Blessed Monday, Prosers! I am so excited, it is officially Taurus season!! We are counting down not only to my birthday on Friday, May 17th, but that is the same day I will be re-leasing my book The Davenports: A Battle of Wills. I have made the official decision to go my separate way from Newman Springs Publishing and maintain all publishing rights exclusively under Mara Prose Publishing, LLC. I appreciate the opportunities, networking and educational support that Newman Springs has provided me over the past several months. However, The Davenports and all future endeavors that spawn from this re-release are best handled by me and me alone. I continue to correspond with Netflix and The Hallmark Channel for a potential Davenport series and the script was submitted for consideration to Warner Bros. Black List Submissions Call.
Before we dive into this week’s topic, did you catch this past Saturday Prosey’s Corner episode with our special guest, Dr. Andre Blaylock? Nicky and I enjoyed learning about and discussing Scientific Skepticism, The Importance of Applying Critical Thinking to Our Relationships. If you missed it, catch the rebroadcast at www.blogtalkradio.com/maraprosenetwork.
Remember, we go live every Saturday 9am to 9:30ish am CST; you can listen to our discussions by calling our guest line that opens 10 minutes before the start of the show at 657-383-0885 but if you want to be a part of the discussion, you will need to text your name, number and question(s) to (346) 917-0634.
Today, I would like to discuss how to surround yourself with a group of individuals who will have your best interest at heart, will help to elevate you to new heights and willingly keep you uplifted in prayer. When you make this a regular practice in your life, you will successfully build healthy soul ties that will not need to be broken later on down the line.
Just this past week, I joined a phenomenal group of praying women in a bible study group formed by a long time friend of mine. We were each assigned accountability partners – where we are to hold one another accountable for our praying goals and in discarding destructive habits that keep us from the purpose God has predestined for us. Most of the ladies at this meeting had never met before; therefore, if a virtual stranger is willing to take on this accountability for someone they barely know, it is not unreasonable to expect the same from our family members and close friends.
We should all practice accountability for those we hold near and dear to our hearts. I will be the first to testify that had I not surrounded myself with people who truly loved, cared for and had my best interest at heart, I would not have been able to overcome a lot of my trials over these past several years. Once again, it is all about Applying the Right Discernment in Relationships; a blog post of mine I highly recommend you go back and read. Building a circle of trust is not difficult. These people are, most likely, already in your life and already helping you.
Remember that like minded individuals attract other like minded individuals. You must give off positive vibes and be confident in your life decisions. You also have to be very true to yourself. This will lead you to the people that belong in your circle. If you are mindful and purposeful, you can avoid creating unhealthy soul ties to toxic individuals. Here are a few things to remember when creating the tribe that vibes the best with you.
This is honestly the most important thing in a circle of trust. There are times you will need guidance and these people are an email, phone call or text message away. They always respond swiftly with what is in your best interest and you can count on their advice to be not only helpful, but honest as well.
Sometimes those closest to you are too biased to help decide the best course of action. This is because they love you too death and may be overly supportive of any idea that pops into your head. You need people who will be lovingly honest with you; people who do not want to see you self sabotage. They are even brutally honest at times because your growth is important to them.
It is not enough to simply receive quick and honest feedback. No one benefits from the proverbial pat on the back, you need someone who will help you massage out the details and make the best possible decisions. This requires people who earnestly listen to understand and not just listen to respond. They have the bandwidth to take on your troubles and willingly engage in all aspects of your life because they value you as a person.
The people in my trust circle are best selling authors, entrepreneurs, artists, marketing coordinators, fashion designers, bloggers, and more. I love that they’re all different because they all offer a unique perspective. It’s also a plus when they all think an idea is awesome (that usually means the idea has wide-spread potential!).
Next week, we will explore how to untangle ourselves from toxic soul ties. Until then, if you do not have a circle of trust, you need to get to work on building one. We are not meant to walk this journey we call Life, alone.
