Category Archives: Emotional healing

TAKE IT!

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Whao! To think I haven’t been here for over one year! Anyway, thank God for life. Hmmm… Between then and now, a lot has happened. Changes, transformation, unfolding, growing up, embracing, discarding. Generally, life has been happening.

Now, once in a while, I fall into the trap of comparing myself with other people. I guess that’s what makes me human. And most times, what I have found out is that someone is always richer, smarter, more beautiful and all. If care is not taken, you are likely to find yourself wishing you had what others have, totally blinded to what you possess. I must admit I have found myself on this path a number of times.

I however got an opportunity to see things in a fresh light this some days ago . I was studying my Bible with a focus on John 6. The few verses narrate how thousands of people came looking for Jesus. He thought it good to feed them. Problem was, there wasn’t any food vendor or restaurant that could cater for that large number. Nothing in sight save a little boy who came with his meal pack comprising of 5 loaves of bread and 2 little fish. Of course, that wouldn’t do much. So why bother?

However, something struck me as I meditated. In verse 11, the Bible records that JESUS TOOK THE BREAD… Hmmm… In order words, He accepted the meal not minding the size. He took what was available and decided to make the best of it. He knew 5 loaves and 5,000 people didn’t really add up, but He took it all the same. Moreso, that was all that was available. That was all He had to work with. So He took, accepted and embraced it. He wasn’t going to waste His time wishing for something better or food from the next town. What was available was good enough. Of course, as He gave thanks and distributed, the meal increased.

As I studied, it became apparent that I also need to TAKE WHAT IS AVAILABLE. I NEED TO TAKE WHAT I HAVE. I decided to take stock and discovered that I actually have a lot for my taking. My skills, talents, strengths, experiences, relationships. These are all treasures waiting to be ‘taken’ by me. And the beautiful thing is as I do, I become a better person, a person of influence, an asset, a source of inspiration to many. Just as thousands left Jesus fully fed, so also will people leave me thoroughly satisfied, emotionally, spiritually, and in other ways. This way, I will be so busy impacting lives that I have little time to wish I was someone else or had what they have.

 

So, whatever your 5 loaves and 2 pieces of fish may be:your talents, skills, experiences or even your pain, as insignificant as it may seem to, as insufficient as it may appear, I challenge you to simply TAKE IT! Take it, embrace it, give it out then watch it grow and multiply!
Pearl
…helping you to find the gain in your pain!

 

 

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WHY NOT YOU?

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I recently went through a situation that got me really sapped. The situation was compounded by that fact that I couldn’t place my hands on what the issue was until much later. I sought counsel with some people and they rose to help. To God’s glory, I overcame.

However, I couldn’t understand why I had to go through what I went through. More so, it wasn’t palatable in any way. Of course God saw my heart and heard my question, though not uttered.

Some weeks after, a lady walked up to me to seek audience with me over an issue she had been battling with. Because I couldn’t make out time to see her immediately due to other pre-scheduled appointments,  we both agreed to meet on a particular day. You can imagine my surprise when we eventually met and she began to narrate what she was dealing with. It was the same issues I had gone through. I couldn’t believe my ears. So this was part of the reasons why I went through all that I did? I counselled her and shared my experience with her. I told her how God helped me and brought me out stronger. Today, she is a lot more joyful than she was when we spoke.

As if that wasn’t enough, I was at a meeting with another lady just some days back. I had prepared what I wanted to discuss. But the lady, almost at the point of tears, suddenly blurted out and began to narrate what she had been going through for some weeks. Guess what? It was exactly what I had gone through. Whao! By God’s grace, I counselled and encouraged her to stay strong.

These two different episodes got me thinking. God knew these ladies would one day face this mountain and so had prepared a source of comfort and solution for them in me-by first taking me through the same. I began to see the purpose behind my pain and discomfort.

As humans, we don’t like challenges. We love our peace and don’t want to be ruffled. Unfortunately, life is not designed to work like that. Regardless of your lack of preparedness, challenges are going to crop up. We will have mountains to climb and rivers to cross. There will be issues to deal with and trials to overcome. Some of life’s situations can really grate your nerves or even leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. We are sometimes pushed to the point where we find ourselves asking ‘But why me?’, ‘So, what have I done wrong?’

My purpose for this post is to help us see things from a changed perspective. Rather than feeling sad and pitiful, let us brace up and ask ‘Why not me?’ Rather than having a victim’s mentality, ask for the purpose behind your pain. Could it be that the liberation of millions of other people is tied to the problem you are currently facing and their hope hinged on the fact that if you could survive, then they will. You know it is not impossible that your story which is being woven with the fabric of that ugly situation you are presently fighting to overcome is the only reason why some guy somewhere will refuse to commit suicide. That is how life works, so don’t waste your pain or develop a sour attitude because of your troubles.

