Tag Archive | positive

Shaya’s Story – {inspirational} <3

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I downloaded a book on my Kindle for free and it’s all short inspirational stories. This one touches me deeply so I looked it up online and decided to share it here. It’s about a child with a learning disability and his dad and a moment that impacted them for life. It’s based on a true story but I notice that there are slightly different versions of it but all basically the same with the exact same message and ending. Some versions have more of a religious or spiritual tinge and some are more secular, all are heartwarming.   This one is closest to the one in the Kindle book.

“In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to children with learning disabilities. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career while others can transfer into conventional schools. At a Chush fund-raising dinner the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that will always be remembered by all who attended. 

After extolling the school and it’s dedicated staff he cried out, “When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does is done with perfection.   Yet my son, Shaya, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.  Where is the natural order of things in my son?”

The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish and stilled by the piercing query. “I believe,” the father answered, “that when a child like Shaya comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.”

He then told the following story about his son Shaya: 

One afternoon, Shaya and his father walked past a park where some boys whom Shaya knew were playing baseball. Shaya asked, “Do you think they will let me play?” 

Shaya’s father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Shaya’s father also understood that if his son was chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Shaya’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Shaya could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his team mates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said “We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.” 

Shaya’s father was ecstatic as Shaya smiled broadly. Shaya was told to put on a glove and go out to play short centre field. In the bottom of the eighth inning Shaya’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning Shaya’s team scored again and now, with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Shaya was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Shaya bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game? 

Surprisingly, Shaya was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Shaya didn’t even know how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. 

However, as Shaya stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shaya should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shaya swung clumsily and missed. One of Shaya’s team mates came up to Shaya and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. 

The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shaya. As the pitch came in, Shaya and his team mate swung at the ball and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shaya would have been out and that would have ended the game. 

Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, “Shaya, run to first. Run to first.” Never in his life had Shaya run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out the still-running Shaya. 

But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second.” Shaya ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Shaya reached second base the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.” As Shaya rounded third the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Shaya run home.” Shaya ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero as he had just hit a “grand slam” and won the game for his team. 

“That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world
“. “

{from “Echoes of the Maggid (1999) by Rabbi Paysach Krohn, told to him by Shaya’s father}

I absolutely love this beautiful story. Both teams who were opposing each other in the game came together as One to encourage, support, include, and bring love to a little boy and his dad who needed it so much. They chose to be selfless and care more about a person than their game.   Beautiful!

I believe we should all show love like this to our fellow sentient beings. We should empower one another, support, encourage, and nourish people’s strengths, point out the beauty and goodness in each other, focus on the positive.

Much love to you all.

Xoxo Kim  🙂

Loud & Proud No Matter What

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

I subscribed to this page:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo Kim

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Sunshine Award….Thank You Dr. Rex <3

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The amazing Dr. Rex nominated me for the Sunshine Award!  She is beautiful, amazing, and very expressive.   She has a sweet way of impacting people for the better and showing people deep gratitude and appreciation.   We share similar views on things too.

Please go visit her beautiful blog here:

http://hrexach.wordpress.com/

And here is the award nominations page:
http://hrexach.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/sunshine-award-2/

I am so beyond blessed and grateful that someone reads my writings and finds me worthy of this award!

I read and love many blogs and they are all amazing and bring light into the world.  My life is much better because of many of the amazing people and their love, courage, and need or desire to share their beauty with the world using their blogs. I don’t know them in person but they greatly impact me.

Here are the rules:

The rules of this award are the following:

1) Use the logo above in the post.
2) Link to whoever nominated you.
3) Write ten pieces of information about yourself.
4) Nominate ten fellow bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.”
5) Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

Here are my ten facts:

1.) I love reading.   My favorite subjects are Personal Development, Philosophy, and Psychology. I love reading books, ebooks, plays, blogs, websites…and I read more fiction now than I used to and love it! I also love poetry of various kinds.

“I adore the feeling of being completely taken in by a book. When the tears of joy or sadness wet your cheeks. When you snort with laughter in a crowd and when you shout at the pages in anger.” ~ Unknown

2.) Photography is something I’m very interested in but know almost nothing about.   I take pictures with my BlackBerry phone constantly and it takes amazing pictures! I would love to be a Nature/wedding /engagement/couples/baby/family photographer. I love natural things like sunlight flowers, moon, birds, insects…and I love everything about weddings and families and babies. To me they symbolize love, new beginnings, and togetherness. I plan on learning more about it and am entertaining the idea of taking photography classes for fun one day when I get money!

“To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.”
Ansel Adams

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
– Aaron Siskind

No, the camera can’t steal the soul. But it can occasionally hold it hostage.
– author unknown

3.) I strongly value friendship and unity. 

