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The Wait!

stock-photo-d-human-waiting-with-alarm-clock-111105164So you finally graduated and you are wondering why the job isn’t forth coming? Or you thought you had your life all planned out; graduated by 22,  got a job on the verge of 23 and 2 promotions later, you are ready to “settle” down at 26 but the partner is nowhere to be found. Better still, you got the job and have been working extra hard, more than anyone else in the office for that promotion you deserve but at last, it goes to someone else. What do you do? What do you do when all that you are praying and working for is eluding you and you seem to be in a hollow with everyone and everything else passing you by?

I call that hollow the Waiting Period and I have become all too acquainted with it recently. It seems the harder you try, the more your efforts fall by the wayside. You begin to feel resentful and frustrated. You get easily irritated and emotions that were so far removed from you, start sipping into your heart like jealousy and envy. You wonder why things are so rosy and easy for others yet, difficult and burdensome for you. (By the way, it is perfectly normal to feel that way, what is abnormal is how you react to those feelings).

By nature, I am a very impatient person (praying I get better). So you can only imagine how frustrating it has been experiencing this wait period. The pressure was getting to me and I found myself going through all the motions. So I went to the only place I know to seek relief and counsel. So on Saturday I visited the priest of my church and disclosing all that I was feeling, he reminded me of God’s love. That when things don’t work out, it could usually be one of three answer (not yet, no and yes). And being the Omnipresent God that He is and having better plans for us to prosper, He knows ultimately what is best for us. So when things don’t work out like we thought they should’ve, we need to pause and be thankful even in disappointment. He told me to be diligent in the wait, have faith, hope and continue praying.

The fact that these things haven’t happened yet doesn’t mean that they won’t. It’s only a matter of time before that one job is a yes, that God-ordained partner strolls into your life or that promotion drops in your laps. The most important thing is that you stay seeking and remain open to those new experiences that would be coming through. The vessel needs to be ready when God is ready to use it and that’s what we should all be doing while we wait.

Whatever you are believing and waiting on God for, be diligent, resilient and hopeful. Because it is in how diligent we are in the wait that God would be diligent in providing that which we wait for. No matter how frustrating the wait is, tell yourself, your better days are still ahead of you.God has got you and before you know it, it would be all history. Have an amazing day lovelies and as always, thank you for stopping by.

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For The Shame of Living

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Have you found yourself wanting something so badly yet not going after it just because? Or you want to try something new but there’s that small voice asking you “what will people think?”. Better still, you find yourself shying away from the very things you love doing or things that make you happy for no reason? Well, it’s not just because or for no reason, you just might have not identified it yet but it’s called SHAME.

This dawned on me a few days ago. Like I have documented here severally, my weight has always been a sore spot long before I started sharing the struggles from behind a screen. I have tried, failed and continue trying to lose the weight (which I hope it’s a battle where I’d come out swinging) but it never really stopped me from living my life. Or so I thought.

I had never been the paparazzi-picture-loving-kinda-girl from a young age but I was never coy of them either. Until 2 years ago when I stopped taking pictures unwittingly, and when I did, I never posted them to any social site. I had consciously decided to work on losing weight but not on hiding myself through the process until a few weeks ago when I posted my first pictures in 2 years. Only to realize a few days later that shame played a role.

Subconsciously, a tiny voice decided that I was too big to share pictures of myself, what would my friends say when they saw me? what would my parents think? I had let everyone down, not myself but everyone else. This attitude had seeped into my writing sometimes because coming from the cultural background that I do, writers are lazy people and they are broke. I debated for a long time whether or not to share my articles on my social media handles. If I thought the topic was controversial for my followers who are mostly of the same cultural heritage like myself, I didn’t share it and vice versa.

Whether I intentionally thought these through or not, they were affecting my life. I stopped living and went on making any and every excuse possible, most times school was the culprit. Having graduated now, I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. In a few months I would be 30 years old and I want to get there living my life unashamedly.

