Your break will come

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Some days are just like that. You wake up in the morning, stretch on your bed like a cat for a few moments and smile to yourself, ready to start the day. Then you start to notice that something is just not normal about the day. You draw your curtains and sniff in the cold air, fully expecting the darkness to give way to the light but you realize that something is definitely wrong. With every tinge of light, the dark clouds advance even more and it dawns on you that it’s going to be one of those dark rainy days. Just like that, your excitement that morning is replaced by a somber mood that lingers all through the day.

First you got to the office late because you couldn’t find your umbrella and even when you thought the rains had finally subsided and stepped outside, the torrents increased immediately as though it was waiting for you to fall into its traps. The day doesn’t get any better. Just because you arrived at the office late, you were unable to complete your task for that morning and you got a heavy dose of shouting from your irritable boss (there’s no way of telling whether there were ants in her chemise or something) and every other thing that day goes that way and you find yourself wishing you could just get a break from life. The job you’re doing is just that…a job. Somewhere your passion lies untended because you have to put food on your table first before thinking about living your dreams. You feel as though your dreams have been neatly packaged in a box and set adrift the sea that never flows backwards.

I read an inspiring write up by Tyler Perry, a man whose name is synonymous with success in the world of television. He wrote about the years he spent as a shoe shiner, a car sales man with a dream which he almost never believed would one day come to pass. Today, he boasts of an empire and people wonder the secret of his success. He never knew that the years spent in struggle were preparing him for his future.

I also know a boy who had so much hopes and dreams for the future. Sometime in his teenage years, his dreams were thwarted and he found himself in a strange land, a slave with no hope or future. The story got worse and the storm clouds of his life darkened even more. Somewhere in his heart, he held a candle of hope, refusing to give up on his dreams or his beliefs. He didn’t allow his circumstances to define him and he held tenaciously to his faith. Did he know that the period he spent in the prison was preparing him for a lifetime of administration and governance of a great nation? Did he know that the people he met in the prison were the ones that would introduce him to his destiny? Did he have any idea how his vision would come to pass? Before you give up hope just remember that the one who has the manual for your life knows your end and he promises that it will be beautiful. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jer. 29:11.

Some days are just like that. The rains keep pouring and it doesn’t seem like it will ever stop. Are you at that point when life starts to look so bleak and it seems like you will never get a break? Are your dark clouds getting even darker and the story of your life seems to have no happy ending? Now is the time to remind yourself that your break will come. The night does not last forever. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. Rejoice for as sure as the dawn, your break will surely come.

Femmetotale

Should I leave it in the Closet?

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This is for the ladies who carry so much emotional baggage around, hoping to make a new relationship work, wondering if you should reveal the skeletons in your cupboard or if you should just let them be. If you’ve never had emotional issues in the past then you may not be able to relate with this but if you’re one of those who have had so much to cry about in the past, who have been on the brink of suicide or have experienced untold hurts and pain from people you placed so much hopes on then you may feel at home reading this. I hope you find inspiration to make your next relationship work.

From childhood, Jane always felt there was nothing special about her. She wasn’t a bright kid, she had poor grades, couldn’t grasp simple arithmetics and didn’t feel good enough for anything. She wasn’t the kind of child anyone would see and smile at. She was simply plain Jane. To worsen matters, she had taken a liking to stealing. She would pilfer erasers, sharpeners, ribbons and pens in class. Somehow, she never got caught. She hated school but going home wasn’t something to look forward to either. Her mom would beat her for not getting an answer right in her homework or for some other reason such that she was miserable most of the time.

Then, Erastus, her dad’s second cousin came to live with them. He was a second year University student. He would slap her butt playfully when no one was looking and when she told him to stop he would tell her he was only playing with her. One day, he caught her stealing money from her mother’s purse. That was the day everything changed for Jane. He threatened to tell her mom if she refused to do whatever he wanted. She was so afraid that she gave in. She was only twelve when the abuse started.

