keep going even when I don’t, to put more love and beauty into the world. The world has been deprived of theirs so I’ll try to put even more for all of us. It’s so hard sometimes but I’ll try. I can never take their place and never would anyway but I can honor them. 

For some of us it won’t go away and stay away. It comes and goes. 

Like waves in an ocean. 

Sometimes the oceans are calm and peaceful and the waves, gentle. But other moments the ocean is loud and aggressive, the waves are violent, threatening to knock us over and pull us under. But if we stand strong, they won’t keep us down too long.

Sometimes I have to battle these violent waves right now until it becomes calm and peaceful again. 

I may have written here before about my analogy to the oceans and waves.

It’s so fitting.

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(yeah, sometimes it is! Not my pic though!)

I’m very open about my condition. It’s something I battled most of my whole life. Like I said, it can flare up out of nowhere for no reason or be triggered by an external factor or triggered by my own thinking or memories sometimes. It’s not my personality or attitude or even a mere mood. It’s like a sickness that takes me over even though I’m naturally, generally happy. In the same way a physical illness can. 

I want to be open and honest about my experience with depression, even the darkest, ugliest parts. And I want to be open & honest about my pleasant experiences and happiness. The depression doesn’t take that away. 

I’m very open on here and in person. I often share the blog here on Facebook where people I know in person and those I don’t, have access to it. I want people to know my name and see my face and read my story.

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Here I am! 😀 This is me a few days ago! My smile is genuine. We can see if someone is truly happy in the moment, usually, not by the smile but the eyes. There’s a spark whether or not we’re smiling. 😀 ❤

I have nothing to cover up. I'm the same me in person as I am online. I write more than I talk and probably reveal more in writing because the opportunity to write just makes it easier but I'm the same. 

I never felt compelled to keep my depression and suicidal contemplation a big secret. And I never will. I did used to be more hesitant and embarrassed to talk about it but still found the courage. Sometimes I still hesitate before speaking or posting certain things that have to do with my condition but I usually always find the courage to eventually share it.

 I don't tell it to just everyone. Some I would never tell to directly but I don't care if they know. Some people are much easier to tell than others, more inviting, more open to it, especially those who know the pain intimately. 

I don't tell people when I'm seriously considering ending my life, of course not. I'm not trying to get put away (it's not so bad being hospitalized, I experienced a couple hospitalizations both voluntary and involuntary – it's a hassle though but helpful in some ways) or inflict guilt upon anyone. If I tell someone I want to kill myself then I really kill myself, that person may feel guilty even if the person doesn't like me or really care. I don't want anyone to carry that burden.  I don't go into much detail about my fantasies usually or plans or things like that because I don't want to distress anyone. But basically, I'm very open about it in general. 

For now I choose to keep going for all the people who lost our battle and especially for the people still alive, like me, who have so much difficulty holding on sometimes, for anyone whose life may cross mine even years into the future, who I can help in any way, even if it's just actively listening, letting someone borrow my pen, a warm smile, a loving hug, an inspiring post, a sweet conversation…..

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(not my pic)

Who knows who I can help maybe without even realizing the impact? Whether it’s in a practical way like letting the person have something of mine or in a way like listening to someone talk or being encouraging to others. 

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(this totally IS my photo! ;-D)

Just because I’m a suicidal wreck doesn’t mean I don’t have what it takes to love or to help. ❤ In fact, my experience helps even deepen my empathy for the problems of others and helps deepen my wisdom. Even when I'm currently on the brink of ending it, I can still love. 

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(not my pic)

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(I usually do! And yeah, this isn’t mine!)

I can’t be sure I won’t ever kill myself but for now I plan to hold on. ❤ ❤

Not for me but for them. ❤

😀

~Hugs~ & love to you. 

Xoxo Kim 

Courage to overcome

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“Find courage to overcome the circumstance.” ~
Lailah Gifty Akita

This is a great reminder that we cannot always choose our circumstances but we can choose to react in a positive way. 
Even if we cannot currently choose our emotions, we can choose to think and react positively even if we aren’t truly feeling it just yet.
“Fake it til’ you make it.”
If we act in positive ways and choose positive thoughts, we are more likely to begin to feel and live in positive ways, strengthening and developing positive habits. 
This isn’t always easy, it can be so tempting , so easy to give in and succumb to unpleasant situations, emotions, and negativity.  
But it’s worth the work it takes to become and remain positive. Even if we’re naturally, generally positive, there’s usually always room to evolve and be even better.
We can choose to do something as simple as stopping to take a few deep breaths instead of reacting in unpleasant ways, reading uplifting quotes, going outside for a walk or to look at the beautiful sky…

Our teacher in Buddhist class tells us to stop after an unpleasant encounter and before reacting, take a deep breath and ask “What would Buddha do?” 
We don’t have to be a Buddhist to adhere to this wisdom. Buddha is a symbol of peace, calm, love & compassion….

