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Featured Blogger: Kimmie – Life Balanced: A Chosen Path…

05/05/2011

“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” Mark Twain

Featured Blogger: Kimmie - Life Balanced: A Chosen Path... Kimmie

Our featured blogger this week is a very special lady who has channeled her childhood and life challenges into a purposeful life of service and love. Kimmie, inspirational blogger/owner of Life Balanced: A Chosen Path, is a wonderful soul and a survivor of sexual and emotional abuse. She has dedicated her life and her blog to helping others who have gone through traumatic experiences find a place of comfort and light. We met on The BlogFarm site; an international blog community where many share and exchange ideas and post on a wide range of topics, and I was drawn to her writings. When I approached her to be featured, she generously agreed to share her story and insights. For that, I am truly grateful. Please welcome this week’s Featured “Get To Know” blogger, Kimmie of  Life Balanced: A Chosen Path, blog leave her a comment here, then please visit her blog and support her… Enjoy the visit!

What challenges have you experienced and what lessons have you learned?
I have faced many challenges in my life so far, but I guess one of the most memorable ones would be as follows:
One of the bigger challenges was when my dad died with cancer. The relationship between him and I was tense. He was responsible for the sexual abuse I endured in my childhood. Because of that, I never had a normal father/daughter relationship. A few years before he died, when I was about 25, I confronted him for the first time, and he denied it. And not only did he deny it, but he put the blame on me. I yearned to hear the words “I’m sorry”, but it never happened. When he was on his deathbed, I was living in another state. I didn’t feel as though I could go back there to see him. Not because I hadn’t forgiven him, but that I couldn’t emotionally handle it.

With a little encouragement from my therapist, I wrote him a letter to let him know that I still loved him and forgave him but also to let him know of the pain he had caused in my adult life. At a moments notice, I decided to go back to see him before he died. When I got there and went in to see him, I almost fainted. To see him as nothing but mere bones was horrible, especially since he had always been a very big man; big as in tall and big boned.

My mom had told me that he had her read him the letter I wrote. She said he had tears in his eyes, and she could see the remorse he felt about it. I decided that hearing that was good enough for me to have closure. After he slipped into a coma, just minutes before dying, I held his hand and told him I loved him. He faintly squeezed my hand, as if to let me know how he loved me also. That would probably be the most challenging thing I’ve been through in my life so far.

What I learned from it would have to be that no matter what someone has done to you, forgiveness is the best thing you can do for yourself in order to heal. I learned that what he had done to me was what was done to him in his childhood. I broke the cycle. He never faced his painful past, he only continued to ignore it, and because of that he grew angrier inside and it came out in disastrous ways.

“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.” Erica Jong

Featured Blogger: Kimmie - Life Balanced: A Chosen Path... Kimmie in her car

Where did you grow up and why do you blog?
I was born in Santa Barbara, California, but grew up in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a little town just outside of Nashville. I think it will always be considered home to me.
I didn’t know anything about blogging until about a year ago. I had heard others speak of it, and occasionally would haphazardly end up on a blog just from doing a simple search for a product. Once I learned what a blog actually is, my interest began to grow. At first, I thought it might be too time consuming. I also didn’t think of myself as a writer. I finally made the choice, less than a year ago, to see what was involved in creating a blog.

It didn’t take long before I became addicted to it. I knew exactly what I wanted to blog about. I wanted to share the knowledge, experience and insight I had gained from my clients, as well as from my own traumatic past. I’ve experienced a couple of times when I hit a plateau with my writing, my mind just went blank, as did my motivation to continue blogging. I’m glad I didn’t give up either of those times. There was a certain pull I felt within that kept me from giving up. I gain quite a bit of personal satisfaction from blogging. To me, there is a certain sense of calmness to it; a release of stress.

What is most important to you/about you?
The most important thing to me is to strive for a balanced life, and my blog is just one of those things that helps keep me on the right track. When I write my posts, I’m also letting the words sink in, and in return it is self therapy.
The most important thing about me, I guess, is that in my life today, I use the strength and courage I gained from my traumatic past to reach out to others with my sincerest empathy, encouragement, love, and inspiration.

Growing up in a very dysfunctional, abusive, and negative home has given me the compassion I have for others. I’ve gained incredible insight and am able to connect with others on a deep level because of it. I no longer look at those past experiences (sexual abuse, emotionally abusive ex-husband) as something to stop me from enjoying life. While I do wish they would have not happened in the first place, I now view them as something that gave me amazing inner strength and determination.

I have finally accepted that what happened in the past cannot be altered, and that to waste time dwelling on them will only stunt my emotional and spiritual growth. This took me many years to learn. It’s not easy to accept and let go of a painful past; to let go of the anger and hurt. A lot of people I’ve come across in my path that have gone through a similar painful past are still hanging on to what cannot be changed. It usually shows up in subtle ways, and often they ignore it hoping that it will just disappear.