“Friendships are different from all other relationships. Unlike acquaintanceship, friendship is based on love. Unlike lovers and married couples, it is free of jealousy. Unlike children and parents, it knows neither criticism nor resentment. Friendship has no status in law. Business partnerships are based on a contract. So is marriage. Parents are bound by the law. But friendships are freely entered into, freely given, freely exercised.” ~ Stephen Ambrose

“But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”  ~ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

4.) I struggle with Psychotic/suicidal Depression. Not as frequently as I used to but I still have episodes, symptoms, and “mixed ” episodes where I can feel both happy and depressed, joy and pain, either together or off and on. This has been a part of me since I was eleven years old. Mental illness runs in my family.  Even with this I frequently can still see the beauty and joy in living and I work so hard to be the best me I can be for myself and others. I have learned so much through my struggle and journey and I let the pain make me better, not bitter.  I have self-help techniques that help along with talk & drug therapy and I generally do very well now.

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

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

5.) I love people and animals and love and accept unconditionally.   If I love/like you I won’t reject you for political/religious/philosophical views or for decisions you make or have made that I disagree with. I see the good and the beauty in people. I see the person, not mistakes or disagreements.

“I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.” ~ Bob Dylan

6.) Two of my favorite things are quotes & songs. They can be so deeply inspirational.

“Life itself is a quotation.” – Jorge Luis Borges 

7.) I am a very simple girl with a very simple life for the most part.  I am not complicated or hard to understand. I don’t participate much in or cause complicated arguments with people. I do not make things more complex than they have to be.  I usually say exactly what I mean and do not expect people to be my mind readers. This is not to say my external environment is always calm and peaceful. I experience stress, chaos, disorder, drama…sometimes but have learned to mostly handle it well and remain still & calm within.  Simple isn’t dull. I have a deep, rich inner life. I ponder philosophical ideas, concepts, questions…I love meditation…

Confucius says it best “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

8.) I am extremely loving. I am overflowing with love & gratitude for people, animals, things, life, the world, love & gratitude itself.

“When I start loving I just can’t stop.” ~ Sam & Dave (“Soul Man” lyrics)

“There is so much love in your heart that you could heal the planet.”
~Louise Hay

9.) Oldies music, country music, sappy love songs, uplifting music…is the best!

“Just take those old records off the shelf 
I’ll sit and listen to ’em by m’self 
Today’s music ain’t got the same soul 
I like that old time rock and roll 
Don’t try to take me to a Disco 
You’ll never even get me out on the floor 
In 10 minutes I’ll be late for the door 
I like that old time rock and roll ” ~ Bob Seger

10.)  While I love seeing some traits in people that I, myself, also possess, I have a deep respect and adoration for people who possess characteristics that I do not.  For example: I am not very assertive and do not always speak up for myself when I should and I LOVE assertiveness in others. Even when someone speaks up to me about something the person disagrees with me for and even when I feel that person is wrong/incorrect.  I sometimes neglect/abuse myself in ways like denying I have a problem and not taking medication and putting everyone who takes advantage of me first and love when people are devoted to self-care and nourish themselves.   I love to see people stand up for and advocate for themselves.  Not being overly selfish but a healthy dosage of selfishness.  It’s not good to be purely selfless!

I believe Buddha is correct in saying “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

Other than Dr. Rex’s blog, Here are the eleven (sorry, I broke the rules! ) blogs that to me are perfection. The authors make the world better and touch lives with beauty, wisdom, and light.  Thank You!! 😀

http://etsuchan.wordpress.com/

Beautiful girl, beautiful blog! I love her writing so much! So uplifting and real. And fascinating.

http://gyatoday.wordpress.com/
Very inspiring! So heartwarming and touching! 

http://wordslikesilk.com/
Beautiful writing!

http://terry1954.wordpress.com/
She is beautiful and displays much strength and wisdom.

http://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/

So wise & inspiring.

http://studentswithbirds.wordpress.com/
Love this blog and we share a love for feather friends!

http://rosebushchronicles.com/

Very inspiring and lovely.

http://timelessferry.wordpress.com/

Beautiful writing and photos. 

http://journeyofshe.wordpress.com/

Very inspiring and amazing.

http://5kidswdisabilities.com/
Very strong, inspiring, and positive. 

http://thebettermanprojects.com/

We share the similar goal of being the best we can be and working constantly at personal development. 

Thank You again Dr. Rex and to the above bloggers and all the others who touch this world with wild wonder & sunlight & moonlight.

Xoxo Kim



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Gratitude & Pain <3

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I am struggling today with a severe tmjd flare up. Tmjd is my chronic, currently incurable facial pain disorder. I have pain which is mild to moderate to unbearably severe and beyond.

There’s really no effective treatments other than home remedies.   My current flare up is bad but not as bad as it sometimes is. It’s moderate bordering on severe. But not yet to the point when I would scream at the top of my lungs for hours through the night.

I woke up while it was still dark out in excruciating pain.   So what better circumstance to write a gratitude list?!

I want to strengthen my habit of associating my pain with gratitude & joy. It hurts. So bad. So I will think of & list & dwell on all of my wonderful blessings.

