Category Archives: Life

Getting off toxic relationships

There is no great feeling than knowing that in the world someone cares for you and the greater emotion is knowing that you care for another. But the greatest of these is caring for that indi…

Source: Getting off toxic relationships

Advertisements

Getting off toxic relationships

coccaine.jpg

 
There is no great feeling than knowing that in the world someone cares for you and the greater emotion is knowing that you care for another. But the greatest of these is caring for that individual and having them care back maybe in the same manner or at least proportionate to that. Be it friendship, family, platonic or erotic relationship, caring should always go both ways. Anything contrary to that is toxic.

 
Again, we have those friendships or relationships with people whereby the care isn’t the problem but the influence the person has on you. There is no greater or greatest toxicity in one’s life as the wrong relation. That friendship or love relation that just brings the worst in you or misery out of you.

 
Whether we like it or not the people we walk with have some degree of influence on us. We are all social beings, and any form of socialization has some impact. In one way or the other, there will be the borrowing of certain traits. Yesterday I was with a friend in town and I met this long lost friend of mine. I was overjoyed to meet her and later as we were parting ways all I could remember, was how a few weeks into our friendship someone mentioned how I had ‘corrupted’ her with my dressing style, Hehe! I also reminisced on how she taught me to keep my cool when offended, (God knows how I could use her influence right now) with how she composed herself. The girl used to be cool, calm and collected. I admired that in her, considering I was a tornado waiting to happen on activation, ‘temper issues.’

 
The people we mingle with tell a lot about us. Not necessarily about our characters but whether we like it or not they influence our decisions and the kind of activities we do. I have had a share of bad friends in my life but not so much as good friends. If there is something I thank God for is some of the relations in my life. I always make this prayer which is typically seasonal to me. The prayer is seasonal because it is usually made when I don’t like certain things in my life. The prayer goes like this, “Dear God, You see what I cannot see, know what I don’t and You alone can discern the hearts of men, so sieve my friends. I don’t care how you do it or the method it will involve, but please sieve my friends. Let me remain with those that are ordained to be in my life to lead me in the right direction. Amen.” This prayer has been my anchor in having good friends. It doesn’t mean that I never have bad friends, but once I execute this prayer, it works to ensure only real friends are in my circle. And I have much conviction that those in my circle right now are the best.

 
Letting go of a toxic relationship is not easy. Trust me I’ve been in this predicament at one point. Be it a lover or a friend, it is just tough. Once when I was in form two, I watched a documentary with my parent about how newborns from mothers who were chronic cocaine user in America were treated to get the drug out of their system. By that time it was nothing to me but just another information I acquired.

 
Later on in life, that is after school, I was in this toxic relationship for almost four years, and it wasn’t doing me any good. The worst thing is that anytime I got out of it, in one way or the other I would be swept back (don’t ask why, it’s a mystery to me up to now). At one time my mother had to sit me down about it. She told me that she knew very well that I didn’t love the person, but there is nothing worse than getting used to a person. It’s easy to let go of love than to get rid of ‘mazoea’ (habit). When you get used to a person, it becomes a habit that ‘s hard to get rid of. She told me she would not advise me to stop seeing the person immediately but rather to learn to live without him. She said to me that leaving him at once will be detrimental to me and within no time I will be back with him. So she reminded me of the documentary we had watched together of the children born of ‘junky’ mothers.

 
In the documentary these newborns in the first couple of months were fed with the drug but in proportions. Immediately when born they were given the same amount of intake the mother used to take and as months went by the amounts were reduced until eight months (that is if am not wrong) is when they were taken off it completely. This program was used to ensure the survival of the child. It was detrimental for the child to be taken off the drug immediately after birth because this was what it was used to. Lack of the drug could lead to the death of the child because of its delicate system.

 
So my mother told me to use the same method to get rid of this toxic relationship in my life. Not so many parents would give this sort of advice but after reaching puberty, mum stopped being an authoritarian parent, and onward she embraced authoritative parenting styles. Which always made me more inclined to heeding her advice. To cut the long story short, I heed to her advice, and I learned little by little to let go of it. To my utter amazement, there were days in my soliloquy I would ask myself what I saw and why I was sticking. I chose to believe it was naivety.

