“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”
It’s ok to do something just for sheer pleasure! And fantastic to share it with others!
My cousin sent me a Facebook invitation for an event taking place here in Philadelphia and when I opened it, I was ecstatic!
It’s the perfect idea for everywhere, not just here!
There are people collecting gloves, hats, scarves…anything to keep people warm, and hanging them in trees, putting them on park benches, and anywhere for homeless people to take and be a little bit warmer.
Isn’t this absolutely amazing?! Why did I not think of this?! I thought of leaving inspiring notes, dollar bills, books….for anyone to find but never thought of leaving pratical material objects like gloves & hats for people in need.
I am so thankful I was introduced to this idea and that people thought of it and reached so many people to inspire to do this. Gloves and hats can really make a big difference to people walking or sitting in the freezing cold.
My heart is overwhelmed in love & gratitude. It’s so heartwarming to see people helping like this.
Thank You to all who do things like this and inspire others to help.
Maybe you will do something like this if it’s cold where you are? You can donate your own or buy some things to help warm up those in need. Just put them outside anywhere and especially where homeless people usually are. In Philadelphia, they are often in “Love Park.” But people in need are everywhere. ❤ ❤
(this isn’t my picture. I found it on Google images.)
Hugs & love,
I’m reading a beautiful novel called “The Well of Loneliness” by Radclyffe Hall, which takes place in the 1920’s and is classified as “Lesbian fiction.” It’s considered to be the very first novel to condemn homophobia and the unfair treatment of gay people. It was originally published in 1928.
While it’s not an autobiography, it is inspired by the author’s real life. It’s said to be the “thinly disguised story of Radclyffe Hall’s own life.” It’s about a woman named Stephen who is considered to be very different than the average woman. She’s somewhat masculine and is a lesbian. Even when she’s not open about her sexual orientation, people can kind of sense it. But this is the 20’s and not only is homosexuality condemned by society, it’s not even thought of much and almost never talked about. Even though people have an idea of the concept, it’s like they don’t even know what it’s called or how to even talk about it in words or fathom it. It’s so unheard of, it’s like there’s not even a word for it, it seems in this novel. They all have an idea about Stephen, that she’s not how she “should be.” As a child she was said not to have the “pretty little ways” of the other little girls. She wanted short hair and to be a boy.
Since she was a child, she worked out unlike other little girls. Now she’s muscular and considered to be unusual. She also fences “like a man.” She doesn’t like girly things and dresses in masculine suits with ties.
She is considered quite attractive, just not in a feminine way.
She’s kind of shy, lacks confidence, and often feels as if she’s being mocked by those around her.
But she knows what she wants and goes for it even though others criticize and exclude her. I love how Stephen loves and cares deeply for animals. And people too.
People know as a young woman she’s not romantically interested at all in men. And they do not like this at all. She is only interested in being friends with men.
But men/boys feel threatened by her because she’s better at boy activities than even they are.
Even Stephen herself doesn’t understand what is going on. She knows, as the people in her community suspect, that she’s only romantically attracted to women. She thinks there is something wrong with her but also she knows there’s nothing wrong with her. She knows her attraction and love for other women is not wrong or unnatural or immoral but she can’t help but feel in some way that there’s something “wrong” with her because of how others treat her.
To her, her love feels so right, so natural, so strong, it can’t possibly be wrong.
Most people won’t accept her. They gossip about her very unkindly. The only two people who seem to accept her, homosexuality and all, are her dad and her teacher.
The novel is about how she falls in love with a woman who loves her back and no one around them accepts this and won’t even let them in their houses. This puts a kind of strain on their relationship. Then a man comes along and says he can give Stephen’s lover the “respectability” that Stephen cannot if she will leave Stephen for him. This is a threat to their relationship and puts their love for one another to the test.
One of the most beautiful lines in the novel is:
“‘You’re neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you’re as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you’re unexplained as yet- you’ve not got your niche in creation. But some day that will come, and meanwhile don’t shrink from yourself, but just face yourself calmly and bravely. Have courage; do the best you can with your burden. But above all be honourable. Cling to your honour for the sake of those who share the same burden. For their sakes show the world that people like you and they can be quite as selfless and fine as the rest of mankind. Let your life go to prove this- it would be a really great life-work, Stephen.'” (pp. 154)
One of the characters in the book plans to say this to Stephen but she has to be careful or they both can get into social trouble if it’s overheard by others, Stephen for being a lesbian, the other character for supporting her .
Isn’t this beautiful?! While there’s nothing intrinsic to homosexuality itself that is painful or immoral or wrong or detrimental and there’s nothing about consensual adult homosexual encounters/relationships that is wrong, to many lgbtq people, it can feel that way because of the way others view and treat them or their sexuality. Homosexuality isn’t a burden. What is the burden, is having to put up with prejudicial attitudes and discrimination.