There’s strength in numbers
When we come together
There’s much to achieve
Be the change you want to see
Be the one to set other’s free
Be the one refusing to tuck tail and flee
The power within us goes often untapped
We take things for granted and simply adapt
One person can make a dent
But as a whole, we can represent
To represent, is to do more than circumvent
We need to reinvent, relent, and permit
We need to grow, know and show
We need to unite, fight and make things right
Because there’s strength in numbers, best believe…
Happy Glorious Monday, Prosers! I pray you had a wonderful weekend, and hopefully you were able to catch our first show of the new season of Prosey’s Corner this past Saturday. If not, you are in a for a real treat! Nicky and I had the distinct pleasure of promotion-ally conversing with Jeffery L. Miller and Kiland Lee. You can listen to the rebroadcast by clicking on the following link Prosey’s Corner Season 2 Episode 1.
Before I jump into today’s topic, I want to give a brief update on the new release date of my book, my baby, the thorn in my side, just kidding on that last one (well, not really) LOL, The Davenports: A Battle of Wills. As the perfect birthday present to myself and as a way of sharing that very same gift with all of my Prosers and followers, I have committed to an official re-release date of May 17th, 2019. All 2018 Pre-Orders will receive a special edition, signed copy of the book that is long overdue to you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your patience, understanding and continued support. More details to come as May 17th inches closer. Happy Birthday to Me!
For today’s topic of discussion, I would like to talk about the misuse of the term, narcissist. Most people use this word far too loosely. Pop culture often attaches this label to a wide variety of people who exhibit difficult and offensive personalities. It is important to understand that vanity and selfishness do not necessarily equate to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is a distinct set of traits that are a far cry from being simply self-absorbed. True pathological narcissism is a clinical diagnosis, and the residual effects of dealing with a true narcissist can require years of therapy to overcome.
There are many experts who believe in a spectrum for narcissism; apparently it is a trait that a lot of us exhibit to a certain degree. On the healthier side of the spectrum, a person views themselves as unique and asserts themselves with confidence and authority. It becomes problematic when arrogance, grandiosity and entitlement interfere with daily functioning and the ability to maintain relationships.
So what is the true description of a narcissist? A narcissist preys off of the emotions of others and they manipulate other people in order to maintain their framework of self. Individuals with this disorder suffer from a debilitating set of conflicting symptoms that range from extreme dependency to superiority and disdain for others. For anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist, they report feeling invisible, unwanted, disregarded and their needs consistently come last; if their needs are considered at all.
It is important to remember that these are not people who have the ability to switch back and forth between a sense of normality and their disorder; it is called a personality disorder for a reason. This is who they are and this who they will always be. I feel it is important to truly distinguish between self-centeredness and narcissism. The recovery from a narcissist is an intense emotional recovery and I would like to provide a few steps to follow on that road to recovery.
I hope this helps everyone to better understand what being a narcissist entails and I encourage everyone to apply the term correctly. I am still on the fence about next week’s topic, so let’s just say it is To Be Determined.
Until next time, keep refining, keep shining, keep rising!
Happy Monday, and to the 1st of April!! What a glorious time of year; Springtime is here! This week’s blog post is dedicated to my loving daughter Niyah, for uplifting me when I was starting to question my reality. Once again, thank you for the loving comments about last week’s blog post, “Embracing Your Flaws So You Can Embrace Others.”
I have been very guilty of having a very large and unhealthy ego. It has mostly been a hindrance, because it bruises easily. I am very accustomed to things coming fairly easy and without a lot of effort on my part. This too has proved to be a detriment to my existence, because it has prevented me from developing the necessary skills to nurture my strengths, weaknesses and relationships. When you do not have to put forth much effort in order to excel, it is way too easy to take all your blessings for granted. I believe this has played a large part in repetitive mistakes in my life. Let’s just be frank, I have always been a spoiled brat, LOL. However, life is molding me into a better person and I am growing daily and practicing “How to Apply the Right Discernment in Relationships.” But God is also teaching me the value of effort, accountability and embracing vulnerability.