1.) beautiful uplifting quotes

2.) I have friends & family & people I know.

3.) hope

4.) I have a job

5.) my beautiful senses & body & ability

6.) this blog

7.) this Fall – like evening
8.) Pumpkin Spice coffee
9.) lovely music
10.) adorable animals

11.) my positive attitude

12.) my ability to feel pain

13.) The fact that I am loving & ccompassionate for people whether I know them or not

14.) The fact that I filled out an application recently for job/training for peer specialist /counseling

15.) The stars & moon above me.


So here is my brief list. There’s so much more I couldn’t possibly list it all.

I’m too blessed to be able to list all my blessings. Lol. ;-D

I hope you, too, are feeling blessed. My heart goes out to all of you struggling with chronic pain and/or sickness. My heart breaks to think of it and how so many people have pain worse than and more frequent than mine. I wish I could take it away.

Much love & healing to you. May we find strength, hope, healing, & comfort in our pain & darkness.

Xox0 Kim

P.s. Always remember, “When you’re going through Hell, keep on going….”

It doesn’t take a talent to be mean <3

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There’s a song I used to listen to over & over when I was a little girl. I can’t remember exactly how old I was but I was very young, not even a teenager yet.

My dad introduced me to the song and I was instantly hooked. I never paid much attention to the words or to the message the singer conveys through her song.
I just loved her sweet, soft, & gentle voice and the music. The song is,
“I’m Sensitive” by Jewel.   I remember asking my dad what “sensitive” means and he said it means the girl is easily hurt, saddened, or impacted by other people ‘s actions and words.

And I remember asking him if this girl is really sensitive or if she just likes to sing that she is. I remember him saying “No, she’s really a sensitive girl.”

 I remember thinking, “I want to meet this girl.”

I think one of the most poignant lines in her song is:

 “It doesn’t take a talent to be mean.”.

This couldn’t be more true.   Destructive criticism, cruelty, intentional insults, slander, toxic gossip about others, verbal thrashings,  is no special skill or trait and nothing to be proud of yourself for engaging in.

“I was thinking that I might fly today
Just to disprove all the things you say
It doesn’t take a talent to be mean
Your words can crush things that are unseen
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Your words, even untrue ones which were only said out of anger or jealousy or to make yourself feel better about your own life or self, can have long lasting, devastating effects on the people you inflict them upon.

“You always tell me that it’s impossible
To be respected and be a girl
Why’s it gotta be so complicated?
Why you gotta tell me if I’m hated?
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

Things don’t always have to be so complicated. Love. It’s simple. Your words impact people. For better or for worse. 
So why not speak lovingly of yourself and others about yourself and other people?
Let your words heal, not hurt. Bring people up, not down.

Do you have the right to be cruel? To sling ugly words at and about people? Absolutely!  At least in U.S. Culture, you are legally protected by our Constitution and so in many cases you do have the legal right to say unkind things .   And I don’t argue against that. You have that legal right. And I support your right. And my right.
But just because we can do something doesn’t mean we always should or that we have to. The fact that we can say just about whatever we want and not get in legal trouble is a gift that we tend to take too much advantage of by taking it to the extreme and spewing toxic things out about people.  Just because I argue against your words or your intentions doesn’t in any way mean I’m arguing against your right so say what you will. (the argument that people who speak cruelly of others often tend to turn to is something like “I have the right to say what I want…” but I am merely objecting to your cruelty itself, not you legal right to be cruel; you can, if you insist, continue to be very cruel)
You have the potential and often the legal right to knock people down with your words. But you always have the potential and the legal right to bring people up with your words, your warmth, your smile.
And you can choose whichever you want.

What will you choose today?

“I was thinking that it might do some good
If we robbed the cynics and took all their food
That way what they believe will have taken place
And we’ll give it to anybody who has some faith
So please be careful with me, I’m sensitive
And I’d like to stay that way.”

This line is brilliant. What you believe or look for is often what you will find. When you’re in a negative state of mind looking for the bad, you will see it everywhere.   When you’re in a positive state of mind looking for the good, you will see it glittering all around and within you.

“I have this theory that if we’re told we’re bad
Then that’s the only idea we’ll ever have
But maybe if we are surrounded in beauty
Someday we will become what we see”

Just like the previous lyrics, we will find what we are searching for. And if we’re surrounded by negatively critical words and allow them to affect us too much, we can start to believe them or just be lowered by them and our views are clouded. But if we are surrounded by beauty, we will become beauty. And our views will be positive and we will see with clarity. There’s is always, always, always something beautiful. To be seen. Or heard. Or felt. Or known. Always. Look for it. It’s there. Let that be what you are and become, not the ugliness.  

“‘Cause anyone can start a conflict
It’s harder yet to disregard it”

Yes, anyone can cause problems for others, and drag people down and do things to watch people suffer. 
Do you really want to do that? It says more about you than those you slander and gossip about. Even if your accusations and claims are true. Necessary constructive criticism is one thing, cruelty is another.
A person criticizing others just for the thrill of it may feel big & bad but that person is really very small.

