Tag Archive | living

Starry, Starry Night

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“Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.” ~ Don McLean ❤

Recently there was this one night the sky seemed to be filled with more stars than usual. I have a camera that reaches the stars(my phone camera almost never can capture them) but my camera is lost and kind of broken(my dad broke it by cracking it against a table or something and it fell apart, sort of). I always hoped for a camera that can beautifully capture the night sky then last year I got one, not the best, probably, but an ok one.  It’s in my house somewhere but I have no clue where. And it’s a small house! Lol I don’t yet have a way to get my pics online off the camera because the camera needs wifi or to put the pictures on a computer first. And my computer isn’t set up because it needs wifi to be set up. 
So I carelessly tossed it aside. 
I should be getting wifi soon, now I regret it.

I was in awe over the beauty of the starlit night! I kept trying to take pics with my phone and it kept only capturing one star, the brightest one.
Then in one picture, it got two stars. 
 I was thankful. Sometimes it can’t even capture one.  But I wanted the whole sky full of stars to show up. 
It was amazing! They were literally twinkling!
I kept imagining what that would look like in a picture and how I would love to have and share a picture like that!  

I kept thinking “if only I was more careful with my camera!!” 
And 
“I really hope when I get a good camera or find mine, the sky looks like this again! “

It was a worse feeling than not having a camera at all because it was like a feeling of “being so close…” I have it and could have captured the stars but it’s lost because I was careless.

Like when playing a crane machine and it completely misses the desired object and it’s like “oh well.” but when it picks up the thing you want and then drops it before it makes it to the slot it’s like “omg! So close!! If only it would have held on a second later…!!” lol

 I couldn’t shake the feeling. “If only….” and “I hope…” But it was the kind of restraining hope that holds me back, not an exhilarating kind. 

And it’s not every night there’s that many stars! And big bright ones! All twinkling!  
I really felt so strongly that I was missing out.

I went back out into the backyard to look up at the starry starry night and it took my breath away and I was reminded that that’s really all that matters. Experiencing the beauty, not capturing it. 

I wasn’t missing anything.

While it’s amazing to get beautiful pictures of our experiences and the beauty all around us, sometimes the desire, activity, or opportunity to capture it can hold us back.

When we forget our phones, lose our cameras, our battery drains….and we can’t get a pic we can feel that we’re missing out, we can feel a sense of loss, a sense of a missed opportunity. 
And sometimes we can get so wrapped up trying to get the “perfect picture” that we neglect to savor the moment itself. 

Girls, (and maybe some men?) haven’t you ever had a day where your makeup looked so perfect or your hair, better than usual and it kind of felt like a waste because you weren’t going anywhere or your plans did not work out? And in some way you almost wished you did not look so good? Because there’s like nowhere to go, no one to see it. Lol I know I’m not the only one! 

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(this isn’t my picture, I don’t know the original source but it’s funny!)

That’s kind of like this experience. Like, damn, the sky looks so good! And I can’t capture it! 

;-p

I heard on the radio a couple years ago that there’s a study that shows that many people feel that it’s more important to capture and get “proof” of the fun occasions and beauty they experience than actually experiencing it. According to the radio program, most teenagers who took the survey said they would prefer not to experience something amazing if they can’t get a pic than experience it and not get pictures! I don’t know how accurate this survey/s is/are since I just heard it briefly some years ago and did not hear all the info. But I know this phenomenon is definitely true for some people. 

I have met people who felt this way and I have felt a touch of this myself on some occasions. Not that I would prefer not to experience something great if I can’t get a pic but feeling so disappointed and anxious if I couldn’t get one to the point I sometimes let the disappointment and anxiety ruin the moment.

Looking up at that starry, starry sky I was reminded that living is much more important than capturing or “proving.”  Both are great but we can’t always have both. And why let disappointment ruin the actual moment?

I almost never let “picture taking” take away my focus or experience of what is happening. That is a common problem now in society, at least the one I live among. People are obsessed with capturing and showing the fun they’re having and beauty they’re witnessing and instead of living the moment, they pull out their phones/cameras and play with them, posing instead of being natural, looking into a phone or camera instead of each other. I believe I manage a healthy balance of capturing the moment but also living it. But my problem is when I can’t capture it in at least one pic, I have felt so very disappointed. 

And it’s the same with the makeup, who cares if you’re not going anywhere or seeing anyone? Just bask in your own beauty, put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty. 

(and meet me tonight in Atlantic City ;-D lol)

It’s worth it! We don’t need a special occasion or to show anything. Wear that clingy dress, the diamond earrings, use the expensive utensils and sparkling crystal wine glasses, buy yourself flowers….each moment we’re alive is a special occasion. 

I’m thankful the sky showed me. Lol 

Also, I choose to look at the bright side! At least I got the biggest, brightest star! Lol And it looked like it was a falling star after a while!  It was like curving or something. Fantastic! 

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So pretty!

This is definitely not an airplane (my sister insists that it is but I kept my eyes on it since it was a small speck hanging over the rooftops) or the moon. It somewhat resembles one but it’s a star, I’m sure of it.
I know what an airplane and what a star looks like(although one night I did mistake a traffic light for the moon so I guess you can’t be too sure of my judgment….but this I’m sure of!)

The moon was on the other side. And it stayed in one place all night, not moving, just sparkling, until it decided to curve like this. I kept running out to check on it all night. And took like one hundred pics.  All shitty ones but I still like them.

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(this picture has two stars! I had to lighten the picture a lot to make them more visible. Very hard to see but they’re there!)

