WHEN LOVE PROTECTS US…love thy neigbhour

The story is told about a cattle rearer who whenever he took his herd out daily to graze across the open fields of  the village, into town and back would always stop and sit under a certain almond tree out in the middle of the fields.There under the tree everyday also sat a prophet with whom the cattle rearer formed a tight bond of friendship, bringing him food each day as he stopped to sit and talk while his men watched over the cattle before continuing on his business.

One pleasant day as the prophet sat quietly in his usual spot, an angel appeared to him   “servant of God,friend of the shepherd”, the angel greeted, “today is the last day on earth for your friend, today your friend shall die”.

In shock and with a scream,he jumped to his feet , “what?! why?!”

“I do not know; the Almighty ordained it”, replied the angel.

“This can not be! What has my friend done?” ,wailed the prophet

“Today you bid your friend the shepherd goodbye for the last time because when he leaves you to continue on his journey,his dead body shall be brought back”.

“Can he not be spared?”,asked the prophet

“The Almighty alone knows the seasons of a man’s life, only he determines the destiny of man”, said the angel before he disappeared.

Grief stricken, the prophet sank to the ground and wept his heart out. In this condition it was that the shepherd met him. As the shepherd tried to console his friend, he asked the reason for his tears but the more he asked, the greater the prophet’s grief became and the louder his wails so much that he refused the meal placed before him as was usual.

The prophet’s pain was so much that the shepherd began to weep.lived another day

The shepherd’s pain for the prophet was so much that the shepherd’s men began to weep.

Seeing that he could not console his friend, the shepherd rose to his feet to continue his journey with his herd but as he did so, he said to the prophet, “I will pray to the Lord that your sorrows be turned to joy. I promise you”.

Now heartbroken and confused at the situation, the shepherd sang and prayed as he walked. When he could not contain his grief anymore, he stopped and took a very long time to pray so hard, so earnestly that his men who stood guard watching the cows prayed with him.

When he rose from his intense supplication and intercession for his friend, he vowed that as a sacrifice on his friend’s behalf, he would give away all his cows- one to any person he came across on his journey for he thinking aloud said, “perhaps the Lord will have mercy through my faithful sacrifice and take away this grief that so deeply besets  my friend”.

And he did as he vowed; gifting away his cattle to anyone he met on the road, both young and old, man or woman.

Meanwhile, somewhere on another part of that large road behind the bushes, up in the trees and lying in the grasslands, a group of paid assassins waited for the shepherd to show himself- a jealous colleague had set a trap for him.

All morning and all afternoon they waited and when he did not pass by at the expected time with his cattle, they waited till evening but the shepherd had spent all morning consoling his prophet friend into the afternoon…

….And then spent all afternoon praying for his prophet friend…

…thereafter spending the remaining part of the afternoon into the evening fulfilling his vow before God stopping and giving away his cattle to anyone who crossed his path so that by evening while the assassins awaited his arrival, the shepherd had given away all of his cattle. Concluding with his men that there was no need to continue on their journey since there were no cows left; they turned and headed back the way they had come.

As they went, they came to the almond tree where the bossom friends would usally meet and there sat the prophet deep in thought with tears sliding down his cheeks.

“Greetings , dear friend”, said the shepherd.

At the sound of his friend’s voice, the prophet sprang up with joy and disbelief on his face, grabbing the shepherd, hugging and kissing him over and over again, “My friend! oh my friend, is this you?”. was all he could say as he felt him all over to ascertain that he was truly alive.

The shepherd for his part gleamed with pleasure at the sight before him: his friend prancing about happily.

Noticing that his company was smaller at his return than at his going out, the prophet asked where his cattle was to which the shepherd replied, “I could not stand your sorrow so I prayed and swore to give away all of my cattle as a sacrifice for your joy to be returned”.When love protects us

At his reply, the prophet shook his head and silently marvelled at the irony of it all. Each happy for the other for different reasons but strangely the same reason too; the prophet for the shepherd, the shepherd for the prophet and the shepherd’s men for the shepherd and the prophet…the prophet never saying why he was grieved in the first place.