I think the line I shared above can apply to all of us with any situation we have whether good, bad, or neutral. We can have a situation that is painful or frustrating or distressing either because of the thing itself or the way people view the thing. For example when someone has depression or anxiety, that itself is not good, and on top of it, people often misunderstand or misjudge those who struggle with those disorders. And then there are even good things that can become painful because of how other people react. Like some goals and dreams some people have which may not be supported by friends and family of the person. For example, some people want to be an artist and the family won’t accept it, maybe thinking it’s pointless or that the person won’t get much money or get anywhere in life being an artist. But being an artist of any sort is a great thing! It’s amazing. But it won’t always feel that way with other people pressuring them to be/do something else. Stephen or anyone can have a beautiful romantic relationship with a lover of the same gender or even a different gender but it can feel “wrong” or painful because other people try to get in the way for whatever reason.
But as this line in the book shows, there’s always someone out there somewhere in a similar situation who can really be helped in some way by our stories. They may be feeling very lonely and hopeless and knowing examples of others in similar situations can bring them consolation, inspiration, motivation, and help them muster the strength to keep going.
It’s not always easy to share our stories because no matter what there’s always going to be those who criticize unnecessarily, mock, judge, try to get in the way…,whether they are friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers.
But I think it’s worth it to share our stories, the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the taboo, and the unthinkable…to help others somehow. Some people want desperately to share their story of a life situation they experience/d but they are deathly afraid of being judged. It’s ok to be afraid. But I think we can “feel the fear and do it anyway.” There’s someone, many someones, out there who need us and can draw on our strength. When people criticize us unnecessarily and judge us negatively, we can love them and move forward, letting them judge and criticize. It has nothing to do with us or how we really are.
I love this book even though I haven’t read it all yet. It’s so beautiful, the story, the love, the imagery, the boldness, and how it’s written, almost poetically. The beauty and imagery just flow. And it’s written with passion and deep understanding as the author herself, has in reality experienced very similar circumstances as Stephen. It’s a very old story but it’s not written in a way that is hard to understand. I was expecting to not understand some things as the English language long ago wasn’t exactly the same as now and in some old texts they had to allude to certain taboo concepts like homosexuality, suicide, adultery…as those things were considered unthinkable. But this book is quite candid. It’s said to be “Shockingly candid for its time.”
There’s not much allusion. The author is upfront in her writing. I love the candor. The author, I feel, is a hero for having the courage to write this novel back then, when she would have been horribly judged and criticized, discriminated against. In fact, her novel was banned and her literary career was almost ended. Imagine how many people were/are helped and inspired by this novel. Sadly, these things linger even today but fortunately they are often less severe than way back then, still, they are all too common. I think this novel is a gift to the world (and I haven’t even read the entire thing yet. Lol) I’m happy she had the balls to write and get it published back then. Imagine the strength it took. Even today lgbtq people are discriminated against and the targets of prejudicial attitudes, so imagine how much more courage it took back in the 20’s to put her story out there!
So I find so much wisdom in the story and feel I must share it!
Much love to you! ❤
Xoxo Kim ❤
“It is extraordinary how extraordinary the ordinary person is.” ~ George F. Will
I recently came across a Country song that I never heard before and I am completely blown away! I write so frequently about how one life no matter how “ordinary,” can have an amazing, positive effect on many, many other lives. And that’s exactly the message this song conveys. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful message.
Most people that I come across, that I know of, can’t stand Country music. But even if you are one of those who find it very distasteful, you may still love the beautiful message of this song.
“Life’s like a chain – sometimes it breaks
We all need a hand when we fall from grace
It could be someone walking down the street
A stranger on a bus
A little kid on his way to school
Or any one of us
We all got a little superman ready to take flight
And save a life, oh save a life
Take a look around and you’ll see ordinary angels” ~ Craig Morgan
A while ago I wrote a post about “ordinary” people who inspire me, people who aren’t celebrities(celebrities can be very inspiring too but we don’t have to be to have a positive effect on someone.) or ones who are well known. They don’t necessarily have extravagant jobs and lots of money or any special skills other than compassion, caring, and the courage to reach out to others in some way. They don’t necessarily have the resources to reach people at great magnitudes the way famous people do. But they can touch at least one life each day. They help people just by being themselves. That was before I heard this song. And this song inspires me to make another list. Here is my list of “ordinary angels,” mostly strangers whose lives have touched mine in some way.
1.) The man who came to the store where I work and paid for the two people in line in back of him who he did not know and told them to get whatever they want, no matter how much it costs. Then he gave me an eighteen dollar tip, which is more than the cost of all his stuff! The people in back of him insisted that he doesn’t pay for their stuff and he said he wanted to.
