Tag Archive | empowering

Space

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“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. “ ~ Viktor E. Frankl

This is a quote I found in a book about addiction & mindfulness. But it’s a great concept that can apply to any situation. We have the power to choose how to respond to whatever provokes us. It may feel like we have no choice and no control over a situation but the reaction is always in our control even if we cannot yet choose our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In this space, we can refine our ability to proact,. This space is empowering and it’s true our response can either contribute to evolving or to destruction. The more we choose to respond with positivity, love, grace, gratitude, and optimism, the more we evolve. 

We are truly liberated when we learn to always or frequently respond in a productive or positive way to people and situations that potentially tempt us to lash out or respond negatively in some way. When we have or cultivate a pro-active attitude and strengthen/maintain it, no matter what happens, no one and nothing gets over on us. 

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This is me today at work.

I hope your day/night is going beautifully! I was at work all day trying to work on blog posts and things but had no Internet connection. It wasn’t a really busy day but busier than it has been. But when I was not tending to customers and doing work related things and bloggy things, I read books on my Kindle app. It was frustrating at some points because the wifi would come on and I would begin writing things then trying to send them and it would go off before going through and sometimes I would lose what I wrote.
So I decided to see what quotes I have saved in my phone and found this! Great quote for the situation! 😀

Much love, ❤

Xoxo Kim 

You and me are the real heroes

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I saw a quote a while ago that I can’t seem to find anywhere. I think I even shared it on Facebook. It’s something that says something along the lines of
Superman is not a true hero, he is invincible, literally indestructible, he can’t be broken or conquered, he doesn’t have the ability to be overcome. The true heroes are people like you and me who can be broken, defeated, hurt everyday but we choose to take risks, carry on, share our stories anyway. We choose to live knowing we can and probably will be broken again and again.

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I love this concept and it’s true. I was thinking about it recently when I was thinking about depression and my physical pain disorder that comes and goes. I’m generally very happy, positive, and joyful but I still experience random episodes of severe depression which I feel violate and contradict my true happy personality I had since I was a little girl. Sometimes I wonder if experiencing episodes of depression is an indication that I’m weak. When all of a sudden I don’t want to get out of bed or take pictures or go out or put makeup on or even go on living sometimes. This is not always true when I am depressed! Sometimes I do still want to get out of bed, see people, socialize, take pictures, read..depending upon the kind I have then. Usually it is not the numbing or worst kind.

Especially when the episode isn’t triggered by any environmental factor that I know of, or is triggered by a memory/thought, I think of the people with “real” problems, the tragedies they experience but they still want to live and post pictures online and go on social media pages and do everything they always did. This is a great strength they have. To suffer but still carry on. I can’t believe some of the horrors people experience and they share their stories, wisdom, and life lessons on social media outlets with pictures of themselves smiling brightly and sharing their joy and pain and I can’t believe the strength they find in themselves.

But it doesn’t mean that someone with depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder or addiction of any sort or any other mental health condition is weak. Even when we have a flare up or relapse. It’s just a different kind of problem. Mental heath disorders are some of the worst things because they crush our spirit. Even with physical problems, grief and loss, and other things it’s possible to still be ultimately happy while enduring it along with the sadness as long as the person doesn’t becomes clinically depressed. That uplifted spirit can remain.

But with mental disorders like depression even when everything is going well for the person, it’s a disease or condition of the “mind.” We can sometimes succeed in keeping a kind of positive attitude even with it but unlike with physical pain and even grief, it’s literally a thing of the mind or brain so it’s nearly impossible to separate the depression and a happy outlook. Depression consumes all so there’s seemingly no happiness or positive feelings or joy or pleasure.

I’m not weak when I’m depressed. I still go on even when it seems I don’t want to. I still laugh. I practice techniques that help me and I still try to help others. This is actually a strength.

And when I’m in so much physical agony because of my facial pain disorder that, like depression, comes & goes completely, that I don’t sleep for days and scream til my throat is raw, punching and slapping myself over and over for hours because I don’t know what else to do when the severe aching, burning, stabbing, throbbing, pounding in the one side of my face, eye, ear, head, won’t let up for a split second, I’m not weak. I still carry on. I still grasp and hold onto any slither of hope I can find in me that it will end or I will learn to cope and live with it.

I can choose to completely give up hope, to stop living, to let it make me bitter, to succumb completely and not get back up, to let it take over my life. But I don’t. I choose to pro-act. To ultimately get back up, to move forward, to smile and learn and share my stories and lessons learned in the hope of inspiring others.

Screaming in pain doesn’t make me weak. Collapsing with my face in my hands, banging my head against walls doesn’t make me weak, sinking into despair doesn’t because I get back up. Just like I always have. Just like I always will.

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If you ever think you are weak because you have a sickness either physical or mental/emotional/psychological or a relapse of some sort, because you fall or fail or break or succumb to your bed or to the floor in utter despair, when you’re tired and worn out and ragged, when you’re exhausted and uninspired and shattered, remember you always get back up and move forward and learn and teach and carry on. You’re still here!

You choose to seek help or to handle it on your own if you can and keep moving. That’s a strength.

When you experience something traumatic or painful or devastating and live to tell about it, sharing your story with others, reach out, learn lessons, and carry on, that is a strength, not a weakness!

Never getting sad, never getting angry, being fearless, not having the ability to hurt or kill, being invincible….those aren’t strengths.

Strength is being sad and afraid and angry and crushed but still going on, finding a way to still be happy eventually, seeing beauty through the tears, finding joy in the sorrow, finding pieces of perfection in the flaws.
Strength is having the ability to break but putting yourself together more whole than ever. With all the cracks and scars and flaws but being even more beautiful for them.
Strength is being able to hurt someone but choosing not to or saying sorry in a genuine way when you do.
Strength is how we react positively to our unpleasant situations. It’s our hopeful attitude, it’s the love and life we choose instead of choosing to become constantly bitter and give up.

It’s you and me, not a fantastical superhero who literally can’t be destroyed. He literally has nothing to fear.

Physical strength and other power doesn’t make someone strong or a hero. It’s how people use their power and strength. How they choose not to abuse it to overpower others when it would be so easy and so tempting.

We all have some sort of power to hurt others in some way. And sometimes it’s so tempting when someone makes us angry. But we can summon the wisdom and love in us and not abuse our power to hurt and destroy. Sometimes that’s the more difficult choice. And choosing the harder but more loving option is an even greater sign of strength.

“What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely. From an acting point of view, that’s how I approached the part.” ~
Christopher Reeve

Wishing you much love, hope, strength, wisdom, and courage today.

Xoxo Kim

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The Beauty that Stalks the Darkness

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“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” 

I saw this quote today, attributed to Buddha. What a gem! It’s so true! This is a habit that can be developed. It may not always come so easily but it can be developed and ingrained deep into our brains. Every experience, pleasant, unpleasant, neural, trivial seeming, fun and light, can teach us something! There’s a little spark hidden somewhere in each of our experiences, that can be ignited to enlighten us, teach us a lesson, strength, wisdom, greater empathy and understanding for others, and inspire us.

