Tag Archive | flaws

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 chronic physical pain disorder. 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.

Especially when the episode isn’t triggered by any environmental factor that I know of. 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 chronic facial pain disorder 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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Ugly-beautiful

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“And she’s so pretty cause she will never be…
She’s so pretty to me, to me, to me.
It doesn’t matter what everybody sees.” ~ Jude
 
I’m reading a novel called “My Grandfather’s Eyes.” I don’t know which page I’m on since it’s a Kindle book on my phone and the Kindle books don’t always show a page number. I don’t even know how many pages are in the book. I’m not at the very beginning but not quite to the middle. I know because of the virtual line showing reading progress.

What I read up until now is thoroughly beautiful. The main character, Alexandra or Alex, is something like a psychopath. She’s around thirty-two years old. Alex has no concern, love, affection, care, empathy, or any positive emotion for anyone in the world except for one person, her best friend Lizzy. She loves Elizabeth, or Lizzy, more than anything and anyone else in the entire world and would even die for her if she had to to save Liz’s life. They were best friends since Kindergarten and Alex was always in love with Lizzy but never acted on her romantic interest in her.
Alex was born with a facial deformity, a bump on her forehead and dark moles, some of which are hairy, and grow darker and bigger across the side of her face as the years go on. Alex’s dad took her when she was a little girl, to a cosmetic surgeon to have them removed but Alex refused. She has always loved her moles.

Even as a young woman in college, she cherishes her deformity, she thinks they add to her beauty. But it has always hurt her how most other people would react to her for her whole life, even her own family, her own mom. Many just stare while others say cruel things to and about her.

What I read until now leaves me to believe, for now(i think later she may go on a killing spree or something but not sure), that Alex is more indifferent to people than vicious or cruel, although she does think about and desire killing certain people and she murders her own husband who she was never in love with but he truly loved her. The two loves of her life have always been reading and Lizzy.

She doesn’t care about other people’s pain, she shows no empathy or concern when others come to her with problems or when she witnesses someone suffering. Sometimes she just doesn’t care and sometimes she actually takes pleasure in it. She’s somewhat sadistic.  She has absolutely no regard for human life.

Except Liz’s life. She cries for her when she’s hurt or when she misses her.

Lizzy is a beautiful, thin girl, with long blonde hair, flawless in appearance except for one thing. In high school she made a mistake in chemistry class and burned her hand up her arm which caused severe damage and is now disfigured. She thinks it’s repulsive but Alex finds it beautiful in the same way she knows her own deformity is beautiful. Lizzy is aggressive and funny. She’s intelligent but doesn’t care to display her intelligence. She’s also a thief.

Alex’s facial deformity doesn’t and never has fazed Lizzy. And Lizzy defends Alex when people stare or say rude things. She even kisses Alex goodbye on her “ugliest” and biggest mole.

“As I try to read, there is one thought that overwhelms me: He did not look at my moles. I am sure of this. There is only one other person who does not see them. My Lizzy.” ~ Alex

This may just be the most beautiful line in the book. I just love how she says “does not see them” Instead of “does not look at them” or “does not have a problem with them…” It’s just they don’t see them. They look straight through and see her for her.

The book is Alex reminiscing and telling us about different stages of her life, flashing back and forth.  

What I find beautiful is that the author shows how beauty can be found in ugly things or ugly things can be beautiful themselves. There is beauty in pain and darkness, in sadness, and struggles. Sometimes we can overlook “ugliness” and see the beauty in it or we can actually see “ugly” things, themselves, as beautiful. Maybe something is beautiful because it’s sad or dark or unusual or different.

She loves reading so much that her decision for which university to attend is based on the beautiful library.

“…the Gothic Hall complete with turrets and gargoyles – where I will study English Literature. It is ugly-beautiful and will suit me very well. A fitting place in which to study the works of great authors. I feel the hairs bristle on the back of my neck with the excitement it generates in me.” ~ Alex

It’s beautiful because it’s ugly. It’s dark and aggressive and enthralling.

And even though Alex is like a psycho, her self-love is so very beautiful to me. She’s extremely arrogant but also has genuine love for all that she is in and out. She embraces her ugliness and flaws and refuses to conceal them for what others think and say.

