Tag Archive | Humility

Loving those who are still sleeping

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“Once you awaken you will have no interest in judging those who sleep.” 

Yes! Sometimes it may be tempting to speak of love and compassion then negatively judge those who do not act as lovingly as we ourselves do or think we do. We may learn something new, become financially better off, obtain an advanced school degree, become enlightened in some way, get an amazing job promotion, lose weight, live a healthier lifestyle….then come back to judge those who are still less educated, less well off, less wise in certain ways. 

But I believe true wisdom is letting others be. Let them be how they are, embrace them in the state they are currently in while wishing the best for them. We do not have to be arrogant or condescending in our ways. It’s great when we accomplish something amazing and deepen our wisdom and compassion but it doesn’t mean we have to become smug about it. Even if we try to help them wake up, we can do this in non condescending ways remembering that we were not always so wise or educated and that there will always be those more wise, educated, skilled, or intelligent than we are. 

The longer I live, the more I realize the importance and deep wisdom of humility. 

This is a lovely quote that sums it up so perfectly. 

Much love & light to you!

❤ 😀

Xoxo Kim 

Humble

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“I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility. I don’t mean by humility, doubt of his power. But really great men have a curious feeling that the greatness is not of them, but through them. And they see something divine in every other man and are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.” ~ John Ruskin

This quote is full of so much wisdom! Being humble is a good thing and doesn’t mean we are not confident in our own views, ways, lives, self…

Sometimes it’s tempting to boast or become arrogant when we feel that we know something or come to see things in a more enlightened way than before or more enlightened way than it seems most around us see things. And even if we are correct and others are wrong, it’s still better, in my opinion, to be compassionate and humble. So what if we’re right and they are all wrong? It doesn’t make us better or more valuable than others. It doesn’t make us more worthy of anything. It doesn’t make us great to brag or be proud (at the expense of others) of our own great qualities. 

Also, it’s possible to be one hundred percent certain we are right…..then find out we were wrong all along! lol There have been occasions I would be arguing with someone and *know* I was the right one only to find out later that I was in fact very wrong!
I was completely convinced I was right. You never know, you may just be wrong. 

It’s good to be open to hearing all sides of things even if we know we are right. This can deepen our empathy and also help strengthen our own views and arguments. Why only want to remain “safe” in our own world of only things that confirm what we believe or know? Isn’t it great to be challenged? Even when it’s uncomfortable? I think so! 

I believe it’s best not to view ourself as somehow “special” or different or greater than the rest. We may have greater intelligence or compassion or beauty, more skills or talents or money or friends or be more giving and have better morals or anything than someone else but that doesn’t make us a better person. Also, while there’s so many less wise and intelligent than we are or think we are, there’s so many who are more wise and intelligent. And we can always learn something new no matter how much we already know. Everyone can teach us or remind us something even if it’s simply how not to be.  It’s possible to cherish our great qualities without feeling like we are somehow great or above others. I believe in what he says, greatness works through us. 

Anyone can be great. There are so many ways to allow greatness to work through us. Let’s welcome every opportunity to allow it. 

This quote is a great reminder that it’s possible to be self confident while remaining humble and open.

One of the best quotes ever! 😀

Much love & light to you,


Xoxo Kim 

On being humble

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“When we embody love, we are the most powerful being in the universe.” ~ Emmanuel

I wasn’t always as developed as I am now. While I have always been empathetic, compassionate, loving, and understanding of others, not all of those qualities of mine were always as deep or as vast as they are today. I used to be more judgmental than I am now, sometimes criticizing people or things without thinking it completely through if it’s really necessary, sometimes overlooking the fact that I also do things that can, maybe even “should” be, judged critically.

“The praise that comes from love does not make us vain, but more humble.”
 ~James Matthew Barrie

I think for most of us, we evolve the longer we live, the more we experience even if we don’t realize we’re evolving. And when we do realize we are becoming wiser, more educated, more aware,  it’s possible to let it run away with us, let ourselves become a little bit too stuck up or arrogant, too proud, let our heads get too big.