 
If you also can try to use this advice, work to let go little by little. The opium in your life will be gone in no time. There is nothing worse than a toxic relation because it will always affect your life negatively and steal your joy. Try to be happy today by surrounding yourself with the right people in your life.

Dealing with Grief

bird.jpg

 

For weeks, I have been pondering upon this and dilly-dallying on this post. Since Friday, I’ve been doing it while putting a pose for a while asking myself if it was worth it. Trust me I’ve done this like close to a hundred times. This indecisiveness is because it is the hardest I will ever have to do because it literally strips me naked and leaves me bare. That is not always an advantage for me because I love control over my life more than anything. More so, I love the upper hand when it comes to my life. Oh well! Here it goes.

The loss of a loved one or a significant person in our lives can be the biggest mountain in our way or a quest that is too hard to unravel. Most of us or at least all of us have had to deal with the loss of someone in our lives whom we held dear. The worst thing about it is the fact that we can’t see them again unless in the afterlife when we’ve also passed on. The thought of unfinished business, words not said, and so on eats us alive.

Dealing with the fact that we can never see this beloved is the biggest task. The first death of a dear one that I saw in my life was that of my grandfather. I was five years old. I remember not feeling any emotion because I never understood what was going on. Later after listening to people’s conversation and talking to my aunt she explained. The only emotion that came close to a tear was that I had lost the only audience I had to my storybook reading, and no candy will be coming after a read. But I was comforted by my aunt’s words that he will be in heaven watching over us. I guess the comfort came from knowing that he is not extinct just in another place waiting for us.

In a loss, despair crops in and dealing with this tough time becomes unbearable. Especially after all who came to mourn with us are gone. Many of us lack proper ways to deal with this time, and it goes without question that it is hard. Especially when you have people telling you to move on. I often wonder who asked for their opinion! I know they all mean well, but it’s always important to respect someone’s feelings. In spite of all of us having gone through the loss of anyone close to us or same person in question, we all don’t feel the same way or were close in a similar manner to the other, hence, we can never understand what the other person is going through. How close someone was with the deceased or circumstances surrounding the death or the events that occurred before the death determines how one will grieve and for how long and eventually how they cope.

A few months ago I did some work on poetry and came across the poem, ‘A Simple Child’. Reading through it made me feel justified in how I chose to deal with grieve. In the poem, the young girl is a family of seven siblings, though two are dead she refuses to consider them dead. The man in a conversation with her tries to explain to her that they are only five, but she challenges the man by showing him they are seven. She is in full awareness that the two siblings are dead because she points out that they are in heaven but refuses to kill them in her heart and mind.

The death of a loved one is an effect that marks us for life. It can either be a scar or a wound depending on how we deal with it. A wound needs nursing daily or every so often, it can either get worse by rotting as time goes but on the other hand a scar just reminds us of what happened but shows all is well. It is just there to show us the path that we’ve been through at one point but doesn’t dictate our lives in the form of pain. I look at the way this little girl in the poem deals with mourning and am overjoyed. I read the reviews and analysis on the poem and understood that the young girl is not in denial but knows that her siblings have died. She acknowledges that they are not entirely gone, but their spirits live on. Perhaps that’s the only comfort we need, to deal with grief.

In my life losing a loved one has been tough, but it never took a toll on me till I lost the person I held dearest. Especially with what happened before her death. I’d always been close to my mom, she was the love of my life, my confidant and the reason I aspired to be someone in life, but a few months before she passed on we had a falling out. Let’s be clear, though we were close I wasn’t always an easy child in some way. She did something to me (Which I swore to someone they would be the last person to hear of it, so never wait to see me share it) that was heart-breaking. Those who know me well enough understand that I have a weakness when it comes to forgiving people that I hold dear to me. I don’t celebrate it that’s why I call it a weakness and I try to work on it. At that time, I was full of bitterness, and I remember we had a sitting with her at one time, and I poured my ‘bitterness’ to her of how I could not fathom a mother is doing that… As days passed, she asked for my forgiveness, and it wasn’t fourth coming. She used people around us to try to talk to me, but she couldn’t share what actually happened, and I was also not ready to do so. At some point she got sick, and I went almost every day to help her out but wasn’t ready to forgive.

