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The joy of being uncomfortably in pain.

I’ve had this conversation with two people this last week, and because I’ve had it on my mind I thought I would write it out. Being in pain from life situations is such a good place to be in. There are a lot of things that cause pain in life, and being able to walk through those times is so beautiful. We know that when we get through it, we will be changed. It’s how we change that we get to determine as we walk through the process.

When we walk through pain we have so many reasons to give up, to numb ourselves, or to become less of a person by being really uncomfortable, maybe even giving in to acting different than we are worth just to get by.

A friend once taught me that sitting in uncomfortable situations was so powerful, because it teaches you to be okay no matter where you find yourself. That you are still in control of your reactions and how you handle the moment. At the time, just the thought of staying in an uncomfortable situation would stress me out so much that I could barely believe him. When I actually allowed myself to sit in the awkwardness of uncomfortable situations, I found that I was teaching my heart to relax in stressful moments, I was teaching my body that it was okay to feel what it was feeling and I was informing my soul that it could be at peace no matter how it felt at the time.

I challenged myself to take deep breaths, soak in the moment and feel every feeling so I could work through it instead of around it. Now, when I find myself going through a time that feels really uncomfortable or painful, I don’t feel as scared with not knowing the outcome. I trust that I will work through it to the best of my ability.

Sometimes what we want is to always know how things will turn out, but how does that teach us patience, grace, or trust? If we know at the beginning of a relationship that they will cheat or leave us, we wouldn’t go into it. But then we also wouldn’t learn to grow in love when it hurts, or to work through deep pain and problems which grow us as a person. Nobody wants deep pain in their lives, but everybody has to go through it, it’s what makes this life and our world what it is. You have the people who run from the pain and don’t feel anything at all. You have the people who let the pain rule their life and never move on to what they are supposed to be. And you have the people who feel the pain, understand that it doesn’t control their lives, work through it and become better and more helpful people who end up making their life what it deserves to be.

I strive to be someone who works through pain in such a way that it actually changes me, grows me, and helps me become a person that is fearless of new things and uncomfortable situations. The possibility that it could be the greatest adventure of my life fuels me to work through every pain that comes my way.

Pain is what makes us human, makes us know that we are capable of feeling love and kindness. Pain comes from feeling, and feelings drive us to be either great or wicked people. Pain tells us that we are alive.

Makari Asriel

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My thoughts, my year.

I want to learn how to be extremely good at making goals in my life and learning how to keep them. We all know that people make the most goals at this time of year than any other time. I’m also sure that you all know how many of those goals aren’t kept. The last few years I’ve struggled making goals at all because the disappointment of failing myself is such an annoyance. Like making a promise to somebody and knowing that you may not keep it. What an awful feeling… I made an agreement to myself a few years ago that I never want to ever break a promise. I WILL NOT promise anybody anything until I am willing to keep it. It’s the same for me with forgiveness. If I cannot agree to let go and forgive somebody for something, knowing I will never be able to hold it against them again, I will not forgive them until I am ready. The people that are closest to my heart know this about me and understand that when I say “I promise,” they don’t have to question or doubt it. Making goals for my year is such a huge deal because it’s similar to a promise for me. It’s saying, “I will do this.”

I agree with goals! I think they are extremely helpful to people. Without goals, our motivation is how we get things done. If you lose your motivation, oh boy, you had better have some type of conviction to make things happen. I’ve found that my lack of goals and my lack of motivation in the last six months has basically made me incapable of making things happen. My only successes have been through convictions. I’m not saying that is bad, but there are so many better ways for things to get done. I did things in the last six months knowing that I was only doing them because I knew I needed to, not because I really wanted them or even had the desire at the time for them to happen. The joy that those decisions were supposed to bring never came and I’m still stuck in the unknown wondering what I am supposed to do about it now.