Sometimes I feel so enlightened in some respects. I see things so much more clearly than I did before. I see how wrong I was in some ways about some things. And there have been occasions when I caught myself becoming too full of myself, arrogant, judgmental when I would have an encounter with someone who I perceived as not to be as “enlightened” or aware as I am.
Someone who still holds opinions that are not very evolved or opinions I disagree with or someone who handles those opinions in ways I don’t appreciate or wouldn’t do myself.

Like when I would meet someone who did not realize things or know things that I now know or realize.  And I would criticize the person for it, totally neglecting to realize that at one point I did not realize this or something else, either and that right now at this very moment there are things I don’t know or understand, that I am so less developed than I will be in years to come, with age and much more experience. I’m not the most enlightened being on Earth and likely never will be.  And that’s ok.

It reminds me of when I would take certain Logic and critical thinking classes in college. In the beginning of one class, our professor told us that in a few weeks we would already know so much more than the average person about reasoning, arguing, debating. He said we would begin to see all the flaws in people’s reasoning in everyday life. People around us, people on TV, commercials, everywhere. He said him, as a Logician with extremely advanced reasoning skills and nearly flawless logic, couldn’t turn off his ability to instantly detect flaws in reasoning even when he would be out with friends having a simple or trivial conversation, watching TV whether it was comedy movies or political or religious debates, reading, everywhere. His knowledge of Logic, fallacies, arguments…is so superior he can’t help but just see how everyone else’s logic is just so flawed. He often had to resist the urge to correct everyone everywhere. 

I had a few philosophy professors who told us, although probably mostly in jest, that we may soon regret taking the class because all of  a sudden everyone around us becomes so “stupid,” unenlightened, or unreasonable that it’s nauseating. Lol 

They said we may become arrogant, inpatient, intolerant of everyone who has never taken a logic or critical thinking class. And it was true. I did start to detect flaws in people’s reasoning everywhere I would go, even in simple, everyday conversations. I noticed how fallacious so many arguments really are. Sometimes it was so frustrating to know so much more than the average person about certain things.

And years later when I began to actively practice and meditate upon universal compassion and general tolerance more than ever before and realized it’s the best way for me to be, I started to sometimes catch myself judging others who weren’t that way.

Sometimes I would give myself a pat on the back for being “just so much more evolved” than most people I know or come in contact with.

When someone would get worked up during an argument, sling an explicit insult at an opponent, argue in flawed ways like I used to do, I would be critical of those people, praising myself for being “beyond that.”

Now I quickly correct myself if ever I catch myself doing that. I’m usually patient in the face of other people’s impatience, gentle with other people’s aggression, non judgmental of someone else’s judgments, tolerant of other people’s intolerance and accepting of someone else’s lack of acceptance. I understand that not everyone will be understanding and I have more compassion than I used to, for those who lack compassion. 

Constructive criticism is often a good thing but it can be delivered in a humble way. Assertiveness is necessary in some cases, firmness and unwavering confidence and strength in the face of some injustice.

Love & compassion & acceptance that I write or speak of, in no way means backing down and not speaking up. It doesn’t mean letting people get away with things they should not get away with. It simply means knowing bad things happen, injustice exists in the world, people have differing and horrible opinions and do horrible things but we don’t have to sink to the level of getting even, wishing horrific things on people as punishments, slinging insults and hurting others to seek retribution.

It’s possible to be firm, assertive, grounded, loud, opinionated but loving. 

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It’s important to stand up for whatever our Truth is, to advocate for what we believe in, speak out against injustice, abuse, cruelty in any form, to defend those who need us, speak up for those who need supporters…but we can do this while promoting love instead of bashing those who disagree. “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

It’s not always easy but I believe it’s worth the struggle.

I’m very into Buddhism which teaches universal love and compassion. I’m not a Buddhist but I read about it everyday and practice many of their principles. There are more things I don’t know and understand about Buddhism than things I do know and understand. But I learn more and more each day.

