Thursday, August 28, 2014

Do You Have the 'Low Risk, High Reward' Approach to Relationships?

Nobody wants to lose in life. It is tough to lose in anything, be it in your life, promotion at the workplace or even a mere game of 30 seconds. I have been reading up on investment banking and I discovered the bankers do a risk assessment that helps guide the decisions they make regarding mergers and acquisitions etc.It is funny to me now that i think about the fact that most of us are like bankers, especially us the ladies. We do a risk assessment before we go into a relationship, and that's OK! You should do that so you know what you are getting yourself into. However, the problem comes in when we want to assess the other party without putting ourselves under the microscope to be assessed.

Relationships, like business are a two-way street that require commitment from both ends of the spectrum if there is any chance of them succeeding. These days, most people go into relationships with the aim of finding out everything about the other party, getting all the relationship benefits they can get, without actually commiting to a relationship. I believe it's called the 'go with the flow' syndrome that we have all invented to suit our selfish needs. We want to get as much as we can from the other party and bail when we get tired or bored without having to cut the ties of a formally-established relationship. Sad!

The chances of you ever finding happiness in a relationship with this approach is slim to none! No one wants to be with someone that believes in obtaining the benefits of a mutual relationship, while strategically planning how to bail on it when it suits them. These days young ladies lead men on so they can get expensive gifts; it helps if he is financially bouyant because then, he won't notice he's  being used to fill up the lady's wardrobe. On the other hand, most young men lead women that genuinely care about them on so they can get sex from them. It's a low risk high reward approach because most of these people do not bare themselves before the other party. They don't share intricate details of their lives, they don't want you to meet their friends even after months of knowing them, they don't want to commit but they want to reap the benefits of commitment.

If this is your approach to relationships, I'd advise you to quit now! It is synonymous to selfishly using people to fuel your desires and get what you want, while they are left at a deficit. It is wrong, it shows a lack of empathy and above all, it is a form of emotional abuse. Things were created to be used and people were created to be cared for. The world is in chaos because things are being cared for while people are being used. Stop this attitude; it will probably get you all the things that stroke your ego for now, but in future, those things won't matter, and you'll realize you lost valuable relationships because you were too busy reaping rewards you did not want to work for.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

You Can't Have a Testimony Without the Test

You've probably heard this a million times; to have a testimony, you need to face the test. This is the part many of us are not willing to come to terms with. Sometimes the test seems too long, too difficult and downright impossible to get through. We try our best to guess the answers to the test. We hear of someone's testimony and try to do exactly what that person did, we pray like that person did, fast, cry out to God and try so many other 'methods' someone else used, yet we wake up the following day and our test is still there pushing us to the brink of faithless-ness.

Don't lose hope! Your test is unique! It may be the same situation someone else you know faced, but designed to teach you a completely different lesson. I have recently come to understand that God tests us to teach us. His intention is not to frustrate us or suppress us. No! His word says he wants us to have life in abundance. However for us not to mismanage his abundant gifts, it is imperative that we go through the tests, the training, the course, the whole nine yards. Sometimes the test is designed to break you because you have the wrong attitude and then re-mould you so you can have the attitude God desires. It might be to break your pride or self sufficiency so you can rely on God fully.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Don't Be Left Behind!!!

Those were the words that haunted me as I went to bed a couple of nights ago. After my usual routine of watching tv for at least a couple of hours a day, I struck up a spontaneous conversation with one of my acquaintances on BBM and the conversation steered in the direction of relationships. She asked why I wasn't seeing anyone and I simply told her "I haven't met the one. Many men out there are either cheats and liars or downright shady in the way they earn a living." (I'm not planning to have a criminal record. I may be a president's wife one day).

She went on to ask how many women get married every saturday if good men are so hard to find, I responded that some women are lucky, while others are willing to put up with liars and cheats for the glory of being called "Mrs". Her response? "At least they are getting married". I paused..... and carried on the conversation. Like I stated earlier, she is an acquaintance of mine and I really didn't think I knew her well enough to have an in-depth discussion about that response. I went on to say many men are weirdos, they meet you today and propose to marry you next week. That sounds really sweet, but am I willing to marry someone I barely know? No! The divorce rate is high enough as it is, I have no plans to contribute to it. Worse still is the fact that some of these men get offended when you ask for sufficient time to know them and often accompany their proposals with a barrage of insults.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Healthy Choices Make Happy People!

