Just a little Toxin

toxins

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

You know what toxins are? They are those little substances you introduce into your system whether knowingly or by chance. Sometimes they may seem harmless, just a bunch of substances that may be ejected from your system when ‘you do your thing’ later on. There are also other toxins that are introduced into your system, not by you this time but by other people around you. The funny thing is that you might never even know when those toxins get into your system and cloud up your mind, your heart, your blood vessels and shoot up your blood pressure. Don’t act so shocked, you’re guilty of spreading these toxins to others too. So, these toxins are just jumping around waiting for whose body to accumulate in until they form a large army strong enough to bring a hefty man down to the ground.

Just before you start wondering what I’m rambling about or if I’ve suddenly acquired a degree in medicine let me paint a little picture of how much these toxins affect our lives even without our knowing it. Early in the morning, you’re all dressed and ready to start the day suddenly you can’t find your shoes. You’re so certain you took it off at the door of your room and your first suspect is your sister who denies seeing it. Since you don’t want to be late, you pull out the next option which is your least favourite pair and storm out of the house. You have a presentation to make that day and feel you would have been more confident in that pair of shoe you couldn’t find. You got on a bus to go to work and because you’re still very angry with your sis for denying taking your shoes, you don’t even notice when you step on someone’s feet. He erupts like an enraged bull, ready to charge at you with his large horns. He calls you all sorts of derogatory names (ashewo, to start with), abusing your mother, your father, your grand and great grand-parents.  You apologize, wondering why he’s so angry. You didn’t even march him with your stiletto heels which you would have worn that morning if your sister hadn’t hidden it. You didn’t see the pain in his eyes or the brokenness in his face due to the disappointing call he just got that morning. His friend that was supposed to lend him money had disappointed him. He used to be an easy going person before he lost his job in a bank due to the recapitalization policy that affected his employers. Now, he just doesn’t care who he vents his anger on. He’s at war with the whole world. On your own part, you are so sure your day has been poisoned by his reaction. In fact, the period within which you were searching for your shoes was the prelude that ushered in the disasters for that day, never mind that his reaction may have been worse if you had worn the stilettos you couldn’t find that morning. Your toxins were already accumulating before he dumped his extra on you. Later that night when you get home, your sister meets you at the door with the pair of shoes in her hand. She had found it at the back door. Then you remember that you had been so tired the evening you last wore those shoes that you flung them off at the back door, eager to get to your room and sleep.

Do you get the picture now? Do you see how toxins come into our lives sometimes with little or no efforts from us? It’s just crazy how we stir up stress in our lives. I once told a friend that we’ll be amazed how high our blood pressure could get over some insignificant things. Many people are hurting or in trouble and are seeking for whom to transfer their aggressions on. It hits you everywhere as long as you make some sort of human interaction. It could be from that market woman that abused you when you were bargaining with her. You had no way of knowing that her husband had brought in a second wife into her house the day before. Maybe it was that security man that banged the gate in your face before you could tell him the name of the person you wanted to visit in his office. You had no way of knowing that he had not been paid his salary for three months. Or maybe it was the girl at the fast-food joint that kept attending to people behind you while you tried without success to get her to attend to you and you became really maaad. You had no way of knowing that she had been on her feet all day and had not eating anything since the night before, and there you were looking like you didn’t have a care in the world. I could go on and on but I’m sure you can even think of one toxin that had been dumped on you today.

A popular adage says that you can’t stop a bird from flying over your head but you can prevent it from perching on your head. We can’t always stop people from transferring their toxins on us but we sure can stop those toxins from sitting in our minds. I know it’s annoying to have someone rain abuses on you for stepping on his foot especially when you’ve apologized sincerely. If you’re the emotional type it may even make you cry and it can mess up your whole day. As for me, I always try to remind myself that there is nothing I can do about what someone does to me. I can only deal with how I react. So these days, I’m quick to notice when I’m allowing toxins to build up in my system over irrelevant things. I’m also quick to detect when someone is dumping her toxins on me and I try as much as possible to avoid it. So the next time anyone wants to dump his toxins on me, I’m going to smile and smile and smile until the devil is so mad he decides to burst out from hell…lol…no fear… that won’t happen until we’re in heaven.

Have a toxin-free day!

Femmetotale

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To take a stand

take_a_standI was that kind of girl and some times I think I still am. I loved to sit on the fence. Wow, what peaceful, problemless (if there’s a word like that) existence it was. I didn’t have to worry about anyone disagreeing with me. I didn’t have to offend anyone. I didn’t have to make any explanations. I was good at being the only opinionless person. In fact, the first time I learned the meaning of the word, lukewarm I was very happy. Not too hot and not too cold. Suited me just fine. That was many years ago. Today, I have learned that there is no such word in existence (problemless and opinionlessness, I mean).

