The moment things started going downhill for me, I knew it was happening. I knew how to stop it, and I knew how much it would hurt me.
Doing the right thing, taking the right actions, and letting the wrong arrows of other peoples choices pierce through your heart in order to make the better choice rarely feels like it’s worth it until later.
I made a choice. I chose to do the right thing for the situation I was put in, but I also made a very active choice not to do the right thing for myself. I was tired of taking care of myself, and always looking at the bright side. I was tired of being nice to everyone else and receiving the shit end of the stick in return. I made an active choice to not go through the right process of grieving and pain and to let myself be bitter instead, because it felt better. All I knew that I wanted was temporary ease. I hadn’t felt like I had been able to be angry at God or people or circumstances previously because I always knew it wouldn’t be the right thing to do, and because I have always wanted to do the right thing for the longterm. This time, I was taking anger at full force. You fuck with me, you lose me and I didn’t care at all.
It’s amazing how fast anger can take hold of your thoughts, your lifestyle, your being. I felt pain at every turn. I saw words twist from helpful to detrimental in split seconds as they soar from one person’s mouth into my ears. I’ve never known myself to be as cruel as I felt or as careless as I was. I didn’t care about anyone else, and why would I? No one stood up for my character when I was being torn apart and for that I was angry. I didn’t want to care.
Anger puts this film over your eyes that causes every wonderful thing to look harmful. It changes every friend into a foe, and every light into fire. No one is safe.
If only I had chose to grieve, chose to deal with my anger, chose to silence my bitter thoughts. Had I, I wouldn’t have gotten to the point of contemplating death every moment of every day. I became defeated.
If you saw me, you would know. I could not stop the tears and I could not stop the pain; all I wanted was for it to end. I understand depression. I understand suicide. I understand pain.
There was a time I would have asked of a depressed friend to live, even only if it was for me. I now know I can never ask that of anybody. I cannot ask for someone to endure pain for my comfort, or live through terror for the “someday” that might come and be peaceful. I cannot ask for life of somebody else, I can only enter their space and give them everything I have to give. It’s crucial.
Depression is a hand, holding, crushing, dragging you into the depths of the earth, into the pit of despair, with no branches strong enough to break your fall and no comfort long enough to take a deep breath. Depression is a weight of a hundred horses treading on top of the canopy of blankets you try to hide under just to find a moment where your mind can be silent. Depression is… a venomous snake wrapped so tightly around your body you cannot breathe but with every pulse of your heartbeat you know it’s the end… Depression… is an ocean of breathtaking pain.
I see the world with that pain in my eyes, much in the same way I used to see it with beauty.
If you know how I feel then you know what I mean. Good things that happen don’t make up for what we see behind the wall we’re so desperately trying to build to keep the horde of pain and anger at bay. It’s terrifying to watch that wall being broken apart and running out of the strength to keep building. It’s almost as if you drop that wall and run as fast as you can to add distance before turning around and building again. It’s coming and you see it; you feel it… and then you make one mistake and it swarms around you from all sides; all you have left is a little tent to cry in.
If you know then you know. And if you don’t, now you do.
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.
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
Everyone’s deciding now, more than any other time of the year, to be a better version of themselves. Setting new goals, creating new dreams, having new visions for their lives. And we all plan to really do them. That’s the beauty of a new year. It feels like a new beginning with new found belief in ourselves. However, as the first few weeks turn into the first few months, we tend to lose sight of that. A big reason that in the end we don’t always complete our goals is because we stop believing in ourselves. Over and over again we hear the reoccurring excuses of a busy schedule, financial difficulties, a lack of motivation, etc. The level of discouragement that creates in us escalates from there. But what really happens? We stop believing we can do it, or that we are actually worth it. In fact, we might even start believing that it wasn’t really a new start at all, but just a continuation of the year before. It becomes not as important. And as the things we do with our lives start becoming less important, we start viewing ourselves as less important too.
I think a lot of times at the beginning of the year we feel a sense that the things that happened in the last year are kept in the last year. All the disappointments, the grief, the pain; that can all be left behind, and now we get to choose how our next year looks. In some ways that’s true, but as we look back on the years and say, “that happened in that year (and so on)”, we have to realize it’s still a continuation of our previous days, even if the date of the year changes. I’m not trying to be discouraging, but I want to point out that how you want to live your life can START now, just don’t stop that based on what time of year it is. Live out who you want to be all the time. The great thing about the new year is that it’s a reoccurring mark on the timeline of our lives; a way to keep track of our goals so we can continue pushing for success, and something that starts us creating good habits that we will continue long after the year is gone.
