Tag Archive | healing

Clowns 🤡

Clowns 🤡 – Too Much Joy – song

“I have nightmares filled with clowns and you’re there too

You have a big red nose and stupid floppy shoes

You’re becoming one I can see the signs” 🤡

Trigger Warning ⚠️: Phobias mentioned here

Fun fact: Last night, I had a dream about coulrophobia. So I decided to turn myself into a clown. Lol

In the dream, I was watching a movie about a young man with coulrophobia(fear of clowns). I don’t remember what his job was in my dream but whatever it was, his coulrophobia was interfering with his quality of work. For something to do with his job, he had to see a clown 🤡 or something if I remember correctly. His job was not actually about clowns though. It was something he usually did not have to encounter but it just happened that he had to cross paths with a clown now at work, just a coincidence. Maybe he had to visit someone’s house for work where they had a clown figure or photo? I don’t really remember much about that but whatever it was, his quality of work was greatly suffering and his boss was angry. He ordered him to be treated with exposure therapy, a form of treatment often used to treat phobias. The young man was having emotional difficulty with the exposure. He had to walk alone into a dark room in an old warehouse or factory or something like that, at night, full of life sized clown mannequins so he can get used to them and no longer be afraid. He couldn’t handle it.

In the movie in my head, his boss called him and was angrily telling him to get his shit together and stop acting like a coward and get on with it because he had work to get done. He was tired of his “nonsense.” I can still hear his voice dripping with arrogance, disdain, indifference to someone else’s suffering.

The movie in my dream was about how people who were murderers, dressed as clowns just like the clown mannequins used for his exposure, and creeped into the building and stood in the room next to the fake ones so they could eventually jump out at him during his exposure treatment. Lol It wasn’t part of the therapy and his boss wasn’t in on it. They were just psychos who somehow knew about it. They were strangers.

In my dream, I somehow got into the movie. Like it somehow turned real. But this wasn’t strange in my dream like it would have been for real. Like in reality we would be amazed, shocked, or confused if we somehow got into a movie or a movie turned real. But in my dream it was just a casual thing. The movie was all of a sudden not a movie and was real life and I was in it. I was walking into the dark room with the clowns. I knew the killers were in there since I just was watching the movie and wasn’t sure if they would lunge for me or not. But I had something to do in that room. I don’t remember what or even if I knew in the dream but I wasn’t sure if I should keep going and fulfill my obligation or turn around and leave since the killers were in there. The young man wasn’t there and I knew he would be coming soon. I think whatever I had to do was for my own job. This is realistic of me to still consider doing something that needs to be done even if it may be dangerous to me. I work with dogs and sometimes they can be aggressive. There are occasions I still considered interacting with them even when they clearly wanted to rip me to shreds. Lol And occasions I had to still feed and give them water while they were coming at me because a dog has to eat. Lol So this part of my dream makes perfect sense.

I wasn’t scared in the dream but a bit anxious and my body was tense like it was deciding it maybe should run. Then I saw some of the clowns moving and a vague thought crossed my mind like is this real or is it part of a movie I was just watching. It was like reality (the dream’s reality) and the movie blended.

So I wasn’t sure what would happen. Are they going to get me or ignore me? I had a feeling like they weren’t going to try to kill me. This is how I am for real in general, very trusting and always expecting the least bad thing to happen. I generally have this feeling like everything will work out well. I am not very anxious. I have suffered a couple bouts with anxiety but am generally not someone who is anxious. So I wasn’t extremely concerned for myself.

This feeling like this is real but also not is difficult to explain but in the dream it made sense. It was like a blend of something. Like sort of real, sort of not. I think this is common in dreams.

I think I decided not to walk into the room just in case the clowns tried to kill me. Better safe than sorry. Lol I remember walking away with this feeling of being very safe.

Then I woke up. Lol Intrigued by the dream. I don’t know what provoked that vivid and detailed dream or if there is really a movie like this but if there is one, I haven’t seen it. My head just made it up.

I had exposure therapy myself in reality, a few years ago, for debilitating claustrophobia. It began as professional treatment but I quit and handled it on my own, continuing exposure on my own terms. My claustrophobia was interfering with life because I have to get on elevators for work. There is no option sometimes to use the stairs and my claustrophobia was taking over everyday even when I did not have to get on elevators that day because I knew I would soon have to get inside them. In my dream, I sort of remembered my real life exposure therapy and how it was absolutely frightening at first and I experienced empathy and compassion for the young man. It’s like cruelty, irony, the thing we fear most in life is the very thing we must come face to face with alone, to get better.

I used to avoid elevators at all costs. I used to run up 20 or more things of stairs just to avoid them. This wasn’t a problem because I am very healthy and fit and energetic, always have been. But in college I had to get to buildings early to be able to run up 20 or more floors without being late for classes.

Sometimes that isn’t an option and stairs are blocked off. Some years ago, my claustrophobia triggered suicidal depression in me to the point I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush to brush my teeth in the mornings. I couldn’t handle knowing on any random day I may have to go into an elevator and that triggered a depressive episode that became no longer about that; the depression took on a life of its own. So I was struggling with a severe depressive episode on top of a bad, bad case of claustrophobia.

I grew up claustrophobic for an unknown reason. I have been for as long as I can remember, mostly about elevators. But it was rarely a problem because I rarely had any reason to have to get into them. So it may not have been able to be diagnosed as claustrophobia back then. Sometimes I had to avoid visiting people in hospitals because I couldn’t get into an elevator to the hospital room. On the occasions I did force myself, I would have some psychiatric breakdown. I have collapsed in crippling panic and have embarrassed family in front of strangers at the mere thought of getting into an elevator. Now I think it’s hilarious, especially embarrassing my mom and dad. One day when I was little we were all on a glass elevator with a stranger and I began to panic. I screamed at the top of my lungs and began kicking and flailing my arms and yelling let me out, let me out, let me out….just to go up two floors. The stranger turned and just stared in shock. My mom and dad were so embarrassed. ” My mom yelled, “Kim, you did NOT have to act like that!!!” It gives me a good belly laugh now when I remember it. 🤣😂😭😄😹 I remember my body flooded with sweet relief when that door opened.

All these years later, if I wanted to keep my job, I had to get over it. And I did. Years of claustrophobia gone in just a few weeks of simple regular exposure. Exposure works wonders, at least for me. It made me realize how something so powerful and debilitating is actually very, very weak.

Whenever I had to step into an elevator, it felt like I was going to die. My mouth dried up and always tasted like metal, like literally tasting fear. My entire body felt squeezed in the chokehold of death. The fear is so powerful it feels like I would *literally* go insane, like lose all sense of language and awareness and bodily movements. I felt like I could claw out my own eyes and claw off my own skin. And one day I actually did claw my own skin off when I was in an elevator alone as a teenager. There was no way out of the building unless I got into an elevator. I went into a panic and just mindlessly began ripping my skin off with my fingernails. Everything turned white like this blinding light around my head. I couldn’t see or think. All I could do was claw at my own body, my arms and ab, all bleeding when I finally stepped out of the elevator.

Welcome to my nightmare. 🖤

(almost had a cow when I saw this a couple years ago 😳 🤣 Just sitting there, doors wide open as if to tempt me; it felt like it was watching me, daring me. Lol It’s an old out of service elevator in a building I visit for work. It hasn’t been in use for some years and is in a strange place, not near the rest of the elevators and looks all old and dingy while the rest are newer looking and its doors are ALWAYS closed. But one day, I walk by and the doors are open! Holy guacamole! My heart nearly leapt out of my chest. Luckily my claustrophobia was already healed by then but this thing made it want to come back 🤣😭😹 Some things you just can’t unsee)

It has always felt like an eternity before the doors opened again and a sense of deep, deep dread and despair & regret as I watched them close on me.

It’s a kind of fear that knocks the wind out of me and takes my whole breath away. I have been in awe at how powerful it is.

