Swimming past barriers

Do it afraid, they said 

They forgot to mention how long I would stay afraid 

How close the snapping jaws of my tormentor will stay on my heels.

tltweek118


Written for three line tales week 118. Visit Sonya’s blog for more information.

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Thank you fear, you’re welcome doubt.

animated-thunderstorm-image-0014The tempest within has no measure on the tempest without, navigating the storms of doubt and fear is a constant war within the mind.

A war we would never really conquer except in eternal sleep, for you see when you win the battle on the soil of ‘education’, they show up once again on mount relationship, and when you have conquered the mountain tops they show up on finance valley, a never ending battle. The beauty of the human mind however, lies in its ability to learn and relearn fighting techniques should the commander choose to do so.animated-teacher-image-0002

For example, when fear says there isn’t enough money to do X,Y and Z the mind might counter by reminding itself that it has at least achieved A – W. It might choose to be content and plan ahead to ensure better savings for the future, so it can get to X,Y,Z.

Or when doubt creeps into your relationship making you question the decision to fight for it, the mind might remind you that nothing good in life comes without a commensurate effort.

These examples are positive, but the mind doesn’t always work that way sometimes it drives the seeds of doubt and fear well into fruiting season. Are all doubts burdensome? Are all fears mind terrors? Not really.

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Fear and doubt are road signs on life’s highway. They warn us of potential hazards, dangers or changes ahead. Road signs usually come in appropriate sizes, color schemes and lettering that pass across the intended message without distracting us. Ideally this is what fear and doubt should do, they should bring to our minds the likely changes to be encountered ahead. Giving us ample time to adjust our speed, reestablish our travel time or pick an alternative route.

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When we start to overthink these warning signs they become ginormous billboard signs with all the trimmings; flashing lights and bellowing soundtracks. The intended message gets lost in the cacophony of our dis-quietened mind. We abandon the journey or worse make a Gordian knot of our directions such that we forget where we were headed initially.

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Copyright CBC network

Sometimes we overthink these signs because we do not understand the intended message or are too impatient to decode them. At this point it  is important to ask questions, to pull up on the road side or slow our pace until we understand the message. I often fall into the trap of assuming what the message is in my haste to move forward, a vital error to avoid as it can be very expensive.

I have learnt and still in the process of learning to avoid the major hazard called overthinking.

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Flash lights that indicate that I am overthinking:

  • Most of my thoughts are based on assumption, assumptions has its place, but certain things can still be ascertained.
  • Most of my thoughts dwell more on past endeavors, whether past failures or victories. 
  • My mind can’t seem to see past the present moment, everything seems like it’s come to a final halt. This is rarely true, except in death there is always a way forward.
  • The potential disaster keeps growing in my mind.
  • I focus more on what others think rather than what the best outcome would be in the situation.

Don’t obliterate your fears or doubts, weave their cautionary calls into the moral lessons of your story. Don’t obliterate them, don’t overthink them.

So thank you fear, anytime doubt. You guys won’t own me, you’ll learn to work in my favor.


Animated photos from www.animatedimages.org

Others from Pixabay free images.

 

 

 

Fearless/fearful

I am not fearless, but I am also not fearful.

Either extremes can have dire or triumphant outcomes

depending on what tune the piper plays.

For me it’s a case of half-full, half-empty.

I try not to let either scenario blind me,

or overshadow my judgement.

Well that’s what I try to do most times.

Which is why I haven’t authoritatively said be fearless or fearful

‘Cos tomorrow might present a crippling nightmare 

which might make me shrivel in fear, turning these words against me.

But courage makes me stand up and write them anyways perhaps they might

rouse me from the crippling grips of unknown nightmares hanging in the wings.


Daily post – fearless.

Shadows

Keeping out the icy persona,

it let the light filter through risking

exposure of it’s darkest side.

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The shadow falls behind a

distorted self image reflecting the minds view

of fears and worries; disproportionate.


In response to TJ Paris haiku challenge – shadows.

Have an awesome Monday folks, don’t let the shadows scare you.

Quotes on loss and fear.

Isn’t it amazing the number of interesting nuggets you can find in a story, a comment and even in regular daily activities. Today I would love to share two of such findings with you, for each quote I have included two different photos to give two different perspective. Would love to hear your thoughts on them:

The first is a line taken from a short story by an awesome writer and fellow blogger K Rawson. The story is titled The Things You Lose.

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Though the line was written to depict the realities of dementia, I find the line also reflects a life lived mainly in hindsight. A situation where we feel everything good has been lost either intentionally or by accident. Until I read that line it never occurred to me that perhaps those things/persons that got left behind always stay perfect in our minds because we never fully interacted with them. We never got to grow and ride out the ever changing currents of life with them, thus we are not faced daily with their shortcomings or seemingly diminishing/changing value in our life hence why they stay perfect. We also never get to see it or them experience the same changing perception of who we are to them. We view them only from one perspective which is what I have tried to show with the images in the quote.lose

The second one is from a comment made by another blogging friend Elmowrites, she’s an amazing writer and I am sure you will enjoy reading her work.