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I couldn’t imagine why I saved this picture and was about to delete it then I realized why! If you look closely you can see the shadow Of me standing on the tips off my toes desperately holding my phone up to the sky as high as I possibly can hoping to just get a few stars to show up! And also hoping the neighbors in the back wouldn’t think I’m some kind of creeper taking pictures through their windows. I promise it’s only the stars I was spying on. ;-D

It is a funny picture, kind of pathetic. Being this desperate but oh well….lol

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Don McLean – Starry, Starry Night

Mobile:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oxHnRfhDmrk

Desktop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&persist_app=1&v=oxHnRfhDmrk

I hope you’re having a great day and a beautiful starry starry night!! ❤

😀

Xoxo Kim

Love’s Power <3

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“I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight
That to someone’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet felt a tinge of regret 
For being a little too kind.” ~ Unknown 

I work at a store. It’s window service and we sell ice cream and water ice all year long. We make ice cream sundaes, banana splits, gelatis, and sell soda, candy, and some other things.

I get tips a lot. When someone gives me a tip it’s often one or two dollars or some change. On seldom occasions someone gives me a big tip. The biggest tip given to me at once 
was around eighteen dollars. That is very rare. I’m always very grateful for tips no matter how much or how little the money is, and the person who gives me one, more for the kindness than the money itself. People don’t have to give me a tip but many do, out of the kindness and goodness of their hearts.

One of the most inspiring tips I ever received is 25 cents. 

One busy night at work I saw an old man in line. I love old people. I think they’re cute and am deeply inspired by their deep wrinkles, graying or white hair, their slow movements, laugh lines, their aches and pains, the gnarled joints that reveal strength, endurance, and determination, passion, longing, and vitality entrapped in deteriorating eyes and ears but set free through the power of Touch, their wisdom, that all reveal an undying desire and will to live and survive, to keep going, to push through it all with that sparkle still in their eyes, the smile that never fades, the long life of happiness, heartache, joy, and battles and beauty they have been blessed to know.

The man was looking to his side, smiling warmly. I felt an instant warm affection for him. I saw deep wrinkles around his eyes and mouth, white hair on his balding head. His arthritic fingers had difficulty moving, grasping and his posture wasn’t straight. But he still has something to smile about.

Then I saw what he was smiling at. His grandson. An adorable little boy.

The little boy also had a radiant smile. A joyous smile that seemed to light the night.

He was so eager to order his own food. Usually when kids come with adults the adult orders the food for them. But occasionally a child wants to ask for her/his own.

This little boy, probably around ten years old, was so happy to ask for his own food. A “special needs” child, it was somewhat challenging for him but he attempted, succeeded, and was so proud. He asked for food that costs $2.50. 

I spoke to and smiled at him encouragingly to show him how well he was doing. And his grandfather stood back and watched proudly.

The little boy handed me three dollars and I gave him his fifty cents back. He stepped aside to put mustard on his food and let the others in line come up to order. When I went back to the window the little boy said to me, “Excuse me, do you have a tip cup?” 

I gladly accept tips but I don’t ask for or expect them and never put a tip cup out. One of the girls I work with does though and her tip cup was on the shelf next to the window since it was just me working that night, so I put it out the window when he asked and he took one of his quarters he got as change, smiled at me, and dropped it in. Again, he was so happy and proud. What a kind and thoughtful 
little boy. Full of courage and love.
Glowing with confidence.

My heart welled up with love and gratitude and inspiration.

I said “Thank You so much!!” and smiled and he smiled that unstoppable smile and joyfully replied “You’re welcome!” and they walked away hand in hand. A little boy and an old man.

This little boy doesn’t let a disability stop him or a struggle or a challenging circumstance. He bravely speaks up, exercises his independence, and reaches out in love.

The quarter he gave me is a beautiful, tangible reminder of love, strength, and courage.

I love to help people. It’s one of my favorite things. I’m a very shy girl, sometimes a little bit too reserved, and sometimes I let it limit me. 
And sometimes I let my depressive disorder limit me.
Sometimes when I’m deeply depressed I let myself sink and not be the best me I can be. I submerge into a deep abyss and stop everything. Stop writing and reading and sharing uplifting quotes and ideas, stop smiling, repressing all of my creative urges…
And there have been occasions I was in a position to reach out and help someone or speak up or even just make eye contact with and smile at a stranger or someone, to give all of myself, to express my love and compassion and instead, I held back, stood back or looked away in fear. 

Fear of what I would look like to others, fear of not being good enough, fear of trying to help but actually making something worse, fear of making a misjudgment and someone really did not need my help or want my kindness, fear of messing up in front of someone and looking silly not in a good way, fear of someone negatively judging me for some reason, fear of coming off as useless or rambling, fear of being misunderstood, fear of someone seeing me truly, seeing me for me and not liking it, the real me, fear of someone not “properly” receiving whatever I wanted to offer, fear. 

Fear.

I let it interfere with my loving compassion, the tenderness that my heart longs to lavish on the world, I let it interfere with my desire, my longing to reach out and embrace, console, heal, and love.  

I don’t always let it stop me. But too often, I do. 

And a little boy reminded me of that one summer night when he reached out through the loving kindness in his heart and showed me love even though it was a challenge for him.

He was bold enough to ask for what he wanted. And brave enough to love.

And through his own love, kindness, and courage, he was able to encourage and teach/remind me of a lesson. Love is more powerful than fear. More powerful than pain of any kind.
It’s more powerful than any struggle or challenge or disability. It’s more powerful than pain and despair, depression and the desire to give up. If we summon the love in us, it’s more powerful than anything else.

“Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack

The only true disability is the choice to let fear or other unpleasant emotions stand in the way of love. And that disability can be corrected.

My love, my kindness, my willingness to help will not always be gratefully appreciated. I will experience forms of rejection, ridicule, apathy, people who see me for me and don’t like what they see. I will be misjudged now and again. I will be disliked, not appreciated, ignored. And that’s ok. I don’t love merely to be loved in return, to be appreciated and cherished. Those are amazing things to have but I don’t expect or demand them in return for my love, compassion, and kindness.