“I’d rather see the world from another angle
We are everyday angels
Be careful with me ’cause I’d like to stay that way”

Beautiful ending to a beautiful song. We can train our brains to see the world however we wish to see it. I love how she is a sensitive girl which means she can be easily hurt but she wants to stay herself. Don’t change your beautiful self just for the ugliness of others.  It’s good to be affected by people and things.   It’s good to feel. To live. To have heartbreak and healing. To be broken then whole. To let people in. To give people and things the chance. A chance to know us, love us, hurt us, and heal us.  It’s better than putting up walls and locking people out, we can be hurt, crushed, devastated but it let’s us have deeper, more purposeful relations with people, ourselves and the world than when we live in fear of being crushed. If we lock people out and numb ourselves to our surroundings, it’s true that we may protect ourselves against the pain of rejection, abandonment, and someone we love or anyone seriously causing us pain but we also deny ourselves the depth of true relationships, the sense of closeness, the positivity of people uplifting us, and deep satisfaction of letting the world in. If you make it so you cannot potentially feel deep pain, you also make it so you cannot feel true, profound joy. Is it really worth it?
As the saying often goes, “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved.”. How cliche, right? But for good reason!

I can’t remember when or why I stopped listening to this song. Maybe my cd broke or I lost it. Have you ever just been reminded of a song that was once a significant part of you so long ago? One you listened to over & over and loved deeply?   And now you can’t remember or understand why or when you stopped listening to it? It seems to have eventually just slipped out of your grasp and got away .   That’s like this song and me. I never got tired of this song but haven’t heard it or even thought of it in decades. Then I received an e-mail by Johnathan Lockwood Huie. 

http://www.jonathanlockwoodhuie.com/

One of the ones he sends every morning with his beautiful inspiration. 
He sent a list of quotes and one is Jewel ‘s quote in one of her other lovely songs:

“I’m having a bad day. I am not size six.
My legs are not skinny as sticks,
and, someone’s got to pay.”
– Jewel

Lol 
When I read this quote I automatically remembered Jewel’s other song, “I’m Sensitive” and I thought “Whatever happened to that song?! Where did it go?! Where did I leave that song?!, packed away somewhere deep in the abandoned crevices of my brain I no longer tend to.” I vaguely remembered the tune, the lyrics, her gorgeous, soft, caressing, comforting voice and I wondered if I would still love it as much. Hoping I would. I found it, downloaded it at one something in the morning after I opened Mr. Lockwood Huie’s e-mail, yesterday morning. I always receive those e-mails at that hour every single morning and it couldn’t be more perfect. 
I was half sleeping so decided to wait til later that morning to listen to the song so I can really take it in and get the best of it.   Fully, deeply, truly.  When I finally listened again to that song that I haven’t heard since I was about eight years old, maybe younger, I did not only love it as much as I did then. I love it more. 

It’s beautiful. And now has much more meaning in my heart than it did all those years ago. I’m old enough now to truly understand it. I have my own experiences now to relate with much depth. It’s not just about aesthetics any longer.

And I hope you always remember, dragging other people down doesn’t bring you up. You may *feel* temporarily uplifted but it doesn’t make you any better. Destructively pointing out other people ‘s ugliness doesn’t make you pretty. Unnecessarily magnifying their flaws will never perfect you. It says nothing about them and all kinds of things about you. 
Whenever we feel the need to hurt others emotionally merely because we just feel like it we should stop instead and examine our own lives. Instead of trying to destroy others, we should work on ourselves.
I, myself, am not completely innocent of speaking unnecessary, unkind words about others but I know I am above that and I can choose kindness or at least not choose cruelty.

~Kindness is a gift we can all afford to give.~

Will you be the one bringing light to that person in the darkness?

Xox0 Kim

P.s. I would include a link to the YouTube video of the song but I’m using my phone and can only seem to be able to get the mobile version of YouTube. I don’t know if that can work for anyone not using my phone.
😀

An Inspiring Conversation

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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 John Pappas (City Hall, 1996)

About a year ago, I had a conversation with someone at work one night. At first, I found this conversation to be very unpleasant but shortly after the conversation ended, I felt energized, inspired, uplifted, and so hopeful.

This conversation is one of the things which has had the greatest, positive impact on me in my journey to recover my suicidal depression.

A person was talking to me about drug addiction and people who struggle and have struggled with addiction. She had a very negative view of people who have suffered substance addiction, even the ones who have overcome it and no longer consume illegal/recreational drugs.

She basically held the view that drug addicted people are lost causes who are bound to go nowhere in life. And even when they recover or heal, they will always be “druggies”. “Druggies” who even after recovering will never find redemption or worth.