If you find yourself in the same spot as me, then just like me, you should know it is never too late and get ready to start living your best life. I am an advocate of “live and let live” and I pride myself a pretty open-minded gal for an African, precisely Cameroonian. And at almost 30, I have better things to worry about than what people think of me especially when their opinions are insignificant. My happiness is important and part of it is doing what I love regardless of acceptance, of differing opinions or dissenting views.

We are all clay in the Potter’s hands, that means we are still being molded. I hear it all the time but it never clicked for me until last month – to leave intentionally. For me it means not just coasting along anymore, stop going through the motions and think through all my actions. Part of that is living my truth; while I work on my weight, the reality is this is me right now. This is who is in-front of me and I have to love her before anybody else would, show her off and treat her to moments that make her feel cherished, loved and appreciated. This body too is the temple of God, it is a work in progress and I have no idea when the maker would be done with it.

Stop the shame of living your truth, of being in the way of your own happiness and caring so much what people would say. Live intentionally in the moment and trust the master sculptor to perfect what is good and right in your life. As I wait for Him to finish this master piece, I would be enjoying every moment given me – intentionally. Have a wonderful weekend Lovelies.

Of These I Dream Of You…

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I know every line on your face; the permanent wrinkles on your forehead stressed from past unrequited love, the dent in your cheeks when you are amused and the crease in your chin when you laugh too hard. I like that these lines are my secret window into your soul; revealing your angst when you’re trying to be calm, unveiling your passion when you’re trying to be brave and showing your tenderness when you’re trying to be tough. I know all the lines in your face because I have dreamt it up more times than I can remember. It’s not only the face, it’s your being and the experiences that sum-up the man you are. Of these I dream of you.

That our meeting would be an epic comedic scene that even Jim Carrey couldn’t conceptualize if he tried to. And whether it’s in public or private, you would have eyes for no one else but me because in that moment, you’d be too entranced by my aura and vying for my attention desperately. Some wooing dates later and we would be an official pair, caught up in our own love story – an extraordinary love affair.

I dream of every moment spent with you being an adventure; that even though we are celibate, we’re comfortable exploring the subject. How you make me feel like the only girl in the world with your piercing glare and how even in the silence, you are one with my soul.

I have dreamed of the fights too and boy do they terrify me. That I would loose the one best thing that has happened to me in a while because of a loud mouth that must always blab everything that comes to it. How the need to assert my independence makes you proud yet frustrated. That all these years later, I never learned how not to pick my nose and how you hate that I am really not as confident as I’d like people to think.

I would dream of you choosing us over and over again when we seem to be at the end of our road. How you’d embrace my family and make it yours, and how you’d be the friend that my friends don’t talk to often but when they do, you had never left. That every tear shed braises your heart to reaffirm to you why you’d try hard to never see them again.

And I dream that home would be anyplace we are together, that you’d cherish my random dancing spurts and tolerate my temporary insanities. That when my weight retreats me into a cocoon, you’d know just how to bring me out. And I’d love how despite these, you’d love me aggressively. I dream that you’d come to appreciate my over vivid imaginations sometimes, because as you can already tell, I live in my head a lot. These are the things I dream of you.

Tall, Dark & Handsome Please!!!

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Add a dash of christian, preferably born-again, a hint of faithfulness and a scoop of financial stability. And oh, while at it, sprinkle good-dresser and well-articulated to garnish. Sounds familiar? Yep. These are the many requirements that ladies walk around with in their heads on the daily. Men have their list of requirements as well, reverse the aforementioned, and you have yourself a requirements list for women.

The relationship topic has been over-flogged I know, but stay with me for a bit as I explore another dimension that to me, I rarely read about. Just like any woman out there, I have qualities that I seek out in a man. As I have gotten older, those qualities have changed a lot. Whereas I might have had 10 things on that list, now I pretty much look for just one which was never there. It sprung on me by surprise because it wasn’t something I even thought of. But as my perspective on life changed with time and I got to encounter different people and places, that list of requirements morphed into this single quality.