“We’re all in this together” he said.
I was inspired by his message more than the big tip! We ARE all in this together. Let’s reach out to one another, encourage each other, and build each other up.
2.) The young man who gave me his seat on a bus – one day after a therapy appointment I was standing on a crowded bus holding a bag of books and this young man without asking just got up and walked to the front and told me I can have his seat and he stood the rest of the way. It helped me so much!! I am still so thankful.
3.) the two men who (literally) saved my life at a bus stop – I was (stupidly) texting on my phone while crossing the bus terminal and I walked in front of the 17 bus and almost got hit, two men who did not know me or each other, yelled and one pushed me and the other pulled me. They risked their own lives to save me, a stranger. They had no idea who I am, had no idea how I live, what my views on anything are, what I may have done in this life and they did not care. All they cared about was saving me.
4.) The homeless man who saw me trudging up the street like trying to walk through Quicksand or like trying to walk up the stairs in that Fred Krueger movie, going to class, when I was in college. I was depressed & suicidal and he had no idea what was going on in my head but he knew something unpleasant was going on. He yelled out to me, “Smile little lady, it gets better.” and he had the brightest, most beautiful smile on his face, I couldn’t help but smile, myself! 😀 His words still carry me today.
Smile little lady, it gets better. 😀
It does get better.
5.) the University professor at Temple University in back of me in line, who smiled and talked to me in her warm, soothing voice when we were waiting in line. She was almost late for her class and was in line to buy a snack and so was I. I wasn’t her student but I was almost late for a different class. She had the most beautiful smile and warmest voice. She wanted to get out of line and go to the soda box to get a drink and asked me if I would hold her place. When she came back I let her get in front of me so she wouldn’t be as late. I was depressed and suicidal again. Back then I almost always was. I found her presence to be so comforting and warm. And that encounter lifted me. And I cherish that memory. I even wrote a poem about it many years later! People inspire me to write.
6.) the man who helped me in Center City Philadelphia when I was lost. I couldn’t find my way back home, had no idea what bus to take or where to get it. I must have looked as lost as I felt. A man came out of nowhere and asked if I was lost and where I was trying to go. I told him and he told me exactly where to go and what bust to get on. I found my way back home. Love will always be my guide.
7.) the sweet girl in Center City who gave me a hug out of nowhere just because she wanted to bring joy to anyone she could. I never saw her before that day or any day after.
8.) the stranger who put his umbrella over me in the midst of a heavy rain shower. I was waiting for a bus after my therapy appointment, to come home and a man also waiting for the bus let me stand under his umbrella with him. He asked if I work around there and I said no I go to therapy appointments there. He asked what for and asked if I’m stressed. I said not necessarily “stressed” I have a chronic depressive disorder and suicidal tendencies, a genetic condition or biochemical imbalance or whatever. I waited for him to step away in shock and horror and disgust like some others have done when I told them. But instead, he asked about it and empathized, and he told me his sister also has depression and he tries to be as understanding as possible.
9.) the two women who talked to me walking up the street together – I was walking to a counseling center for an appointment and on the way there I met two women holding hands, walking up the same street with me. They had a special warmth about them, a welcoming, inviting glow, I thought they seemed like people I would like to know or talk to and then the one turned around and said hello. I said hello and the other one turned to greet me. They asked where I was going and I told them and it turned out they were patients at the same place for depression like me! But they weren’t going there then. We talked for a while and they told me they are lovers and have a mostly great relationship but get into arguments because the one girl was kind of overly jealous. And the one wanted to hang out with her ex girlfriend and the other was very uncomfortable with that situation. But they were working on their problems together. They told me their fears, their loves, their sorrow, and joy. Their happiness. I love how open and honest they were. I’m very open too but some people I wouldn’t tell stuff to directly because they don’t seem as easy to talk to but these two women were so open and receptive and what a coincidence how I met them, nowhere near the clinic but they were patients there! We knew the same people and had similar experiences! They were very easy to talk to and I told them my own story with depression.
10.) the lady who made sure no one sat in a puddle on a seat on a bus – I was sitting on a bus years ago and a lady closer to the front intentionally sat near a seat with a puddle in it so she would be able to tell every person who was about to sit in it that it’s wet! And many people kept getting ready to sit in it! She had to remain constantly alert and couldn’t even sit back all the way in her seat so that she could constantly, quickly caution people! I have seen puddles and gum on seats before and most people walk right by not thinking to even sit close just to warn people. What a very thoughtful and caring person! And so many people and their pants were saved! Doesn’t this just inspire you so deeply to be more thoughtful?!