I couldn’t have disagreed with this girl more. I see so much potential and hope and light in almost everyone I look at. People are remarkably strong and resilient and can overcome and move forward even when it’s hard. Even when it’s painful and all seems hopeless. Even when it seems impossible. Even when it’s all just so dark. 

There can always be light. When I look at a person, even a troubled, difficult, broken person with great obstacles and challenges, I don’t see an addiction or an illness or a mere label or a “lost cause”. I see a person.   A light. Possibility and hope. Hope for healing.   Hope for change.  

Everyone has something to contribute to this world and everyone around us whether or not they realize it and even when it feels impossible.   You may feel so empty, so broken, so devoid of life, so hopeless but you are not beyond healing or hope or love.

A person who has struggled with addiction and has overcome or healed that addiction and no longer takes drugs/alcohol has acheived an incredible accomplishment. It takes great strength and courage and dedication to pick up the broken pieces, the shattered parts of self and put them together again and become whole. There may always be scars, cracks, breaks, pain..but it’s possible to move forward and find true happiness, true joy in existence.

Why judge someone negatively for previous mistakes or a health condition or a choice that got out of control?

I have never struggled with addiction of any sort and cannot possibly know what it’s like.   All I can know is that it is painful, devastating, heartbreaking and difficult for the person who is addicted and everyone around that person and that it IS possible, with help & support of various kinds, to get better enough to live and be happy living. Whether or not the person is completely recovered with no more urges or still has urges that are difficult to resist. Even someone who relapses now and then.

It’s not always easy for an addicted person to know this or to ask for help or to not relapse.   And people struggling with addiction deserve empathy, understanding, compassion, love, encouragement.   They aren’t monsters. Many of them may steal and assault people and become unrecognizable to those who knew them before the tragedy of addiction but they are not all bad people . Underneath the devastation and the addiction is an amazing person who can find hope and healing.

After this girl I had the conversation with left me that night I started to think about our contrasting views. She viewed people who struggle with addiction as some of the lowest people on Earth, worthless, bad, taking up space in a world they don’t deserve.

And I view them as the people they are. Worthy of love, empathy, care, acceptance, compassion…

And I started to think about how we need more people in this world with my view. We need people with better understanding and compassion.

I thought of my own struggle with suicidal depression, which back then, a year ago, was not as healed as it is today, right now.

I thought of all the moments I wanted to kill myself in this life, feeling as if I had nothing to live for and never ever would , as if I was worthless, empty, nothing, as if the pain was just too much to bear, weighing too heavy on my life, to go on.

And I realized if I ever kill myself, I kill my compassion for others, my love, my empathy, my understanding, my acceptance, my open mindedness. If I kill myself, I kill all the chances I will ever have to help another, before those chances even begin. If I kill me, I kill the opportunity to tell someone s/he is not a lost cause, not an addiction, not a loser, not deserving of callousness and abusive insults and cruelty. I kill the chance to tell someone there is hope.

I’m not an expert on addiction. I don’t know exactly how to handle an addicted person, especially one who is acting out. They may need firmness every now and then and not all sap and gentleness, I don’t know. But that’s not my point anyway; my point is that we need more people with compassion and positive views of troubled people. We need people who will not destructively criticize and tell people there’s no hope for them.

This goes for any troubled person or anyone who has made mistakes with serious consequences, not just addicted people. 

And that if you ever kill yourself, you kill every positive aspect of yourself, your opportunity to eventually be fulfilled and healed and find or create a sense of purpose, and your opportunity for growth and your opportunity to impact the world and maybe even just one life for the better.

You’re under no obligation to live for others, it’s yourself you should live for. But there are people who need you to live, you may not have met them yet and maybe won’t meet them for many years, maybe you never will but your life will somehow touch theirs.  Someone, somewhere needs YOU to LIVE.  And eventually you will find or create a sense of purpose for your own existence.

Live for yourself and your own empathy and care and love. And live for all of your good qualities and possibilities.

I vowed to myself that night after that conversation which at first I believed to be unpleasant, that I will never take my own life. We should all live for ourselves. But when I used to get suicidal, I did not want to live for me. I saw nothing in me worth living for. But that night I vowed to never, ever end my own life even if I feel like it because if nothing else, there’s  one thing in me worth surviving for, my concern and care for others.   My empathy, my ability to see beyond illnesses and difficulties and troubles and mistakes, my desire, my longing to help heal and console in any way I can. This fulfills me.  I know those aren’t my only reasons for living, my reason is just to be,  but when I’m contemplating suicide I usually see nothing to go on for.  But this view is something I will always believe in. Helping others, also helps me. We are all connected.

I don’t live to be a “slave” and used by others, I allow myself to be fulfilled by helping and positively impacting anyone I can.

There are many, many people like me who feel this way about people, that they can heal and are deserving of compassion and love. And if I kill myself there will be one less of us.

(No one should kill themselves even if they aren’t compassionate or empathetic or caring.

