When the later pay 4 the sins of the Previous

The most noble things you can do is to give to others. The sages of the East call it the process of shedding the shackles of self. Giving more to those around you, whether this means your time or your energy. 

Author Robin Sharma

All of your life you have been told to be considerate to others. Help those in need, be more understanding and be there for humanity because their road might be harder than yours. You follow the notion that if you burn yourself out in serving others, you will be the first to reach heaven. You become a servant and a master of none. Something is embedded in your soul that while you wish for designer shoes, it is privilege that you should never take for granted because someone else might not even have feet. It makes you conscience about all the decisions and anything you ask to receive. You are mindful what you ask the  universe. At the back of your mind you know you deserve better. You know you have worked hard so you deserve a thousand wishes. But you have to consider others who have little to eat, drink or nothing at all.
While being humane and considering others, you forget to live your best. Life passes you by and then one day, you wake and you realize you should have enjoyed your sweat. You should have taken that holiday without feeling guilty or asking permission to live your life.

Other times you are a victim of innocence. You are a good person and cater for the needs of others before yours. If someone says they need something and you are able to deliver, you oblige.
They tell you every single time; ‘This one is on you. I will pay next time.’
You take over all the bills. Rent, food, airtime and if you two have children, you take care of the school dues. You are doing your part as best as you know how. At the beginning you do not even realize how well you play your role; digging the hole that you will soon bury yourself in. You let off the other person easily. You don’t want to be burdened by their;
I didn’t receive the money this week.
I will get at the end of the month.
I have a loan that I am servicing.

You have heard all the excuses before that you learn to take care of everything. That means not asking the other person to make a contribution. Because when you ask you will receive the same old answer.

‘You can take care of this, can’t you dear?’
‘You don’t look needy dear. I am sure you can manage.’
‘That is minor handle it. I have bigger plans to deal with.’

You wake up one day and you ask one question that changes the equation; “What is the role of this person in my life? Have I been used by this person all this time? How did I get here?
Then the most important inquiry comes much later after the blaming yourself. If I subtracted him from my life, will my well being be affected?”

You give this friend a boot and you feel a bit lighter. The feeling is short lived because deep inside you can not erase what has been done to you. The aftermath rains on the next person who comes into your life…
The later put up with a lot because they have to keep up with the new you. If you have chosen to better your life, you would not want another person soiling your soul. You make it harder for them to get in. You make them pay for the sins of the old ghosts. You push them to work hard. You don’t let them off the hook like the previous because you learnt a valuable lesson that once you let things be, nothing will be done. If they say I cannot do this, you ensure you find a way to make them do it. Not tomorrow but within the hour because you cannot afford the laxity. You know the consequences, so you run a tight ship. If they are letting their body run off and are gaining more calories than you, you get them on a diet. Let them exercise. If they are telling you; I do not have money for 3 consecutive nights, you probe and find solutions. You don’t let things be. This is not a time to let go and let things be. That is a scenario for your soul and spirit but not when you are dealing with human beings. You know from the previous and become wiser.

You do not become selfish. But you learn not to create parasites that finish off your time before you are ready to join your ancestors. Basically you learn to say to No with grace to things that do not work for you. You push others to be better because it pushes you too. Resting is around but it might turn into laziness and slack off. Don’t let people take you for granted because you are selfless.

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How foreign lands have made me feel? (Part 1)

Most times I have a ball when I write about real Issues. Not issues of break up, food or friends. There are issues we skip or avoid intentionally because there are so sensitive. We live in an era of sensation hence the tip toeing. Once in a while, one person is bold enough to call the spoon a spoon and the back fire starts on social media. Sensitivity has expanded from minorities and outcasts to something closer to home. But all topics can be delicate. It depends on how it is treated during the composition. Issues of racism, terrorism, foreign policies are harder to write about because chances are, you are choosing the side of the victims. There are no two sides to these areas. You are either for us or against us. Take up arbitration if you are really good and at the end of the day, there will be peace prevailing.

