As thy self …

I got to the bus stop minutes ahead of the bus, did my regular inventory:

Ticket ……..  X

Purse ………  X

Shopping bag …… X

Phone ….. X

Everything was in place, ready to board the bus. There’s only two of us waiting for the bus, which reduces any likelihood of having to stand for the journey. The bus pulls up right on time and my fellow passenger courteously indicates that I should board first. I confidently place my prepaid ticket on the scanner and it’s not long before reality sinks in; my ticket has expired. I reach into my purse only to discover I didn’t have enough change to pay the fare. Oh well, turns out I hadn’t done the most important inventory after all, have I? Turning to disembark from the bus, I hear the other passenger calling me back and without much ado my fare is paid.  I felt the tears start to pool in my eyes.

I could say the passenger paid my fares for several different reasons

  1. He had excess money
  2. He took pit on my bump
  3. He wanted to show he wasn’t racist (I know right, how much more political can the mind get?)
  4. Or simply it was a kind act sent my way, a reminder that the universe still had atoms of agape love floating through the stratosphere.

One could also wonder why I would get on the bus without a valid ticket or cash in my purse:

  1. Baby brain (yeap a reliable get out of jail free card)
  2. I was hoping for a miracle.( I hope for one every morning anyways)
  3. Or I thought my week long ticket would run from Tuesday to Tuesday rather than Tuesday to Monday (having only bought this for the first time). And I don’t carry extra cash because I  keep looking for random things to buy. 

Thankfully I didn’t repeat the same mistake again on my way home, however I made a different one. As a student I am entitled to a discount on my fares, but I need my identity card to get this discount. I guess you know by now how that went today, I didn’t have my ID card at hand so no discount for me. Having paid my fare, I sat down for a short reflective ride home.

I wondered how trivial life issues can be and how we sometimes derive false value and identity from the things we have and the circumstances that surround us. I could view everything that happened to me today as a serious turn of misfortune and sad occurrences in my life. I could overlook the kind act in the morning by thinking of how it should not be happening to someone like me at this stage of my life. I should have a car, I should, I should ….. 

In life our self image is revolved around three things

I am ….. who we are and whose we are. Our strengths, our weaknesses.

I have ….. what resources we have:  family, friends, money, property etc never devalue anything.

I can …. how we pull things together to help us.

But we must never anchor who we are on what we have or what we can pull together. Our core should be based on the ‘I AM’. Every other thing is subject to change and depreciation. A friend who carries you at 20 (both mentally and physically) might not be available to carry you at 60/80 for several different reasons (death, old age, falling apart, distance etc). Isn’t it amazing how the ‘I AM’ controls how you relate with the I have and I can components. You can’t receive or give what you’re not.

Love thy neighbour as thy self.

You will value your neighbour as you value your self.

I will be back …..

20170711_110003.jpgMy new car spied on my way home.

 

 

 

(RIP) Here lies …. a bundle of reactions.

As the last child it’s often impossible to escape the shadows cast by your siblings. Your name becomes obscure as many refer to you as XYZ’s little sister. The chances of people remembering your name are not very high, this is not necessarily because they don’t know it or forget it, rather they have fallen into the habit of seeing your elder ones before they see you, thus their names (your elder ones) come to mind first. I found the spoken and sometimes unspoken expectation to have me mirror the ideals, behaviours and traits of my siblings the most frustrating aspect of this shadowing effect.

I really wanted to escape the canopy effect my siblings had on my life and the opportunity to do so came in the form of university choices. I chose a school many miles from home and although my elder brother had attended the same school he had graduated long enough to dispel all shadowing effects on my life. Physically distancing myself from this phenomenon refereed to as shadowing, to a certain extent did me a world of good. It helped me find myself, to test the strength and bases of my belief, but it also highlighted how intrinsic the values and personality traits I had tried to escape were a part of me.

Perhaps one of the many lessons of growing older is the gradual realization that we are a large picture comprising of different puzzle pieces. Puzzle pieces shaped by our varied life experiences, human and cosmic encounters. The best part of the puzzle lies in the fact that different pieces can be moved around to fit the edges of our life or form the core of who we are. Secondly we can afford through due diligence to eliminate and replace certain pieces as we please, however unlike a cardboard puzzle there will always be an imprint of that  piece in our memory. 