Since that night, I haven’t seriously contemplated ending my own life. And if I ever do again, I have a sweet reminder of something worth living for.

And there’s also another lesson to be learned here, anyone can be our teacher even those who are unpleasant, even unpleasant encounters can be inspiring and teach us valuable lessons. This young woman who I debated with that night, this at first seemingly unpleasant encounter, provided me with the chance to think about things which have filled me with hope & inspiration. 

And here I am today, still inspired, still hopeful, still going strong.

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Xox Much love, blessings, & hope to you all.

~Kim

“Don’t judge me by my past, I don’t live there anymore.”

“Possibilities are everywhere.”

“Always go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.”

“Your past is a gift to guide you, it doesn’t have to imprison you.”

Priceless Gifts <3

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(picture taken somewhere in Center City, Philadelphia, I saw it on a pole and just had to take a pic!)

i have purchased a book a few months ago, and it’s called “Priceless Gifts” (How to Give the Best to Those You Love) and is written by a psychologist, Daniel A. Sugarman, Ph.D. He is a clinical psychologist and the book was published in the 1970’s. 1978 to be exact. I haven’t read the book yet but I will.

I read the list of gifts on the back cover. Even though it was written decades ago, the twelve gifts that the man lists are timeless and still apply today.

They are psychological gifts, not material gifts. This book, even though I haven’t read most of it yet, inspired me to create a list of my own, of priceless psychological /immaterial gifts that I believe are incredible to bless others with and to receive.

While my list is inspired by this doctor’s list, not all of the gifts I list here are ones in his book and the descriptions underneath each gift, even the gifts I took out of the book, are my own. Next to each gift that is also in his book, I will state that I got it out of the book.

1.) The Gift of Time(in the book):  
Being with someone who needs/wants you at that moment is an amazing gift.   Whether you are having fun doing entertaining activities, talking to one another, or just sitting close to show you care when a person wants company is an amazing gift.   It shows the person that you care enough to take part of your day and make that person your top priority at that moment. What better way to make that person feel loved, valuable, and cherished!?

2.) The Gift of Active Listening/ Undivided Attention (in the book) : 
We usually hear what people say and respond.   But how often are we truly, fully listening? It seems we are frequently only partially or half listening while multitasking, doing other things while a person talks to us, mindlessly/mechanically responding.   This is not being fully receptive of or acknowledging that person’s needs and desires at that moment. Even if you accurately hear what that person says and even provide a relevant, pleasant sounding response, that is not always good enough. A person can tell when you are not fully present even if you don’t know the person can tell and maybe even if that person doesn’t consciously know it or realize it at that moment. Make the person feel s/he is the center of your world at that moment. It can be quite offensive spilling your guts to someone only to realize that person is playing with a phone, texting someone else, watching TV, drifting off, or off somewhere daydreaming giving you empty, half mutters while you speak. Whether the person is talking to you about light topics such as her favorite food, book, or movie, or more deep topics such as his problems, pain, future dreams, that person wants your attention! S/he cares enough and believes you are important enough to talk to and trusts you enough to share with you so repay the gift and really, truly listen fully with your whole heart and drown out everything else while that person speaks. (unless you’re driving or something, be careful!)

3.) The Beautiful Gift of Loyalty: 
When a person shares secrets with you, s/he expects you to keep them to yourself. It’s not good to blab them to anyone. Many of us have someone we believe we can trust with someone else’s secrets but then the person we trust may also have a person or persons s/he trusts and may tell the person’s secrets to that person thinking it’s Ok to tell and that it will stop there.     But then that person tells people and on and on and that’s how “secrets” get around. It’s not that the people who tell other people’s secrets are necessarily bad people and likely they don’t want to sabotage or hurt anyone. They just want to talk and be the big bearer of “news” but it does not always go over too well. So when a trusting person comes to you, it’s best to let that person’s secrets stop when they get to you. (unless it’s potentially life threatening.) 

And it’s also best not to gossip about or judge a person, negatively, who trusts you, with other people. Be loyal and true to the person who opens up to you.   It’s unkind and a betrayal to trash talk the person or spill their info out to others. Let the person come to you and be a true friend and listener. That is a true gift. And if you are being truly loyal you won’t join in when you hear other people saying unnecessary negative things about your friend.  

4.) The Gift of Acceptance (In the book) :
Just about everyone we meet is going to have at least one (probably more) opinion, trait, characteristic, or thing about him/her that we will not agree with or not like. But that does not mean we have to give the person up or not like the person or reject the person or try to change him/her. We can gently state our opinion in a kind way if it’s truly necessary and intended to help or connect with someone and then be done with it. But we can accept the person for all that person is. “Flaws” and all. We can disagree, argue, debate, but still love, cherish, tolerate, and accept. We don’t all have to be identical to get along well and love.