Jane grew up feeling so worthless. She hated mirrors because everytime she saw her image in the mirror, she was reminded of how worthless she was. Her low self esteem degenerated into self pity, resentment and anger. Sometimes she would just stare into thin air for minutes. She felt she had nothing to lose anymore and started sleeping around at a very young age. Somehow she finished school, became a strong Christian and carried on with her life. None of her relationships ever lasted long. She couldn’t understand why they were so quick to dump her after hearing the sad story of her life after all she was doing whatever they wanted. Why couldn’t they love her and forgive her past? It wasn’t her fault she was abused, was it?

For years, Jane struggled with her pain and rejection. She finally met this man that seemed to be her dream come true. After a couple of dates, he told her he loved her. She was so relieved to hear him say that. It wasn’t long before she started to tell him the story of her life. What she saw in his eyes was not pity or empathy, rather he looked repulsed. He stiffened and loosened his embrace. He had to pick up his mom from church, he said and zoomed off rather quickly.

Within the next few weeks, Jane barely heard from him and cried her heart out for days. I tried to console her and pull her out of her depression as much as I could. Now it’s not normally my style to be blunt but… I told her that she has to be healed from her past hurts first before starting any relationship. My take on this is that it is not necessary to start broadcasting your issues to your date at the early stage of your relationship except if it is something that is still ongoing or likely to come up in the future. Besides why are you still carrying such a heavy burden around? Why heap it on someone else and expect him to carry it for you? Ask God’s forgiveness, forgive yourself and move on and if there is still any burden to be carried then hand it over to him. He promises to bear your burdens for you. You cannot keep dwelling in your past. It is true that something bad happened to you but your past does not define your present. If you doubt it, ask the great men and women who had terrible pasts too. Read Paula White’s or Donnie McClurkin’s story and you will understand. Let what happened in the past stay in the past. Time heals all wounds, they say and it is true. The wounds may heal and leave a scar. Just as the warrior proudly displays his scars, let that scar be a reminder that you are a  survivor. As much as you can, be an encouragement to someone else in your shoes.

If you want to make your relationship work then please leave that baggage in the closet and enter your new relationship free and positive. Love yourself and live in your present. If your views are different from mine then please I’d love to hear them. Just leave your comments in the comment box. Cheers!

Femmetotale

First Impressions

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What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you meet someone?

It’s happened to you, it’s happened to me countless times, it’s happened to everyone before. For some inexplicable reason I might just find myself disliking someone the very first time we meet. Call it prejudice or whatever but human beings are first attracted to good things. Enlightened minds know how true it is when people say, the way you dress is the way you will be addressed. No one needs to tell you to wear a neat suit when attending an interview even if it is the only thing you have or you have to borrow it. Nobody needs to remind you that you must dress in your best outfit on the day you have an appointment with the Governor of your state. In fact, you may even use your last dime to purchase a new suit just for that occasion. Your appearance opens doors for you or at least gets your foot in the door.

I witnessed a hilarious scene where a driver who was dressed in an expensive looking agbada was led to the High table and offered a seat there, with a lot of “Welcome sir,” from well dressed men who were practically bowing to greet him. I also witnessed, on another wedding, a driver who was barred from entering the reception venue by bouncers simply because he was poorly dressed. No plea was sufficient to make the bouncers let him in. Two men in the same calibre, different impressions. You may say that it doesn’t matter, after all it is what you have on the inside that matters but then when and how will you get that opportunity to show what you have on the inside?