Skin lighting
I have been to countries where making your skin lighter or whiter is normal. Questioning why people do it is like asking why these people demand basic needs. The beauty products which range from lighting creams, scrubs, Vaseline and lotions are available for all. Whatever amount you have in your wallet, you could still get some grams of the magic potions. How did I feel about the process?
It only bothered me when I could not find the one lotion that did not have that element. I had to read the labels of the tins. I had to ensure that whatever chemicals were in the tins would not make me whiter yet I wanted to remain with the same complexion for the next 40 years.

There was also a problem during photography when they had to adjust filters and lens to suit my complexion. The photo editing applications did not help too. You had to go through all the filters and effects to find one that worked for you. Beauty plus made me whiter and the make up turned me into a clown or someone my family could not recognise.

Racism
We will still be talking about this years to come because I have found out there are people who enjoy being so conservative. When they are still young they are told to be real to themselves but they choose the Worst part of them and Carry it forth. You can’t educate them about other races. They will always assume their race is superior but we will not stop talking about racism.
Then there is another category of people who have never travelled beyond their community or even around their continent. They don’t know about other wonderful people with short, long, curly, twisted, plainted or colored hair. They do not know how to react when you meet them. Some will take out their cameras and start taking paparazzi pictures and you become an animal that has been caught in the trap. One time, one of our neighbours had to rewash her clothes because I had passed near them. How did it make me feel? I still think about her and wonder if that day she slept better or whether her action taught her something about humanity.

Poverty
It is everywhere. I used to think third world countries have the poorest man but you will be surprised. Fortunately this notion reminds me that having nothing is universal. You might have a lot of money when you are devoid of emotions. You might be equipped with a lot of knowledge, yet you are earning the lowest pay. Couldn’t this person use the knowledge they have to get themselves out of this predicament. Sometimes you can not move even when the will is there. It has something to do with luck and connection. Poverty might be quantified by different governments but I have seen people in India who are happy being poor. So take heart that there are real issues that have nothing do with having little or nothing, the real issue is how these people have embraced that. If you traded places, how long would you survive to see another month. Those are the issues that should be studied. How does one manage to stay alive after years of poverty. They fight and never break. They rise through the thorns and hailstones to see another summer.

Ever wondered about your ex’s new girl?

Wonder no more. She is all happy and charming because he has made her happy. Or was it the other way that she has made him happy? Either way, they are the happiest people on the land. You would want her as your friend too. They have built a happy and calm circle around them that is magical. The circle is made out love, compassion and understanding. You don’t even remember whether the two of you had that. Did you even hold hands and have those long moments of silence where you yearned to hear only his breathing? Those days when hours in his company felt like a minute.

Don’t go, Not yet,
5 more minutes.
After one more ice cream.
You implored so you could have more time before he could be with other people in his life. Did you ever secretly hate the people who took up some of his time? Here is one person who completes him and gives him an aura that you could not create with your mind even if you tried.

While you two were fighting over which food you should have on the menu, these 2 are in sync. She already knows what he wants to eat that day because he had a lot of veg last week so this week lots of chicken will do him good. While you were always indecisive, she is the opposite you. She doesn’t stress him or complain about the dirty old shoes and clothes he adorns everytime. He is putting on his best everyday because she is the sun he has always been waiting for to wear his sunday best.

She does not even ask that ridiculous question;
‘Do you love me.’
‘Prove it.’
If he loved you, you would feel the love whether he is around or not. You would not need to question his love for you. He will always remind you everyday. In fact he will show you.

She is the kind that looks like she is on a happy pill every single day. She is a cup cake. Someone you would want around when you need someone to lift up your mood. You wonder what he is feeding her that he didn’t avail you. She does not even need to fake smile because she is radiating inner happiness. Her skin seems to glow in the dark. She keeps touching him unnecessarily to let you know that he is all hers. So you go into competitive mode and you look for his eyes. The whole point of looking at him,
(assuming that your eyes will connect) is to see if there is still a twinkle that was yours.
You go through your memory disc to remember whether he was ever happy with and around you. Was he this blissful? Did he ever want to hang around you or he was coerced. This is her Now and she has made him a better man.