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Memory, emotions, the mind … I suppose that’s what makes us different from the people who have shaped our lives. This ideology is supported by Karl Rogers and Erickson’s ideologies on human growth and development. Yes we are a sum of everything that happens to and around us, this might be considered by some as our true self’s. However, perhaps our true self’s doesn’t stop at this level but goes further to how we interpret those events and what we do with that interpretation.

If the saying that “we have only 10 percent control over  what happens to us and 90 percent control over how we react” is true, would  it be  safe to assume that people who live in self denial haven’t embraced their true selves? How about those who live life trying to anticipate the moves of others, basing every action or thought on the anticipated moves of another? Are they cautious, manipulative or untrue to self? 

When we anticipate people’s moves and act accordingly aren’t we short changing ourselves from learning who they really are? More importantly aren’t we short changing ourselves, as only life experiences can truly expose the foundations our true ourselves. I am by no means advocating a careless lifestyle or a rude personality. I just find myself wondering if such a cautious life isn’t a limiting and unrealistic one. I question the validity and dependability of principles lived by being a bundle of reaction to for everyone around you.

Isn’t that what we become when everything we do is foreshadowed by our anticipated or pre- planned outcomes. We consistently respond not in the way we really want to but in the way that ensures we have absolute control of the 10 percent which really belongs to others. Sadly I think in doing that we give over control of the 90 percent without knowing.  We hedge ourselves into a corner which never spreads out into a large square, rather like a column we wrap ourselves round in people’s reaction until we become invisible. Often times when that environment becomes stifling we burst open like a house hit by a tornado.

Don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be everything to all men, as each man desires sometime different from everyone each time. I rather be something to some people and accept that I might never be anything to some others. Would it be better to die a bundle of reactions or a bundle of actions?

To a fair maiden at court.

Where loyalty means naught,

gossip runs amok the corridors of gentry.

‘Tis wisdom to fold the tongue within

lest a knife they find beneath your breast at morn.

Alas not a soul will be held to ransom

for this ghastly deed; for it is the way of the gentry,

is it not?

To kill in the shades of darkness

 for the sake of a ale come ‘morrows eve.

Oh fair maiden ’tis the truth I speak

say not to one ’tis such that ails me.

What help is a Samaritan to a Jew

or a Jew to a Samaritan

if the oath of humanity is not revered by both.

‘Do unto another … as you will them do unto you’

Tis not help they seek to offer my beloved

but a morsel of fat they hope to gain

an offering to grease the sizzling pans of gossip.

For to truly help another

the sands on their heels must not be ignored

nor the scars on their backs.

From this they have been shaped

From this they must shape the future

guided with dignity

and not the arms of a narcissistic saviour.

Oh fair maiden heed my advice

Stay far from the morsel of gossip

it breeds you nothing but a soul fattened with maggots.

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Daily bread

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……….give us this day our daily bread

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some have food, but cannot eat

some can eat, but have no food.

We found food and we can eat

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Once was a time, when daily bread was a major need

from eras marked by; boars roasted over open fires,

fruits picked fresh from forest floors

broths made in pans enough to feed a neighbourhood.

To new one’s filed with; fancy dishes vibrant with colours

fruits grown in air filled with who knows what

meals that leave your tongue tingly with pleasure

but bellies hollow with churning walls.

What then was the essence of daily bread?

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Man has indeed come a very long way

from meeting basic needs to creating greedy vacuums

Man has indeed come a long way

from conquering the wild to conquering his neighbour

Man has travelled far…..

very far from the person he was or sort to become to the person he despised.

In the search of daily bread

steal not the flour for todays child.

Lazy, confused or maladjusted…. just not depressed.

A dark cloud hanging over me.

A heavy cloak sloping the angles of my shoulder.

A weight I can’t lift regardless of my hours in the mental gym.

That’s how depression feels to me and it’s a dark a place to be in. I think everyone suffers from a bout of depression at some point in life. How long and intense the bout  is will differ for each person. I think my first memory of something akin to depression was at the monthly visit from nasty Aunty Flo and her mumbling child cousin red. I never had  any major physical pain at that time of the month, but I experienced huge emotional upsets. One minute I was happy, the next I was quite irritable and very sensitive to tactile sensation.