If someone does not receive my kindness and love the way I intend, it’s ok. It can be painful but it’s worth the risk. I will move forward and love some more. There will always be someone who does not care for my help, love, friendship, and kindness and there will always be someone who does. I won’t always know for sure who will open up and receive my love and compassion and who will not.

“Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack 

But I won’t stand back in fear of those who won’t. I will love again and again. And if it touches someone for the better, my dream is fulfilled. If it’s denied, ignored, ridiculed, criticized, and rejected, I will go on loving. My dream is still fulfilled. My dream to BE a being of love. To be an example of love. Love for others and the self. Love for people I don’t know personally and for people I do. Love for the most loving and beautiful people. Love for difficult people and ones who just don’t care. Love for those who aren’t easy to love.

“I’ve got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud.” ~ Jim Croce 

Love can be an emotion, an affective feeling and it can be a verb, an action, an expression. Whenever we reach out to make the world a better place or touch someone’s life for the better with the light of our own lives, we reach out in love. 

I hope you, too, will reach out in Love if it’s your true passion. If Love is your Way I hope you honor it and love. Love any way you can. Writing positive and uplifting comments to people on blogs, statuses, videos, encouraging your friends and family unconditionally, volunteering to help people or animals, being a loving mother or father or friend, working to help people, giving to those in need, smiling sweetly at people, helping homeless animals or people, sharing uplifting quotes, a warm hug or friendly hello, providing warmth and light to those in the cold darkness…you don’t need money or a specific job or even a lot of time. You can incorporate love into your every day. The most simple acts of kindness are enough to light up the world.
Even when you struggle to move your tongue, I hope you speak in Love.  And when your hands tremble in fear, I hope you still reach out to touch. When your heart is broken and scarred I hope it continues to guide you, anyway. And when you’re lonely and your arms are holding yourself tightly in your sorrow and despair, I hope you find the strength to let go and embrace another, someone else who may need your loving arms, your broken heart, your deep understanding. When your eyes are filled with tears and pain, I hope you find the courage still, to look deeply into someone else’s and find something that resonates with you, look into someone else’s eyes and see a reflection of yourself.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s
about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

I am forever grateful to all of those who remind me. Remind me to love, to take risks, to honor me, even though it won’t always be easy.

“Everyone needs reminders that the fact of their being on this earth is important and that each life changes everything.”
~Marge Kennedy

I heard and read the word “encourage” my whole life and knew what it means for about as long as I can remember. It means to bring some kind of support to someone, to help give someone a push to keep going. But until now I never realized the word “courage” in it and the “en” in front of the “courage.” To inspire courage. Like the word “enable.” able=ability “en” to empower or allow. To help someone find the courage that dwells deep within.

It’s an interesting revelation.

We have courage or potential for courage deep within us already and someone can help coax it out for us, even a young child.

We often think about what we can teach and remind children but let us stop for a minute and think what a child can remind and teach us.

Xoxo Kim

Be Average. Be Unique. Be YOU!

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“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton

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“Live to express, not impress”

There’s this fear of being “average” or having an average life. A life that looks just like everyone else’s life. 
One that doesn’t stand out. One that isn’t radically “different” in some significant way. A need to find, list, and ponder ways in which we are very unlike everyone else.
And there’s this fear of being “too different,” of not “fitting in.” An urge to repress parts of the self that may come off as “weird” or “not cool.” An urge to mold parts of ourselves into things that look like everyone else’s things.
There are people who force themselves to do things, wear things, be things…they don’t really like just because it’s the style, trend, the in-thing.
Then there are those who are just the opposite.
They make it a point to resist what is currently popular just to be different and stand out, perhaps for shock value. So when they’re with a group of “clones,” they can say “I don’t have a smartphone” or “I don’t have a social media account ” or “I don’t watch tv” or…..and watch the looks on people’s faces, the “really?!,” “Are you kidding me?!!?” looks. 
They get to be different. Unique. Because they rebel against the masses.
This is great if it’s something they really don’t want because they naturally aren’t attracted to it or they feel it’s somehow detrimental to them but if we avoid things just to be different, we deny our true selves. Which is the same as conforming. Denying what we really want and who we truly are, merely to “fit in.”
Anti-conformity is denying who we really are or what we really want, merely to be or appear to be different.
But underneath you will always just be you.
And that’s ok.
No matter how much you resist conformity, there are ways you are still average, just like the next person.
No matter how much you conform, you are different somehow.
It’s a struggle to find the perfect balance of being “different enough” but “similar enough.”
Conforming but bringing our very own uniqueness to it.
A struggle that is unnecessary. Uncalled for.
We don’t have to be different in significant ways than the average person. We don’t have to be exactly the same, carbon copies of everyone else.
We’re all just average and we’re all very different.
I’m very much the same as everyone else but I also have my own uniqueness.
If I provide you with a description of myself, my personality, it will fit some other girl somewhere, very well. I love old music, stilettos, makeup, photography, chocolate, cake, dark poetry, happy songs, comedy movies, romantic comedies, love songs, vanilla frosting, personal development…
Someone else somewhere can say all this too.
 But we will still be very different than each other.
Just like if I provide you with a physical description of myself, my physical appearance.
It will fit someone else perfectly. Long brown hair, blue eyes, 5 feet, 5 inches, kind of thin….
But we will still look very different.
Because we are different. No matter how similar we will ever be to another, we have something that makes us different. Maybe that something can’t be identified or named. Maybe we can’t put our finger on it but it’s there.
We have our own perspectives, ways of looking at things, ideas, opinions, views, experiences, wisdom, knowledge, a combination of things that are unique and no one else will ever be. Even if we have an identical twin or triplets or anything.
But we are also average. Just like the next person.
We have desires, needs, goals, lives…hearts that pulsate, smiles that convey happiness and warmth, a longing to connect with others, blood that flows….just like everyone else.
The struggle of finding the perfect way to appear next to others and compare with others is not a necessary one. What is important is being our best selves. Living your passions. Basking in the beauty of life. 
Answering your calling. Whether it’s work, hobbies that are just for fun, travel, writing, watching TV, playing with your kids, adopting a child or pet, volunteering, helping people in some way…
Looking within to our authentic selves, honoring that Self, our Truth. Your Truth.
Forget conformity.
Forget anti-conformity.
Remember YOU. 