Though the last week before her passing on, I could say we were in good terms. She asked to see me severally, and it was what would come out of her mouth every time we spoke over the phone. I had just gotten a new job, and I had to wait till Saturday for my off to go over and see her. So I explained to her, she understood and replied with words of blessings. As if she knew they would be among the last words I’d hear come out of her mouth she spoke blessings over my life more than was necessary for the said circumstance. Saturday came and four hours before I was to go and see her spirit was lifted.

All I can remember and what has been a point of comfort in my dealing with it is what happened the time when she died. I received a call that she had fallen, and they were about to rush her to the hospital. As I was leaving the office to go check on her, that is, after two minutes or so, I felt this unexplained peace in my heart that I usually feel when something good is about to happen. A few minutes later, thinking in my heart that all will be well my brother called me that she had breathed her last. The weird thing is that even after the call and the disorientation in the midst of town, I still felt the peace.

Years later that is sometime last year; I remembered that peace I had felt and I was assured she was in a better place and she knows I had forgiven her. I have to tell you it was never easy, knowing that the person you loved died without knowing you had forgiven her. Without having to hear you utter those words. And worse of hearing judging voices from people around and mostly some family members who never had a clue of what really happened was a battle that drove me to depression and almost taking my life. But I overcame all odds. Just like I did you also can, maybe yours may not be as worse as mine, or more than my experience but all I know is that there is nothing too difficult that you can’t handle. Choose to forgive yourself if you need to or forgive the other person and make a decision to celebrate their lives knowing they are in a better place. I’ve come to the point of celebrating my loved one. Yes I may shed a tear or two at some point (am yet to find out if that will come to a finality someday) but there is no sorrow in my tears, pity also disappeared at some point. Hope this post will be of great help to you and a friend.

Arise and dust off

falling d.jpg

 

The worst thing about falling is staying down even after falling. The wisest move is to get up immediately before anyone can see you. At one time I fell in town the ‘big’ whole me. The unfortunate thing is that there were so many men surrounding me. It took a second for me to fall on my behind and a quarter of that second to get on my feet.

The instinct that comes to mind after falling is to get back up again. The journey doesn’t continue but stands still awaiting you in your fallen state. Behind every strong individual, there was falling and more at one point in life. The down moments we face can either make us or break us. Rather what you do after you’ve fallen, makes you, or breaks you.

I love people with a story. I always get enticed by a successful person who has a story. The kind that once were a prostitute, a street kid, grown up in a slum, had a horrific experience, etc. and their lives changed at some point. Like the story of Pastor Terry Gobanga, a woman who was kidnapped during her wedding day, raped by several men, one stabbing her in the womb rupturing it. Thus, robbing her the opportunity of ever becoming a mother. She later lost her husband briefly into the marriage. Termed as a cursed person, she then finds love. Gets married and God gives her the opportunity to become a mom beyond all odds. Such gives me hope and shows there is hope after tragedy.

The story of a man makes his worth more admirable. All of us or at least some of us have been through a harrowing experience according to our perspective, but what we make of ourselves determines who we are. You can decide either to allow the moment to define you, or you define the moment.

I for one hate any form of duress in my life. When we allow circumstances to determine who we are, it’s same as welcoming dictatorship in our life, some colonialism. At some point in my life, I held unforgiveness, and it negatively affected the happenings in the next couple of months going to more than two years of my life. Out of that, guilt and all manner of self-condemnation cropped up. It clouded my ways and affected what I felt I did and didn’t deserve. Depression was an acquaintance and at some point suicide came close to an option. When I was finally able to let go of that, and most of all forgive myself, I found meaning to life and it could have never been better.

Moments are not supposed to determine neither enslave you. You are to emerge a victor rather than a victim out of that. One slogan that keeps me going is “This too shall pass.” Just like the bible says you will never be tempted above that which you can handle. I believe in that. Anything that comes your way, you are able and have the strength to overcome it. Lift up yourself, shake off the dust and fight until you can come out of that circumstances. That too shall pass. Life is much more than a situation that wants to control and steal your joy. You are stronger than you can imagine. Fight, fight to stand up. If you can’t do it by yourself, hold on to what is next to you and get back up again.

Gift of Life

gift 1.jpg

 

Today before you think of saying an unkind word–

think of someone who can’t speak.

 

Before you complain about the taste of your food–

think of someone who has nothing to eat.

 

Before you complain about your husband or wife–

think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

 

Today before you complain about life–

think of someone who went too early to heaven.