11.) the sweet & friendly girl at an event at a Buddhist center who talked to me. We have very similar interests and she showed genuine interest in me and my opinions. She’s going to be a nurse and help lots of people! I loved talking to her. I only ever met her once but the connection was deep.
12.) the friendly Philadelphia police detective who said I did a great job and expressed gratitude for me “helping” after someone tried to steal money at work years ago. I couldn’t identify the person but the man was so thankful anyway and praised me for trying. He could have been frustrated and stressed but he was friendly and uplifting. He did more than just his job, he reached out to be positive and uplifting when he did not have to.
13.) the customer who saw me outside of work and told me I’m very friendly and that him and his girlfriend are always pleased to see me at work. They are both very sweet and kind and caring.
14.) The man who told me I have beautiful hair – some years ago I was filling out one of those silly and fun online surveys and one question was “what thing do you get the least compliments on?” mine is my hair. I love my beautiful hair but I don’t get many compliments on it by others(I’m often told that it’s super long but not always sure if it’s exactly a compliment or just an observation). My sister always did get compliments when it’s not dyed because she has bright orange hair, naturally, when it’s not dyed another color. The very next day when I was on a bus, a man who was walking out the doors told me I have very beautiful hair. It wasn’t even fixed or brushed. And recently in dunkin donuts another man came up to me while I was in line and told me I have very beautiful, long hair then he walked away and as I was walking out, he said goodbye. I love genuine compliments that are not intended to get something in return.
15.) the girl I met randomly in college. I was sitting outside on campus reading a philosophy book when this girl sat next to me like she knew me. I wanted to say hello but was too shy so I just kept on reading and she said the name of my book and the author without even being able to see it. She recognized the appearance of the book! Another philosophy phreak!
What are the chances?! 😀
She told me her name, Stephanie, she was going to law school to be a criminal defense attorney and loved philosophy like me! We had a long, intriguing discussion about all the ancient and modern philosophers, philosophy of law, logic,ethics, and about our other interests. Her boyfriend was going away for the military and she was scared for him and sad he was leaving but also proud. I was so happy to have a friend in that moment, we connected so well, so genuinely, an instant soul sister. I never saw her again but my memory uplifts me to this day.
16.) the doctor who held my hand after surgery – many years ago I had very painful emergency surgery and medical procedure on my kidney & bladder when it almost ruptured. I was very sickly and in excruciating pain. After surgery, I was scared because I opened my eyes but couldn’t see very well. I had no idea that is normal after just waking up after surgery as I have never had surgery before then or knew anything about it. All the doctors and nurses were very warm and caring. The one doctor came over and I told her I couldn’t see and she held my hand and assured me it would get better and I would recover well. She did more than just her job, she expressed compassion, genuine concern, and empathy. Now when I think back to that ordeal, I have warm memories.
17.) the little boy, five years old, who told me I’m beautiful one night at work. A young mom who comes with her little boys told me her older son has a little crush on me and was too afraid to tell me I’m pretty. And she told him every girl loves to be told she’s beautiful and I said yup that’s so true! And then the younger boy said “you are so beautiful!” I was so flattered. Especially because I did not feel the most beautiful that night! I was functioning with lack of sleep, ratty hair, no makeup…
And his compliment was so genuine. After that, I really did feel so beautiful, even with the dark circles under my eyes and all! When a child tells you you’re beautiful, you are beautiful! Lol
18.) the man driving by in a car who saw a random stranger, another man, putting up a ladder and stopped his car to say “yo buddy, you need help?” I just witnessed this; I wasn’t involved but it warmed me just the same.
19.) Michelle, Melissa, Lamont, Stephen, Patricia, Frank, Holly, Deborah, Aquanetta, Jennifer, Chris, Latrina, Kelly, Georgia, Gina, and all the others I knew when I had to stay in a hospital for a while for psychotic depression and suicidal contemplation. It wouldn’t be the same without those friends who helped me see it through. All strangers who helped each other bear the burden of mental illness. We all connected in a deep way, all of us struggling and understanding each other better than anyone else ever could. We suffered in our own separate worlds, imprisoned in our own secret hell but we were able to reach out to one another and let each other into that hell, knowing each other’s pain intimately. I never saw them again but I carry them in my heart.
20.) Mr. O, the psychiatric technician who told us of his own struggle with substance addiction and his recovery and how it inspires him everyday to help others. He told us that we all have an inner sun, to find it and let it shine through. That we can always choose how to handle things and react and work on our attitude even when it hurts. He even mentioned one of my other favorite Country songs, “The Gambler,” sung by Kenny Rogers, which is about choosing our attitude and empowering ourselves.