Unfortunately, unless it’s dealt with it only grows bigger. Once you get to the acceptance stage, life becomes more balanced and enjoyable. Only then can you truly let go of all the anger, hurt, frustration and depression.

“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” Matthew 17:20

Featured Blogger: Kimmie - Life Balanced: A Chosen Path... Kimmie and her dog

What motivates you to get out of bed?
What motivates me to get out of bed every morning is when I remind myself of everything I have to be grateful for. Each morning when I awake, I make a point to begin focusing on all the positives before I allow myself out of bed. Because I grew up in an extremely negative environment, it’s taken me many years to gain self awareness of my automatic negative thoughts and behaviors. Self awareness is step one in making any kind of changes in your life. If I awake with a bunch of negative thoughts streaming through my mind, I immediately begin counteracting them with every positive thing I can think of. Once my attitude is right, I hop out of bed, ready to start the day in the right direction.

How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who strove for excellence in their life. Excellence in mind, body and soul. Someone who gave her best reaching out to others in need, giving them encouragement, inspiration, love, and understanding. I think love is our biggest human need. It’s something that connects us all together. To give love without any expectations in return, is the best goal anyone can strive for.

Kimmie continues to use her experiences and her life as a way teach and help others; her inspirational blog is a testament to her commitment. You may connect with Kimmie through her blog – Life Balanced: A Chosen Path. Again, please take one moment to share a comment here for her, and join me in welcoming a new blog friend/buddy — Kimmie.
What are your thoughts? Do share? If you’d like to be featured, leave a note and let me know how to reach you. Thank You! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Choose a path, trust the process, and your efforts will bear fruit.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All featured photos are courtesy of Kimmie

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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38 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/05/2011 12:43 am

    It’s wonderful when we can take the “negatives” and turn them into “positives” for ourselves and others.

    Thanks, Eliz & Kimmie . . . Now, hand me that dog! What a cutie! 😀

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:27 am

      Thank you Nancy! I admire Kimmie for both her resilience and willingness to share openly about her lessons.

      Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:04 pm

      It truly is, but it’s something that definitely has to be practiced daily. It takes a lot of self awareness work.
      That dog is now weighing in at 95 lbs! Quite a change since the picture! 🙂

      Like

  2. 06/05/2011 2:45 am

    thanks again for your great interview series. this is a landmark again!

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:33 am

      Well, thank you Frizztext… Kimmie should be responding sometime. Do check out her blog. 🙂

      Like

  3. 06/05/2011 2:49 am

    well said about post traumatic stress disorder:
    While I do wish they would have not happened in the first place, I now view them as something that gave me amazing inner strength and determination.

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:41 am

      I believe it did…

      Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:07 pm

      hi frizztext, I’ve known quite a few people who have been through that say the same thing. That’s great when you can turn what was a negative into a positive down the road. 🙂

      Like

  4. 06/05/2011 6:45 am

    Thank you so much for the introduction, Elizabeth, and how nice to meet you, Kimmie! Kimmie, many of your words resonate deeply with me, and it’s so nice to hear about your journey to find balance. Balancing between acceptance, “moving on”, and processing experiences seems so essential… Thank you again for sharing.

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:35 am

      Yes, she actually shared more … check out her blog. She is truly a wonderful soul. 🙂

      Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:09 pm

      Thanks lesleehare, and very nice to meet you as well!
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about my experiences! Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Like

  5. barb19 permalink
    06/05/2011 7:22 am

    You brought us another great interview Eliz, thank you!
    Nice to meet you Kimmie, and for opening up to Eliz about the past, you have my admiration for that; our lives are quite similar in that respect. I’m popping over to follow your blog.

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:36 am

      Well, thank you Barb and I’m glad that glitch was resolved… Glad to have connected with Kimmie too; a light in the dark. 🙂

      Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:14 pm

      Hi barb19, nice to know you!
      I’m always surprised when, even though it is quite common, I come across someone who has a similar upbringing as mine. It’s always a comfort to know that there are others out there that have been there and understand.
      Thank you for reading this post and thank you in advance for checking out my blog! 🙂

      Like

  6. 06/05/2011 7:29 am

    Welcome aboard Kimmie it’s great to meet you! That dog is just adorable!
    Thank you Elizabeth for another fantastic interview. 🙂

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 7:39 am

      Thank you SoapBird. Kimmie shares her story to help others and I commend her writing about a difficult subject. The dog is truly adorable! 🙂

      Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:15 pm

      Thank you so much SoapBird!
      KoKo thanks you for the compliment! 🙂

      Like

  7. 06/05/2011 8:56 am

    Seems Kimmie and I have much in common. I completely agree with her about forgiveness. I learned it rather late in life but it truly freed me from the past. Oprah once said, “Forgiveness means accepting that you cannot change the past.” (not an exact quote but close)
    I also believe you cannot grow and move on while you’re carrying all that baggage around, so forgive and be free.
    I’m going to check out Kimmie’s blog and will follow.
    Thanks for the intro Eliz!