Looking at them finally gives you the answer you have been waiting for. He was not yours to keep. Infact they give you strength and courage to go on because you know that was then and you did your best at the time. But there is more that he needed otherwise he would have fought to make the relationship work. You are somehow lifted that you were enough but not for him. He needed someone else. Unfortunately by that time you were in the vicinity and available, so he settled for you. You are happy because he is happy. It lifts your spirit that he is okay and so should you. You didn’t destroy eachother in the process. You left him intact for her to carry on to the next stage or for ever.

When Someone you Love is Hurting

Recently I found out one of the persons who has greatly influenced my life is hurting badly. Unfortunately I did not find out from him. You know how you tell a secret to one of your best friends while his wife is listening… guess what? The wife told another friend who told another person and that is how the secret is no longer in the closet. I have often written and advised my readers that if you can’t keep your secret, how do you expect another person to keep it under lock and key. You want to bury your secrets, ‘kill the witnesses’ and don’t discuss the topic ever. This is why it falls under the category of personal. It should never leave your body unless if the confession saves another human being.

But now that the secret is out, my whole family and community knows that my dear Papa is suffering in silence and has not told his family members. Forget about my uncle. I am talking about his family that he brought into this world and his wife. My mother heard it from someone else who lives in another town and was so angry because the person who promised to be with him in thick and thin didn’t come to him first. That is what the Betrayal in the City is all about. Hahah.

While mother deals with her anger and Papa’s betrayal, I am in a dilemma. Do I approach him and let him know I know? Do I chat with him while throwing in hits to let him reveal more?
How do I show him that I understand what he is going through? When someone you love and adore like him hurts, what is the best approach?
I like analysing situations whether the problem is mine or it is someone else’s but this time the subject involved will not let me do that. I will end up being subjective. I have picked the telephone a number of times to call him and let him know I can help. When I call and hear his aging voice, I let it go and we discuss other issues like business, pending weddings and new babies in the family. Going to see him means I will spill everything and let him know I know. I have never pretended with him and I will not start at this later stage. We are now supposed to be closer than before discussing how the world has been mean or blessing to either of us. This is the time for him to spill even when we have often seen him as a rock that should be strong for all of us, he has a right to feel all the emotions around the family. He should not always be happy and angry. We now understand that he can be sad. And very sad because he is in pain.

I keep asking myself; If he went to his brother then he trusted him to find a solution to this problem. But what if we had not found out, would he have told us? What to do now?
We might as well keep quiet about it for now while waiting to see what he will do. I hope my mother will not let the cat out of the bag after her silence has been ignored. Big people hurt too but how to approach a matter so intimate and delicate. My sister used to say, ‘All things are somehow sorted out eventually.’ Hope they do and we avoid that one episode every child skips in a movie. A parent crying.
Come to think of it, we rarely see our parents crying. They became great at hiding everything bad from us and we only find out later that they have tear glands that work. Some children have brilliant questions and answers for this scenario. “Is your tummy hurting? Don’t worry God will heal you.”

May your tummy heal soon Papa so you can tell me stories about your first dollar or how my grandfather was a great man.

When you have lived all/$ome of your fears

Forget about the fear of animals, stage flight or any of those fears that come when that particular scenario is in your face. There are other major fears that come and stay. At the beginning, it is just a few simple leaves and grass. Then the a nest is built. They take up permanent residence in your head and later the full physical structure. Whenever the key word is uttered, you freeze. It starts with; ‘I will take away, you will not see them again, If you don’t behave, I will deny you.’
Your tormentors know which ropes to pull in order to turn you into a Muppet. If it is not others, it is your own mind that imprisons you. Keeping you in its cages as long as possible until you find the way out or become captive forever.

My fears stem from 2 things; being dependent and not working hard. Some people enjoy the pleasure of being ‘breastfed’ and demanding for everything they need from other people. On the other hand, I like working for whatever I need. If I desire anything, it should come my way because I have earned it through sweat, blood, long nights and rigorous team work.
Shonda Rhimes during the TEDx talk entitled ‘My year of saying yes to everything’ asked a great question; ‘I like working more than I like being at home. What kind of person likes working more than being at home?
Well, me.”

