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.
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
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.
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
I recently had a short conversation with some people who knew me really well and who I’ve just recently seen again after being apart for months. The conversation was about how we have all changed so much (for the better) since last seeing each other, and in my friend’s response to this, he said, “…things become different when you are able to stand through the pain in the midst of your circumstances.” (paraphrased)
Yes, please. I want to be able to say that in my circumstances, when I’m hurting, when I want to curl up in bed and never be seen again, that I have stood in that season, through the crashing waves of emotions, and not been defeated.
A few weeks ago I was with some friends at the ocean, and within 10 minutes of being in the water my lungs were giving out from the cold and the exertion my body was using to stay up in the waves. I got to a point I could not longer stand and it was pretty difficult to breathe, but I didn’t want to get out just yet either since we had all really been looking forward to some beach time. As the waves would come, one of my friends would grab me and hold me up. We spent over an hour in that water, and he held me up the whole time. At one point, I decided to go on my own back to shore. Bad idea. The closer inland, the stronger the waves, and I was doing somersaults into the water, not even getting my feet planted before the next wave hit.
This is how my life feels at times, and definitely the seasons I’ve been going through recently. Trying to stand up on my own in the hurt and hard times has exhausted me to the point that I no longer could, and every time I would be about to give up, someone would come along and hold me up. This doesn’t mean that I was automatically okay. I still had to catch my breath, hold on to that person (those people), and keep my head above the water. But with their legs on the ground, I had something sturdy to be my stronghold when the waves did hit. I wasn’t defeated and I wasn’t alone. Also true that when I thought I could get back to my normal life (the shore) on my own, I’d end up pummeled by the waves again.
We’re not meant to walk through pain on our own. We’re not strong enough. None of us are.
Walking through your process with people helps you to stand through the pain of your circumstance. Pain will try its hardest to keep you down when you are hurting; life will do its best to keep you up when you are dying; friends will hold your hand and walk you through your process; and YOU will have the strength to stand when you feel powerless.
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.
The title for this post is meant for anything that is hidden and isn’t the best part of you, brought to the light and dealt with. It doesn’t define you, it also doesn’t kill you because of the shame of it. My goal as you read this, is for you to discover for yourself that how you choose to live your life will change everything about you and the people you influence.
I wish I could explain to you just how important it is to live life right. But the truth is, I can’t explain it to you. Because we all learn differently and we all believe different things. Your right is different than mine, and if you think about it, what really is right? So I would just like to tell you about some of my process and why it’s been important for me to choose the best possible outcome of my circumstances.
I’ve done the wrong things. I’ve lived in that place, where the love I give comes from anger, and the peace I carry comes with discomfort. In that place, the choices I make hurt people, and the life I choose hurts me.When I’m not okay with my life, and when I have no vision for my future, everything I do comes with pain. And I end up ripping people’s lives apart. Trust me, it does make me feel “powerful” and in “control” and in a sick twisted way, it “satisfies” me. (I put these words in quotes because it’s how I feel in the moment, not how it actually makes me feel, because in reality it is going against my identity.)
Because of how I choose to live my life now, my challenge in those seasons isn’t to love people really well, or to believe that God still has a plan. My challenge is to create a safe place where I can just be, without feeling like my life is falling apart all around me. In those hard times, I know that what I am feeling won’t last forever. I know it is only a season, and my conscience is set on discovering the best way to deal with the struggle in front of me. I think one of the things that we have to remember in these times is “who do I want to be when I come out of this?” and then make that the end goal.
The things that happen in your heart are on display for everyone you encounter. One of the goals for my life is to always go through process in the best way possible. I’ve been in situations that tore me up to the point of hysteria. Everything I thought I knew came crumbling around me, and there is not much worse then feeling like your life is falling apart and there’s nothing you can do about it. Because I’ve had several of these situations in my life, I think it’s important for me to share some tips of how I choose to overcome in the midst of my circumstances.
1, with love. You have to understand that if you saw your best friend going through what you are dealing with, you would have so much grace for that person. Show that grace to yourself and understand that you need to love yourself through it in the same way you would want to love them.
2. with a heart of perseverance. You will win in the end, but only of you choose to. If you can live knowing that one day you will see the finish line, you will be able to persevere through anything. You’re not allowed to let yourself give up. Especially with everything you have already faced and overcome. You will win.
3. choosing to know in your heart that you are strongest person you know. Every night in these seasons I felt like I was going to die. And every day that went by was another day that I chose not to give up. When you are able to look back a week later, a month later, a year later, and see that even in the shittiest time of your life, you still lived a life worthy of love and acceptance, you will see how strong you truly are.