Life is a Game, of (Human) Chess ~ Thou Shalt Not Get Played

When Jesus talked about dying, Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. Real friends rebuke, in private. But blessed are those who get to hear the full details aka “fools deTales” before running off at their mouths, publicly or privately. That said, “Open rebuke is better than hidden love”

About a year ago, I asked God to show me my friends because I needed to declutter my life and consolidate for 2018 (and beyond).

“Two deaths” occurred.

A death in the ‘family’ always ultimately reveals a lot (about friends and family). Although saddened by these deaths, I am grateful for answered prayer. I learnt a few “Lessons in Leadership (and Friendships) from the life of Jesus Christ” – during that time.

  1. (Jesus, Judas): Not everyone with you is for you. Jesus had 12 disciples. Of these, there was Judas, who betrayed him. Nevermind that it was prewritten of Judas. (Please) Just pay attention to diss-Tale.
  2. (James and John): Never trust people who want power – (Their motives are always questionable and ultimately impure) – James and John wanted to sit, one at the right and one at the left of Jesus. In addition, they also asked Jesus to call down fire to destroy some people. The thirst for power corrupts and destroys (friendships and relationships).
  3. (Luke and Matthew): Ignorance is expensive. Choose professionals and learned people. Of the 12, there was a Doctor, and a Tax Collector. Everyone is a leader in their area of functioning.
  4. (The Twelve): To be a successful leader, choose your own team. Jesus did, Moses did, that’s how leadership works. There’s a place for volunteers, it is not for a position as sensitive or as important as leadership. Leaders are hand picked; chosen; selected; appointed.
  5. (Observe): For leadership roles, you need a solid track record, you need men of character; proven and tested*** We learn in adversity, things we would never learn in prosperity.
  6. (Peter, James, John): Not everyone is meant to be in every circle of your life – Of the 12, there were 3 inner circle disciples; James, John, Peter. Of these, Peter was deemed, the Rock. These men were tested and tried, and ultimately Peter was chosen.
  7. (The Pressure Test): When the guards came to arrest Jesus, all the other disciples fled but Peter. Peter literally laid his life down for Jesus. And it was Peter, protective of the Master, who cut off the ear of one of the guards. He aimed for the neck but got the ear. Jesus could have prevented that from happening, but He allowed it to happen, in a bid to test something in Peter. He ultimately fixed the ear.
  8. (Motives): When Peter denied Jesus, it was because he wanted to remain in the courtroom to watch the proceedings. He denied Jesus not to protect himself, but to have a reason to remain in the courtyard with Jesus. (God looks at the heart, motives always matter).
  9. (Jesus): Forgiveness is Key. The ability and capacity to overlook an offence, forgive a grievance, and focus on the big picture is very key in leadership. Forgive. Allow Judas to kill himself on the grounds of a weak conscience but as far as it lies with you, forgive. Take the high road when mf’s go low.
  10. (PS) There’s always a back story. Aka a purpose, a motive, a reason. Especially when you simi-nly don’t gerrit.

May the souls of the departed rest in peace! Amen

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Choose Your Battles

“Courtship brings out the best, Marriage brings out the rest”

On the eve of my engagement to Mr. Williams, I got a weird call from a friend with an even weirder request. A mutual friend of ours had recently gotten married, and my girlfriend, Rolake, was upset that this friend had neither informed her about nor invited her to the wedding. She literally begged me not to do something similar, as it would break her heart. We had not been in touch for a bit so I found this conversation, especially the timing, pretty awkward.

My closest friends know Mee well enough not to expect anything but loyalty from me. I rarely share ongoing details about my life. I make time to document certain “after-the-fact” deTales simply because I love to do the write-thing. So I found it suspect and odd that a near stranger would feel entitled to details about my wedding. Only a handful of friends had been informed, and this was as much my decision as it was his. From our tight circle of friends, it was unlikely there was a mole, so I attributed Rolake’s request to intuition. I told her not to worry. But seeing the event was the following day, I spared her the heartache of finding out from Mee, directly. Some battles are best delayed.

Gamophobia

“Marriage is a prerequisite for divorce”, and over the years, I had not only been extremely apprehensive about getting married, but also somewhat reluctant . So when I called Mr. Williams to see if we could sneak away briefly, prior to the big event, he thought I was about to call it off, again. (Lol) men are funny; apparently, they get really scared too. I wanted to get something off my chest, especially since I knew he was determined to follow through with his decision. We had both been travelling and were stressed with all the activities, so his response, “why now?” was not unexpected. “Better now than later”, I said; and I ended the call, somewhat abruptly (There was no time for a prolonged phone conversation).