There is potential for some kind of growth in every occasion.

Maybe you’ll learn who you want to be or don’t want to be, how strong you really are, ways to teach or help others….maybe you’ll learn something you can’t really put into words, just a feeling of deep knowing, true enlightenment. The lessons and wisdom and things we learn and come to know won’t be the same for all of us. Only you can really know what your experiences are capable of teaching you and how receptive or in tune you can be to the messages. Some people can help guide you along the way but it’s ultimately up to you to pay close attention.

It’s helpful, while experiencing an unpleasant or difficult situation of any sort, or even a pleasant, positive one, to stop in the midst of it and think “What is this teaching me? What skills or wisdom or knowledge am I being equipped with by experiencing this?” It may not come to you right away, maybe not even until the situation is long over. But it’s great to ask yourself those questions. It will get your brain in gear and directed at finding answers.

Sometimes your only lesson may just be developing deeper compassion to help others later in a similar situation or inspiring others by sharing what you have come to know. And that’s beautiful! 

Your situation can even just be reading a book or a poem or mindfully listening to a song. It can be wildly entertaining and fun but underneath there’s always some beautiful lesson to be learned.

I think this is what it means to “live life to the fullest.” You know that old cliche, right?! 

When I think of that I often think of people skydiving, partying it up, traveling the world, bungee jumping and shit but “living life to the fullest” is another thing that’s different for each person. To some people that stuff is boring and “living life to the fullest” is sitting on a sofa every night watching funny TV shows. And that’s great too as long as you’re getting the most out of your own life and not interfering with others.

To me, living to the fullest, is being in tune with the life all around me, living in the moment, seeing what it’s teaching me, savoring the splendor I am blessed to experience. 

It’s truly being alive and active “listening” to life, not just mindlessly floating through each day.  

Everyday I keep myself in tune to the wisdom all around and within me, I try to learn as much as I can and I meditate upon it and write about it and share with anyone who wants to know about it! I find wisdom and beauty in books, poetry, songs, blogs, essays, and everywhere. 

Xoxo Kim

P.s. I found love today in my backyard with my dogs:

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;-D

If your heart breaks regularly….<3 </3

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Then you’re doing something right.

“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey

I recently saw a self-help book, I don’t remember the name, designed to help us completely eradicate anger and other unpleasant feeling emotions out of our lives. It’s also designed to “make” us not even care at all when someone rejects us or when a relationship ends. Not only to eliminate “negative” emotions or help us heal but to PERMANENTLY obliterate them. Forever. Never feel anything but positive emotions again as long as we live. To be forever indifferent to negative events in the world. What a joke, right? It even has a warning saying something along the lines of “Caution, do NOT read this book if you do not want to permanently erase sadness over rejection….you can NEVER go back…. We promise…”

K.

I’m not buying it. Not just like I’m not buying that book. That too. But I’m not buying the nonsense they’re selling.

I don’t believe it’s possible or likely for most people but also, more importantly, I don’t want it to be possible. Even if I could, I would not permanently erase my emotions. Any of them. I refuse to be a brick wall. Or a zombie? Or some non-human emotionless thing.

I believe that life is a gift. And that includes our ability to FEEL. To feel pain, grief, pleasure, heartbreak, hope, and healing. Anger, fury, joy, and happiness. Sadness and relief. To feel rejected and accepted, empty, broken, then whole.

Imagine walking around in a constant, static state of just one emotion. Whether the emotion itself is pleasant or unpleasant, the whole experience is not pleasant, in my opinion. We don’t need dramatic mood swings but a little variation would be sweet.

Like the cliche goes, it’s easier to appreciate the good with a little bit of bad thrown in!

But not just that.

Unpleasant feeling emotions and sensations actually serve a purpose. We would be in trouble without them. They let us know something is wrong. They fuel us, motivate us, teach us. They keep us safe.

Being peaceful and happy in general and having great control over our emotions and thoughts and actions or expressions is one thing, rarely getting worked up or angry is one thing. A good thing! Permanently erasing “negative” emotions and never being capable of experiencing them again is something else.

Fear.

Imagine a world without fear. Even if you could not feel fear, you likely wouldn’t be stupid. You would still know what can cause your death and seriously hurt you and probably would mostly avoid it but you may still act more recklessly than when you can feel fear. Your judgment may be a bit off without a healthy dose of fear.

Crossing a busy street for example. I see the horror of people crossing recklessly too often. They don’t want to wait so they dash through the speeding traffic, trying to avoid getting hit. It’s horrifying to witness. Just horrifying. They usually don’t get hit, thanking my lucky stars. And these are people who can and do feel fear. So imagine if some of those very same people could not experience fear. They would probably be even more reckless with their lives and the lives of those people in the cars, not having their fear to guide them.

This is also somewhat philosophical because if you think about it, if a person is unable to experience fear then does it mean that person also can’t experience a certain degree of concern? Is concern just a much lesser degree of fear?

(like some physical discomfort is a lesser degree of full-blown pain…?)

When I’m standing at a street full of speeding traffic and I’m safely on the pavement, it’s not full-blown fear I feel or even a lesser sense of anxiety. I know I’m safe so there’s nothing to fear. However, I do experience a certain degree of concern, enough to hold me back so I don’t go flying into traffic in a hurry to get across. Hmmmm…interesting.

My dad read a novel many years ago when I was a little girl, about a young woman who was born without the “fear gene.”. She never experienced fear a day in her life. I was fascinated but never read it. I remember my dad reading parts to me out loud. The character said she does not fear death or injury but she would never jump off a bridge or anything as she still knows what that can do. She doesn’t fear getting hurt but doesn’t want it. I can relate in some ways. I don’t “fear” getting a paper cut but I don’t want it. (perhaps desperately not wanting something IS some form of fear??) I don’t fear having a broken bone as long as it’s only a minor break of a less crucial bone but I sure don’t want it. I don’t fear any kind of surgery but would prefer not to have to undergo it. I’m not brave, necessarily, for not fearing this stuff. I’m just not naturally afraid of it. Fearlessness is not courage. Courage is feeling the fear but doing whatever it is anyway. That’s what it is to be brave. Being fearless isn’t. Like that quote about how superman isn’t really a hero in a way because he’s literally invincible, indestructible, the real heroes are you and me, who can be destroyed in many ways but still find it in us to go on, to take chances…

I’m assuming that fear means the full blown unpleasant feeling, not mere concern. The kind that makes you tremble, your heart pump like you want to run and run fast. There are different extents of fear, though, that I know of.