And the assassins waited…

Till they could wait no more.

So they told eachother, “The shepherd will die one day but not today and surely never by our hands for clearly today is not his day to die. We have done our part.”, they gathered up their arms and left.

The thing about love. It sparks a chain reaction. It comes back. It goes around and then it comes back to you. The path it takes may not always be easy but somehow it is usually simple enough…and when love protects us, we don’t always know it.

 

 

I’m no longer a slave to fear, I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

This is the first time I reblog another blog but for some deep soul touching reason, I couldn’t let this go.
This song has been tugging at my heart strings for months…maybe it’s the melody, maybe it’s the words, maybe it’s the rhythm…or maybe it’s the simple fact that music touches me in ways and places that nothing else can…
Maybe it’s the reason this blog was originally written- whatever this does for you, this song from Melissa and Jonathan Helser definitely builds your spiritual confidence

Walk a mile in ocd shoes

No longer slaves – Bethel Music.

You unravel me with a melody, You surround me with a song.

Of deliverance from my enemies, until all my fears are gone!

I’m no longer a slave of fear! I am a child of God!

From my mothers womb You have chosen me, love has called my name.

I’ve been born again into Your family, Your blood flows through my veins!

I’m no longer a slave of fear! I am a child of God!

I’m no longer a slave of fear! I am a child of God!

I’m no longer a slave of fear! I am a child of God!

I’m no longer a slave of fear! I am a child of God!

You split the sea so I could walk right through it, my fears are drown inside Your perfect love.

You rescued me so I could stand and sing “I AM…

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“TIME IS A CIRCUS, ALWAYS PACKING UP AND MOVING AWAY” – Ben Hecht

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           Why do children want to grow up so fast ?  As if they don’t know what they have, how relaxed their lives are: less responsibilities, people to clean up after them…excuses are even made for them. I almost groan in pain when I hear “I can’t wait to grow up”
       Dreams of growing up,  all the marvellous things they can do… the catch here must be the thought of freedom. Do what you like when you like however way you like with whoever you like for as long as you like.
If they only knew…
    Youth favours us with moments we spend wishing and willing time to pass. The problem is it always seems so slow, the road always seems so long and a tendency towards wastage is developed; procrastinating many right things always for another time. Always next time. Slowly, surely and unconsciously settling into a warm, sweet, inviting but unhealthy pattern until !
One day we realize the years have passed by quickly, the road isn’t so long anymore nor is it as smooth as we once knew it to be. Suddenly it’s no long stretch ahead. We may not be able to see the end, yes but we see the other half.
Suddenly there isn’t the luxury of ANOTHER TIME or there is that luxury but not sufficient for abuse or time to make up for time NEXT TIME.
Childhood is uncomplicated.
Adulthood has it’s perks … DEFINITELY…
Come on now! – If it was such wonderful wonderful wonderful pleasure to grow old (and in a way it is, weird enough), why the need to retain youth?  Why do we try to be forever young? Explain the daily struggle to keep fit. How is it that cosmetics are still in heavy trade?
…and ummm…how come someone’s always a few years younger than they originally are?
Time can not be trusted. It’s nobody’s friend. Make it a friend if you wish, that’s fine by it. 
     Time will be there when it will. It will always – hear me – ALWAYS be there for you. Do what you think best however way you wish with whoever you wish for as long as you wish. It won’t protest at misuse or rejoice at decency – merely takes care of people as they take care of it.
Time minds it’s business…so we think until a hidden truth is brought to light.
Why else do people confidently say time will tell ?
     Time is open, so open it’s like an over-indulgent parent. It keeps giving options, placing your destiny in your hands and in turn watchs as you place it in whatever other hands you deem fit.
     It gives the illusion sometimes of freezing when it’s actually giving us a chance to backtrack, clarify and realize. It allows us to dream but if we dream so much we forget to live then… But when time is done, it’s done. It simply moves on to history.
     Looking at my parents and having it dawn on me that they are aging and except the world ends in the next 100 years (yes, 100…that’s my best consolation) , they won’t always be here… I don’t like it at all. I so hate that truth because it doesn’t set me free.
     Kids don’t know how envied they are. How the adults they so much want to be like ironically want to be them. They don’t realize that adults are just grown-up, beaten, bitten, hardened, wised up, wizened, complicated, over thinking children.
They don’t know that adults are foolish too – and God help us if they ever discover they are sometimes wiser than us!…you know it’s true.
     On the bright side though, I did read somewhere from Samuel Ullman – and it has been proven true constantly so you better believe – that youth is not a time of life; It is a state of mind and a matter of will.
Youth is quality of imagination and vigor of emotions.
If you understand this, you surely are a wise old child.