Some people mistake self-love as conceit or arrogance but this character, Alex, with both traits, arrogance and genuine self love, is an embodiment of the sharp difference. Arrogance isn’t love. Someone can be arrogant or act arrogant but have no true love for herself and someone can love herself and not be arrogant. Alex is both. She even admits that she “wears her arrogance like a badge.” But she genuinely appreciates her own physical features and her personality traits. She’s an intellectual with no patience for simple, less intelligent minds and trivial drama.

I also like how Alex isn’t a very beautiful character on the inside but there’s so much beauty to be seen in her anyway. The novel isn’t about a sweet, loving, innocent girl who lives a life of goodness but happens to have a physical deformity where the author plays on our empathy to overlook her physical ugliness but see straight through to her obviously beautiful loving heart of gold and love her anyway.

That would be easy.

This? This is challenging because beneath her physical deformity lies a deformed or ugly heart as well. But it’s impossible not to see incredible traits in her anyway. Like her self love even though she was tormented for being deformed her whole life, her indestructible love for her best friend that she would do anything for even if it puts her out, her passion for literature, the way she appreciates and basks in the simple joys of living like lakes and quietude, the way she bursts out laughing uncontrollably for no reason when she meets the man she’ll eventually marry, her intelligence, and dedication to her goals. We see her humanness as well as her monstrous side. And there are little bits of beauty scattered throughout.

I have felt guilt and various other emotions reading this book. Guilt for judging and guilt for adoring a psycho’s positive qualities and even some of her ugliness. I love when novels provoke uncomfortable as well as beautiful and positive emotions in me, when they force us to question ourselves in awkward ways. I don’t promote what she does but I can’t overlook her beautiful qualities. 

It reminds me to be like that with real people who may not be my favorite, ones with qualities I don’t care much for. I don’t have to be their best friend or be head over heels in love with them but I can still work to see the beauty in them and appreciate it.

Here is a beautiful quote out of the book about her looking at herself in a mirror, by the main character, Alex:

“In the mirror, I see a woman sitting bolt upright in her chair, with her handbag on her lap. She has long mousy hair, parted in the middle, her scalp white in the harsh fluorescent light. There is a large, dark mass spreading across the side of her face. I think her elegantly middle-aged, sensuously beautiful. I cannot identify with her. I see her smile, first with her eyes, which remain young, and then with the whole of her face. We fuse together, and I feel an energy building inside me, so that my reflection seems to disturb the air in the room, like a breeze across the surface of a lake.  It is a lake I have visited many times in my dreams. We are luminous and powerful.”

This is in a hospital after Alex’s husband dies. No one knows she murdered or tried to murder him. She planned to kill him but after she did, she wasn’t prepared for the feeling that would hit her, the reality of his death. She wanted him dead but after hearing those words, it was hard to accept and come to terms with the fact that  her husband is dead, that she killed him. She wasn’t shattered and is ultimately happy with her choice to kill, but she felt awkward, uncomfortable at first. She started to dissociate. 
Like, feeling as if one part of herself is no longer connected to another. Like her body and her mind or inner self, disconnect. Some people feel as if they leave their body when they dissociate,  after a serious trauma like assault of some sort, for example.

People don’t choose true dissociation but this excerpt reminds me of how many of us often hold ourselves to greater standards than we hold others. We judge our bodies and self worth in ways we wouldn’t judge our sister or best friend. “I have rolls or stretch marks, or am not a size 2 or have scars or acne…or whatever…so I’m hideous, fat, worthless, no good, ugly, not beautiful….” But would you ever say or think that about someone close to you? Or even a stranger? Chances are, no! Try to look into a mirror and kind of dissociate, not like a mental illness or result of a traumatic experience but remain unbiased, not shadowed by self critical thoughts. Take a good look at yourself and pretend you aren’t you. 

Look at your beauty with new eyes, with a stranger’s eyes. If you weren’t you and not so judgmental, if you weren’t brainwashed by the media or society’s concept of beautiful perfection, would you think you are ugly, horrible, not beautiful? Would you think you’re beautiful? Now take the beauty you see and feel and know, and become you again, the whole you, let you and the person in the mirror fuse together. Love one another as the whole that is you.

This book is already so thought-provoking and inspiring.

But….