“I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.” ~Bob Dylan

5.) The Gift of Positive Support:
I think just about everyone desires and craves the true support of a great friend or family member or others.   Humans are social creatures and like to belong and be accepted and want positive encouragement.   We may not always agree with something a family member or friend thinks or does but we should want to see the person happy and healthy no matter what. And we can still support a person, in general, even when that person does something we oppose or thinks something we disagree with.
As stated in the above gift description, we can gently and kindly state how we feel when necessary, and allow the person to think or do as s/he pleases without interference, rejection, and negative judgment. Unless a person is struggling with unsound judgment as a result of illness of any kind or alcohol or other drug intoxication, and wants to do something potentially life threatening to the person or others, we should support the person in her goals and be happy she is happy no matter what.  
This also goes when a person accomplishes or attains something we wish we will gain or accomplish.   A little bit of jealousy is a normal emotion and is Ok. But don’t let it destroy your friendships or other relationships and happiness for that person. People will always have things we want and can’t or won’t get but we can still be happy for them even though we may feel somewhat jealous or disappointed for ourselves not having it.
6.) The Gift of Sharing/ Self Disclosure (in the book) :
It is a true gift to others to hear of or read of your own problems and struggles, successes and dreams, pain, goals, failings, life lessons, and happiness. It can remind them that they are not alone and it can inspire them to feel happier and act on their dreams and it helps them get to know you and connect with you on a deeper level and trust you more. It may help them open up and share their own stories more comfortably. Sharing is caring! A healthy balance of Sharing with others and actively listening to them speak is amazing! What a true gift!  

“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” ~ Muriel Rukeyser

7.) The Gift of Seeing the best in people (in the book) :
Everyone has things about them that are good and bad. No one is perfect in everyone’s eyes. Even the best people you know will have pain, setbacks, problems, failings, struggles, and negative aspects about their lives but instead of focusing on the worst in them, focus on the best!

Let the person know you cherish her/him and support her/him in her endeavors no matter what and that the good is what stands out. People want to be around those who lift them up and appreciate the great and not just criticize the bad. Think of your own “bad” or “negative” qualities. Would you like to be around people who can’t get over them and always point them out and criticize you over them? Or do you want to be in the company of people who love and nourish and cherish your amazing qualities and overlook and accept the bad? Give that gift to others! 😀

And try this: instead of saying “I love you but…..” try saying “….. but I love you!”.

8.) The Gift of letting them make their own decisions without negative judgment :

Many friends or others may want and seek your input on some things and want to know how you feel and if you are true, close friends, they will likely cherish and appreciate your desire to help and your willingness to open up and contribute to their lives. But this doesn’t mean they will or should always take heed of your suggestions or advice. In the end the decision is theirs.   It is their life and they are responsible for their own life. The ultimate decision is theirs.  They may not always make decisions that you like or want but you don’t have to negatively judge them or criticize them for it. And you don’t have to feel coldly rejected or seriously crushed if they should choose to not do what you suggest. It doesn’t mean they don’t value your opinions or take you seriously, just that in some cases, they have different needs or views.  Provide your input and let them know you are right by their side no matter what they choose and if things do not work out well, you are still right here to help them see it through. 
It is good for people to allow others the space and liberty to mess up, make mistakes, experiment, be uncertain, but still support them in their attempts and experiences with true, unconditional love, acceptance, and loyalty.   What better gift in this life than a friend like this?!

9.) The Gift of True Empathy:

This isn’t to say we should “feel sorry” for people in an arrogant way as if we are somehow above that person or more fortunate than that person. It is to say that we should acknowledge that other people are just as sentient as we, ourselves are. They can feel like we can and they have needs and desires as well as we do. And we should really try to a certain extent to understand how that person must feel even if we haven’t experienced the exact same thing. Not to say “I know how you feel”. That can seem cold and like you are overstepping your boundaries. The truth is unless you can literally get into someone else ‘s head you don’t know exactly how that person feels whether or not you have similar experiences.   But we can have some degree of understanding and much compassion and concern for another person. Whether we know the person or not.  
We all have pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, and we can use our imaginations and draw on our own experiences to empathize with someone even if our experiences aren’t exactly the same. Having empathy for animals is also important.

10.) The Gift of Unconditional Love:

True love, to me, is unconditional.   If I truly love someone, no matter what that person says or does, I will continue to love.  I may feel the need to distance myself in certain ways if that person is doing things, excessively, that are detrimental to myself but my love will not falter or decrease. This even goes for people who want to live without me in their lives.   I will be unhappy, crushed, that they feel the need to abandon, reject, or give me up but I want them to be happy with or without me. And I will not stand in the way.

11.) The Gift of True Friendship:

As stated above, even if I must distance myself permanently or temporarily, if someone is my friend, I will always be here as a friend or supporter if that person should need or want me. I may never hang out with or have deep conversations with that person again but I can still wish her the best.  I will not reject a friend over disagreements or differences no matter what. I want to know the good and the bad, the happiness and the sadness in the person’s life. I want to write or talk, just to say hello some occasions, I want to see the person and bask in his/her successes and be a true listener and console during moments of stress or pain. I don’t want to be an “occasional” or “seasonal” friend who comes and goes or one who makes pathetic excuses to never hang out. True friends are interested in the good and the bad and will put things on hold now and then to tend to their friends when they need or want them most.