Not having goals for my next year is only going to shut down my desires even more. I’m making the decision this year to make goals and teach myself to complete them, not out of fear of failure, but out of the desire for every year of my life to be better than the last. I never want to stop growing, learning, following, desiring, or loving in my life. There is so much that we as humans can accomplish in our days and in ours lives, but we often only look at the difficulties and struggles, allowing ourselves to forget that we can still have the joy and fulfillment of successes no matter how small or inconvenient they may seem.

Maybe you’re in the same place as me, trying to find the motivation to do more with your days or with your life. Tired of feeling stuck and telling yourself that tomorrow you are going to go out and do something about it. This next year is gonna hold the biggest breakthroughs and the greatest feelings of success if only you choose to let it. This moment is when you get to decide to do something about your focus and find new ways to be motivated to make things happen.

My first goal is to focus my attention on the joys of life this year. I desire for this next year to have an impact on how I do life. I choose to give myself a break from feeling bad about how unmotivated I have been, and to encourage myself in new ways that will bring that motivation back. I choose to not hold myself back from accomplishing my desires.

Happy New Year, Makari Asriel

To have a pure heart.

To keep a pure heart in a world where purity is irrelevant is like walking under a waterfall with an umbrella. It’s totally doable, but you’re still getting pounded by all sides.

Shame and judgement are two of the biggest so-called sins in a city of impurity. You’re told you are wrong to feel shame, and wrong to have judgements. Those who you do have shame are basically excluded, or asked why you are so judgmental towards other people.

I’ve been really interested in this topic for a long time, because I can see both sides. On one hand, being free of judgements about other people is good, and to not have shame is good, BUT, the other side is that when you can accept everybody’s life choices as being okay you start to lose the value of purity and the truth that shame is there for a reason. You’ll find in California, and definitely in LA, that everybody is seemingly SO accepting of everybody. That they do their best to keep their judgements to themselves and tell you not to feel shame by your lifestyle or choices. This can be so inviting and wonderful, feeling as though you aren’t a terrible person or a sinner for the smallest betrayal of your purity and of yourself. So many of these people teach you that it is okay to live in impurity, because that’s what is expected, and if you don’t you aren’t being accepting of people. There is shame on having a Godly (or pure) lifestyle, but more than that there is shame in making good decisions for your best health, well-being and wholeness.  There is some truth to what these people believe, but when something is built on mostly truth and still has lies involved, is it really to be trusted?

Here’s what has happened to me since I moved here; I feel like I have been sucked into this notion that everything is accepted and along with that comes the idea that everything is okay to do as long as you feel like you should do it, or it gives you any sense of pleasure. This notion says that jealousy is not allowed and that you should work hard for everything no matter how it goes against your boundaries or your heart, because it’s about the outcome, the strength of being your own person and the vulnerability of sharing your experiences with everybody. The way that I feel here is that I could do anything I want, be anybody I want and tell everybody about it without shame… unless it stays within my boundaries and remains a so-called pure decision, that’s when I want to stay silent because it goes against their beliefs that everything is acceptable and should be experienced. If I have to turn somebody down for my decision, it becomes a selfish act that I am not willing to help somebody else fulfill their needs. People don’t want any type of no, they want every type of yes and THAT’s what’s scary about a whole city that chooses to accept you for your impurity.

I’ve been so open to fit into this culture that I have longed to be in my whole life and now that I’ve seen the affect that it has on me, and to feel like I’m just supposed to laugh off people who make immoral decisions, I don’t want to agree with it anymore. I had so much peace coming here, and I lost that peace by allowing my mind and heart to go against myself and trying to fit in to this accepting notion. I’m not down with it. I value my heart, my mind, my body and my soul enough to keep them in wholeness by the lifestyle I choose to live in.

By going against the truth and purity we have in ourselves, we end up damaging our souls to the point of not being able to find the answers to fulfill our desires of being a complete person.

People trying to have no judgement at all of others actually open themselves up for having the biggest judgement of all; going against their nature to find happiness in the in-completion of themselves by having real judgements of those who are being true to themselves. To continually judge others on the decisions they make to protect their heart is only causing yourself to continually need to find fault in others to fill that desire of wanting everything to be okay. And that doesn’t seem to be free of judgements to me.