At one point in my life, my greatest fear came to pass. I became dependent on my parents again. I was unemployed for so long. Even if the years are numbered in my head, it felt like eternity that is why you hear the word loooong. Those were the longest nights and days in my life. You see when you are working, the days fly by. One time you are in October and the next time you check the calendar its December second. You might have known that days were turning into night because at one point you had to bathe and change clothes. You would send out emails, make endless calls and write memos that are dated. You work on a timeline but still, you end up losing track of the days because you prefer working rather than staying home.

I used to think it was a sin. Which person indeed chooses working hard over family? The work gives you so much pleasure and purpose. I will not even try to justify what kinda of person this makes me. But I am glad that someone out there is like me. I have lived my fear of job loss, unemployment, dependence and losing my friends. One of those friends saw me on the road one time as she drove her red Nissan car. She pretended that she had not seen me.

Forget that crap that it makes you stronger. This reminds you that they were not your friends. You reminisce about the good old days and wish situations were reversed. No wonder I don’t see all my old friends any more. They hide in plain sight dodging my path as much as they can. Good thing the fear is gone. You can sleep easily well knowing that dependence and unemployment did not kill you despite years of fear that they will bury you. No one can use it against you anymore but the human is left with the question of who you have become. You used to think you was your fear. But now a new person emerges that you need to introduce yourself too.
That conversation goes like this;

Old YOU: ‘Is the coast clear?’
New YOU: ‘What coast?’
Old YOU: ‘You remember (starts to laugh) when you…'(Cut off)
New YOU: ‘Shut up. Don’t you know that we are not defined by our fears. That was you. Let me introduce you to the new you.
Hello. Have we met?’

When You have Done the Worst to Each other.

I have seen numerous books written about the recipe for long and fulfilling relationships. They advocate for communication and love all year round. These sweet nothings and falling in love with the partner over and over again lack the secret ingredient. They have never added the idea of doing the worst to each other until you both realize that the relationship was meant to be. Sometimes we push away the best relationships we have ever had for the reason that they will grow stronger. You treat this person with contempt and even show signs that you don’t care if they stay or go. Most times, you are at per with this person but when he does something small, you are unforgiving and pounce on that to get rid of them. You punish in hope that they will reveal the real them that is only there for a short while. You wait and see if they will be strong enough to withstand your habits, anger and other vices.

It is the chance that you have been waiting for to give them the boot. But they don’t stay away for long that you wonder why they come back to you every time. You know in your heart that you love this person but for no particular reason, you do everything annoying, irritating and pick up a fight in hope that they will finally leave you alone. That brings me to the issue of what is the worst thing you can do to any person who tells you they love you but you feel there is something more you require from them?
But guess what? The said individual will let the dust settle down for 2 days and within that time you think it is finally down. You imagine what could have been. You think of all the places you could have travelled together. You come up with a list of things you would have done together had you allowed the relationship to even start. You attend the funeral of the relationship and tear up with grief because you know you caused all this. When the phone rings and he is not the one calling, you imagine whether he gave up on you that fast. You ask the questions; ‘Did the relationship mean nothing to him that he would not fight for it?’
‘Was I right in getting rid of him or her?’
‘Do you think we will ever be friends again even after all I have done to him?’
‘Are we broken up for real this time?’

You know that this time you did the worst. You called his mother something-that even your mother would never be referred to. You bruised his ego so many times by telling him how you found someone better. You call him the worst names possible in hope that he leaves you before you hurt him. The whole point is you have done the worst to each other, that the only thing left is to kiss and say goodbye. What kind of person stays around when you have pushed him
away and made it clear you are happy being in a relationship with you?