“So you think you know the answers, oh no
Well the whole world’s got you dancing
That’s right, I’m telling you
It’s time to start believing, oh yes
Believe in who you are, you are a shining star” ~Lionel Richie ❤

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Xoxo Kim

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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.

Love Out Loud

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“Always leave the world a little better than you found it.”

To me, one of the greatest joys of living is helping others, making things go more smoothly for anyone I can.

There are many simple ways to help people all throughout everyday. Simple things that have a great impact. We don’t have to have a certain job or anything to help out. There are endless opportunities in every day. ❤

There are ways to help people that will go unnoticed by everyone but the person helping but if these simple things are not done, it will be noticed.

You may think something along the lines of “Why even do this when no one will even know? Not even the person being helped will know!” But if you don’t, people will be affected in an unpleasant way.

For example, seeing milkcrates or boxes in the middle of a street with no one else around. If you move those crates or boxes away so people in cars can more easily drive by, there’s a very good chance no one will ever know someone was kind enough to move them. They never knew they were there in the first place. They’ll just drive by without ever knowing. They can’t bask in the joy or gratitude of knowing someone helped them because they don’t know someone did help them.

But if we don’t help by moving those boxes or crates, they will know they’re there. They’ll have to stop, get out of their cars and move them themselves. Or worse, they’ll crash into them, not paying attention. They will feel the impact of the hassle they have encountered. So there really is a purpose to doing simple things that will go unnoticed when the tasks are completed. If they’re not completed, they will be noticed so why not make things easier for people in general whenever we can?! We’re generally under no obligation to help make things easier for people, and if you don’t it doesn’t make you a horrible person, but it’s still fantastic to help anyway!

I don’t need credit or to be paid back in anyway whatsoever. Helping people is enough. I was thinking about this concept one day at work, recently, and it always brings me joy to think this way but I’m always unprepared for the immensity and the depth of the joy that hits me and flows through me, tingling in my bones when I think this way. It’s breathtaking.

The thrill of all the possibilities we have, all the chances we can take, to help anyone we
 can in big and small ways. It’s exhilarating!

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Even if it’s just eye contact with and a pleasant smile to a stranger, giving someone your seat on a bus or a waiting room, not judging distressed and overworked parents with screaming kids in a crowded place when everyone else is repulsed and giving them disgusted looks, actively listening to someone with a genuine interest in understanding instead of just listening to deliver an appropriate sounding response, being a loyal friend, adopting a pet and giving him/her a loving furever home, paying for someone in back or in front of you in line at a store, writing little love notes with inspirational quotes or messages and leaving them in random places for anyone to find, being extra patient with the stressed cashiers in busy stores, holding your tongue when you feel like lashing out at someone, trying hard to understand someone else’s situation that you never experienced for yourself, the opportunities are infinite.

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Sometimes I think of all the ways I may have been helped by some kind stranger through the years, never even knowing it, never saying thank you because I never had the chance. All the puddles I never sat in on busses because someone dried them before I had a chance to sit in them, all the gum that never got stuck in my long hair on public seats somewhere because someone cared to remove it before someone’s hair or clothes got destroyed, the objects that were removed out of aisles of stores, off of pavements, and out of streets before I tripped over them not paying attention, I think of the houses and stores that never got broken into, the people who never got snatched off the streets because someone cared enough to call the police and scare the person away/catch the suspicious person.

I remember one day I was texting while crossing a bus terminal to get onto a bus and stepped in front of another bus, speeding at me, not paying attention. It was more than just a “close call.” I was nearly hit. And so was one of the men who saved me. The bus driver hit the horn but couldn’t stop fast enough. And it was speeding fast. Two men yelled and risked their own lives to save mine. Men I never saw before that day and never saw again. They did not know each other or me. They saw it turn and coming my way when I did not. They both jumped out into the street, one pulling me, the other pushing me. The one actually put his body in front of the bus to push me out of the way, almost falling on top of me to get us both out of the way. If they weren’t at the bus stop that day I probably wouldn’t be here today. Or I would be physically damaged. They did not know who I am but they know that I’m someone. They never knew my name, my values or opinions, my story, my personality, my interests or anything about me other than the fact that I exist. But they clearly valued my life that moment as much as their own, disregarding anything else about me.

Because of that I never look at my phone or anything while crossing a street. Ever. Not once since that day a few years ago, have I even briefly glanced at my phone while crossing even small streets with no traffic. Even when I’m really into something on my phone when I get to a street I act like the phone doesn’t exist. I honor their heroic act.

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While I felt immense gratitude I was mortified. It was so stupid to be texting while crossing a busy street/bus terminal. I put not only myself in danger but others. On the bus that day it’s all people could talk about, how lucky I was, how close it was to a tragedy…Luckily no one said out loud how stupid I was. I couldn’t get off that bus fast enough.

