My Reaction To The SoCal Fire

fire, socal, anaheim hills, burn, cloud,dark,oc, orange county, talk, neighbor, spirit, orange, anaheim, tustin, freeway, 91 freeway, love,reaction, community, listen, cry, tears, sadness, heartI woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face. I mean, my boyfriend just presented a gorgeous engagement ring to me. Things are looking up for me. I finally got the job I have always dreamed of, I can’t complain.

I drove to work super excited about what this last full week at my current job would bring. I want to finish strong and never falter, I thought. Just as was getting lost in my many selfish thoughts, I drove through what seemed like an amber cloud, except this cloud had no end.

It was early in the morning but the sky was dark and haunting.

We had a fire recently so it looked like a bit of deja vu. I thought maybe there was a different explanation, maybe a residual effect of the recent eclipse? I mean, what else could it be?

I kept driving. I decided not to worry. It was much too early on a Monday to worry about anything.

I got to my first stop of the day and my phone started ringing. It was a coworker. He told me to be careful because there was a huge fire in the middle of my usual Monday route. I froze. Another fire? Seriously? When will all of this chaos end?

I went about my day as normal as possible doing my best to avoid the forbidden 91 East freeway. I thought of the most strategic way to get to where I needed to go. It was a success, I encountered very little traffic.

All was well until I got on the 91 West freeway. I couldn’t believe how fluid the freeway was around 3 pm on a holiday. Woohoo! But then I saw it. I saw a huge black cloud of smoke ahead of me. As I approached the cloud, I looked to my left and saw flames much taller than myself taking over the mountain I so often drive next to.

Suddenly traffic didn’t matter, suddenly I didn’t even matter.

I have to admit I admire nature but I am not a tree hugger. No matter what I am or what I am not, I stared straight into the eye of the fire and burst into tears. It was overwhelming. The fire was literally a few feet away from me.

I kept driving and the flames were endless. My tears shed because of all the people who might be affected by this. My tears shed because it hurt to see such beautiful land go up in flames.

I so often take this long strip of nature for granted. I drive next to it often yet think nothing of it. I just expect it to always be there. Today I realized it will not always be there, and even if it is, it was forever changed today.

I called as many loved ones as I could. I told them I loved them. I told them I was safe. I did what I should do every single day regardless of nature’s wrath. This fire reminds me that everything can literally change in a matter of seconds. People have lost all of their memories and sense of safety today.

To all those affected:

My heart breaks with yours. I am sorry you have had to endure such a loss and/or trauma. And while things might seem irreparable right now, remember that your spirit can never be broken. Remember that you are a part of a larger community and that you are and will never be alone. If you need to talk, reach out to me, I am always here to listen. If not me, reach out to your fellow neighbor.

And to the brave responders and volunteers: I am sending you all of my love and strength, thank you for all of your heart, bravery and hard work. You are changing the course of history as we speak.

Today was not the best of days for many, but let’s all make sure to make tomorrow better by letting all those around us know they matter and that we care.

Love Always and Forever,

Karen

Why Revenge Is a Bad Idea

revenge, job, sorry, poor, weak, lindsay lohan, mean girls, rude, mean, universe, eye for eye, forgive, kind, love, resent, anger, betray, steal, abuse, hurt, pain, life, karma, consequence, nowhere,kindnessI used to be a mean girl. Yes, like the ones in the Lindsay Lohan movie. I was rude and thought everyone was out to get me. After some rude awakenings, I realized being mean would get me nowhere fast.

I turned to spirituality and have been as kind as I can possibly be to those around me ever since. I figure we are all on our own personal journey just trying to make sense of it all. The kinder we are to one another, the better the world will be.

Have people been mean to me? Of course. Have people made fun of me? Well, duh. Have people stolen from me? Sadly, yes. Have people lied to my face? Unfortunately. Have people betrayed me? Multiple times. Have people cheated me? Oh yea.