21.) my friend, Johnathan – he’s not a stranger. I knew him for years. He’s the most selfless person I have ever known. He gives others his last dollar always, even when he’s out of money and food for himself. He goes out of his way to help strangers, he buys food for whole families if he sees them struggling. He does (construction) work for people even if they can’t pay him. He doesn’t always know when he will get paid next but it doesn’t stop him, he will give every last dollar of his to a friend, a family member, a stranger, even an enemy. I have seen him giving money to and doing free work for people who are very unkind to him, very ungrateful, even destructively criticize him. He does this out of the goodness of his heart. He genuinely wants everyone to be happy. Everyone. He is a great dad and does whatever he can to help his kids whenever they need something, even the young adult ones. He helps animals in need if he sees them. He is extremely understanding and caring and compassionate. He’s big and strong and defends people in need. His generosity is boundless and indescribable. He just gives, gives, gives. Love, money, work, anything he has to give.
22.) the group of police officers who came to my work – I don’t charge police officers of any kind at work. They can get whatever they want for nothing. But they usually insist on paying and giving me tips. One day a group of them came and gave me a very big tip. They were very friendly and so generous. I always appreciate the friendliness and kindness more than the money itself. They had the opportunity to get whatever they wanted for nothing but they paid and gave me a generous tip. And were kind and friendly. I appreciate that and all the work they do, the risks they take with their lives and also the risk of being destructively criticized by people who do not appreciate the work they do for us and judge them all by the unjust actions of a few, the dangerous work and the boring paperwork they must endure. They risk being perceived negatively and their mistakes and flaws are magnified because of the kind of work they do. Everyone probably makes mistakes but for people of certain jobs, they stand out more. I make mistakes at work but because the job is trivial, it won’t stand out as much even though I’m no morally better. I have much appreciation & deep gratitude for all good officers/detectives/police…
23.) The employee at Dunkin Donuts who gave me a senior discount when I did not have enough money for something after I ordered it. She could have said forget about it and let me go with nothing but she was kind enough to consider me an old person for the day and let me still have my drink! 😀
24.) the interviewer who rejected me for the job I applied to – I went on a job interview in the summer. The interviewer thought that I was qualified and experienced enough to give me a chance for an interview. After the interview process of a few potential employees, she e-mailed me to tell me she selected the person she thought was most qualified (not me 😦 lol) and she warmly thanked me for my interest and encouraged me to keep applying for jobs. I was surprised and pleased that she cared and took the time out of her very busy schedule to e mail those she interviewed who were not selected, and that she encouraged me to keep trying, to not give up. I wrote back thanking her for the chance and her message and she replied with well wishes to me for the present and the future! How sweet! I never encountered employers who are that involved or caring enough to write not one but two messages to the person they rejected and encouraging them not to give up! They usually just seem to ignore us. This shows how caring she is and not just all out for herself and her department. Not that all employers who ignore people are selfish or not caring, they just have so much to do, but writing a friendly message is evidence of true compassion.
25.) the college boy who complimented me after a presentation I gave to the class on a very complex, confusing philosophy issue involving logic. In college, many years ago for one of my philosophy classes we had to write difficult papers, just like for most Phil. Classes I took. One paper I wrote, when the professor gave it back, it had A+ written on it! A is the best grade but he loved it so much he put a + on it! And not only that but he asked me to present it to the whole class! It’s to this day one of my most proudest accomplishments! It was very difficult to write, it took much thought and understanding. I don’t have social anxiety or fear of public speaking but I am very shy and this makes me forget stuff, sometimes, when I’m talking to people I don’t know well. When I would present stuff to class or professors, I would often feel like I have to get it perfect or like I will embarrass myself so it’s not always easy to talk in front of many people I don’t know well. And this is a very complex topic. So I happily agreed to present it but I was concerned I would forget how to explain it. It’s a difficult topic anyway and along with being shy and the pressure to not mess up in front of all those people, concerned me but I did very well anyway and a young man in class with me came up and told me how good I did. His compliment was everything to me and still is.
26.) the very friendly lady I met walking up the street. My mom, sister, and me were walking up the street in cold weather but my mom was hot and not wearing a coat and a very friendly lady came up and talked to us like she knew us forever even though we never saw her before. I love people like that! She was wearing a Winter coat and hat and said she wished she could be like my mom and not have to wear all that heavy clothing and she complimented my mom and she was just so sweet and friendly. It warmed me in the bitter cold. People who talk to strangers like they’re BFF’s always uplift & inspire me!
