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Accepting the “Shift in our Atmosphere”

camp-5When something exciting and unexpected jumps at us during one of those cloudy days of our lives, how do we manage the emotion?

Have you ever questioned or struggled with certain circumstances that sometimes come to you suddenly as a pleasant surprise, a shocking revelation or a hurdle of nerve-racking challenges or indecision? A test or a leap of faith?

So, the moment my father’s powder blue Volkswagen Beetle drove off the visitor’s parking lot of Rima house (my hostel), I knew one thing was certain that day! I-was-doomed!

1-     Maybe Mr. & Mrs. Gansallo were not my real parents after all (I was probably adopted or kidnapped as a baby)  or

2-     Maybe my mother, being the tough Up Bendel’ woman she claimed she was, was just at her best to frustrate me and drive me to my early grave! While my father, all dressed up in his favorite Cuban shirt was too terrified of showing his emotion in public, and of course, didn’t want his wife to nag him all the way back to Lagos, reminding him of how much He had spoiled me rotten!  Phew!camp-4

I was just 11 years old, and my parents had just dropped me off in the deepest forest, concentration-camp-like boarding school, about 400 kilometers away from home!

Who does that? How did I get here? Why do I have to travel far away for secondary schooling? All the way…to FGGC, Sagamu! Ogun state. Whatever happened to schools down the road from my house?

OMG! They really hated me! I thought to myself as I cried myself to sleep that night on my upper bunk bed, Ohhh, so even my pet name “Atupa Parlor” (the glowing lantern in a room) didn’t mean anything to them again. I-have-been-robbed-emotionally!! 😦

In my solitude and grief, I found comfort in the company of about 50% of my old classmates from primary school who were also dropped off by their parents, who had also driven back to Lagos, smiling happily and about to enjoy all the luxuries we were missing here at the boarding school.

It took me days to adjust to the tons of rules passed down by Madame Chaudhry, my bulbous Indian house mistress, the early morning bells, the sluggish and sleepy-eyed tweens and teenagers in fancy oversized nighties or awkward red-checked house wear, the long walk to the massive dining hall where breakfast is usually consumed as fast as it takes to say the grace, the mandatory early morning assembly gathering as our beautiful flawless light-skinned British-accent VP (Mrs. Odusote) begins her ‘oh-not-again speech!

‘Girls! Girls!’ ‘Wake up to your future” or “Oh dear! Bad Girls,  My heart bleeds for you…blah bla bla!camp-6

That’s the moment I always remember my parents actually did something great for my future. Yeah, dropping me off in the middle of nowhere to emerge a doer amidst the craziness behind those tall walls overnight. Such transformation! From that fragile, tiny over-pampered girl into a grab-the-horn and move-it woman! – all by the grace of God.

Today, here I am eagerly packing and sending my 10-year-old son off to his school’s 5th grade science club camp, deep into the woods and pure lakes of Michigan. Aha!

Here I am feeling my heartbeat double and triple as I merge into the season of change that’s launching God’s plan for my desire, reflecting on my own younger days away from home, diving into the grace to start well and end well, leaving the past behind and summoning on courage to continue the journey, of my main purpose of leaving home!’ but even this kido isn’t moved or sober or afraid of change. He’s elated! Oh Vinny! 😦

And am here freaking out and remembering the day I had to push all of him, 9lb+  out of me that early morning in April at Pennsylvania Hospital!

“Mom, wake up to your future! I will be just fine!camp-1

That was all I needed to hear to bounce back to reality. My VP’s piercing words of advice “Wake up to your future” That was my lesson and the booster I needed afterwards that made me travel another 1,000 kilometers away from home to attend college and even further and further as destiny calls…

If you are reading this and feel a kind of disconnection to your dreams or passion or niche for life, honestly ask yourself…‘Am I waking up to my future? or ‘living it in my dreams?’