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(this is the bus stop But on a different day lol! I was looking for a pretty picture to put here and coincidentally this is one of the first to show up on my phone which is broke so all my pics aren’t showing up…)

But if I wasn’t texting that day crossing into the street, I would still be doing stuff like that days after that and maybe another day I wouldn’t have been so lucky to have two Earth angels so close to me. So they saved my life that day and possibly days after. I think of all the days I wasn’t hit by a bus because two heroic men taught me a great lesson. Texting while crossing or driving is a dumb thing to do. It’s dangerous. It’s deadly. To the one texting and the ones around that person.

There are so many blessings we don’t even realize we are living or have lived because they’re the things that go unnoticed when they are done by someone but their absence would be noticed if they weren’t done by someone.

We can give thanks to and for all the Earth angels and heroes out there and those no longer with us by paying it forward. Always being the one to leave the world a little better than we found it. By loving out loud.

Xoxo Kim


The Beauty that Stalks the Darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo Kim

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

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;-D

Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’

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Risk
“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. 
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams in front of a crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair, to try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greates risk in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love and live. Chained by his certitudes, he is a slave, he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.”
-Janet Rand

I came across this poem recently and I agree with almost the entire thing. The only part I do not agree with is the “…and becomes nothing.” part. I get the gist of it but I would never call someone “nothing” no matter what. We are all someone.  

I always say that I find inspiration and beauty everywhere. And it’s true.   Many things inspire me deeply. But sometimes, on more seldom occasions, I find something that pulls on my insides. Like this poem. It’s a physical tugging feeling inside, like it’s literally pulling on me. These words speak to me so much and I know they will inspire me and guide me in all the days to come. Moments when I’m tempted to hold back. Hesitate and contemplate not reaching out or speaking up or not allowing myself to fill with hope out of fear of losing, falling, rejection, stumbling, someone not appreciating something I say/do……

But I will keep remembering to reach out anyway, love deeply anyway, be happy anyway, hope anyway, risk stumbling and falling, risk rejection, risk the indifference of someone I have much gratitude for, risk appearing stupid in front of others, risk people using things against me later that I reveal now, risk it all for love. Love for others, for the world, for myself, for life, for raw honesty and openness and sharing….

Risk it all to live deeply and truly. Risk it all to be fully alive. Pain, indifference, rejection, painful criticism, appearing to be something negative to others…all of these things feel unpleasant but they are part of living truly and deeply. They are sometimes the result of taking risks and I believe they are worth it.

We can close ourselves off to the world, shut up and shut down to avoid loss and rejection and other unpleasant things and we may succeed in that for the most part. But we will also succeed in not getting the most out of the gift of life. If we don’t allow ourselves to experience the depth of relationships with ourselves, others, life, and the world, we’re less likely to feel true loss and rejection but also less likely to experience the joy and depth of true love. If we don’t reach out to people we can often avoid rejection but at the price of avoiding true connection. Is it really worth the cost?

If we don’t share our opinions and stories with others, we will be less likely to be ridiculed and criticized but also be less likely to inspire and impact people and allow people to get to know us.  

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Repressing love, emotions, and our true selves accomplishes those things but at the price of not being fully alive.

And reminders now and then like this poem are so pleasant and joyous.

The painful struggles that come with taking risks can be used to our advantage. To help us grow and learn, teach others, and identify with others.

” Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin'” ~ LeeAnn Womack

Xoxo Kim

The Wound Is the Place where the light enters you

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“There stood Beethoven, gravely ill and totally deaf.  Eyes closed, he kept conducting the orchestra even after they had ceased their performance and the audience had risen to its feet in thunderous applause.  As a singer stepped from the choir to turn him around to see those whose shouts of bravo resonated throughout the convert hall, tears of elation filled his eyes.
Perhaps the worst loss a composer could experience had been the catalyst for a remarkable adaptive creativity that allowed him to transcend his tortures to become immersed in the thrill of conducting the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, the ‘Ode to Joy’ “
(Pearsall, Paul (2003). The Beethoven Factor: The New Positive Psychology of Hardiness Happiness, Healing, and Hope. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing, p.xi.)

Have you ever read this before now? It’s beautiful,isn’t it? I was introduced to this true, short and sweet story when I picked up the book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living” by Jacqueline Kelm. I seriously recommend this book! It is great! The author helps us develop and strengthen the habit of seeing the good in life. She provides steps to exercises that we can engage in to really ingrain the habit into our heads. It has great reviews and testimonies. But her steps should not be taken loosely if you want true effectiveness. We must work at in seriously and be dedicated. I believe it helps to not view this as a hassle or boring task just to get the results. It benefits to view it as a joyful journey that will eventually lead to greatness and evolution of the self.

The book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living,” has a forward by David Cooperrider and Mr. Cooperrider provides the above story about Beethoven. He explains that Beethoven became extremely successful “not only in spite of but because[emphasis added] of the way he related to his adversity.” He was able to rejoice in this moment and inspire all who experienced this with him and discovers his story. 
This is a great lesson to all of us. Any painful or difficult experience we endure can be used as the catalyst for positive change. Because of our pain, we can become even better, wiser, stronger, and more enlightened than we would be without that painful experience. Disabilities of any sort, health issues, losses, any difficult or painful situation can be used to our advantage if we allow it and work with it.
When we’re currently experiencing pain, we may not be able to see how this can possibly benefit us. But if we think back to previous painful situations that contribute in some ways to better us, we can keep hope and strength alive that this, too, will somehow be advantageous to us.
You can be creative with your situation and think of ways that this difficulty can actually be your strength and inspiration. Then work to make that happen.

Going out to intentionally look for pain is not the best idea someone can have.
But as long as we live, some kind of pain is probably inevitable for almost everyone. So let us take that pain and use it to evolve in any ways we can. We can build on ourselves and develop a greater sense of wholeness. Pain can help people be more empathetic and compassionate to others. It can help us acknowledge and appreciate the simple treasures of life.   It can provoke us to change our whole lives around for the better.
So if you are experiencing pain or any difficult struggles, keep in mind that even though it may not feel this way now, you can take that pain and run with it, own it, and be better for it.