Some things I fear like that are: small closed in spaces, if I see someone nearly get hit by a car, if I think someone is about to die whether I know the person/animal or not, some amusement park rides (like the atmosfear – thing that drops) sleep paralysis,

Some things I don’t fear only because I know they can’t or probably won’t happen like: if I was the only human left on Earth, jumping out an airplane with a parachute (would probably terrify me, not thrill me), losing my sense of vision for a while. Because of my pain condition, I sometimes lose my hearing, sometimes completely and some occasions almost completely and have since I was a little girl before I knew why. I was always too afraid to tell my mom. It’s recurrent and the deafness and partial deafness lasts all different amounts of time, sometimes hours to a whole day, off and on. I never get completely used to it no matter how frequently it happens. I’m not as fearful when it happens as when I was a girl and young woman but it’s still very scary to lose a sense.

Physical pain.

Imagine no ability to feel physical pain or any sort of physical discomfort? You wouldn’t know when your appendix is about to burst. You may not know if you’re having a heart attack or if you’re cut badly in a place you can’t see right away.

I don’t know about the lack of fear thing but I know there are people living with this very rare pain disorder. They often die prematurely because they cannot feel physical discomfort at all and can stay in one position for many hours which can result in damage to the body. They don’t naturally turn in their sleep. Unlike us with the ability to feel physical pain and discomfort, they have to learn when to move throughout the day and night to avoid muscle atrophy. We take it for granted and never have to learn. We don’t give it a second thought usually; we just mindlessly move at the first sign of pain or discomfort.

Many of us have heard of “those people who can’t feel physical pain” but we may have some serious misconceptions of this disorder.

They often don’t walk around exactly like people who can feel pain, with no extra problems. They have so much against them. They suffer serious and sometimes even deadly consequences.

When they’re children, they are often blinded and chew their own tongues off. They don’t realize the teeth going through their tongues and their own fingernails slashing their eyeballs. Parents often don’t know they have this disorder until this trauma occurs. They often have to have their teeth and fingernails removed or wear socks on their hands. Sometimes their eyes have to be removed because of the damage their fingernails cause. Many are in wheelchairs because of muscle/joint problems. They often can’t sweat and they overheat.

We naturally, often unconsciously, learn not to claw our eyes out and chew our tongues off because of pain & discomfort. No one usually has to teach us. Unfortunately for some, they do not have that gift.

They CAN feel emotional pain and other physical sensations, like massage and skin on skin contact.

They aren’t like those other people who have that other disorder and can’t feel anything physical because of some touch/feel/nerve problem/injury.

Anger.

Imagine if you never felt anger. Not just being an easy going person who rarely gets angry and even when you do you control it well but imagine not having the ability to feel anger. I don’t know if anyone like this really exists but I imagine it can’t be all good. I suspect that if we all of a sudden could never experience anger, we may run into problems we never realized could happen. Anger may be serving other purposes we don’t even realize. We’re so used to having the ability we take it for granted.
Have you ever had something you never gave a second thought to then lost it and realized how much easier or better it really was making your life?

I know sometimes anger motivates me to act. To do what’s right. It fuels me to stand firm against things. For example, I remember an instance when I found that people were destructively criticizing me just to be unkind. I mostly felt paranoid and somewhat anxious and like a “victim” sort of.

But then anger crept in. But not the anger that destroys. That other kind. The kind that builds, fuels, the kind that gives me a backbone. Not the kind that made me want to retaliate. I did nothing at all to seek revenge on these people and did not care to but my anger for the situation helped me greatly. I thought “What the hell!! Let them talk, whatever they say is up to them, anyone can be criticized for whatever reason true or not. If I really wanted I can criticize too, I can if I want, do the same to them, they are wrong.” But I let it go. I let my anger give me life, let me rise above, even if only in my own head, instead of being the spineless jellyfish I was at first. They did not get over on me. Even though I did nothing back and never will.

And I did not get over on them. I just let it be. But in an active way.

My anger reminded me that I am equal no matter what they say. And anger, like fear, manifests in different degrees. A mild annoyance to a passionate fury.

Anger motivates us. And if we use it appropriately, it will motivate us to act/think for the better.

I want to be affected by the world and people, for good and for bad. I don’t want to build up walls. I want to feel as deeply as I can. If I feel unpleasant emotions as deeply as possible, I can feel the pleasant ones as deeply and experience the gift of life to the fullest.

Grief, loss, & rejection.

And about the pain of rejection and loss or grief. That shows us that one life or something impacted us. Touched us so deeply that we grieve over the loss or rejection. Don’t you want someone or something to impact you so deeply that it’s hard to say goodbye or hard to be pushed away? It shows that we’re open completely and that we had something to cherish at one point. And reminds us that it’s possible to feel that love again. And again. And again….

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~ A.A. Milne

It’s so much better than being numb.

Guilt. Remorse. Regret.

So many people say “I have no regrets and never will.” Advising us not to regret or feel guilt. I agree to a certain extent. It’s best not to dwell on guilt and regrets but it’s ok to have certain regrets and experience a temporary healthy level of guilt when we’re wrong. But we should (should in my opinion, I don’t like telling people what they ‘should’ do) forgive ourselves and move forward, not carrying a constant burden of guilt for life.

If we don’t have the ability to feel guilt and regret it’s possible, just like I mentioned about fear, we may occasionally act more recklessly. I’m not saying completely be a monster and destroy everything and everyone but guilt and regret can aid us in our actions sometimes.

There are some occasions we may know intellectually that something is wrong but as long as we don’t feel guilt, emotionally, we justify it.

For example: Some years ago, my sister and me went with my mom and dad on a fun trip to the Eastern State Penitentiary here in Philadelphia to learn about the old prison, historical facts and all. I saw a prison hoodie I desperately wanted. My sister did not care at first to get one as much as I did. But my dad bought her one since he bought me one. They are on the expensive side and I eventually ruined mine. My sister’s got packed away. When we were pulling stuff out to move, I found her’s. And kept it. Hoping no one would remember I ruined mine and just think that’s mine and hers went missing. Lol! At first there was no guilt. I knew intellectually it’s wrong but emotionally I couldn’t have cared less.

I’m generally not a thief and generally very honest. And in most cases I won’t do wrong stuff knowing it’s wrong even if I don’t feel guilt with my emotion. Feeling guilt isn’t just knowledge of being wrong but feeling it. Feeling it emotionally as opposed to just intellectually.

But I justified this in all ways imaginable. I told myself that I was really the one who wanted it. I wore mine more often than she wore hers til I ruined it. She did not care about it anyway, I told myself. She had it stored away. I got away with it.

But as the days would come and go, guilt crept up on me. I no longer only knew it’s wrong. I felt it. It wasn’t mine. Whether or not she really wanted her hoodie, whether or not I loved it more, the hoodie was never mine. I caved into my guilt and fessed up. My sister was pissed! She yelled at me and called me a lying thief who can never again be trusted.

And while the lying thief part was true for that occasion, it’s generally not. That doesn’t make it ok for that occasion but I did not let my guilt overcome me after I confessed. I admitted I was wrong and I eventually did what’s right.

My sister wouldn’t forgive me at first but I was able to forgive myself.

It doesn’t change what I did but at least I made it right, as right as I could after the fact.

A guilty conscience is good when you know you were really wrong!