You see, because you know you want something! You deserve that GOAL! You crave that PATH! ’It breathes and oozes your name in every aspect, it speaks your language and has your DNA of perfectionist spread all over it! But you aren’t really prepared for the pomp and pageantry that could come with it. That was my own personal excuse for years..

camp-7The crowd cheers you on, you’re like a super star in your little corner, a small fry in a broken pan…a small fish in a big lake, the bill board has your image space vacant, its waiting for you.. ‘but what’s holding you back? Are you also afraid of taking that bold step into your assigned destiny? Are you afraid of Change? The journey? Transition issues?

The carving process called change knocks us into a deep slumber of uncertainties…maybe, well maybe it isn’t time yet! Or maybe I will wait and wait…till the baby boomers launch your ideas in their retirement plan!

How do you manage change or adjustment or transition? Do you look at it as an avenue to finally launch your life’s purpose or could it be that you are God’s brewing subject in the making all the while? So happens that, NOW is just the right time and right place! You just never saw it coming. Did ya?

Or, have you ever gone through a period of discouragement or disappointment? because you tried once and it failed? Perhaps you’re in one right now. Believe me, I’ve been right there with you. Trust me, I’ve hidden in the cave with Elijah, under the gourd plant with Jonah, and finally sneaked into the desert with Moses. #FearOfMovingForward

Our fear and discouragement of accepting a change comes when there is a gap between what we always expect and what we eventually experience, like when there is a gap between what we hoped would happen and what actually does happen. #GreatExpectations

Believe me, our blessings is hanging in the atmosphere. It’s the move or shift we ignore everyday.

garlicAre we aware that there are people God places in our path for an eternal purpose? The beauty salon or barber shop stylist you patronize needs to see God’s love in your smile.

That unplanned stop where you run into an old friend who needs encouragement is really an opportunity sent by God.

You get a text or email from an unwanted friend and ignore the burden of a lonely soul, Does she/he need to know that you care … so she can know God cares?

Where are we looking? Behind us? At things of the past that make us cringe in fear for the future we don’t know, are we still reveling in the glory of a past long gone? Let’s look for God in our circumstances … in the people we meet … in the unwelcome intrusion of a neighbor … in the infuriating behavior of a co-worker or the exasperating antics of a teenager.

camp-9‘Moving forward, onward or along is an acceptable shift for our atmosphere.

Rooted to the same circle of confusion is a deadly disease we take for granted, because it’s a safe prescription and a very cheap one to manage. ‘We are what we MOVE.’ – Yinka.

If you are meeting resistance in your hopes and dreams, then you’re most likely on the right track. Because the devil wouldn’t mess with you if you weren’t a menace to his plans and a valuable asset to God. #Goals

Today, I am hoping someone will wake up to their future plans by turning their dreams into reality. By turning uncertainty into sureness. Take the risk and make it happen, surprise your dreams by dragging it into the future.

I am hoping that someone will eventually let go of debilitating discouragement, procrastination, fear of change or just plain old-fashioned waiting on someone for a move first, and take hold of their next shift! Change is the only constant.

I know I just did by moving forward into my next assignment in life, and still in AWE of God’s goodness.

In my conversation with God and my daily journal, I’ve had to pinch myself back to reality saying “No human could have done this for me, But God did!  All because of His mercy and compassion, overlooking my craziness, errs and mishaps, He picked me out to be moved and used for his glory! and is still moving me forward”. #Praises

**Thanks again to everyone who made my transition easy! Wow! ‘am still beaming with love and affection for the book I received during the ‘love-filled see-you soon send off dinner’ ‘I appreciate it.

“It would be all so easy if you had a map to the Maze.

If the same old routines worked.

If they’d just stop moving “The Cheese.”

But things keep changing.

-Spencer Johnson, M.D.  “Who Moved My Cheese?

Yours in HOPE as I share Jason Nelson’s ‘Shifting The Atmosphere”

Yinka.

 

 

 

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Living in a Tabloid-Infested World (Marriages and Relationships)

new 5Until you have experienced monsters, mayhem and mind-blowing-murdering-brawl in your marriage, every talk about “happily-ever-after” is just a joke!

But things could get better or worse, Right?

Even if you are celebrating recovery from overcoming hurts, hang-ups and habits from a sour relationship’ every life coach or love expert might as well go-jump-into-the-lagoon-with their “pocket-sized-advice” #Talk-To-The-Hands! (eyes rolling in utter disgust!)