Our choices can make us or break us. That's something I've learned growing up. So many of us fail to make healthy choices especially in our youth because unhealthy choices seem to be a lot more fun, and we can't help but let ourselves be lured by the exuberance that comes with these unhealthy choices.

In order to live a life that is truly full of happiness, and void of expectations of horrible consequences from bad decisions in the past, it is important to start making healthy choices now. When most people hear the word 'healthy', they immediately think of a slim well-toned body that shows off the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. However, what's a healthy body without a healthy mind?

Many of us are so worried about how our bodies look, we completely forget about how healthy our minds are. I told my friends recently that there are too many broken relationships and marriages because there are too many psychologically unhealthy people, walking around oblivious of the brokenness within them. It's time to start making healthy choices where your heart, spirit and body is concerned. All these three components make up your entire being so one aspect shouldn't be fed while others are deprived.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Put A 'Price Tag' on Yourself

I had an interesting epiphany while I was out shopping sometime last week. I walked into a shoe store and given my love for shoes, I was soon spoilt for choice. My prudent side kicked in, and I decided price would be the determining factor. Afterall, I didn't need a new pair of shoes urgently, I just like to have shoes at the ready should a new idea for an outfit pop into my head. I started to look at the prices. Some of them were so expensive, I could literally hear my bank account emptying, others were just ok and some were ridiculously cheap. I observed the more expensive shoes; they had detail, some bling, their soles were strong yet comfortable, the designs were out of this world- unique, different, able to make any pair of legs beautiful. The analogy that popped into my head immediately cracked me up. Aren't we all  like shoes?I believe we are!

There are so many of us that are strong, beautiful/handsome, easy to get along with, intelligent and really the kind of person anyone would want to take home to mama! But the problem is we place ourselves on the cheap stand. In spite of all the details that have been meticulously engraved and instilled in us, we are scared we are too high on a pedestal, so we place ourselves on a lower pedestal so people can afford us. In other words, we put ourselves on sale. Sadly, most singles, especially ladies keep reducing the sale price until it is almost free... and yet we wonder why people that do not understand the quality behind our design come around and treat us like a pair of cheap slippers, instead of a pair of Louboutin heels.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Are You Hoping for a Miracle?

Everyone prays for a miracle at some point in life. Some situations are just beyond our human control and are seemingly impossible, the only way out is a miracle. My understanding of a miracle is that it is a life changing event that defies human logic. It is out of the ordinary and often beyond human comprehension. Everyone yearns to experience at least one miracle in their lifetime, but what happens if the miracle we expect does not happen in spite of our incessant prayers?

I read summer by Karen Kingsbury this week, and it opened my eyes to an entirely different dimension regarding miracles. There are times when we pray so hard for something, and we completely fixate on the expected outcome, we don't see other things God might be bringing to our attention. It happens that sometimes God makes things work differently from what we expect because he has an entirely different purpose for that situation. I like how Karen illustrated this with 1 Kings 19. Prophet Elijah was in trouble, and was at risk of being killed. He ran away and was fed by angels for a while. During this period, God spoke to him and asked him to stand on a mountain where he will pass by. There was a strong wind, followed by an earthquake and then fire! Surely Elijah must have been thinking... "Ooh that must be God" as each of these things occurred, but surprisingly, God was not in any of these events. He was in the gentle whisper that came afterwards!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lessons Learnt From Motherhood

 I learn a lot about God’s awesomeness in watching my child grow and appreciating how much I have also matured in the process. I was one of those mothers that never felt they were ready or good enough to raise another. In fact, I might have said a few times that I didn’t want one of my own. I was so conscious of my shortcomings that I had to discuss it with someone I respected and also prayed about it. Whenever I mistakenly drop an object, I wondered how I will be able to carry and tend to my child without hurting her. My worries atimes take me past myself because now that I have a daughter, I am extra conscious of the kind of people around her. I feel like I am the only one that can watch over her perfectly.

I guess the way I feel is typical for first time mums and even mums generally. Last week, I walked into the Daycare place to pick my daughter up only to discover hot water poured on my child. I couldn’t alter a word as tears streamed down my eyes imagining the pain she was in. I was both livid and sad. I could hear the woman in charge muttering words but I couldn’t make any sense of it. My fears came back to haunt me. Those voices from the earlier days were speaking louder.

I had failed my child. I was supposed to have sensed she was in trouble but I didn’t. I was suppose to have told them at the daycare that she is a very active child and must be closely watched. I couldn’t even feel any anger towards the woman at the daycare. I felt it was entirely my fault.