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to incorporate many of their virtues into your own life.
And it’s compatible with religions including Christianity, Judaism, and others. Some people disagree or don’t realize. But Buddhists don’t necessarily believe in any specific god and their principles can go along with the principles of various religions.

You can think of Buddhism as a philosophy or as a religion.

Monastic Buddhists are seriously dedicated, hardcore Buddhists who follow everything in the Lamrim, every principle in excruciating detail and lay Buddhists are looser in their views or lifestyles. They take Buddhism seriously but don’t necessarily follow every principle of Buddhism.

One of the things I love completely about genuine Buddhism and true Buddhists or pro Buddhists is that they teach and promote certain principles and ways of life but they do not enforce them or judge those who do not adopt those views, attitudes, and ways. They teach, guide, advocate for but fully accept that others will not and they embrace those people anyway. This way they remain peaceful within and allow others to be what they will.

I think sometimes when some of us become enlightened on something or think we have and realize we were wrong or utterly ignorant or clueless previously, it can instill embarrassment into us, embarrassment that we did not know or realize this all along, it’s now so obvious, how wasn’t it always this blatant? And the humiliation is so strong we want to avoid it, repress, deny it and run fast away instead of facing it. So what do we do in this case? What makes it easier to avoid confronting ourselves on how wrong or clueless we were before? What’s often easier than admitting I was wrong? Judging, criticizing others who are in the place I used to be in, those who know less about something I now know more about, those with an opinion I once shared but now converted to a “better” one. It’s easier than confessing that I was wrong before and now realize or have become enlightened or changed. It’s easier to verbally attack the me I see in someone else than the real me, my own flesh and blood.

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I believe it’s important to stay humble no matter how much more I think I know. Or how right I think I am.

There will always be those who know more than me and those who know less. Those who are more primitive and those more evolved, people who are cruel and seem stupid and those whose intelligence is way out of the average person’s league, people with extreme compassion and deep understanding of others and ones who couldn’t care less to try to understand, open minded and narrow minded, educated and uneducated, enlightened and still in the dark….and to me, they all deserve compassion, empathy, and to be embraced in universal love even if they don’t display that same love or care to be embraced in it. I can still wish them the best and let them go their own way while going my way. That is true, pure, selfless love. At some point I have been and will be again, many of those things I mentioned above. 

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~Hug the hurt
Kiss the broken
Befriend the lost
Love the lonely~ 

I believe in Universal Love, higher love, all encompassing love and compassion, being One with all that is. 
Not everyone will agree and that’s ok.

Anybody can beat anybody on any given day

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I recently read a novel by Morton Reed called, “Proof of Innocence,” which is a legal suspense thriller. It takes place in California, U.S.A. In the early 90’s and is about a young boy who is accused of attempting to kill his severely abusive father while his father was in bed sleeping.

While I found this book to be very enjoyable in various ways, I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone as it depicts horrific violence in graphic detail.

Serious domestic violence /abuse, extreme child & spousal abuse, horrific sexual violence.

At some points I wanted to put the book down and quit reading .

Some parts are deeply disturbing.

I have experienced domestic abuse and while it’s not nearly as bad as the abuse carried out by the character in the book, I can still relate in so many ways, especially to the emotional abuse, extreme anger outbursts, horrific threats…

It’s terrifying. And painful.

But there are many insights and valuable lessons conveyed in this book.

Some themes are:

❤ Risking it all for love (platonic & romantic)
❤ Hopelessness & restored hope
❤ Deep friendship
❤ How one life can impact another and how one person can suddenly, unexpectedly walk into another person's life and change it for the better.
❤ Redemption
❤ Justice and what it is to be just
❤ Self exploration
❤ Trusting others
❤ Never giving up on people even when they are difficult
❤ Emotional scars and learning to live happily with them
❤ Insecurity & confidence
❤ Seeing humanity & potential even in very troubled people/criminals
❤ The benefits of psychotherapy
❤ Morality

&

Some lessons I find to be valuable which are conveyed throughout the book are:

❤ We should learn to trust ourselves and when we learn that, it won't matter so much what others do, say, or think about us. If people fail us, deceive us, or try to rip us off, we will have ourselves to fall back on and survive no matter what. We can learn to be strong, capable, and competent.
❤ Mistakes often say nothing about who the person is. Even great people make mistakes.
❤ Not all people who are considered by society to be lost causes, losers, or failures, are bad people.
❤ The past doesn't have to imprison us.
❤ Sharing our stories of pain can truly help us

My favorite character in the book is a confident defense attorney who tries to get the boy accused of attempted murder, to be found not guilty.