I craved my own personal space. I became a lot more solemn and for a young person who was already drawn into herself that was not a good place to be. It made me uncomfortable to be around and left me feeling guilt over how I snapped at people during those times. At first  the guilt made me apologetic to the point of self-depreciation but with time it emboldened me to shut people out of my life who couldn’t be patient or demanded too much to be around. I guess because I didn’t have any physical pain it took me a while to come to terms with these monthly mood swings who’s side effects lingered almost to the start of another cycle.

Regardless of my several short-term encounters with mood swings and depression nothing prepared me for the descent into the black hole when I moved to the UK. I have always thought of myself as an adventurous person; a -jump-into the pond head first kind of girl. I guess in the past it had always paid off such that I never really sat back to think of the ways I could have done better or eliminated more risk and stress factors. And it was such reassurance that emboldened and perhaps exaggerated my expectations beyond realistic limits.

Please watch the video.

First there was the drastic change in weather, I felt like someone had moved the walls of the sauna and fitted a freezer in without telling me.  So there’s me sitting all comfy and relaxed in my towel, but when I try to move I find my butt frozen stiff on the chair. For some people the weather change was a welcome reprieve but for a girl who rarely, if ever had the air-condition on a hot sunny day in Nigeria it was hell literally. I know right why bother moving, didn’t I know about the weather? Well yes I did, but that’s were my unrealistic expectation streaks start to show in my perfect armour of confidence.

The situation only got worse with the increasing expectations of marriage, motherhood, an unclear career path and a poor support system. I couldn’t think straight or clearly. I just wanted ‘to be’, a state of existence that allows you hold your breath until the storm ebbs. Life however rarely gives you the space to just ‘be’, it goes on. Through all this I have learnt certain things:

  • Depression isn’t anyone’s identity; how it makes you feel or act isn’t you. In the same way you aren’t the flu, you are not depression.
  • Acknowledging that you’re depressed won’t make you less black, less stronger than your ancestors who got traded as slaves or more selfish than your neighbour who lays her life down daily for everyone.
  • Battling daily or occasionally with depression doesn’t disappoint God, just as praying and working everyday for a better future doesn’t make Him think of us as ingrates.
  • Depression puts a sad twist to normal life occurrences, it blows normal conflicts and everyday mishaps out of proportion. Making us run away from dealing with them, procrastinating and hoping it goes away.
  • It drains us of physical and mental energy. You literally feel drab. Feeling tired and stressed are open pathways for depression. Rest when you need it.

Certain things helped me through those days, I went back to the things I simply loved doing and things that brought me comfort. I needed to grow my confidence, to find my inner strength and trust there was a future out there for me. One were I could trust my judgement again and my inner voice. It’s a daily task to keep the black dog away, but slowly I know it can be done. Never be afraid of criticism or negative words, will they hurt? Most definitely, but make sure you have a support network that helps you sieve through things objectively. Ask questions and be willing to move ahead. More than anything else stay true to your inner self and never wish anyone ill as it only spirals inwards eventually.

Please watch the video.

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Easter’s hope

20160927_190919On a night like this,

beneath clouds of white concrete

a cradle of motionless stars;

I sit and ponder,

the mystery of a king

trading his life for a starry eyed wonderer.

What would he have said

of this wooden jungle grounded in concrete,

mini-cages holding lives

he wills the gift of freedom,

healing rooms that cure the coffin

but not the bone.

Aye! I ask myself,

what would he have thought,

of boxes that look within but see not the person,

of mirrors that speak the truth

in syllabus that only the deaf comprehend.

Of little value is the spring dew

to the flesh of a spirit languishing from thirst.

On a night as such,

beneath white concrete clouds

I ask myself

of what use are stars

if they lead us nowhere in the dark.

If ….

If all the knives in the house were bread knives

with what would we butter our toast.

If all the knives in the house were matches

with what would we cut out vegetables.

If all the knives were the same

what a grace-less act it would be enjoy a simple meal

and a horrendous ordeal to chop the wood with a table knife.

If you and I were the same,

of what use is the day and night?