Or when you hear of another marital discord or relationship break up in the news or through your favorite social media news feed, do you panic in forbidden excitement of what could have happened?

Do you crave for more juicy and gory details of how it finally collapsed? ‘Especially when there’ve been so much signs and tales of the doom day in the making?

love me 1Do you get jaw-dropped-drooling when you see those fantastically orchestrated display of fake and formed affection between lovers on social media and get frustrated at their outward display of fronting or intimidated that your own lover isn’t calling you boo or bae or one of those petty silly names and not a show-off superlative lover or romantic like theirs? #InstagramShowOff   #FacebookFakePerception

Aww!! Don’t get mad. Be glad you’re not part of that staged game!

Could someone please remind me that courtship is the fantasy land we lavish on soulfully, blindly and recklessly while marriage is the real thing-lifetime do or die institution? Everyone is admitted based on their initial feelings, initial agenda or initial determination, not fully aware of the consequences and sacrifices to be made. You either pass, fail, repeat or retreat! The choice is yours! Let’s keep it real, marriage is a tough institution! Period!

Seems like we forget in a hurry that every real marriage or relationship has its own appointed season of doomed-roller-coaster turbulence and sometimes requires plenty of space and measurable pace to heal and grow? Even the best marriage counselor text-book coping strategy just won’t cut it? ‘Am talking about the “Oh, no you didn’t”, “That’s It, I can’t take this anymore! Am out of it” moments.  Phew!

love 2mEvery married-couple I know play their amateur scripted part at one point or the other during their life time together. No denial or finger-pointing here. Most of the time either to prove a point to the world…like “Trust me, I got this covered! “Hey, look at us, we are still happily in love or just managing whatever is left! Any witness? Lol!

Okay…Nice… I think we all like that we can wear a mask every now and then to fool the world! But for how long can we pretend and hide behind the facade? Living in oblivion, but behind closed doors facing the reality? Pretending that everything in our marriage is purrfect!! When, it isn’t? Allowing social media to help boost our hidden insecurities and keeping up appearances? Who are we trying to fool? #shoo!

You see; a typical sophisticated glamorous churchgoer looks on with disdain as the winsome “I-love-Jesus” bracelet worshipper next to her raises her hands and sings with reckless abandonment. But secretly, in her heart of hearts, I wonder if she longs for that same marital/relationship freedom? What if she muses before commonsense pushes the wonderings aside? Especially when she’s been played on emotionally or physically? And what’s the church doing about her state of mind? Knowingly and unknowingly?

One of the lessons I learned from my parents, who by the way are still married andlove me 2 together 53 years and counting after several decades of hilarious family drama was T-O-L-E-R-A-N-C-E!

I’ve had to ask my mother..

How do you do it, this woman? ‘Why are you still married, eh? Aha, me I can’t take such nonsense oh! (I would boast in my immature voice of a young adventurer with a deep sigh of disgust!)

“Ah, it gets better” (my mom would respond with a smile, one that reveals a survivor’s un-told story like one of Terry McMillian’s characters).

What Exactly? I would ask with a cynical look. The pattern of sex? Adaptation or Tolerance? Fatal attraction or physical distraction? Which one precisely? Or its okay to be bombarded by fly-by knights? Dis-tasteful attackers?

new 2Of all the hardest lessons I learned in my own marriage was struggling with accepting the fact that…’I can’t fully change my husband! whatever the illusions I’ve created of “the perfect man” was just a fantasy. #AintNoKnightInShinningArmour

I had to learn that only God can touch his heart and change him, in His time, for His purpose, only. No matter how much we get to wish for a little bit of this or a little bit of that in that partner…we still have what we have, the issue at hand is..’. Learning to let it work out for our good while we strive to be all we can for ourselves…living life with a purpose to fulfil destiny by being valuable to self, as the transformation emerges. And leaving the rest to God.  #DiscoverPassionInSelfWorth

No feminist value here, just common sense survival kit from my 23 years of knowing Kevin, my husband. We’d learned to invest in ourselves-together, pursuing our passion together and not consumed by all the faults and flaws from our past, learning to detach from the triggers of the demons along the way…

new 3So, here I am this month celebrating my 19th-year wedding anniversary and content with my life. Oh-My-Word!! It hasn’t been a smooth sailing 19 years of our married-lives together, but an eye-opening, challenging and educative 23 years of unconditional friendship! And we are still learning and growing and dealing with the hurdles together which makes us appreciate our differences.

