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Approaching the Elephant in our room.

DSC_0919Here I am trying to breastfeed my 2 month-old-baby, MY GOODNESS!! She’s making such a fuss! It seems like she’s having difficulty latching on or even not sure how to work my nipples! I smiled and said to myself, “Oh, it’s my third baby, so I should be a pro at this” (inward consolation thing). Phew!

I’m admiring this beautiful full curly black-haired baby, her tiny cheek so soft and round like one drenched with precious memories of the sweetness of a baker’s delight; A sugar-covered-jelly donut! Her little black eyes twitched as the bright morning reflection of sunray brushes over her face.

Ah! My post-cancer baby! So squishy and velvety, radiating the most enchanting features of love and beauty.

But there was a problem.

I wasn’t getting enough direct eye contact from her.

Is it that those around me didn’t recognize it or had decided to ignore it? Am I the only one seeing the mighty footprints? Or was I getting paranoid for no darn reason! After all, that’s what I do 5 days a week for other families.

My heart skipped a beat! And when it finally found its way back to my body, it broke into a million pieces when she wouldn’t trace my finger across her face! I quickly went shopping in my brain and bargained for all the best nursery rhymes I could find. Fetched all the Early Intervention child developmental milestones books I could read! As a therapist for child-development myself, it was harder for me to accept the intruding delay that could be, but so much easier for me to bring in all the best child developmental services in Delaware county into my room.ele 1

Even though it was my own child needing early childhood intervention, my commitment was stronger than that of Lady Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. #GOT

So, Elephant in the room is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth of chaos that is going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to talk about, discuss or address.ele 3

In the real world where you and I live, it is regarded as our state of mind! It is that nicely swept problem that forcefully resides with us; based on dis-approval, denial and dis-illusion.

But, in the make-believe world we feign, it is an abode for that hush-hush marital insecurity issue, it is that heavy feeling of pain and anguish when one is being used and betrayed, it is that status-quo inadequacy, it is that child still wondering if the term ‘bastard’ is a middle name! It is that sexuality problem never discussed and still un-resolved/that beautiful young lady wondering if true love really still exists after a horrid heart break!

It is that delayed passage of breakthrough or diabolical hunger and quest to make it big and fast in life! It is that infertility no-go area discussion! The nights of free-flowing tears on the loss of a baby or pregnancy, those complicated medical results, un-resolved family drama, carried on from generation to generation! All those frightening controversial issues which is so obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or trigger arguments or is simply a taboo. What’s the fear? That we could be judged? that the issue ought to be discussed openly, or it can simply be an acknowledgment that the issue is there and not going to go away by itself!

Aren’t some of the things we go through today similar to an Elephant in a room that’s impossible to overlook? like seriously!! ‘Hello…’Am still here!ele 5

Issues that involve social taboo, discussion of race, religion, gender equality or even suicide. Should the people who might have spoken up decide that it is probably best avoided?

I don’t think so. How else would the elephant make an exit? Or am I wrong?

Could it be because our infirmity has now become our identity or because our crisis now defines who we are and forms the familiar guidelines of our life?

With the entrance of an elephant in their room, some people use their weaknesses to get the attention they crave or to keep from assuming any responsibility in their own lives, but not with a huge animal like an elephant starring you in the face day in day out!

What about our own situation that’s so glaring, yet we cover it up with nicely packaged-fragrance, expensive line of make-up with ambiguous price tags to suck in the scars or marks? Or that sensual erotic 6-pack image that attracts only what the eyes can see as the soul bleeds and begs to run far away from its misery!

Isn’t that a cover up for obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about?ele 4

Our helplessness can be our most powerful offering – Only if we are willing to be honest and transparent. Admitting the obvious. Sometimes it is a lot easier to just stay in the room and wait than to struggle toward the light without acceptance.

Can you see yourself in this room, with an invisible elephant? Have you been trapped or paralyzed by the pain of loss or rejection or the weight of an intruder in your personal space? Are you taking care of a child with special needs and feeling overwhelmed? Have friends betrayed you and left you lying by a pool of crushed hopes and dreams?

God sees your helplessness. He knows your heart and hears your desperate cry. Stand up today to that intruder in your room, and let God direct your path.

Yours in HOPE as I share ‘Am I Wrong’ by Nico & Vinz.

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

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Life’s issues exhausting? ’Time to fix our eyes on…

fixOur Emotions: Affection, Despair, Rage, Shame, Sentiment, Passion, Excitement, Pride, Remorse or Anger can be a great motivator in our lives and also a great enemy at other times.

According to Watchman Nee, author of Spiritual Discernment, “Emotions are the believer’s number one enemy – not the devil, but our emotions” That’s why we always need to have a sincere talk with our feelings and check-in with our mindset.

When we live our life emotionally exhausted, there’s no fun in it. Practically everyone I know growing up had dreams of great adventure, love-passionately, fun, family and friends, Right? If we take a look at our current lifestyle and consider how the reasons listed above has caused an emotional energy crisis in our life, then we can connect with the renewable resources that’s needed to fuel our emotional energy and plug up the leaks draining us. Certainly, we’ll feel better about ourselves, our relationships and our lifestyle.

About 23 years ago, I survived a horrific school riot. Myself and two other Polytechnic students managed to escape into a nearby bush and were rescued by an elderly villager who shielded us against the brutality of angry student-demonstrators and also harbored us from the more-angered mobile policemen arresting students on sight. We took solace alongside the villager’s jolly wife and their four children inside his un-completed 2-bedroom house, by the outskirt of Bori in Rivers State. No electricity or running water – we were so terrified and uncertain about our future and cried our hearts out every minute until we ran out of tears! But they treated us well, provided us food until the 2nd night when a vigilante team and police escort came by to rescue us and delivered us home safely.

That was one crazy –memorable period of my life. I was emotionally drained, demented and displaced! Myself and the other 2 students who escaped together, formed a special bond that’s made us best of friends since then. If a fly had mistakenly perched on my nose, I would ball into uncontrollable tears! literally! It was a messy emotional distraction! The effect/aftermath of the riot!

So, again I‘ve had to fight that forbearance battle! but this time around with my chin tilted up and the tears that came was to celebrate freedom of expression and not fear. My eyes were fixed on God’s purpose for me to learn from those challenging issues I couldn’t wish away, erase, rewind or wipe off with white out! But with grace, to press the play button and move forward instead.

Bouncing back, I realized that if we give God the reins of our heart, we’ll surely find stability. But then, we have to give Him all the reins or we’ll still be in danger of pulling in the wrong direction as we run our races. If we pick and choose which emotions we will submit to God and which ones we’ll allow free rein in our souls, we might still be unstable and wounded. We’ll end up holding on tight as the emotional roller coaster turns us upside down and leaves us spinning in circles.

Friendship breaks when it’s not nurtured, Family ties gets knotted when love is conditional, Marriages fail when we run out of the emotional energy to reach one more time across the divide of anger and silence. Dreams die when we kill the enthusiasm to hang in there and face all the obstacles that may come with it.

Today, I am encouraging someone reading this to Hit Rewind, Click Delete, and Stand Face To Face with whatever mistakes or heartbreak or emotional coaster they’re riding on. To be able to identify what made them feel emotionally exhausted and to say “NO MORE” to that which deplete them, so that they can create more space in their life for saying “OH YES” to that which fuels their spirit, soul and body. Here’s what I’d do differently… Focus on the play button and ‘Fix my eyes on God!

Yours in Hope as I share one of my favorite songs below.

Yinka 

 

 

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