But you can cleanse it by confessing and moving forward. Accept that you were wrong. It’s not the end of the world.

I read a self help mediation book, I forget the name, and the author said whenever she did something wrong she would say to herself, to ease her guilt “I was wrong, so sue me!”.

That’s great to a certain point!

We really shouldn’t go all out and do bad, destructive, immoral things though, just because we can say “…..so sue me!” But when we’re wrong and are genuinely sorry, we can move on or move forward.

I don’t dwell on regrets but having them is ok.

I wasn’t just wrong to my sister but to the uni-verse, to life, to the world. I don’t want to be a thief, a sneak, a liar. That’s not who I want to be. I don’t want to put that kind of energy out into the world. It’s not who I am deep inside and when I act out of accordance with that, my conscience reminds me and won’t let me rest until I make it right. I want to be true. True to life and goodness and all that is right. I aspire to be all that is good and right and true. I won’t always know what that is. And occasionally I know different views will clash. What’s right to me may not be to someone else. What’s right in one situation may not be in another.

But it’s ok. I will live and learn. Accept and forgive, myself and others.

I believe painful emotions are ok, good, healthy even. But in moderation. In a healthy balance.

They can also help us empathize with and understand each other better because we can draw on our own experiences.

They’re inevitable at some points. We don’t have to intentionally inflict them upon ourselves and others.

We don’t have to go searching for pain and negativity. Anyway, there will be a plentitude throughout your days without searching!

As Dr. Steve Maraboli says “When you hate something, you chain yourself to it.”

It’s true, in my opinion but it’s not to say “hating” is wrong or unnatural and that we should never feel it. It simply means not to let the negativity get over on us by Dwelling on it. If you “hate” or strongly dislike something, let it motivate you to act for the better. Let hatred allow you to reach out in love.

To better appreciate all of life.

Let your painful and unpleasant emotions and feelings guide you in life along with your pleasant emotions and feelings and aid you in your actions. And let them remind you again and again that you are alive. And that’s a beautiful gift.

Xoxo Kim

Accountability & Hilarious victim mentality quotes

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I read a self -help book some years ago called “You Can’t Avoid the Luxury of a Negative Thought”  (A book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness – Including Life) by John – Roger & Peter McWilliams.

This is a book for anyone interested in self help techniques, learning about positive thinking and letting go of negative habits.

I lost the copy I had years ago and recently my dad just gave me another  copy he is done with and I started reading it again.   I remember that years ago I laughed so hard at some things written in this book.   One of the sections I laughed at uncontrollably is about “Accountability.”. It’s a section in the book intended to help people recognize that we have the ability to make choices and we should take responsibility for our own lives & happiness.  

We shouldn’t feel guilty for making bad decisions and the authors aren’t “accusing” people for being in bad situations. They are intending to help empower us by helping us see that we have the ability to make positive choices and changes & respond positively to bad things that happen in our lives. And knowing that we brought some things on ourselves is a good thing because it empowers us to know we have control over much of our lives.

In this section they provide a list of things real people said after getting in car accidents that were their own fault. 

These people may not have realized they were doing this but after the accident many were putting the responsibility on anything other than themselves, including inanimate objects such as a telephone poll.  They weren’t trying to be amusing but they sure are funny! 

I remember years ago, reading the people’s brief quotes, I almost died laughing.   And when I picked up the book to read again recently I wondered if I would find them just as amusing as I did back then.   I could only vaguely remember them.  But I remembered how I laughed til it hurt!

So I flipped through the book to find that section and read the list and…… found them as hilarious as ever!! I laughed so much my mom said it’s ridiculous! Lol

She wasn’t amused though! She said they’re really stupid quotes. 

I am one of those ones who can laugh at the same joke & movie and memories over & over.   It never gets old! Some people find that so annoying! But I have a lot of fun! ;-D

The authors provided these real life quotes to get a point across but also for some comic relief. I know I probably shouldn’t be so amused over accidents. But it’s not the accidents themselves that are amusing; it’s the things people say!  

I hope no one was seriously injured in these accidents.   

At least we know the people responsible for the accidents lived well enough to tell about it!  
🙂

These were taken out of real auto insurance reports.

“Coming home I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don’t have.” 

“The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”

“I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident.”

“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.”

“The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.”

“The telephone poll was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of its way when it struck my front end.”

(this has to be the most hilarious, to me!!) 

“I pulled away from the side of the road,glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment.”

The authors encourage readers to think about something unpleasant that happened that we once considered to be something or someone else’s fault completely but when we think back, we, ourselves, may see that we in fact played a part in bringing it on ourselves. If we develop this skill, we can learn to empower ourselves, taking responsibility in a positive way and seeing how we have the ability to make effective choices & learn lessons through mistakes.

They say to: Go back in time: think back to something that happened to you that you were unhappy about and claimed that someone else was responsible.  

My own example: My food often gets eaten by my dogs and sometimes I get angry at them for eating it.   One day I bought two delicious looking pink cake pops at Starbucks that I couldn’t wait to eat. One was for my sister. I brought them home and had to go right back out and I forgot to put the cake pops away and when I came home my dog already ate them. I was so disappointed but also amused. I was so tempted to say it was my dog’s fault but I know when I leave food out and they eat it, it’s my fault.

Here’s a great country song called, “Choices” by George Jones

Desktop:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=AP0oQCh_teg

Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AP0oQCh_teg&app=m

I love it and find it so comforting when I’m in a depressed mood.

Xoxo Kim





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Some comforting words about moving forward {and book review} 314

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A few months ago I read a book (fiction) called “314” by A.R. Wise. It’s book I of a trilogy. It is the most bizarre book I have ever read in all of my days and probably will be the most bizarre one I ever read. I can’t even begin to explain. Lol. It’s freaky and just weird beyond words.   It’s very violent in some parts and I don’t usually like stuff like that but I love this book. I couldn’t put it down. I soothed my conscience by telling myself that it’s ok because the stuff in the book can’t really happen. Lol. It takes place in 1996 and also in 2012.   It flashes back & forth and sometimes it’s both 1996 & 2012 at the same second!   Lol. It’s like two different dimensions clash.

If you want to read this book and don’t want to know much about it before reading you may not want to continue reading my post, I’m not giving away any serious spoilers but there may be some minor ones. Since I haven’t read book iii I don’t really know what in the world is going on anyway.

A green fog comes in a town called Widowsfield and a lot of people disappear and no one knows why. People come up with all sorts of theories. But some characters keep reliving stuff over and over. Out of the green fog comes young children who are human but have dog-like features like dog snouts and claws and they rip people to shreds killing them but then the same people come back again later and are alive and well then it happens again and again. The people keep feeling as if they know certain things but don’t know how or why. They sort of know they’re about to die but aren’t exactly certain. They’re very confused. They have a sense of what’s happening but then again have no idea.

I just read Book ii of this trilogy and love it!! It’s just freakishly amazing! Lol. Nothing really makes sense but in another way it does.   
In the second book things start coming together in a way but getting more strange as well.