Years of waiting for conception and several miscarriages and frequent hospital admission and cries of babies and diagnosis and surgery and build up tension and family impact and losses and gains! has made me more appreciative of all the things our past has taught us! Good or bad…at the end of the drama that comes, we are still together!

Today, if you are reading this and either Married, Single, Divorced, Separated or just confused about being alone or with someone, especially with how cruel and intimidating social media has portrayed perfect-picture-marriages that wake up in glamour and go to bed in dirt and depression, flashing make-belief images of their lives together, only for the tabloid to pick up their bitter crumbs….The world is watching!

Let’s ask ourselves, is there a smile on our face that stirs others to want to join in and experience those moments of sudden glory or grief? Is there a scowl on our brows that make others turn away because the “mandated religious life” of keeping up appearance is too hard? Too boring? Too restricted? Do our hidden scars of inadequacy, insecurity and overbearing feelings in our marriages still keep us rooted behind that door? Are you a “prized trophy” in your relationship or is your marriage a staged one?new 1

Today, it’s not about counting wrong doings, hurts, dwelling on missed opportunities of what could have, should have or would have been or even how many times extra marital-cum-extra-curriculum-activities have played their parts in our lives, and how we’ve allowed it.

For me, it’s more of the lessons I am able to take away from it, understanding why and how ‘Big Hurts Have Opened the Door to freedom…

Doors which a lot of married people today are so afraid of going through, so afraid of approaching it. Either to save face, fulfil family/personal obligation, they hang inside, suffer inside, survive inside, pretend inside, and develop multiple personalities, all because of deprivation of self-worth behind that door.

But for how long?

I am hoping someone reading this will dig deep into their main purpose of the union and discover each other, for each other without limits!  I am still here because I believe I am God’s work in progress. What about you? #Goals   #DealWithIt

Issues of Undeveloped Emotions, Unresolved Conflict and Unmet Needs will need to be dealt with and forgotten before bruised hearts and damaged egos become cold hearts, and after a while with no help, turns into hardened hearts that wander in lonesome misery and commitment trap, the new title for the 20th century marriage and a sex crazed culture we live in. Discover what lights up your Fire, either in your marriage or relationship or discover your self worth and light it up! #JustBelieve  #NotImpossible!

PS: I’m wishing a Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary today, to the most amazing and genuine couple ever! (You know who you are, Love you much Y & M!). 

Yours in HOPE as I share Pink’s “Just Like Fire”.

Yinka.

 

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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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Are you GOLDEN, MATURED & SEASONED? –‘Here’s a glimpse of what to expect at the upcoming TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE! (For the Graciously-Ripe and Germane OLDER ADULTS @ 55+

4 MORE DAYS TO GO!!! (‘Countdown to Glory!)seniors 2

Dear Senior Girls! ‘My Ripe, Relevant & Resourceful Mentors!

Permit me to steal a moment of your time as I ponder on the importance of your presence…

‘Do you know that there is so much for you to look forward to at this conference? Here’s an opportunity to mingle, share and learn. This is a time to discuss topics like how to maintain cordial relationships with in-laws, how to embrace and adjust to a new or different family dynamics with married children.

Are you an empty nester? Separated? Divorced? Or Widowed? Do you sometimes feel lonely and abandoned? You crave for something fruitful to fill the void in your routine life?spring 3

HELP IS HERE!! There is a session at this upcoming TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE that’s tailored to meet your needs! A cozy room has been set aside with beautiful greenery in the backdrop, prepared just for you! All for you!

