There’s a sweet romanticism that takes place in life by choosing to be free in loving, living, and giving yourself permission to have joy in abundance. You may not believe in it, but there’s an essence of what “life” is that I like to describe as a force that is constantly pushing and pulling for things to either work out or be brought apart. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, the good and bad, accomplishments and mistakes, even the happenstance of slipping down the stairs or crashing your car. Every one moment leads you to your next, and so on. Coincidence is a life force played out.
Thing’s happen in our lives everyday that are the cause of other people’s life events happening. It is not about us, it’s about the success of humankind. The more you can allow yourself to be one with the world and with life, the easier and more connected you will be to your own self and to other people.
True connection and intimacy is something we all search for and all believe we find in various places and people. The problem with this is that a lot of people look for intimacy in relationship with people when the connection they so desire is with life itself. This force is telling them that they are disconnected, and they search their whole lives to feel connected and never end up satisfied with the results. Sex is designed as one of the greatest connections in intimacy, so people conclude that this is the ultimate encounter for connection. Those feelings last for a bit, but as soon as the desire for connection returns, people come back to sex again and again to have that “fix.” As soon as the connection with that person starts to lessen, people create thoughts that it’s the partner’s fault or maybe even their own so they move on to another, and the cycle of searching for intimacy in relationships continues.
When I talk about romanticism with life, my reasoning for that word is that there is a love that transpires in this force of life that works to intertwine itself within your day to day being. It’s a connection. It’s an intimacy. Life WANTS you to succeed in what you do and become the greatest possible at it. The terrible parts of your life often times lead to the greatness and success in other people lives. This sweet connection with our life force allows us to understand better that our situations are not our own but a collection of what takes place in life. We are what we look at in other people to be the greatest. When we are seeing other people’s success and wishing that were ours, they are seeing ours the same way.
We believe what we think. We become what we believe. We become what we behold. Our lives are too precious and beautiful to waste our time with fears of failure.
Failure is an idea, not often a reality. Your “failure” is still a success, but your thought process keeps a void present in your life that needs to be filled with intimacy to “overcome” or “fill” these feelings that you’re not good enough. We are constantly feeling either a love or hate from the things we encounter in life, and depending on how connected we are to our thought process and knowing what our personal intake of the world is, our feelings are going to be different. We have to make sure that what we think and believe about life is how we actually want to see it.
Our thoughts change our perception. Our perception changes our connection. Our connection changes history. Keep pressing into a better reality, a better thought process, and a better connection. This “life force” is our key to thriving.
As always with love, Makarios Asriel
Traveling a lot makes me really grateful for the people in my life who really know me. Who know the day to day things, the seasons I’ve been through, the processes I’ve dealt with, and the things I love. When I’m constantly in new communities and with new people, it can end up being exhausting. I love to just be. Not to put expectation on myself, but to have people who can ask me about things they know I’ve been working towards, who know my favorite things to do, understand my personality, or who can call me higher when I am lacking in my attitude, or in other areas of my life.
When I am not around people that know me, knowing myself and being aware of myself has been an extremely helpful tool for me to use to continue being the best me. I can understand when I’m off, or what it is that is causing issues with how I am feeling. I can figure out if it’s my body, my spirit, or my soul that is hurting, and I can use the tool of knowing myself to discover the causes. When I can discover the causes, I can uncover the solution.
Let’s talk about one of the reasons we may feel “off.” Shame. There are things that happen in our lives sometimes that put shame on us, which cause our spirits to feel violated and hurt. These are not always expected or intentional and sometimes feel out of our control. A good way to know when this has happened is to feel embarrassed to talk about the situation. If it is something you are not willing to share, there is a level of shame attached to that situation that will cause the rest of you to feel off.
- Notice how you approach people. Is it hard for you to make eye contact? Why?
- Notice your body and how you are holding it. Does it change around a certain group of people? Why?
When you begin to realize where the problem is, you start to find the answers to “why.” In evaluating what you do, and why you do it, you’ll become more aware of your feelings and more able to solve any issues at hand that are within yourself. Don’t be discouraged if sometimes this process takes a little longer than you hope or expect, you are still moving forward.
How can we begin to walk through the process of healing in this area?
- Learn to not judge yourself where shame is involved. Putting any judgement on yourself is setting another layer of pain on you, and another wall up to other people. It keeps you from freedom and keeps you from being fully you.
- Communicate and have hard conversations with people that are trustworthy and can protect your heart. Letting yourself embrace the awkward and sometimes extremely tense moments in many parts of your life will strengthen your spirit and your will and allow more freedom in yourself.
The idea of being fully you is not anything new to us. It’s thrown out there in many different ways, and people are consistently talking about it and saying, “just be you.” But how many of us really know who we are? How many of us have actually gotten to that place of truly understanding ourselves? I may have a good grasp of myself and how I am feeling in a lot of areas in my life, but I can’t say that I fully know who I am yet. What I do know is that I am getting closer to finding out.
Being fully you is being the best you that you can be. Sticking to your beliefs, but being open to your beliefs changing in order to be even better. The way you carry yourself, the way you dress, and the way you talk, that is all part of being you; however, if you are fully you, the atmosphere around you will show off more of who you are than the appearance of what you believe you are. Times change, seasons of life change, the world changes, people change; this all affects us being fully us and that’s the beauty of it. We can continually find ways to be more ourselves, better versions of ourselves, and fully ourselves.
