(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. 

puzzle 2.png

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?

A doomed race

One by one they run, different colors and size, all in poor shape and weak.

Crossing the finish line they tumble to the floor, hitting the wrong mark over and over again.

I feel empty, exhausted; perhaps my thoughts need more training.

TLT week 21 – Brussels
Copyright Martins Zemlickis

Empty: when you know what you want to say but your words fail you, hitting the listeners ears with a loud clang bringing no illumination but only confusion.


Written for Sonya’s TLT – WEEK Twenty-one

Life is … #12

Life is … like a new bath tub.

Covered in slim or dirt we step into it, clean and refreshed we emerge.

The tub has no inherent power to change us, what we put into it and how meticulously we wash determines how clean we emerge.

When we fail to wash the tub we let the grim/dirt of the past contaminate our present cleansing.

Thus if we feel dirty or unclean after a bath perhaps you have failed to clean the bath or failed to examine what you put into the bath.


Hi there, thank you for stopping by today. This is the twelfth edition of my ‘life is’ series where I try to relate life to different things in society. Would love to hear your thoughts on life is … a bath tub. 

 

Take time to smile.

When thou threads under open skies,

and thy path seems bright,

When your path to the prize,

is finally flooded by light

Take time to smile.

When thine eyes see no shadows,

and your steps echo.

When the path to your prize feels hollow;

the future before you seems narrow,

Take time to smile.

When a table is set,

with no sustenance to share,

When not a soul is in sight,

and weariness turns to tears

Take time to smile

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Remember the skies will be there through dark or bright paths, lonely or loving days; thus change like the skies will surely come. Happy Monday.

Written by Chioma N. I

Be thankful challenge.

be-thankful

Life has a variety of issues that can drive us mad, make us sad or contemplate becoming indifferent to what’s around us, but there’s even more to be thankful for. When I read Millie’s post here I was reminded once more that it’s more rewarding both physically and emotionally to ignore the negatives and focus on the positives. Thank you Millie for nominating me.

rules

* Share this image (top one) in your blog post
* Write about 5 people in your life you are thankful for
* Write about 5 things in 2015 that you are thankful for
* Spread the love and challenge 5 other blogs to take part.


Five people I am thankful for: I will keep this short 

  1. My husband: for supporting our little family to the best of his abilities. For being the voice of caution and reasoning when my impatient mind dreams up numerous mountains and adventures to pursue. I don’t always like it at the time, but in hindsight he does make sense. ∗annoying much – sometimes∗ ;-).
  2. My daughter: you’ve made me grow up so much, dare so much and dream even bigger. I feared at first that your teenage years would be horrendous, but as I weave your hair, give you a bath and pray with you at night, I say bring on the teenage years. No matter what happens I have no doubt that we’ll make each other better in the long run.
  3. My mum: she has been tremendously understanding and accommodating especially as we haven’t been in the same room for the last three years. We have become wonderful friends though as she prays for me and guides me through the steps of raising baby L.
  4. My siblings: they have all pitched in to help me with the different turns of my dreams and career path. I dump things on you guys last minute and you still hold up your end. Thank you.
  5. My friends and blogging community: need I say more. Thank you for every link clicked, every word read, every like button pressed, every comment written, every critique given and most importantly every new follower added.

Five things I am thankful for this year:

  1. A healthy family: we have had some minor illnesses here and there, but thankfully everyone is fine.
  2. A seemingly defined life path for next year which is more than I had coming into 2015. Only time will tell how defined it is. 😉
  3. My blog and growing blog family: you have been an awesome family. You helped me find my foot in this year. When the blog is a year old I would do a proper thanksgiving filled with ‘owambe dance’ and rice. (Customary traits of a Nigerian thanksgiving)
  4. An opportunity to volunteer and learn new things in my community.
  5. Finally my friends: on-line, in the community and back home. You guys have been nothing short of amazing.

Nominations: anyone out there who wants to take part in being thankful, please jump right in.

Perception

“Please describe what you see?”

“I see a round object with something like a bush on top it.” 

“Does it remind you of anything?”

“A pineapple: it reminds me of a pineapple” 

“How certain are you that it’s a pineapple?

“Erm I think about seven..ty percent.” the tremor in her voice betrayed her self-doubt, it was probably more like forty percent in her mind.

“Now take a look at the second image, what do you see?

“Oh ok, this looks like the first, but a bit more like a pineapple …” the tremor was replaced by assertiveness.

“How certain are you it’s a pineapple?”

“I did say ninety-five percent certain.” Slide1

“You were right both times, a sign of balance in your inner core. It’s time to gaze into the future.” More like the future I perceive from your body language, clothes and eyes as you looked into mine longing for affirmation and assurance.

It’s all a game of illusion and perception: what the mind yearns for, the eyes perceive.


The picture reminded me of magic/illusion shows.

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.

Thank you Etol Bagam for the picture, thank you for stopping by.

Random thoughts.

People often tell us to have objective views to not always think of ourselves first, to walk a mile in another’s shoes before drawing conclusions about them. But if we are honest it’s a lot more difficult to be objective when we are at the receiving end of an action. For example how objective can a rape victim be towards an attacker? How objective can we be towards a boss who just laid us off even when we know it was the only line of action open to them.

The above examples could be said to be extreme or clearly unpleasant situations, cases where objective and subjective views are obvious. On the other-hand how do we differentiate objective advice from subjective ones? This is something that I have pondered on for quite a while. How do we know that the advise we just got on how to handle XYZ situation is not totally tainted by the advisers point of view, personality and priorities, thus making it a subjective piece of advice? For example when someone advises a student to read four hours a day at noon as noon time is the peak period for brain activity is this objective or subjective? In my opinion regardless of the bases for the claim; scientific research or just personal observation, it is considered a subjective as it

a) Doesn’t consider the recipients strengths and weaknesses or ability to achieve the target.

b) Assumes that everyone should fit into a particular order

c) Can be disputed with alternative results e.g. students who read less and listen more or students who understand better at night.

Now I know people give excuses for not taking good advice (I do it too) and I think the best way to make an advise more appealing and open to reasoning is to support it with life’s principles. Going back to the study advise example: rather than saying try to study four hours at noon each day, how about make an effort to get at least four hours of study each day, if you don’t put in any effort you won’t get any results.

Rather than saying: I personally wouldn’t spank my child.

Say: Don’t react to your child in anger, reactions driven by anger rarely produces good results.

Before you give that advise (solicited or unsolicited especially unsolicited) be sure to ask yourself what principle supports your line of thought. Principles are rarely subjective and together with advice based on experience pack a powerful punch. They can hardly be ignored forever. Be sure to treat your listener with respect as well.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

One day at a time

I pray the lord my soul to keep,

my spirit to strengthen,

 my mind to revive,

 my body to restore,

I pray the Lord, O I pray…..

And then

I praise the Lord my hope for peace,

my hope for valour,

my hope for lucidity,

 my hope for health,

I praise the Lord, O I praise…

And when the ‘morrow comes

I lift my voice anew

One day at a time.

Written by Chioma I.N