27.) the strangers who wrote a note about feeding stray cats. The bar on the corner where I live used to have a bowl of food and a small tent made for the stray cats to seek shelter in the back. Someone did not like it and put a note up asking them to stop attracting cats. But the cats were there anyway. It’s just that now they had food and shelter. Then later a person wrote on that same note responding to the first person saying the cats need to eat and a place to go. Then later another person responded suggesting to keep feeding them or take them to a shelter so they can find furever homes. All these strangers communicated to each other without seeing each other, just writing and signing their names to express compassion for homeless animals. Eventually the cats were taken to a no kill shelter by my kind neighbors, so they can finally get the furever homes & family love they deserve.
28.) the girl I met at a carnival when we were twelve years old. My mom and dad took my sister and me to a carnival but my sister was too young for the rides so I had to go on them alone but another young girl came over to me and asked me to go on them with her. We were best friends for the day.
29.) the girl in middle school who stood up for me when another girl said I had ugly hair. She told her my hair is not ugly; it’s beautiful. I still feel the compliment today.
30.) my psychology professor in college who e -mailed me to ask if everything is ok when I stopped coming to class all of a sudden. He did not take attendance but he noticed I was missing and cared. I was involuntarily hospitalized for depression and suicide contemplation at the end of that semester. I responded and told him what happened and he was extremely compassionate and told me he would make the final exam as easy as possible for me. I was so thankful and told him so. Then later he wrote back telling me to forget about the final exam that all my exams and class assignments were very good and he would just base my final grade on those. Words cannot express my gratitude for his kindness, compassion, concern, and understanding.
I still feel it now. Like a wrapped in a warm blanket.
31.) Larry the love poet – there’s a man named Larry I happen to see occasionally just walking up a street, in stores, all around. I don’t know him well, I just met him outside one day, but he always stops to talk to me. He’s a poet who is crazy for love. He writes beautiful love poems and recites them for me. He remembers all the words off the top of his head! I saw him in dunkin donuts and he got out of line to hold the door for me because my hands were full!
“When you’re in that dark place and you need that embrace
You know love is never too far away
It could be a waitress at a coffee shop you never saw before
A soldier that’s just coming home from fighting in the war
We all got a little superman ready to take flight
And save a life, oh save a life
Take a look around and you’ll see ordinary angels”
So here is my list of ordinary angels. And these are just some of them. There are many, many more.
Ordinary angels are everywhere. Loving, helpful, beautiful people, random acts of kindness… are not rare…but they are often overlooked and forgotten about in the midst of the routine busyness, stress, negativity…the mundane hassles, obligations, and stresses of everyday life that many/most of us experience at some points.
And we definitely need more love, compassion, and kindness in the world. There can never be too much. Sometimes we let fear stop us so we don’t reach out, or feelings of inadequacy, like maybe a more qualified person will come along to help that person in need so we should just go our own way, or we get too wrapped up in our own lives and situations we don’t think or care to stop to help another or we have bitter feelings against people or the world, or we’re too shy or just oblivious to all the chances and the importance to help out….but all this can be overcome so we can reach out in love.
No matter who you are, there is someone, somewhere who needs you and can benefit by your touch. Maybe someone across the world or right next door or in the very same room.
Something as simple as a friendly hello, a loving smile, or warm touch, letting someone else go first, have the last of something even if you want it, holding a door for someone not out of a feeling of obligation but genuine desire to make something easier for someone else, feeding stray cats, squirrels, or birds, who are hungry, adopting or fostering an animal, an uplifting comment or message on social media, sending an anonymous package during the holiday season to a person you know, to uplift that person, an anonymous or not anonymous letter to uplift someone you know is struggling in some way…all have the potential to brighten someone’s life. And as you see, these warm memories are everlasting. All these years later I remember all these lives and the many more who touched my life for the better. I carry them in my heart always.
I believe most people are basically good and caring but some people go above and beyond. Like these people above. They are full of love, compassion, courage, and life.
They have various jobs but they help in ordinary contexts irrespective of their jobs. They don’t need a specific paid job or volunteer job or a job at all to go the extra mile and help out in some way.
They can be financially struggling, homeless, financially rich, a doctor or celebrity, a police officer, a child, a very old person, a person with a disability of any kind…
They help & inspire because of who they are, not because of their job. Their jobs just provide opportunities for helping.
But there are opportunities all around us.
We can all be like this.
People with jobs where they always have to help people and famous or well known people can be ordinary angels too, helping people in “ordinary” contexts just like anyone else can, the whole point of the message is no matter who or what we are, or how much or very little we have, we can help someone in need or just brighten someone’s day.
“A soldier that’s just coming home from fighting in the war…”
Soldiers help people at work but they can also help in more simple, ordinary ways outside of work.
I am not the only one blessed with ordinary angels. They are everywhere. We all have the potential to be an ordinary angel. Like the song says.
“…or any one of us.”
I choose to acknowledge and list them and I encourage you to do the same. Whether it’s a public post like this one or in a journal you never show anyone.
