Tag Archive | self empowerment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xoxo Kim

Living for the simple moments {beauty all around}

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“Underneath your blackest emotions,
far above your brightest wishes,
stands a world for you to hold” ~Samael

I was watching videos about children who suffer with severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia. It’s currently incurable and is a lifelong struggle for them. They suffer immensely and so do their families and those close to them who do the best they can to cope and help them cope.
They suffer hallucinations and delusions, some pleasant and some not pleasant. 
They talk to things no one else can see.
Unlike some children, these aren’t imaginary friends playfully made up for fun, they are hallucinations the brain makes up as a result of an imbalance in its chemistry. It doesn’t function the way most people’s brains function. They literally see, hear, feel things that aren’t there for everyone else and often, they believe they’re real. And to them they are very real.

You can tell a hallucinating person that what that person is seeing, hearing, or feeling isn’t really there and it’s possible the person will know it’s not really there but that knowledge will not make the hallucinations any less real.

That can be an additional stress on someone. Knowing what the person is seeing, hearing, feeling isn’t really there but not being able to make it go away, even feeling the need to respond to certain hallucinations knowing they’re not really there. It can be so frustrating.

Sometimes their mental illnesses provoke some of them to act violently against other people not because they’re bad people but because their brains don’t function properly. Not everyone with a mental illness is violent as a result but some can be. Most aren’t.
In other ways they can be just like other little kids. They like to play, go outside, run around, swing, laugh….

People with mental illnesses, children and adults alike, are a whole person underneath, a person separate than the illness. But sometimes the sickness seems to take over.

It’s a heartbreaking struggle.
 
One of the most inspiring parts of one of the videos I watched is when a little girl’s dad said he has only two hopes for his little girl. One that she stays alive and two that moments of happiness will always find her throughout her days even when most parts of her days are an agonizing battle, he hopes she will always find something to be happy about in the midst of her pain and struggle. 

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This can be viewed in a more negative light like that it’s too bad that all someone has is little moments throughout the day because everything else is just so bad.
Or it can be viewed in a positive light that there are always moments we can embrace to be inspired and joyful, single moments scattered throughout each day that we have, to seize and hold on for. No matter how much pain we’re in.

 It’s a beautiful coping mechanism. Mental illness and physical illness is heartbreaking and devastating but as long as we stay alive and hold onto any little bit of happiness or joy or anything that can make us smile or giggle about, we can make it.

We can’t always hope to be cured or to be generally recovered or to go in remission right now. We can’t always hope that pain will end right now. Some things just won’t be cured and some people will have to struggle most days or everyday just to survive and do basic things. Some people will have severe flare ups every now and again, of an illness physical or emotional that will feel near impossible to cope with.
And even temporary pain or struggles that we know will end eventually, can just seem so overwhelming, so absolutely unbearable. 

But as long as we live and can find those glimpses of magic hidden in the midst of the pain and darkness, we can have something to hold, something to hope for, something that encourages us to keep going, to get out of bed, to move.

The reflection of the sun on windows and signs and water, the blueness of the sky, white fluffy clouds, a steaming cup of hot tea, a funny movie, the depth of inspiration a beautiful song can bring us, a poem, friends, family, animals, photography, books, the vibrant colors all around, random acts of kindness, strangers, hot fudge sundaes, peanut butter, the gentle flapping of butterfly wings, helping someone, funny jokes….whatever touches you in a deep place. 

These things, the simple beauty all around, are always beautiful no matter what our situation is but for some people with certain illnesses or disabilities or in certain situations, they are all we have at the moment. Just moments of simple beauty and joys. Sometimes it’s really all we can hope for, to have solitary moments of joy or happiness or some small sense of pleasure in the midst of our darkness.

And it can be enough.

I know this because when my depression/psychosis is flaring up for hours, days, weeks, months, whether it’s a full blown episode or just some symptoms, sometimes all I can do to stay alive, to find the motivation, the inspiration, the courage, and strength to carry on, is grasp onto all the single happy or joyous moments throughout every day of my darkness & despair. Focus on the goodness that still does exist.