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Our fears are only as big as our minds can comprehend. For example an individual who is scared of heights might have a panic attack when asked to climb the empire states building. The building represents death, accidents, dizziness – these are all juxtaposed on the building by his mind. Same individual loves animals and has a thirst for the great outdoors, thus goes on a safari and has no fears when deadly animals stand at close range to him/her. It’s all in the mind.Fear

What do you think?

Confessions of the day.

Both prayed and signed the cross “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”  The amen was said in unison.

Silence.

“May the Lord renew your heart, helping you confess your sins with true sorrow.”

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been six days since my last confession.”

“I have caused the death of  five people just in this region: one through a car crash, another had a heart attack while shaving. It’s not clear how the others died, but I know it’s linked to me.

“Thirty six people relapsed into depression, when they noticed my presence. Children weep at the mere thought of my arrival and this really breaks my heart.The only ones who seem happy to see me are divorce lawyers and bar tenders. The actions of the weekend brings customers trooping in their multitudes. Father what do I do?

“My child, how is it that you have caused all this to happen, how are you in many places at once?”

“That is the problem father, I am not there in person most of the time, some of it just happens at the thought of my being there.”

“Then I do not think the blame lies solely at your feet, perhaps it is the thought of their hearts and fear that has snared them my child.”

“I know you are probably right father, but I can’t help how I feel. I want to change my name, I want to be known as Nouday or Nueday: maybe if my name evokes the idea of freshness or a new beginning perhaps people won’t fear so much.”

“I do not think this will help very much as people have become accustomed to the present cycle; the change must come from within.”

“But my current name sounds like mourning or moon, a very sober name especially coming after the Sunny day. A new name might help a little.”

“Then so be it my child, but I must say I fear people will still continue in their belief.”Memories


Sorry if you had to read this early when it wasn’t complete. I scheduled it and hadn’t completed it yet. So do you think Monday stands a chance with a new name?

Greener or Different pastures?

Welcome to topical Thursday, a lot has happened in the last week: with the death toll in Paris, Beirut, Iraq and my beloved Nigeria taking the spotlight . I read an interesting article last week (click on the link to read) it highlighted the role of social media on migrants decisions. This article is directed at migrants who are not under any sincere life threatening attack to leave home.


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There are several misconceptions held by migrants about life abroad, some are engineered by society this includes social media and the other is a myth we have created in our mind. Some of them include:

Slide11. Earning a living is easier abroad: errmmm…..no it’s not. When you go to work, you will make every second of your work time count. No slacking, sleeping or idle chatting. I am not saying its a concentration camp but a lackadaisical attitude is unacceptable. The jobs open to a majority of migrants is low paid and physically exasperating: the demand and opposition placed on you as a migrant is twice as high. Whist I cannot justify why this is so, I would encourage every migrant to embrace that reality as it helps manage expectations

Slide42. Expecting to land that dream job easily in your field: except in cases where the country requests for professionals in that particular field this rarely happens. Citizens come first before migrants for many roles. The case is different for menial jobs which most citizens refuse to do or find arduous. Most professional jobs require you to write and pass professional exams before you can search for a job. Emphases is placed on experience and experience back home is rarely considered for a job.

3. Life abroad is better: whilst basic amenities and infrastructure are in good working order it all comes at a cost. For everything you use in the western world, there is an attached bill. Electric, gas, water, general tax, rent etc. For every car you own in the UK you must have insurance, pay road tax, do an MOT yearly after the third year of ownership. Having more than one car is obviously out of the question except seriously needed. Beware the more expensive the car, the more expensive the aforementioned bills. Leaving lights, sockets and amenities on when not in use is a costly practice. Don’t contemplate avoiding the bills unless you want to live as a fugitive.

4. Everyone dresses so modern and lives in nice houses: and we deduced this from where? Social media wins the price! Who puts up sad pictures or unpleasant moments of their lives on social media? Given the volume of sales and the variety of shops to pick from looking good is not that hard. Living in a nice house is not solely up to the individual. For example: houses in UK are quite similar, building regulations ensure certain standards are maintained across all boards this covers privately owned homes as well. Externally every house is beautiful, open the door to discover if it matches the exterior. The façade makes it easy to pass off any odd house as theirs’ and also covers the backs of those squatting or living in shared accommodations.Slide3

5. His built a house in his home town and speaks good English now: init! ooioh! y’all! Speaking with an accent do not translate to a proficient use of the English language, if it were IElTS would have it included in their exams. Did you ask him how he made his money, where he sleeps, and how many hours his had to work to pay for the house?