Even if we don’t know for sure what Buddha would do, we can be certain of what he would not do. He would never react with violence or bitterness or give up and quit his life of compassion, he would never allow problems to wear him out.  

I saw this quote today and decided to share here! It can apply to the most minor problems like being stuck in traffic, someone looking at us in unpleasant ways or saying something we don’t like and to more serious problems like depression, physical illnesses, grief, and other difficult situations.

What a great reminder!

😀

Much love & light to you,

xoxo Kim ❤

You’ll Never Know <3

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Recently my sister, my mom, and me watched The movie, Curly Sue, and at the end of that movie, the song sung by Ringo Starr, “You’ll Never Know,” is featured. What a lovely song!

I like the tune, pace and feel of it and the message is so wise. I find it inspiring and a great reminder to accept life as it is, value it for the unpredictable gift that it is. We never know what will happen. We can be having an amazing day then out of nowhere be struck by a terrible tragedy but we can be having a day that feels so wrong, so devastating, so broken then out of nowhere a wonderful surprise comes along to lift us up, inspire us, to heal us.

“Life goes on
no one gets rehearsal
life goes on
through everyday reversal 
with every dawn everyday is full of chances 
to find some good before it’s gone…” 

Things are fleeting. Life itself is fleeting. When things are going great, they won’t be forever. At any second, things can come crashing down on top of us. While this is unpleasant, we can use this knowledge to our advantage. We can’t always make bad things not happen but we can seize and embrace the good, celebrate it while it’s here. But not get overly attached. Know that it won’t always be this way. Everything ends. Then when we lose something good, we won’t be as unhappy and ungrateful because we meditate upon the fact that everything eventually comes to an end.
When we know what we have while we have it, when we appreciate it to the fullest, we have less regrets and less sadness when it leaves us. So let’s embrace what we have while we have it. 

And when things are not going well, know it won’t always be this bad. 
None of us get to prepare for all of life, we are all susceptible to surprises, both pleasant and not.

But life keeps going on. 

And we have chances to get better and better. 

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“you’ll never know which way a day is gonna take you
there’s always some surprise that comes along to shake you
you’ll never see exactly where the road will lead you
and when it comes to love you gamble when you need to
you’ll maybe break your heart on one unlucky throw
but then again, you’ll never know”

I love this message about taking chances. It’s worth it to reach out in love even if we may not receive love back. First of all, you never know, maybe the love will be returned. And if not, at least you have love in you and courage to lavish it onto the world or someone. That’s really all that matters!  What we give. Not what we get. 

It’s worth it to take the risks.

If you make an attempt, you may or may not succeed how you would like to but if you don’t take the chance you will never succeed how you want.

Try it and if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ll have the experience, life lessons, strength…and at least you tried. You won’t have to keep thinking “what if….?”

Instead of viewing the uncertainty and fleeting-ness of life in a negative light and allowing it to provoke anxiety in us, we can see it in a thrilling way, be exhilarated and curious, see the beauty in it. Life is what we make it, so let’s make it beautiful! 

😀 ❤

Here is a video to the song:

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Much0 l0ve to you! 😀

xoxo Kim ❤

Sharing is Caring <3

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I’m reading a beautiful novel called “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall, which takes place in the 1920’s and is classified as “Lesbian fiction.” It’s considered to be the very first novel to condemn homophobia and the unfair treatment of gay people. It was originally published in 1928.

While it’s not an autobiography,  it is inspired by the author’s real life. It’s said to be the “thinly disguised story of Radclyffe Hall’s own life.”  It’s about a woman named Stephen who is considered to be very different than the average woman. She’s somewhat masculine and is a lesbian. Even when she’s not open about her sexual orientation, people can kind of sense it. But this is the 20’s and not only is homosexuality condemned by society, it’s not even thought of much and almost never talked about. Even though people have an idea of the concept, it’s like they don’t even know what it’s called or how to even talk about it in words or fathom it. It’s so unheard of, it’s like there’s not even a word for it, it seems in this novel. They all have an idea about Stephen, that she’s not how she “should be.” As a child she was said not to have the “pretty little ways” of the other little girls. She wanted short hair and to be a boy.
Since she was a child, she worked out unlike other little girls. Now she’s muscular and considered to be unusual. She also fences “like a man.” She doesn’t like girly things and dresses in masculine suits with ties.
She is considered quite attractive, just not in a feminine way. 
She’s kind of shy, lacks confidence, and often feels as if she’s being mocked by those around her. 
But she knows what she wants and goes for it even though others criticize and exclude her. I love how Stephen loves and cares deeply for animals. And people too.

