Mi familia! The reasons I self reflect so I can be the best version of me for them!
As per my annual tradition, I am sharing my journey over the past year with all my followers. I do this in the hope someone will stumble across my writing and learn from my growth.
If you have read my poetic testimonial, The Journey to Mara Prose, you are well aware of the many battles I have faced with trauma bonds, depression and anxiety. For the past several years I have been finding and refining my voice, my identity and my purpose. My journey is far from complete, and life did not exactly turn out how I envisioned when I was in my youth. But I have absolutely no regrets. My forties have been the most beautiful time in my life. The Phoenix rose, the Gladiolus bloomed and the Eagle soared. I wake up everyday with renewed purpose, focus, discipline and most importantly, peace of mind. Let’s now embark on my journey over the past year.
Mastering My Emotions
Covid drastically transformed our world and annihilated our social interactions. I am a self proclaimed extrovert and introvert. I need time with others but then I also need even more time alone to replenish myself. The pandemic allowed me to really dig deep into my spirituality and study various topics. In that study, I was lead to a YouTube video about Emotional Intelligence: Using the Laws of Attraction by Dr. Ivan Young. For the past two years, a lot of my blog posts surrounded finding clarity, but that was clarity for myself, not so much external clarity. The clarity I sought was to understand ‘Self’; who I am, why I am the way I am, etc.
Dr. Ivan Young is America’s leading behavioral and relationship expert. In his Tedx Talks segment, Dr. Young encourages us to think more about the things we want and to stop being anxious about the future or the past. You are to examine the challenges in life and seek out their meaning, but you should work more towards manifesting your desires. In essence, we all should be developing our emotional intelligence. I definitely plan to continue to seek clarity in situations throughout my life, but I have evolved to wanting to be a master of my emotions. I have come a long way but I still have so much farther to go.
In the past year, I sat down to write out my triggers and study why they are triggers and how I can overcome them. I readily admit, the hardest emotion to master is my anger and my temper. I cannot tolerate disrespect, manipulation, controlling behaviors or people taking my kindness for weakness. These are major triggers and bring out the worst in me. But in order to be a master of the game and go where I am planning to go, it is imperative that these three items be addressed with more finesse.
I have learned to gauge when a situation truly needs to be addressed and where to expend my energy. Not everyone is worthy of my aggravation. I know that sounds weird but it is true. There are people in life who are going to push your buttons but you don’t need to put all of them in their place. I learned to identify the areas in my life where disrespect, manipulation, control and getting over on me are worth a fight. But a true master must also understand that these can also be used to your own advantage.
My life is now a game of chess. I take more time to really sit back and study my opponents. In my younger years, I was more reactive and I would charge ahead just like the bull I am without thought or consideration of whether it was even worth it to do so. I have mastered patience. I am no longer in any rush to yell “checkmate” and I do not allow you to see me coming. I have been told I am hard to read but it is because I am reading you first and then deciding how I am going to respond.
This may come across as narcissistic and in transparency, there is a touch of narcissism left in me from years past; but we all have a touch of it. It is how it is used that defines whether it is positive or negative. If you use narcissism to manipulate, hurt and destroy others, then you need therapy. I for one do not believe therapy will heal it. I believe only God can heal a malignant narcissist.
But the area I chose to study in regards to narcissism is the need to fixate on the emotional experience as the depth of human experience. Narcissism makes us vulnerable to feeling hurt by not being seen or understood. The greater our narcissism, the greater our sensitivity to narcissistic wounding. Our constant thinking, planning, rehearsing, reviewing, mental chattering and emotional reactivity are all in service of the narcissistic self. The narcissistic personality has no sense of value except from external approval, admiration, recognition, acceptance and appreciation.
It has taken me years to master and embrace my sense of value. External approval, admiration and recognition is nice but does not play much of a role in this period of my life. I stopped doing things for approval years ago. But I still claim a touch of narcissism because if I do not keep it all in check with prayer, meditation, and self reflection, I will easily slide back into the Mara who had to post every aspect of her life on social media, brag about her material possessions and post selfies to garner likes.
When I say I am studying my opponents, I am searching for their points of authenticity. I am watching to see if their words match their actions. I am assessing their vibe to see if they are seeking to connect with the real me or the image they have perpetuated in their mind based off of my social media posts and profile pictures. Best believe you will NEVER learn anything about me based on what I post since what I post is mostly to promote Mara Prose.
There is so much more I can say but I think my growth from this past year is adequately represented in this post. If you take away nothing else, always remember this: “You are in control of your life when you refuse to be provoked.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita, The Alphabets of Success: Passion Driven Life.
Until next time,