I had a relapse once after mostly recovering when it seemed like an elevator door took a second too long to open, when I was inside by myself. It came back with a vengeance. It was way worse than before. I got mostly rid of the claustrophobia on my own by getting into elevators with dogs and found it healing. Then it came back then the regular exposure on my own helped significantly.

Now even if a door seems to take longer to open, I don’t have breakdowns or relapses. I get into elevators everyday by myself with no problems at all and find them very peaceful. Like a very brief reprieve where the outside world and all its problems and noise and stress and drama can’t touch me.

I love how a place that once felt so dark and cold and deadly is now a place of warmth and security like being wrapped in a cozy blanket.

There are some random occasions, I am a bit anxious with elevators and avoid them or sometimes suck it up and get into them anyway. But it’s not frequent. And not severe. I know if I am already anxious about something else, something unrelated, and have to get into an elevator, it sometimes triggers the claustrophobia but it goes away again. I believe if I ever stop getting into elevators for a long while then I do again, the claustrophobia may come back. I have experienced this already. So I try to get into them as much as possible to keep it away. It’s a lifelong condition that has to be controlled with regular exposure or I will go insane with fear again.

I don’t know what is up with this dream. Lol But it reminds me a bit of my own real experience. Even the old, dark warehouse where the clowns were. My work office used to be in one. Lol

I am not afraid of clowns and never have been. This wasn’t a scary dream at all. It wasn’t a nightmare even though it may seem like it. I don’t usually have dark or scary dreams. They’re usually positive, happy, or mundane. Though I have been plagued off and on, for as long as I can remember, by nightmares about being inside elevators and being stuck in them, sometimes with people, usually alone. Or sometimes terrifying dreams knowing I will soon be getting into an elevator. Sometimes I wake myself up before it happens or I force myself awake after I get into one if I can. I still have them on rare occasions but almost never since the claustrophobia went away. They are horrifying dreams and just dreadful. I had them since I was little even when I did not have to get into elevators and haven’t been recently in one. My brain just obsessed with them for some reason. I don’t ever remember any unpleasant experience with elevators that made this happen, just grew up with it. My earliest memories are terror when near an elevator. Couldn’t even bring myself to look at them walking by. I used to curse whoever invented them. I felt like that person destroyed my life sometimes.

This dream is bizarre for me because I don’t usually have them like this and it seems a bit creative. I’m not someone who is a creative writer or anything. So I don’t know why my head made this up.

Very recently, like just over one week ago, I saw the word “heliophobia” and looked it up to see what it is(a fear of the sun or bright light) and while scrolling, the word “coulrophobia” showed up. I think this is what inspired the dream but don’t know why just seeing that word and a pic of a clown holding balloons would inspire a whole story in my head while I sleep. Lol It’s heliophobia I was was interested in, not the clown one.

And the dream was very, very vivid. I remember the clowns and their faces and their pastel colored pj’s and balloons.🎈 And I remember the young man very clearly but don’t remember ever seeing him for real in person. I read before that all faces we see in dreams are real faces we saw at one point in life, even if years ago. It doesn’t mean in the dream they were who they are in reality, just that the face is real. I don’t know if it’s true.

Horror movies are my guilty pleasure, which I think also contributed to the dream, and I think this would be a good movie! 😍

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are!

Xoxo Kim 💜

Healing Anxiety Activity🖤

This is an Instagram post of mine I’m sharing here!

This is not a good picture but it’s the concept I’m sharing. Five years ago, I lost my close friend, who was my coworker, unexpectedly, to a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest, whatever the correct term is. Anyway, her heart just stopped out of nowhere and she collapsed to the floor and died. It wrecked & traumatized my whole world. I developed anxiety that I never had before. Not a fullblown condition but I would have sudden, insense anxiety/fear, out of the blue. Very difficult to endure. Not panic attacks but still a sense of panic. It was not interfering with life in general but definitely with my sleep and peace of mind. Not anxious thoughts usually, but anxious sensations. Bolts of fear surging through me and gripped in panic along with a couple anxious thoughts sometimes. Through the years those anxiety episodes have lessened but I still experience them. They are no longer about Diane’s death, exactly, but still rooted in that. Recently, I experienced a tragic pet loss and because of the circumstances, that fear has been coming back more again, in waves, and interfering with my sleep. My heart pounds when I’m laying as if I was running a marathon. And my insides are like in turmoil. It’s all day but worse at night. The way I see anxiety in my head is like small, sharp, gray/silver balls of activity wreaking havoc on my insides. Sometimes I imagine the balls of anxiety and visualize white or golden light around them, absorbing them into it until they are gone and only light remains. I decided to draw a picture of my imagination. I don’t draw or anything and not creative but decided to give it a try. I drew the balls in pencil then erased them til they became lighter, as if to lose much of their power, then colored them in yellow. I also wrote the word anxiety at the top and erased it then wrote inner peace over it. I colored around the paper in purple because purple/lavendar is soothing to look at and lavendar scent can have a calming effect. The pencil isn’t scented though. This is symbolic of healing anxiety. 💜💛 It’s a fun and soothing activity!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are! It’s Morning here in Philadelphia, Pa, USA! 💛

xoxo Kim

Dream.❤

“I had a dream; I had an awesome dream
People in the park playing games in the dark
And what they played was a masquerade
And from behind the walls of doubt a voice was crying out
Say you, say me
Say it for always
That’s the way it should be
Say you, say me, say it together
Naturally”

Say You, Say Me – Lionel Richie

May 11th, 2018

I had a dream last night while I slept. We were all running through a park, late at night, in the darkness, playing, all adults. It was almost like a game of hiding seek or a game of tag. It was beautiful and comforting in some way but there was a kind of loneliness & longing throughout. We were all running after each other, trying to find and catch each other and most of us were strangers to each other. There was a sense of child-like joy and we were laughing. It was hard to see in the dark and there were so many people. There was one person I really wanted to find. More than anyone else, she’s the one. I knew she was there but couldnt find her. I ran through the darkness and the crowds of people, my sense of longing increasing with every step. Stumbling through the dark, reaching for her, finally, I found her. We came face to face and she embraced me. Not in a physical hug but in warm, welcoming, loving energy and a beautiful smile. She welcomed me completely. She accepted me and was happy to see me. My whole being was overcome in awe of her beauty. I lost her again. In all the darkness and strangers and trees and paths. Again, I ran to find her. It was like running through a maze of people and trees and darkness. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of her but couldnt reach and every now and again, we would come face to face. She would always welcome me. It was always beautiful and always brief. Then I would lose her again. I felt her near but just couldnt reach her. But on those occasions I did, there was so much love, so much joy, so much beauty before the darkness and crowds and trees took her away again. And somehow it was enough even though it wasnt. Those brief moments we encountered and embraced were so full of love that they are enough. Even with the pain, theres so much love. Even with longing and sadness and loneliness, there can still be joy and laughter and gratitude. I woke up this morning with a greater sense of love than longing. I woke up in awe. And this song played in my head.

I love dreams & especially ones that seem to have a deep purpose. This dream was two nights ago and soon I may post about one I had last night, another very healing one.

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Xoxo Kim ❤

Help Me to Heal {a healing activity}

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“Breathe it out and breathe it in
Trust the light that shines within
Let it burn ’til you learn to love yourself
Breathe it out and breathe it in
Trust the light that shines within
Let it burn ’til you learn to love yourself
Love will lead you home…
Love will lead you home…
Love will lead you home…” ~ Olivia Newton John ❤

A few years ago I came across a blog, I don’t remember the blog now but wish I had the link still or remember the name. It’s an art journaling blog on blogger.com, I think, and the lady suggested an activity to help heal any emotional pain we may have about certain incidents or situations in life.

I may have shared it before on here but I don’t remember. 

If so, it’s ok, it won’t hurt to share it again! 