CHEERS!…TO MY OTHER LIFE.

What would it be like to throw your bedspread underneath your bed and lie on it with the bed over you for a change?

It would be an entirely different experience, it would seem peculiar also but you would have testimony to action.

What would be your narrative if you lived life differently?

Imagine life on an altered pedestal…values, opinions, attitude, loved ones, physical structure, experiences and everything else important to your make-up ; all poles apart from what you are now. Or imaginably, same physical structure and every other thing different except for your soul . The very essence of you.

You.

You would still be you but your response to stimuli would be dissimilar… What might that other life hold for you?

Think about those moments of uncertainties that robbed you of your self-confidence. What if you had made a bold conscious effort to grasp some distant possible certainty right then, right there or even later? You keep a strong front, ready to put up a fight for what you want – your health, job, self esteem, respect, relationships .

How is your life supposed to improve if you don’t take small chances? In the life you live now, your inexperience robs you of courage- which is natural, only difference is you do one of two things: You remain motionless with no attempt at triumph OR make a small effort but concede defeat after intimidation.Visualize you scaling the fence of your fears.

How about taking on something bigger than yourself ? At least you know you tried…

Okay. What about that other life where you let yourself be a madcap for a wee time? Where you are even a bit eccentric . Did you not ever consider a world consisting of you as the main performer where you did not have to be so predictable and you could be unconventional…extraordinary; a life where you possess the ability to bounce people off their perfect balance, get mysterious looks, have them not really understand you sometimes because of the oddly astonishing things you unexpectedly do. Imagine a life where you permit your person to be childlike, enjoying the basic simple things in life…and not meditate on it as a sin.

In this other life, you clearly understand that your ability to laugh may just save the day so you take responsibility for your own happiness and cultivate joy. Do you realize that your life can be joyously dreamlike? If you believe . Like a child; because that is what children do, that’s how they live – they just exercise wonderful faith. Here, you enjoy the light side of life, embracing the uncomplicated things, treasuring them and turning them into permanent gains.

And then you might be thinking : suppose you schooled yourself to total seriousness or at the very least, a moderate amount of solemnity… what, don’t you ever want to be taken seriously?

Here I am sitting, writing and wondering about Love…in all its spheres. Love in all its delightful realms. Do you know the smell of love? Alright you do not. But invent another life and assume that you did know. What would it be for you? What would it mean to you? How would you love differently? Or if you already knew how to love, what would you do some more… or less? Deeper family relations, treat friends better, be kinder to strangers, revel in the pleasure of acceptance and sincerity between you and your partner…

Painfully sad but especially in these times, the problem with relationships of all types is that the desire to conquer and rule is deeper, by far greater and overwhelms the need to love.

So what if, just what if in this life, you learned to love sincerely? And you, yes you! How about letting yourself be loved without scheming to acquire from the ones loving you? While you generate love, you are toughened, uninhibited, you learn that kindness and self-respect keep you exempt from the social tribulations that others experience.

Suppose we weigh up the moments of pride that did not let us admit ignorance and yet we would not let others have their say? Exaggerated self-importance that made us think we were always right and the rest of the world indefinitely wrong?

Would it be a lack of ambition to say that you don’t have to endlessly strive for perfection? That you can actually be sincere with yourself and your weaknesses and believe God for help?

