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.
We go through life a lot of the time very unaware of our surroundings. Walking down the street or interacting with the cashier at the grocery store, we are generally just going through the motions and not acknowledging what is around us. People have feelings, and we ourselves have feelings. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t want to be 50yrs old and finally realizing that I haven’t been aware my whole life. I’m a generally aware person, paying attention to other people and their reactions and lifestyles, but I encounter a majority of people who are not aware of their surroundings at all. Why is that?
Everybody’s lives revolve in their own head; what they believe is their own life and experiences. We can’t assume that they are being rude when really they are only unaware of things around them. Is that selfish? Maybe. But how would they know any better if they don’t realize themselves that they are unaware? I think it takes an eye-opening experience to understand that you yourself are unaware. In the same way that people don’t know what pain really is until they have experienced it, and in the way that people don’t really know how to truly live until they know death. Not have died, but have experienced a death or a near death. Life is so unbelievably awesome and we don’t understand it until we experience it.
I want to bring to your attention that people who you think are being rude, may not actually think that’s what they are doing. Even this morning, at my hostel in Dublin, one of the people in my room got up at first light (5am) and proceeded to pack all of his stuff up in the center of the room, hitting the bed frames and not paying attention at all to how loud he was. Now, I thought about it for a little bit because I wasn’t sure if I should peak around my curtain and say, “Uhm, excuse me… are you serious right now?” But then I thought, ‘I don’t think this man is actually trying to be rude, I think he is genuinely unaware.’ And with that in mind I could smile and feel at peace and just wait it out.
Why does that make me feel any better? Because he doesn’t know. How can I possibly be mad at somebody who doesn’t know? Should people have common sense? Yes. But who am I to know how they have grown up and what their life experiences are? I got to look at it this way – I was awake early; more time to explore the city; and I got to have another moment practicing peace.
Life is uncomfortable, but learning peace in the discomfort can be an incredible experience. I’m not worried about losing two hours of sleep, because there is no point in being upset and something that happened. It happened, and now it is my goal to find peace in it.
I love getting to practice what I preach, it reminds me of the journey that I am on to always be better. When I am not growing in myself, I feel more dead than ever.
Growing, learning, experiencing life; all change who you are and the life you will continue to lead. Find peace in the moments that you could be frustrated in. Have grace for people who are unaware and understand that they need help in that area, just as you need help in another. We are all learning and growing in life, let’s be patient with where other people are at in their process.
With love, Makari Asriel
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
It’s hard to talk about just what it is we are thinking about. We’re scared that our inner being is too fragile or too “bad” to share how we actually feel. But if we did, we would understand how to better love people specifically based on their thought-life (i.e. encouragement if they’re thinking negative, hugs if they’re feeling lonely..etc.)
I don’t want to be worried about other people’s opinions about what I think. If you have a different opinion, great, that’s your opinion. I won’t be satisfied with keeping my mouth shut about what I believe. I know that I don’t know everything, and in many areas I’m still figuring out what it is I believe and what feels right to me. It’s a process, it’s a journey, and I’ll be on it for a long time.
This is how I choose to think about the way I have decided to live my life. I’m not okay with doing what I’m “supposed” to do or what I’m “told” to do for this reason: if I don’t go out and experience the things that I don’t know, how will I ever know what it is I really believe or ever truly understand people who believe differently than I do? I won’t.
The whole “learn from other people’s experience” thing does not work for me. Maybe you’re cool like that, but I’m definitely not. Everybody’s different, so if one person believes they have made a mistake, it might not actually be a mistake to somebody else.
There is so much judgment about people in this world. Most people fear what they don’t understand. Also, most people don’t know how to respond correctly in situations that they have never had a “connection” to, or an experience of.
Some of my best friends have been able to experience this since knowing me. I’ve been able to open their eyes to a whole new aspect of loving people they used to only love from the “outside” and because they’re “supposed” to love everybody, but now they can love them truly as they love themselves because they understand these different peoples worlds. How amazing.
I haven’t necessary made the best choices while pursuing this lifestyle but I can tell you that I wouldn’t change it for anything. I am who I am because of it and I get to live an amazing life where I can travel, experience different cultures, and make friends everywhere I go.
I am so loved because I choose to love. I am understood because I choose to understand. Everyone wants to feel like they are understood, so everyone who sees that you trying to understand them will accept you, faults and all.
Just my thoughts, Makarios
We all have tragedies in our lives. It’s what we do in the face of them that defines who we are and where our heart truly lies. If we are not truly okay inside, the real feelings of our heart will come out when we are faced with disappointment.
Pain makes people snap. The things that we never thought we would do, are now a product of our lives because of a hurt we had to deal with. Who do you look up to that became great in the face of pain? And how are they handling it two/three/four years from that time? We have many reactions to tragedies in our lives. Let me talk about 3 of them:
1, people do what they “know” is right, and sometimes never actually deal with the problem. These are the people we usually look up to for how they are handling the situation. When in reality, they listen to what their mind has been told, but not what their heart is actually saying. They will go to church, read their bible, say all of the things that they “know” they should be feeling (i.e. I’m not mad at God, God is good, I can do this, I know that person would never intentionally hurt me, it’s not their fault, it’s not God’s fault, etc.) These things are good. But if you never allow yourself to express the deep, dark, hurting emotions, how will you ever process through them?
2, people run to something that will numb the pain. We all know these people, and at times throughout our lives, we are these people. Numbing the pain can happen in so many different ways. Now let me tell you something.. if you think you are not this person because you don’t run to alcohol or drugs, look again. Running could look like distracting yourself by being with friends, going to concerts or movies, engulfing yourself in work or school, and even in some cases, spending all your time with God. Let me explain this. Running is anything that takes you away from dealing with the problem. Though spending time with God is amazing, if you are doing it out of “what you think is right” but aren’t using that time with Him to actually figure out what it is you need for the season, you’re running away. Don’t get me wrong, you are running to the greatest thing you could possibly run to, but if you don’t deal with the situation in that time, you will eventually end up blaming or being disappointed in God because the situation has happened or isn’t changing.
3, people face it. They take the time, they pause their lives, and they search out help from people or leaders they trust. This is the hardest in some senses because it means that now everything is on hold, people feel broken, people feel like a mess. But this is honestly the easiest solution in the long run. You will go deep, grow fast, be challenged, and break free. Everyday is a new challenge, a new day for growth, for receiving love, and for accepting where you are. By facing your pain, you will be able to deal with your situation, and walk out in freedom.
Sudden tragedies change our lives, and sometimes, everything about who we are. What are you going to do about the situation you are in? Will you choose God? Will you choose you? Or will you dive deep into a process that is life-transforming, even if that means facing the pain head on.
Your choice. Always your choice. Don’t let it be your downfall.