Slide5Finally, the western word might have turned some of our lives upside down by their actions, but relocating to their country is no guarantee that everyone would welcome you with open arms and neither will your life suddenly become better. New terrains, new challenges: same you, same baggages. Become well-informed before you take a decision that leaves your life negatively reformed. If the land is good, it is only so because people worked and are still working to make it so. We can take pride in our country if we dedicate ourselves to it. I must admit life here offers many options for growth and human right exploitation is not as high. Having said that poor planning or failure to integrate the standards of living abroad leads people into dubious lifestyles debt, disillusionment and a search for vengeance.

Not acceptable … we demand an explanation for church closures.

The Governor of Kaduna state Nigeria, Nasir El-Rufai, has announced the immediate closure of two churches, a seminary school as well as a hospital belonging to the Assemblies of God Church in Saminaka in Lere Local Government Area of the state.(source: channelstv)

I hate to be that person who goes on defensive mode once their religion is mentioned, scrutinized or attacked, but honestly I fail to see the rationale behind this decision. What exactly did the churches do? Where did they go wrong? How did their actions put the security of the state in jeopardy? What other steps other than closure will be taken to address the situation and reassure citizens that it was for their benefit? We need explicit answers, not coded politically laced replies intended to put off the listener from further investigations. As citizens who elected you to create change, we honestly hope those changes don’t become our nightmares.

On the other hand, I must say I am embarrassed by the actions of my fellow Christians. What went so wrong that we could not contain it amongst ourselves, has the message of Christ no real impact on our lives? Has power and a lust for the present ‘goodies’ made it impossible for us to see and do as the scripture instructs? We really need to address were our numerous callings and pursuits in the church stem from, are they God given or greed motivated?

For those saying the Governor had no right to act this way, I have to say you are very wrong. It is within his jurisdiction to step in and settle any threat to peace in the state over which he manages. It only becomes wrong when it is targeted, unwarranted and unexplainable: which is why we must choose our leaders with great care and foresight where possible. Sorry to be repetitive, but I can’t help feeling the blame lies more with the church. However, I will keep an open mind and hope the real answers get exposed and not buried as is the usual case with things in Nigeria.

Please lend your voice today, let us demand answers now. It’s not enough to label said governor and other non-Christian leaders as anti-Christians without proof or fact, when things like this happens we must demand explicit answers that way when they fail to respond or justify their actions satisfactorily, then we know the label to be true. Prior to that happening brandishing such labels only makes you look like an unbalanced fanatic and raises tension amongst us.

After the storm

In response to Authors B Mazing finish it challenge #31. The intro was provided (in italics) and the challenge is to complete the story. Please find my story below.


The earth was trembling. Not sure what to do she grabbed her little girl, hoping her son and husband were safe. The sound of rattling kitchen ware and thumping of books as they fell off the open shelf grew louder with every passing second. Huddled up in the farthest corner within her daughters room she attempted to hide them from any destructive missile. Her eyes darted back and forth, breath became increasingly shallow as she anticipated the worst. Closing her eyes she rocked her daughter back and forth.

In a flash it changed: silence restored, no tremors, no rattling kitchen ware.

In a soft conspirators voice she asked “Mummy, are we playing hide and seek with daddy again?”

Shaken out of her revere her eyes took in the room, nothing seemed out of place. Rushing out of the room she walked through the entire house, again nothing seemed misplaced, the books were stacked up neatly on the shelf. Oh no! This could not be happening again. Why now, when everything was getting back to normal. There was no way she was telling her husband, she had to find away to cope with this on her own. It was tough enough dealing with their sons injuries, adding an unstable partner would be too much for anyone to handle.

Turning to open the fridge, she caught sight of her daughter at the door starring with innocent, loving brown eyes. How does she explain this to her three year old without scaring her? How do you tell your child you have post traumatic stress disorder? Was there a need to?

Arms outstretched with solemn smile she beckoned “come here honey.”

As the pitter patter of tiny feet approached, she retrieved a bottle of beer from the fridge. This had helped calm her down last time, thank God it was close by.


A rain of emotions.

The rain drops fall steadily on my windowpane, my tears fall in sync turning my pillow  into a mini water bed for my teddy. The persistent downpour attempts to wash away the soil, just like I tried to wash off his scent, the feel of his flesh on mine as he invaded my body. The bid to cleanse myself unwittingly destroyed the evidence of his deed, much in the way the rain erased his footprints from the soil, burying it with other atrocities away from exposure. A cry for help stays lodged in my throat heard only by sympathisers , unacknowledged by defenders. Like a homeless man in the rain, I’m left to wander aimlessly under a torrent of confusing emotions.


Written by Chioma I.N

In response to the writing challenge flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by Priceless Joy click on the link to visit the blog. The photograph was provided and the challenge is to write a 100 – 150 words (+/- 25 words) story inspired by it. Do click on the link for other stories.

Thanks Joy for the picture and for hosting. Thank you for stopping by.