True joy is found in wholeness, true love is found in devotion, and true happiness can be found in the building up of others where boundaries and purity are found.

I believe judgements are good when they allow you make the purest decisions for yourself based on what your heart, mind, and body need to be whole. Selfish? Maybe. But it’s the right kind of selfish.

Learn yourself, love yourself, and be true to yourself. You will surpass those who judge you and become great. The greatest people in history did what they needed to do, not based on the judgements of others, but on the purity of themselves.

Makarios Asriel

Be expectant for your future.

Moving to LA has been very different than I am used to, yet so satisfying at the same time. A whirlwind of emotions. I’m quite happy here, but I also have feelings throughout everyday that I don’t understand yet. What I do know for certain is that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Who knows how long or for what purpose, but the peace that I have is unmistakable.

I came not knowing, and with no plan of what to do next, but I also came with the expectancy that something great is about to change my life. Without that, I’m a 22yr old living in a big city for no reason at all. I’ve prepared my whole life for this moment and still I feel unprepared. How does someone expect to know anything without the experience of living it? They can imagine, and hope, and dream forever about what that decision will be like, but without living it, there is no way to tell. Each person is different, and says “yes” and “no” to different things to get where they are. I said “yes” to LA when I was a kid, and now so many years later I am here. My 15yr old self would be looking at me and telling me that I was living the dream.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget where our hearts and minds used to be because we live in today, and yesterday is not our worries anymore. But yesterday is what made our today what it is. Memories are what make our lives what they are. Without our emotions of yesterday, we lose the idea of the privilege that is today.

Living is LA wouldn’t mean to me what it does if I hadn’t expected this moment for so long. Expectancy is sometimes the only thing that will keep us looking forward to what our lives could be. It’s the hope for what we believe in our hearts to happen.

I have to remind myself, in the moments that I just want to curl up with my best friends and watch a movie like we normally would, that I am where I need to be, and that today is my future’s yesterday. Today’s memories are what will make me who I am in years to come. Wishing to be back in my comfort zone is only going to make me wish again that I were here.

Life is what you make it, and other times it happens to you. Either way life will keep happening. Don’t get stuck in today, but recognize that today is the history for your life tomorrow.

Makari Asriel

Finding truth in your belief system.

How do you know that what you believe is really true?

Growing up we were taught belief systems from the people who raised us and those we were around. We were taught that this is truth and reality. Is it? Maybe not… That was their truth and reality. Ours is very different. Their beliefs are from their childhood and from the influences in their lives. They are also based on their gifts and passions. Do you see where I’m going with this? I find myself in situations where I’m led to question what I believe or else I tend to get hurt by what someone else believes. I really do have a choice in those moments. Do I believe what I was taught as truth? Or do I question myself to find what I truly believe about the situation?

My parents chose their reality. They didn’t necessarily choose how they were raised or the reasons they feel how they do about certain subjects, but they chose at some point that they were gonna believe that it was the truth, whatever it happened to be. Those choices influenced my childhood, and will continue on to influence my children, for better or for worse. I get to points in my life all the time where I know that I have a choice in the decisions I am about to make; I can follow what I was taught and continue to make that my reality, or I can discover my own truth.

My best friend has very different views than me on many topics. He was raised different, very different, and his reality isn’t anything like mine. Some things I believe don’t hold as high of value in his life, and vise versa. It’s just not the same. Does that mean one of us is right and the other wrong? Not necessarily. We are different people, allowed to have our different beliefs based on the reality of our life and experiences. He gets his truth by the beliefs that he was surrounded by and the choices he’s made to solidify them. I get the opportunity to understand how his beliefs make sense to him so that I can better accumulate my beliefs for myself and become more open to new opinions.

(I will say, there are some beliefs that should be unchanging in your life, but always be open to understanding why someone else believes what they do.)