The activity is to take an index card and a pencil and very lightly, in almost imperceptible strokes of the pencil, write on the index card every painful emotion we have surrounding whatever incident or struggle we choose. Make sure the words are incredibly light, almost unseen. Or write the words regularly then lightly erase them but still leave a vestige of what was. This, I suspect, is to symbolically lessen their power over us. So we are no longer gripped in their bondage. 

The event or situation can be anything at all that hurts us, for example a painful breakup, the loss of a friend or family member, pet to death or any other way, a family member or friend diagnosed with a serious illness, being rejected in some way, losing a job, the loss of an important material object (house, car, jewelry, money…), chronic pain or illness, sexual assault, abuse, addiction, feeling abandoned or excluded….. anything that hurts.

After filling the entire index card up with words to describe our pain, words like: pain, rejection, lost, lonely, empty, grief, despair, torture, fear, embarrassed, devastated, angry, furious, broken, confused, numb, guilt, betrayed, envy,jealous, sorry, regret, doubt, heartbreak…..

We then take a marker of any color, especially a bold color, and write over the light penciled words in bold words, positive words like: love, healing, compassion, self-love, inspiration, wisdom, life, joy, happiness, laughter, light, optimistic, positive, balance, full, pleasure, fulfilled, Metta, gratitude, oneness, empathy, understanding, caring, beauty, perseverance, overcoming, stillness, serenity, peace, calm, tranquil, recovery, vitality, spark, acceptance, hope,longevity….

I’m guessing this activity is symbolic of positive energy and emotions overpowering the unpleasant ones. The light penciled words have no power over us if we do not allow them. And if we choose and work on it, we can let the bold, happy words take over. The light words are still there. Here. They still exist, the scars still exist. But they are now dormant or powerless or just not the main thing we experience any longer, not the noxious energy they once were. 

Here is a fake one I made just for this post:

Unpleasant emotions/thoughts:

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(I made the words dark enough to see on here)

Empowering words/emotions/thoughts:

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“The answer is sleeping
Inside your heart
True love that you long for
That’s where it starts” ~ Olivia Newton John ❤

The situation I chose for this activity a few years ago is a form of rejection I once experienced. I allowed this experience to get to me much, much longer than is necessary. Well over a year after this experience, I was still shattered, devastated beyond words with no sign of it getting better. Some moments were worse than others. Some moments/days I finally felt like it would be ok but then I would crash back into the seemingly unbearable pain of it, feeling like I couldn't possibly go on. 

It wasn't depression but every now and then it would trigger a months/weeks long episode of depression and deep despair and even severe headaches, which became more frequent after this experience and lessened after I felt healed to a certain degree. Then when the depression would lift or the headache would ease, the severe pain of this situation would still linger, breaking me, bringing me to ruin. 

Rejection, loss, unrequited love, broken friendships/relationships,….are part of living and it's ok to experience them and for them to really affect us in deep and painful ways but they should never take over so much of life to where that's the main thing we dwell on each day and allow it to ruin our days or whole life. I let it ruin me. It's best if the pain of these situations begins to heal to a certain extent after a while. The pain does not have to be the thing that generally or frequently dominates. 

I was so pleasantly surprised at how much this activity really did heal me. I usually don't say things like something healed me or made me do something or caused something, because really, things usually help, provoke, and contribute to things, not actually cause it or make it happen. Things help me to heal. They don't usually heal me just themselves. 

But I feel this activity really healed me. Not completely. This is a scar I will always have and that's a good thing! It's good to be affected by all of life in both painful and joyous ways.

It's great to be touched in both pleasant and painful ways, by people and situations. 

It's better than being dead or numb or indifferent.

"There's nothing more whole than my broken heart." ~ Hasidic saying

But this activity really helped me heal the worst of the pain. It helped me release painful emotions themselves and the pain of how I viewed certain things. It helped me let go and liberate myself so I am no longer ruled by the situation. 

I was expecting it to maybe help a little bit, even if only during the moments I was engaging in it. But even after it was over, I immediately sensed a change deep within. I felt something release and shift and while I still carry that pain, that scar, that sliver of an ache, it's usually not the red, flaming hot agony it once was that felt like it was scorching the very soul of me.

"I know I'll find the strength to fight
If I can trust I'm gonna be alright
So walk me through my darkest fears tonight
Help me to heal
Help me to feel
All I know is what I see
So won't you help me to believe
Help me to heal" ~ Olivia Newton John

Help Me to Heal – mobile

Help Me to Heal – desktop

I only ever did this activity once and I lost the card but I have it somewhere. I read a book recently about how to cleanse our energy or aura and in the book is an amazing list of healing activities I’m going to try. This one is not in the book but the book reminds me of this one. It’s a fantastic cleansing experience. 

This activity can be performed for any problem whether it’s seemingly trivial or feels like it’s the end of the world.

I’m going to try it again for other struggles. 

I strongly recommend this activity. It’s not a cure and there’s no doubt in my mind that not everyone will be as helped by it as I am.
It’s likely not for everyone. Even if it doesn’t have long lasting effects like it does for me, just the act of engaging in it can be very healing. 

We can also color it with soothing colors, draw on it, anything creative to add to it. We can put our own spin on it.

It’s a very simple, very brief, but very profound method of healing.

I hope you find it healing like I do if you want to try it!

Learn to Love Yourself – mobile – Olivia Newton John

Learn to Love Yourself – mobile

Much love & light to you, always! 

😀

Xoxo Kim  ❤

Live. <3 <3

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“We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”

(attributed to D.H. Lawrence)

I love this quote! It inspires me so deeply because I struggle with severe depression and suicidal urges/thoughts/contemplation. So anything that encourages me to live is so inspiring & consoling to me.

I even have a bracelet that simply says, “LIVE.”

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I love life affirming things and love to share them with others.

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To live is the first step, as long as we are alive, there is hope. Life is hope. ❤

No matter how hard it gets, carry on, keep going, keep living, keep loving.

“Oh so your standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you’re feeling like you just can’t win, but you’re trying
It’s hard to keep on keepin’ on, when you’re being pushed around
Don’t even know which way is up, you just keep spinning down, ’round, down…
Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain
So hold your head up and tell yourself that there’s something more
And walk out that door,
Go find a new rose, don’t be afraid of the thorns
‘Cause we all have thorns”

mobile:

desktop:

Much love & light & hugs to you! ❤

xoxo Kim

The Life Before Her Eyes

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“As much as we can be overwhelmed by the world, we can also draw hope from it, from beauty, from promise, from the simple fact that we have the talent to imagine our future selves from all the possible lives that pass before our eyes. We must imagine our lives well. We must engage our conscience.”

Some years ago, I watched a movie called “The Life Before Her Eyes” over & over. I love movies that have to do with friendship. This movie is a very sad movie but very good. It’s about two high school girls who are best friends, one is a “good girl” and the other is a “bad girl” but they are the best of friends. Their friendship is so tender and loving and warm and even after they get into an argument. The girls do a great job playing the part. A true friendship like this one is a great blessing! I think platonic friendship is one of the greatest gifts in life.

A kid comes to school one day with a gun and kills a lot of people, including one of the girls. The other girl develops severe post traumatic stress and struggles with her loss, guilt, and anxiety and caring for her family after she grows up with a family of her own years later. She can’t let go of the past and overcome it and move forward. I wouldn’t expect someone to completely forget that her best friend was murdered and all those other people and wouldn’t expect her grief to go away but it’s possible to heal to a certain point. She has a lot of difficulty. I recently watched the movie again. 

This line above is out of one of the scenes. Isn’t it inspiring? So full of hope & beauty.

I love how many scenes in this movie can be analyzed and interpreted, like they have underlying meanings.

It’s a great movie but I would never recommend it to someone who has ever been involved in a school (or any) massacre, especially one involving gun violence. It may be a serious trigger.

I hope you are having a beautiful day/night!