I no longer have long term general depression in the middle of each major depressive episode but sometimes I still have temporary depression or depressive symptoms in the middle of each recurring episode and it can be difficult to cope with. Having depression or any mental illness or pain can feel like a different world than where everyone else is. Even when my depression is not flaring up and I’m not depressed at all, even when I’m happy, there are some occasions I think about it and it feels like I live somewhere else, somewhere that is very different than where people without depression live. It’s like another place, another time, another world. To know I have this dark place I slip into and have lived for so long.
To have random suicidal thoughts and urges that can appear suddenly for seemingly no reason.
It can be a struggle to feel like I’m normal. 
People say there’s no such thing as “normal.”
And that it’s good to be different and “crazy” and unique.
But in some cases there really is such a thing as “normal.” People who always want to live, those who don’t have to battle random or frequent suicidal urges, ones who don’t have unpleasant images and thoughts flashing across their brains, people who don’t have their whole body crushed in an invisible heaviness where they can’t even stand up straight, ones without panic attacks and flashbacks and frequent anxiety, food obsessions, seriously disordered eating habits ….(i don’t have anxiety or panic attacks or body image issues/eating disorders and never have but many, many people do and it’s a serious problem that is very painful for them)
This is normal to not have all this. 
And for people who have any of it, it can be a difficult struggle to try to be regular.
I know people without health conditions like this may not be “normal” in other ways but in this context they are.
And it’s not good to try to force ourselves to be society’s or someone else’s idea of normal while not being true to ourselves. 
But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Yes it’s good to be “unique” but not when unique means battling violent urges to take myself out for days/weeks/months.
And “crazy” is good when it’s all fun and games and playing, acting funny and silly but it’s not good when “crazy” is a true illness.
It’s not always easy to handle and it provokes pain in me, even when I’m not depressed sometimes. Just thinking about it.
Not always. For the most part I feel and am normal. But it can be a struggle sometimes.

 The psychological consequences of having this condition, even when it’s not currently acting up, are profound and we have to find ways to cope with the pain and struggles and the very fact of having them when we are someone with a mental disorder.

I know I’m not a victim. That’s why I’m posting this, because I have found a way to empower myself and I hope it helps someone else. This life is still a sweet blessing. Just because we have bad things and painful things happen to us, doesn’t mean we are victims.

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~Jawaharlal Nehru

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 I’m alive. And as long as that remains true, there is hope. Even when I can’t feel it.

Sometimes the simple things are lifesavers, crucial parts of my coping mechanisms. 
They are all there is. 

I honor all the brave families and other people for sharing their stories, for sharing their pain and struggles with the world. Mental illness, medication, mental illness in children, specific ways of coping, treatment…are all very controversial. People disagree on the nature of some illnesses, whether or not they really exist, if certain treatments are ethical, the way people handle these illnesses and so much more. Anyone who shares a story like this that reaches a large audience, on blogs, YouTube, tv…, is bound to receive criticism of all kinds, some intended to be constructive, other critics intending to be malicious and inflict pain or anger upon those sharing their story.
There will always be loving supporters and those who just want to hurt.
Anyone who shares their story is brave and strong and deserves love and compassion whether or not we agree with everything they do or say or believe.
The people who share their pain with the world do the best they can the best they know how. 
No one chooses to be mentally ill. We have to take the life we were gifted with, healthy or not, and do the best we can with it, bloom where we’re planted, create a firm, strong foundation with everything we know, everything we experience, everything that is thrown at us.

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~Anne De Lenclos 

Mental illness, pain, being suicidal…none of these are choices but acting on them is often a choice. Acting negatively or acting positively. Giving in and giving up or finding it in us to keep going with everything we have. We have the choice to do something to better ourselves, to hold on, to inspire, bring hope, consolation, encouragement, and understanding to others. 

I choose to hold on, to keep going, to inspire myself and anyone else I can along the way.

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And I hope you will always do the same whatever your situation is. And if you need reminders every now and again, look for them. Take photos of happy things, write positive quotes and affirmations in a book so you can always look at them when you need inspiration, always remember words, books, things that have helped you and let them continue to help you. Remember an occasion when you were happy and filled with joy and hope and full of life and know you have it in you to feel that way again. If you can’t remember when you last felt that way, then know there’s always hope as long as you’re alive.  The world is full of pain but it’s also full of hope, healing, happiness, love, and possibility. Endless possibilities.