Apart from dressing (cos dressing only grants you an opportunity by opening the door for you) it is also important that when you open your mouth to speak, you must maintain the good impression about yourself that your dressing may have projected. If you find that you are poor in presenting yourself to people then it is not too late for you to ask God for wisdom and guidance – James 1:5-6. For instance, when you walk into a place and the door is opened to you, you have only a few minutes to determine if the person is going to listen to you or if your journey will end there. I was much impressed by Joseph in Genesis 41: 14 where Joseph was brought out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. He had the good sense to first clean himself up, shave his beard and wear clean clothes before appearing before Pharaoh. Now, he not only appeared neatly but exercised wisdom. Someone else might have immediately started talking about the injustice he received at the hands of his brothers and Portiphar’s wife but he was wise enough to first deal with more important things that would gain him a place in Pharaoh’s heart.

I know first impressions are not always accurate but most times people form their opinions about you from the very first impression they get. There are some people who may never speak to you in this life but will refer to you based on that impression they got about you.

If you know nothing else know that as the light of the world, your behaviour, character and attitude speak louder than words. So if you want to be the Femmetotale then make your first impressions count.

Femmetotale….

7 things I wish someone would tell me

I recently made a post about believing in yourself but the truth is that believing in yourself is actually one of the most difficult things to do in life. It is difficult to believe in yourself when you keep failing at things,  losing at things you desire or when you feel that you are not good enough. Imagine how much easier it would be if you had someone holding your hands up when you are discouraged. Imagine if you had your own personal life coach with you every moment of the day, helping you to make the right decisions and offering you a way to retrace your steps when you derail.

Here are 7 major things I wish someone would tell me. Okay, well it started off at 7 but became 15! I guess the number of things I wish someone would tell me are inexhaustible but these are some of them.

1. You can achieve anything you set your mind to achieve: I remember those moments my mother used to say to me repeatedly as a child, how much I could achieve if only I set my mind to it. I heard it so much that it almost became annoying to me. Now, I realize how true and how right it was.

2. You have succeeded before, you can still do it again: Most times, when faced with a new challenge, it is difficult to remember that I have ever succeeded at anything. I have to continually remind myself that I can do it again and again.

3. Criticisms are not an indictment of your person, they are of your character or your work. Learn to look at it outside of yourself: Sometimes when someone criticizes something that I did, I immediately assume that the person means I am not good at that thing. The result is that I feel so bad that I don’t even bother to try again.

4. Someone admires you even when you don’t believe so: There are so many days when it is so difficult to believe this but no matter what, someone will always desire to be like you.

5.  Mistakes can be corrected and forgotten: Ahah this! Have you ever felt that one mistake is all it takes to spoil everything? I wish I didn’t have to take myself too seriously all the time but to know that a mistake can be corrected and it can be forgotten.

6. Let go of your fears, they are the shackles holding you back: I wonder who termed them phobias! There is a name for the fear of almost anything. Sometimes I’m afraid to try just because I am afraid of failing and sometimes I am afraid of succeeding because I fear I may not be able to handle the success…oooh..it’s very exhausting. Sometimes I have to remind myself to let go.

7. Setbacks are only temporary, that’s why they are called setbacks: I remember learning about the law of inertia and thinking that nothing can move forward without moving back a bit. Would someone just remind me of that when next I face a set back?

8. Every minute of the day counts: Yeah, even the minutes I spend daydreaming or watching movies endlessly. I need to become more productive.

9. Your past does not control your future: I need someone to remind me all the time that who I was yesterday doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with who I’ll become tomorrow.

10. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking about you: I’m not a mind reader. I can never know exactly what people think about me so why do I bother to wonder if they like me or not? Besides what does it matter? I need to learn to stop second-guessing people

11. Try being honest with yourself…and others: How much simpler my life would be if I could learn to be honest with myself and others.

12. Stop trying to impress others, they will never be impressed enough: If we could sometimes evaluate our relationships with others we would be amazed how much we do in order to impress people we don’t even know. The funny thing is that they will never be impressed enough.

13. Being special means being different. You mustn’t be like everyone else. It’s okay to be different: If I’m not different then I cannot be special. I need to learn not to be afraid to stand out in the crowd.

14. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Let others do the judging and you can choose to listen or ignore them: If I were my own judge, I would probably be incarcerated for life by now. I need to stop judging myself too harshly.

15. Finally, can someone please remind me of how special, how beautiful and how unique I am? lol…thanx

I hope this will prove useful to you too.

Femmetotale…

Little acts of Kindness

It takes just a moment in time to make an indelible mark in someone’s life. It takes just a moment to carve your name on someone’s heart with your little act of kindness. Just like spreading grains for merry birds to eat, your kindness may be all someone needs to put a smile on her face. Sometimes it is difficult to recognize the moment to show kindness. Sometimes the moment may be lost to us in our hurry to meet up with life’s challenges. It may be lost to us while we are brooding over our disappointments. How often do you notice that your colleague has been wearing a long face not because she’s too lazy to do her work but because of the pressures at home. How often do you say a genuine word of encouragement to that menial worker you see everyday? How often do you dismiss a plea for help as bogus when you could have lent a helping hand? How often do you randomly help strangers? Have you ever taken time to talk to someone that is facing a challenge? Sometimes your reassuring voice telling her everything will be fine may be all she needs.

I once heard a story of a girl that went to see a priest. Such was her pain that she couldn’t handle it on her own. The priest was in a hurry and he asked her to wait. He didn’t understand the urgency, the desperation in her tone as she pleaded with him to help her. He didn’t refuse to help her…he just couldn’t do it then. She had to wait for him to finish saying mass. Oh yes she did wait…long enough to commit suicide. By the time he was ready for her it was too late. No one knew what her desperation was about. He failed to recognize the moment.

I showed a little kindness to someone. All I did was talk to her patiently during a trying moment even though I was really tired and it wasn’t convenient for me. I didn’t even know how much it meant to her. It was years later that she told me my kind words had kept her strong in her difficult times. I didn’t turn away when she needed me and she would never forget that. Automatically I had been elevated to her personal wall of fame – a place reserved for people that positively affect our lives. I cherished those words and realized that nothing trumps the feeling of knowing how important you are to someone!

Ladies, do you want to be placed on someone’s wall of fame? Then go out of your way to show kindness to someone. Even if she forgets, history will never forget and most importantly God will never forget.

Dare to be a difference…

Femmetotale

10 Random acts of kindness

  • Pay a strangers transport fare
  • Say “Good morning” to a person standing next to you in the elevator.
  • Take a minute to give directions to someone who is lost even though you’re in a hurry.
  • Volunteer for charity organized for children
  • Offer to run errands for an elderly neighbor
  • Give alms to less privileged persons
  • Say “I love you” to someone
  • Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.
  • Offer to assist someone with her luggage
  • Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it.
  • When you’re on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.
A good character is the best tombstone.  Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered.  Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.  ~Charles H. Spurgeon

Be Positive (B+)

Do you see the glass of milk as half full or half empty?

             ‘Why me?’ ‘It’s not fair!’ ‘I’m a loser!’ ‘I’m a failure’ I just want to die!’ How often do you hear yourself use these words that we easily use whenever we’re disappointed in ourselves. They are also negative words that attract negativity to us like a magnet. Every situation has two sides to it (there are always two sides to a coin). Which side do you choose to see?

             Your first thought whenever you fail at something, is the negative. Sometimes it clogs up your senses like debris and keeps you from seeing anything positive in your life. If you don’t check it on time, you might get sick from depression or worse still you might attract it into your life as a permanent situation. Remember that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he! (Prov 23:7).

              Next time you fail at something or you are disappointed and you are tempted to feel bad, try to see the glass as half full. Look at the positive side of that creation and be thankful for the things you have. There is always something to pick up when you fall. No one ever succeeds without failing at least once.

            A simple exercise that often works is STOP. Just say it out loud whenever you are tempted to slip into negativity and it will break that flow of thought.

S…. stop

T…. thank

and

O…. offer

P…. praise