😀

Much love & light, ❤

Xoxo Kim 

Honesty vs. Being an asshole {let your heart lead the way}

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“If you find yourself saying ‘But I’m just being honest,’ chances are you’ve just been unkind. Honesty doesn’t heal. Empathy does.” ~ Dan Waldschmidt

Honesty is one thing. Being an asshole is quite another. Lol ;-D

So many people brag about “telling it like it is” or how they are “brutally honest” or love when people are “honest to a fault.” Like that’s a good thing. But I don’t see how it necessarily is.
Maybe it’s cute when a three year old blabs everything that’s on her mind but for adults…not so much. Honesty is a good quality and a good thing in general or in theory but it’s not always necessary. Too many people, in my opinion, have jumped on this bandwagon or trend of “I tell it like it is” or “speak my mind without hesitation” and “if I don’t like you, you’ll know it” and act like it’s a good or cool thing when it’s really often just an excuse to be insulting or say uncalled for things at the expense of others. That’s a turn off to me. What is so cool about it? What is good about it? How is that a good quality to possess to make it a point to always make it known you don’t like someone or something about someone? It’s ok not to like someone. And not to like things about people. But we don’t have to be vicious about it. As adults we can not like people and not like things but suck it up and be civil when we have to encounter them. It’s not being fake; it’s being mature and being kind.  So, yes honesty in itself is surely a good thing. But it’s not always necessary to express something merely for the sake of honesty. I’m not saying never, but just not always. And in many cases, I don’t believe it’s really about honesty but about being rude just because someone feels like being rude but not owning up to it and pushing it off on being “real” or honest. 

For example, commenting on someone’s picture of her new haircut or new dress or glasses with something rude like “meh” or “this isn’t one of your best outfits or pictures…” or “wow you put on some weight!” or “what happened you used to be so hot, you really  let yourself go!(yup, I actually saw a man write this on his girlfriend’s old pictures of herself a while ago!)” in the name of honesty. Is it really necessary for your honesty in this case? This is just a random example, not meant for any specific incident or person now. But I have seen these comments and heard similar things in person to/about various people.
It’s uncalled for in my opinion. 

I love the brilliant quote above. Empathy helps heal. If we don’t like someone’s new haircut or someone’s new clothes or whatever someone does, we can still be happy for that person for getting something s/he likes or being happy. If someone puts on weight, so what, and don’t you think saying that to a woman is very rude and can be damaging? If we don’t like how someone acts, we can tap into our empathy and try to better understand.  

I think when people are “brutally honest” in a rude way, it’s probably often because they aren’t happy either with themselves or current circumstances or just in a bad mood that day and want to try to drag others down or get out their unpleasant emotions being rude to others. So instead of calling them an asshole (like I just did lol), we can try to also show compassion and tap into our empathy for them. I don’t always do this. Sometimes when someone is unkind, I react with more unkindness(either to the person directly or complaining about the person to someone else), which is tempting sometimes but not helpful. I’m much better with reacting to negativity and unkindness with patience and love either being kind in the face of it or just holding my tongue (which can also be an act of love) so as not to further fuel the negativity, pain, or anger of someone. But I’m still not perfect at it. 

So this is a good reminder to me as well!

Let’s chuck that brutal honesty out the window once in a while, kick it to the curb and give empathy a try instead! 

Here is a beautiful and heartwrenching song and video about holding off on the unpleasant words and letting love lead the way!

What Do You Say – Reba McEntire – mobile

What Do You Say – desktop

“So what do you say in a moment like this
When you can’t find the words to tell it like it is
Just bite your tongue and let your heart lead the way…”

😀

Hugs & love, 

Xoxo Kim ❤

To Heal, We Must Feel <3

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“I miss the tears, I miss the laughter
I miss the day we met and all that followed after
Sometimes I wish I could always be with you
The way we used to do
Now and forever, I will always think of you
Now and forever, I will always be with you” ~ Carole King (Now and Forever) ❤

I wrote this post last night and then I was too exhausted to post it! Lol WordPress app, while I’m incredibly thankful for it, is not the easiest to deal with. 

Last night I fell asleep with and this morning  woke up with a heavy, heavy heart. As I mentioned on here a couple months ago, my coworker and beautiful friend, Diane, died suddenly and so unexpectedly. She was my coworker and I never hung out with her outside of work but in the nearly ten years I have known her, I really only thought of her as my friend, nothing less.
She’s the one I wrote about in a couple posts before. She has sons similar ages to me and I always loved how she would brag about me as if I were her daughter. 

You know how there are “flare ups” of grief? Grief never goes away or completely heals but for many people, it’s not always how it was when the loss first occurred. The rawness or worst of it takes the backburner, for lack of a better way of saying it, and eventually is generally no longer the main or only thing on the mind even when we think of those we have lost. Other, happier, thoughts and emotions begin to prevail again and the grief and heartache remain but are easier to cope with in general. But sometimes that horrible grief returns and sometimes even feels worse than at first. It appears and reappears as long as we live. 

Ever since I met Diane years ago, this is the longest I have ever gone without seeing her and talking to her. Two months. For no specific reason, the last two days my grief has been flaring up. Grief over a loss is not bad or wrong, it’s what occurs, in some cultures, when we lose something or someone we know or love. I heard that in some cultures they don’t grieve how we do here in US and other cultures. When they lose someone to death, no matter how tragic the incident, they just celebrate that person’s life and feel love and not devastation or pain. They are brought up that way. It’s hard for me to grasp that concept but I find it intriguing. But here, we do grieve hard when we experience a loss. It’s not a choice, it just occurs when we experience a loss. It’s considered healthy, expected, normal. I don’t want my grief to ever leave me, I just wish it were easier to cope with when it’s like this.

I often wish I can take away people’s pain and suffering even if it means I would have to take on that pain and feel it instead. But I never would take away someone’s grief even if I could, even when it’s very devastating. Because, at least in our culture, we’re supposed to experience it in our own way. It shows that we are touched by the person/animal (I’m just as devastated when animals die but I expect them to die sooner since they usually do not live as long as humans and to me seem generally more fragile) who left us. But I would help someone bear the grief if I could or take on a portion of it if the person wanted me to. Anyway, that can’t happen. 

Today as I was on a bus going to my therapy appointment, I was grieving hard but out of the blue, I was struck even harder. My whole body felt so fragile and so breakable and one of the worst, deepest, kinds of pain I ever felt just took me over.
Some aspects felt violent. It was emotional pain but the whole experience felt so physical. And it was very strange. It almost felt unbearable like my tmjd cluster-like headaches, which are the worst pain I ever felt. It throbbed throughout my whole existence feeling like it runs deeper than body and “mind.”

I felt like collapsing onto the floor, screaming her name over and over, and curling up into a fetal position, and writhing in agony like when I have the headaches. 
I felt horror and disbelief, heartache and pain and I kept thinking how does anyone ever possibly handle the loss of a friend, family member, pet, is it even possible to handle something like this…I felt something close to panic. 
Like a trapped or “claustrophobic” feeling. Death is so permanent. The loss felt inconceivable. So bizarre. So incredible (and not in a good way) that someone, someone with experiences and thoughts and emotions, memories, and a breath, a whole life, can be gone in an instant. Just like that. Never ever to be seen or heard again. 

All those experiences, those memories, that whole life just vanishes into thin air.

Just like that.

In an instant. 

All gone.

Forever. 

It did not last long at all, this experience on the bus. And it wasn’t all bad. It was deep and brought me closer to myself.
 I have experienced grief and loss before so it’s not completely new but it’s not something someone ever really gets used to. No matter who dies on us, another death is still so new and difficult. No matter how many we have lost before, the next one can still feel impossible to bear. 

I still can’t believe that Diane is really gone. It feels wrong and unnatural even though I know it’s not. It feels confusing that one moment someone can be standing somewhere not sick at all, nothing at all wrong with the person,  then literally one second later be dead of a heart attack. It is so scary. It doesn’t really make sense to me but I know it does make sense. It’s just part of living. It happens every single day. Heart attacks just come out of nowhere and destroy and end people’s lives. But it hurts desperately.