In the book, there is a flash back to the day this lawyer cross examined a police officer/detective in a courtroom.

Most of the details are not relevant to my post so I will not go into them too much but will provide a brief description.

This defense attorney, a strong, confident woman is cross examining a police officer and asking him questions regarding a confession.

This officer is being questioned as to whether a confession provided by an arrested person was really completely voluntary or coerced by police.

He assures the lawyer that the police did no such coercion and that the arrested person did in fact confess voluntarily.

But the officer is frustrated, forgetful, contradicts himself, and is awkward in this moment, among other things.

He is uncomfortable with her questioning and it really shows. As soon as she dismisses him, he runs out of the courtroom, quickly.

She later contacts him and has this to say:

“I wanted to let you know that, like you, I was just doing my job. Also, like you, I’m very good at it. On that day you weren’t so hot. Someday I won’t be so hot, either. It’s like the tennis pros say: ‘ anybody can beat anybody on any given day.'”

I love this and it’s so true. Each one of us will have occasions of winning, being our best, coming out on top, and owning it but then we’ll also have those occasions of falling, losing, seemingly failing, not being our best. It’s great to show compassion, forgiveness, understanding, love, and gentleness to ourselves and each other.

This lawyer is kind enough to reach out and empower the humiliated man and offer him friendship as opposed to smugly rubbing it in his face like she could have, like often does happen in cases where one person gets his/her ass handed to her/him by another.

Sooner or later, you ‘ll get your second wind.

I think we can all benefit by being like this brilliant and loving character.

She is a retired criminal defense attorney who mostly worked for more of a hobby than a career. She never cared for money and was very selective of the cases she took on, only taking on ones she truly felt compelled to work at.

Unlike many of the other defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and other law people, she truly cares for her clients and people in general. She warmly embraces those that the rest of society brands as “losers” & “lost causes.” She sees potential and humanity in seriously troubled people.

She retired because of burnout. She got too involved in her cases & the people.

In the book she is described as a beauty. A tall, slender, African American woman with long, lovely legs. Her reputation is that she is not one to be messed with, she’s confident, strong, knows her stuff.

She’s a tough broad but with a soft heart. Truly compassionate and caring about people in general. She’s financially well off, dresses expensively, has a large expensive house decorated impressively, drives an expensive car but she’s not arrogant. She has a bit of an alcoholic drinking problem that she’s not ready to abandon.

I am so inspired by so many parts of this book even though I’m so put off by other parts.

The author is not condoning the horrors in his book,, in fact he conveys the wrongness of it.

If you like legal thrillers/suspense/mysteries and don’t mind gore & graphic details of horrible violence then this may be for you.

If not, I wouldn’t read it.

I love novels about perseverance, happiness, Redemption, heartache, hope, and healing, learning to live again, love & life…and this book does display this.

I love the insights & the lessons throughout it.

But the violence & horror isn’t my cup of tea.

Xoxo Kim ❤
k

Beauty, Acceptance, Diversity, Awakening

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❤ I was blind but now I see. ❤

“Always be a little kinder than necessary. ” ~ J. M. Barrie
I am really loving how compassionate, accepting, tolerant, open-minded and loving I have become. I have always been someone who is open-minded and accepting of others, their views, and diversity. I have always been loving and not at all likely to reject a person as a friend because of a difference in perspective, attitude, or view, or because of mistakes or decisions that person made that I disagree with. Even when strongly disagreeing with one another. 