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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)

Xoxo Kim

Quiet Strength & Confidence

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“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

A few days ago I wrote a blog post but never got around to posting it. It’s about how inner strength & self confidence aren’t always “loud” or “outright bold.”   It can be but isn’t always.   Not all strong, confident people are outgoing and not all of them speak up over every unpleasant incident. Sometimes strength is letting trivial things slide.   Sometimes strength is kindness and forgiveness and gentleness. Not all strong, confident people come off that way. Some people have more of a quiet strength and confidence about them and it’s no less of a strength or confidence.
Today I was looking up some quotes that are relevant to my post that I was going to post today and I found this!:

“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”
C. JoyBell C.

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I couldn’t believe it because it’s so similar to my original post, in concept and in choice of words! It’s amazing. It’s uncanny! I have never read this before. Until now.  So I decided to revise my original post and share the above quote, which says it better than I originally did! 😉
In the summer I wrote about an incident I had at work with people being liars, backstabbers, and not caring about anyone but themselves, betraying and causing unnecessary trouble for me. I wrote about how I handled it and provided a list of of positive suggestions for how to cope with betrayal and other people’s negativity.  
My problem in the Summer cleared up but recently the same people have been being shady and sneaky again. I’m very trusting and forgiving in general and after the summer I wasn’t expecting this.

But I am not taking it personally. I know that when people take advantage of me and do/say things to me because they think they can get away with it because I’m quiet, it says more about them than it says about me.

When people take advantage of quiet, gentle, shy people, often, just because they think they can it shows who they are, not who the quiet person is.

For my whole life I have generally been a quiet, shy girl and I open up when I’m around people more often. And I have Often helped people over and over, even people who take advantage, until it seems there’s nothing left of me or for me. I have said “Yes” to others and “no” to myself so much it wore me out.  

There were days when my self esteem was low and I did not speak up for myself because I felt I deserved the mistreatment or I was afraid of what people would think of me. But many days that I don’t speak up, it’s not that but the fact that I’m a simple girl and don’t like to blow things out of proportion or have chaos where there doesn’t have to be any.

It’s not an indication that I’m weak or scared or a “pushover” like some people think. My mom often says I let people get over on me. And while that has been true in some cases, it’s most often not true now. No matter what I do or don’t do or say or don’t say and no matter what it looks like on the outside to others, if in my head I’m still at peace, still calm, still know my worth, still know they have the problem, not me, then no one got over on me.

But some things are not better left unsaid or forgotten. Some things really should be brought up and some people need to be confronted about certain issues in a calm, civil manner. So that’s what I did recently. I confronted one of the people forever dragging on and starting the nonsense.  I was friendly about it. I’m in no mood to make things worse for everyone or to be angry more than necessary.

These people are often very unreasonable, selfish, sneaky, and just negative and caring about absolutely no one but themselves.   They live and breathe the victim mentality and act as if they are more important than everyone else. So confronting them usually does nothing more than show that I speak up for myself.   Or they say that I am the wrong one for speaking up and not dropping it. When a person speaks up often no one thinks much of it but when someone who is typically quiet speaks up, it stands out and some people claim that the person is wrong and dragging something out or turning into a “bitch.”

But even when speaking up to someone gets me just about nowhere with the people,
At least I don’t let them get away with it without saying something.   I show me that I will speak up when necessary.

People suggested I get revenge on them. But I don’t get even. I get even more FABULOUS. I forgive and move forward and wish them the best.   

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, generosity, helpfulness, forgiveness, warmth, gentleness, letting trivial things go…are not necessarily weaknesses. In fact, some of those qualities can be great strengths.  

I help people because I want to, not because I’m fearful of saying no for some reason. I forgive because it’s better for all of us. I let frivolous issues slide because often I just really don’t care and sometimes I know just letting it go is better for everyone.  

Shyness, quietness, extreme kindness, and simplicity are a combination that looks, on the outside, as if someone is a pushover or not strong or confident. But I believe it’s what’s on the inside that matters.

“We may get knocked down on the outside, but the key to living in victory is to learn how to get up on the inside.”
Joel Osteen

I don’t generally let people disturb my inner peace. I don’t feel like they are getting over on me. So I’m still confident and strong. 

Along with my shyness and quietness and kindness, I’m also very simple. But in a good way. Lol. I’m easy going. So many things that get others fuming don’t even faze me.

Kindness and generosity and helping others can be used how we choose. We can choose to make it a weakness by taking it to the extreme until we are so worn out or we can choose a healthy balance of it. Helping others and being very kind but still being dedicated to self-care and saying “YES!” to ourselves enough.