I read some reviews and I think there may be some violence later in the book, maybe violent sexual scenes. Sometimes I don’t read much about a book, reviews or even the basic description, before reading. I like to go into it completely unbiased, not knowing. Sometimes I read a few reviews and for this I did and a couple said something about there being some “uncalled for sexual violence” or something like that, in the book that does nothing for the story but be disturbing. I read so many books and reviews though that I don’t always remember which reviews are for which books. For all I know those reviews are for another book!  I can tolerate extreme violence in books if the book is really good or has a deeper message other than just violence for thrill. It doesn’t thrill me.

 I felt drawn to this book immediately but then read something that contributed to me deciding not to buy it. And I think it’s the reviews that said there’s uncalled for horrific violence. But then I bought it anyway because what I did read about it in other reviews, the love she has for her Lizzy is so beautiful and it pulled me in and I also love the title. Yes I do judge books by their covers. Lol And even if that’s true that there’s unnecessary violence later, I’m happy I did buy it because of the deep insights I have already come to know just by reading what I did. But I can’t actually recommend the book without knowing the rest, especially if it has scenes that can trigger distress in someone who may have experienced trauma of some sort. Empathy while reading a book is one thing for a person who never experienced serious trauma but for someone who has, it can be completely  different, like the person is reliving it, the body can be like literally living it over, causing severe distress and pain. So I am careful recommending books without warnings.

“My moles continue to grow and darken. I take less care to hide the bump on my head, and I wonder whether my deformities will eventually take me over. I am impatient with them, wishing they would stabilize. I think I notice people staring more, and imagine they are whispering to each other but I decide that I will not try to hide myself away. It will be easier if the people who are alienated by such things have the chance to avoid me, and I reason that those who are indifferent to them will not care.” ~ Alex

I love this and completely agree. I would never want friends or people who like me only because they don’t know something about me that if they found out later they would reject me for it, whatever it may be. We don’t have to like everything about a person we like but we can accept, tolerate, or overlook it and love the person as a whole. I don’t necessarily want someone to like every single thing about me, like all of my opinions or anything, and I won’t conceal something just to have them like me or not reject me. It’s like an asshole repellent,if you show your ugliness or controversial views or something right off, you weed out the assholes and the true ones are still standing by your side. Or if you’re the asshole and people are going to reject you for it then they can back off and the ones who don’t mind asshole-ness will still be there. 
I don’t always like people’s opinions but I often appreciate the courage it takes them to stand up for whatever it is and the passion that drives them.

I am what I am whether I conceal it or not and whether someone likes it or not. So why deny or repress it? Instead I will give people the chance to know me and embrace me or know me and reject me.

My love for fiction has deepened dramatically over the last year and one thing I love about it is how the novels can teach us even
 deeper empathy and greater compassion and understanding for real people and real life situations. We can’t always see or know why people do the things they do and it can be easy to judge and direct hostility towards them without any ounce of empathy or understanding but in books, authors bring their characters alive, stripping them raw, so we can hear their every thought and know their motives and intentions, and we can then, have compassion even more and understanding for the characters. We can extend that to real people and situations.

Understanding and empathy do not necessarily entail or require encouragement of or promoting something. I can understand and be empathetic of a person doing something wrong or not good but not promote or encourage it. I love when authors challenge us. This author is clearly brilliant, not just in writing but her deep understanding of life.

The girl’s wedding day is on June 25th in the book and that’s today for real! Lol what a coincidence that I read that today!

Is that something only I would be thrilled over? 

;-D
I hear that a lot “only you, Kim!” or “only you would think or notice that, only you would laugh at that…!”

Xoxo Kim

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton

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Loud & Proud No Matter What

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I believe we should be proud of all our accomplishments, big and small, alike.   
Accomplishments such as kicking a bad habit, healing or recovering an addiction, quitting old detrimental ways…are still great accomplishments even though some people think they are not because they believe those things shouldn’t have been started in the first place.

I subscribed to this page:

http://www.inspiregreatnessnow.com/Free/day1_okJuK.shtml

And the man who the page belongs to said he is grateful he no longer cheats on women who he is in a relationship with. He wrote that it may seem like a bizarre thing to be thankful for but it was a very destructive part of his life at one point and he finally stopped.  Now his life is better.

I don’t see that as a bizarre thing to be proud of or grateful for. It takes strength and courage to admit to a problem or being wrong then working to change it and also to share with others. 

