Sunday, July 25, 2010
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, ‘of course she would think that way, she has a girls’ perspective!” True that. I am girl and so I think, talk, reason and behave like a girl would. I take up the emotional nature characteristic to women and naturally flow in the role set out for a woman. Some years back, I realized I didn’t know so much about guys and when I checked it, I found out that I didn’t have a lot of male friends, the larger percentage of my friend’s were females, blame it on my single sex secondary education. I knew I wanted to be married someday and I wanted to be able to understand my husband when he is communicating or not, and to have an insight into what ticks and moves him. So, I knew I had to get closer to guys and this increased the number of my male friends. We began to interact and as we did, I started seeing things I didn’t know before, through the questions I asked, I got information and a little bit of insight into how they are wired and what triggers their ‘network’. I didn’t want a warped view, so I took time out to study guys and while I wouldn’t claim to be a guru in the dealings and affairs of the male specie, I know I am better than who I used to be and my knowledge about them has definitely increased (and I am thanking my male friends for giving me the opportunity to learn about them) because as it is, the larger percentage of my friends are now guys, I just find them very interesting.
What am I saying? To know about something, you have to be willing to seek information about that thing and not just assume you know. When you study a thing long enough, when you quiz yourself about something for awhile, at a point, you begin to get a feedback and your mind just picks the information you need out. Our minds were created such that when we tax it, it develops. You would agree with me that what ticks a lady off, will probably have no effect on a man and these two species are very different in their dealings; or how do you explain the willingness of a woman to express her emotions when she loses a loved one while a man seeks to bottle his up so he can ‘be a man?’ or why a man seems to always wear a serious look and you wonder if he ever smiles, or why a boy naturally wants to be the boss of even his sisters when he is many years younger than they are? Or why a man can go berserk when you step on his ego? Our God is just awesome! The best sculptor that ever was and would be. The physical differences of both species are a wonder to ponder on too; a woman is tagged ‘a software’ while the man is called ‘a hardware’. Interesting, don’t you think?
Now, when you see or notice a person and you find out you want to get to know more about this person, you go ahead to first of all initiate (note that word) contact and you proceed from there. I used the word initiate because that part is sensitive. The first impression you give matters. I’m talking about approach and the manner of it, especially when we are dealing with the other specie. How on earth would a guy I know not from adam walk up to me, or send me a mail and qualify me as ‘babygal’, or ‘baby’ or ‘mami’ or ‘shorty/shawty’. Geez, I don’t know about everyone, but I speak for myself and my close friends that a guy who ‘enters’ with this automatically gets a ‘delete’. I don’t know where guys got the impression that ladies want to be addressed as such, but to me and mine, those are ‘pickup lines’ that earns an immediate distaste and disinterest. For real. Or a guy who has just initiated contact and hasn’t even had the opportunity to know just decides he is in love; say a lady meets a guy today, Monday and by the end of the week, he is proclaiming undying love, I tend to see such a guy as ‘unserious’. Likewise, when a lady meets a guy, especially if the interest is romantic and her next question is how much he earns, the guy gets the impression that she is sizing up his pocket, probably to exploit it, or a lady meets a guy and all she can talk about are his obvious flaws, be sure he would keep his distance. Men especially like to be celebrated and appreciated.
For every relationship that will blossom, there are stages involved. It will be a breach to jump from stage 1 to stage 7 so to speak. For me, I break it down into contact, acquaintance (getting to know), leveling, friendship, accountability, intimacy. I naturally get pissed when someone I just met is trying to jump to the accountability stage. I don’t know a thing about you and you expect me to be accountable to you? And don’t say it doesn’t happen, because it does! I don’t know about you, but I choose my friends and that largely depends on how much of the person I get to know. I am not friends with everyone I get acquainted with. I do this because I understand the gravity of what wrong relationships can do to a person’s life. Most guys these days are not willing to take things slow and steady, the instance they meet a girl they think they like, and contact has been initiated, they begin to rush the getting to know and friendship stages. Some don’t even get to the friendship stage before they begin to ask for intimacy. People, the next time a guy/lady says he/she loves you, reflect on how much this person knows about you and how much you have shared about each other and you could decipher if the person’s for real or just disillusioned. I say this because you cannot truly love what you don’t know, you can argue that, but it’s the truth.
