Category: Inspired

These are posts inspired by a quote, a movie, an artist and by anything that moves me to write.

The Value of Good Friendships

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

From recent conversations and generally observing the people around me, the value of a good friend has become more illuminated than it has ever been before. Having a good friend, even just one, is a really great blessing. A blessing which can significantly affect your life trajectory.

We often hear people talk about “the company you keep” and how “you are the sum total of the people you spend most of your time with”. I have seen this unfold in my life and those of the people around me. Most people do not invest much time in acquiring and keeping good friendships because we take it for granted. We think the people around us are good enough, but when last did you take stock of your friendships to check:

  • Are you helping each other to become better versions of yourselves?
  • Are you giving each other constructive advice or you spend time talking about other people or engaging in time-wasting activities?
  • Do you see your current friends in your future or you are just taking it one day at a time?
  • Are you being real with each other, or when you get together it is time to show off to each other, instead of building each other up?
  • If you would lose everything you own today, can you count on your current circle of friends to have your back?

If you can truly answer YES to these questions, then I can say you are in good friendships. Very few of us really take the time to evaluate our social interactions and this is dangerous. In 2018 and years before that, I spent a lot of hours with the wrong people who were not adding any value to my life. Only when you find yourself in the company of really good and meaningful individuals, do you start to notice the difference. I do not regret the people who have passed through my life, they also taught me a valuable lesson on friendships. Now, I am more careful who I bring into my circle.

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Happy to say that I have these women in my life

One of my friends said something that stuck with me this weekend. He was talking about ENERGY! and how each one of us gives off a certain vibe or energy which can be described as either positive or negative; life-changing and exciting or destructive energy. He said if you find people that are giving positive, life-giving, inspiring energy then reciprocate that because that is hard to come by. When it is reciprocated, it grows and you feed off each other’s positive energy and it can only get better from there. These are the kind of conversations I am trying to have in 2019.

Me and my close friends are always discussing pushing one boundary after the other. We are constantly challenging each other to do better and be better.  Me and Uche are always hyping each other up, calling each other boss ladies, LOL. It actually works because we put in the work to become what we confess everyday. We all need meaningful interactions, otherwise what are we expending our energy on? This is why it is also OK to outgrow some people and friendships that have reached a dead end. If the energy is off and the friendship has become more draining than useful, then it needs to go.

Wishing you a fruitful week and do take the time to evaluate and make solid friendships that make sense for your current life stage and for your future.

GG

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A love story…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself

He tried to heal the scars that others had left

I didn’t even allow him to love me completely, but he still did

I told myself I was done with love because I was scared it would always end in pain

He didn’t care. His love was like a balm to my wounded heart, but I wouldn’t love him back

For years he tried to thaw the ice that had settled in my heart. In a way he lasted so long because I knew I needed him, my heart needed him

I knew that even when I failed to show my love, he would make up for my lack with the abundance of love that he had

Love is sweet when two people love each other equally, or at least 60/40. When one is fighting to stay and the other is fighting to leave, it dies a slow death

He loved me with all he had and I lost him because of the ones who had been, the ones who were not him, but whose faults had left me thinking every man is a bad man

He wasn’t a bad man, and I knew that. But, I was too broken to accept that he could be different.

How I wish he was here today, how I wish I could turn back the hands of time. Because now I know how to love and he will never know it. Now I understand the kind of love he had, the unconditional, warts and all kinda love that he gave me when I was at my lowest; the always-forgiving kind of love that he gave when I didn’t even know myself, hated myself.

He loved me enough to let me go, hoping that one day I would come back to him. Now he is another woman’s husband. And she is one lucky woman. I just hope he still has that capacity to love that he had when I knew him

Now all I have are memories of the time he told me that I would never find another love like this…

Doing better at being happier…

I haven’t managed it yet, but I wish I could. It is just a realisation that I honestly need to step up my happiness game. Easier said than done but I have a couple of things that have jolted my memory to remind me of all the reasons why I should be happy:

How far I have come

Winding Road Photography

Anyone who knew me, say ten years ago, can attest to the fact that I have come a long way. There is this song that is driving me nuts these days by Nathaniel Bassey This God is too good where he says “Don’t look too far to see how good he is, just look at me…” Those lyrics get me all the time. I have had it good over the years, I have come through fire literally, considering my shady past. This is a very good reason to be happy because I can look back and thank God for how far I have come.