As I have discovered first hand, going through a tough time is demanding enough, but when you lace it with a negative attitude, it becomes unbearable. Aside from that, you become so blinded by the situation that you are in no shape or frame of mind to help others which is a major purpose of life.

So, the next time life throws one of its heavyweight problems at you, brace up and ask, WHY NOT ME? Let the joy of the many others who will be set free through your experience fuel your desire to overcome and stand tall at the end of it all.
Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

 

PROTECT YOURSELF

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About 9 months after my husband moved out of the house, he had a meeting with my family members. At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that two other meetings be fixed with me in attendance. One would be at my sister’s while the second would hold at his brother’s. The one at my sister’s place held and my husband was asked again why he thought separation/divorce was the way out. He gave his reasons and I must say I was shocked. His words were so hurtful and so painful that for two days I couldn’t sleep. Worse still, the elderly people in attendance at the meeting did not give me the opportunity to say anything!

By the time I assessed my emotional state, I knew I was in no state to hold another meeting and so when he called some days after to discuss the meeting at his brother’s I had to decline. I knew I didn’t have any inner strength to either sit and listen to those hurtful words again or defend myself, even if I was given the opportunity. I just wasn’t interested anymore. My sanity was all that was paramount on my mind. There was a lot of pressure mounted on me so as to get me to attend the meeting but I politely declined and stood my ground.

Now I did this not because I was being obstinate or opposed to reconciliation. Rather I did it because I knew I had to protect my peace and sanity. I had to take responsibility for my emotional state. My emotions had been badgered over a period of time and I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was my duty to take care of myself whether people understood or not.

In the part of the world where I come from,  whenever issues arise in a relationship especially marriage, many moves are made by family members and well wishers towards reconciliation. There would be meetings and deliberation sessions. The simple truth is these meetings take their toll on the emotions. So, while I am in support of attending  please also pay attention to your emotional well-being. It is your responsibility. Going through separation or divorce is bad enough. When you add the burden of showing up at different meetings, it can become a bit unbearable.

I know an average person desires reconciliation,  but don’t expose yourself to any situation that is toxic to your emotional or mental state. Don’t sit through meetings where your self-worth would further be questioned. Don’t spend the rest of your life holding conversations that will leave you emotionally drained. Remember that whether you succeed at reconciliation or not, you still have a life to live. With the days ahead, you need to be strong emotionally and mentally.
Also, don’t forget that it is your life and no one will protect you if you don’t. Know what you can cope with mentally.  If you don’t feel up to a meeting or discussion,  politely decline and ask for a reschedule where possible. If you stay peaceful and maintain your peace, there is nothing God cannot do.

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

PRIVACY OF THOUGHTS-PART 2

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Hello everyone! And happy new year( this is my first post this year) Apologies for being away! Got really busy towards end of last year and took a while for me to settle into the new year. Anyway, I am here now-to share my life and lessons learnt-which by the way have accumulated over the months -with you. I bet you will be transformed as I have  been. So happy reading!

Some months back, I was in my living room having a ‘me time’. I was watching Lion King:Simba’s Pride. Beyond the fun and relaxation it provided, I also learnt a big lesson. Simba’s father had just told him that he was going to be the king after his death (Simba’s father). Out of innocent excitement, Simba went to share the good news with his uncle Scarr. Unknown to Simba however, his uncle also had his eyes on the throne and wasn’t too glad about the news though he pretended to be. In order to prevent Simba from becoming king, he plotted Simba’s father’s death and sadly, he succeeded.

As I sat watching, the Holy Spirit began to minister to me by calling my attention to the fact that if Simba had kept quiet and not told his uncle anything, his father wouldn’t have died and Scar wouldn’t have been able to blackmail him into going into exile. In order words, it was the information that Simba gave Scar that empowered him to harm Simba and his father. Hmmm…life!

The second lesson I learnt is to never assume everyone is as we are. That you are innocent and transparent doesn’t mean everyone else is. Simba was ignorant of the hatred and envy that was deeply seated inside his uncle. What was supposed to be a good news met with the hatred and bitterness and produced murder and wickedness. You are the only one who knows yourself, you can’t tell what is locked up inside the person you are relating with, so sensitivity and discretion are required.