So, come discover how YOU can be relevant and still be compatible while being fulfilled within your God-given maternal positions. Join in and learn how to embrace inter-cultural marriages, how to resolve relational conflicts and also stand in the  gap for our immediate family in time of distress. Come discover and revive buried dreams that can be translated into financial independence.  seniors

Need more information? Visit www.totalwomanmovement.com  to be plugged into the movement that will Heal, Enlighten, Liberate and Position you for a better tomorrow!

Yours in HOPE,

Yinka.

 

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“What’s in this ‘TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE for me? I’m just a YOUNG ADULT! (If love is a game, would I still want to play? #TWC 2

What’s UP my YOUNG, SMART and DYNAMIC ladies? Have you been wondering why there’s so much HYPE about the upcoming Total Woman Conference? How do you manage the  blank space in your life? Do you know that there could be something tangible in this upcoming conference for you? I honestly believe so!taylor 2

taylor 3Oh Sure! It’s like, totally flashing the hashtag #goals on social media while at the same time, Mary J Blige’s “No More Drama” blasts on the radio. Did you smile to yourself and quickly tweet about it? Or you remember Taylor Swift’s lyrics and you chuckled to yourself, Like’ yeah right! – But still went ahead anyway, and tweet about it! ‘Sweet! I know I would…

Aha! That’s exactly what you should be expecting at the upcoming conference…’because that and some more relevant topics tailored to your “Circumstances“Drama” and “Situation” would be discussed and resolved at this conference. But with who?taylor 4

So, because everyone’s needs are different, everyone’s desire and perspective about life, love, and relationship transcends what they know…we all still need to be enlightened.

Here’s a great opportunity to sit down with Michelle Ayala-Rivera; International Motivational Speaker and Author, whose passion is inspiring young adults and at-risk youths to excel in life and achieve their full potential.

taylor 5Topics like: Addressing issues of peer pressure/influence, purity, singleness. Comparing and trying to live life up to the standards of what you” see on social media/trying to live like the Joneses (the “perfect” people we see online”), struggling with false aspiration lifestyle? How to discover you” and live life accordingly.

Need more information? Visit www.totalwomanconference.com  to be plugged into the movement that will Heal, Enlighten, Liberate and Position you for a better tomorrow!

Yours in HOPE,

Yinka.

***WATCH OUT for #TWC 3 – “When Senior Girls meet” OLDER ADULTs 55  (#Ripe, #Resourceful and #Ready).

 

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As we count down the days to the TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE: Here are snippets of topics to expect!

#TWC 1 – Let’s Get It On – Bedroom Talks!

 Hello Ladies!

Aha! It is exactly 12 days to the much anticipated women only retreat! “FRAGRANCE 216 – TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE”spring 3

Hooray!! Can you feel my excitement?? I’m catching the whiff of spring with its alluring effusion of an assortment of fragrances… (Hyacinths, Daffodils and Tulips – my favorite!) spring 1

I am even more awakened by the thoughts of the blessings and enlightenment that am expecting from the speakers… ’What about you?

Oh! Do you know there’s going to be real life sex talk? (Giggles) and “Girl Power talk by Renowned, motivational speaker Terri Matthews on “Common on Sister, Let’s Be Real!

Oh yeah! And other topics like…”Let’s talk about our sexual lives” “Why we are not getting it on? The frigidity, fear, pain, tiredness, loss of interest, Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation. Yes! I said it all.Because this is for real!shutterstock_34411321

‘Like SERIOUSLY? “Is this a Christian retreat? Oh yes. It is. And it’s time for us to deal with real issues that affect our fulfilment or that make us vulnerable. Why do we shy away from discussing our intimate desires and pretend there’s no problem with our sex life? It affects a healthy relationship and turns intimacy into a war room of deprivation or lost ego when sexual needs are not met. It’s time to learn more about the solution.

Sign up now at:  www.totalwomanconference.com  to be plugged into the movement that will Heal, Enlighten, Liberate and Position you for a better tomorrow!

Yours in HOPE,

Yinka.

***WATCH OUT for #TWC 2 “What’s in this movement for me, I’m just a YOUNG ADULT! (Love’s Game, ‘Want to Play?)

 

 

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Are we comfortably numb in our denial? ‘Time to speak up on ABUSE!

