I’m back and sending a warm welcome home to all my Prosers! My hiatus is at an end and it is time to return to the roots of Mara Prose Mondays. I have spent the past couple of years experimenting with different formats, topics, and styles of prose. Today, I find myself returning to the initial inspiration, candor, testimonial filled blog posts that initially called me to create www.maraprose.blog.
I have spent the past several months learning, growing, studying and establishing a healthy balance in my life. I needed the silence that only comes from what I have so fondly termed my’hibernation’ period. This time of peace and reflection allows me to make decisions about my path forward. I began to pray more and develop a stronger relationship with God. In my solitude and meditations, my vision and purpose became clearer to me and I was able to map out a new plan for my life, my family and Mara Prose.
One gift that I was granted from this period of self-reflection, was the gift of discernment. It was not an easy gift to accept or master, but the life lessons it is helping me to overcome are invaluable. I feel as if the younger Mara walked around in a self-induced fog; my reality was skewed, to say the least. I had a lot of trouble discerning who deserved a place in my life and who did not. For example, in the past, I would allow myself to be manipulated into sustaining relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers who were actually toxic. I am now able to discern immediately the toxicity of others, and disassociation myself without guilt. I have even outgrown the act of simply cutting off toxic people without an explanation. The level of discernment that I now possess has taught me to communicate with others in a more adult and Godly manner…a ‘What Would Jesus Do’ manner. I recently addressed this very topic with someone I felt would prove to be a distraction and possibly cause strife in the balanced life I am working so hard to maintain. My intent was never to hurt the individual, it was to help them understand who I am as a person, who I am becoming and respect all that is me. At the same time, by embracing discernment, it allows me to also empathize with the needs of others and not expect anyone to adjust their beliefs or ideas to fit mine; while also accepting that I am not equipped to meet their needs either. I just knew this person needed to understand that our ideas of sisterhood and friendship were too different to continue to try and force a friendship.
As always, I want to share the steps I have taken to develop the discernment that I am now blessed with.
- First and foremost, be patient with yourself. Discernment is not easy to master and I honestly feel we should all be prepared to work at it the rest of our lives. Therefore, you must be DEDICATED to achieving better discernment.
- WALK WITH GOD. Immersing myself in the Word of God, prayer and simply asking God to help you discern who and what is best for your life.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH DISCERNING PEOPLE. Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with the wise men will be wise…” I have always championed eliminating naysayers and people who enjoy creating strife and conflict.
- BE VULNERABLE. We will never develop discernment if we try to shield ourselves from hurt, pain, trials, and tribulations. Life experiences are the only real avenue to true discernment. So live your life and live it to the fullest without regret.
- BE STRONG IN YOUR CONVICTIONS. Understand that not everyone will understand or agree with your journey towards discernment. However, remain STRONG and trust that inner voice that guides your steps. You must silence the noise of the world in order to achieve discernment!
- ACT. There will be many times in your walk towards discernment that you become confused and begin to overthink. Always remember, there really is no right or wrong decision because everything (and I do mean everything) is a lesson to learn. Do not allow fear, anxiety or the past to hold you prisoner – step out on faith because no matter what happens, as a great friend used to always tell me “IT ALWAYS, ALWAYS WORKS ITSELF OUT!”
Evolution is the key to a happy life; at least for me. Discernment is just one of the many stepping stones I am taking in order to evolve into the best version of me. Next week, I will share how my forgiveness and letting go of the past has allowed me to repair relationships that were once irrevocably broken. I cannot change others, but I can change how I respond to others.
Until next time, be encouraging, be inspirational, and be motivational!
Author Mara Prose