 

Before you complain about your children–

think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

 

Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–

think of the people who are living in the streets.

 

Before whining about the distance you drive–

think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

 

And when you are tired and complain about your job–

think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

 

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–

remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

 

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–

put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

 

Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

Life Choices

woman and child.jpg

 

I believe in woman empowerment. I believe as women we have the power to make or break our destiny. In spite of how we perceive ourselves, we have the power needed to change the course of our lives. All we need to do is do more than make excuses.

 

We fall short of confidence in ourselves sometimes. Cope with mediocrity just because we are scared to take a leap. Maybe a leap of faith or a leap to our desired destiny. I’ve come to learn that all it takes is a simple step. A mere act of faith. Faith in something bigger than us. Yes, faith in a bigger entity than ourselves. Faith in the strong arms of our God (if you believe in His existence).

 
I long for the day that a woman would leap forward and refuse to be taken for granted. Refuse to partake in the shortcomings of others and refuse to make excuses on behalf of others. And just acknowledge that yes she is fearful. Afraid of the future, and the unknown. But yet have faith in herself to create a better tomorrow. Have faith that God will not leave her desolate.

 
I believe in the concept ‘the best is yet to come.’ In the sun shining brighter than the former days. Yes, the latter’s sun shines brightest. I got to have the pleasure of getting close to this young lady with two kids who against all odds decided to take a leap of faith and the sun shone and is still shining brighter than ever. Every time I look at her, I see strength, I envy and admire her persistence and her will to make a decision. It only takes a decision to change mediocrity and replace it with a worthy life.

 
Take a leap of faith today. Believe in yourself, believe in your God, but most of all love yourself, enough to reject any act of abuse especially that enabled by you. We are all accountable for ourselves.

Validity of a Dream

monty horse-ranch.jpg

There was once a young man who was the son of a nomadic horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.

That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables, and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.

He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’

The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, “Why did I receive an F?”

The teacher said, “This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from a nomadic family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock, and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.” Then the teacher added, “If you rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.”

The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, “Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.” Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.

He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.”

He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week. When the teacher was leaving, the teacher said, ‘Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years, I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately, you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.’”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

Shake it Off and Step Up

 

donkey in pit.jpg

A man’s favorite donkey falls into a deep precipice; He can’t pull it out no matter how hard he tries; He therefore decides to bury it alive.

Soil is poured onto the donkey from above. The donkey feels the load, shakes it off, and steps on it; More soil is poured.

It shakes it off and steps up; The more the load was poured, the higher it rose; By noon, the donkey was grazing in green pastures.

After much shaking off (of problems) And stepping up (learning from them), One will graze in GREEN PASTURES.

Our problems don’t mean it is the end of us. All you need to do is shake all the problems off by stepping up. Try all you can to shake your problem and step on them with strength, courage and the will to have a better life. Don’t let anything put you down. Step on to the problem and move to a better place.

The Agony of the Grass- Part 2

family.jpg

A young couple I knew tried so hard to have a child, two years in the marriage they had not yielded anything, and there were no signs either. Grapevine was all over since everyone was ‘concerned’. According to the African tradition, a child in the family after a year of marriage is a sign of fertility and pride to the father. Finally, the lady was pregnant, but she later lost it during childbirth. The pain was immense, known only to the parents.

Waiting for this gift, planning and then having to lose it all over again without a chance of smiling at it. What would have been, what could have been all lost in the wind. The wind of death, carrying away a ray of possibilities.

Later on, the young lady was blessed again with the fruit of the womb. Hope was lit in the house and after nine months a very beautiful young girl was born. The father was proud, holding his joy in His arms. He made promises to the innocent angel in His arms. Promising to be a better man, carry out his actions with caution, provide for her not only financially but the provision of a safe home as well. Additionally, he promised to fight her foes and anyone who would hurt her.

If you are a parent, you understand this case, because probably you went through the same moment as the father and daughter here shared. The parents’ aim is to protect a child and give the young soul a better future. Yet, along the way we lose this focus due to our misgivings. Though the young man promised all these to his daughter, he lost his focus. He did not become the better man he had so promised. During the time he and the wife had baby issues, he got involved with other women. Lo, and behold the promise to the daughter was forgotten after a few months and he went back to his misgivings. You guessed right- The better man promise was more aimed at stopping his cheating habits.