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:21 pm

      Hi barbara, it’s great to meet you!
      So nice to connect with others who have great understanding of this. The forgiveness thing was something I’ve never struggled with, I’ve never had a problem with not being able to forgive, it’s probably one of my better strengths and I’m thankful that it comes rather easy to me. The thing that kept me bound up was probably guilt, which took me a long time to let go. I do believe that forgiveness is what you do for yourself mostly.
      Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on my blog! 🙂

      Like

  8. 06/05/2011 9:35 am

    It’s great to know such a wonderful person like Kimmie. I’ve been through a lot as well but I always view bad experiences from the past as a learning experience and they just make me stronger as time gone by. I always bear in mind that we must accept the things we cannot change. (it sounds like a prayer I’ve heard before?).
    Nice to me meet you Kimmie! 🙂

    Like

    • 06/05/2011 4:25 pm

      Hi DcS, nice to meet you too!
      Thanks for the kind words!
      It’s so wonderful to hear when someone is able to view negative events as learning experiences! Not everybody learns that early enough.
      Accept the things I cannot change or control is a part of my daily prayer, it works! 🙂

      Like

  9. 06/05/2011 10:46 am

    Once again, a great person to meet! Thanks for introducing us Eliz, and to Kimmie I’d say nice to meet you!

    Like

  10. InsideJourneys permalink
    06/05/2011 1:48 pm

    Thanks for the introduction, Elizabeth.
    Hats off, Kimmie, for taking control of your life and for your work helping others.
    Marcia

    Like

  11. 06/05/2011 5:59 pm

    Welcome Kimmie, its very hard to admit to others about being in any kind of an abusement relationship, as I can relate with your story-it was not my father, but someone close. I did forgive him, as you forgave your father. I totally believe forgiveness is a healer-better then any medicine we could take to heal the pain. I wish you the best and writing our blogs helps us to mend and stay in-tune to our thoughts of past and present, for making a better future.

    Like

    • 07/05/2011 7:21 am

      Thanks Penny!
      Well, for me, one of my weaknesses has always been revealing just a little too much about myself, so I’ve never been one to hold things in. I end up telling people I don’t really know about my life history, including the abuse. Difference in now compared to years ago, is that I now share these things with the intention of helping others to heal, to encourage and inspire. Back then, I did it because I wanted reassurance from others, and I was still playing the victim role.
      Thanks for reading and for commenting! It is nice to meet you! 🙂

      Like

  12. 06/05/2011 6:27 pm

    Wise words, well spoken. I’ve watched people struggle with events of their past. Whether it is forgiveness or finding some other way to “let go”, no-one can move forward with life fully without finding a way to place the past in the past.

    “I think love is our biggest human need. It’s something that connects us all together. To give love without any expectations in return, is the best goal anyone can strive for.” Agree!!!!

    Like

    • 07/05/2011 7:26 am

      Hi Team Oyeniyi, so very nice to meet you! I think everyone has something from their past that caused distress. Some people are able to let go and move on a little quicker than others, and then there are people who are unable to ever let go and they live their entire lives without ever facing and coming to grips with their past.
      Thanks for reading and for your comment! 🙂

      Like

  13. 06/05/2011 11:29 pm

    Very inspirational story of overcoming!
    Nice to meet you, Kimmie!

    Like

    • 07/05/2011 7:27 am

      Hey there therealsharon! Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it, and very nice to meet you as well! 🙂

      Like

  14. Jackie Paulson Author permalink
    07/05/2011 2:49 am

    Wow, Kim is such a courageous woman. Her puppy is adorable. Today is one of those days that your inspirational post about Kim brings me to thinking of the basics in life. What we really need in life is balance. If our life is off balance everything seems “afloat” or “in a cloud”. As I blog I am trying to narrow down my niche as you have seen. I admire Kim that she is able to travel in the past, and let go of it in order to help and inspire others. Thanks for posting her as a featured blogger as she deserve it. I am thinking of keeping a binder with all of your posts.

    Like

    • 07/05/2011 2:52 am

      Thank you Jackie! Kimmie is an inspiration and a great soul. It is not easy to endure abuse and learn to forgive and move on. I hope many others will connect with her story and heal their own narrative. Be Blessed! 🙂

      Like

    • 07/05/2011 7:30 am

      Hi Jackie! Thanks for the kind words about me and KoKo!
      I like how you put that, “able to travel in the past and let go of it in order to help and inspire others.”
      Glad you enjoyed reading, and it’s very nice to meet you! 🙂

      Like

  15. 08/05/2011 12:17 am

    Kim is an inspiration to all of us who have had traumatic experiences in our pasts. She is a testament to the fact that the “awful” does not have to define us, just inform us and motivate us to aspire to be and do better than what was done to us. Thank you for featuring Kim in your blog.

    Like

    • 08/05/2011 8:57 am

      Thanks for those encouraging words, ceceliafutch! Nice to meet you!

      Like

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