My ego feed off of compliments, validation and the opinions of others. Instead of looking inward, I was always looking outward and this left me in a state of Paralysis.
The negative side of my ego is very entitled. It is jealous, possessive, boasting, selfish and unreasonable. It isolates and binds me from the truth. It lacks compassion and foresight. This side of my ego is an attention seeker from those who really care nothing about me and fails to value the ones that regularly, openly and willing show their love and devotion to me. My ego is competitive and a sore loser; it does not allow me to see past my own faults to get out of my own way.
Needless to say, it is a full time job (often requiring an overtime of effort) keeping this ego in check. I believe this is the very reason I have never addressed this character flaw until now. I was too lazy and lacked the proper motivations to make changes for the better. No one wants to go through extreme pain, loss, disappointments and setbacks – but without all of these I would not be the person I am today. I hate what I went through but I love how it refined me.
Can I just say, I’m having a great love affair with this Mara – we’ve been dating exclusively for several months and I really think it could be LOVE, haha! Seriously though, it is the first time I really, really like who I am. I enjoy being more considerate, giving, compassionate, understanding, vulnerable and transparent. Actually, there is a better term regularly used by Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church – HOT: HUMBLE, OPEN AND TRANSPARENT. Humility, Openness and transparency have become my redeemers.
Ego is often equated with a negative state of mind. It can be, but the truth is, the ego is a combination of your personality, identity and beliefs. Our egos develop from childhood, and it is usually a survival strategy spawned out of necessity in order to navigate the challenges of life. The folly comes into play when we are solely led by the ego – this does not and will not ever produce lasting happiness. Leading with the ego is allowing your insecurity and fears to guide your actions. This will birth self delusion, self absorption and create a major disconnect with others.
Here is How to Shed Your Ego for Redemption:
SURRENDER THE NEED FOR CONTROL – you do not want to obliterate your ego, you just want to refine it. We are not our egos, our jobs, our material possessions, and most importantly, we are not our achievements. Once you allow your ego to control your life, you will never be happy. As soon as you lose everything you have incorrectly identified with, it all will collapse and result in the loss of the illusion of happiness you created. Divorce your fears and trust in God! Accept the fact that there are simply some things that are out of your control and there is nothing you can do about it.
BE MINDFUL – the wrong side of the ego maintains a very self-centered, tunnel view of the world. I used to tell people, I keep my circle small because it takes a lot of effort for me to be considerate of others, and I found too much social interaction draining. I still keep my circle small but today, it is in a very different context. My small circle includes those I care about but I no longer have to limit my social interactions out of self-centeredness. If you can relate, then be mindful of that fact that your purpose here on earth is to emote God’s heart, spirit and do His good works. You cannot accomplish this if you are avoiding meaningful interactions with others.
FORM HEALTHY ATTACHMENTS – attachments are categorized by the following: attractions and aversions. Attractions fit in with the ego’s desires for recognition and comfort. Aversions are what our egos cannot accept. It is the aversions we want to manage in a healthy way. Like me, are you guilty of gravitating towards aversions where you feel the strong desire for something simply based off of the fact that you cannot have it or you have been told no? That is unhealthy, toxic and a recipe for disaster time and time again. You should attach yourself to reciprocated love, reciprocated trust and reciprocated respect. The key word here is RECIPROCATED. If the attachment is not reciprocated, why bother with it?
CHOOSE SELF DEVELOPMENT OVER SELF GRATIFICATION – listen more and speak less. Try not to make it all about you; avoid narcissism. Although, in all honestly, narcissistic individuals stem from a wounded self-esteem; so narcissism is often misunderstood. However, we will explore that more next Monday. Self development allows room for long term growth, whereas self gratification is temporary and fleeting. With self development, you can purposely seek out the negative aspects of your personality, understand why they exist and then work to overcome their existence. Self gratification will keep you on the defensive, will stunt your growth and will often lead you down a path of self destruction.
