Happy Monday, Prosers!! Cheers to another wonderful, productive and exciting week. I cannot believe we are almost into the month of April; where does the time go?
First and foremost, I would like to take care of a few Mara Prose announcements before we dive into this week’s blog topic.
- Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 Mara Prose Virtual Book Club: I will announce the winner for our April Book of the Month. You still have time to join our group and cast your vote by clicking on the following link Mara Prose Book Virtual Book Club
- Saturday, April 6th, 2019 Prosey’s Corner Returns to Blog Talk Radio from 9a-9:30am: Nicky and I will be returning with a new show format, new featured guests and tons of inspirational anecdotes. Our first guest of the season is none other than the incomparable Speaker|Motivator|Artist|Poet Jeffery L. Miller. Please follow us at www.blogtalkradio.com/maraprosenetwork
This week I want to discuss the value that can be found in embracing your flaws and all that is you. In an effort to add more depth to this discussion, I want to encourage you to embrace your sinful nature; correction, please embrace it and correct it. It is my opinion that the majority of judgmental, intolerant and self righteous individuals fail to embrace and acknowledge their imperfections. As with any other topic, there are levels to this mastery, so let’s explore them.
Let us not waste time continuing to spout the same common catch phrases about loving yourself, taking care of yourself and not judging others. What I actually want to explore is the act of allowing forgiveness, understanding and compassion towards others to redirect your life. We all are guilty of making a mess of our lives at one point or another. Yet, we continue to allow the small snippets of time captured on social media to influence our existence and guide our next steps. Even when people post ‘no filter’ to accompany their social media posts, they are still only allowing a glimpse of what they want you to see – which is still filtering the situation. We hide behind filters because people love to shame others, and we do not want to feel exposed. It is so much easier to look at other people’s lives and soothe our own insecurities by exposing the flaws of others in order to keep the spotlight off of us. It makes us feel better to know others really do not have it as good as they portray and that we are not alone in our ineptitude. Compassion is often lacking in many, and we like to pride ourselves on being able to relate to society’s misrepresentation of what life is supposed to look like.
THE MASKS WE WEAR (A Mara Prose Poem)
You smile, you grin and no one sees your sins
You laugh, you play with no one there at the end of the day
The masks we wear are uniquely prepared
To keep the world guessing and hide our despair
Black, white and all alike experience life’s crushing blows
Young and old, we are all the same because we all fear the untold
At the end of the day, no one can say that we are not all meant to live bold
I spent many wasted years in my youth, working hard to project the image of having it all together. My deep set insecurities would not allow me to conduct myself any other way, and this often led to the exhausting habit of constantly allowing other people’s perception of me to become my truth. The problem with this method is that everyone only understands you from the level of perception they are capable and the version of “You’ they are allowed to see. This disparity led to depression, anxiety and a whole slew of other problems that made life unnecessarily challenging for me. I was also often guilty of judging others harshly and dissecting their lives based on my own assumptions and my own misery. It was not until I caught wind of friends and family members doing the same with my life, and noting how their assumptions were so far off base, that I realized a change was in order. But if I am truly honest with myself, the false assumptions were my own fault because I was projecting a false image of myself.
Therefore, when I say embracing your flaws so you can embrace others, I am not speaking of embracing superficial imperfections such as cellulite ridden thighs – I am talking about authentically admitting that you have made mistakes and you will continue to make mistakes. It is a simple fact of life. And you know what, it is OK! Until you learn to deal with your mistakes, disappointments in a balanced, accepting manner, you will always carry a heavy burden.
Life will take you through some things and they will not always be pleasant; how you embrace them will determine how you evolve. I for one, have been through quite a lot. Immaturity and selfishness wreaked havoc on my existence for many years. It has taken me quite some time to come to terms with and embrace the fact that the lack of a comfort zone is actually in my best interest. It is the only time I am focused, motivated, determined and operating at my most optimal. In my self imposed comfort zone, I become lazy, easily distracted and stray from the path of my purpose. It has taken a lot of harsh lessons to finally embrace this truth.
Harsh Lessons (A Mara Prose Poem)
It took something extreme
to bring me to my knees
It took a great fall
and losing it all
for me to stall
and simply crawl
My ego took blows
and I completely froze
Everything I had taken for granted
left me stranded
due to being reprimanded
by Life, by God, my own Foolish Pride
I looked back at this time last year
and accessed all my fears
and took note of all my tears
and somehow I persevered
They say God will humble you
and boy, did He ever
I don’t know why I thought I was so clever
I don’t know why but I know I will never
Let myself return to those silly ways
I have set the bar higher and must continue to blaze
The lessons were harsh
but they made me smart
and gave me a new start
They helped me set myself apart
and I was forced to depart
From people who meant me no good
From those who always misunderstood
From the things that were in excess
From the things that just caused distress
So I could simply evolve and be blessed
There were times I didn’t think I’d make it through
There were times that I was oh so blue
Oh, if you only knew
But I found my inner strength
For my children’s sake
And now I can be an example
since I’ve handled, dismantled and unscrambled
and took lots of gambles
But for now, let me stop this ramble since I am no longer in shambles
I’m proud but in a new way
I’m proud because despite the dismay
I overcame, I slayed and made up for those days
All because of harsh lessons…
Unfortunately for most, the perception of stepping out of your comfort zone is viewed as a negative. It is uncomfortable, messy and it has even been associated with shame at times. I am here to tell you once again, change your thoughts, change your life ~ Joyce Meyer. We have to stop allowing the world to control our perception, and even more so, stop allowing the misrepresentations of society to dictate our lives.
Here are a few steps you can take towards embracing your flaws so you can embrace others.
DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES OF THE WORLD – social media, movies, TV shows and even commercials are fictional accounts of an exaggerated reality. There is no such thing as a reality show and these are not reliable sources to obtain your reality check. We all need to stop looking outwards, and start looking inwards!
EMBRACE ALL OF YOU – yes, there will always be less desirable aspects of people in general. It is not only important to embrace, shape and mold who you are at your core, but you must be compassionate towards others and their parallel life journeys. We all are uniquely created for a reason. We will not learn the same lessons at the same time, nor will we experience the same growth at the same pace. Stop expecting perfection and the mirror image of yourself in others, and start learning to not only embrace all that is you but all that is in others as well.
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR SURROUNDINGS – the wrong group of friends and the wrong environments combined with unrealistic expectations are a recipe for disaster. I naturally gravitate towards those that bring me peace. I want to be surrounded by people who accept that I am not perfect, do not expect perfection from me and understand who I am at my best and at my worst. You need a group of individuals who understand that the trials you go through are not only life lessons for you, but for them as well. If they are not willing to grow with you or help you grow, do you really need them in your life?
CONVERT YOUR SHAME TO REPENTANCE – Let Go of Shame and Guilt! Stop shaming and guilt tripping others as well. Learn to repent and set an example for others on repentance. Always remember that everyone has the ability to perpetually evolve, make a comeback from a setback and stop putting a number on the amount of chances we allow to each other. If God put a number on the amount chances He allowed for us, He would have given up on us a long time ago.
Next week, I want to discuss and celebrate all those that gave me a number of chances to redeem myself. The blog post will be specifically for those who never gave up on me and for all those who continued to love, support and be there for me when I was at my absolute worst behavior.
Until next time, embrace you, embrace them and embrace ALL!
Author Mara Prose