If you have a tendency to see things a certain way but it is not helping you to have that point of view, in this other life you have the power to change your perspective. You have the power to do away with displays of immaturity and inflexibility. This is the life that provides you the opportunity to rectify mistakes, apologize for past hurts, respect other people and opinions, admit to wrong doing.

It would be a change to listen to sound advice, to not argue unnecessarily simply because your strength of comprehension is more than raised voices.

What if you learned to keep a secret? What if people had more faith in you than they do now?

And if you did not give a response to every comment ?

Try putting less effort into impressing people, you will find that many of these people are just people. Simply. Like you. Only they are either more opportune in certain areas or are more apt at covering inconsistencies.

You may find that if you put the dots together, some people around you are all show and when you scratch beneath the surface you discover they have little to boast about and so you see that here in this imaginary other life , you learn the benefits of caution.

Might life be easier if you appreciated a neighbor’s good fortune, no envy, no resentment, only joy at anothers success?

What if you were not afraid to fight or fail? But then, what if you chose your battles carefully?

And if you were kind ?

Assume that you stop living in the past, adjust to your current realities instead and try to make necessary changes.

If you were a weaker person than you are now, would you be in danger or would it just be a case of not being able to deal with some things?

And if you were stronger?

If you had great power, what would you do with it? What if you had so much wealth you could buy yourself ANYTHING in the world?

What if you could speak and have thousands, millions rush to fulfill your demands?

Most importantly, if you got an opening to do what you like, what choices would you make? Would they be different, the same or the same with just some minor changes?

Playing with pretty visions of what you wish could be is a great way to pass the time. Wanting another life is more than entertaining notions. You take chances because they might come true- and they might not.

It is a world of whole possibilities and the most difficult chance to take will usually be being honest with yourself: If it does not serve any practical purpose, it serves no purpose. You really want that life?

On the other hand, if life turns out to be a little out of the ordinary, so much the better. By now, you know what I mean… Cheers!    

PARABLE OF THE FAILING BEAUTIES. LESSON LEARNT

“So you see, I was right all along”.

Yes she was; but that didn’t  stop me from giving her a cutting look. I just wanted her to keep quiet. Not because I wanted peace I confess, only more because I knew she was correct and it irked me …to no visible end.   And why did she have that smug look on her face?

My friend had questioned my judgement about a set of dishes – 24 in number, each 10.5inches (it was written on the carton). I had fallen in love with them at sight. They were absolutely beautiful I tell you, pure white and thinly rimmed round the edges with dots of green and pink; but my friend for no particular reason seemed to think they were fake. I remember asking her how something so beautiful could be fake.

First time I ate off it, anyone watching me would have sworn that I savored the plate more than I savored the food in it…and they would have been correct.

And as it turned out, she was right.

Second time, I did have a pleasant meal. Problem began when I had to wash it. The oil feel and everything else came off but not the oil stain. I didn’t notice it until I had rinsed the soap off, then washed them again thinking it was my error. No luck. It was horrible! And I had planned on a lot of show off…

Consequently, when friend mine discovered my “failing beauties” as she so sweetly put it, she plunged into a long sermon about instincts and detecting fraud. That merchandise had let me down. I spent quite a fortune purchasing them and should have gotten my money’s worth. All that glitters…

When the pain of my double loss lessened, I had a better look at the incident and realized that much of it applies to human behavior and relationships. Many times we underestimate people because their looks are not so great or their dress patterns fall short of our standards. Other times, we overestimate people because they look attractive in certain or every way possible. It  is often easy to forget about inner content and focus on outer qualities until we become the very recipients of whatever resulting content after interaction.

I once attended a camp meeting and some newcomers were introduced. Amongst them was a man who was too pudgy-faced for his overall physique and mismatched clothes that did not hang well on him. His awkward stance didn’t help either. Well into the meeting, it was announced that someone wanted to give a number and this same man walked out to the  podium. As he did- shame on me-, I irreverently wondered what he had to say.