But after 2 days, when you think he will never talk to you again, you see his name on your phone screen calling you. You have mixed reactions why he is calling. He might have been plotting revenge to hurt you more than what you did to him. But you pick the call.
Him: Hi?
You: Hello?
Him: I was about to sleep then I realized that I had not said goodnight to you.
Some people are just saints or waiting for the opportune moment to pull the rag from under your feet. This disarming chat gets you in only one direction. That even if you push people away, the ones who are meant to stay, will come back and show you what you will be missing if they ever left.
So the recipe for any relationship is push them until they hate you. If the love triumphs over the hate and pain, you have nothing left but love. There will be nothing left you can do to hurt eachother once the worst has passed. But you cannot help thinking that one day, it would be something small that will make him disappear forever and you will forever be in transit hoping that he will be on the next flight to you because he always does.

Writing Heals

Jack Hart: “Writing is thinking. That’s all there is to it. Simple as it is, it still works wonders.”

Often whenever I feel down or vulnerable, I find myself writing. As the words flow on the page, I find my body healing emotionally. Whatever is bothering me at the time seems to float away slowly by slowly until I reach the point where I am asking myself ‘What the heck was I feeling burdened? Why was this issue controlling me?’ Then I realise I had given the issue the power to take over my life. But writing helps me to get back in control. Put the issue in print, evaluate it and let it be if there is no solution at the time.
Most times the things that weigh down on our souls have solutions. If the solutions cannot be found, it is better we throw away the key to these issues. Keeping them around has devasting effect. It is like an ache, itch or heavy item on our shoulders.

I use writing as a friend. I visualise while I note down. I look at what is really bothering me about it. Do I feel hurt, used, neglected or violated? I look at the angle whether I should have done things differently and I realize at that time I had no choice. Whichever route I would have taken, I would still be in the same spot. It brings me back to that quote; God gives us 3 tests. If we fail it at the beginning, he brings it back in another form until we learn to recognize it and pass it with 90 percent or more. No wonder experience is the best teacher.
Sometimes I am the one who gets myself in that detour and there are consequences. In one of Paulo Coelho’s books, he writes and I will paraphrase;
‘When we stay in one place for a long time and we refuse to move to the next destination, the guardian angel will forcefully remove us.’

My sins have always stemmed from getting comfortable when I knew I was not meant to stay. Comfort gives this false security and energy that everything is well. When the foundation is shaken, that is when you realise all along it was built with sand. Here is my vow for today, I will be writing as often as possible because; reading and writing are my friends who have been with me for so long. Most times I rely on reading and forget that writing brings all that is hiding in the memory; good or bad to manifest. I don’t even need to speak. Let writing be my mouth piece. Whatever I have put in print will now be my voice.

Often whenever I feel down or vulnerable, I find myself writing. As the words flow on the page, I find my body healing emotionally. Whatever is bothering me at the time seems to float away slowly by slowly until I reach the point where I am asking myself ‘What the heck was I feeling burdened? Why was this issue controlling me?’ Then I realise I had given the issue the power to take over my life. But writing helps me to get back in control. Put the issue in print, evaluate it and let it be if there is no solution at the time.
Most times the things that weigh down on our souls have solutions. If the solutions cannot be found, it is better we throw away the key to these issues. Keeping them around has devasting effect. It is like an ache, itch or heavy item on our shoulders.

I use writing as a friend. I visualise while I note down. I look at what is really bothering me about it. Do I feel hurt, used, neglected or violated? I look at the angle whether I should have done things differently and I realize at that time I had no choice. Whichever route I would have taken, I would still be in the same spot. It brings me back to that quote; God gives us 3 tests. If we fail it at the beginning, he brings it back in another form until we learn to recognize it and pass it with 90 percent or more. No wonder experience is the best teacher.
Sometimes I am the one who gets myself in that detour and there are consequences. In one of Paulo Coelho’s books, he writes;
we stay in one place for a long time and we are supposed to our next destination, the guardian angel will forcefully remove us.

My sins have always stemed from getting comfortable when I knew I was not meant to stay. Comfort gives this false security and energy that everything is well. When the foundation is shaken, that is when you realise all along it was built with sand. Here is my vow for today, I will be writing as often as possible because; reading and writing are my friends who have been with me for so long. Most times I rely on reading and forget that writing brings all that is hiding in the memory; good or bad to manifest. I don’t even need to speak. Let writing be my mouth piece. Whatever I have put in print will now be my voice.