My worst pain is knowing that Diane can never experience again, not happiness, joy, or love. My worst pain is for her. Not for me. Or even the others who miss her and knew her better than I did. 
Living people can find a sense of healing and happiness again even after tragedies and devastation but the poor victims never get that chance. People say they don’t know they’re dead and don’t know they are missing out on life and lots of good things, and so cannot feel to suffer but that’s exactly my point, they can’t feel anymore and it’s heartbreaking to know that. 
So my worst sorrow is for the dead, not the living. 

Life is hope. 

But I also have another kind of pain, a selfish kind. I miss her and wish I could see her. And I know her family and friends do too. I see things every single day that remind me of her and it’s both comforting and painful. I think of her every single day. Never a day goes by when I don’t think of her. And I always will as long as I live. I knew her well. I suspect that as the days go on it will become more comforting than painful to see/hear things I know she loved or would love. But now the grief and pain is so raw. Raw grief occasionally does come flooding back for many of us whether it’s a year later or twenty years or more. It just comes and goes, appears and reappears. And it’s ok. 

As the saying goes “grief is the price we pay for love.” 

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(this is the only picture I got of my day yesterday before my phone battery gave out on me – those little flower petals were everywhere, blowing in the wind all around me)

When I was eleven years old I was at a party with my family in a very big house with a very big pool and like a hundred people around outside in the gargantuan backyard. When no one was looking, I slipped and fell into the pool at the 12 ft. Side. And I couldn’t get myself back out right away. This was before I learned to swim. I went into a panic and I felt my chest become “compressed” or something and like it was being crushed and my lungs attempting to gasp for air. It was suffocating. Horrifying. It felt like I was drowning. Luckily there were floaties all throughout the pool. Somehow I pulled myself up onto a kiddie float that was there and onto the wall and got myself out. 

My grief reminds me of this incident because it feels so similar, like my chest is really being crushed and my lungs struggling for breath. Like I’m being held under water. I’m not speaking metaphorically but literally. It couldn’t be anymore physical if I was eleven years old and back in that pool flailing and panicking, grasping for the float to save me. But I know I will pull myself out of the worst of it and carry on. 

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On some occasions I feel another kind of strange feeling, almost like missing a limb, like my arm was ripped off and should still be here but isn’t and now in its place is a weird tingling or numbness or something. I don’t know if it makes sense but it’s what I feel occasionally with grief. It’s not a feeling in my arm, I don’t know where I feel it, maybe in my head?  my chest? my whole being? I think that’s it. It’s just there. Here. Nowhere in particular. But it reminds me of a body part being traumatically torn off but still feeling like it’s supposed to be here or like part of it still is but mostly not. And in its empty space is a kind of numbness. I guess grief can do strange things to us. 

I’m not spiritual in this way or religious so I do not believe that Diane can touch me or see me or that she’s still alive somewhere or in a “better place” watching over me and all those she loves, but at some moments I want nothing more than to feel her loving arms wrap around me in a comforting embrace. I miss her voice, her love, her laughter, her cursing, her hilarious ways, her stories….she was really funny! She was very loud and cursed a lot in a funny way just in everyday conversations, not trying to be funny. 

She wanted to learn Spanish because one of her grandsons, a toddler, only speaks Spanish and she was trying to teach him English. One day at work she came running over to me yelling “omg! Kim! My grandson just said his first English word! He dropped something and yelled ahh fuck!” lol I burst out laughing! She was horrified. His first English word she unintentionally teaches him is fuck! She was trying to get him out of it fast! 

One day, many years ago, my dad came to my work and as a joke he yelled to me “hey! What are you doing?!” in a mock angry voice, just as Diane was going by in a car and she did not realize that he’s my dad and was joking and thought he was messing with me and she angrily yelled at him “She’s working! What the fuck’s it look like she’s doing?!” lol my dad was pissed! But Diane always looked out for me. Always. 

She did so much for me, tried to help me find a job I wanted, gave me big tips at work, always told me she loves me and how wonderful I am, would bring me food over that she thought I would like as a surprise, invited me to her house with her big family for thanksgiving in case I was going to be alone,
So much….one day for St. Patrick’s Day she made my family cabbage and ham, for me to take home.  ❤

I even miss the things she did sometimes to annoy me! Things I never would have thought I could miss! Lol But now I laugh about it. 😀

A few weeks ago, while on a bus, I looked out the window and saw a lady with her back turned to me who looked exactly like Diane at that angle. I couldn’t believe it, my breath caught. If Diane was alive, I would have been convinced that lady was her. I would have went to work and said “hey I saw you today!!!” 

That’s how much she resembled her at that angle. Diane was very small, short, and thin, with shoulder length, dark black hair, and she sometimes wore a long jacket and that’s exactly like this lady. I couldn’t see her face but I wanted to run off the bus and hug her. I stared and for a few seconds I imagined that Diane was back on this Earth and that I was getting to look at her again once more for a few last seconds. I felt kind of blessed to have this opportunity to feel like I was looking at her. I tried to trick part of my brain into really believing it was her just so I could have a few more seconds with Diane on Earth. I felt so greedy. Like I wanted as many seconds I could have to pretend and believe.  It may seem a bit twisted but I was consumed in grief.  

It felt so bizarre seeing her like that knowing it couldn’t possibly have been her. 

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And Diane wore hearing aids. And she would often put her hand to her ear to adjust the hearing aid. It was one of those “tics” or very mundane, mindless little things, a “personal habit” or detail no one ever thought anything of but now that she’s gone, that little mundane detail that was so much a part of her, stands out to me. It really makes it harder to believe she can just not be here anymore.  It’s a bit difficult to explain in words. But I keep thinking about it.

Anyway, my body has been longing to listen to songs that aren’t very uplifting. Uplifting songs help me immensely and I am a big advocate for having a playlist of positive, happy, uplifting songs, especially for low moods. But all I been wanting to do is listen to slow songs, sad songs, not ones to get me pumped or uplift me but ones to match my mood. Ones to trigger even more deep feeling in me, even if it’s agonizing feelings. And ones that remind me that pain, loss is part of living and others can understand. But some other part of me wanted to reject, deny, repress, listen to uplifting songs, happy songs, repress that grief and heartbreak. Pretend it’s not there, that it’s not real. Then it won’t have to hurt so much. 

So on that bus today I struggled with what to do. 

Last night I found a blog by a man named Ryan and he sends morning e mails to help us start our day. 

http://www.wakingupwithryan.com/

I had to be up very early today and on the bus I read his e-mail and it was perfect for my situation right then. He actually wrote:

“To heal it, you’ve got to feel it.”

Seriously?! Can those words be any more perfect for someone in my situation?! Imagine the struggle I had while on the bus wanting to repress and deny then out of nowhere seeing an e-mail in my inbox, that came through that very same morning, with that title! I felt as if it was written just for me! Thank You, Ryan! Thank You, thank you! 

He encourages us to let our emotions, feelings, thoughts flow, emerge, just be. Even when it’s painful and our heads want to deny it. How can we heal and come to accept when we repress and deny? It will still be here, buried, suffocating, drowning. It needs air and to be nurtured. 

So I listened to these slow, soft, gentle, sometimes sad songs on the bus. Songs to match my emotions, my heartache. And I admitted that I’m broken over this tragic loss. I never denied her death, only wished it would not be and denied how it affected me. But I allowed Ryan to inspire me. 

It was heartbreaking but just what I needed in that moment. Mostly I am helped and inspired by happy songs but when that’s not the case, it’s ok to listen to those sad, slow songs. 

It helped me heal. 
Then after that I listened to the happy, fast paced song to help balance the situation and my mood. “Coast to Coast” by the Stompers. And it was the perfect balance! 