Whenever I am hit with a severe episode of clinical depression I let that be my reminder of how much better I am than I used to be. I no longer contemplate killing myself when I’m severely depressed because I worked on myself intensively to better myself. And now when an episode hits, no matter how severe, throughout the episode, I generally have hope that it will end and I keep in mind how strong I have become.

It’s extremely painful but I am able to use it and view it in a positive way.

Own every step you take.
Let your pain make you better, not bitter.

And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on….

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“I choose to FIGHT BACK! I choose to RISE, not fall! I choose to LIVE, not die! And I know, I know that what’s within me is also WITHIN YOU.” (Mayor Pappas, “City Hall” movie quote)

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I struggle with a severe chronic facial pain disorder. It’s bad. And currently incurable with no known definite effective medical treatments.

“Pain is no evil, unless it conquers us.” ~ Charles Kingsley 

There are some treatments and home remedies that help sometimes. I’m not always in agony but I do have flare ups now & again that are just pure, raw agony. Agony beyond belief.

“Pain can be endured and defeated only if it is embraced. Denied or feared, it grows.” ~ Dean Koontz 

A kind of anguish that brings me to the point of despair.  I can’t believe my body is capable of experiencing so much physical anguish.   I can’t believe anyone can endure this.   It’s incomprehensible. It’s the most physically painful experience of my life. 

“While there’s life, there’s hope.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

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And when this happens, sometimes I feel that I’m wishing I were dead. But as I have also mentioned, I also struggle with a severe depressive disorder that strengthened me and enlightened me. It awakened me.

“Today I will see something positive in all situations.”

I have developed a life philosophy that helps me see that life is a true gift no matter what. No matter the wretched agony I am currently enduring.

“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

So last week in the middle of the night, lonely & grieving over the loss of my previous state when I wasn’t in as much pain, I thought I wanted to be dead. It was a very brief thought.   But I soon realized that it wasn’t true. It felt that way for a few seconds. And I remembered my own life philosophy that I have invested so much in, building and nurturing and maintaining.   All of the things I learned. All of my strength & inspiration.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all.” ~ Emily Dickinson 

And I kept going, kept telling myself life is good and I kept my hope alive that my severe pain would end or somehow I would learn to cope even though I couldn’t even begin to imagine how anyone can cope with this.  It’s just so agonizing.  

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein 

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It’s like the worst throbbing toothache anyone can ever have along with an earache & sinus ache all rolled into one all over my face and head. Just throbbing for hours or days almost nonstop, around my temples, eyes, jaw, sinuses, ears, shoulders, neck…. I was going out of my head, not knowing how anyone can live that way.  It takes an emotional toll on me.

“Hope is the little voice you hear whisper ‘maybe’ when it seems the entire world is shouting ‘no’.”

I was pacing the floors. Running in and out of rooms, wanting to scream and scream into the night until my throat was raw but my mouth wouldn’t open because my jaw locked.   I was devastated, furious, nearly to the point of insanity.  

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”
Dalai Lama 

I am not an angry person, never have been. I rarely get furious and when I do, it subsides very quickly and I don’t deny or repress it but I almost never act on it physically other than civilized verbal/writing outlets, just telling people about my anger. I don’t yell or curse people out or cry and hit things.   I don’t ever feel like doing that. Not because I think it’s wrong or because I’m too shy, timid, or meek.  It’s just not in me to be like that, to express anger that way.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Epicurus 

But when this flared up last week, I was furious. I wanted to yell, scream, break things.   I wanted to throw whatever inanimate objects I could get my hands on and watch it break into a million Little pieces.   The way my body felt.

“Hope is the dream of a waking man.” ~ Aristotle

I did not want to hurt any living creatures. But I sure wanted to destroy objects. But I couldn’t because it was too hard to move. I could hardly open my mouth. 

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.”
Napoleon Bonaparte 

It took a lot to not crack my head against walls. 
 Not out of anger but out of near insanity because of the pain and just having absolutely no idea what to do. It was driving me mad. I stood at the wall struggling not to crack my head against it.

I kept telling myself that when the horror ends if it ever does, I won’t even feel relief or gratitude until later, the first thing I will do is throw things and break things (alone so no one else has to witness or suffer) to release the fury I couldn’t express while it was happening. I felt like I wanted revenge.  Revenge on the pain itself. It makes no sense because the pain is not a sentient thing with consciousness. But it’s what I felt.

I kept reading stories and facts and poetry about chronic facial and head pain disorders. And I just couldn’t fathom the pain we feel. The agony we’re forced to endure.   It brings me comfort to read about these disorders, to know they are acknowledged at least by some people and knowing someone somewhere understands.   I love how we can take the tragedy of pain and turn it to beauty with poetry, drawings, songs….And if I could, I would take on all the facial and head pain in the world so no one has to ever feel what I feel. I can’t even begin to imagine someone else having to endure this. It’s unimaginable. Devastating.

TMJD headaches, Migraine headaches, cluster headaches (also know as “suicide headaches” because they bring people to contemplate or attempt suicide), Trigeminal neuralgia (also known as “The Suicide Disease” because it drives many people to contemplate and even attempt suicide to stop the pain)….

“When you come close to sellin’ out,
Reconsider” ~ LeeAnn Womack

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It was so extremely difficult to focus on anything other than my pain.   It is torture. It’s hell. But I kept telling myself, life is still a gift. I will still go on. Hope kept me going.

HOPE.