I have struggled hard with where to draw the line with helping people who ask excessively and are sneaky and shady, causing trouble and confusion for me.

I want to help them still. I know they are people with desires and needs but I also know it’s not good to wear myself out to do so much for people who take advantage and intentionally cause trouble. And the more I help, the more they’ll ask and think they can get away with anything they want.  I have been struggling to determine when excessive kindness actually becomes a weakness. Predators treat us how we let them. When they see we constantly say “yes, yes, yes, and YES!” over and over to them even after they cause trouble, it reinforces their decision to keep asking for more, more, more…..and to keep causing the trouble.

In the summer I decided to help out and give still, to the people who did me wrong but mostly only when it doesn’t put me out too much and exhaust me and let them get away with way too much. But I went back to my old ways of giving and helping excessively to the point it wasn’t good for me. I like the people who do this to me and I want to help. I don’t think they’re bad people but they sure have very bad habits!  

But so do I, just different bad habits. And bad habits CAN be un-learned and replaced with healthy habits.

And then they pulled this again. So I decided to develop the habit of saying “Yes” to me more often and “no” to the predators and actually stick with it now.

Another thing I have struggled with before when people would take advantage of my quietness and kindness is feeling low about myself instead of realizing it’s their problem and not something fundamentally or intrinsically wrong with me.  

I have had thoughts like “If I were better she wouldn’t have done that to me….” and “Since she said that to me, there must really be something wrong with me…” and “A better person would not have had this done or said to her…”  “if only I were perfect….or loud…or outgoing….””Since she doesn’t like me, there really must be something wrong with me…”

But none of that’s true. No matter how great, beautiful, strong, amazing, kind, confident …someone is, certain people will say/do bad things to that person if they feel they can “get away with it” or if they are jealous of the person.

Through the years I have strengthened my confidence, my self esteem, and self love, and my own life philosophy.   I know what people do shows something about them, not me. Unless that person has helpful suggestions or constructive criticism for me to help me better myself, I can take what they say/do with a grain of salt and leave it at that.

But sometimes I still feel my confidence faltering. But I catch it before it gets worse. I remind myself that what people say/do to me, when it’s uncalled for, is their issue, not mine. That’s not to say I’m never wrong and never deserve criticism and that everyone who criticizes me is definitely wrong.   But when they are wrong and intentionally trying to cause trouble or just being excessively selfish not caring about anyone else, it’s them who are wrong.

So, remember if you’re quiet and shy and very kind and generous, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re weak.  You can use and view your qualities as strengths.

There’s nothing wrong with being shy or outgoing or quiet or outspoken or loud, being bold or having a more quiet, gentle kind of strength.   There’s nothing wrong with being very kind and helpful and selfless and there’s nothing wrong with being selfish to a certain extent and practicing a healthy dose of self-care.   Quiet doesn’t automatically mean weak and loud doesn’t automatically mean obnoxious or “bitchy.” We are all different and all are ok. It’s just that it’s not good to take advantage of anyone just because we think we can. We should all embrace our own unique qualities and traits while also embracing and building up other people’s.

Thank You so much for reading and if you have any thoughts to share, I would love to know.   
When do you think kindness becomes a “weakness” or is it never a “weakness?” Do you view helping predatory people less as a form of revenge or merely as self respect? Do you have any other thoughts on this topic? I would love to know! 😀

Xoxo Kim

You Can Bend but Never Break Me </3 <3

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Recently I have been thinking about how “unfair” and “unjust” things are and seem.   People and things in this world can really drag us down and if we let them, even keep us down. There ‘s no doubt about it, people and things outside of ourselves affect us in negative (as well as positive) ways. In ways that may seem out of our control. But my truth is that people can have control over the extent in which they allow people and things, circumstances to “get to them.”

I don’t always have control over what anyone other than myself says or does or feels. I can’t help if people lash out at me, sling insults at me, physically assault me, verbally abuse me, or try hard to bring me down. I also do not and will not always have control over my circumstances or situations.  I can’t always help getting stuck in traffic, things breaking, things not going my way.  And the truth is since I am a living mortal with human emotions and not a robot, a brick wall, dead, brain dead, or whatever else these negative people and situations and things WILL negatively affect me in ways. They will. And that is part of being a living human. A feeling human. I may not have complete control over how things affect me but I DO have control over the degree in which they affect me.