Connecting with “The Total Woman Movement” – A Refuge of Comfort in Brokenness.

I once attended a sorority party about 2000 miles away from my college in 1992. Our Destination: University of Calabar! Excitement mode activated! Trust me, I had carefully packed away my popular orange halter-neck dress, with matching brown lace up mules, and my hairstyle? Aha! I’d travelled all the way to Onne villa (outside Port Harcourt) just to patronize the best hair braider in the whole of Rivers state! Phew! Such youthful exuberance! Silly painful vanity!abuse 7

Halfway through the journey, I began to feel feverish and tired! Oh no! It can’t be happening to me… I was aching all over, ah!  It must be M-a-l-a-r-i-a! Oh great! How can this be happening to me? I had so prepared for this day! This wasn’t in the plan!

My temperature was spiking, this fever has no respect for my opinion! In fact, ‘it has come to stay like a desperate housewife! My travelling team was terrified! “How can it be (I was getting helpless).

Anyway, without much ado, as if that fever was a red flag, the party was cancelled due to serious vigilante watch as opposing rival confraternities were in the midst of a serious war. We all spent the night off campus, in a rented hostel.abuse 3

Six other girls and I shared 2 adjacent rooms. It was a night I will never forget. Amongst being confined inside our rooms, noises of gunshots blasting throughout the night, as we became more frightened we looked to each other for support.

In the middle of nowhere, we became each other’s trusted companion, well, we had no choice but to wait and see what the morning brings forth.abuse 4

The fear and helplessness we felt that night brought back horrific memories of abusive pasts, stories of years of abusive upbringing, relationships and stolen childhood. Storylines that 7 beautiful, intelligent and oh-so-cool girls have never dared to talk about!

Tales that have been buried for years with those clicking fancy bangles, baggy Pepe jeans, colorful trendy t-shirts, shining pink lip gloss and fake make-believe smiles! oh boy! Did we vent!

“Ah, I was molested by my neighbor when I was 10!“I couldn’t tell anyone”

I was raped by my uncle when I was 12, I’d wanted to commit suicide”

“ I was never touched, but told constantly that I was ugly and a weakling”  

“ My mother’s boyfriend was very aggressive, he would beat me up and rape me, I couldn’t tell anyone, I was too frightened

I was betrayed by a senior in school, she raped me, I can’t trust anyone anymore”

 “I watched my father beat up my mother for years”He told us he loved us, but couldn’t stop hurting us” “His anger was uncontrollable”

I was raped inside my house” “I was ganged raped and molested at a party on campus” 

and on and on and on…we all talked into the early hours of the next day…sleep eluding our consciousness…and we were never the same after that day…forsaking the beauty that material things have managed to conceal, our hearts were on fire!abuse 6

Party forgotten and ignored, we had released everything no one had ever inquired of us… or the story our culture forbids by acceptance or utterance! we released the dark secrets that harbors lingering pain! ‘the substance of our current day frustrations and rejections…’stories we could not confess to priests during penance…or even during deliverance…’stories that family traditions sweeps under the carpet as generation to come wallow in confusion…’these were stories hidden in misery and denial…but, we had to travel all the way out of town, be confided into a hostel with bullets flying outside our windows….just for those stories to surface. We all had closure after confiding and crying out about it and promised to seek help after. The burden is now shared, not to be chastised or reprimanded, but to begin healing and moving forward.

Ok…that was 24 years ago! I have lived past those stories, but currently still living amongst those who are unable to talk about their story…’Abuse stories or even use their experiences to help raise awareness and help someone going through it.

What’s your Abuse story? Broken dreams or failed relationship? Or what’s that Abusive storyline you played a part in? years ago, that is still lingering and haunting you presently? You know why it’s still trailing after you. But to get closure to it, someone else somewhere right now is going through the same ABUSE you encountered…and the circle is continual UNTIL you Seek help, Campaign against it! Create a platform for awareness!abuse 1

Let’s celebrate a season of closure and recovery…’like when a heavy burden has just been off-loaded from our shoulders. A sense of commitment and togetherness…like ‘Wow! I am not alone! I thought I was the only one!