People know as a young woman she’s not romantically interested at all in men. And they do not like this at all. She is only interested in being friends with men. 
But men/boys feel threatened by her because she’s better at boy activities than even they are.

Even Stephen herself doesn’t understand what is going on. She knows, as the people in her community suspect, that she’s only romantically attracted to women. She thinks there is something wrong with her but also she knows there’s nothing wrong with her. She knows her attraction and love for other women is not wrong or unnatural or immoral but she can’t help but feel in some way that there’s something “wrong” with her because of how others treat her. 

To her, her love feels so right, so natural, so strong, it can’t possibly be wrong.
Most people won’t accept her. They gossip about her very unkindly. The only two people who seem to accept her, homosexuality and all, are her dad and her teacher.
The novel is about how she falls in love with a woman who loves her back and no one around them accepts this and won’t even let them in their houses. This puts a kind of strain on their relationship. Then a man comes along and says he can give Stephen’s lover the “respectability” that Stephen cannot if she will leave Stephen for him. This is a threat to their relationship and puts their love for one another to the test. 

One of the most beautiful lines in the novel is:

“‘You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet- you’ve not got your niche in creation. But some day that will come, and meanwhile don’t shrink from yourself, but just face yourself calmly and bravely. Have courage; do the best you can with your burden. But above all be honourable. Cling to your honour for the sake of those who share the same burden. For their sakes show the world that people like you and they can be quite as selfless and fine as the rest of mankind. Let your life go to prove this- it would be a really great life-work, Stephen.'” (pp. 154)

One of the characters in the book plans to say this to Stephen but she has to be careful or they both can get into social trouble if it’s overheard by others, Stephen for being a lesbian, the other character for supporting her . 

Isn’t this beautiful?! While there’s nothing intrinsic to homosexuality itself that is painful or immoral or wrong or detrimental and there’s nothing about consensual adult homosexual encounters/relationships that is wrong, to many lgbtq people, it can feel that way because of the way others view and treat them or their sexuality.  Homosexuality isn’t a burden. What is the burden, is having to put up with prejudicial attitudes and discrimination. 

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I think the line I shared above can apply to all of us with any situation we have whether good, bad, or neutral. We can have a situation that is painful or frustrating or distressing either because of the thing itself or the way people view the thing. For example when someone has depression or anxiety, that itself is not good, and on top of it, people often misunderstand or misjudge those who struggle with those disorders. And then there are even good things that can become painful because of how other people react. Like some goals and dreams some people have which may not be supported by friends and family of the person. For example, some people want to be an artist and the family won’t accept it, maybe thinking it’s pointless or that the person won’t get much money or get anywhere in life being an artist. But being an artist of any sort is a great thing! It’s amazing. But it won’t always feel that way with other people pressuring them to be/do something else. Stephen or anyone can have a beautiful romantic relationship with a lover of the same gender or even a different gender but it can feel “wrong” or painful because other people try to get in the way for whatever reason. 

But as this line in the book shows, there’s always someone out there somewhere in a similar situation who can really be helped in some way by our stories. They may be feeling very lonely and hopeless and knowing examples of others in similar situations can bring them consolation, inspiration, motivation, and help them muster the strength to keep going. 

It’s not always easy to share our stories because no matter what there’s always going to be those who criticize unnecessarily, mock, judge, try to get in the way…,whether they are friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers. 

 But I think it’s worth it to share our stories, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the taboo, and the unthinkable…to help others somehow. Some people want desperately to share their story of a life situation they experience/d but they are deathly afraid of being judged. It’s ok to be afraid. But I think we can “feel the fear and do it anyway.” There’s someone, many someones, out there who need us and can draw on our strength. When people criticize us unnecessarily and judge us negatively, we can love them and move forward, letting them judge and criticize. It has nothing to do with us or how we really are. 