The list changed because I realized, that is the one thing I would comfortably bring to the platform which would trickle down to other things. This got me thinking about how many people, both men and women meet the requirements of their own list? I consider myself a feminist who advocates for the equal treatment and right of both genders. By that, what a woman is seeking for in a man, she should be able to bring to the table as well and vice versa.

Speaking with a friend recently, he lamented on relationships being a give-give situation where one person is always giving while the other is always taking, and in his biased opinion, women always took. I told him about a saying I heard once which is; “You cannot give what you don’t have”. This explains why people find themselves in unpleasant “situation-ships” except for a few.

Why would anyone have as a requirement from a potential partner to be financially buoyant when they themselves are not? What gives you the confidence to go out seeking for a six pack, when you have a flat pack? Most baffling of all, why do you need him to be a born-again christian when you’ve barely seen the 4-walls of a church in months? You don’t have to match him penny for penny, prayer for prayer or six pack to six pack to request that. You at least need to be working towards that or have met half of your own requirements. Otherwise, what gives you the right to demand these qualities from someone else when you do not possess them yourself?

I have an “aunt” who advises all the time that when it comes to relationships “stick to your kind”. Half the time she is referring to sticking to your race but I would switch it to mean stick to the standards you bring. The truth is, if we observe the world keenly, you would have realized that people almost always stick to their social class when finding a life partner. Sure we have a few cases of a prince/princess dating/marrying below his rank (Kate Middleton anyone?) but those cases are few and far between.

While it makes sense for one to hold themselves in very high esteem and therefore demand high standards, at the same time, we need to give ourselves reality checks sometimes. So when next you are adding a must-have quality in a partner on your requirements list, ask yourself if you bring that quality to the table as well. If not, what are you doing to get yourself on that list because just as you have a list, so does the partner you are looking for. Do your lists match?

Have a blessed day lovely people and as always, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate the time you took to read and if you loved it, please share. And oh, share your thoughts, do you think it is appropriate to require things that you cannot give from a potential partner?

Faith vs Ideologies

Come Sunday, we would be celebrating Christ’s resurrection and with that, mark the close of Lenten season. I must admit that I didn’t quite abide by all the rules of Lent per my catholic doctrine which was unintentional. During this whole period, one question has repeatedly popped up in my mind. How do I marry my Christian faith with my personal ideologies?

I guess some people would be justified to raise an eyebrow in wonderment since our ideologies are often times formed by our foundation in Christianity, which is perfectly understandable. And others might probably not understand why a parallel would exist in the first place between faith and personal ideologies because it would seem that faith gives rise to personal ideologies and they are not mutually exclusive. But I beg to differ.

I grew up in a very religious home; went to morning mass with my mom every morning, diligently observed all holy obligations, took part in church activities when I wasn’t in school and was very convinced I had the calling to be a nun ( topic for another day). At first, these were things I did because my mom introduced us to them and per my culture, you do as you are told. As I got older, I understood why I did them and actually enjoyed being part of it.

As a grown woman with some life experiences in her years, the many different realities I have lived through both personal and otherwise have shaped some of my personal ideologies and brought me to many questions, debates and concerns that sometimes do not match what my faith dictates I practice. For example, I have only become comfortable calling myself a Feminist recently because of how sensitive that label can get sometimes. It is not the issue of being a feminist that conflicts with my faith but the things I belief in espoused by that label. Like how I am completely for the woman having control over her OWN body and for no one to dictate to her what she can or cannot do to it. And how one of the things that she could do to it is frowned upon by my faith.Or how people who share my faith use it to hurt others in the guise of following what the good book says.