But there are occasions I have been or felt unkind, unfriendly, arrogant, bitter, or timid, or unhappy, meek, or just negative, uncomfortable,  or hostile over differences in opinion on certain topics or how the opinion was presented.  I was never cruel or outright horrible to people over disagreements and I wouldn’t reject a friend or potential friend but on too many occasions I liked that “us and them” or “us vs them” feeling. Now, I can’t even imagine why.   Now, I always want us to all be in this together, working together, no matter what differences we encounter, for a better world, a better life for us all. 

There have been occasions for almost as long as I can remember where I felt that I was lacking in personality because I have this ability to understand both sides of a debate or argument so thoroughly even if I strongly agree with one and not the other.  I can still see how someone else can feel that way. Even when I would argue or debate taking one side, I can still feel for the other. It’s like that with almost every political and philosophical topic I can think of and in personal arguments that I witness, hear of, read, or engage in.

Now I see this as a gift.  As a unique personality trait.  I have been told that I have the priceless gift, the uncanny ability to understand so deeply, and just “know” things about people, to deeply see the heart of the matter, to feel for all sides and angles, to empathize with my opponents and with people and other sentient beings, in general.

And now I’m even more this way. This natural gift is stronger.  And with conscious intention and work, I can develop it even more.

There will always be disagreements.

Some people will be wrong.

Maybe some things will never be resolved but we can choose kindness, love, compassion, and understanding as opposed to cruelty, rejection, unkindness…

Usually, when I would be bitter, it wasn’t even over a disagreement itself but the way people would present their opinion, their attitude, or way of speaking/writing. When someone would have an “in your face,” defensive, rebellious, or negative attitude, I was more ready to be hostile where when someone would be civil, gentle, accepting, I was more ready to be kind and friendly even when strongly disagreeing. 

But someone else’s unkindness or cruelty does not necessarily justify my unkindness or cruelty. No need to perpetuate that.  I prefer to perpetuate love and lavish love and kindness on others.   Sometimes the cruelest and most unkind people may need it the most.

 I have come to realize more and more that it’s ok to have strongly opposing views, it’s still possible to get along well with those who strongly oppose my views, love, compassion, acceptance is more important.  Opposing a view does not mean opposing a person. I can overlook disagreements or even see the beauty in them.

Sometimes I have felt guilty when I would have a certain opinion on a topic and then meet someone I really liked who would have an opposite view.  I felt like I was doing that person wrong.  Like I was offending…hurting..

But other occasions I was at the other end. Feeling arrogant, pompous, full of myself, telling myself I was holding the better view, the “right” view and I was the one offended, the “victim,” the reasonable one.

Now…

I have been seeing beauty in things much more than I used to and in things I never thought I would see beauty in. People who have the courage to speak up and advocate for themselves and their views whether or not I agree with their views, certain kinds of selfishness(the word “selfish” tends to have negative connotations but isn’t always a bad thing), things shattering so better things can fall into place, realizing I was wrong all along and admitting it and evolving into something better.  At one point I was so mortified when an opinion of mine would change or I would realize I was initially wrong, either incorrect or morally wrong. 

I did not want to admit that I held an inaccurate or “wrong” view.   But changing an opinion based on truly realizing that the old opinion in some way is wrong either morally or factually/logically, admitting it, and moving forward is a sign of great strength, growth, and is worthy of admiration.   According to Roman Stoic Philosopher, Gaius Musonius Rufus, we should study Philosophy and it should affect us personally and profoundly and when a philosopher lectures, his words should make those in his audience shudder. They should experience feelings of contrition or rue.  Instead of applauding the philosopher, the audience should be reduced to silence. (source, Epictetus, “Discourses,” III.xxiii.29.)

In awe and embarrassment for not knowing and now coming to know. It’s not a bad thing.

I find myself more and more “liking” comments on places like Facebook even when I disagree with them because I can still see a kind of beauty in them or because I am grateful for being introduced to a new perspective or point of view or because I find it fascinating or it gets me thinking. I don’t have to agree to like or accept it.  Or to like and accept the person who holds that view.

Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D., in her book “Finding Joy,” writes 

“We have a great deal of division in this world that dictates who you are allowed to love at a personal, intimate level. Black-white, Protestant-Catholic, Muslim-Hindu, Jewish -Palestinian are a few of the many divisions people are taught not to cross.
Fortunately, people ‘s deeper level of spirituality allows them to fall in love and in doing so break down these barriers.”
And this :
“Because love and joy are so totally intertwined, bringing joy to the planet means supporting all love between all people on the planet. Part of the consciousness of joy is realizing we are all more alike than different. The desire to belong,be respected, live free of fear, work with dignity and purpose, and find joy are common to all people.   Of course we all have different customs, histories, and traditions, but when we reach deep enough, we will find the commonalities and in doing so find joy.
Every time we cross a barrier, we build a bridge. And as we build bridges on the outside, we heal the division within us. As a result, we all have more territory to walk on, and more people to love, and more peace on the planet. “
 (p. 130-1)

Isn’t this beautiful?! 

And it’s true. It’s not to say we should ignore differences, just accept or cherish them.   Love anyway.   We can acknowledge diversity but accept it, love it, promote it..

liberal-conservative, pro-life-pro-choice, Democrat -Republican, rich -poor, atheist-theist….love anyway. We can debate, argue, disagree and love still.   Love deeper. 

Still respect.
Show some level of understanding.

It’s true, some people are wrong, either morally, factually, logically…but we can still love.  Platonic or romantic love.  Still accept.  Still cherish. Still embrace.

It won’t always be easy. But it’s possible.
I won’t project my standards or morals onto others assuming that because they act differently than I would have in a certain situation, that they must be less loving, caring, compassionate…than I am.

They can be just as loving and caring as I am. We all have convictions and reasons for making certain choices, coming to certain conclusions, having certain views.  No person is better than another. I believe people in general are basically good, with good intentions, some more good than others.

Also, we don’t have to like everyone or want to be around everyone or be friends with everyone we meet.   That’s unrealistic and not necessary.  But when we do meet someone we really like or love, a potential friend or lover, or we must be around certain people, we don’t have to not like them or abandon or reject them based on distasteful differences.   If I love/like you, and then find out you strongly oppose my views or you did something horrible, made mistakes or that you feel I have made horrible mistakes…you will still hold my heart.

There are things about me people don’t or won’t like also.   And who am I to negatively/hostilely judge?   Some people have lousy attitudes, discriminatory views and are just detrimental to be around and it’s ok to avoid them but we don’t have to avoid or lash out at every person who we disagree with.

I have been seeing opinions I once would have been absolutely appalled by, maybe even ready to lash out, and sink to insults or a vitriolic attitude or tone and even now start to feel a sense of distress but it often quickly melts to compassion, mellows out to understanding that that person who holds that view is not me and has a reason, has experiences, ways of thinking for holding those views just as I do for having other views.  That’s a person first.  A person who is no less than I am.

I can understand to a certain extent even if I cannot possibly know how someone else feels. I never claim to exactly know, just deeply understand as much as I possibly can for someone who is not that person and has not experienced what that person has.

Some opinions seem to really suck and are offensive but I can break through.  I am so enlightened now in ways I haven’t been previously, in some ways that can’t even be explained, only felt.

And there’s room for growth and always will be. No matter how enlightened and “whole” I am or become, there will always, always be room and opportunities for further evolution of the self as long as I’m living. And I now see the beauty in that fact. There was a day when I wanted to be whole and fully enlightened and know all there is to know, experience all there is to experience, and be perfect and felt incomplete and seriously unhappy about it but now I see beauty in incompleteness, in the unknown, in all that is to come.

Where some people see mistakes or flaws, where I once saw mistakes, flaws, wrongs…I see creativity, deftness, beauty, strength, opportunities for growth, for progress.

Yes, I am humbled.  And I bask in this humility.

Much love to you.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~

Benjamin Franklin

Xoxo Kim