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I love this book even though I haven’t read it all yet. It’s so beautiful, the story, the love, the imagery, the boldness, and how it’s written, almost poetically. The beauty and imagery just flow. And it’s written with passion and deep understanding as the author herself, has in reality experienced very similar circumstances as Stephen.  It’s a very old story but it’s not written in a way that is hard to understand. I was expecting to not understand some things as the English language long ago wasn’t exactly the same as now and in some old texts they had to allude to certain taboo concepts like homosexuality, suicide, adultery…as those things were considered unthinkable. But this book is quite candid. It’s said to be “Shockingly candid for its time.”

There’s not much allusion. The author is upfront in her writing. I love the candor. The author, I feel, is a hero for having the courage to write this novel back then, when she would have been horribly judged and  criticized, discriminated against. In fact, her novel was banned and her literary career was almost ended.  Imagine how many people were/are helped and inspired by this novel. Sadly, these things linger even today but fortunately they are often less severe than way back then, still, they are all too common. I think this novel is a gift to the world (and I haven’t even read the entire thing yet. Lol) I’m happy she had the balls to write and get it published back then. Imagine the strength it took. Even today lgbtq people are discriminated against and the targets of prejudicial attitudes, so imagine how much more courage it took back in the 20’s to put her story out there! 

So I find so much wisdom in the story and feel I must share it!

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Much love to you! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim ❤

Ordinary Angels <3

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“It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.” ~ George F. Will

I recently came across a Country song that I never heard before and I am completely blown away! I write so frequently about how one life no matter how “ordinary,” can have an amazing, positive effect on many, many other lives. And that’s exactly the message this song conveys. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful message. 

Most people that I come across, that I know of, can’t stand Country music. But even if you are one of those who find it very distasteful, you may still love the beautiful message of this song.

“Life’s like a chain – sometimes it breaks
We all need a hand when we fall from grace
It could be someone walking down the street
A stranger on a bus
A little kid on his way to school
Or any one of us
We all got a little superman ready to take flight
And save a life, oh save a life
Take a look around and you’ll see ordinary angels” ~ Craig Morgan 

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A while ago I wrote a post about “ordinary” people who inspire me, people who aren’t celebrities(celebrities can be very inspiring too but we don’t have to be to have a positive effect on someone.) or ones who are well known. They don’t necessarily have extravagant jobs and lots of money or any special skills other than compassion, caring, and the courage to reach out to others in some way. They don’t necessarily have the resources to reach people at great magnitudes the way famous people do. But they can touch at least one life each day. They help people just by being themselves.  That was before I heard this song. And this song inspires me to make another list. Here is my list of “ordinary angels,” mostly  strangers whose lives have touched mine in some way.

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1.) The man who came to the store where I work and paid for the two people in line in back of him who he did not know and told them to get whatever they want, no matter how much it costs. Then he gave me an eighteen dollar tip, which is more than the cost of all his stuff! The people in back of him insisted that he doesn’t pay for their stuff and he said he wanted to.

“We’re all in this together” he said. 

I was inspired by his message more than the big tip!  We ARE all in this together. Let’s reach out to one another, encourage each other, and build each other up. 
 
2.) The young man who gave me his seat on a bus – one day after a therapy appointment I was standing on a crowded bus holding a bag of books and this young man without asking just got up and walked to the front and told me I can have his seat and he stood the rest of the way. It helped me so much!! I am still so thankful.

3.) the two men who (literally) saved my life at a bus stop – I was (stupidly) texting on my phone while crossing the bus terminal and I walked in front of the 17 bus and almost got hit, two men who did not know me or each other, yelled and one pushed me and the other pulled me. They risked their own lives to save me, a stranger. They had no idea who I am, had no idea how I live, what my views on anything are, what I may have done in this life and they did not care. All they cared about was saving me.

4.) The homeless man who saw me trudging up the street like trying to walk through Quicksand or like trying to walk up the stairs in that Fred Krueger movie, going to class, when I was in college. I was depressed & suicidal and he had no idea what was going on in my head but he knew something unpleasant was going on. He yelled out to me, “Smile little lady, it gets better.” and he had the brightest, most beautiful smile on his face, I couldn’t help but smile, myself! 😀  His words still carry me today.

Smile little lady, it gets better. 😀

It does get better.
 
5.) the University professor at Temple University in back of me in line, who smiled and talked to me in her warm, soothing voice when we were waiting in line. She was almost late for her class and was in line to buy a snack and so was I. I wasn’t her student but I was almost late for a different class. She had the most beautiful smile and warmest voice. She wanted to get out of line and go to the soda box to get a drink and asked me if I would hold her place. When she came back I let her get in front of me so she wouldn’t be as late. I was depressed and suicidal again. Back then I almost always was. I found her presence to be so comforting and warm. And that encounter lifted me. And I cherish that memory. I even wrote a poem about it many years later! People inspire me to write. 