This author has to be a brilliant, creative man and in his afterwords he seems so modest and caring.

The second book is fascinating and deeply Philosophical.  It also has some underlying messages about life.  Just like book I,  It’s about a group of friends, some have known each other for a while and some just met. They’re the same characters as in the first but with a few new people.  The main character, Alma, is twenty -four years old and her and her friends go to Widowsfield to try to find out what bizarre mysterious thing happened in 1996. In 1996, Alma’s brother vanished when the fog came. She was eight years old & he was ten years old. They were with their dad and his girl who he was cheating on his wife with. They were in his girl’s cabin.

After it all occurred, Alma and her dad could not really remember Alma’s brother. It’s like he vanished out of their reality and their memories. The book gets weirder and weirder all throughout Books I & ii. In the beginning of Book I, a little boy starts saying weird stuff and telling his dad to kill himself saying “You can’t handle what’s coming. No one can.” and the dad is freaked out and calls the emergency people thinking his son is going “crazy ” and then he hears the emergency operator die over the phone. Then his son tells him to let him kill him or he will kill himself. The little boy has all his friends over and they all tell the dad that he must let them boil him to death in the bath tub or that his son will slit his own throat. The dad is so freaked out. The son tells him he has no choice but to kill himself or to kill his own dad…..”again!!”

Yup, it’s just over the moon crazy!! 😉

Book iii isn’t out yet. They’re ebooks. I don’t know if they also can be bought in print or whatever. Book I was free and Book ii was about three dollars I think. 

But anyway there are some inspiring scenes in the book I just read.

The girl, Alma, whose brother disappeared in 1996 meets a little girl but the little girl isn’t real. She’s kind of ghost -like or a figment of someone’s imaginings. She was sent to Alma to help protect Alma.  She is a very wise little girl. And she has some comforting words for Alma. Alma’s life has been painful. She’s a young teacher. Her dad was abusive to her and her brother and he still comes after her as an adult. He is addicted to the meth drug. Her mom went insane after her son (Alma’s brother) disappeared
And she became sick with severe depression.   And she died by suicide because she couldn’t handle her son being missing.

Then Alma watches her friends dying over and over all day everyday and she is so confused and worn out and knows her own life is in danger.   All the characters think they’re going crazy.  Alma just wants to give up. Just when she collapses outside thinking she can’t go on anymore, a little girl about ten years old comes to Alma. She reminds Alma of herself when she was a little girl.

This little girl takes Alma’s hand and says:

“It’s not a bad thing to remember our worst days but it’s important that we learn to move on. “

Alma responds saying

“I’ve had a lot of bad days.”. 

The little girl puts her head against Alma’s arm and says

“I know you have. But you can’t let those bad days ruin the ones you’ve got left to live.”. 

This is so true and I think we can all benefit by heeding this little girl’s wisdom. It’s ok to remember our painful experiences but we should never allow them to hold us back or let them make us give up. We can heal and move forward.  

Whatever pain you have encountered previously and may even be experiencing now, you can heal even if you never forget.

I find this so helpful & comforting. Sometimes I let pain, either current or previous, make me want to give up on life itself and everything and feel that I can’t go on or don’t want to go on. This reminds me to keep going and it will be Ok. There is still so much life within even when it feels so broken.

Here are some inspiring quotes!

“When you welcome your emotions as teachers, every emotion brings good news, even the ones that are painful.” Gary Zukav

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle

“Be universal in your love. You will see the universe to be the picture of your own being.” Sri Chinmoy

“Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” Steve Maraboli

“Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.”
Sai Baba 

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Get Your Ass in Gear

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I have been writing here about how I have been struggling with depression for almost three weeks, not a full blown severe episode like I have now and then but worse than a low mood. And not fun at all.  My mood fluctuates – feelings of despair then hopeful and happy.  

For me, depression is long term/lifelong. It’s not just an episode or phase or because of a specific environmental reason like for some people. I’m not depressed and suicidal almost every single day of my life anymore but my depression can surface at any moment either out of the blue or being triggered by something so it’s something I have to consciously and almost constantly manage with professional help & self-help techniques.

It’s no longer a constant struggle every single day, for me like it used to be, but some days, weeks, and months, it is. And for a few weeks now it has been acting up badly. But mostly, I’m managing it quite well, I think. I have been having difficulty sleeping which usually is not a problem for me. I usually sleep very well.

Last night was very bad and I was overcome in seemingly uncontrollable, negative thoughts. I have been having thoughts that aren’t good. I wanted to let myself slip away but I wouldn’t allow myself. I thought of all the people who I can inspire and help in various ways, people I currently know and ones I have yet to meet and touch in some way.  With just a kind word, a simple touch, a helping hand.

There is always someone out there somewhere, in need. I decided to stay strong so I can go on and help people in any way I can. It doesn’t always feel like it but there’s always, always, always something to hold on for. I keep reminding myself that. 

In the afternoon, a few days ago,  I laid in bed with my dogs looking out my window at the sweet rain and the trees and leaves blowing in the wind.   I felt happy, hopeful, joyous, wonderful.   It was so serene and lovely.

I have been thinking about this quote:

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” ~ Alphonse Karr 

I want to complain about how I have “lost” almost three weeks to depression but this quote reminds me how instead of complaining about the moments I’m depressed I can cherish the moments I am happy and be thankful for the fact that I still do have happy moments. It’s not all bad. And even the depressed moments are good even though they don’t always feel that way. At least I’m alive.

Anyway, I was thinking about one of the most important things my therapist told me years ago. He told me no matter how depressed I am, to not act like a depressed person. Moping around, avoiding people and things, staying in bed, neglecting self care….

Depression can frequently make us not want to get up. We want to crawl into bed in solitude and stay that way forever. But that can worsen depression, perpetuate, or prolong it.

Getting up, going out, being active may not always lift or cure depression but it can help in some ways.  

This doesn’t even just apply to depression. It can even go for any low mood or a common cold.   Even a minor cold can make us want to stay in bed and do nothing at all.

But I noticed that sometimes when I have a cold, a low mood, and even full blown depression getting up helps.   It helps to be somewhat active.  To put my makeup on, go for a walk, do things…it gives me more energy and more opportunities to take my mind off the pain & sickness.

With a cold, it’s good to get rest for our bodies to heal but too much rest isn’t always good.

I also noticed that distraction helps somewhat. I have been reading my Philosophy books and the fact of reading and thinking gets my “mind” currently off of my despair. It’s hard to concentrate in a depression but it’s ok, I give myself permission to just read as best I can and mess up when I will. 

So if you’re feeling low, sluggish, blah, sick….try getting up anyway.  You don’t have to do any kind of strenuous work, you can do light activities, even just dressing up or going about your usual day.

I hope you’re having a good one. 😀

Xoxo Kim

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27 Lessons Learned

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In May, this year, I turned 27 years old. I have learned much in my 27 years, inside of school and out of school. I find that many of the most important lessons are ones learned through experience (good & bad) , adversity , challenges, blessings, and some even through reading or hearing about or witnessing other people’s experiences and techniques. I decided to create a list of 27 of the most valuable life lessons I have learned in my 27 years. Here is in honor of the 27 years I have been blessed to know!