I can explain this another way by talking about music. We all have different tastes, correct? I may LOVE pop and screamo, but you may love classic and country. Track with me. There are posts, comments, opinions, and walls up in peoples lives because of what they “know” to be their truth. And it pisses me off. Your opinion and reality is not mine. Just because you can’t appreciate really good music (in my mind, see?) doesn’t mean that it’s truly not good. It’s just not your opinion. And that sucks! Am I right? There are glorious classic and country artists, I’d just rather listen to rock. You tracking? We get so wound up that what we know is what is true but oftentimes it’s really not even right. We are who we are because of our choices and our influences. We don’t have to prove that we are right. We just have to figure out if what we believe is really truth.

I grew up very religious, then became very rebellious. My parents believed a certain reality, and decided that it should be mine. I don’t blame them, it’s what they believed was best and I am thankful for the influence they were and are in my life. I had really great parents who loved me and just wanted the best for my life. (Still do!) That’s amazing. But as we find out in a lot of cases, what we often times think is the best for someone else, really might not be. Our beliefs should be our own, even if we take a harder route to finding that out. In some cases, I needed to be allowed to make my own messes so that I could either understand the reason for their decisions, or find what I personally believed about the situation. Their beliefs determined their standpoint, but it wasn’t always necessarily mine, and that’s what I’m getting at.

We ALL believe we are right in most cases, and for some reason we expect the other person to be so wrong. “How can they not see it?!” Are you kidding me? Try growing up how they did. Oh wait that’s right, you can’t. There is so much judgement in the world, that even I often refuse to talk about what I believe, and that’s stupid. “But I don’t want to offend anyone.” Okay… Well are you sure that what you believe is REALLY true? Cuz you ain’t convincin’ anyone if you don’t believe in yourself.

Be open to accepting everyone regardless of what they believe. In some cases, they ARE right.

Makari Asriel

Finding you: getting to know your body, soul and spirit.

This has been a fun journey. Learning myself, loving myself, and choosing joy in the midst of finding wholeness and healing. Being aware of how I am feeling throughout my day to day and season to season has helped me be able to notice when things are off in my life; if my thoughts get out of control, if something was said or done that hurt my spirit or when something would affect my soul. When I am able to know all of that about myself, finding the issue and root cause of my problems is much simpler and allows me to change the situation.

Your spirit is affected by the atmosphere around you, so choosing the places you go and the people in your life is something you want to be aware of. Your soul is what’s affected when deep hurt happens, and when deep joy is created; between friends, family, relationships, and yourself. Broken trust and other deep hurts that cause you to feel misled or wounded will cut into your soul and begin to turn it bitter, whereas precious moments, pure love, and deep trust will fill your soul with greater capacity for love. Your body is affected by whether your spirit and soul have been violated, or whether they are being taken care of and loved. When you really start to learn your body’s responses, you will start to notice whether something has been put off in your soul or spirit, creating a response in your body that isn’t meant to be there.

Based on what I have done, I have some suggestions you could try:

Read. Read many many books. I sought out people who I have seen living wholehearted lives and I asked them what they did that inspired them to live in wholeness. They gave me 1 or 2 names of books or people that have inspired them, which I either got or researched. A lot of these books have challenges throughout them that I get to choose to do as I read them. I don’t like to just read through the book, I like to stop when I find something interesting and underline or circle it, then write down my thoughts next to the section. I also don’t borrow books because of this, I like to buy my own copy and that way I have it to look back on if I need to.

Pay attention to your actions. Be very aware of yourself in everything that you do. Notice how you respond in different situations, (you can even write it down if you process better through journaling) and look for patterns of how you respond. The better you know how you personally respond, the deeper you will get into knowing why you respond as you do so you can work on the root issue instead of just dealing with the symptoms.

Don’t be thoughtless with your words. Really try to understand what you are saying and the affect that it has, while also listening closely to what other people are saying. Words are power; so are thoughts. Be aware of what you allow in your mind and what you are making unknown agreements with. You want to have a powerful thought-life. People that are thoughtless with their words are going to be thoughtless with your heart.