I encourage you to check out his blog and subscribe if you like that kind of stuff! And to maybe let his words inspire you to feel, accept, and just be. 

http://www.wakingupwithryan.com/

I embrace my grief and I carry Diane in my heart and I will allow her ways to keep inspiring me.  One way we can honor those we love who die, is to incorporate some of their ways into our own lives, if they were loving, we can try to be more loving even if we already are, we can try to make it a point to make it more frequent. If they were very active with certain causes, we can carry that on if we also support the causes, if not we can be inspired to work for a different cause we support. If they helped people often (like Diane did, she would give people her last dollar even if she did not have money, she would borrow money then if someone else needed the money she just borrowed, she would give it!), we can start helping people more. If they were happy and full of joy, let’s try to remember to be happy and full of joy. Wear their favorite color, listen to their favorite song (although this can be too painful for a while), try to keep those we love who are no longer on Earth with us, alive in our hearts, keep their essence going.  

I wish I could be loud and curse a real lot like she did but it’s just not in me. Lol She always told me she hoped I would always be sweet and gentle, pleasant, and quiet, and wonderful no matter what, even when I get another job where I may encounter difficult people and situations.

I will. 

After my therapy appointment, I was in Center City, walking to the bus to go home. I am not depressed today and have been very joyful underneath the pain. I saw one single yellow flower today surrounded by lots of green and it uplifted me then out of nowhere I saw two small, white butterflies tenderly flying around the flower. Also, more pastel pink flowers have been blossoming on the trees, into the bright blue sky, and everywhere has the fragrance of sweet Spring flowers and the sky was bright blue with pretty fluffy clouds. It was warm but cool and breezy also with comforting sunshine. And little flower petals blowing all over, everywhere, in the gentle breeze. I found a pretty pink fragrant flower on the ground and brought it for my mom. It was already dead and crushed in my pocketbook when I gave her it but she still found it beautiful. 

It couldn’t have been a more perfect Spring day and cannot be a more perfect Spring night.

I would have pictures of my beautiful and little  journey out and about but my phone battery was drained! So I just cherished the moment and the day without getting pictures!  Still perfect! 

Something strange happened. I take pictures only slightly less than I breathe. Lol So when I see something beautiful, while I still cherish it and live in the moment, I also automatically have to take a picture. But yesterday it never even occurred to me to take a picture of one of the beautiful pink floral trees and the bright blue sky above it. I just stood and stared in awe. Then I realized and went to take a picture but remembered my phone battery drained. Lol I’m not even sure what the point is of sharing this here but I’m just fascinated and it was part of my day. 

So even though I wasn’t depressed walking to the bus, I held my head slightly lowered and struggled with my heartbreak. I usually never walk with my head down. I love to look up and see people, smile at strangers, make eye contact(I’m so shy and even though I long to smile at people I don’t know, I am sometimes too shy but I’m better and better at this. I often think what if they think it’s weird or don’t care to have strangers look at and smile at them but it’s amazing how many people smile back and actually seem to appreciate my attempt at connecting) but I felt so heavy in grief. A sweet young woman with blond hair, maybe a college girl, was sitting on the corner and said to me hello, have a good day. I looked up and smiled and said thank you. I usually would have been a bit more friendly with a more uplifted tone and said something like “thanks so much, you too..” But I did express my appreciation with my smile and appreciative tone.

 She helped me more than she probably knows. I don’t know why she was sitting on a street corner or anything or why she said that too me. I know she said it to help me. Her words and tone were so sincere. But I don’t know if she was saying it throughout the day to random strangers or just to me because she sensed my griefstricken and heavy heart.

But either way, my broken heart welled with love and gratitude for this beautiful Earth angel who set out to uplift a stranger. It seems like I write about this so much here on the blog about how one simple touch, word, or gesture can do wonders and it really can. I can never say it enough. 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~

Leo Buscaglia

It is so healing to experience and even to remember later. To know someone cares to uplift people.

Now I have another “ordinary angel” to add to my infinite list.

Even though Diane isn’t here anymore, even though she’s dead and I’ll never see her again, I am blessed and thankful to have known her and I have so many beautiful memories of her and our days together. My heart breaks for her sons, her grandchildren, her other family, and friends and all who know her. I know her sons and grandchildren and other family members/friends who lived with her and know her better than I do and knew her outside of the context of work, have to be suffering more than I am. While it’s all of our loss and a loss to the whole world, the loss is truly theirs and most of the sympathy and healing messages/energy should go to them. 

One thing that I find comforting is that the quote “you don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone” While often true, doesn’t apply to us here. I always knew I am blessed to have Diane as my friend, to have her love. And she always told me how wonderful she thought I am.

While there are definitely moments this quote can apply to me about things, I try to live so it won’t usually. I would like to encourage us all to live in such a way that when we lose someone or something whether it’s a person, an animal, a job, or even a gadget like a phone or microwave oven, that this quote doesn’t exist for us. Let’s all know what we have while we still have it.  

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her, she did not like getting her picture taken. But I see her in my mind and remember her voice so vividly. And I know it’s enough. 

My heart goes out to you if you are struggling with grief, whether it’s new raw grief, a raw flare up, or just the same old grief you felt for years. Hugs & love to you. I am reminded to reach out like that girl who reached out to me today. Reach out to a stranger or friend or family member who is struggling or just for no reason. Who wouldn’t love a friendly smile or warm hello even if we aren’t currently sad or struggling in any way?!  Thank You, sweet girl!! 

And I am reminded to be mindful of the beauty all around us even when I’m struggling. There’s always something to smile about and be thankful for even in darkness and pain.

Much love to you ❤

Xoxo Kim

Winter

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Today is the first real snow day this Winter! It has been snowing all day and the snow is landing! A Winter wonderland! Yay! 

Of all the beautiful four seasons, I am most inspired in Winter usually. Inspired to create and take pictures and also just feeling inspired. All the seasons are inspiring but there’s just something about Winter….

Something about the gray, the cold, the barrenness, the sometimes somberness, the bare tree branches, the glistening white, the footprints and paw prints in the snow, cat, dog, and bird paws! 

Something about dreary, dreamy landscapes and the warm, cozy feeling. The idea of firesides and soup brewing on the stove. A steaming cup of hot tea, frozen sunsets, Frigid sunrises, and Winter pj’s….

Something deeply inspiring!

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I love the feel of warmth that flows through my entire body when I hold a steaming cup of hot tea or hot cocoa in my hands! The feeling of towels and hoodies just out of a dryer.

For the last few days I have been suffering devastating headaches related to my chronic pain disorder. These headaches are migraine- like headaches, not as bad as the cluster-like headaches I can get where I can’t lay down or be still and sometimes scream through the night til my throat is raw. But still absolutely devastating.
Just devastating.
Sickly headaches on the one side usually, where I have to lay down, sensitive sometimes to light and sound. Dizziness. 

A throbbing achy ache. It hurts.

Sometimes my headaches and facial pain generally occur, most days, and sometimes they go away and generally I’m pain-free, most days, or only in very mild pain that doesn’t interfere with me. It comes and goes. 

But for the last few days, they have been occurring, most severely  in the afternoon. A severe ache. Sometimes it’s hard to stand up.
They go away after a while but some days, quickly return.

My physical pain, even when it’s bad, usually doesn’t depress me even though I’m prone to temporary fits of depression. But it does sometimes provoke me to go into a “depressed-like” state. A state where I don’t get out of bed, sometimes for fear of making the pain worse, sometimes thinking what’s the point when I’m in so much pain. I stay in pj’s most of the day, avoiding things I like to do like putting my makeup on, art journaling, going out, even getting dressed..but it’s not depression. I still have the desire to do things, still have interest and appetite, it’s just I feel that the pain will either get worse or mostly ruin the fun of doing anything pleasant. And sometimes the pain is so physically severe I literally can’t stand up or I’m too dizzy and it throbs so much. 