6.) the man who helped me in Center City Philadelphia when I was lost. I couldn’t find my way back home, had no idea what bus to take or where to get it. I must have looked as lost as I felt. A man came out of nowhere and asked if I was lost and where I was trying to go. I told him and he told me exactly where to go and what bust to get on. I found my way back home. Love will always be my guide. 
 
7.) the sweet girl in Center City who gave me a hug out of nowhere just because she wanted to bring joy to anyone she could.  I never saw her before that day or any day after. 

8.) the stranger who put his umbrella over me in the midst of a heavy rain shower. I was waiting for a bus after my therapy appointment, to come home and a man also waiting for the bus let me stand under his umbrella with him. He asked if I work around there and I said no I go to therapy appointments there. He asked what for and asked if I’m stressed. I said not necessarily “stressed” I have a chronic depressive disorder and suicidal tendencies, a genetic condition or biochemical imbalance or whatever. I waited for him to step away in shock and horror and disgust like some others have done when I told them. But instead, he asked about it and empathized, and he told me his sister also has depression and he tries to be as understanding as possible.

9.) the two women who talked to me walking up the street together – I was walking to a counseling center for an appointment and on the way there I met two women holding hands, walking up the same street with me. They had a special warmth about them, a welcoming, inviting glow,  I thought they seemed like people I would like to know or talk to and then the one turned around and said hello. I said hello and the other one turned to greet me. They asked where I was going and I told them and it turned out they were patients at the same place for depression like me! But they weren’t going there then. We talked for a while and they told me they are lovers and have a mostly great relationship but get into arguments because the one girl was kind of overly jealous. And the one wanted to hang out with her ex girlfriend and the other was very uncomfortable with that situation. But they were working on their problems together. They told me their fears, their loves, their sorrow, and joy. Their happiness.  I love how open and honest they were. I’m very open too but some people I wouldn’t tell stuff to directly because they don’t seem as easy to talk to but these two women were so open and receptive and what a coincidence how I met them, nowhere near the clinic but they were patients there! We knew the same people and had similar experiences! They were very easy to talk to and I told them my own story with depression.

10.) the lady who made sure no one sat in a puddle on a seat on a bus – I was sitting on a bus years ago and a lady closer to the front intentionally sat near a seat with a puddle in it so she would be able to tell every person who was about to sit in it that it’s wet! And many people kept getting ready to sit in it! She had to remain constantly alert and couldn’t even sit back all the way in her seat so that she could constantly, quickly caution people! I have seen puddles and gum on seats before and most people walk right by not thinking to even sit close just to warn people. What a very thoughtful and caring person! And so many people and their pants were saved! Doesn’t this just inspire you so deeply to be more thoughtful?! 

11.) the sweet & friendly girl at an event at a Buddhist center who talked to me. We have very similar interests and she showed genuine interest in me and my opinions. She’s going to be a nurse and help lots of people! I loved talking to her. I only ever met her once but the connection was deep. 

12.) the friendly Philadelphia police detective who said I did a great job and expressed gratitude for me “helping” after someone tried to steal money at work years ago. I couldn’t identify the person but the man was so thankful anyway and praised me for trying. He could have been frustrated and stressed but he was friendly and uplifting. He did more than just his job, he reached out to be positive and uplifting when he did not have to. 
 
13.) the customer who saw me outside of work and told me I’m very friendly and that him and his girlfriend are always pleased to see me at work. They are both very sweet and kind and caring.

14.) The man who told me I have beautiful hair – some years ago I was filling out one of those silly and fun online surveys and one question was “what thing do you get the least compliments on?” mine is my hair. I love my beautiful hair but I don’t get many compliments on it by others(I’m often told that it’s super long but not always sure if it’s exactly a compliment or just an observation). My sister always did get compliments when it’s not dyed because she has bright orange hair, naturally, when it’s not dyed another color. The very next day when I was on a bus, a man who was walking out the doors told me I have very beautiful hair. It wasn’t even fixed or brushed.  And recently in dunkin donuts another man came up to me while I was in line and told me I have very beautiful, long hair then he walked away and as I was walking out, he said goodbye. I love genuine compliments that are not intended to get something in return. 