I have a good life

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This depends on your definition of “a good life”, but by my own standards and not in comparison to anyone else, I think I do have a good life. I can pay my bills and manage to eat everyday. At the moment, I can afford to travel at least once a year, which is something I enjoy doing.   When you get to a point of needing nothing materially, which is how I can describe how I feel right now, then there is a lot to be grateful for honestly. Of course, anyone reading this might feel that there is a lot that we need in our lives, but I have learned to not need things I can live without. So you might see me without the latest car or not living in the most sought-after apartment or house and feel that I still “need something”.  In my opinion most material things are “wants” not “needs” and where I feel comfortable is where I am the most happy.

Good Health

Blue Shorts

I cannot overstate the importance of this one. After I submitted my first draft in December 2018, I fell sick for at least two weeks from exhaustion and fatigue. I hate being ill because it limits what I can do and where I can go. We take for granted that we can move our limbs at will and dance when we feel like it, because we are healthy. I listened to a sermon by TD Jakes where he spoke about a digestive tract disease which makes it impossible for you to digest your food. We take things like being able to eat and process our food for granted, only because our body parts are working perfectly at the moment.  I have every reason to be happy for my health because even wealth cannot be enjoyed by someone who is lying in a hospital bed.

The people in my life

My clique, though small is the absolute best. It includes my blood family and families I have made over the years, my friends. I like to keep my circle small and exclusive, only because we have been through so much together and I just cannot imagine life without them. They make me happy because when I feel down, for any reason or other, I can always call one of them and have a chat that will surely uplift me. We motivate each other to always be the best versions of ourselves and I guess we are trying to figure out this life thing together. I am also grateful for good conversations with the right people. These can turn any gloomy day into one full of sunshine.

Sunflower during Sunset

It is not always easy to remember the things or people that make us happy, but I think I need to try each and everyday to do this exercise. Counting my blessings helps to change my mindset from being disappointed, defeated and sad to a mindset filled with expectation of a bright future, victory in our pursuits and knowledge that I can always choose happiness.

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Hope this inspires you as it inspired me.

GG

Disclaimer: Images used are stock free images from pexels.com

Are you worried about the future?

The future is a weird place that we all like to visit from time to time. As humans we just cannot help but spend time in an imagined future, full of hopes and dreams. But, for many of us, the future is filled with anxieties, worries and fears. What if I don’t make it? What if I don’t get that dream house? What if I end up alone? What if, what if, what if? It is an endless list…

Because it is the end of the year, everyone is thinking of the near future, 2019!!It is almost here, but we have already started saying what we want or hope for it to look like. Truth is, these are just more dreams. We have no way of knowing if our resolutions will actually come to pass. We can only hope that they do and put in as much work as we can to try and get there. But, are we ever really in control of what is going to happen to us?

Today I had a revelation. I was reading  Psalm 139:5 which says :

You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head

God goes before us, into our future and follows us, into the past. This means He already knows what the future holds and what we have been through before. He has seen it already.  What this means for me is that, there is no amount of worrying that is going to change what God has already planned for me. There is no amount of hard work that will change his purpose either. What this also means is that, when you surrender to His will for your life, you can live a life free from worry. If you pray for His will to be done in your life and trust that it will, then there is no need to be uncertain.

This was liberating for me. I am walking into 2019 with a certain feeling that I am going to WIN and everything is going to be just fine. That is a winning mindset.

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Happy New Year

Finding your passion

Image result for talent quotes

I know a lot of you may still be wondering what it is you are really passionate about. And, if we are being honest, most of our African economies do not really leave room for passionate pursuits. I wrote in this post What drives me? about how most of us as Africans do most of what we do for survival, not because we are passionate about it. We have mouths to feed and bills to pay.

But, I don’t think we were born to just pay bills and die. That is why I believe each of us has a greater calling for their life, that something they were created just to do. It is not easy finding out what that something is, and again, most of our African backgrounds and the way we were raised do not really allow for following out-of-the-norm passions.

