I remember some years ago when my mother (God rest her soul) was dying of colorectal cancer and the doctors had informed us that the cancer had spread throughout her body. It was then, that I was rendered mentally and intellectually deficient. Not only did I not know what to do but it seemed like for days, I existed inside a bubble, never really interacting with the outside world.
Although life existed all around me (people, places and things were going on about their daily living) I was at a standstill. My emotions were in turmoil, my thoughts jumbled, my heart was hurting and words escaped me. I myself -was being bullied on this journey called life. The intimidation, the torment, the oppression was too much for me to handle.
It was then that II Corinthians 12:9; “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” helped me tremendously.
Weaknesses are defined as;
Not able to resist external forces or withstand attack
Mentally and intellectually deficient
Resulting in or indicating lack of judgment or discernment
Chink in someone’s armor, weak point, limitation, fragility
His Strength is defined as;
Power to resist force
Power of resisting attack
One regarded as embodying or affording force or firmness
The quality or state of being strong
Gradually His (God’s) peace diminished my anxiety; His words became my hope and the Holy Spirit my Comforter.
Isn’t it funny how the bullies of life in which we hope to avoid, have a way of traveling right down our lane? They work themselves into our daily living so much so that we have no choice but to deal with them head on. Till this day, I have learned that there is no way around them and they won’t just go away. Yes, you have to deal with the bullies of life that come to steal, to kill and to destroy and deal with them you must- Today.
In doing so my friend, keep this one thing in mind – bullies are oh so unkind. But this one thing I know and have the scars of life to show! With Jehovah-Sabaoth, the Lord of Host as your source, no bully in hell or otherwise, can stop your flow!
Blessings to you in all your endeavors as you press through to becoming, the vessel of purpose you were always meant to be. Live on Purpose in 2013! #LEAP
The Holy Bible, New King James Version. (1982). Thomas Nelson, Inc.
According to Burley–Allen (1995) “a stroke is any form of recognition or attention one person gives to another. Strokes are either positive or negative, expressed through physical touch or nonverbal behaviors (i.e. winks, frowns, smiles, gestures). Strokes can also be compliments or criticisms”. (Burley–Allen, p. 26).
What an interesting approach to illustrating how we interact with one another. Not quite, what I had in mind before reading this text. However once read, it really struck home with me. All at once, I was able to see my reflection in the mirror.
My oldest daughter (who loves communicating) one day told me that she was reluctant to share certain things with me because the frown on my face automatically made her think that I was angry. Although I had explained to her several times that I am not angry, rarely have I thought to say “this intense look is me concentrating on what you’re saying to me, it is not an angry look at all”.
Just from this interaction with my daughter and a personal revelation of Self, I am constantly reminded to be attentive in my listening manner. I have come to know that my strokes affect all four of my children. It either hinders or enhances their ability to communicate not just with me but with others, which in-turn affects their overall self-esteem.
Since becoming aware of Self, I have had several opportunities to practice this technique by stopping to face my children, looking them directly in the eyes and in some situations turning the frown upside down. By doing this, I am practicing positive stokes and at the same time teaching them how to be better communicators themselves.
In my profession and observation of family relationships, I have come to believe that “Children really do what they see and not what they are told”. I am convinced that my children’s future really does begin with my daily revelation of self therefore my prayer is;
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
(Excerpts from the Serenity Prayer, Author Unknown)
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening The Forgotten Skill A Self Teaching Guide.New York Chicester Brisbane Toronto Singapore: Joyhn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
John Stewart (2012) used two very interesting terms (Inhaling and Exhaling) to describe the communication process. He further describes the communication process as ever-changing, multidimensional, sometimes confusing, continuous, etc. The term Inhaling refers to the perception and listening portion of the communication process and Exhaling refers to self-expression, or our ability to be open within the communication process or to self verify. (pp. 158)
I find that I am becoming more and more aware of the communication process and the importance of communicating effectively. I understand that at each stage of communication whether inhaling/exhaling we all have a responsibility. In the past, I saw communication as an aggressive opportunity to get my point across. Not realizing that the information that I received was equally important as the message I was sending.
Stewart teaches that at this stage of communication the listener and the speaker should have equal power in the communication process. This is no doubt a far cry from today’s society and how we as a people see and/or engage in the communication process.
Proverbs 18:13 says “He who answers before listening–that is his folly (stupidity) and his shame (embarrassment).” On a regular basis more so than not, we commit lawless acts of stupidity which all too often results in embarrassment.
My prayer: As we progress through this life; that we as a nation, as a society, as a people, as the human race simply learn, to communicate effectively. That we learn this in order to preserve life, preserve character and preserve relationships.
Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges Not Walls. New York: Mc-Graw-Hill.
The Holy Bible, New International Version. (1984). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Biblica Inc.