My mom would be the first to tell you I ask too many questions and the habit seem to only get worse as I age. I have become too critical of everything that I question even the things that seem obvious. And have you noticed that the more questions you ask, the less answers you find? (At least for me). That’s why I have been pondering how I can reconcile the two together. My faith reflects my ideologies but my ideologies do not always reflect my faith and there in lies the problem. I am a believer and I recognize that Christ paid all the debt for my sake. I also realize that He gave me the mental capacity to question the things that I don’t understand, to seek a answers to the things that puzzle me and above all, look to a higher power for calmness within me. I just can’t seem to find the answer to this particular question which has left me befuddled.

Does anyone else find themselves in this predicament or is it just me? If so, please share, It would be good to know that there are practicing Christians who hold values outside of the norm and hear how they deal with them. As always, thank you for stopping by, I very much appreciate it. Say, how are you feeling today?

Christians Need Therapy Too!

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A few months back, I shared my experience about visiting a counselor and how it almost didn’t happen. Two reasons why it almost didn’t happen: my cultural background (Cameroonian/African) and my faith. In that post, I shared why many Africans look down on counseling/therapy because our culture doesn’t support sharing your worries or concerns with ‘strangers’ and so do Christians.

Christians believe that anyone who calls themselves Christ’s-follower, should not have need for a counselor or therapist because Christ is all you need. As a Christian, I agree that Christ is all you need to get you through life in good and bad times. But there are times when the soul is so bogged down that it needs a place of release.

I know some would argue that there are christian counseling centers, which I agree but how well are they being used. The idea of counseling is still somewhat new in Christian circles and although these counseling services exist, how many churches actually encourage their members to use them? Some churches would actually make the individual feel guilt about their intent to use counseling because to them, you should speak to one person only who is Jesus.

The teaching of seeking God’s face and going to him in prayers no matter the season in your life is a very good one that all Christians should practice. But there are times when you want to speak to another person who would provide some kind of feedback and  that’s where counseling comes in. James 5:6 says “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.

For those who are not catholic and do not believe in confessing to a priest, what then is the best alternative of speaking to someone with a better understanding and even a calling to guide you as you navigate Christianity? I would think that would be counselor, but in this case let’s make it a Christian counselor. I think maybe that’s one of the meanings of that verse, to seek out a Christian counselor who would guide you.

I think at some points in our lives, we all find the need to have that one person we can confide in; that one person who would listen to us unequivocally, provide sound advice or feedback, and wouldn’t judge us for the things we share with them and who can assure discreetness with the information shared. Some are fortunate to have friends who play this role and some not very much. Sometimes, even with the presence of friends who we can trust, you just need a stranger who is completely neutral.

Counseling does not take away from your time with God or does not negate your relationship with Him. If anything, it should strengthen it because after speaking with a counselor, they often times advice, motivate and encourage the ‘counselee’. In the case that it is a Christian counselor, they seek out Christian methods to help you deal with that situation. It might just be recommending biblical passages that were unknown to you, or a biblical based group where you get support from each other or better still, provide ways to better live as a Christian with regards to that particular concern.

Our families and friends each have roles they play in our lives; some are fortunate to have those they can turn to when seeking for counsel and guidance, others not so much. For those ones I suggest trying counseling or therapy. Seek out a Christian-focused counselor or therapist who is credible and who has testimonials. Because sometimes, we need physical interaction, communication, reassurance that no matter the turmoil that is brewing within, God would calm it all down. So don’t be afraid to see one or seek one and feel no guilt for doing so. The important thing is that you get the help you need before it is too late.  Sometimes, it takes a counselor to reassure us of that TRUTH.

 

Exes Diaries – Moving On.

emoticons-sadI hate when I have to keep revisiting a painful experience and this one is not fiction. Not that the others have been but just trying to let you how real and excruciating that time was for me. I am in better place now to talk about it without feeling guilt or pain over it and that is thanks to counseling.

In attempt to not completely revisit the issue but still talk about it, here are the links where I shared the story. It is quite lengthy but a good read albeit that it is on such a sensitive topic.

As always, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.

My Very Own Bill Cosby. Part 1

My Very Own Bill Cosby. Part 2.