But it’s not good to think that way.
I’m going to feel the pain anyway so why not throw a little fun and inspiration into the mix!
Doing fun things as long as I’m physically able to, can help significantly. Help me cope, distract me, and allow me to think of something other than the pain. This pain hurts me not only physically but emotionally. It hurts to hurt so much. 

But I won’t let it conquer me. If I want to stand up, I will stand. If I want to go out for a walk I will go. If I want to take pictures, to draw and paint, do stretches, I will. It takes courage and strength some days but I will muster the courage and the strength. 

There is so much beauty to be thankful for! 

Also when I keep doing fun, inspiring things even when it hurts, the habit will become more and more ingrained, the habit of having fun, coping when pain is overwhelming. 

Sometimes my pain even sends me into a deep, deep abyss of dark despair or a full blown panic. But I always find my way back to the sunlight.

For a while my pain disorder has been mostly not acting up, I have been not hurting everyday, and even when the pain would arise it was brief and mild. But this disorder flares up terribly once in a while. It’s ok though. It’s to be expected and at least I’m alive to feel pain, right?! 😀

Whenever I want to crumble, I remind myself of the goodness all around me. The beauty of Nature, my books, uplifting quotes, people, animals, taking pictures….the fact that I’m alive, the fact that pain strengthens us and teaches us, deepens our empathy, compassion for others, and our wisdom if we allow it. I won’t let my pain be in vain. I won’t let it conquer me.

 “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” – Anne Frank

My head has been throbbing today but when I look out the window and watch the little flurries, when I take a walk and listen to the white crunching, feeling the cold embrace me, when I catch a snowflake on my tongue, tasting the wet coldness, and smell the fragrance of wet concrete and hear the cars sloshing through the sludge in the streets, it temporarily burns out the pain, the emotional pain that accompanies the physical and it helps me cope with the physical pain. I look up a foggy street of white like a dream and the magic ventures through my veins. I know I can go on.

Here are some of my pictures and my favorite Winter quotes! 

“I prefer winter and fall, when you can feel the bone structure in the landscape—the lonliness of it—the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it—the whole story dosen’t show.” ~
Andrew Wyeth

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“And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.” ~ 
Roy Bean

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~
Gary Zukav

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” ~
Rogers Hornsby

While I usually promote living for the moment, not overlooking Now just to want something else, I love this quote and concept because it’s so full of hope. It shows that we have things to look forward to, whatever season (whether a season of Nature or a season of life) we are experiencing that may not be pleasant to us at the moment, it will end and something seemingly more pleasant will begin. It’s fantastic to live for now but also great to have something to look forward to and know seasons are fleeting. 

“The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” ~
Gary Zukav

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“Even in winter an isolated patch of snow has a special quality.” ~
Andy Goldsworthy

 “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” ~
Robert Frost

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 “While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~
Tom Allen

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“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~
Pietro Aretino

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“Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter.” ~
Guy Finley

Each season, each day, each stage of life, each sentient being…is important.

 “Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow.” ~
Gary Zukav

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“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ~
Charles Dickens

“I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.” ~
Taylor Swift

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I wish you much love, happiness, warmth, joy, and healing if you need a sense of healing. I hope you are staying very warm & cozy wherever you are if it’s cold. My heart goes out to anyone struggling with the cold weather or chronic pain or sickness, grief, depression, anxiety/panic, eating disorders….anything. We’re all in this together and we can help lift each other. We won’t all experience all of these things but we can use whatever experiences we have, no matter how serious or less serious, and our basic empathy to better understand to some degree, each other’s pain.

“I will keep a smile on my face and in my heart even when it hurts today.” ~ Og Mandino ❤ 😀

Xoxo Kim 

My (somewhat recent) Dream {you can be greater than anything that can happen to you}

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As I posted here previously, I have vivid dreams that I frequently remember. Sometimes they’re inspirational.
My dreams aren’t usually bad, negative, or scary. They’re often strange. Bizarre beyond comprehension. And when not bizarre beyond belief, usually just quite ordinary like an extension of a normal day.  But I can often gather little parts of them, bizzare or not, that can be analyzed or interpreted. I like my dreams. They seem so real. And I love that I remember them so easily, I even remember dreams I had years ago.
My dreams are so profound and so intense, like I can experience my emotions in my dreams just as strongly as during my waking hours. 

I believe that dreams are usually just stuff we have been thinking about consciously or unconsciously whether it’s important or not so much. I think it’s often just our brains releasing everyday stuff in symbols or images as we sleep. Like a kind of replenishment. I think sometimes we have certain dreams for a certain reason that we aren’t consciously aware of. Some deep, seemingly unreachable, part of the Self is attempting to reveal something.  I love the mystery of dreams and I think they often try to take unconscious thoughts and put them into the conscious mind.

Sometimes I know things unconsciously that I don’t realize in my waking hours. These messages come to me during my slumber and I’m often blessed enough to carry the message out of the dream and into my wakening. 

In another post I mentioned that I have a recurring dream while I sleep sometimes, when I’m depressed and suicidal or having suicidal thoughts. The dream is someone chasing me and trying to kill me and in my dream I want so desperately to live and will do almost anything to survive. I’m passionate about living. My desire to live in this dream is overwhelming and I would do almost anything to save myself. This is a dream I usually only have when I’m depressed and having some degree of suicidal thoughts.

I believe it’s my unconscious mind letting me know I really do want to live, deep inside I want to live, not to listen to and give into the deadly thoughts and urges, that the depression is deceiving me into thinking I should die. The depression is clouding my Truth. My Truth is pure like sparkling white snow glistening on a cold Winter day. But depression comes along like a speeding truck headed straight for me, leaving tracks of mud upon my pure Truth. But no matter how much mud and soil and sludge it leaves upon my Truth, my inner self, my Truth and my authentic Self is still pure and sparkling, still fierce, still strong. No pain can take that. My Truth is that life is always a blessing even when it doesn’t feel so, that there’s always beauty and hope and something to carry on for, something to smile about and be thankful for even when pain or circumstances are overwhelming. No matter how much it hurts. Even when it feels like it will never get better, like all hope is lost. My truth is that I have a purpose and always will. My truth is that I want to live to inspire anyone I can, to share my own story, my happiness and sadness, my joy and pain, my beauty and my uglines, my strength and my weakness,and bring hope and healing to anyone in need.

A few months ago, I have been depressed again and had another dream. I dreamed that someone died. A woman named Angie. She’s not someone I know for real, I don’t know where my mind got her. I don’t think she’s based on a real person that I know of. But I read a fact about dreams that says when we see faces in our dreams they are people we once saw in our reality whether we remember seeing them or not, even if those people were never significant in our lives, even if we saw the face only once, and even if we haven’t seen them in decades. Our brain can’t make up faces. 

The faces/people we dream may not, in the dream, be based on who they really are in reality. It’s just the same physical face/appearance, nothing more necessarily. The example I read is that as a child we may have watched a man pumping gas into our dad’s car then years later dream of a serial killer and it’s the man pumping the gas! His face! Lol So while the face is real he wasn’t necessarily really a serial killer, he was just a man pumping gas whose face made it into a dream years later and the brain made him a serial killer. In the dream the serial killer isn’t that man we remember pumping gas at one point. It’s that our brain just took his face to incorporate into a dream.
Now, I have absolutely no clue how true this is. And if it’s true I have no idea how someone found this out. How does someone know our brains can’t make up faces that never existed? Maybe it’s common sense how someone knows but I’m lacking that common sense or maybe some research reveals it somehow. Some kind of neuroscience? It’s fascinating but I don’t know much about it. I did go to college for psychology and took many brain classes, even held an actual human brain in my hands, along with a spinal cord. My professor had/has a human brain collection in her basement. They float around in jars of fluid. Lol please don’t ask because I don’t know! 