I realized then even more, how important it is to develop a life philosophy.   A specific, firm outlook on life. So when things get difficult and devastating, we have our own life philosophy to fall back on. My life philosophy is all about love & compassion for others and myself and that life itself is a blessing no matter what and if I really try, I can find hope & strength deep inside to keep on going. I believe that no matter what terror and pain I encounter and endure, no matter how much pain I must experience, either physical or emotional, I will eventually conquer it and keep going and still be happy in general. And pain will strengthen me & teach me. Even when it currently does not seem that way.

“Take that first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

There’s always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for, something to smile about, something to look forward to….things can be handled positively. Life itself is pure blessing. 

Life.

I don’t just tell myself this occasionally. I live it. Every single day.  I write about it, meditate upon it, find quotes, books, writings, people, blogs, videos…that support it, nurture it, confirm it.

“Some people see a hopeless end, others see an endless hope.” ~ Unknown

I keep up on it constantly. In good and bad, beautiful, ugly, painful, everything, it is my life.

It’s a conscious, intentional decision, habit I have formulated. It often comes naturally to me but sometimes I have to force it, remind myself to maintain it even when it’s so difficult. 

If I really try, I can summon those hopeful feelings.

I have little lapses now and then where I falter or fall and forget or ignore my life philosophy that I have established.   It goes right out the Window.   But it’s ingrained enough in me that I always come back to it. Find it once again. 

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

I heard of this goal or project people do every year. They choose a word for the new year and make it a point to constantly live up to that word everyday for the whole year. I never felt compelled to partake in this activity because there are various words, not just one, that I intend to live up to.   Hope, gratitude, compassion, love, ALWAYS LOVE, kindness, honesty, inspiration, strength, positivity, HAPPY, optimistic, HELPFUL, the list goes on && on….Many of these individual words contain multiple other words… and I don’t want to only plan on living this word for one year but for always.   Forever & for always.

“And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you’ll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you” ~ Mariah Carey 

But if I were to choose a word for 2014, it would be HOPE. This is something I need. It’s something I have been feeling so much of lately.  And when I feel that my hope is gone, I remind myself that it’s just temporarily misplaced, not forever lost.

Hope keeps us going. Even a small slither, a tattered string, a frayed thread can be enough…..

“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.” 

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I find it usually more difficult to live in hope when I’m deeply depressed than when I’m in a lot of physical pain. Physical pain & illness often feels hopeless but it can also instill in someone, a strong, fierce will to survive, to do whatever it takes to live. Depression, true depression that isn’t just a low mood is often the opposite. It often saps the will to survive, the desire to do whatever it takes. So it’s extremely important to remember and keep reminding ourselves over and over that depression feels hopeless but it’s not. It creates lies and delusions that things are forever hopeless and can never get better and that life isn’t worth struggling for.

 “The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.”

But even with the severe agony of depression, it’s possible to have some sort of glimmer of hope, enough to keep going.   We may have to work harder to tap into it, to believe it. But it’s possible!

“Embrace your challenges with an open heart because through every challenge, strength forms.” 

I even bought a notebook recently, on one of the days my pain disorder was at its worst.   On the front cover it says “Live in hope.” and I bought a candle holder that says “HOPE.”

I found both of these accidentally but at the perfect moments. A perfect coincidence.

“I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.”
Abraham Lincoln

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Sometimes I can’t be happy and I can’t be completely positive or cheerful or pain-free but I can have hope. Hope for something specific or just a general state of feeling hopeful. 

“You are not the victim of your body. ” ~ Dr. Christiane Northrup

And even if the thing I hope for can’t or will not happen, I can have hope for something just as good or something even better. I am surrounded in hope. Filled with hope.

“In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Even though it benefits us to have hope though, it’s detrimental, I believe, to put off current happiness & peace of mind hoping for something better or hoping for something impossible. Hopelessness isn’t always despair; sometimes hopelessness about something we know can’t happen or won’t happen, is just acceptance and liberation, then we can move forward hoping for better things.

Hope should be exhilarating and motivational and inspiring, not something to hinder us, keeping us in invisible shackles. So when we find what we have been hoping for just won’t happen, we can move forward to new hope. Live in hope.

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
Aristotle Onassis

“A Picture of Pain”
by Bear Peterson

“I tried to paint a picture,
Of how I really feel.
But I could not find the colors,
To make it all seem real.
Not one color was hot enough,
To show the burning pain.
Not one color bright enough,
To make me wince again.
Not one was dark enough,
To show the isolation.
In the end saw one thin line,
Worn, frayed and almost broke,
To my mind that one thin line,
Is a single thread of hope.” 

(poem about migraine headaches)
– See more at: http://www.ahmablog.com/2013/05/ellen-draft-3.html#.UrsePZpOnHw

Much happiness, love, & comfort to you all. I hope you find healing if you need it. And if you are struggling with any kind of pain, temporary or chronic, physical or emotional, please know I am very understanding.   I can’t know, literally, how you feel, even if we have the same thing because we are two different beings, but I have some sort of deep understanding and much compassion.

“You can find love
If you search within yourself
And the emptiness you felt
Will disappear” ~ Mariah Carey
Xoxo Kim

P.s. When the worst of it finally ended, I felt relief & gratitude and did not throw things, scream, and break stuff. ;-D

“Be happy not because everything is perfect nor because everything goes your way. Be happy because everything sucks but you are doing just great. “

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“You could go the distance, you could run the mile, you could walk straight through Hell with a smile.” ~ The Script

Love & Humanness {Oneness}

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” We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” ~ 
Tim McGraw

I’m currently reading a book by Leo Buscaglia called “Personhood.”. I had this book for quite a while but never got around to reading it until now. I still have much more to read but I love the whole concept of the book. It’s not a philosophy or political book or even really a psychology book. It’s a personal development book about living up to our full potential, loving and connecting with others. 

