One of the hard lessons I have learnt in the course of separation is that things don’t make a man or woman as the case may be. Things are things while you are you. I know a lot of us grew up accustomed to a certain lifestyle and often derive our self worth from our possessions. So whenever anything tampers with the things we own, it tends to affect our personal assessment of ourselves.
Now getting personal, I was already accustomed to a certain comfortable standard of living. Based on agreement, my husband and I sold our old car and bought a new one which we shared. We lived in a decent area in Lagos state, Nigeria. Though we were not the summer vacation type, we travelled as the need arose or whenever the opportunity showed up. All of these changed with the separation because my husband took the car. I had to change accommodation so as to get away from the prying eyes around. And because I needed time to stabilise financially I couldn’t afford to take a vacation outside of Nigeria for a while. Did all of these situations try to redefine me? You bet they did. For one, I couldn’t imagine my life without a car! How was I to attend meetings with clients, move around etc? It was as if my brain shut down. I felt incomplete without a car. Oh! And the accommodation. Although the flat I got was quite expensive, the environment was nothing like where I was coming from. People who know me know that I do not like crowded areas. But here I was in this busy part of Lagos. As for travelling, each time I picked my passport and saw my unused visa, my heart would always ache. This continued until I started having a better understanding of who I really am.
Over time, God helped me to separate my identity from my possessions. He made me see that with or without a car, I am who I am. The presence of a car doesn’t add to me and so the absence shouldn’t subtract from me. Also, I learnt that the area where I stay does not define me because I am already who I am. Ah! These were tough lessons for me I must confess, but embracing them freed me from the pressure. I stopped feeling ashamed or less than others simply because I didn’t have a car. I also stopped feeling bad about my location or my inability to travel as frequently as I used to before the separation.
Daily, I am learning to see myself as I really I am and not through the eyes of my ‘haves and have nots.’ When I look at myself today, what I see is a strong, resourceful, determined, beautiful woman. I see a fighter and a winner. I see a woman with potentials. I see a change agent, who has been healed so as to help others experience healing. I have desires and aspirations quite alright and love to enjoy the good things of life, yet I have enough insight today to know that I am not my possessions, neither am I my achievements or location. Things are things and I am me. And that for me suffices.
Are there things you have lost due to one problem or the other? Are you experiencing a drop in the level of comfort you are used to? Have you been stripped of everything you once had and enjoyed? Whatever the case, don’t loose yourself. You are all that matters. Things don’t make a man. So, keep yourself and stay at peace. Restoration is on the way and I mean it!
…helping you find the gains in your pains