It’s also important to understand that a new year does not mean that you can forget about the pain that you were dealing with in the previous season of your life. It’s not a time to leave your feelings about a situation un-dealt with, but instead it might be just a good time for a break and a re-evaluation of how you are really feeling about the situation. You still need to go through that process; however, it may just be at a different time. There are seasons of your life needed for rest. For many people, the holidays are not a good time. Whether it be loss, heartache, or loneliness; some feelings and emotions may come up in you that you are simply not used to feeling and didn’t realize you still had within you. This can bring a lot of stress, a lot of hurt, and can become a huge burden that sits within you if it isn’t properly handled. The new year sounds like a perfect time to just leave all that behind you doesn’t it?
What if we actually dealt with our emotions, found the root causes, and became free in those areas? Think of how much better we would feel everyday, and how much more we would understand ourselves, love ourselves, and treat ourselves. Don’t you want that?
Something that will help us to pursue our goals all year long is to 1) make goals that are attainable, but still high enough to keep us pushing towards notable success, and 2) have more frequent check-mark dates that keep us accomplishing smaller goals on the path in reaching our overall goal. Continue to look at the vision you have for the end of this year and update your process as you go along. Your new life starts now!
My heart. My world. It’s overcome by people who want a piece of it. There’s a taking that happens all the time—a trespassing into my life that hasn’t been allowed. It’s exhausting for us to live our lives when people are continually taking from us—our emotions, our time, our energy. But guess what, there’s good news. Most of this can actually be avoided! If we allow ourselves to be okay with saying no to people, we can cut down that risk of exhaustion by at least 50%. Sometimes people will continue to take even when we say no. Sometimes that’s unavoidable, but we will never cut that percentage down unless we are actually okay with saying no.
For me, saying no used to be hard, but that was because of fear in my life that said I might lose friends or that said I was being too selfish if I did. I should be aware of everyone’s feelings, right? I don’t want to be rude to people, right? Well here’s a question for you: are we actually valuing ourselves if we allow people to take part of us that we shouldn’t give? People take what we don’t have all the time, and it hurts our souls, our spirits, our bodies, our minds, and the close people in our lives.
Some say we can’t give what we don’t have. Sure we can! We do it all the time. We steal from others to give if we have to, but God forbid we turn somebody down because they want something. Are you hearing me?!? This is what we do. How is that healthy or okay? If they don’t get it from you, they’ll go get it from somebody else. Don’t kill yourself to help someone for a moment, because it really will kill you eventually if you let it. Knowing when to say no stems from an understanding of how well you know yourself, and I hope you are actually applying the stuff I have been saying to your life, because you should know yourself at least a little bit better by now.
It’s all about trial and error. Learn how far you can go, and then stay away from that. Push yourself so you can grow, and then ease up to find a balance. If it hurts, that’s an indicator of when to say no. Balance your life out so that if you know you are crazy busy for a couple days/weeks straight, you know that you will need to say no to some things after that in order to recuperate. This all seems so logical and simple, but so many of us (even me) still don’t do it. We think we can give, and we can! But at what cost? These things really build up, and they have to be let out eventually. It could take years, but trust me, it WILL take its toll at some point. Let’s work to prevent that from happening by cooling off the boiling pot now.
Have accountability to major things you do in your life. (If you need it for smaller things to start out with, that’s fine.) Find a great friend who will ask you how much you’ve been giving of yourself lately, and then listen to them, in order to maintain balance. Don’t be stupid and then keep giving anyway.
Trust your instincts. (NOT THE FEAR ONES; unless there is a specific reason you should trust that.) If you feel you are too tired to go out, or that it will take energy from you and you know you’ve given a lot that day already, be willing to say no. This is a hard one; if you have already made plans with someone that have been set for awhile, but when the day comes and you feel like it would take more than you feel you can give, love yourself enough to kindly and politely say no.
Talk to yourself. Ask yourself every morning how much you feel you have to give that day, and then throughout the day make sure you still have enough in order to enjoyably make it through the time that you have left.
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