1.) Attitude & a strong  and pleasant life Philosophy  is just about everything. It usually doesn’t matter what happens to us, it’s how we respond and react to and view the situation or event, that contributes to or results in our happiness, joy, & peace of mind or suffering and chaos. We cannot always control every thought, every emotion, or our attitude at literally every second but with practice we can become good at basically & generally choosing how to respond and what thoughts and emotions we dwell on.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

2.) True, pure love is selfless. If I truly love someone, whether it’s in a platonic or romantic way, I want that person to be happy & healthy, & fulfilled with or without me no matter how painful it is to me. I won’t try to stand in the way, sabotage, or drag people down for leaving me or living their own lives even if I don’t agree or like it and even if the person’s plans don’t include me. “True love doesn’t have a happy ending; true love has no ending.”

3.) We all have things that someone else doesn’t have and we all lack things that others do not and we may want. We all possess certain characteristics or material possessions  that others won’t. No matter what I have there is someone who has more and someone who has less. Someone who has better and someone who has worse. Someone who is more skilled and someone who is less skilled. Someone who can do the job better and someone who will do worse.   And this fact will never change.   But instead of dwelling on lack, I will dwell on abundance and gratitude, and blessing, for all that I do in fact possess and everything I am. Why focus on lack?   We all lack something and always will. We all have something amazing and always will that we can focus on instead. And it’s a choice to see in terms of lack and loss or to see in terms of prosperity & abundance. It is best for me to fill my head with positive  thoughts of abundance and gratitude, and blessings. We can just look around and look within and count our blessings. It may take some practice to begin to generally and frequently *feel* blessed and gratitude but if we develop the habit of looking and taking notice of the positive, we are likely to start feeling blessed and not just making lists of our blessings without truly feeling it.  No one can replace YOU as the person you are. No one can be better at being you than you. If the grass appears to be greener on the other side, water your own grass.

““You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

4.)  This world is full of ugliness, craziness, greed, tragedy, bad people, discrimination, inequality,  and heartache.   But it is also filled with beauty, love, perseverance, growth, friendship, kindness, blessings, consolation, lessons learned, hospitality, healing, hope, strength, and great, incredible, good people.  When a tragedy occurs and it’s blown up in the media, we see strangers reach out in love and kindness to strangers willing and eager to help heal and allay the pain. We can focus on and dwell on the ugliness or learn to dwell on the beauty and healing instead. This is never to say we should ignore and deny pain and tragedy, we should definitely acknowledge it and make true attempts to help in any way we can but never let it drag us down and keep us there, seeing the world through negative, dark lenses. We will on occasion experience difficulty and be overwhelmed by what we witness and feel and experience and this is ok but we can muster up the strength and passion to go on positively and keep going and find joy in being alive.

When it rains it pours but soon the sun shines again.

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” -Martin Luther quotes

5.) When you’re at your lowest point and can get no lower, the only way now is up. When you’re lower than your lowest depths of despair, there is a light above waiting to be seized and held. When it feels as if there’s no way out other than to stop existing, to stop breathing, there is new air, new life, and new opportunities to be felt and taken. No matter how low you are, you CAN get better. I know.   “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill 

6.) No matter who you are or what you are, no matter how good or bad or average, there will ALWAYS be someone to want to drag you down,  reject you, make fun of you,  negatively gossip about you, make you feel low, point out only your flaws, magnify your imperfections, see you fall, laugh in your face, want you to lose, not like you and even loathe you. And there will be lots of people like this, the more people you meet and the more successful you become, the more likely you are to encounter negative people & rejection(and positive people too & acceptance). You cannot please or satisfy or be loved or liked by everyone. It’s not happening. And that is ok.  When someone does not like you that is that person’s problem, don’t let it be yours!   Be true to yourself. Love yourself. Live your dreams and plan your goals how YOU want, not how anyone else wants.   And if you change to please a person who doesn’t like you now, then you’ll have someone else not like you. Trying to please everyone is not only detrimental to you, it’s not practical. It’s a physical impossibility.   And you are under no obligation to dedicate your life to please anyone else at the expense of yourself.   Be you. Love you. 

“While it is natural to feel some degree of
need for the approval of others, be careful.
If you find yourself unwilling to
take actions that others disapprove of,
you have lost control of your own life
and have given your destiny to others.
An excessive need-for-approval
is a sign of low self-esteem,
and in severe cases, a condition termed co-dependency.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

7.) You’re never too old. It’s never too late as long as you’re living. You can wear cartoon characters on your clothes if you want, You can wear bright clownish/ parrot -like makeup as a middle aged or old woman if that’s what draws you.   You can read children’s books and sleep with stuffed animals and that’s ok no matter what people say or think.    As long as you’re mature enough to care for yourself and not hurt or interfere with others, it’s ok to be youthful and child-like and find wonder in every breath. Child-like is not the same as childish or immaturity. There are no 7 wonders in the eyes of a child; there are 700, 000 +.   Go to college if you want, take fun classes, hold hands and giggle out in public, jump rope outside, wear those cupcake earrings….do what you want! Don’t let your age or what people think of it restrain you. “As long as you’re living no matter how long you have been traveling down the wrong road it’s never too late to turn around and start over.’ ~Unknown

8.) Kindness even to people we feel may not deserve it is a strength and not a weakness. We are not always kind and we do not always feel like being kind. Maybe sometimes we want to be vicious, even cruel but that accomplishes nothing but putting more pain out into a world where there is already too much. Avoiding this is a great strength. “Don’t treat people as bad as they are; treat them as good as you are. “. This is not being fake, it’s being mature enough to know that kindness and being civilized is better than drama and negative arguing and uncalled for negative encounters.

“The Old Ones have always said that no matter who despises or ignores you, no matter who keeps you from entering their circles, it is right to pray for them because they are like us, too.”. ~ Larry Aitken

“When you are in an upsetting situation, try loving everyone involved and pray for them, hard as they may be. Loving doesn’t mean sentimentality but rather a rational esteem for them as persons.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

9.) Money & material possessions and even a great job are not the only or ultimate successes. They are great and can bring us some senses, often fleeting, of happiness or thrill or make us happy about those specific things but they will likely not make us truly, genuinely happy in the truest, purest general sense.  Love can do that, self- love and unconditional love for life itself.  .   Life -satisfaction as a whole can make us happy but material possessions often will not. We never need big things or lots of things to be truly happy.   The simple and beautiful things can be enough if we let them. Look at the beauty of the sky. Soak in the beauty and richness of this life. The sunlight, the moonlight, the stars, your senses….we never need a reason to celebrate. No birthdays or anniversaries, LIFE itself is reason enough to jump for joy and celebrate! Sweet simplicity.