I know this is difficult to swallow because as humans we want to relate with people. We want them to share in our joy and progress. This is perfectly in order but at the same time, we shouldn’t put ourselves in a position to be manipulated by people based on the information we give them. I am not asking us to become paranoid and suspicious of everyone. Rather I am asking us to be disciplined and sensitive when it comes to sharing deep and confidential information with people. Be observant. Take time to study and KNOW people before opening your bossom to them. I am sure that if Simba had had the maturity to observe his uncle, he would have seen that evil was resident inside of him. Let us be wise because some hardships are simply uncalled for. Remember that privacy of thoughts and security of life go hand in hand.

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

 

 

 

PRIVACY OF THOUGHTS

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The security of lives and the privacy of thoughts go hand in hand. Some lives are over-exposed.’ Pastor Poju Oyemade via Facebook.

One of the things that escalated the issues in my marriage was because I confided in someone who I thought was a friend only for me to start getting winds of her involvement with my then husband. We were praying and meeting together to discuss business and life generally. But because she knew there was already a crack in the marriage, she capitalised on that. Yes, things were not too rosy, but with her in the picture, they just got messier.

Now, the big lesson God taught me as He began to unveil the reasons for the myraid of issues I was having then is that the only information the enemy or people in general can use against you is the one you give to them. So, how about if we all just learn to maintain privacy of thoughts. Don’t over-expose the cracks in your life lest the serpent creeps in stealthily.

I am not talking about putting up a front and pretending that you have life together when you actually don’t. Rather I am talking about applying discretion when it comes to sharing personal issues, especially when it has to do with your marriage. Not all your friends need to know what is going on in your home, your next big idea or how much you get as house allowance.

If you want your life to be secured, then maintain privacy of thoughts!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

PURSUE GOD!!!

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There is a part of us as humans that longs to be accepted. For years, I made several efforts to get my husband to accept me. I wanted him to communicate to me that I was special. Aside from that, I also wanted him to be happy being my husband. But it didn’t happen. I would ask for his opinion periodically on how we were fairing. I wanted to see changes and looked forward to positive feedbacks. Unfortunately, the few that I got weren’t so encouraging. It felt like, there was nothing that could be done about our relationship.

I shared my frustration with a very dear friend and sister. She looked me in the eye and said ‘Chase God!’ She went ahead to explain that people who chase God will eventually have men and women desiring their audience. Hmmm…! I decided to heed her counsel and learnt to face God squarely. Not that I didn’t have a close walk with God before my friend’s advice, but knowing what she had also been through and how soaking herself in God had helped her, I decided to pursue God much more than ever before. I learnt how to befriend Him by spending more time with him in worship, the word and prayers. I learnt how to pour my heart to him. I am not talking about getting busier with more church activities. Rather I am talking about learning to love and desire God more.

Of course this did not eradicate the loneliness but I had more joy and peace. I discovered how to be joyful without waiting for my husband’s appraisal of the marriage. I also learnt I didn’t have to wait for things to be perfect to have peace.

I did not realise the power of being a God chaser until my husband left the marriage. Yes, I was hurt and felt bad, but I wasn’t devastated. I did not become a wreck. God provided a padded landing place for me making it easy for me to absorb the shock of the whole event. What was meant to crash and crush me became a walk over because God had helped me to build and gather strength in His presence. Each time I share what had happened with people, they are always shocked and would say “You are a strong woman”. But I have enough common sense to know that I don’t have any strength of my own. God has been and still is my strength.

It’s been almost 3 years now since I returned to an empty flat after my trip, yet God has kept me going. Looking back, I am so glad for the time spent with Him, even in the midst of pain and loneliness. God has made it all count for my good.

I know as women and humans in general, we want to be loved and accepted. We want to be that special somebody in someone’s life. But I have also realised first hand that it may not happen this way. So perhaps you are going through some form of rejection-from your husband, wife or a friend. Or you are frustrated with your marriage because it has become a constant source of pain, may I offer you the same counsel I was given then: CHASE GOD! Chase Him with every fibre of your being. Not only will He not reject you, He will also equip you with the strength to deal with whatever comes your way. With Him, you may be lonely, but you are definitely not alone!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

OF THINGS AND YOU…

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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!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pains

 

THE WOMAN AND HER MONEY

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Out of the many fears that most women, regardless of their marital status deal with, the money fear is a very major one. While I don’t know how this works for people in paid employment, I know that an average woman is worried about survival, paying the bills, etc. In my own case, I tried as much as possible not to entertain the idea of ever having to fend for myself. It may sound silly, but I am being sincere with you. It was unthinkable! But then, life always happens. By the time my husband moved out and later discontinued the monthly allowance, I was confused, not minding that I had a business. I had no choice than to face the challenge before me squarely and deal with.