In the middle of all this self bashing, she opened her eyes and smiled at me. She babbled and smiled some more like she was sharing a joke with me. I smiled back through the tears in my eyes and I hoped she understood just how soothing and reassuring her smile was.

All the lessons of the past months came back to me. I am her mother but I can only do so much, the one watching over her is greater than me and all my worries. God is the real parent, I am just a foster parent.

It might look bad but it is not always bad. The wounds are drying up fast and she has not thrown any tantrum or had any high temperature.

Peace lives in strange places. I could never have guessed that what I needed to calm myself was the smile of my wounded child. In that moment, I knew God was trying to tell me something.

God always leaves a channel to be thankful. In retrospect, I can see it could have been worse and I am just so thankful that she is fine.

I am indeed flawed but I am made perfect in God’s love. I see His face in the bubbly smiles of my ten-month old telling me I am not here by myself.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Is Your Spouse's Past Important?

 Very often when we embark on a new relationship, our curiosity is at its highest. We want to know what our new found love did in the past? Was he a womanizer? Was she sleeping with more than one guy at the same time? Does she have a history of breaking hearts? Was he the type to have sex with a lady and never call her back?

It is understandable that we should be very protective of ourselves when going into relationships and sometimes, this kinf of information can provide us with a basic knowledge of the kind of person we are falling in love with. But what happens when we just can't let go of what we have discovered? Over the weekend, I decided to go on a movie marathon at the cinemas. I failed because I ended up only watching two movies but the second movie "Think Like a Man Too" got me thinking. I'd avoided seeing this movie for the longest time because I expected it was just another bout of mindless comedy that provided poor insight into relationships and made it seem like everything could just work out after a kiss. One of the couples got me thinking when they arrived in Las Vegas for a party weekend and the lady started to discover that her partner had embarked on more sexual escapades than he cared to admit to before he met her. She held on to this the entire weekend, angry, filled with despair and above all unsure of whether she wanted to go on with the relationship.

Many relationships suffer the same blow; the guy who seems like the only angel on the surface of the earth turns out to be the biggest womanizer amongst his friends and the lady you believe is the most amazing person on earth has skeletons in her closet. Don't despair; sometimes the past is not a reflection of the true individual. I once read a quote somewhere that said "A person's past may be true but it is also outdated information". People grow everyday, and change their lifestyle as they grow older. The important question to ask yourself is "does my partner still fit the bill of this past image?" If the answer is no, move on! Now I know many women will fail when it comes to this question because over-analysis is our specialty. Try your best to be as objective as possible, and try to focus on what your partner is doing NOW. Now is what matters most. We all make terrible decisions at some point, and we've all had a little mischief in our past. However, what we are doing now is what really counts. 

It is a good thing to know your partner's past, but be willing to see beyond it. Don't let images from the past cloud your judgement in the present. XOXO.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

As a Man Thinks.....

I've read many books about the power of thoughts and the effect they have on how a person's life turns out. The secret was one of such books that dwelled on the power of attraction through thought; the basic principle being you will attract what you think about. Battlefield of the mind by Joyce Meyer examined the power of our thoughts in a different dimension that piqued my interest. The main question was "what are you thinking about?"

There's so much going on around us; terrorism, famine, illnesses and so on. It's difficult to stay positive when there's so much chaos around. It is no surprise that depression keeps claiming lives, even the lives of those who appear to have everything.  When you are idle, what kind of thoughts creep into your heart? Do you take note of your thoughts? Do you immediately combat negative thoughts with the word of God?  Many people take negative thoughts for granted; we think they are just thoughts, and nothing more. Wrong! Your thoughts are like seeds that predict the kind of thing fruit you'll bear. It's simple logic. Plant tomato seeds and you will harvest tomatoes not maize.

As a man thinks, so is he! - Proverbs 23:7
This Bible verse is deeper than most of us like to think. It highlights the basis of our ability and capabilities as humans. All we can become lies in our thoughts. What we think is what we become! We must endeavour to only entertain positive thoughts, and oust negative thoughts with promises God has made available to us through the bible. Don't let the devil creep into your heart and steal your joy with thoughts of hopelessness and inadequacy. Dare to dream,  dare to think positive.  What you think of yourself is what you become. What kind of thoughts do you entertain? 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Who Should You Blame When Your Spouse Cheats?