Then he opened his mouth and the sweetest voice I have ever heard in a man upfront floated out, easy on the ears. My thoughts stopped, my eyes were fixed. On him. Believe me when I say I could not take my eyes off him. And he sang with such depth and passion. My wonder and admiration knew no bounds. After that day, I saw him often but I never looked at him the same again.

How many times have we secretly dismissed an individual at first meeting, sometimes even before we get close? What about that friend who has not a lot but is true but we nonetheless put on the back burner for the moneyed one whom we many times have wondered at? This does not mean that our initial judgements are always wrong as sometimes we are right on target. It is a good thing to possess charm and the gift of gab but it is a mistake to think that these qualities alone are enough to earn the genuine respect of people especially if deep down lies an unattractive nature because once it shows forth, a retreat occurs and eventually, a resistance. Life is about substance, yes but often times, substance is defined by the wrong things.

Never judge a book by it’s cover. Better still, you may want to buy it’s cover and then of course you know the book comes along… The point is, we must take care that we are worth as much as we look.

I think beauty does not equate class or excellence and when we choose beauty-on-the-surface over class-on-the-inside, it is sure ALWAYS to fail. Lesson learnt.

TO THE PEOPLE WE KNOW…

To the people we loved that hurt us.

Whatever happened to hearts?

All that love given…

And we just gave.

You did not always give back

Some of you never gave at all

Yet it did not always matter.

There is an act called consideration,

A regard the heart pays;

You should try it –

And there may be where the problem lies.

You have not tried,

Or have you ever?

The plea in each word we spoke,

The tears we cried

Did they mean anything?

Sometimes the knowing is in the doing;

Only this time, you have no idea what you have done.

To the ones we trusted that betrayed us.

Well, it’s in the past.

But you do know that long after the body is done,

memories live on.

What were you thinking?

The things we shared.

There is a word called ‘Sacred’

And an act that follows through.

Did you see the pain in our eyes?

Hear the disappointment in our voices?

Oh you did not…

Or maybe you did

but just did not care.

So when the mouth spoke,

the mind did not care what the heart would feel.

How easy it was to bury your conscience…

To those we revered that let us down.

Well, what can we say?

The power you held!

And you knew it too.

Looking to you like tree branches towards the sun.

Remember when we turned to you in our imperfections?

How you would judge us!

Void of empathy,

Words hasty

Eyes proper.

Perfect symbol of virtue.

How could we have known?

One thing in the dark,

Another in the light.

And to think we questioned our own selves.

What wrong did we do?

Was it not ever enough?

By what were we blinded?

Pain or Love?

But we thank you.

For now we see clearly-

We think different. distinct.

Uneasy may have been the years

But wisdom profitable has finally shaped our tears to laughter

And oh we laugh!

Even we did not know we would ever again do that.

Faith has healed us;

And time – as time is with most things –

has caused the sun to set on our grief.

And after all these,

If whatever fortune unpredictable

sets upon our life’s path

that which is  unwholesome to our existence,

We shall turn our backs with grit.

You see,

True loss is not really in loving

but more in holding back.

Only now,

it is love with the eyes of renewed understanding.

AFRICA AND THE WOMAN; MARRIAGE AND ABUSE

Undeniably, Africa does not place much regard on the female-folk.

Women have had to fight,beg and eventually resort to scheming to get what they need: Love,respect,freedom of speech and at any level,the right to make their own decisions,the right to knowledge and education,freedom to interact.

The African woman has with time resigned to acceptance of ill treatment and conformed to unfounded rules manufactured from a bias and unfriendly school of thought; devising as a result, survival skills turned principles with which to live no matter the magnitude of unhappiness. Principles that have been handed down generation to generation. Principles that teach young African ladies to accept undignified treatment. Principles that command them to surrender their will,self-esteem and wisdom to a culture that chooses not to recognize them…except at childbirth…

One area the African woman has had to endure untold suffering is Marriage. She is well aware that marriage for her is the end to that last vestige of freedom that is so particularly hers. Society frowns at the notion of a free woman. A woman is incomplete without a husband! A woman cannot be termed ‘free’!…then she gets married and finally understands the true meaning of ‘incomplete’.