Guys love to say ladies are complex and difficult to please, I say it’s because they haven’t bothered to know enough. You cannot just box every woman you meet into the status quo of their sex; each lady is an individual unique in her right. A guy who wants to woo or ‘chase’ a lady cannot just decide that if he does this and that, she’s gotta trip; that it worked on Salewa does not mean it would have any effect on Kanyinsola. You have to find out what particularly gets through to her. Some guys feel they are the most romantic people to ever live and no woman can resist their charm, but have you bothered to find out if you are charming the right way? For some ladies, sweet words make them ‘melt’, while to some it’s just the fact that you care a lot. Take time out to find out the best way to get your message across to her, get to know her, be her friend.
We should learn to let our relationships grow steadily. Communicating a lot helps growth. Ask questions. Seek information. Study the person because sometimes the words and actions might not match up. ‘Breathe slow’, take it one step at a time, there’s no reason to rush.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tick says the clock,
What you have to do,
This nursery rhyme rhymes in my head right now and I think of how I often battle with procrastination; leaving till sometime later what I can and should do now! But that will be a discussion for another time, this note isn’t about procrastination, it is about the place of patience in our lives.
The average man wants and seeks instant gratification in his endeavors. You can remember how that wait to know your UME result almost ‘killed’ you, if you had your way you would have worked a system to get JAMB to release the results the same day you wrote the exams, or wanting to know how that job test/interview went and you just keep wondering what criteria and process they employed to make the call-back process take so long?
The bible says that for awhile the promises of God may not come and though they tarry, we should wait for them. ‘And we know that when we pray, the Father hears us and if He hears us, He answers our prayers according to how it pleases Him.’ This verse lets us know that each time we pray, God answers sharply, but it may take awhile to see the physical manifestation of our supplications. How patient enough are we to wait for it? Most times, we tend to lose heart when we do not get our requests and conclude that it is either God doesn’t want us to have what we’ve asked for or we are not properly aligned with God, and perhaps, just maybe the reason why you don’t have what you have asked for is because God is actually trying to work in you some patience, sort of a test, for how long can you tarry?
A lot of things I have come to find out produce and reveal their true state and nature when they go through the test of time, relationships and friendships especially. Ladies, you know when we buy that earring and the dealer is trying to convince us it is original gold/silver and won’t fade but just after six months, it begins to manifest in its true colour and ‘glory’, then we are convinced of the real worth of what we actually purchased. Relationships when tried through the time factor will reveal its true essence. Late Pastor Bimbo used to kick against a courtship of less than a year; personally, I think a year is actually not enough to spend with and get to know the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, it’s forever we are talking about here. I would say it should be for as long as you need to be convinced. While it is impossible to know everything about your intended before marriage, it is important to know as much as you can in whatever time that is required. Proximity is a factor here. When both partners have access to each other daily and can engage in meaningful conversations, preferably physical, the ‘getting –to – know’ process is faster, but where distance and communication constitute a barrier, it takes a longer time. There’s this Yoruba saying that likens a person’s character to smoke, it is very difficult to hide smoke. Through and in time, a person’s true character will begin to manifest, no matter how much he/she tries to hide or disguise it. The person will just slip up and we should be sensitive to these slip ups. Time will allow you meet with your partner’s family and relate well with them, observe him/her with the family, how they relate and the values they uphold, do they all believe the same thing or it’s just him/her? Time could be an ‘eye opener’ or ‘veil remover’ to some things you didn’t notice or refused to notice.
Due to their advancement age wise, some ladies tend to rush both the friendship and courtship stage because they do not want to lose the only suitor that has come their way in 5 years. A question they should stop to ask themselves is if they would rather be single than have an unhappy and unfulfilling marriage? A friend shared this story of his friend with me; she (his friend) was 35 years old with no man coming for her. She kept lamenting and worrying and when eventually a man looked her way, she didn’t waste time in getting him to the altar. So, they met 2 years after the wedding with her second pregnancy and when asked how the married life was, she said she was in hell and not marriage. Her husband was on transfer and she was actually praying that he wouldn’t return. I pray we wouldn’t regret the choices we make in haste and in the heat of the moment. While even with time, except the Holy Spirit reveals some things to us, we might not discover some truths about our partner and so it is imperative that we depend upon the Holy Spirit to bring us to the knowledge of all that we need to know about our partner before we commit ourselves.