12.) The Gift of Full Forgiveness:

For both you and the other person, forgive. Let go. Even if feelings of resentment or anger reappear every now and then, in general it’s best to accept and move forward, or move on and forget and not let your body frequently fill with fury and negative energy.   And not throw a mistake a friend made back into that person’s face again and again or during different arguments.  A True, genuine, strong, positive, loving  friendship is definitely worth forgiveness. You don’t have to always forgive everything and everyone but in general it’s probably best to try to let your body relax and ease up.  This isn’t letting the person off the hook or get over on you. It’s quite the opposite. The person hurt you but no longer has power over you or your life. And if that person is a true friend and is genuinely interested in your welfare that person deserves forgiveness. And you deserve the liberty that your forgiveness will bring you. 

13.) The Gift of appreciation and expression : There’s nothing better than knowing a person genuinely appreciates you and all you do. Let your friend, lover, kids, coworker, doctor, secretary,  maybe even a stranger and anyone else you appreciate know just how grateful you are for that person’s presence in your life or how that person has touched you for the better. Tell them in person, send them an electronic message, a phone call, a card, or small gift, a hug, anything….just let the ones you appreciate know somehow! It will make them so thrilled!  

14.) The Gift of inspiration:
Be a positive, uplifting person.   Speak positively of yourself and others and the life you are blessed to know. It’s uplifting and a good example to other people and will make you feel happier and uplifted too. Care for yourself and share your wisdom with others even though some people will not welcome it. Many will! This will inspire people around you to also love and care for themselves and others. If you come up with a great idea about anything or discover an inspirational quote or beautiful poem or photo, share it with people! Bring out the best in people. Smile. Make eye contact. Say hello. Be a blessing. Be a friend.

15.) The Gift of validation/letting others give to us:
Let people think and feel how they do instead of trying to emotionally force them to believe other things. Let them express it. Your input is good but degrading, denying, and ridiculing people’s emotions is not good. If someone is in a bad mood, trying to cheer that person up is sweet but telling the person to “get over it” or that there’s nothing to be feeling low about or criticizing the person ‘s low mood is often detrimental, aggravating, and not helpful.  
You don’t have to lower your own mood to match theirs; you can find a good balance to console them.
And when someone pays you a sincere compliment, even if you disagree or are very modest, it’s good to just be happy the person feels that way about you! Saying things like “that’s not true!” or “you’re just saying that. ” or “No I’m not that good looking or intelligent ” will just invalidate the person’s positive feelings about you and deny the person the positive emotions of complimenting you. That person wants you to feel happy and pleased and the person really feels that way about you whether or not you feel it about yourself and it’s not good to tell that person s/he is wrong.   A true compliment is a gift to you, why throw it back in the person’s face?!  Just a sweet & simple “thank you” is a great response!

16.) The Gift of your life:
If the person is a true, trusted friend to you, share the good and the bad of your life and show genuine interest in the good and bad of that person’s. It’s not good to a person when you only want to vent or gossip and not tell your success and happy stories as well and if you have problems, big or small, a friend wants to know. So if you want to express them, don’t hold back! True friends are genuinely interested in the good and the bad. And it’s good to let your friends complain and vent to you about negative events in their lives and to take pleasure in their happiness.  True friendship is about the good, the bad, everything….

“You’ve given me the best of you and now I need the rest of you.” ~ Billy Joel  

17) The Gift of communication :

Tell your lover, family member, friend when that person is doing something to really affect you. If people are hurting you, they may not realize it or the extent of it. And it may not be intentional. They don’t always realize how much it impacts you. You can save a relationship or the quality of it by positively and effectively communicating.   You can gently tell them that what they are doing is negatively affecting you and tell them you cherish your relationship with them and want to work on it for the better.     And don’t just tell the bad things!   Celebrate and acknowledge the good as well! Communication is very important in ANY kind of relationship!

These are just some things I find crucial to relationships of any kind and beautiful blessings to people. I believe they are good for people in general. And when you give these lovely gifts, you not only bless the person but you, yourself will be blessed.  You may disagree with some of them or many of them. Or all of them?! ;-D
 Lol

My intention is NOT to tell people what they should do or have to do or to negatively judge people who do not do these things! I don’t always do all of them myself and I make mistakes but I try my best to frequently live this way and I truly believe these are great and priceless gifts to others.   I don’t like to tell people how they should live or what they should do! Who am I to do that!   I’m in no position for that!   Of course I’m not! But I do love to provide suggestions in case they will help people and share what helps and inspires me. If someone is not inspired and does not want to take my suggestions, that’s ok! Whatever floats your boat! 😉

Xox0 Kim