15.) the girl I met randomly in college. I was sitting outside on campus reading a philosophy book when this girl sat next to me like she knew me. I wanted to say hello but was too shy so I just kept on reading and she said the name of my book and the author without even being able to see it. She recognized the appearance of the book! Another philosophy phreak!
What are the chances?! 😀
She told me her name, Stephanie, she was going to law school to be a criminal defense attorney and loved philosophy like me! We had a long, intriguing discussion about all the ancient and modern philosophers, philosophy of law, logic,ethics, and about our other interests. Her boyfriend was going away for the military and she was scared for him and sad he was leaving but also proud. I was so happy to have a friend in that moment, we connected so well, so genuinely, an instant soul sister. I never saw her again but my memory uplifts me to this day.

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16.) the doctor who held my hand after surgery – many years ago I had very painful emergency surgery and medical procedure on my kidney & bladder when it almost ruptured. I was very sickly and in excruciating pain. After surgery, I was scared because I opened my eyes but couldn’t see very well. I had no idea that is normal after just waking up after surgery as I have never had surgery before then or knew anything about it. All the doctors and nurses were very warm and caring. The one doctor came over and I told her I couldn’t see and she held my hand and assured me it would get better and I would recover well. She did more than just her job, she expressed compassion, genuine concern, and empathy. Now when I think back to that ordeal, I have warm memories. 

17.) the little boy, five years old, who told me I’m beautiful one night at work. A young mom who comes with her little boys told me her older son has a little crush on me and was too afraid to tell me I’m pretty. And she told him every girl loves to be told she’s beautiful and I said yup that’s so true! And then the younger boy said “you are so beautiful!” I was so flattered. Especially because I did not feel the most beautiful that night! I was functioning with lack of sleep, ratty hair, no makeup…

And his compliment was so genuine. After that, I really did feel so beautiful, even with the dark circles under my eyes and all! When a child tells you you’re beautiful, you are beautiful! Lol

18.) the man driving by in a car who saw a random stranger, another man, putting up a ladder and stopped his car to say “yo buddy, you need help?” I just witnessed this; I wasn’t involved but it warmed me just the same.

19.) Michelle, Melissa, Lamont, Stephen, Patricia, Frank, Holly, Deborah, Aquanetta, Jennifer, Chris, Latrina, Kelly, Georgia, Gina, and all the others I knew when I had to stay in a hospital for a while for psychotic depression and suicidal contemplation. It wouldn’t be the same without those friends who helped me see it through. All strangers who helped each other bear the burden of mental illness. We all connected in a deep way, all of us struggling and understanding each other better than anyone else ever could. We suffered in our own separate worlds, imprisoned in our own secret hell but we were able to reach out to one another and let each other into that hell, knowing each other’s pain intimately. I never saw them again but I carry them in my heart. 

20.) Mr. O, the psychiatric technician who told us of his own struggle with substance addiction and his recovery and how it inspires him everyday to help others. He told us that we all have an inner sun, to find it and let it shine through. That we can always choose how to handle things and react and work on our attitude even when it hurts. He even mentioned one of my other favorite Country songs, “The Gambler,” sung by Kenny Rogers, which is about choosing our attitude and empowering ourselves. 

21.) my friend, Johnathan – he’s not a stranger. I knew him for years. He’s the most selfless person I have ever known. He gives others his last dollar always, even when he’s out of money and food for himself. He goes out of his way to help strangers, he buys food for whole families if he sees them struggling. He does (construction) work for people even if they can’t pay him. He doesn’t always know when he will get paid next but it doesn’t stop him, he will give every last dollar of his to a friend, a family member, a stranger, even an enemy. I have seen him giving money to and doing free work for people who are very unkind to him, very ungrateful, even destructively criticize him. He does this out of the goodness of his heart. He genuinely wants everyone to be happy. Everyone. He is a great dad and does whatever he can to help his kids whenever they need something, even the young adult ones. He helps animals in need if he sees them. He is extremely understanding and caring and compassionate. He’s big and strong and defends people in need. His generosity is boundless and indescribable. He just gives, gives, gives. Love, money, work, anything he has to give.