As an Executive-Single-never-been-married-Lady, and a serial dater, I had spent a long(er) time, legally, on the dating scene; compared to most of my stAGEmates. The passage of time also exposed Mee to a myriad of opportunities and “chicky” situations. My large circle of friends helped to prepare me as I lived vicariously through their marital lives, giving me an inkling to a variety of beliefs about marriage and a wide gamut of their sexpectations.

“Courtship brings out the best, Marriage brings out the rest”. A lot of people desire marriage in a bid to improve themselves, but marriage actually exposes people. And by God, knowing the level of exposure we were about to get into, I needed to know for sure that Mr. Williams was not only ready, but also willing to commit, till death ‘deed’ us part. (The Marathon)

The Talk: (paraphrased for privacy, and shared with permission)

“Yo, no thanks to you and your delayed arrival, (shifting blame is as old as Adam), I dated a few not-necessarily-entirely-single men, so I kind of know how it goes. (Chronicles of  The Accidental Side-Chic) If after we get married, you ever decide to spice things up in our marriage, and get involved with another gurl, carry Mee along. Just let me be in the know.” (I am a weird one, #moyounique)

He stared at me with shock and disbelief and spat out a cuss word. “Why would I ever want to do that?”, he asked. I’m still not sure if, by “that” he was referring to ‘having an affair’ or ‘telling Mee about it’. Rather than pick up on his words, I responded, “Sweetheart, the time to think and talk about this, and plan towards it, is now. Now that we’re still heavily and deeply in ‘pure love’ ~ if we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” End of Discussion

Dear Fidelity Police (RME), I’m not advocating bad behavior, but usually, when a man has a fling, or a prolonged affair, it doesn’t necessarily mean he no longer wholly loves his wife. I have learned over time, that (most) Men compartmentalize, and usually, when a man cheats, his wife remains the object of his love, no matter how well or how often he brags about his sexcapades to his friends. In the event that Mr. Williams develops eye-candy, I had asked to hear it from him, directly. Just so I know how to rearrange myself and make-things-up: in the kitchen, physically – in my appearance, sexpectedly; and prayerfully, if necessary.

Similar to gas burners, men can be easily turned on, Generally, Men are easily manipulated and heated up by touching the right button. WeMen on the other hand, are like electric burners. It takes women some time to get heated up, and to eventually cool down. So, when a woman cheats, it’s because her man has neglected her and someone has taken time to finger her brain and reset her wires. Unlike men, however, women are usually more discreet about their affairs. And because the cooling off and heating up processes run really deep, WeMen can keep their heart affairs from the world. Till death doth them part.

Marriage is a marathon (aka The Endurance Test), and it requires great preparation, and like many other people, we have only just begun to choose our battles. So help us God!

Categories: Relationships | 10 Comments

The Essence of Life is Giving! – Billy Knight

As part of an ongoing challenge, I began the write-thing today (Day 15) about the shame and stigma associated with unwanted pregnancy. Emphasis on unwanted. – i.e. Even amongst legally married people. I got first-hand account from a few people and my mind went on a roller coaster of emotions, deeply wounded by the stories and experiences of those who cared to share their tales.

Subsequently, my thought process triggered a flow that went somewhat like this: “When an ‘unwanted child’ is growing up in society, especially for the child borne out of wedlock, who (should) get the blame or the brunt of our bashing: the parents, the child, or the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child?” Is it even appropriate to blame or bash, and if so, why?? “He who is without sin should cast the first stone” – Jesus.

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

However, news about Billy Knight committing suicide (or being found dead) a few hours after releasing a “goodbye video” further wounded my already bleeding heart. I try not to judge people that do not understand depression or suicide, because, like faith and Christianity, it defies logic and rational thought.

em·pa·thyˈempəTHē/em·pa·thy        noun      the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Empathy does not even cut it, how do you empathize with a situation or condition that you do not understand? It is an ability you either have, or lack, or choose to cultivate (if that is a possibility).

A very good friend of mine died in 2012 and, his death got to me and hit me so bad, I began to wonder what happened in the hereafter. I started a full blown research re what the departed do in paradise. I not only became depressed afterwards, I subsequently became overwhelmed with life and living. I got to such a low point that I began to envy the departed. I penned a goodbye note to the world, and just before I posted it online, I received a call from a beloved friend. The sound of her voice woke me up and brought me back to my senses.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste!