Many of us forget the promise we made for our children, the hope we had for them and the protection we have to offer. We wallow in our issues forgetting the most important being among us. The child. A child undergoes agony, instability and pain when we as parents fight our battles in their presence.

Our traditional focus on the family is uprooted, hence, our family issues affecting the child. And when I talk of traditional I don’t mean the barbaric practices of domestic violence and a woman is there to be seen and not to be heard. I speak of the importance of the family. Where a man was respected, and a woman was loved. A man’s word was carried with gravity because he understood his roles in the house and adhered to them.

Whether you are a Functionalist, Marxist or Feminist on the area of family, we should all focus on the young one in the household. We wonder why our children are focused on same-sex marriages, why they are not responsible fathers or mothers, why they want to change their gender, it’s because they are lacking role models. If we as parents take the first step towards being the best at our responsibilities, these children will grow up saying I want to be like daddy, I want to be like mummy.

The family is the cornerstone of every society and the offspring replace its personnel overtime. Hence, it’s a legacy being left behind. We all leave a mark in the society, whether you are the likes of Professor Maathai or not. You leave a mark through your children. You might not be able to win a Nobel prize in the recognition of the whole world, but are you winning the Nobel prize in your house? Are you leaving a mark in your home?

Your children, are they proud of you. Would they want to be just like you when they grow up or despise you for the harm you did not only to your spouse but them as well? As parents, work together to give your child a better future. When you are together in marriage work on it having your children as motivation. If you are separated, ensure you create time and provide for that child as well. Don’t be a deadbeat dad or mum (if there is such a thing). You might not be in good terms with the mother of the child or the father, but that does not make you estranged to the child.

Let the child know you and they will be aware that a parent remains a parent and offers their responsibilities no matter the circumstances. If we want responsible children, we have to act responsibly. My mum once told me that respect doesn’t flow from downwards to upwards unlike many think, but vice versa. If you show a child respect, they will respect you because they know that is what is expected. But when you disrespect them yes they will fear you because they can’t fight you but they will never respect you.

It’s time for fathers to take the lead as being the head of the house and mothers as coworkers and helpers of their husband to protect these young ones that have a greater future awaiting. This bright future lies in the hands of the parents, having the responsibility of giving the child a stable home to accomplish their dreams.

 

The She Power

many hands.jpg

Does she harness power over all?

She loves, loving when she receives it not. Loves dearly with the whole of her heart. She loves the unlovable, bearing all in a relationship in the name of love. Loving her children who at times are ungrateful to show it back. A woman is one strong person who loves at all times and in weird circumstances. She sticks around in a compromising relationship for the love she has for her children.

She is patient, patiently going through the discomfort of holding humanity for nine months. Patient with her children, throughout the midnight infant cries, the teenage rampage and throughout adult life. She is still a caring mum despite our age. Patient with her lover’s rampage, praying that one day he would change.

A woman endures and takes in a lot, she makes wrong decisions at times but picks herself up after disappointment. She cries, tears of joy and that of sadness. In tears of sadness, she doesn’t let herself go but exhibits her strength at the end of it.

We expect her to be a five-star chef, friend, lover, mother, Victoria Secret model, professional, provider, among others. She takes not only her responsibility but that of a man as well when the need arises and circumstances demand of her. In her house, she is a career woman, a nanny and a psychologist at the same time.

She picks up the pieces when we are heartbroken. Mends our heart in time of despair. She counsels you during heart breaks, life-threatening circumstances and life changing situations. She is a shoulder to cry on, a friend and a confidant.

Yearning for pity but not expecting any to do her dues. She carries her responsibilities with pride and joy. Taking pleasure in others fulfillment, forsaking her dreams and ambitions. She acts as a cheerleader, a coach and a voice of reason to her loved ones in the course of their dreams.

She is taken for granted, judged, betrayed, abused emotionally and at times physically, given little consideration, fewer opportunities but she carries herself with dignity. Seeing her actions through the eyes of others, thus taking precaution on her moves. She has a face to maintain in the eyes of society.

The woman is one being to admire, she harness power in all. Withstanding circumstances that a feeble person cannot. She takes care of so many duties with less appreciation or none at all.

It might be late, but I thought it wise to still celebrate women around the world. Appreciate the ones around you because they have earned it.