She’s some kind of brain researcher in a lab and keeps the brains for her own entertainment. I would too! Lmao
This sounds like something out of some kind of science fiction or horror movie but it’s reality. So yeah.
I don’t remember over half the shit I learned back then. But it’s ok at least I’m humble enough to admit it! ;-D
It’s funny because sometimes I dream about this fact about dreams and faces that I’m not sure is really a fact. Lol
As a matter of fact, it’s only in a dream that I remember first learning it! 
I don’t remember learning this “fact”/fact while awake. I dreamed about learning this then one day I woke up and thought it was just some weird thing I dreamed out of nowhere. Then I looked it up and saw it’s actually said to be a fact! So I must have learned it and forgot but my unconscious self remembered and had it tucked away until I fell asleep one night.
I haven’t found any reliable sources to support it.
So anyway, if this is true, Angie in my dream who died, must be real since I saw her clearly in my dream. Maybe her name isn’t really Angie. 
Maybe in reality she’s not who she was in my dream. And hopefully she never really died.

Maybe I saw her on a bus one day years ago or in a class in college or in a picture on Facebook….who knows?
But in my dream she died. In my dream I did not know her well at all but the news of her death devastated me. This isn’t quite a stretch or unrealistic as in my reality I find the death of someone to be devastating, even the death of people/animals I hardly know or don’t know at all. Of course, it’s not as deep as for people who actually knew the person/animal but I am just filled with sorrow over the losses I hear of. I can see on the news that someone died or I read a Facebook status and am somewhat somber the rest of the day off and on or even the next few days. It’s not always equal for every one that I see. Some things hit harder for whatever reason.
But in my dream I was in a room full of people who all knew the woman who died. I don’t know where I was in the dream but in the dream it made sense. I think it may have been inspired my the building of the mental health clinic I go to for medication. There were big wooden tables and chairs, like lunchroom tables,  and a lady in charge….in charge of what I don’t know…., she was going around to different people with a clipboard and paper and pen and when she got to me we sat on the chairs, facing each other. I was grieving and felt a kind of fear and I sensed this woman before me was trying to push the problem under the rug, not wanting to talk about the issue directly or in depth because it was painful and uncomfortable.
She asked me questions I can’t remember. She wrote down my answers. I even remember the paper in the dream, clearly. It was white with black text and black boxes to write the answers in. 

Then the last question she asked me I do remember. She said something like: “What is the one quote you want to live by, choose a quote you truly believe in, one that is important, a quote you want to be the foundation for your life?” I thought about it for a few seconds and almost instantly a quote popped into my head. For real I was depressed and in my dream I was depressed and grieving. When I’m depressed I often have certain insecurities thinking I’m not good enough for anything or anyone and in my dream that’s how I felt.
I was afraid to answer. Feeling as if my answer wouldn’t be good enough. Just because it’s my answer, because nothing about me is ever good enough, it seems. I don’t always feel this way, only sometimes, especially when I’m depressed. And in the dream I felt this.
In reality I was feeling a bit hopeless. 
It carried over into my dream.
And the quote that came to me in my dream:
“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

I told the dream lady(who I must have also seen in my waking hours if that fun fact is in fact true, but I don’t remember her either, in my reality) and she happily wrote it down. She seemed impressed and she said to me “Now, you always remember that, don’t you ever forget it.”
And then I woke up.
I was and still am in awe of the beauty my brain creates when I sleep.
Of course my brain did not make up this quote. If only…lol if only my slumbering brain were THAT brilliant!
This is one of my favorite quotes that helps remind me whenever something bad happens, whenever I’m in pain of any kind, depressed, struggling with insecurities or painful memories of any past event or day, grief, struggling with tmjd “cluster headaches”….that no matter what it is, I can be greater if I let myself. I can be greater than anything that can happen to me. No matter how painful or devastating or tragic or sad. I have the power within to rise above it. And that goes for you as well. We can all be greater than anything that can happen to us. We don’t have to give our power to other people, situations, events, pain, things, or anything. Generally and ultimately, no circumstance, no person, no thing has power over you unless you allow it.
We have the power over ourselves. 

In some special cases, people do have the power to control us, situations get the best of us but in the long run, overall, we have the power over ourselves. We can choose to take it back when it seems to be taken away and pro-act.

Sometimes I let my pain, both physical and emotional, repress my Truth. I let it conquer me and my life’s philosophy. I let everything else, everything I know to be true to me, take the back burner and my pain prevail. But then it comes to me in my sleep because it never really left me. It’s still my Truth. It was there all along. And my dreams remind me… 

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I encourage you to listen to your dreams and your truth. Not everyone can remember their dreams at all or enough to interpret them or glean any inspirational or useful insights but if you do remember them, it’s possible a part of you deep inside is trying to tell you something. Listen. Listen to your inner Self. Not just your dreams while you sleep but your waking Truth. 
You may have values, opinions, philosophies, virtues that you generally firmly believe in or live by or want to honor and live up to eventually if you don’t already. But pain, either physical or emotional, situations, unpleasant experiences can cloud those truths and they become muddled and repressed and the pain becomes your truth instead. 
Maybe the pain tells you you can’t go on or that there’s no reason to. Maybe it tells you you’re worthless or that there’s no hope, no point, no purpose, no beauty, nothing but pain. Maybe it tells you that you aren’t good enough, beautiful enough, not equal to everyone else. Maybe it’s just so painful it feels like you have to die to end the pain, whether physical or emotional, or just curl up in solitude and give up on everything.

You can find and develop your Truth and authentic Self through reflecting, thinking, tuning in, meditating, writing, looking for evidence throughout your every day and your whole life to see what you really believe deep within, think about how you handle or have handled various situations and how you felt about the situations and how you handled them(were you sorry you reacted a certain way? Proud of your actions? Was there some sense of dissonance with how you reacted and how you felt? Did the two match up?), think about how you really feel deep inside around certain people, in certain circumstances, reaching out to others, photography if it’s your interest, searching through books, magazines, images and words and seeing what jumps out at you. What captures your heart and resonates with you? It doesn’t matter if you know why something captures you or not or if you never knew something appeals to you til now. Your deeper self knows. I got this idea off of author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, searching through magazines, stores, catalogs without the intention to buy anything, just listen closely and see what calls to you, what clothes, objects, jewelry, vacations, people… call to you? Which ones tug at your deepest parts? Which ones make your pulse speed a bit faster? Which ones make you tingle all over?….glue pictures to paper or a journal and it’s your self discovery journal/journey….keep up with it often to keep in touch with your deep inner Self who may be buried beneath layers of expectations of others or society as a whole or yourself that you think you should be, buried beneath fear, anxiety, pain, and anything else. 

Your pain is very real. But pain clouds our judgment making it not sound so we forget our authentic Self and our deeper Truth. Don’t listen to that pain when it deceives you. Definitely listen to your pain, tend to it, embrace it if you can, accept it, let it teach you and strengthen you and deepen your wisdom, but not conquer you and delude you. That’s not you. It’s part of you for sure, maybe even a significant loud part that screams in your eardrums, screams in your face. But screaming and throbbing and being loud doesn’t make it true. The true you is what deserves to be honored even when your Truth isn’t screaming and loud. It’s quiet and gentle and calm and warm and deep, whispering  inside but it’s evermore worthy of being honored than that loud, screaming pain that demands you to give up and lose all hope and joy. It’s more powerful than pain and delusions, quiet and gentle as it is.

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Sarah Ban Breathnach is amazing! I love her and she’s one of my greatest heroes, though I never met her in person. I would love to though! The book I referred to above with the self-discovery activity is “Something More – Excavating Your Authentic Self.” She also mentions self exploration and authentic Self activities in her book “Simple Abundance.”

Her books are mostly directed at women but they really can help anyone.

I wish you much love, hope, healing, happiness, and joy. And I hope you will always make the choice to honor your deeper self, your authentic Self, your Truth. Even when other people don’t like the true you, even when it’s hard to honor yourself. Always choose life, always choose you.

Xoxo Kim