One of the things that had to change immediately was my attitude towards the business. I stopped seeing and handling it as a mere passion. I decided to do business as business and not just as a past time. So, if you want to get past where you are with your finances, your attitude has to change. If you do have a business, this is a good time to take a second look at it and ask yourself if it is really what you want to do. If it is, then you have to bickle up and sit with the business if it must grow. You can’t afford to behave like the average business owner who leaves everything to her employees and strolls in at anytime. Do business as business and it will yield. If you are in paid employment, decide if you want to continue working where you are or you want to change jobs. Whatever you decide on, give your job your best shot. Don’t get so overwhelmed with whatever situation you are in that it begins to affect your performances at work. Buckle up and deliver. You can, yes you can!

The other thing I did was to get help. I knew I had come to a point where the only choice I had was for the business to work. But for this to happen, I had to put certain things in place. So I got help from people around. I remember having issue with staffing, so I called a friend who is a Human Resource expert and she helped out. Having her in my life has made a big difference.

Grow to go! Last year, as part of my personal development and means of creating an extra source of income, I enrolled for a certification course. Though the cost involved was steep considering my financial state, I can tell you it was a step in the rignt direction because the certification boosted my professional profile, given me more confidence and now generates income for me.

What I am driving at is if your current level of knowledge cannot attract enough income to sustain you at the basic level, then consider going for further training. The truth is, the more you know and the more exposure you have, the better you become at what you do and can even branch into other businesses thus making you more valuable. This goes for those who are employed too. If possible, go for further education, attend seminars, take certification courses. If this proves financially strenuous, read online about your profession or business. The time of separation is not the time to cry endlessly, asking why life has dealt you a negative blow. It is the time to pick yourself up and reinvent yourself. So, go do it.

Cut back. Because I was trying to regain my footing financially, I had to cut back on some things that I was already used to. I had to make slight adjustments in my lifestyle but I knew it was temporary. For instance, I couldn’t afford to take a holiday outside Nigeria or change my wardrobe for a while. With a whole lot of things to do, I had to get my priorities right by focusing on major issues. You might also need to make adjustments in certain areas so as to give you time to adjust.

Be disciplined: live within your income. Don’t purchase items that paying back becomes a burden. Until your finances ease out, spend only what you make.

Save! No matter how little, have something put aside for emergencies. I usually save 10% of my salary (which by the way may not always be regular)There are times all I can afford to pull out as my salary is N5000.00 (about $30 or £20) and so I save N500.00 which appears insignificant. (I’m sure my colleague at work must think I’m weird each time I ask him to deposit this stipend in my account!!!) But with consistency and discipline, it adds up to something over time. I have had to fall back on this savings once in a while. Life saver if you ask me.

Give! It is so easy to become focused on your needs that you don’t remember others. Avoid this by paying attention to others around you. There are so many ways you help. This doesn’t have to be about giving money alone. Give kind words, give encouragement and you are bound to reap same.

Don’t beg! Hmmm…I have seen people lose their self respect due to begging. Going through separation is tough, but it is not the end of the world. Carry yourself with dignity and be satisfied with what you have per time. I am not saying you shouldn’t ask for help, but don’t become a nuisance so you don’t lose your respect.

Above all, keep going because I know that there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel!

 

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain

 

 

HURT TO HEAL

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Hurting people hurt others, isn’t it? When you have been treated badly and hurt by people you love or loved so dearly (and maybe who also loved you at one point or the other), the tendency to go through life lashing back at people-even without knowing it is so high. You might not really mean to, but you find yourself reacting to people-including the ones who are trying to show you love, out of the abundance of your pains. It is so easy to feel helpless in this situation.

From my personal experiences, I have however found that our pains can serve a higher purpose than using them as an excuse to hurt everyone that comes our way. We can use it as the motivation to step out and help others so they won’t have to go through what we have. And if they must, we can aid and guide them as they do, so that they are informed and prepared for whatever life throws at them.

I have purposed not to empower my pains and the wrongs done to me by allowing them to bend me out of shape. They won’t become my reason for having a sour attitude to life and infecting others with same.

From where I stand, I can see that I have been hurt so I can heal, rejected so I can love and despised so I can embrace many others who will one day walk in my shoes. That is the purpose of my pains.

Whatever hurts or pain you are dealing with today, you can either empower it and become enslaved to it…or you can let it propel you to reach out to others. The choice is not only yours to make, but ultimately to live with…

Pearl …helping you find the gains in your pain.