“Oh the wild joys of living! The leaping from rock to rock … the cool silver shock of the plunge in a pool’s living waters.” 
Robert Browning

10.). You are the one ultimately in charge of your happiness and well being.   Others can help greatly along the way but you are the one who has to work the hardest for yourself.   Therapy can help but cannot, itself, cure you, most likely.   Therapists can help, friends & family can help but you are ultimately responsible for yourself.

11.)  I have the power to choose. I may not always feel like I am responsible for my circumstance but, ultimately, I am. Even the choice to do nothing is a choice. When I look at where I am right now and truly think about it, I will realize I play or have played a significant part in it. I may not have realized all along that I was making choices to get where I currently am but I was. This thought empowers me because I am aware that I can get where I want to be. If I am ultimately responsible for my pain, suffering, and unhappiness then I am also responsible for my happiness, joy, and fulfillment.   I do not choose everything that happens to me but I choose how to respond and I have more control than I may sometimes think. Often, if I’m in a situation I do not like, I can think back and see how I was/am in some ways, responsible and I can now make more positive choices to change it. If I have a victim mentality that life merely happens to me, then I have no control but when I have a “life architect” mentality, that life responds to me and I have the ability to choose and proact, then I am empowered and in control. 
I can’t choose and control everything but I can choose and control enough. 

“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” 
― William Jennings Bryan
12.) Many of us live in a stressful, fast paced, demanding society which pressures us into thinking we should live a certain way or we’re not living “right”. We’re expected to overwork ourselves or we’re “lazy” or “dependent” , to have families of our own by a certain age or we’re “old spinsters” or outcasts or “alone” or going against tradition.  We are pressured to obtain advanced school degrees or have impressive jobs to bring purpose to our lives….but There is no one specific meaning or purpose of life. There is not a reason out there waiting to be grasped. We each create our own purpose and meaning. There is no “one size fits all”.    Maybe it’s to have a job helping people, healing with compassion and kindness or being a stay at home mom, basking in the joys of being a mom or daddy, or maybe yours is a specific hobby like drawing or sculpting, or maybe you dedicate your life to research of some sort. Or maybe your purpose is simply to live, to be, to breath.   Maybe you live for the simple moments, the beauty around you, to help people every chance you get, to inspire and to be happy just to be, to be the best you that you can be. Whatever you choose, that is ok. That is great. Find your purpose and embrace it. Live it. Love it.

“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.” 
― Joseph Campbell

13.) It’s ok if people don’t like you or appreciate you. It’s ok to be disliked by people, even ones who you really like. You CAN go on living. You CAN still succeed. If you like or love people who don’t like or love you back, it will hurt, but you can move forward and heal. Or stay stuck and dwelling on the fact and that is detrimental and will interfere with your growth. It’s healthy and it’s normal to want to be accepted and included.   Humans are social creatures and have a need, a longing to belong but we do not need everyone to love us or accept us.  Like yourself. That’s all that matters. And for all the people not liking you, there’s so many more who can and will, and already do like you.

14.) We don’t need a new year to start anew. How many people do you know who have goals and dreams they plan to achieve and realize at the start of a new year? They can’t wait for the current year to hurry up and end already.  They get pumped and inspired and energized at the mere thought of a new year about to begin. And they make resolutions they plan to start on Jan. 1st.  But imagine feeling that inspiration at ANY part of the year?! New Year is good & symbolic of new beginnings but new beginnings can happen anywhere, any place, any time.  How about now?

15.) Everyone has pain and struggles and they all deserve love and compassion and empathy even when someone else’s problems seem worse. Just because a person has or seems to have a worse problem or greater pain than another, it doesn’t take away the person’s pain who seems to have a less severe problem. Everyone can benefit by kindness and empathy and having a loving, caring, active listener. There should never be a “pain contest or competition ” to see who has worse problems and pain and judge people negatively. What doesn’t seem so bad to you may be to someone else. 

16.) About friends. Quality over quantity. One true friend is better than 20 or more acquaintances. And blood doesn’t really have to be “thicker than water”. True friends are better than family who doesn’t even care about or even think of you. 

17.) Kindness & compassion should be bestowed in general, not just to people we know & love. We don’t have to like or love everyone equally, that is unrealistic anyway, but we can still be kind and empathetic in general. Remember each person you meet has a life and a story and a breath, pleasure & pain, needs & desires just like you and the ones you love.

18.) My intense, extreme empathy is a gift and a blessing to me and to others even when it feels like a curse.   It’s good to care and have the true ability to deeply understand. I have the tendency to literally feel pain when someone else does. Feeling immense pain at the knowledge of someone suffering is often agonizing and sometimes despairing.   But it helps me connect with people and provides me with more depth and the ability to identify with another even when I haven’t exactly experienced it myself.    I would never say “I know how you feel.”. I don’t know how someone else feels and never will but I can understand to some degree and experience much compassion. But I would never overstep my boundaries and assume I know more than I do. That is pure arrogance.   Some things I can never even begin to imagine but can still be understanding and compassionate.  While I take on the world’s pain, I also have the ability of taking on the world ‘s pleasure and basking in the success and happiness of others even when I, myself am not feeling happy or successful. When one wins, we all win.

19.) The past can be a gift to guide us and doesn’t have to imprison us or hold us back. It can be our teacher. Let the bad strengthen us and the good bless us with sweet memories to cherish forever.

20.) Every person, young & old can teach us something valuable. No matter how pleasant or unpleasant that person or our encounter with that person is, we can learn something.   Inspiration is everywhere.

21.) Life is a gift. It doesn’t have to be taken so seriously. Let small things slide.   It can be painful and unpleasant but that is the price we pay for being blessed with a gift so priceless. If someone gives you a beautiful gift you were never entitled to to begin with (or even if you are) and it is an unexpected and truly incredible gift that just is shockingly beautiful but isn’t perfect, you likely would not complain about its flaws. You weren’t expecting it anyway. It wasn’t something that had to be given to you in the first place.  So you would probably bask in it and cherish it and embrace or accept its flaws.   Life is that gift.

 22.) Other people are just as important as me even if we have strong opposing views. They are as convinced as I am. Their conviction, their compassion is as strong as mine is. And often, even their longing and attempts to do what is right and their sense of justice is as passionate as mine. They frequently have good intentions. And it’s wise to step outside of ourselves often and attempt to see how and why people do the things they do and feel the way they do even when it’s hard and startling.   I may disagree with people, even get angry at them or their views but they deserve a chance and my respect. It’s ok to have differences.   You don’t have to change your views but it’s good to make genuine attempts to understand a view other than your own.

23.)  People are often misunderstood but well- intentioned. They often aren’t trying to be assholes or cruel even when it seems that way. Sometimes it’s thoughtlessness or differing points of views. It’s hard sometimes, to think about things and the world employing a perspective other than our own. I try to understand people as best as I can and give them a chance.  I believe that people in general are basically good with good, selfless intentions but often seem cold, selfish, arrogant, and uncaring. Many people or their actions are just misunderstood and misinterpreted or miscommunicated. I try my absolute best to understand people and give them a chance.