You will have the warm memories to think about as long as you live.
Not only does it honor them even if they will never see it, it gets us in the habit of seeing them, acknowledging them, feeling immense gratitude for them. And allowing them to inspire and motivate us to pay it forward and be someone else’s ordinary angel.
Kindness has a ripple effect and love can permeate the world.
Whenever we reach out to make the world or someone’s life a little bit better, we reach out in Love.
Who are your ordinary angels?
When have you been someone else’s ordinary angel? The opportunities are infinite.
Go be someone’s Earth angel today.
All you need is your beautiful, loving heart.
“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.” ~Tracy Chapman
Mobile link to YouTube video for the song, “Ordinary Angels”:
Xoxo Kim 😀
“You can be greater than anything that can happen to you.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Last night I posted something about my experience with unbearable physical pain.
It is super long and much longer than I would have liked it to be but I wanted to share much of my experience with the agony to get the point across and express my pain.
I want to thank the people who read/liked it. Thank You so much! I appreciate it deeply. I know most people don’t care to read extra extra long posts and most of my posts will not be that long. 😀 Only when I have a real lot to say all at once. Lol
Here is another post on pain. You don’t have to read my previous post to make sense of this one.
It’s interesting how an extremely painful experience can humble us, deepen our empathy, allow us to be more in touch with and aware of the pain and joy of the world but it can also go the other way. It can lead some to become arrogant in certain ways with a hardened heart, less empathetic, less patient with those who seem to not have experienced as much pain. It can trigger some people to sometimes regard other people’s problems as trivial or not as worthy of compassion compared to their own extreme pain. I don’t think that reaction is wrong or that all people who think that way are completely heartless or that we should all have the same empathetic reaction, necessarily. It’s just my observation.
I can completely understand how someone’s pain or sickness is so bad the person just wants to scoff at someone whining over something so frivolous it seems ridiculous next to what that person is experiencing. I’m not innocent of this myself on some occasions.
We all react in our own way, ways that are best or appropriate or come easily for us based on our experiences and ways of coping, we’re all different and handle things differently and I don’t try to force people to be a certain way or usually judge negatively for how someone else reacts when it’s not how I would react myself.
Some people and some things people say are cold, heartless, callous, and outright cruel to others. And I don’t support or promote it but I understand not everyone will understand and care. And I still embrace them in my universal love.
My reaction to very painful experiences is almost always deeper empathy or becoming more in tune or aware or being reminded that there are so many others suffering like I am and worse and less who need all the love, compassion, and empathy they can receive.
I don’t believe that physical pain is necessarily not as bad or is worse than emotional pain. They can both be severe, moderate, or mild, depending upon the kind of pain, the person, the coping mechanisms someone has and other circumstances.
I was reading words that inspired Norman Vincent Peale. He inspires me and I want to know what inspired him.
I am not religious or spiritual in a way that has to do with the supernatural. I am an atheist. I don’t believe in the afterlife. But I find inspiration everywhere, even in religious writings and things that people who believe in some god or gods say.
Norman Vincent Peale was a very religious Christian man and well known minister and he is known for his work, “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
I came across his words on pain & suffering.
“Pain and suffering have wracked humanity throughout history. Evidence of arthritis has been discovered in the earliest skeletons of the past.
My friend Lloyd Ogilvie, distinguished pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, California, once said that he had learned several important lessons from personally experiencing pain and suffering. He found he grew the most spiritually during those ordeals.” ~Norman Vincent Peale
“No one welcomes pain. But, rightly faced, it can bring about great good. And we can triumph over it.”
He writes of Doug Williams, quarterback for the Washington Redskins, and how the man endured hours of dental surgery the day before the 1988 Superbowl football game. Then during the game, he injured his knee. But he still led the team to victory, breaking one record after another.
That is truly amazing!
Dr. Peale states that when we are struck by pain, we often ask the wrong questions, such as ‘why me?’ But more positive and productive questions are ‘What can I learn from this? What can I do about it? What can I accomplish in spite of it?’
There is deep wisdom in this and it’s so very motivational and helpful.
I have never asked “Why me?” I don’t want it to be anyone and it’s not “me” for any specific reason. I just got this disorder. It’s nothing personal against me, not a punishment I deserve. It’s just something going wrong in my body. Why not me? Why anyone? Because it’s the way our world works.
Some people get terrifying and agonizing sicknesses and disorders, both physical and mental, while others are blessed to never know that pain. But we are not victims unless we choose to be or unless we’re dead. To me, the only victims are dead. That’s not to say living people aren’t in despair and agony and are not suffering and do not deserve compassion. It’s to say no matter how dark it gets, no matter how deep the despair is, we can always choose to get up and pro-act as best as we can.