22.) the group of police officers who came to my work – I don’t charge police officers of any kind at work. They can get whatever they want for nothing. But they usually insist on paying and giving me tips. One day a group of them came and gave me a very big tip. They were very friendly and so generous. I always appreciate the friendliness and kindness more than the money itself. They had the opportunity to get whatever they wanted for nothing but they paid and gave me a generous tip. And were kind and friendly. I appreciate that and all the work they do, the risks they take with their lives and also the risk of being destructively criticized by people who do not appreciate the work they do for us and judge them all by the unjust actions of a few, the dangerous work and the boring paperwork they must endure. They risk being perceived negatively and their mistakes and flaws are magnified because of the kind of work they do. Everyone probably makes mistakes but for people of certain jobs, they stand out more. I make mistakes at work but because the job is trivial, it won’t stand out as much even though I’m no morally better. I have much appreciation & deep gratitude  for all good officers/detectives/police…

23.) The employee at Dunkin Donuts who gave me a senior discount when I did not have enough money for something after I ordered it. She could have said forget about it and let me go with nothing but she was kind enough to consider me an old person for the day and let me still have my drink! 😀

24.) the interviewer who rejected me for the job I applied to – I went on a job interview in the summer. The interviewer thought that I was qualified and experienced enough to give me a chance for an interview. After the interview process of a few potential employees, she e-mailed me to tell me she selected the person she thought was most qualified (not me 😦 lol) and she warmly thanked me for my interest and encouraged me to keep applying for jobs. I was surprised and pleased that she cared and took the time out of her very busy schedule to e mail those she interviewed who were not selected, and that she encouraged me to keep trying, to not give up. I wrote back thanking her for the chance and her message and she replied with well wishes to me for the present and the future! How sweet! I never encountered employers who are that involved or caring enough to write not one but two messages to the person they rejected and encouraging them not to give up! They usually just seem to ignore us. This shows how caring she is and not just all out for herself and her department. Not that all employers who ignore people are selfish or not caring, they just have so much to do, but writing a friendly message is evidence of true compassion. 

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25.) the college boy who complimented me after a presentation I gave to the class on a very complex, confusing philosophy issue involving logic. In college, many years ago for one of my philosophy classes we had to write difficult papers, just like for most Phil. Classes I took. One paper I wrote, when the professor gave it back, it had A+ written on it! A is the best grade but he loved it so much he put a + on it! And not only that but he asked me to present it to the whole class! It’s to this day one of my most proudest accomplishments! It was very difficult to write, it took much thought and understanding. I don’t have social anxiety or fear of public speaking but I am very shy and this makes me forget stuff, sometimes, when I’m talking to people I don’t know well. When I would present stuff to class or professors, I would often feel like I have to get it perfect or like I will embarrass myself so it’s not always easy to talk in front of many people I don’t know well. And this is a very complex topic. So I happily agreed to present it but I was concerned I would forget how to explain it. It’s a difficult topic anyway and along with being shy and the pressure to not mess up in front of all those people, concerned me but I did very well anyway and a young man in class with me came up and told me how good I did. His compliment was everything to me and still is. 

26.) the very friendly lady I met walking up the street. My mom, sister, and me were walking up the street in cold weather but my mom was hot and not wearing a coat and a very friendly lady came up and talked to us like she knew us forever even though we never saw her before. I love people like that! She was wearing a Winter coat and hat and said she wished she could be like my mom and not have to wear all that heavy clothing and she complimented my mom and she was just so sweet and friendly. It warmed me in the bitter cold. People who talk to strangers like they’re BFF’s always uplift & inspire me!

27.) the strangers who wrote a note about feeding stray cats. The bar on the corner where I live used to have a bowl of food and a small tent made for the stray cats to seek shelter in the back. Someone did not like it and put a note up asking them to stop attracting cats. But the cats were there anyway. It’s just that now they had food and shelter. Then later a person wrote on that same note responding to the first person saying the cats need to eat and a place to go. Then later another person responded suggesting to keep feeding them or take them to a shelter so they can find furever homes. All these strangers communicated to each other without seeing each other, just writing and signing their names to express compassion for homeless animals. Eventually the cats were taken to a no kill shelter by my kind neighbors, so they can finally get the furever homes & family love they deserve. 

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28.) the girl I met at a carnival when we were twelve years old. My mom and dad took my sister and me to a carnival but my sister was too young for the rides so I had to go on them alone but another young girl came over to me and asked me to go on them with her. We were best friends for the day.

29.) the girl in middle school who stood up for me when another girl said I had ugly hair. She told her my hair is not ugly; it’s beautiful. I still feel the compliment today. 

30.) my psychology professor in college who e -mailed me to ask if everything is ok when I stopped coming to class all of a sudden. He did not take attendance but he noticed I was missing and cared. I was involuntarily hospitalized for depression and suicide contemplation at the end of that semester. I responded and told him what happened and he was extremely compassionate and told me he would make the final exam as easy as possible for me. I was so thankful and told him so. Then later he wrote back telling me to forget about the final exam that all my exams and class assignments were very good and he would just base my final grade on those. Words cannot express my gratitude for his kindness, compassion, concern, and understanding.   
I still feel it now. Like a wrapped in a warm blanket. 