Shedding our Egos for Redemption is extremely important. Without this act, we will never experience self realization or the accomplishment of our full potential. “When ego is lost, limit is lost. You become infinite, kind and beautiful.” — Yogi Bhajan By being controlling, we block ourselves from new and important experiences. By being mindful, we can work diligently to become better people. The most powerful tool to learn to let go of our egos is to practice the formation of healthy attachments. We have to gravitate towards the tribe that matches our stride and vibe (In Love, Strive to Match My Stride by Mara Prose). Everyday work on self development, and enjoy the journey. Be sure to spend 5 minutes every day in solitude, because most of the time silence provides you with much needed answers and clarity.
Next week we will explore How to Overcome Narcissistic Tendencies. Until then, remember to add a little more WE to your ME!
Here’s to another wonderful and happy Monday! I would like to take a moment to give a huge shoutout of thanks to all my Prosers, new followers and everyone who helped me to receive my first 1,000 views in a 24 hour period! I am truly amazed, humbled and full of gratitude that last week’s post, “How to Repair Irrevocable Relationships,” resonated so well with everyone. Please be sure to continue to like, share and post your comments to keep the dialogue flowing.
In honor of International Women’s Day, I would like to discuss one particular aspect of feminism and the reasons I feel it deserves to be redefined. More specifically, I believe as with everything else, there is a need for continuity and specificity – today’s feminist movement includes too many extremes and these extremes hurt our cause as a whole.
Feminism at a very basic level, is the idea that men and women are entitled to equal rights and equal opportunities. However, one troubling perception of the feminist movement is that it fails to align with the overall principles of equality. The problem arises when too many varying beliefs and values exist in regards to feminism that ultimately hinder solidarity. Equality is too often misconstrued as sameness; when equality is actually the freedom of choice. At it’s most radical, feminism is defined as being entirely independent of a man and working to eradicate the male dominance by replacing it with a female dominance. I have been guilty of a very skewed view of feminism and have even promoted the inaccurate representation of the feminist movement. But knowledge is power!
I believe part of the feminist movement identifies too closely with an Amazonian, Wonder Woman way of life – Girl Power, Who Run’s the World…Girls, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with empowering women; however it becomes wrong when it is at the expense of someone else – whether it be male or female. We as a society have yet to learn that equality cannot be mastered by envoking separation. How do we expect men to embrace equality when we as females, remain so divided on what that equality actually entails? It is my opinion that we cannot make any progress by unreasonably making demands that ultimately make little sense in the grand scheme of our society. Again, I am guilty of holding my female counterparts to the unreasonable standards of a man – I ignorantly felt that if a woman wanted to be seen as equal, then she should demonstrate the equivalence of men in every aspect of her life. How foolish are we…or I should say how foolish was ME!
Now please understand, I am not advocating that we eliminate the feminist movement. We absolutely need equality of the sexes, we simply need to better define equality and consistently apply that definition. If feminism is often equated with hating men, then the wrong messages are being relayed.
Frankly, if your agenda includes negatively stereotyping a group of people and attacking them, then your goal isn’t equality, because bigotry isn’t part of the peace process (thank you to my super intelligent son for helping to point this out to me). Hate can only beget hate. If that’s your strategy, you’re already on the wrong track and destined for failure. (The Wise Sloth)
Here is how I would love to see the feminist movement progress and evolve:
The very same way I was able to reverse my ignorance, I truly believe with the right stance, motivation and persistence, we can reverse the negative image of the feminist platform. We must all work together and understand that we do in fact need one another to progress and contnue to evolve.
Next week, I would like to share how absolutely embracing my imperfections allowed me to embrace the imperfections of others and stop holding everyone to unrealistic expectations that I myself, could not keep.