Dr. Buscaglia explains how no matter how different we are than each other or no matter how similar we are to one another we can connect with each other through our basic humanness. We don’t have to have very similar life experiences or relate or identify with each other in very significant ways to deeply connect with each other.

We are similar in very basic ways. We are alive. We all have a story and all experience pleasure and pain and have needs and desires.

I have always loved people and often feel deeply connected with others whether I know them well or not. I have so much gratitude & appreciation for the lives of others.

Recently I was with my mom, dad, and little sister in my dad’s mini van and we were driving in Center City, Philadelphia at night and there were lots of people walking, standing, sitting….around the city.

Some were homeless and dirty, dressed in rags, some were dressed warmly and smiling, talking on cell phones, waiting for busses, giggling with one another, some looked sad and distraught while others appeared to be happy and carefree. Some were alone, some in groups.  I noticed short people and tall people, young and old, men and women,Asian, African American, Latino, Caucasian…

Some spoke languages other than English. One pretty young lady with long blonde hair who was with a man was laughing wildly like she had no care in the world. They were smiling and genuinely joyous. I couldn’t help but stare, maybe to the point of rudeness. They looked perfect together standing beneath the city lights at night laughing with wild abandon. I had no choice but to smile myself.  They were speaking a language I couldn’t understand.

Then they started walking towards my sister and me as we stood on the street corner waiting for my dad and mom to come for us. We went to a bookstore and there were no parking spaces so my dad had to drive around the block til we came out.

When the girl got close to me she smiled , looked directly at me and said “Bonjour soeur.”. And continued walking.  
I can only speak English and I wasn’t completely sure what she said to me but in high school I took an Italian class and some days conversations of other languages came up including conversations about the French language.

I got an idea the girl said “hello sister” in French to me. So I looked it up on Google translate on my phone and discovered that is in fact what she said.

It warmed my heart. I couldn’t understand her language but I certainly understood her smile, her laugh, her beauty, and the spark in her eyes, her need to reach me…

And she saw something in me that inspired her to reach out with a warm & friendly greeting.

So we had the language barrier but that doesn’t prevent human connection.

We all speak different languages, have different cultures, different experiences, different skin colors, and ethnicities, sexual orientations, nationalities, political views, religions, opinions, and many other differences but our smiles, laughs, love, beauty, and basic humanness connect the same.

As I was looking at each person I asked myself “Is it weird to love every person I look at, to feel a strong sense of gratitude for the lives of people I don’t know and will probably never know and never see again?”. 

It may be weird to some people but weird or not, it’s what I often feel. I don’t know those people but I know they are someone. They bring a light to this world. They all have a name, a face, a life, a breath, a story, a dream. They have a heart and they experience pleasure and pain, desires, and needs.

We may have sharp differences and experiences, opposing views, disagreements but we are not very different underneath.

Leo Buscaglia, in his book, describes some very brief experiences where he met someone who he could only connect with through their basic humanness. Because of language/culture barriers or because of dramatically different life experiences, these people he encountered were only able to connect with him through being living humans but still the connection is deep, satisfying, and rewarding.

He describes a woman he saw one hot afternoon while he was in southern India. She was in a faded sari and walking. He noticed she seemed strong and erect and determined. She had a large, heavy water pot balanced on her head. There was no sign of where she has been or where she was going.   
He writes this: “She paused for a moment and our eyes met. We knew each other.”

Not a word was spoken, yet these two people connected deeply. 

He writes of the “beautiful, toothless old farmer in Nepal” who allowed him to stay overnight in his house with all of his family and animals. Leo Buscaglia writes, 

“Conversation, beyond sign language, a smile, eye contact, a touch, was impossible.”

This farmer had no idea where the USA is, never spoke to a Western person, and never traveled in a car. He never heard of history, knew nothing of politics, and knew nothing at all beyond his village life. But Dr. Buscaglia writes, 

“Still, for an evening we were brought warmly together. When the time for parting came, feeling that we would probably never meet again, we walked arm and arm to the village’s end and wept. We are still together.”

He writes of the young anxious business man who helped him find his way in Tokyo when he was lost, the Brooklyn, NY teenager who told him that he helped him create his purpose, the Kindergarten child who he laughed with in a lunchroom.

Dr. Buscaglia writes this about his experiences, 

“For these few brief seconds of our encounters, I was and still am that Indian woman, that Nepalese farmer, that Japanese businessman, that New York student, that Kindergarten child. We were all one in the same thing, humanness. When our minds could not meet, our hearts were the common bond. When our speech was a mystery, it was solved by our eyes and arms.”

&

“Some moved in technological wonder, others in primitive magic ; some rested in material opulence, others in the greatest simplicity and even desperate poverty; some were equipped with strong formal educations, others simply used their natural mental endowments, enriched by experienced. But, whatever, they all had a strong common tie – their humanness, their deep need to survive, to realize their experience, to love and be loved, to overcome loneliness and isolation, to use their creative endeavors, to make things more comfortable and beautiful for themselves and their loved ones, to attempt to understand their world and their part in it.”

And this:

“Each of these people were the history of all people, but all were also a part of the unique history which only their lives would write….”

Isn’t this beautiful?!? We are all connected. I am you. You are me. In so many ways.

The homeless people you see, the financially struggling, the rich people, the ones you feel are way out of your league, the ones you feel that you are above in some ways, the “losers,” the “saints,” the lucky ones, the unfortunate ones, the people who seem to have it all, the ones who have next to nothing, we are all each other.

Some of the most deepest connections, conversations, experiences I have known, have been with random strangers or people I just met, on the busses, in hospitals, walking the streets..

I am very shy but very open to people.  

If ever you feel lonely and isolated, remember there’s a whole world full of people. Ones who will walk with you for a while, embrace you, make eye contact with you, listen to your story….

“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.” ~ Rumi

Xoxo Kim