Only a few African women -if truth be told and unnecessary feelings of guilt and shame be put away -truly enjoy their marriages. Only few actually find harmony. Only few are happy to be married. Marriage is / was meant for companionship, has always been meant to be so. So where did all this dirt come from?

You doubt? Step out to the streets.Go to religious houses. Workplaces…everywhere that is anywhere. There are women all around with the same story and experience. The only reasons there may be variance in disclosure are fear of being seen as a defeated woman in a defeated union OR fear of the baseless convictions of an unfair society OR the feeling that it is ‘spreading dirty linen in public’…But the truth of the matter is in the thing itself .

Thankfully,with the arrival of civilization came changes. The female-folk could finally speak and know for a truth that they would be heard and listened to,they could receive education; they could even receive education AND graduate AND gain proper employment. They could choose who to marry and sometimes when to marry. But the victory is not total…is it ever for the woman?

Many women are plagued with domestic abuse wherein lies mental/emotional,physical,verbal,sexual and financial abuse. They marry and are expected to bear so much…as if a lot is not already expected of them as single ladies!

From a wandering-eyed cheating husband, to a readily flammable husband in possession of a short fuse who is well on his way to winning the W.B.A championship, to the bad-mouthed one so full of negativity that she questions her sanity, to the man who does nothing but expects the full benefits of a king, to the man who will neither defend nor protect her from the influx of garbage from overly assertive in-laws and nosy friends who suddenly become deep wells of wisdom (it may make him look bad…)

Yet she must stay.She is bound and she must stay.

Sadly,many stay in such unhealthy union to avoid the unsympathetic glare of society. So when finally this subdued underestimated woman takes the bold step of leaving and chooses happiness over the confines of an abusive marriage, she is labeled irresponsible, incompetent, whorish, weak and her children may even be taken from her. If she puts up an argument, tries to explain? Its her fault somehow,somewhere she did something wrong. She is expected to keep the home; failure produces questions.

Things are getting better now though as a good friend Charles in the USA says “…It changes a little more with each new generation”. 

Another friend Craig says “…She either fights back or she takes it. When a woman fights back to protect herself and her children, the abuse will either on a large scale altogether stop or become minimal; but when she does decide to fight she must make sure she wins”.

Charles explains it clearly “Abuse is a power and control issue. As women gain more and more power politically and economically, some men feel they are losing a grip on the control they once had. Even the church feels threatened by it as more and more women declare themselves pastors. The family is the last bastion that men are holding onto and it perhaps is the most visible especially to the local community. Abuse of any kind , physical or mental is devoid of love and respect or any good thing. Do I think women should quietly suffer and stay  in an abusive relationship? No. Do I think they should do all they can to repair and salvage such a relationship? Yes; but all relationships cannot be saved.

Sometimes you have to leave to save a relationship…I know what the Bible says about marriage and divorce and I also know what Jesus says about forgiveness. If a woman can save herself by leaving then she has to be able to honestly count the cost of doing that. In some societies, it is easier than others. Only God knows why cultures move in the directions they move”…

Thanks friend! And she does need to count the cost;

Adherence to social norms is important even more so for the woman and the slightest diversion from that path attracts some nasty consequences. Society frowns upon a woman who decidedly leaves the man she is married to. It is seen as outright disrespect of culture established , culture recognized and culture defended. A snicker here, a sneer there; a backhanded comment from a neighbor, direct and indirect insults from friends, raised eyebrows from acquaintances… What will she say? How will she respond to societal scorn? Since the African law does not favor the woman and so many men escape child support, this woman is faced with the dilemma of dwindling economy.

Forced to stop working and as a result being used to depending on her husband for her daily up-keep and that of her children, finally stepping out on her own brings her face-to-face with the reality that she has nothing to fall back on. Nothing. No job, no honed skills as the only skill she can remember is raising children and housekeeping, most times little or no savings that barely carry her through. Jobs are hard to find and starting one is not any easier. She has to pick up that long forgotten certificate if she has any and boldly plunge into the labor market. Reality. How will she start?  Where will she start from? Now this brings us to another factor, perhaps the most important. Children.