Many people have done me wrong. Many people have hurt me. Many people have negatively impacted my life. If you were to ask highschool me whether or not these people should get a “taste” of their own medicine, I would say, “Most definitely! Let’s go ruin some lives!”

What do I say today? It’s simply not worth it.

Revenge is pointless. There is no use in putting any more time or energy into situations, things or people who simply do not serve me. I should never try to give others a taste of what I think they deserve. Why? Because it is not my job to punish people.

I believe in karma and a lot of other things. I believe people will live a miserable life if they hurt others. I believe the more you give, the more you will get. I believe that kindness and love are stronger than anything else on this earth.

Above all, I believe in forgiving people who have never apologized.

I forgive you for hurting me.

I forgive you for being rude to me.

I forgive you for judging me.

I forgive you for stealing from me.

I forgive you for betraying me.

I forgive you for abusing me.

I forgive all those people who have done me wrong because they have a certain darkness within their heart and soul. I feel sorry for them and hope they find happiness. I hope they can find a beautiful light to guide them on this journey we call life.

Seeking out revenge is not my job, it is the Universe’s. Those that are poor of spirit will soon meet their Consequence if they haven’t already. I know it sometimes feels just to hold grudges and stay angry at people for years to come. But guess what? That is giving weak people too much power over you.

It is healthier to let go and forgive. You will live a longer and more fulfilling life if you can let go of anger and resentments and replace them with love and forgiveness. I used to think revenge was sweet but I now know kindness is oh so much sweeter.

Love Deeply and Forever,

Karen

What Goes Through Your Head When Someone Dies…

death

Last night, I was sitting on my couch winding down after a long day. I had a cup of tea in hand and was just about ready to go to bed. I couldn’t help wonder about someone from my past.

It had been days since the initial thought of this person crossed my mind. I wondered who they had become after all these years. I wondered if they were a huge success and now married with kids.

We used to have something, an interesting (yet confusing) friendship. I still couldn’t stop wondering what the present looked like for this person. I could have been a part of their future, I thought, back when I had met them in college. Of course, life happened and we lost touch. Neither of us were really affected by the natural parting of ways.

So, while sipping on my tea, I decided to Google the person from my past I had always wondered about. I was excited to see what they were up to. Maybe they were an entrepreneur and had a gorgeous house and family by now…

The second Google search result down showed they had died in a tragic car accident over a year ago. They had hit a tree and died on impact. I knew it was them because of the description of the car and location. My stomach sank. A tear ran down my relaxed face.

We hadn’t talked in years and we would have probably never reconnected but a sadness came over my entire life. What if I would have died with them years before? What about their family? What about all their friends I had met years ago? Was everyone okay, I thought. Of course they aren’t, they lost a part of them.

I messaged another friend from my past to confirm. Yes, I was right in my assumption. We reminisced about the kids we once were. I couldn’t stop crying of joy and pain. The truth is, as we get older more people will die. More parts of our past and present will disappear.

I still can’t comprehend it. They were so young and recently engaged. They had a whole future ahead of them. I thought of all the moments I stole with them. I thought of the kindness and security I felt with them at a time when my life was complete and utter chaos.

Dear Old Friend, I am saddened by the fact that you are not somewhere out there in the world living a happy life. Thank you for bringing a sense of peace and happiness to my life during my confusing college years and making me feel like I wasn’t alone for a moment.

So, just like that, I feel my past is dead. I feel it almost didn’t happen because some parts of it is not living or breathing. Of course, this is a false pretense and all of it will live on in my memories. My old friend was just as real as my past was and is.

I still can’t help wonder what their future could have been. All the things they had left to do. And to the Fiance of Old Friend, I send you all of my love. You shared moments of your life with a really kind and loving person. May you continue to keep them in your memories and overcome the grief by finding true love once again. I never loved this person, but man, did I care for them. Rest in peace, Old Friend. The world feels less special without you in it.