As always, Makarios
There is so much that goes on around us every day, and we can all get sucked into the emotions that are around us. We have to be intentional, or we might miss out on relationships and the small (but important) things in life.
Life can be insane. For me, I travel a lot. When I don’t travel, I work. When I’m not working, I’m trying to catch up with friends, stay connected with leaders, research schools, read books, write, and paint. I also go to concerts, coffee shops, and I make new friends every week it seems. I’m pretty busy. To be back home is a blessing and rest is definitely a must for my lifestyle.
Life can be exhausting, and if you’re living it up every day, you are probably tired every day too. Knowing your body and how much it can take is so important. Eating right, exercising, and staying healthy are great ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your life and that you’re able to stay focused on what’s going on around you. Have a cup of coffee if you need it, or just want it because it’s fantastic.
Life can be really awesome. There are always ways to make your life better, and I hope you can say that your life is amazing, because you deserve that. Finding things that you love to do and making them a priority is important to living a life that you love. You might feel like you’re drowning in responsibility and that taking time for yourself is selfish and that other things are more important, but my question to you would be, do you love yourself? Because if you don’t make time for yourself, you won’t feel the best that you could feel, and you won’t have the fullest experiences that you can.
Because there is so much going on around us all the time, we have to be aware of how we are handling ourselves and our days. What are you doing to make sure the right things are prioritized for you? Ask yourself if doing that thing (whatever it may be) is loving yourself and your body before saying yes to it.
What are some ways that we can stay sane throughout our crazy lives? I think that’s something we all have to figure out for ourselves, and knowing what makes us feel the most at rest is probably something to add to our priority list (unless in some way it harms our body or spirit). Taking a few minutes out of our days can make a big difference in keeping us from being overloaded with information and stress. Having a moment to decompress and be reminded to be purposeful with our time where we are will change our perspective on what we are doing.
Being present throughout your encounters will also ensure that you will get the most out of every moment. Make being present a goal for this next season and watch how that changes things for you.
All the best in your journey, Makari Asriel
We are all servants of a higher being. No matter who or what you believe that is. To some, it’s God, to some, many gods, a higher energy, a person, the earth.. We all believe in something greater than ourselves, no matter how narcissistic you could be.
Ever have those points of your life where you know there has to be something more? That there has to be something else out there that makes life worth more than it is in your own little world? Ever feel anxious and you don’t know why? This is one of the reasons for anxiety in peoples lives: they’re searching. They’re figuring out their beliefs, and because they don’t know what it is that they’re trying to find, everyday can become a struggle. I encourage you, be aware. Look in your everyday life for encounters that can prove to you who you are serving. If you know your Boss, life changes from searching for something greater, to living with something worth dying for. A servant: a person who is devoted to or guided by something. Devoted: having strong love or loyalty for something or someone. If you can find out who you serve, your level of love, commitment, loyalty, devotion, and satisfaction for life will rise. Your anxiety has to drop, because you can’t be guided by something and still be stressed out about the future. A guide: a person who helps to direct another person’s behavior, life, career, etc.
As you decide your next journey and the life you hope to have, don’t forget how to live. Everyday your conscience is telling you to search for it.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly and difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~Brené Brown ‘The Gifts of Imperfections’
Boom. My life at this moment summed up in a quote. We need to believe in who we are if we truly want to live in wholeness. We need to be open, vulnerable, and live in ownership of our lives in order to be powerful and not a victim to our circumstances. Stop shoving things down, stop hiding in the shadows, stop pretending we have it all together. ‘Me against the world’ mentality will crush you. People are not made to live outside of God, away from community, and without leadership speaking into our lives (I say ‘and’ instead of ‘or’ because those three cannot be separated.) If you do, you will only last so long feeling ‘good’ about your life and be continually searching for something to fill the void of emptiness in your heart. Listen to the experiences of many…nothing will. You could have everything seemingly together (finances, great relationships, choosing to believe all the right things about yourself (i.e. joy, love, acceptance), a stable job, a happy life, etc) but without God as your everything, without a community around you, and without leadership speaking into your life, you will not succeed to the fullest that you were created and born to be. You were predestined to be more than you are capable of by yourself.
I love the last sentence of that quote, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness…” then we will find our light. The darkness is meant to be walked through. Otherwise, how will you ever find a way to turn on the light? Nothing will ever happen if you just choose to sit there in it. As one of my pastors recently said about walking through difficulty, “the darkness is there for us to recall what life was like when the lights were on.” We need to be able to recall who we are and what God says about us so that in dark times and dark places we are able to still find our way through the darkness to turn on the light. This is also another reason for community! In times where we end up feeling stuck and don’t have the strength to get up on our own, that’s where friends come in the room and turn the light on for us. Now hear me…be smart. Understand what I’m saying. I’m not telling you that you can just sit there and always let someone else turn on the light. Who of us would actually expect a friend to come and turn the light on for us when we need to get up in the middle of the night or when it is dark? What I am saying is that there are times and seasons in our lives where we just can’t do it ourselves and need a friend or leader to shine light on our situation. It requires vulnerability. It may be tough. It may be messy. But it may also be the best way for breakthrough in our lives.
I hope you are willing to go on this journey with me. To see yourself as God sees you, to be known in the darkness, and to find your light.