Maybe not right away. But I can practice and learn to not be buffeted by things outside of myself. 
I can do this by acknowledging and accepting the fact that life is good and bad and to remind myself that when people do things wrong to intentionally impact me negatively it says something about them, not me.  
I can look at all the greatness I am surrounded with and filled with and learn not to dwell constantly on the pain and negative things.
I can honor myself. Do and Be what brings me joy. And know that if people do not like me or appreciate me, it’s their loss, their problem.

One day recently I read a story, a true and devastating story, written by a grieving mother who lost her 22 year old son to homicide many years ago. He was a college boy, shot dead by a much older “friend ” over a trivial argument. The mother’s strength and passion and determination amazed me then when I first read that story and amazes me now.  
She chose to live. To keep going. A criminal, a murderer changed her life. And the lives of everyone who knew and loves him. It changed this mother ‘s life for the worse. He took away her only son and left her with just memories, grief, seemingly unbearable pain, and so much confusion and shock . He shattered her life. But she made the choice to put her life back together, though it will never be the same. A vicious, malicious criminal ended her loving, caring son ‘s life but she sure as hell wasn’t going to let that same malicious man end hers in anyway. She is now an advocate for homicide victims and their families and friends.   She works with criminals and murderers in positive ways to try to get them to understand to some degree the devastation that their horrific actions have on everyone around them.
She is a survivor.

Some years ago, a man held a gun to my chest at the store where I work. It’s window service. I was working alone late at night with no one else around.  He came up to the window and told me he had a gun and that I better give him all the store money or he would kill me. He actually said those words to me. “I’ll kill you.” I refused to give him the money and he pulled the gun out and held it to my chest and said “I’m serious, I will kill you.”. 

I still refused. (yeah people told me later how very stupid I was)

Then he told me I better give it or he’ll kill me and take the money then kill the people in the bar across the street which my boss also owns. He said if I give him the money we all live. I never want anyone else’s lives in danger so I let him have it.

The man was never caught. There was no camera to catch his image. I couldn’t identify him in any pictures.   None were of him.

I wasn’t hurt. And I wasn’t touched physically.   

My dad says every now and then how one of his biggest fears is someone coming to the window again while I’m working and actually carrying through with a vicious plan or threat of some sort and either ending or “ruining” my life. He’s afraid I’ll live but be seriously attacked or injured in some way.

But I made a choice. No one will ever ruin my life unless that person ends it. But as long as I’m living No one other than me can destroy me or ruin me because I said so and I will never give anyone that power.   I may not always be able to prevent or avoid an attack, physical or verbal. But I won’t let it destroy me. No one deserves that kind of power over me.

Something or someone can hurt me. Scare me. Paralyze me or whatever but NO ONE will destroy or ruin me. I will be negatively affected by negative people and things.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want to be fully alive.   It is normal. Natural. Healthy.   To be negatively affected by the world around us. To be sad. Disappointed.   Grief stricken. Angry. Scared…..jealous….suspicious, all in healthy dosages.

But then we get back up and move forward. And keep going. And keep living.   And still create happiness & joy.

Like Helen Reddy sings, “You can Bend but Never Break me”

What I’m saying right now must be said gently or I risk sounding cruel. It is in no way intended to tell “victims” or survivors of anything to “get over it” or that they’re overreacting or not handling things right. Everyone reacts in different ways and handles things differently. I want survivors of anything, big and small things, alike to take back the power and never let someone or something else have that power.

I don’t want a criminal or a bully or a situation or illness or anything to have power over a person. I want the person to empower herself (himself). It’s not always easy.   It takes learning and practice and maybe some extra help.
But we can learn not to be destroyed by someone or something else outside of ourselves. We don’t have to feel numb or deny the impact or the scars. We can admit the horror we have endured and how it affected us and then muster up all the strength we have and move forward with an open heart. 

It’s not your fault that people do bad things to you. There’s no justification for abuse or assault or mistreatment of any kind.  And it’s not your fault if you have a sickness of any kind or a disability.   And it’s not your fault if you react negatively to the negativity or mistreatment. It’s just your natural reaction. You can take back your power and own yourself.

I will rise above the victim mentality. Instead I will acknowledge and honor my ability to make choices, my ability to choose happiness and joy even through the trauma and sorrow and grief and negativity.

I refuse to be a victim.

Xoxo Kim

“You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul”. ~ Helen Reddy (I Am Woman)

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The lovely Moon, a light in the darkness.