In my family, the youngest of us and the only male child decided that formal education was not his thing. He quit college before getting the degree and you can imagine the outcry in our very African family. A lot of things were said about him; “he is cursed”, “he has been bewitched”, “he is lazy”. I realized later that the fear in our African society is more what will happen to him if he is not employable. But these days, with the rife unemployment rate, he was probably going to be an unemployed graduate anyway.  My brother decided earlier on that he would rather pursue a life in arts and craft and he did not think doing a degree would benefit him in any way. He is talented at drawing and his drawings come from his rich imagination. He found his passion and dared to follow it, even though he was shunned and called a failure. I look at him now, as a 27-year-old man and he seems happy. He does not live a conventional life and never conformed to society’s standards.

Many of us are scared to walk the road never walked before. We are scared of following our passions and tend to choose the safe route. Yes, it pays the bills and often that takes priority over doing something you love. But, I would like to believe that one day, whilst following your dream, you can make a living from it. Maybe one day, my brother will thrive in his art and be able to sustain a comfortable living off it. It all takes hard work and that stubborn determination, to never give up and to keep trying.

 

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From my brother’s collection

 

I think we worry too much about conforming to society’s standards. Most African families want their sons to be doctors and lawyers, but is that even what they want to do with the rest of their lives? If your motivation is money, then finding your passion is not going to be easy.

Just wanted to share my thoughts this afternoon as I am feeling really inspired.

Day 17 Blogtember Challenge

#MyAfricaMyWords

L.O.V.E

This post is inspired by the month of love…February and the following post by my fellow blogger »»Veracious Poet Is love truly blind?

Love has been a source of more pain than joy to me in the last few years.  But it is not LOVE that has brought me more pain than joy.

I now know that the people who do not know LOVE cause all the pain that is in the world today. It is people who do not understand what LOVE stands for, who are the problem, not love itself.  There is nothing wrong with love, but our understanding of the concept is flawed.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up and its faith, hope, patience never fail. 1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-7.

As a Christian, this is the definition of love I should know and apply.  As I grow older, I learn about LOVE more and more. I realize my own selfish needs, my own pride and how I have handled my past relationships with other people. I take full responsibility for own failed relationships and vow to learn to love the right way. I forgive people who have deliberately loved me the wrong way and boldly state that they didn’t know any better. I didn’t know any better.

As I let go of all the bad thoughts and negativity brought on by thinking the wrong way, I want to encourage someone to open their heart to someone today. I am not encouraging you to fall into a trap or love someone who does not love you. The right kind of love shows itself, it cannot hide and it does not hide. When it is real, you just know. There is just too much pretense in the world it is tiring.

If you can love others the way you love yourself, then you will figure out the real way to love. Would you want to hurt yourself? Would you want to lie to yourself? No!! So it starts with how we love ourselves and only then can we truly love others.

 

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image from Bitmoji

 

Happy month of LOVE…

GG

Don’t let a busy life stop you from writing.

I have become that writer who only writes when they have free time. I used to be able to write even in the busiest of times, as a coping mechanism.  My writing was an escape from the busyness of life and not something I would only do when I got time. In case you missed my post on the reasons why I write please click here → I used to write… Writing used to be so much fun.

Today I found myself wondering why these days I can only write when I have free time. What happened to writing out of inspiration that came from anywhere: a song I listen to; an experience I go through; a beautiful thought I have?

I came up with a couple of reasons:

  • This Ph.D. ok! I know, it is common to be inundated with tasks that include research, academic writing, meeting deadlines for supervision…etc, etc, when you are a Ph.D. student. I haven’t had time to even think of blogging or writing in my journal because I have more pressing writing tasks on my desk at the moment. I always say my blog is always there and it has no deadline.
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Image from blogs.nature.com

 

  • I have lost myself. Ok! this one is a bit melodramatic, but it came up in my thought process anyway. I have lost interest in most of the things I used to find joy in doing owing to my current state of…*wait for it*…being a Ph.D. student. Again, we go back to reason 1.
  • The search for content; which has in the past been relatively easy and interesting to do, has become a chore, one I cannot find the energy to do on some days. I know content must come naturally (to personal bloggers) because we write about our own lives.  But I realized I need to be in my best state of mind to come up with interesting content that readers can relate to, otherwise what’s the point right?

So, today I remind myself of this :

Being creative
Image from Pinterest

I want to do better. I really don’t have to wait until I am free to write because writing is a form of expression. If I cannot express myself, even during those times when I don’t feel like it, then I have lost my voice.

Here’s to wishing words will keep flowing on this page and on paper; ideas will keep flooding my mind and I will stay ALIVE!

GG