Fast-forward to 2015, I suffered the worst episode of depression (till date) and became suicidal again. Alone and far from social, physical, and emotional support, I began contemplating ending it all. After all, this time I did not have to worry about being missed since I was not known, I was in a strange land and city and was a random statistic, a visible minority, a non-resident alien, a POC. {#DWP – and no, this is not the title to the Netflix Series!!!}

In the nick of time, my doctor called me randomly to check on me, and I knew I was going to be here much longer. We talked at length and she suggested I do something to bring people together even if I couldn’t necessarily afford to be with them, physically. 

Following doctor’s orders, I created a group chat and added my friends. As silly and as selfish or unethical as it might sound, it was therapeutic and it worked just fine. I regained my sanity.

The role of friends in fighting depression can never be overemphasized. Integrity starts with “I”. Be the “friend” that someone needs today. Be (y)our brother’s keeper. 

Friend frend/ noun

noun: friend; plural noun: friends; noun: Friend; plural noun: Friends

  1. a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

synonyms: companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate; ally, associate; sister, brother; best friend, kindred spirit, bosom buddy, bosom friend;
Informal pal, chum, sidekick, crony, main man, mate, buddy, bud, amigo, compadre, homeboy, homegirl, homie, dawg, gal pal, BF, BFF; peeps
Archaic compeer

    2. A person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help.

synonyms: patron, backer, supporter, benefactor, benefactress, sponsor;
* a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side
* a familiar or helpful thing
* (often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across – “my friends, let me introduce myself”
* a contact associated with a social networking website – “all of a sudden you’ve got 50 friends online who need to stay connected”

antonyms: Enemy

Life is in stAGEs and sometimes, we outgrow our friends. However, at the time that it mattered, at the time that it was necessary, I had the support of these friends and it worked for me.

My point?: The secret of living is giving. As long as we continue to live for ourselves alone, something dies within us. Gradually killing that which is still alive within us.

Constantly looking into mirrors almost always reveals a defect. This typically causes sadness or depression, and usually triggers a need to take appropriate action to modify our appearance(s).. It’s okay to reflect and make necessary changes where applicable, but we need to look out of windows and reach out to serve and help others more.

Morbid introspection has never yielded good fruits. It only leads down a dark path and spirals us further into the abyss.

A·byss əˈbis/ noun
a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm.
Synonyms: chasm, gorge, ravine, canyon, fissure, rift, crevasse, hole, gulf, pit, cavity, void, bottomless pit

I do not pray to lose any friends or family members to depression or death by suicide, but I do not know how to help people who refuse to speak out or ask for help.

Disclaimer: In spite of seeming evidence to the contrary, I am not clairvoyant.

clair·voy·ant          ˌklerˈvoiənt/        

noun   1.a person who claims to have a supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.

synonyms:         psychic, fortune teller, crystal gazer;

adjective 1.having or exhibiting an ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.

synonyms:         psychic, telepathic, visionary, oracular; second-sighted

The essence of life is giving!

Selah!!

 

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The Accidental Side-Chic

Drive: Sometimes we need to sh-air our struggles so that some of our friends, family members and third parties (aka other people) will know they haven’t cornered the market on problems. We need to let them know about our humanity and that they are not alone.

If you want to hide something from me, put it in a song. By leveraging on YouTube and Google though, I may find it, or at least, find the lyrics of the song. However, if you want to completely hide something from me, put it in a music video. The part of my brain that should help me ‘get’ and/or follow the tales of most music videos is probably not well-developed.

De Trigger: A couple of weeks ago, I watched the 1998 video “The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy and Monica and I actually (somewhat) understood it. At least I followed the story for the most part, and daresay I got the gist. It caught my attention because I had earlier come across a startling videoclip from a ‘religious faith fighter‘ caught on camera saying that if she ever found out that her man was cheating on her, she would pray against the woman till she became paralyzed.

On a side-note, “We-Men always get the bashing when they dare to cheat. From men, from other women, and from the society at large. When the Sheep cheats, the sheep is frowned upon, even though sheep usually get away with it. When the Shepherd cheats, “touch not my anointed”.

To each his own. I respect her hustle for her cheating, lying, greedy, unfaithful man.

Pardon the name-calling, lol. Brandy and Monica on the other hand, worked to-get-her to ‘shame’ the guy that was toying with their emotions, feelings, and bodies.This is all my perspective anyways. After all, it is the first music video that not only makes sense to me, but also that I totally get. I did not need anyone explaining the sin-by-scene de-Tales.