Talk to yourself regularly. If you feel off, ask yourself why, what happened, or what you need. The more you talk to yourself, the more you will understand your being and narrow down if there is a problem in your spirit, soul, or body. Start to ask yourself really good, hard questions and learn the motivations behind your actions. You will begin to trust yourself much much more. Sometimes choosing the hard choice when it feels like the right choice is the best choice. Trust the ‘gut’ feeling you get, because that’s probably your spirit trying to tell you something.

Whatever you believe in, there are parts of you that you don’t understand and that affect different aspects of your being. Try this out, and see how it works for you. If anything, I hope to encourage you to go beyond what you know and find new aspects of yourself that may in fact change how you do life in the future.

The reason for this journey is freedom. Free from haunting thoughts and fear. Free from other peoples hold on your life. Free from judgement, control, and disillusionment. Free in ways you that you can’t believe is reality, but it is. There’s a better way to live. There’s a greater perspective to find, a deeper connection to have, and more authority to have over your life and the lives of the people you influence.

Love always and forever, Makarios

*written 12’11’15

My reality.

Not everything works out for me. That’s just not real life. I do have crazy awesome things happen in my life, but I also learn every single day how to live better with what I have. I read books with topics on self awareness, personality, connection, living in the present, and loving on purpose. I also have people in my life that are constantly keeping up with my feelings and telling me how I could be better. It’s more so how I choose to live than how my life is. Even with all the good; I have really bad days, I go through depression all too often, I get hurt, I get let down, I get pushed away, and along with experiencing close deaths and close rejection, I have needs and unfulfilled desires. Why wouldn’t I be honest about that? I have nothing to hide but my most personal encounters, and those are not hidden because of regret, but stored in my mind and journals as encounters of love and loss that are too precious to be shared until the moment calls for it.

My pains are no less than anybody else’s, because they’re mine and they’re what I’m connected with. You wouldn’t understand my pain, and I wouldn’t understand yours, but we both understand the word all too well. Pain is pain, just as hurt is hurt, just as rejection is rejection, and we can all learn from how each other processes it all, even though the situations are different. (A reason I don’t post about the specific situation I’m going through, but my feelings, thoughts, and beliefs on how to deal with the pain or hurt of it.)

I choose the life I want to see myself live. That’s where I keep my focus, that’s where my perspective stems from and that’s what I hold on to in dire moments when I am falling apart. I oftentimes talk to my reflection in the mirror just to convince myself back into a better reality or I’ll even stare into my eyes until I come to a realization that I’m better than how I’m feeling in that moment. Honestly, these things are so real for me. Sometimes dealing with falling apart looks like allowing what some might see as insanity for a moment to shed light on your inmost thoughts that you can’t reach normally. In these times I think back through my past and find what held me together, then relive it until I believe it. If I can notice the patterns in my life, I can more easily convince myself that I’m okay now. The things I tell myself today with words and thoughts is what’s going to set up how I will be thinking in the days to come.

I want to learn about anything and everything, so when people come and tell me about an opinion or passion that they have, I soak it up. If I notice they have something in their life and personality that I want; I ask, listen, and become a sponge for their words. But as I continue to figure out what my beliefs are and how powerful of a person I am, I realize that I often don’t question what these people say to me. In a conversation recently with one of the people I highly look up to about their beliefs, I found myself so naturally questioning him and returning my opinion on the subject. Only then did I realize that I had reached a level with him that I thought would take me years of knowledge. He is a person who’s beliefs are brilliant, but I found out in that moment that mine are just as powerful and valid. We can both learn from how the other thinks and their outcomes.

It’s not that everything works out for me… It doesn’t. Honestly, many days I think I have the worst luck, but that’s because all I know is what I experience, and I choose to keep learning from every experience I find myself in. Even though that doesn’t stop the tears when I want something and things go wrong, it does help me to make more sense of real life and understand that things don’t happen how we expect and we just gotta roll with it. Something else is sure to happen that will change our history. We can’t keep sitting in our disappointment because what we have in front of us is the destiny we are waiting for.

Our destiny is what we are living in right now. We are making and changing history with every decision, every hurt, every moment, and every outcome.

Makari Asriel