All for nought would be the

strings of silence played by the mid-night breeze.

All for nought the

chorus of birds at the command of a rising sun.


A hearty welcome to all new followers, viewers and faithful virtual friends, you gladden my heart. On this quest were many cry ‘abandon this infatuation’ I sincerely appreciate all those who haven’t dissented.

Happy Easter.

When stupid starts to define you

Definition of stupid: 

  • lacking intelligence or common sense.
  • slow of mind.
  • given to unintelligent decisions or acts.
  • acting in an unintelligent or careless manner.
  •  lacking intelligence or reason.

We make certain risky choices because we don’t know better, sometimes we pick the easier choice because we lack patient or  the will power to forge ahead. On rare occasions we make a choice simply because we are overwhelmed  or confused by the wealth of information available to us. like a soiled nappy trails a baby, our choices shadow our steps into the future.

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There are other times when our life choices seem stupid to others, it just doesn’t make sense to them. Labels are quickly brandished without caution, overtime this idea of who you’re presumed to be is affirmed in their minds by the fact that one never departs from one’s ideology.

In an age were rapid answers, rapid friendships, rapid gratification, rapid growth, rapid, rapid, rapid anything is considered the norm; an age were aggression or garrulousness are synonyms for assertive, and gossip is considered keeping abreast of things; one must not be afraid to be stupid. 

We frown at Trumps ideas but in the same vein we pull down another to achieve our aims, after all we want it now don’t we? We vent our frustration for not getting things exactly the way we want it on another by boxing others off and labelling them, perhaps a reflection of the same labels firmly sewn unto the hems of our heart, brains and minds in extra large sizes. Life on the fast lane is bound to have casualties and it might as well be them. It has absolutely nothing to do with your speeding gauge and ignorance of the other road users.

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In an age where everyone wants to belong, same huge eyebrows (waxed, trimmed and pencilled in within an inch of it’s original life), same shoes, same clothes, same pout, same laughter and even lashes. It’s okay to be stupid if stupid means you stay true to you. It doesn’t mean blind loyalty to your flaws, No. In the same way one doesn’t wash out a stain with the hope of bleaching the entire fabric or wash a dirty dish with the hope of rinsing the decoration/design off, we must treat our flaws.

It’s okay to be stupid, in a world where up is down and fair is subject to who wins the stakes. It’s okay to be stupid in a world where everyone stands for everything like footballers defending the goalpost against a penalty except when the ball comes everyone finds a good corner to hide.

It’s okay to be stupid, I suspect it’s the new synonym for individuality.

Nature’s frame.

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Shards of frozen crystals settle on a rock

Beauty lends itself a home on a bedrock of strength.

Exquisitely adorned by nature.

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I feel your strength engulfing me

bidding me live, bidding me stand

in-spite of your cold and aloof nature.

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Set this frame right next to me

and when cold hands come beckoning

The ambience of happy days spent with you shall comfort me.


Written for the daily post and photo challenge.

A prayer at christmas

Lord we say a prayer today for:

Mary: for mothers  with no one to rely on, left to raise your little one all by yourselves we ask the father to strengthen you. May you find little pockets of joys to tidy you over through the day and memories that wrap your heart with warmth through the night.

Joseph: for fathers who daily try to live an honourable life we ask that you give them grace and keep their hope alive. We pray that they do not die in shame, fear or regret. We pray that they like Joseph will always listen to your voice every step of the way.

Angels: for men, women and children who smile and lift the spirits of everyone around them. We ask dear father that they never grow bitter or weary. That with every day they see the dreams of their minds become a reality. 

Herod: for individuals who lead us, but suffer from crippling insecurities and selfish desires. We ask that the sure mercies of David guide and keep our hearts in perfect peace as the years role by. We pray for them that you deliver them from the trenches of greed and power intoxication.

Shepherds: we pray for every labourer in the field working hard to keep it all together, working hard to keep the future alive. We ask for strength, for grace and joy untold.

Wise men: for individuals searching for the answers, looking for solutions. We ask that they may see the light of your word and embrace it with absolute surrender.

We pray that the light of your love will brighten our weary hearts as the year comes to an end. We pray this Christmas to serve as angels and inn keepers for the lost and down trodden. 

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