The Holy Spirit births patience in us, it is one of His fruits. A lifelong commitment is not something that should be rushed into. While you may be singing, ‘let’s grow old together’ now, I pray the song wouldn’t turn to ‘I can see clearly now, the rain is gone’. Please be that patient ‘dog’ that gets the fattest bone. Let time try your relationship.
Friday, July 9, 2010
A lot of people live in shadows of themselves, trying to find their real n true self, searching deep into their core to get self knowledge. Maybe some of us even know what we are about but we just discover that we operate below the capacity that we know we posses. Something within us tells us we should n can be better than we are right now. Well, as we know, if gold had just folded its arms n ‘refused’ to go thru the fire, it would have stayed just as it is; crude n underutilized. Talk about struggles; been there, done that. Confusion; I never seem to be able to make up my mind. Being me; I’m not even sure I understand what that means at times. Someone once said that the richest place on earth would be the graveyard because of the vast deposit of potentials n talents untapped n undiscovered buried there. In fear, a lot of us are afraid to reach out of our comfort zone. We are scared we would be judged, looked down on or scorned n so we prefer to stay where we are n are used to than take a leap of faith that may land us in 'hot soup'. If the eagle does not spread its wings, flight becomes impossible. If an aircraft doesn’t take off, it cannot fly. If we do not step out of our comfort area, progress becomes difficult.
Principles are no respecter of people, if you can play by the rules, you get the results. Practice brings to perfection, what you work at gets better. Confronting issues is a process to finding solutions. What you sow, you reap. What am I saying? If we don’t get off our butts n begin to WORK HARD at our goals, dreams, purposes, relationships, career, finances, they ain’t gonna get better. In fact, they may get worse, because it is true that what you do not use, deteriorates. ‘Have you seen a man diligent in his ways? He shall stand before kings n queens n not ordinary men.’ ‘The diligent man makes use of everything he finds.’ When we are committed to working at n on things, we would find that we get better even though initially it might require a lot of time, stress n sacrifices. A relationship that is constantly worked on grows n becomes solid. Work usually produces harvest n rewards, results.
Knowing where we are going also determines the level of effort we put in. You wanna graduate with honors, you know it aint a piece of cake. It’s an easy thing to make wishes n plans n confess positive things that we want but are we ready to work for them? Faith with no works is meaningless; it takes work to prove your faith.
Now, the best way to know how a gadget works is to go through its manual put together by the maker, that way we can assemble the different parts with little or no stress n get the thing started. For some of us, the work we need to do is allow the manufacturer take us through His manual. ‘He said, before I formed you, I KNEW you’. This means, there is a you God knew n related with before you were conceived in your mother’s womb. Aren’t you curious to find out who that you is? The way I see it is there is already a manual that describes everything about how we are supposed to live on earth n who we are to be, different for each individual but because we have not bothered to find out what this manual says, we struggle n stumble on our way to self discovery. When we get this manual n begin to act it out, we open up ourselves to the refiner to take us through His fire, to bring us out in our purest state, to the right picture n person we were created to be. When we are functioning optimally, there’s this inner peace n satisfaction that we experience. We ‘occupy’.
When I am old n without my teeth (hopefully not), I want that deep seated satisfaction in me that I worked to be the BEST me n I would be going to the grave ‘empty’. I’m on the run, wanna join me?
Sunday, July 4, 2010
If the word BlackBerry what came to your mind, I wouldn’t be surprised. What is up with the rave on that anyways? Where I am thinking of getting another XpressMusic, most peeps already have their BB or are ‘working’ towards getting theirs. This isn’t about BlackBerry though (not even sure I would know what to write about it). No, this ain’t about Blackberry; it’s about BONDING and BOUNDARIES.
I have often heard people say that it is impossible for a guy and a girl to be very close platonic friends and they wouldn’t have intimate feelings for each other, with time the platonicity (permit me to use that word) will give way to intimacy they say. While this may have its element of truth, I do not totally agree and this is where BB comes in.
