EXPLORING MONDAYS WITH MARA PROSE: DEALING WITH PEOPLE AT YOUR LEVEL OF PEACE
Hello Prosers! It is nice to be back after a much needed writing hiatus. I always take time away from my writing to live a little, to reflect and rejuvenate my mind. It is really nice that my life affords me the necessary peace to do so, which brings me to the topic for today: Dealing with people at your level of peace.
I talk about peace so much in my blog posts because I had so little of it for most of my life. Now that I have found a place of unwavering peace, I shield it from all things that threaten it’s existence.
There was a time in my life when I was quick to cut people off for the smallest of slights. Throughout my spiritual growth, I have learned to be more understanding towards others. If God did not give up on me when I was at my absolute worst and if I am to be more like Christ the deeper I go in my spiritual walk; it only makes sense to extend the same kindness to those who transgress against me. The only perfect being to have ever lived was Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The rest of us are flawed, sinful and battling tribulation and the temptation to be even more sinful.
With this knowledge, I now understand that my expectations in the past were very unrealistic towards people. People will fail me, they will hurt me, they will lie to me, they will anger me and they will even desert me at times. And you know what, that is ok, because I am guilty of doing the same things to people throughout my life. Life is full of seasons, and if I have learned nothing else, it is that our lives are a constant evolution. In understanding that evolution, I had to come to terms with how I should maintain my peace with others, with myself and with life in general.
For me, there is a priority circle. The priority circle consists of the few people that deserve my going above and beyond for them. I go out of my way to be thoughtful towards them, understanding and there for them in their times of need. In life, not everything takes priority, so of course, not everyone is apart of this priority circle of mine. Most of the people in my priority circle are individuals where the majority of the time spent with them, I can maintain my peace of mind. It goes without saying that there is no one on earth that will afford me absolute peace; only God affords that and He is who I turn to when I need absolution. I spend the majority of my time with my priority circle and it brings me a lot of joy to do so.
There are those outside of the priority circle where peace is a little more fleeting, but for the most part, I am able to maintain enough peace to keep them around a little more often than others. But the last group, the ones were my peace is definitely challenged regularly, I limit my interactions with them altogether. This is the group I used to go cold turkey with and whitewash them completely from my life. I now simply interact with them in small increments since the risk is too great for my overall peace of mind. I no longer feel the need to eliminate them from my life and let me explain why.
My walk with God is important. It is so important that I share my walk, my testimonies, and the devotionals I learn from with the world (check out the Mara Prose Daily Devotionals Facebook Group). If I cutoff the individuals in my life who prove to be more challenging, I could miss the opportunity to share a message that they may need to hear. God has saved me and really brought me out of a place of selfish blindness. Being hateful towards others is foreign to me now, when it used to be second nature to me. Lies, manipulations and false promises are a thing of the past for me. If He can turn my life around, just think what he can do for those still lost in the wilderness but stumble across my path?
You see, God wastes nothing. We can learn something from even the most difficult of people and they can learn something from us. I am not speaking of people who abuse you; they deserve to be cut out of your life without explanation. But for the ones that simply bring some type of strife, there could be something they see in me that convicts them to become a better person. I never want to miss the opportunity to testify to someone.
It’s funny, in my twenties and thirties I used to post every aspect of my life on Facebook. Now in my forties, I rarely post anything of a personal nature which has led some to ask me if I was a real person on Facebook. While I am a lot more private about my personal life, I am actually very transparent in my writing. I used to be transparent with my life, but not with the challenges I faced. None of my followers could do anything with the superficiality I used to spout on a regular basis (outside of rolling their eyes and probably sighing ‘here she goes again’). What I should have been posting is how I was overcoming life challenges because there could have been something in my experiences that prevented another person from making a grave mistake. Silence on social media used to represent turmoil in my life, thank God it now represents peace and joy! But I actually am never really silent, I just share things that educate, entertain or encourage others to find a right relationship with the Lord as opposed to insignificant selfies, what I am eating or where I am vacationing.
What is so freeing about this methodology is that it costs me nothing and it frees me from a lot. By practicing selective silence, I have been fortunate to drop a lot of deadbeats in my life. I realize there are individuals who would like to get to know me better, be closer to me and work their way into my priority circle. But people are draining to me, especially the ones who are not meant to be close to you. I never outgrow my priority circle, I find the people in that circle grow right along with me but more importantly, they are deeply etched into my heart. Outside of that circle, I regularly outgrow friendships and other relationships and thus, these people will always be kept at a distance because I will only interact with them at the level of peace I am able to maintain.
I grow and die to self daily. I crave knowledge and that often causes me to become bored with those who are not seeking a higher purpose. It is not an affront to people who do not seek out truth, it just happens to be where I am at this point in my life and I will not apologize for it. The elevation God has shown me leaves no room for any tag-alongs nor for anyone content with the stagnation in their life (i.e. those unwilling to change). I share this because I want people to stop allowing other people’s insecurities, hate and lack of self-awareness to destroy their peace. We live in a world where selfishness trumps all and is regularly celebrated in our society. This is the very reason there is so little peace in the world. I realized it was selfish of me to expect people to meet all my expectations of who I felt they should be, how they should act and how they should respond to situations presented to them in life. We are all so horribly flawed and we all have to operate in the way best suited to who we are as a person and when people do not, it really is none of my concern as long I handle myself accordingly. I have little tolerance for all those who expect otherwise.
I leave all my Prosers with this: identify who should be apart of your Priority Circle and deal less with everyone outside of that circle. Dealing less with those outside of my priority circle is not only a way of life, it has become a means of survival. Caring less about the non-priority circle has brought me a better quality of life. I refuse to extend the same energy to everyone; it is impossible to do so anyway. So I am choosing to reserve that energy for a select few and the rest, oh well, get in where you fit in is my motto. I am often reluctant to leave the serenity of my life and this means it is a lot more difficult to reach me by phone, text or instant message. I no longer believe in people having instant access to me because I am dealing with everyone at the level of peace I can maintain. I carve out pockets of time to respond to the non-priority circle people I know and once that time has passed, it becomes just that, the past. So for those who question my realness, I guess if being real means I have to post on social media or respond instantly to you, I am very happy to disappoint. My serenity is not up for public viewing. I can only operate at the level of peace that is afforded to me.
Until next time,
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