How will these children live? Will their lives be normal without the impact of a father? Maybe she should have stayed back. Will the separation be traumatic for them? How will she feed them? Clothe them, educate them? Is she strong enough to train them right? Society has taught the female-folk that no single mother can properly raise a child and the mere fact that she is single is disqualifying enough.

The immediate family of each spouse may not make things any easier. Their high expectations of the woman is burdensome. She knows that they will be ashamed of her, unbelieving of her actions, demanding answers of her to questions she would rather not mull over. Aware to some extent that this woman is bruised, hurt, trampled on, taken for granted, manipulated and has finally had enough; knowing this yet pushing. Some lucky ones come from homes ready to receive them, unashamed to fight. The worst part of this family classic is the in-laws and that is exactly where the woman needs to save face because take it or not, her husband is their son and is blood…she must be a bad woman!

Religion -except for Islam- does not permit divorce on any grounds. The church even ignores the biblical standard and allowance for divorce which is infidelity. Setting society above common sense and compassion- that’s what!  The one place after family that should be a protective shield is void of the warmth and understanding it should originally hold. A divorced woman…let’s take away the word divorced…a woman who walks away from a marriage, even a toxic one, receives little or no measure of comprehension   from fellow worshippers. Even the religious leader is inclined to try to convince her to return to that home, remain there , have faith and pray for change.

It is sad to know that religion obviously also bends to the ideas of society, mixing spirituality with the benchmark of bias culture. Would God want her suffering when she can ease out? Weaker vessels? What’s that?! We understand  that  marriage can be sometimes complicated but we must also understand that each individual possesses unique strengths and the workings of each union is relative to the people involved.

So when you unfairly take away someone’s right to freewill, you have just abused them, taken away their dreams. How much control should each person really have over their partner? Should it even be a matter of control? Women want Acknowledgement not Analysis.

Again Craig says “She could decide to imbibe the law of faith and patience. Religion is binding, people know and take advantage but sometimes for one’s own benefit, you have to look past culture or religious beliefs to be happy…you either be a strong black woman and step out or take it”.

How long do we keep hiding under the pretentious auspices of oppressive tradition? Who are the originators of this tradition anyway? What should influence the making of tradition ? personal beliefs and circumscribed experiences or empathy?

Some level of freedom has set in, yes but society has shown that it is only pretending to support the new changes and many of us have seen through the façade of acceptance. How easy it is to ‘put a woman in  her place’ when it is suiting.

So! As a woman to all women I say: Pitch your tent where your heart is. NEVER let your wings be clipped. You can fly and you should fly.  Know that being strong is not always the physical battle you can fight ; many a times ,true strength lies in the ability to be wise ,up and walk away from trash. Any person who truly loves you will respect you and allow you have a life.

Too often women change who they are and what they aim for to impress everyone and make the men in their lives happy but I say if what you want makes you a better person and leads to a better future, why change it? Make a a choice to be happy . You can not always be agreeable. Love and respect yourself enough to move on because you are powerful and beautiful when you do.

If you are being abused in your relationship whether married or single, understand that silence will not save you. It will give you nightmares, a shattered heart, a broken spirit, wrinkled skin… It will haunt you forever.

You will always look back and wish you did things differently. Society will not always agree with you so follow your heart and intuition because in the end, society and all it’s trimmings do not matter. What does matter is how you feel about yourself and the life you have led. Be adventurous. Explore. Your destiny is not rooted in the kitchen, bedroom or labor room. Think for yourself out loud!

This is not encouraging wildness and irresponsibility but boldly exact the freewill God has given you and live the life you want…with wisdom. Exercise the strength of will to do away with all things and people toxic. And remember, NO WOMAN IS  (as renowned Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta so accurately put it in her book of similar title) SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN !