Tag Archive | empathy

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 ❤

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❤❤❤

To all of our Doctors around the globe….our hearts beat for you❤

“In every beat of my heart
There’s a beat for you
In every toast of wine
There’s a toast for you”

Every Beat of My Heart – Gladys Knight & The Pips

Doctors, this is for you…❤❤❤

“Then, he produced an implement from his bag that caused Powell to move around the bed to watch the doctor using it. It was a strange mechanism, almost looking like a magical device. It was a hollow metal tube, both ends of which terminated in a cup, much like the mouthpiece of a bugle, only larger. Placing one end tightly against Betsy’s bare upper chest and the other against his left ear, Hopson listened, moved the cup, listened, moved it again. All the while, he exhibited the tendencies of a small child with a new toy.

‘Fabulous!’ he said, rising. ‘Wonderful gadget, isn’t it?’ He detached it from his ears and held it to Powell.

‘What is it?’ the schoolmaster asked, turning it over, looking into the ends.

‘It’s a stethoscope, a device for listening to heartbeats. I picked it up just two months ago during a visit to Atlanta. It’s quite new, and all the rage of European doctors. Here, listen for yourself.’

Powell’s face squinched as he concentrated, not knowing what to expect. Then, his eyes flew open as he heard the ‘thump-THUMP-thump-THUMP’ of Betsy’s heart, strong and loud as the ticking of a great mantel clock.

Something substantial changed within Powell as those rhythms pounded through his eardrums. For the rest of his life, he would never forget that sound, the feeling that swept over him as he stood there, his head inclined toward the chest of this young girl listening to her heart. At that moment, more strongly than any other, Richard Powell knew he was in love.

‘Amazing,’ he whispered, pulling back in a daze and returning the stethoscope to Hopson, who motioned Lucy over.

‘Come, Luce, take this and hear what will keep your daughter alive through this illness and much more, I’m sure, if I’m any doctor at all.’

He bound mother and daughter together with the simple metal tube. Lucy listened for a moment, silent tears streaming from her eyes. After a minute or so, Hopson pulled her away tenderly, removed the stethoscope and tucked the covers back around Betsy.

The slow ‘k-thump, k-thump’ of Betsy’s heart would resound through the ears of both Lucy and Powell for some time afterward.”

(The Bell Witch – John F.D. Taff)

Much love & light to all of our Doctors, we love you & thank you and are cheering you on, now & always. We appreciate your strength, courage, love, and passion for helping others, doing the best you can in a broken system that is hard for both medical professional people, as well as patients, to deal with.

I acknowledge that you are mere mortals, like the rest of us, with human experiences & emotions. I acknowledge your fear, stress, traumatic experiences, exhaustion, your pain and grief, the difficulty coping emotionally with some things you have to endure…it is all valid and I appreciate your motivation and courage to keep going anyway, to love & help complete strangers even putting your own self(and possibly your own family) at risk for various less than pleasant things.

I have seen requests by doctors on social media, asking us to give them space to be human, to understand their human emotions, to acknowledge their fear, burnout, exhaustion, emotional trauma, even while expressing our deep gratitude for their service to us. They ask us to not forget, as we clap and cheer and love them, that they are human too.

I do acknowledge this, always have. I acknowledge your humanness and mortal nature just like everyone else. And I will share to remind others.

I love you!! ❤

Philadelphia LOVES you!!! ❤❤❤💚💚💚

Keep going; you got this! You chose a job taking care of people because you have what it takes, the love and determination and strength, the courage, even when it’s difficult, exhausting, and scary. Even when it tests your patience, strength, and courage. Even when it’s so, so traumatic beyond what any of us can begin to realize. Hugs to all of you. ❤💚

I wish you hope, healing, inner peace, love, and everything you need to stay safe, physically & emotionally.

❤❤❤

Anyone who wants to help our doctors and can, please consider donating blood. Doctors need blood to help people who come in and need transfusions. Imagine trying to help your patients in need and there is a severe blood shortage. Donating blood not only helps patiens in need but helps our doctors and other medical staff do their jobs the best they can.

Another way to help our doctors(and other medical professional people) is to donate money, supplies if we can(most of us probably don’t have this to donate though), make the supplies needed(I don’t think most of us have the skills/things needed to do this), and/or contact people with power and urge them to get the supplies needed to keep our medical healers safe and help their jobs go more smoothly. Imagine the stress and fear of trying to heal people and save lives while everything in the hospitals is running low and running out, especially things needed to keep your own self and your patients safe. At the very least, we can share this link:

https://getusppe.org/

and share the tags(anywhere on social media): #getmeppe #getusppe

We want to keep our doctors safe and help them do their jobs the best they can without extra and unnecessary fear & stress. PPE, such as masks & gloves, is a basic necessity that all healthcare/medical healers need to survive their work environment each day; it’s not a luxury just to make things better or easier; it is crucial for their health & safety. They need it like we all need air, food, and water, to survive and stay healthy. And tragically, there is an extreme shortage of it. This puts their lives at serious risk and makes it extra difficult for them to do their jobs. It adds stress, frustration, fear, and trauma where there is already too much. Please, let’s help them in any way we can, even just sharing the link to bring awareness to PPE and the severe shortage.

If I could do more, I certainly would. If I were able to take your place for a bit just til you rest your head, see your family/friends, do something to take care of yourself,…I would. I would take on the burden myself for as long as you need, but that is not possible. All I can do, is send my love and do a few minor practical things for now. ❤ So that, I will.

Thank you and hugs to everyone! 💚

xoxo Kim ❤

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❤

So THIS is happening💚

(Living kidney donor screening questionnaire)

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…❤

You’ll Never Know – Ringo Starr

It’s happening.

I have been holding onto this big dream for many, many years. Since I was a young woman, I had this one big thing I knew I would grow up to do. But it is a dream that felt “too big.” Too scary. Too complicated. Out of my league. So I would put it off and say “some day.” It will happen. Some day. One day. Way into the future.
I had various excuses. I should be older first. I should graduate college first. I should have a place of my own first. I should have a “real job” first, Im probably not qualified because I have depression…..so many “shoulds.”
A year and a half ago, just out of the blue, this dream began to nag me day & night. I kept telling it to go away that I would get around to it. Some day. But it would not let up. It was on my mind day and night. It was in my dreams while I slept! It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning! It was the last thing falling asleep. It made no sense; it came out of nowhere like this. I thought about it for years off and on but then it just came to stay. And nag me every second.

So I gave in and said ok. I did research all day and night and prepared myself as best as I could to make the call. To answer the call.
I changed my diet and became a health nut. I stopped drinking soda and lots more water. I started walking even more than usual. I began consuming lots more fruits and vegetables. I talked to various people who already did what I will do, and others involved, about my plan and what it will be like. They were all positive and encouraging.

But still, I kept telling myself circumstances can be better. I have to wait. Wait for what? Who knows…but I have to wait. But it nagged me. The dream, it would not give up calling to me.

Finally I gave in. And one day, some day became today.

I answered the call and made the call.

I contacted the Kidney Transplant center and offered one of my kidneys to the next person on the wait list. Whoever it is, I do not know or care. All I know is, this is a person who has to live and wants to live. And that is enough for me.

So today. This is happening.

I am now beginning the process of donating one of my kidneys…..to a random stranger at a transplant center here in Philadelphia. Someone I have never met and probably will never meet because I am choosing the completely anonymous way.

What in the WHAT?!?!

Me? Just an average girl who lives at home with mom, sister, and dad. An average girl with an average job. No special talents or skills. I’m not adventurous and never travel anywhere, dont go on vacations, dont have lots of friends, always had average grades in school, I was never a fitness freak or health nut, havent run marathons, or won any awards, I go to work each day and then straight home, the simplest, most average life imaginable….so what business do I have taking a plunge like this, having my gut sliced open and a kidney cut off my bladder, possibly dying on the operating table(ok so that’s a bit dramatic and is rare), for a random person I do not know and probably never will?

Well, I have two healthy kidneys and a big ‘ole heart and just a little bit of courage….and that is just about all I need to embark on this incredible journey of love.

I am about to undergo a battery of extensive, extremely thourough medical & psychiatric testing. My entire body, inside and out, head to toe, will be examined and I will spend grueling hours with multiple mental health professionals for psychiatric testing to make sure I’m not batshit cray for volunteering to give my kidney to a total stranger. (I promise I’m not! I’m just a universal lover who strongly believes everyone is just as important as my own family/friends) and they want to make sure I’m emotionally strong enough to endure the entire process and that I am not being coerced into it. It’s not all pretty and not for the faint of heart. I will have to meet with a nutritionist or dietician and financial counselors (because I will be out of work for months recovering and have to show them that I will still be good financially.)

I have a history of major depressive disorder(im much much better and not depressed now at all & no longer treated), a kidney stone in 2007 that led to emergency surgery(I remember thinking “well damn I guess im not going to be allowed to donate a kidney one day now” and that is one of the first things I said to my mom upon waking).

These are known as relative disqualifiers, which means I can be rejected for them but will not necessarily be. The team has to know more about them. There are absolute disqualifiers that will render someone ineligible at every transplant center. These include HIV(I am a regular blood donor and do not have this), diabetes(hopefully don’t have this but don’t know – it’s the #1 thing leading to kidney disease), serious high blood pressure problems(dont have this), hep (no), cancer(hopefully not!)…

Currently, I’m in the screening process to see if I even stand a chance at all; some people are rejected right off before testing even begins. They are going to review my application at the center and if they believe it’s all good, they will contact me back and tell me to come on in for the official process to begin!

If they just toss it out, at least I tried! I reached out in love and that will have to be enough. But if they say no, I will move on to a different transplant center until one gives me a chance. It is extremely difficult to be accepted as a living donor. Most people are not healthy enough. And many are considered to be just not cut out for it emotionally. It’s no joke! It’s a very serious, serious matter that just is not for everyone.
The average person would be rejected because of physical health issues and then financial issues. We do not pay for the transplant or donor surgery but we do pay for any medical complications we may experience; there are traveling/hotel expenses, and we’re out of work for months and will not be getting paid. I live right here so no traveling expenses for me. If one transplant center rejects us for a relative disqualifier, another may accept us.

This one is a good choice because I read about some of the doctors and they are very warm and caring. There is an altruistic kidney donor here in Philadelphia who gave her kidney to a man also in Philadelphia and this is the center they had their transplant. The story is beautiful. He cried to be loved so much by a complete stranger. And she joked and said he’s crying because he has a woman’s kidney. They did theirs a different way. She chose him and happened to be a match and healthy enough. She chose to remain anonymous at first then revealed herself. Theirs is called altruistic directed. She heard his story about his need for a kidney and got tested for him specifically. I am doing non-directed where there is no specific person in mind. It will go to the sickest who I am a match for. This is always anonymous and I prefer this.

I hope this can inspire anyone else with a dream or goal to go on and take that very first step if it’s something that truly resonates with you. We all have fear in us and love in us. If something resonates with us and calls to us, and we say no or ignore it because we are afraid it wont work out, afraid of getting hurt, afraid it will not go as planned….afraid of anything, we are acting on the fear instead of the love. Is that any way to live? If something just is not worth it to us and we are afraid, that is one thing and is ok to say no to it. But if something is our passion and our calling and we say no out of fear, that sucks! Fear is not worthy of being the one that gets our attention. Love is.

So go ahead, reach out, take the plunge, whatever is calling to you, nagging you, resonating with you, go for it! Even if we are currently unsure about something, it certainly won’t hurt to find out more about it. And if all falls to pieces, at least we can be proud to say we tried and our action was aligned with our truth, life philosophy, passion. At least we can say we acted on love and kicked that fear to the curb.

People have asked me “What if you die?” And my response is, I would prefer to die a young woman on an operating table living my dream than die a healthy old woman, safe in my bed, never even trying because I listened to the fear in me and ignored the Love. What if I die? Then at least I will die living & loving. How does that old cliche go? Something like, what matters is not how long we live but how well we live, not the number of years in our life but the life in our years.

Isn’t that what life is all about? Taking chances, big or small, reaching out, being all that we can be, doing the best we can, then letting go and whatever will be will be. It’s not about cowering in a corner, shaking, living safely in a bubble, not doing what we dream of, just to die in the end anyway. Shake. Be terrified. Let your hands tremble and sweat and your mouth dry up in fear. Let your voice quiver and your legs turn to jelly. Push through that overwhelming “I can’t do this” and “I’m not cut out for it” feeling and try. Maybe we really can’t do this. We all have something that for whatever reason, we can’t do. Maybe we truly aren’t cut out for it. Maybe we don’t have the skills or the heath or the ability. And that is ok! But what isn’t good is not even trying because of fear.

Take that first step anyway and keep, keep going for as long as you can. Conquer that terror. Show it who is really the boss here. Welcome it, let it take up residence here in your world, embrace it as a companion but don’t let it win! Let the love ultimately win.

“Death is inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control.” ~ Claire Wineland
(Claire was a beautiful, bold, brave young woman who died of an unexpected complication during recovery following a successful lung transplant)

Does this dream of mine scare me? Oh yes! I am pissing my pants! There are so many ways to fail at this, so many chances for me to be rejected, so many things that can go wrong with my body during surgery and even during some of the medical tests and even years later even if all goes well. The remaining kidney can stop working after the other is removed and it may not happen til years later but that is rare. I hear there is ironically a mandatory test to check my kidneys to make sure they are healthy but this very test can make them fail?! The transplant team can decide that I am a total basket case during the evaluations. They can find cancer during all the scans I have to get. And the list goes on of all the things I have to fear.

But the love in me is what is winning. The love is what I will focus on all throughout this journey wherever it will lead me to and no matter how short or long lived it is. Fear will take the back burner where it belongs. And love will lead the way.

So yeah, this 💩 is finally happening!

Wish us luck!

Much love, light, & courage to you; be brave, be bold, be strong; keep going; whatever it is you got this!❤

Xoxo Kim