24.). The present moment is the only moment.   It is priceless and great. It is all we have right now. If you learn to live in the present you will be amazed. Let the past teach you and cherish your memories and plan appropriately for the future but LIVE for now. Then you won’t constantly mourn or be destroyed by your previous experiences and won’t fret or overly anticipate your future experiences.

25.)  Pain can strengthen us and make us more whole than we were previously.   Underneath my wholeness lies a broke- ness  that has led me to where I am NOW. Beautifully WHOLE.  

26.) People don’t have to be like me, think like me, look like me, live like me, or breathe like me to be beautiful like me.

27.) Age doesn’t matter as long as you’re alive.   There’s no reason to wish to be younger or lie about or conceal your age. You don’t have to feel the desire to keep it a secret. Shout it off the roof tops! You are blessed, truly blessed to be your age.  Every age has its blessing. However old you are now, you know more than when you were younger. You have likely evolved in ways that was not true before now.   So why want to regress back to a less developed age? And if you want to be younger but know all you know now, what’s the point then anyway? It would be the same as now but just with a different numerical label. And maybe you look older now but so what? It’s part of the blessings of living. Your “flaws” are reminders of all you have survived and learned. You can feel young, BE young, at any age! Cherish it! Embrace it! Many people die tragically young. You are still here, allowed to live this long! Beauty deepens with age. It’s better to be over the hill than under it!! :-D. You are a survivor.

These lessons I find to be true to me; I do not attempt to force any of them upon anyone. You may disagree with me on some or all of them and that’s ok. Different people have different views.   I hope you can find light & inspiration  in some of them.    

X0xo Kim

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You Can Bend but Never Break Me </3 <3

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Recently I have been thinking about how “unfair” and “unjust” things are and seem.   People and things in this world can really drag us down and if we let them, even keep us down. There ‘s no doubt about it, people and things outside of ourselves affect us in negative (as well as positive) ways. In ways that may seem out of our control. But my truth is that people can have control over the extent in which they allow people and things, circumstances to “get to them.”

I don’t always have control over what anyone other than myself says or does or feels. I can’t help if people lash out at me, sling insults at me, physically assault me, verbally abuse me, or try hard to bring me down. I also do not and will not always have control over my circumstances or situations.  I can’t always help getting stuck in traffic, things breaking, things not going my way.  And the truth is since I am a living mortal with human emotions and not a robot, a brick wall, dead, brain dead, or whatever else these negative people and situations and things WILL negatively affect me in ways. They will. And that is part of being a living human. A feeling human. I may not have complete control over how things affect me but I DO have control over the degree in which they affect me.

Maybe not right away. But I can practice and learn to not be buffeted by things outside of myself. 
I can do this by acknowledging and accepting the fact that life is good and bad and to remind myself that when people do things wrong to intentionally impact me negatively it says something about them, not me.  
I can look at all the greatness I am surrounded with and filled with and learn not to dwell constantly on the pain and negative things.
I can honor myself. Do and Be what brings me joy. And know that if people do not like me or appreciate me, it’s their loss, their problem.

One day recently I read a story, a true and devastating story, written by a grieving mother who lost her 22 year old son to homicide many years ago. He was a college boy, shot dead by a much older “friend ” over a trivial argument. The mother’s strength and passion and determination amazed me then when I first read that story and amazes me now.  
She chose to live. To keep going. A criminal, a murderer changed her life. And the lives of everyone who knew and loves him. It changed this mother ‘s life for the worse. He took away her only son and left her with just memories, grief, seemingly unbearable pain, and so much confusion and shock . He shattered her life. But she made the choice to put her life back together, though it will never be the same. A vicious, malicious criminal ended her loving, caring son ‘s life but she sure as hell wasn’t going to let that same malicious man end hers in anyway. She is now an advocate for homicide victims and their families and friends.   She works with criminals and murderers in positive ways to try to get them to understand to some degree the devastation that their horrific actions have on everyone around them.
She is a survivor.

Some years ago, a man held a gun to my chest at the store where I work. It’s window service. I was working alone late at night with no one else around.  He came up to the window and told me he had a gun and that I better give him all the store money or he would kill me. He actually said those words to me. “I’ll kill you.” I refused to give him the money and he pulled the gun out and held it to my chest and said “I’m serious, I will kill you.”. 

I still refused. (yeah people told me later how very stupid I was)

Then he told me I better give it or he’ll kill me and take the money then kill the people in the bar across the street which my boss also owns. He said if I give him the money we all live. I never want anyone else’s lives in danger so I let him have it.

The man was never caught. There was no camera to catch his image. I couldn’t identify him in any pictures.   None were of him.

I wasn’t hurt. And I wasn’t touched physically.   

My dad says every now and then how one of his biggest fears is someone coming to the window again while I’m working and actually carrying through with a vicious plan or threat of some sort and either ending or “ruining” my life. He’s afraid I’ll live but be seriously attacked or injured in some way.

But I made a choice. No one will ever ruin my life unless that person ends it. But as long as I’m living No one other than me can destroy me or ruin me because I said so and I will never give anyone that power.   I may not always be able to prevent or avoid an attack, physical or verbal. But I won’t let it destroy me. No one deserves that kind of power over me.

Something or someone can hurt me. Scare me. Paralyze me or whatever but NO ONE will destroy or ruin me. I will be negatively affected by negative people and things.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to be fully alive.   It is normal. Natural. Healthy.   To be negatively affected by the world around us. To be sad. Disappointed.   Grief stricken. Angry. Scared…..jealous….suspicious, all in healthy dosages.

But then we get back up and move forward. And keep going. And keep living.   And still create happiness & joy.

Like Helen Reddy sings, “You can Bend but Never Break me”

What I’m saying right now must be said gently or I risk sounding cruel. It is in no way intended to tell “victims” or survivors of anything to “get over it” or that they’re overreacting or not handling things right. Everyone reacts in different ways and handles things differently. I want survivors of anything, big and small things, alike to take back the power and never let someone or something else have that power.

I don’t want a criminal or a bully or a situation or illness or anything to have power over a person. I want the person to empower herself (himself). It’s not always easy.   It takes learning and practice and maybe some extra help.
But we can learn not to be destroyed by someone or something else outside of ourselves. We don’t have to feel numb or deny the impact or the scars. We can admit the horror we have endured and how it affected us and then muster up all the strength we have and move forward with an open heart. 

It’s not your fault that people do bad things to you. There’s no justification for abuse or assault or mistreatment of any kind.  And it’s not your fault if you have a sickness of any kind or a disability.   And it’s not your fault if you react negatively to the negativity or mistreatment. It’s just your natural reaction. You can take back your power and own yourself.

I will rise above the victim mentality. Instead I will acknowledge and honor my ability to make choices, my ability to choose happiness and joy even through the trauma and sorrow and grief and negativity.

I refuse to be a victim.

Xoxo Kim

“You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul”. ~ Helen Reddy (I Am Woman)

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The lovely Moon, a light in the darkness.