Everyone makes mistakes.  As I have said, no one is perfect in everyone’s eyes. No matter who you are or how amazing you are, someone out there somewhere,  thinks or would think, if you met the person and the person knows about it, that something you do, say, think, or feel or something you previously did, thought, felt or said is/was wrong. Someone will see flaws in you.

It seems as if we often tend to negatively judge people based on the seriousness of the consequences of their actions instead of the morality of the actual action, I guess you can say.  

For example, people often severely criticize people who take drugs and get addicted. The fact that someone takes recreational drugs and gets addicted may have serious, devastating consequences but it says nothing about the character of the person or the person’s general morals.  Some people never take drugs but are just very unkind people who want to drag others down and go out of their way to hurt people merely for the thrill.   And many people who do take illicit drugs or have previously taken them are great people with beautiful personalities who would never go all out to hurt people just for the thrill.

A couple months ago someone told a lie involving me at work.  I forgive the person and believe it was a mistake and not typical of her. Not a mistake as if she wasn’t aware of what she was doing, she knew, and she had malicious intentions, although I have no idea why because we always had a good relationship with each other.  But I view this as a mistake, something she should not have done but she did.  This could have cost me my job.

But I don’t view this as something that defines her personality or character.   It was a mistake, a wrongdoing, a negative act but I choose to look at her as the whole person she is and not as a horrible person based on one vicious act.

People have advised me to feel bitter towards her, to seek revenge, to see her as a horrible individual.  But I choose to move forward with an open heart, forgive her, and “forget.”

She did not admit she was wrong and she lies to the bitter end but I don’t believe her lying now has to do with being malicious towards me any longer.  I think it now has to do with her not wanting to admit she was wrong, feeling as if that’s a weakness on her part.  She has to lie to back up the main lie so as not to confess that she was initially wrong.  So even if she’s sorry, she won’t say it because that would be admitting she was wrong.

However, she did express guilt in other ways and seemed to be trying to make up for it by being extra kind and helpful.  That, in my opinion, is better than an empty “I’m sorry” anyway.

For months I have been angrier than I have ever been, some moments, to the point of fury and it was seeping into every aspect of my life, not just work. I would forgive then go back to holding a grudge off and on but I finally let go, for myself and for her. I don’t want to be angry. She doesn’t want me to be angry.  And it’s done now.

So, my message here is that mistakes you have made and will make, usually say nothing about who you are as a whole person and even if you aren’t as great as you can be, there’s always the possibility for change. You may have to work hard.  It may be awkward and feel uncomfortable now and then but it’s worth it.

And when you accomplish something great like realizing you were wrong and you change your ways or work on yourself for the better that is something to be proud of yourself for no matter what others say.

I have difficulty deleting apps, songs, pictures, and other files off my phone, even ones I never, ever use or even care about.   I always have this fear like “What if I change my mind and delete it and can’t get it back again?!” or “What if later I would come to really want this stuff on my phone and I forget all about it and never know to put it back on?!”.   Lol things like that. So because of this, I can’t put on new stuff or take new pics.

But two nights ago, yesterday,  and today I overcame my limiting fears and decided to go on a deleting spree, deleting everything I don’t use.  Some things I wrote down just in case I may want it again. 

I let my reasoning prevail over emotion. Now is what matters and now I really need more space on my phone.  And I probably will never want those apps and the truth is I can install most of them again if I want later.

This may seem like a trivial thing to be proud of but I must say, I’m proud! Lol. For me, that’s an accomplishment. 

Also, I’m a slob. It’s true. I leave empty soda bottles and candy wrappers around my house and my mom gets so mad. That’s not something I should do ever. But I do.  So when I actually avoid doing that on my own without being told, I feel a sense of accomplishment.   

I hope you will go easy on yourself.   Forgive. Learn.  Move forward. Be honest & open with yourself.

Lol My message here now is that you should be proud and thankful for all of your accomplishments no matter how trivial or important they seem to you or to others. Every little thing you do that contributes in some way, big or small, to a better you, a better world, a better environment, a better relationship, or a better anything is worth being proud of and grateful for.  Even the simplest things.

And this will get you in the habit of seeing the good in you and acknowledging and celebrating your positive aspects and successes. I believe this can lead to a happier life.

What are you holding onto that you should be letting go of?
What should you forgive yourself for?
What would happen inside you if you admit that you were wrong? Admit to yourself?   To others?
Why are you holding on to self resentment?
How about you make the decision to let go now?

Xoxo Kim

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