Here are some quotes Dr. Norman Peale loved by other people:
“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” ~ Paul Harvey
Yes! If you survived before, which you have since you’re here, surely you will survive again and again and again….when your pain comes in waves or clusters or patterns or just flares, just ride each wave like you’re on top of the world. As the Beach Boys say, catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world! Oh how easy it is to say and think this when things aren’t so bad but even in pain, sickness, fatigue, depression….it can be done. On a Facebook page for cluster headache support, education, and awareness, I saw this….
“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for surviving bad days so far is 100% and that’s pretty good.”
“It takes more distress and poison to kill someone who has peace of mind and loves life.” ~ Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
Yup! Physical pain and illness are not depression or a negative attitude. They can contribute to and trigger that but they are not it. They can be separated. It’s important to keep in mind that we CAN be happy and joyful even in pain. There is still beauty. We may sometimes have to look harder but it’s there. Even with emotional pain, we can train our brains to seek out beauty and some sense of joy even when it’s hard.
“Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires – disruptions in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way.” ~ Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
Again, pain of any kind can teach us, strengthen us, deepen us, and guide us.
“One cannot get through life without pain….What we can do is choose how to use the pain life presents to us.” ~ Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.
This says it all! 😀 Let’s take all of our pain and struggles and use it all to our advantage.
I found a few things that help me cope with the pain and the psychological consequences of having an extremely painful disorder. One of them is art journaling, writing, painting, gluing, arts & crafts…another is reading positive quotes and other things and sharing them. This also helps with my depressive disorder. Sometimes just seeing a positive quote uplifts me even when I’m not feeling it completely.
We don’t always have to be or feel positive but it’s good in general to maintain a positive attitude, in my opinion.
And sharing quotes and happy photos to help others helps me also. I don’t share positive things to pretend everything is good, I share them because it really helps me often and it can inspire anyone who may see it. Also I try to find songs about physical pain to help me cope, there’s one called “Headache” by Frank Black and one called “Touch Me I’m Sick” by Mudhoney. And one called “Novocaine” by Green Day which may be about emotional pain but it can also apply to physical pain.
“Take away the sensation inside
Bitter sweet migraine in my head
Its like a throbbing tooth ache of the mind
I can’t take this feeling anymore
Drain the pressure from the swelling,
The sensations overwhelming”
Don’t I know it!
And one by Alice Cooper called “Pain” about all kinds of pain. Alice is singing as if he is Pain itself singing.
“You know me, I’m pain.”
“It’s a compliment to me to hear you scream me through the night, all night, tonight.”
I’m your pain
I’m your private pain”
He also has one called, “The Sharpest Pain” not really about physical pain but still, deep, agonizing pain.
Lol what a gloomy subject to be writing about but pain is part of being alive. Sometimes, even sharp, aching, throbbing, burning, wretched, overwhelming pain.
Much love, hope, strength, comfort, joy, and healing to you who are reading this no matter what your situation is.
Xoxo Kim 😀
“I prefer Winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.” ~Andrew Wyeth
I’m so thrilled and filled with immense gratitude that Fall is finally here! It feels like being embraced by a long lost friend! I am just bursting with joy! The day is cool and the nights have been so cool. There are crunchy leaves all around and Pumpkin goodness in every store! I just love it.
I love living in a place where we have four seasons, each very different than the one before and the one after. The thrill of a new season is enthralling!
I love Hall & Oates, two Philadelphia boys and one of my favorite groups since I was a little girl, for as long as I can remember. I have been listening to their song “Fall in Philadelphia” and my heart wells up with even more gratitude and thrills! Fall in Philadelphia is just the best, nothing can be better! The cobblestone streets, Center City, the Eastern State Penitentiary, the brilliant colors, old buildings, people everywhere, septa busses, trolleys, tour busses, the beauty and love that throbs through the city…
I am beyond blessed.
I’m reading a novel called “The Bird Eater” which is said in the reviews to be one of the scariest books ever written! Even people who said they never get scared over books or movies confessed to being scared out of their wits. Lol I only read like forty pages and I think there over 200. I have been waiting till Fall to read it so I can read it on cool nights all wrapped up in blankets with my little pomeranian boy!
It’s very good! It’s like we’re unsure if the main character is mentally ill/psychotic or if there’s ghosts haunting him!
Also, here are some of my favorite Autumn quotes!!
1.) Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like
they’re falling in love with the ground.
2.) I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
3) Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
4.) I want to say something so embarrassing about September that even the leaves start blushing and turning red.
5.) Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.
I’m falling for this season already. It’s magic!! 😀
I hope everyone is having a wonderful first day of Fall!! 😀
“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.
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
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.
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.
“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)