Someone once said to me that you tend to develop a likeness for those you pray with and for. This is very true. Have you ever had a male/female prayer buddy you pray with and suddenly you just find yourself developing strong emotions for the person? Or there’s this particular friend you like to pray for and you find yourself drawn to the person? I don’t know about you, but I have experienced both, oh yea, I’m a living witness. Maybe yours has to do with the person you confide in. That friend you love to tell your inner heart to and who understands you like no one does, you know you are just friends yet you find your heart speaking a different language.
In our christain walk, if we live without boundaries and standards, the enemy will easily overcome us. It is like a car with no brake, it might take awhile, but that car will surely crash. Some of us live our lives with no restrictions. We do not even guard our hearts, talk less with diligence. We allow anything and anyone to come into our lives, mess us up and leave. It is difficult to erect boundaries if we do not have a standard or template for our lives. I am talking about principles here. What credos are your values built on? It is important to check why you uphold some values because that would help you stand your ground and hold on to them when they other wisely want to shift. Just like we have restrictions and boundaries in our spiritual walk, we should also have them in our relationships. When you meet someone and get to know the person to an extent, you should ask yourself, ‘how far am I willing to go with this person?’ Defining a relationship is the first step to erecting boundaries.
Bonding, to me is that connection you have and have built over time with someone, that could either be borne out of understanding, or not. It could be on different realms and levels; physical, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, sexual, name it. Late pastor Bimbo used to say, ‘no relationship you have or allow leaves you the same way it met you, it either makes or breaks you’. WORD! You cannot be too careful of the influence you allow and the extent of that influence in your life. Bonding could also be a soul tie between two people depending on which type it is. What you don’t know when you have multiple sex partners that you are not married to is that you are giving a piece of yourself to each partner and forming a soul tie with each one. The bible says a man shall leave his parents and CLEAVE to his wife and they shall become one, what the Lord has joined together, no man can put asunder!!! When you have given pieces of yourself out, (except the Lord redeems you) what do you have to offer your spouse when you marry?
We should watch out for how we bond in our relationships. Late pastor Bimbo also used to say that a lady should not have a man as her prayer partner except they are in a relationship. I totally agree. Define your relationships. There is an acceptable way for a couple to behave that is not for platonic friends. If you are not romantically involved with a man, what are you doing on his laps? What are you doing in his room late in the midnight all by yourself? What are you doing getting all snuggly and cuddly? Why would you sleep in each other’s arms and say you are just friends? With benefits? It might seem harmless at first but do not forget that men majorly are physical beings and get moved by what they see and feel. What you will not eat; please do not bring it to your nose to smell!
Some people argue that even when one makes these boundaries, in the heat of the moment, they get broken. This is why I say our boundaries should be erected out of understanding. What might be my boundary line may not necessarily be yours, but we are both trying to guard against the same thing. While some may say boundaries do not work, I stand bold to say boundaries have helped and ‘delivered’ me on many occasions from unnecessary bonding. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t share bonds with our friends, but we should be careful who we bond with, how we bond and what kind of bond we share. I know of a lady who got so emotionally dependent upon a male friend of hers and this started to cause hitches in her marriage. Never rush any relationship or friendship. Get to know all you possibly can about a person before releasing yourself to the extent that you want to. Many people find it hard to break off unworthy relationships because they feel they’ve given too much of themselves or they don’t want to hurt the different parties involved. Please, be careful how you bond and who you bond with. Some folks cannot pull out of abusive relationships because of the bond(s) they have formed with their abuser. This is why you would hear a lady when her boyfriend batters her say, ‘he is not always like that, he’s not perfect and he always apologizes, besides, I love him too much to leave him’. That lady is in serious shackles. Living in the bondage of wrongly placed emotions.
I would also say that when we make new acquaintances, we should take our time to get to know the person, letting out ourselves bit by bit to guard against forming a bond you might find impossible to break. A lady once met an ex-convict, now converted and who was vibrant in the Lord, or so it seemed. Gradually, they began to spend time together, praying and studying the word. The lady now felt comfortable with the guy and allowed him to pay her visits. There seemed to be an imminent attraction. One day, the guy showed up, raped the lady and made away with her valuables. This is no super story or fable, real life it happened. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in our relationships, lead us to the right people and help us to discern wrong relationships. I enjoin us to try and ensure that in our relationships and dealings, we watch the double B.