31.) Larry the love poet – there’s a man named Larry I happen to see occasionally just walking up a street, in stores, all around. I don’t know him well, I just met him outside one day, but he always stops to talk to me. He’s a poet who is crazy for love. He writes beautiful love poems and recites them for me. He remembers all the words off the top of his head! I saw him in dunkin donuts and he got out of line to hold the door for me because my hands were full! 

“When you’re in that dark place and you need that embrace
You know love is never too far away
It could be a waitress at a coffee shop you never saw before
A soldier that’s just coming home from fighting in the war
We all got a little superman ready to take flight
And save a life, oh save a life
Take a look around and you’ll see ordinary angels”

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So here is my list of ordinary angels. And these are just some of them. There are many, many more. 

Ordinary angels are everywhere. Loving, helpful, beautiful people, random acts of kindness… are not rare…but they are often overlooked and forgotten about in the midst of the routine busyness, stress, negativity…the mundane hassles, obligations, and stresses of everyday life that many/most of us experience at some points.

And we definitely need more love, compassion, and kindness in the world. There can never be too much. Sometimes we let fear stop us so we don’t reach out, or feelings of inadequacy, like maybe a more qualified person will come along to help that person in need so we should just go our own way, or we get too wrapped up in our own lives and situations we don’t think or care to stop to help another or we have bitter feelings against people or the world, or we’re too shy or just oblivious to all the chances and the importance to help out….but all this can be overcome so we can reach out in love.

No matter who you are, there is someone, somewhere who needs you and can benefit by your touch.  Maybe someone across the world or right next door or in the very same room. 

Something as simple as a friendly hello, a loving smile, or warm touch, letting someone else go first, have the last of something even if you want it, holding a door for someone not out of a feeling of obligation but genuine desire to make something easier for someone else, feeding stray cats, squirrels, or birds,  who are hungry, adopting or fostering an animal, an uplifting comment or message on social media, sending an anonymous package during the holiday season to a person you know, to uplift that person, an anonymous or not anonymous letter to uplift someone you know is struggling in some way…all have the potential to brighten someone’s life. And as you see, these warm memories are everlasting. All these years later I remember all these lives and the many more who touched my life for the better. I carry them in my heart always.

I believe most people are basically good and caring but some people go above and beyond. Like these people above. They are full of love, compassion, courage, and life. 
They have various jobs but they help in ordinary contexts irrespective of their jobs. They don’t need a specific paid job or volunteer job or a job at all to go the extra mile and help out in some way. 
They can be financially struggling, homeless, financially rich, a doctor or celebrity, a police officer, a child, a very old person, a person with a disability of any kind…
They help & inspire because of who they are, not because of their job. Their jobs just provide opportunities for helping.
But there are opportunities all around us. 
We can all be like this. 
People with jobs where they always have to help people and famous or well known people can be ordinary angels too, helping people in “ordinary” contexts just like anyone else can, the whole point of the message is no matter who or what we are, or how much or very little we have, we can help someone in need or just brighten someone’s day. 

“A soldier that’s just coming home from fighting in the war…”

Soldiers help people at work but they can also help in more simple, ordinary ways outside of work.

I am not the only one blessed with ordinary angels. They are everywhere. We all have the potential to be an ordinary angel. Like the song says.

“…or any one of us.”

I choose to acknowledge and list them and I encourage you to do the same. Whether it’s a public post like this one or in a journal you never show anyone. 
You will have the warm memories to think about as long as you live.
Not only does it honor them even if they will never see it, it gets us in the habit of seeing them, acknowledging them, feeling immense gratitude for them. And allowing them to inspire and motivate us to pay it forward and be someone else’s ordinary angel. 

Kindness has a ripple effect and love can permeate the world. 

Whenever we reach out to make the world or someone’s life a little bit better, we reach out in Love.

Who are your ordinary angels?

When have you been someone else’s ordinary angel? The opportunities are infinite.

Go be someone’s Earth angel today.

All you need is your beautiful, loving heart.

“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.” ~Tracy Chapman

Mobile link to YouTube video for the song, “Ordinary Angels”:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X4g4VlAgS4o

Desktop link: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=X4g4VlAgS4o

Xoxo Kim 😀