It is commonplace for people to judge the side chic. It would seem we-men always get the bashing. Many years ago, a woman was caught in adultery, and brought to the village square to be stoned. This woman was publicly shamed, but the man was neither called-out nor exposed. Yet, she was CAUGHT IN THE ACT of adultery. It’s always we-Men (pronounced women).

Disclaimer: This isn’t about the willful-side-chic though. By this, I mean ladies (single or married) with eye candy that go after the fiances and husbands of other women. They sure have their reasons but my post is not about them right now. Several other pieces have addressed their case. They exist and live amongst us and I will not dignify their existence with anything but a random mention.

My post is about the executive single lady, living her life and facing her grind, who suddenly begins to get attention from a keen man. Being human, not to mention the fact that she’s vulnerable, alone, and possibly lonely, she yields to his advances and begins to enjoy the attention and companionship.

Dear married woman, pause and think about all the good times spent with your man. Project those good times to this scenario and by extension, to this single lady. She has finally found someone to call her own, without prejudice. Her forever and a day. She is happy. Except of course, she’s a side chic, but she just doesn’t know that, yet.

Disclosure: Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby introduce to you, the accidental side chic. That woman, who, unknown to her, is dating a married man, innocently and totally oblivious of the fact that he’s a taken man. Yes, she should have done her background checks, after all, the eWorld is a global village and there are six degrees of separation (it takes only six people to connect to everyone else in the world).

I do not support extramarital affairs, but I think there is a proper way to handle emotional issues that pertain to men and women. I also know for a fact, that there are innocent women out (t)here suffering shame and abuse, simply because a man got away with improper behaviour.

The irony is that there have been instances where, a woman has settled into the routine of being wife and possibly, mother, and her marriage is now devoid of sparks. A fresh dude comes onto the scene at work, at church, at the gym, or possibly an old flame, and he reignites the fire. Married women also accidentally cheat. It is wrong to keep bashing side chics. Selah!

Dear woman, go and scene no more. Stop creating scenes. Like Brandy and Monica in the fictitious musical video, We-Men need to work to-get-her to make men accountable and stop bashing one another.

We-Men always get the bashing when they dare to cheat: bashing from men, from other women, and from the society at large. When the Sheep cheats, the sheep is frowned upon, even though sheep usually get away with it. When the Shepherd cheats, “touch not my anointed”.

Principles are universal truths, irrespective of office, role or gender. Let the truth be the truth. Now I’m just ranting. SELAH.

PS: If you have any “Men-are-Scum” or “Yoruba-Demon” tales, educate me… Thank you!

Categories: Relationships | 3 Comments

Confessions of a Blog-a-Holic

Saturday 9th November
I woke up at about 1:53am and sat up for a bit wondering what life, in particular, my life, is/was/is about. Seeing I did not come to a logical conclusion, I began to craft a beautiful “goodbye world” letter: addressed to anyone that would ever stop by my blog, page or FB profile to read. It was the least I could do …

I saw it as my way of “giving back” to society. Most of my contemporaries happen to be e-Literates: certified post graduate degree holders with enviable careers and professional qualifications; whilst I ‘seemingly’ only excel at ‘doing the write-thing’. I knew I was being parochial, but I talked myself real down and low, so low, I began to envy the departed. 

So, here I was, investing my time, wit, and resources on my-last-will-and-testament. It didn’t help much that I was laughing at myself in-between paragraphs, knowing full well it was nothing but an attention-seeking scam, marking a transient phase. I plunged into it and worked hard at editing and paraphrasing till about 6am when I was jostled back to reality by a phone call from my mom, YeLumde.

There and then, I knew that ‘letter’ would never see the web pages it had been intended for. There was no way I was going to be stupid enough to bring any more pain to the woman that brought me forth to life. Unfortunately, even though I tried real hard to hide it, she could hear the despair and despondency in my voice. God bless our mothers. God bless all mothers. And so, thanks to YeLumde, you will never read that letter. 

Yes, I love attention, and I do have my down times, but I will never give in to a permanent solution to a temporary situation. Life is worth fighting for. We’re all going to die someday anyway, so whilst I’m here, I’m going to make my life count. And chicken-ing out is not the way.

What brought me to this point? A blocked goal. Nothing more than a detour in my path. Something I had neither foreseen nor preempted. Simple.
What took me out of it? A phone call… A genuine and healthy conversation from a caring heart. Concern. Attention. Affection. Simple.

To the few friends I reached out to, thank you for being just-a-phone-call away. 

Please stay in touch with the people you love. It always helps.

Alosimis

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