For most of my life, have always told people that I am simply, just Monifah! A dental nurse, a sister to four boasy siblings and a mother to my two-year-old baby girl. Though more recently, I have come to acknowledge, that I am also a Daughter of the King. Whilst struggling on my faith journey, God showed me that my identity is defined by him, and it is something to be proud of. Growing up, I have always had a few battles with my identity and have always based it around my achievements or even allow society to define who I am. Do you too find that you limit yourself to your job title, or achievements, or even accept what other’s think of you? Well one thing I could tell you is that, if you leave it up to others to tell you who you are, you are heading down a dark path of comparison, low self-esteem, and a constant search of finding somewhere to fit in. As I am slowly owning who God says I am and I’m beginning to walk in acceptance of the new me, he has revealed things to me to help me on my journey through life. Through my experience, I have started two businesses, Restore Eden and The Single Girl’s Bible, to help people reach their maximum potential and find holistic wellness. I have also joined Dear Girls to make a positive impact on other’s lives, to share the tools I have learnt on my journey, and to uplift and encourage my sisters as they grow too.
As you know this month, we have been talking about dealing with difficult people. A few years ago, whilst working a trainee position, I encountered a situation with some colleagues that tried to test this Queen’s patience!
In the midst of my difficult time I had to ask myself, ‘Do I wile out on these colleagues and show them wagwarn or should I leave this situation in the hands of God and let him do all the fighting for me?’
The choice was a difficult one, because, honestly, at the time, I hated being still and leaving situations to God. I feared looking weak and I loved to have the last word in every argument! Why? Because it made me feel good! But I quickly came to realise that would only last for a moment!
My temporary gratification was not worth a lifetime of regret for my actions.
As a nurse, I work long, tiring hours, and after dragging myself into work one day with a slight cold, standing on my feet, running around after patients and Dentists, I gradually began to feel a lot worse. I felt my temperature rising, I started to develop a headache and my whole body began to feel weak.
Now it wasn’t the ‘rona’, but I remembered that a few other colleagues had been ill the week before and something was definitely going around, as we all work closely together. My Boss started to notice that I didn’t look too good. Before he left work, he instructed me to work on reception for my afternoon shift, so that I wouldn’t be handling too many duties and I could rest a little. After all, there were only four hours left of my shift and I thought there was no point in me leaving, as I still had a little strength left in me! ‘With only a few hours to go I will be home in no time’, I thought, and I could really do with four hours more money in my pocket, Can I get an amen! So, I kept myself at work for the remaining hours and sat on reception accompanied by another colleague. I began my admin work, answering calls, scheduling and cancelling appointments, but to my surprise, I was swiftly interrupted by another colleague. This lady came to me with a sweet grin and said, “Oh Dr. Frank messaged me, and said you should be in the surgery in the evening, and I’ll be on reception instead.” Puzzled, I questioned her statement and she assured me that I must be in the wrong. Feeling a little confused, I took my things and returned to the surgery thinking the Boss must have changed his mind last minute and told a senior member of staff to pass on the message.
As I returned to the surgery, I looked up to the CCTV camera screen in my room, only to see that two of my co-workers were plotting against me. The camera showed everything that was happening in reception and I could see that they were disinfecting all the surfaces and stationery on my departure! I was fuming! Was I a germ? Did I smell or leave a stench behind me? Was there something they knew and weren’t telling me? I thought to myself. My first re
action was that I should get up and confront my co-workers, but I could only see that ending in the worst way. Torn clothes, blood and all that vicious stuff. Afterall, it takes a lot to get me mad and when I go mad… I really go Diary of a Mad Black Woman MAD! But instead, I paused, and with all my anger bottled up, I cried, like UGLY cried. Bucket of tears and snot all nicely mixed together. Then, two other colleagues walked in on me. They said they had seen and heard all that went on behind the scenes and that I need not worry, for they had my back and would surely notify the Boss of the events that took place.
Given that I was significantly younger than the two colleagues, I later realised that they were playing the age card and tried to act as if they had higher authority than me. Not only that but this particular co-worker had a history of trying to wear the boss’s pants when he wasn’t around and constantly had a thrill off being the Bossy colleague (who thinks they run tingz!). Nudge your neighbour if you have ever encountered that co-worker that thinks they are your boss! I can tell you one thing if it wasn’t for the Church Girl in me and the Queen that I know I am, I would have surely reacted differently. It’s almost as if she was trying me, trying to test me, to see if this Queen would take off her crown and take her outside for a minute... or two. However, in this moment, I was reminded that a Queen never bends! A queen never stoops to the level of others, because she knows her value and knows that the moment she lets others get to her, she loses control of herself. People will push our buttons to see if we lose control and crumble, just simply because they like to have the upper hand, but though they may feel like they have won, the true key to winning this battle against difficult people is how you react. Refuse to allow someone the satisfaction of getting you to step out of character. Refuse to stoop that low. And most of all refuse to bend to their level.
Despite being deceived and treated like a dirty animal, I said nothing to them and returned to working in the surgery.
To my surprise, the next day, the Boss approached me, to tell me that he was informed of and disgusted by my other colleagues’ behaviour. He persuaded the women to formally apologise to me and in return I gained his favour. He had lost trust in the other staff and, overtime, I noticed that he began to trust me more with his important jobs and the others less. He started giving me the task others dreamed of doing and I enjoyed taking them on because they developed my professional skills. Course the other nurses began to get jealous and I did not care. Why? Because, what they attended for evil the Lord turned it around and used it for my good! When God is for you, NO ONE CAN STAND A CHANCE against you. You have already won every battle and victory is yours.
As I reflected on the situation I thought, ‘Yes, I could have turned around and said a few words to them, or maybe even dragged ah gyal, but that’s not who I was raised to be.’
I won’t let anyone, let one some work colleagues, test my crown! This Queen was cut from a different cloth. This Queen was built to endure battle. This Queen does not stoop.
Since then I have learnt to use the same strategy, I have learnt that sometimes silence is better than reacting in the moment and I have learnt that all things work together for my good.
Don’t focus on what you cannot control, always offer the best version of yourself, even when you are frustrated, because that is your personal standard. No matter how others treat you, choose to treat the person with respect. Stay calm, cool, and collected.
Have control over how you react, and lastly, remember that no attack spiritually, mentally, or emotionally will prosper, for God is working on your behalf.
Don’t let these people test your crown sis, you’ve got this!
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