I guess this post would serve the community of married women more, however I'll admit I've seen many women cheat on their spouses. Cheating is fast becoming a norm, and many individuals go into relationships ready to deal with cheating the way they deem fit. I believe there is need for a psychological overhaul to displace the belief that cheating is a normal part of relationships, but for now, the big question is who to blame when cheating occurs. 

I read an interesting post on Facebook where a woman spoke bitterly about catching her husband and their house guest in the act. She went on to describe how she sent the house guest out of the house, and how she has forgiven her husband, without any display of anger towards him. Afterall, it was the fault of the 'strange woman' who came to their home to seduce her husband.  At first it made sense when one looks at it from the angle of 'these people opened their home to you and you have sex with the husband? How dare you?!' However, as I pondered over it later,  I had to ask "why did the husband succumb to temptation? He's the husband that walked down the aisle, stood in front of the altar and said his vows! Why then should the external induvidual be solely blamed for the infidelity? 

Many married women are quick to join hands and cast curses on 'the other woman' while the husband enjoys better meals at home and a pat on the back for succumbing to temptation. Some women even generate conspiracy theories that the other woman must have bewitched their husbands. STOP blaming the other party for your spouse's infidelity! It really infuriates me when married individuals point fingers at the so-called strange woman when they are living with the strange spouses. If your spouse cheats, it should be handled by confronting your partner!  That's the person you exchanged vows with. People often ask me... "what if the other person is truly chasing my spouse?" No doubt, that truly happens but I always ask with a concerned look on my face "You are not married to a toddler, are you?" Your partner can make the right choice! You can't expect to have a relationship that is not sometimes shaken by temptation! Even Jesus the son of God was tempted but he made a decision not to be overcome by the brief pleasure he could enjoy by succumbing to temptation. 

Your marriage is between you, your partner and God. Don't go around blaming the other woman or other man. Your partner should know and do what is right by you if he or she truly loves you! Xoxo

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dealing With Body Image And Esteem Issues

I belong to a group of young ladies and we discuss everything that affects our lives. One issue we all consciously try to help ourselves with is the issue of body image. For some, it has been something they have been fighting with since they were younger and for others it came with child birth or other ways.  My mum tried her best in trying to make sure we understand that we are so much more than our physical appearance. Despite her constant exhortations, growing older has taught me that there are some realizations one comes to by oneself. Because for a long time, I was enveloped in thoughts of outward perfection until recently when some events helped me to get a deeper understanding of self love and self worth.
I remember walking in on someone really close to me as she was tracing the new lines of stretch mark on her protruding tummy with tears in her eyes. She was devastated her body was changing. At that point, she temporarily forgot the beauty in being able to give life to another. She was probably lost in thoughts of being able to wear her favourite swim suits or having to appear in the full glare of the room light before her husband without feeling self conscious.

The society is big on outward appearance but more damaging than that is self perception. The constant dissatisfaction to the image the mirror reflects also affects the kind of decision people make. Most people that stay stuck in abusive relationships have these issues I am referring to. They don’t see themselves being able to get someone better. They are scared they are or might not be desirable to other people. Also they settle for anything, selling themselves cheap. They agree to everything because they think every other opinion is more superior to theirs.

In marriages, dealing with body issues frustrates the couples’ sexual lives. It becomes less fun as things are done with so much self consciousness. If this continues for a long time , it affects the couples’ emotional connection.

Knowing the ills of having a negative self or body perception, it is necessary to take steps to right/curtail such negativity.

·         First, we need to understand this body is just a house. When we become lean and frail or when we are no more, the only thing that would matter are the lives we have touched and those we connected with our hearts and souls.

·         Whenever we stare at the mirror, we should embrace our imperfection, the ability to live past the story a scar tells should count for something.  The stretch marks tell the stories of unexplainable joy. Whatever the mirror reflects, remember you are God’s wonderful creature. You are intended, there is no mistake in you looking the way you look.

·         By all means, eat right. There is the place of healthiness. It is good to indulge once in a while but you also need to take care of yourself.  Healthy people are happy people. 

·         Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself. We are so much more than facebook likes, instagram followings, beautifully painted faces or well toned tummies.  I don’t even know what Mother Theresa looks like but I describe her as the beautiful one because of the stories that live after her.

You are so much more than a dress size or pretty face. You are not limited to the adjectives used to describe your outward appearance. You are amazing just the way you are. Shine on.

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