As we advance in life, several situations will always arise where we will be required to take a stand. It cannot be avoided. No matter, what sometimes, we can’t avoid offending someone because someone must be offended by our actions or inaction. If  you express an opinion that is against  someone else’s opinion then she would be offended and even if you decide not to express your opinion, someone would surely be offended by your failure to say something. Being grown up entails being able to take a stand. You must always stand for something.

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Unfortunately, it’s not possible to please everyone and taking a stand sometimes means standing alone. Your loved ones and your friends may not agree with you. What then do you do? Is there any way to avoid taking a stand? Yes there is and I am happy to announce to you that the only way to do that would be to live on an island away from civilization and other human beings. 

Those guys in the bible, you know the ones with those long difficult-to-pronounce names; Shedrach, Meshack and Abednego (BTW I’ve met ppl bearing the first two names but I’m yet to meet anyone called Abednego…hmm) those guys were really radical guys that took a stand despite the danger. I sometimes prefer to read it as a bible story and imagine that the fiery furnace was just a touch of computer graphics here and there but…it was as real as the story. What would I have done in their shoes? Hmm…your guess is as good as mine. I don’t think I would have done anything different from what you would have done. That’s where the issue of strong convictions come into play. They must have been pretty convinced about what they believed in to take such a stand. So, what do you believe in? Are your convictions strong enough for you to take a stand? If no, then I have to tell you that you are lukewarm.

It is not possible to be lukewarm or sit on the fence. In fact you will be worse off being lukewarm. Check out what I found out about being lukewarm that made me learn to take a stand kia kia! I was forced to change my mind about it when I read Rev. 3 about the lukewarm church. Mehn… I had to quickly take a stand.  The early Christians chose to take a stand even at the point of death. Most of us have never even faced a life and death situation for the sake of our faith and yet we hide what we believe. Surprisingly, it is easier to hear someone say, ‘I don’t believe that there is a God in heaven than it is to hear someone say, I believe in God.” Just for the sake of not sounding too churchy or the fear of being ostracized by our peers, we’d rather not say it. I sometimes wonder if God would be as ashamed of us as we are to admit our follower-ship  of him but then I know He is not like man and He sees things differently from us.

With the benefit of hindsight now I just laugh when I think about the dread of pressure from peers. We are always so preoccupied with thoughts of what will people say that we would rather act like them.The funny thing is that we always act like we want to be different from our peers, to stand out and accomplish great things yet when the chips are down our mouths get frozen. In fact, the only way you can distinguish yourself from others is by being different. Learn to take a stand and to take the lead. Now may be your only chance to take a stand.

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

Devices

‘Be ye not ignorant of the devices of the enemy’ – II Corinthians 2:11

            Mobile phones, internet, black berry messenger, TVs, computers, ipods, etc. They are all wonderful technological advancements. Technology is evolving at a very fast rate, and what most people did not even think could be real a few years ago is now becoming a reality. Smart phones that act more like humans  have now taken the world by storm and a lot of people cannot imagine what life would now be like if they didn’t have the internet, iphones, and BBMs at their disposal. The simplest of things, such as TV, movies, and even video games, have also evolved, and each of them offers consumers a wide array of choices and new possibilities. Facebook and Twitter keeps children and adults alike glued to desktops, laptops, and iPads.  It has become a major cause of  social isolation. It is a normal occurrence for someone to be walking and ‘pinging’ at the same time, even in church.  Can you evaluate how much time do you spend with these devices in a day? How much of that time have you actually applied to developing yourself?

Oh! how easy and exciting these devices really make our lives. In fact we can easily say that we can’t live without them. Yes, they are all wonderful devices that take away boredom from our lives but are they also taking away more from us than we know?

When any device takes away your time with God you need to stop and wonder if it is not what the bible referred to as a device of the enemy. Remember that the enemy entices us subtly. This is not to say that these devices are bad (after all you wouldn’t be reading this without those devices) but the wrong application of anything could make it bad.  Have you ever found yourself ‘pinging’ in church (***winks)? If like me, you sometimes think you can’t live without your BB, or ipod, more grease to your elbow (and I don’t mean it in a good way). You need to make a change today. Some people are making positive influences with technology. Are you one of them? Are you making a difference in your circle of influence?

Try spending more time with things that will improve your life; the word of God, motivational books, inspirational messages, devotionals, etc.

Dare to be a difference!