Until next time, keep moving, keep progressing, keep evolving!
Happy Monday Prosers! I am so grateful that you have returned to explore another Mara Prose Monday with me. This week, it is on my heart to discuss and share how I have been able to repair irrevocable relationships through forgiveness, healing and love.
I want to be very candid about common relationship issues, and how to overcome them. It is a beautiful place to be when you not only forgive yourself for the past, but when you can forgive others as well. I decided to take my forgiveness one step further and work to repair relationships with friends, family members and even my ex-husband; relationships that were in painful disarray and enveloped in strife. Today, I will use the strained relationship with my ex-husband as our example. I pray my testimony and newfound insights will help others in their own journey to healing and mending relations with others.
Many of you are already familiar with my divorce a few years back from my high school sweetheart. This relationship was in a state of peril, animoisty and strife for the past several years. Recently, our daugher made the comment that if only he and I did not hate each other; I knew right then and there it was time to mend this relationship. I took some time to pray about it because the wounds still ran deep, for not only me but my ex-husband as well. I could not change him, nor could I change all that has happened between us over the past several years. However, I did have the ability to change my responses, my perception and my own actions towards him. The dysfunction needed to come to an end; my daughter needed her parents to be able to work amicably together. In essence, what was at stake was bigger than me and my ex; it was no longer about us or who we once were to each other.
A lot of dysfuntion stems from lack of communication, lack of positive role models and unresolved hurts that we choose to hold onto indefinitely. It is hard letting go – believe me, I know! Yet, it is imperative to learn how to allow self healing to take you to new places. My anger was a mask for grief, and that grief needed to be acknowledged.
So I decided to take the time to seek out all the good that remained between me and my ex-husband. The Past had to become just that – the Past! This was not an overnight process, a week long process nor even a month long process. It was a long, hard process that took a lot of prayer, self reflection, discipline and focus on a singular purpose. Notice I say singular. It was not a process that I expected my ex-husband to participate in, nor did I even approach him with it. I simply made the decision to change myself because I cannot control others, but I CAN control who I am, how I act and how I come across. I decided to teach myself how to better communicate with him, how to diffuse the tension that exists between us and how to understand who the man he is so we can work together for the mutual benefit of both our children. We both needed to come off of the defensive with each other and learn to coexist in a world that we will forever have a connection – our kids. We needed a fresh start; a new understanding, now that we both have moved on and created new lives for ourselves. But if I am completely honest, my renewed spirit no longer wanted to cling to that toxicity. I needed to release all that is, was and has been between us so I could move forward and grow in my purpose and not unnecessarily carry all that into the next relationship.
It is my personal belief that there really is no irrevocable relationship. There are relationships that will never be the same, and some will always have a certain amount of distance incorporated into them, but we can all work to overcome anything. You must decide the approach you want to take going forward and “change your thoughts in order to change your ways” ~ Joyce Meyers. If Joyce Meyers, one of the top evangelist in the world, could forgive her father for the many years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse he made her endure in her youth – I know that we all are capable of improving our relations with one another.
Here is how I have choosen to renew my damaged relationships.
I will include a disclaimer – none of this is a sure fix and it may not work for everyone. I have chosen to pursue the path of that is working for me, and this has started a healing process between me and several others. I still have a long way to go in this journey and the road is not easy. There are many times where I want to put someone in their place, treat them with the same disregard they treat me or even hurt them the way they have hurt me. But where will this lead me? What will I accomplish from living in such a way? Not much, outside of continued pain, hopelessness, bitterness and unhappiness. No, 2019 is about balance and release. This is right for me because it feels too good to my soul for it to be any other way. I have a new level of happiness I have never experienced before and I am truly grateful to God for that!
As always, thank you for allowing me to share my experiences with you. Next week, we will discuss how I would like to see feminism redefined in 2019. Until then, be kind, be encouraged and be bold!