Since that day, I have learned to respect and look at those ladies differently with respect and courage, for speaking up about their abusive past. And today, I am hoping our stories could save a life or two!  Or is it still happening?

So, if you are reading this, ask yourself…’Does my fragrance (that beautiful perfect-picture image, I carry with me effortlessly) have fragments (stains, shame, sorrow, abusive stories)? Am I really truthful to myself? Am I still hiding behind the veil of pretense and still hoping that one day I would wake up and say “It never happened”Ah! If you are reading this and have ever encountered any form of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical or emotional) – don’t let it define you. When we talk about some of our stories, it helps someone else going through it or someone who’s gone through it and still struggling with acceptance of the shame of the aftermath.abuse 5

Our fragrance did have fragments! And it was time to break it open, not to ridicule each other or laugh at each other but a time of total submission, after all, we were all skeptical we’ll make it out of that place, alive. But we did, and now, there’s a story to be told to help uplift someone going through something similar…our Alabaster Jar just got cracked, and the spill is totally healing and comforting, what do you think?

Are we even aware of the comfort in our brokenness? Do we know that refuge from our circumstances and contentment in the midst of mishaps is found in the center of our surrender. Or is it in our brokenness?

If that is true, then why are so many women still living lives with little or no joy based on their past? I’m afraid that we have bought the lies of the enemy (the abuser), allowing him/her to steal our joy. Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his/her favorite weapons, but the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him/her to use, “Our destructive abused past”

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for so many years? I do. Clinging to familiar pain because we find our identity there. Consumed with our own agenda, while  our joy is buried under a mountain of self loathing.abuse 2

Today, there’s HOPE! There’s a better tomorrow and it can be brighter than the past, the abusive past! Join the movement that comforts the abused today. The Total Woman Movement. Come as you are (BROKEN) learn how to release your inner fragrance (STORY) and let the scents relieve your life’s dents. (HEALING).

For more information about this movement, please visit www.totalwomanmovement.com

Yours in HOPE as I share Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out Of The Dark”

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Affection Fails… ‘Are we always in control of our RAGE?

love saves

When Michelle is only 12 years old, she is raped by Reggie, the boyfriend of her mother. When her mother does not believe her accusations, Michelle runs away and begins a downward spiral that includes drugs and prostitution, eventually landing in prison. There she hears of Bishop T.D. Jakes, a preacher who works with women like her. Jakes takes an interest in Michelle’s case and visits her… (Culled from the movie “Woman Thou art loosed).

I remembered the first time I watched “Woman thou art loosed”, I must have glared so hard at the screen, terrified, awed and frozen! Forgotten about my bowl of pop-corn. I couldn’t wait to see how this hardened jail bird would be broken by TD Jakes… but He did! At a moment, I felt myself transformed and imagining the pain and agony she’d encountered for years! And only for the healing words to be delivered through controlled prison walls? Hmmm.

Recently, there’s been an uproar of amazement and bewilderment; many minds are wondering, hurt, confused and still appalled; speculating and disheartened over how far our emotions can take us into brutal rage. How far would we go in professing our love or hatred? How far would we declare our anger in times of pulsating fury? When you remember that love-patch that never worked out for you, do you give a deep sigh, bless God and keep living? Or do you wallow in self-pity over what could have been? Do you regret missing out of a broken relationship? Do you destroy affection by your words? Or do you protect your words with your frenzy?

When your love life fails (marriage or relationship) the once-upon-a-time blissful shower is now a puddle of regret, who do you turn to? Friends who are more interested in your good juicy superficial tales? Family members who could be self-centered? Or just ordinary people who sincerely wants to hold your hands, allow the tears and words to flow and willingly wipe your tears, without being judgmental? Where’s your support system? Who’s your support system? After you’ve prayed and fasted and done all you can…’when you are so enraged and hurt and cheated on by life, what do you do? When Love itself stops loving you, do you walk away and hope you get it right next time? Or you just fix it based on your current state of mind?

Last week socked me with a one-two knockout punch. The news of the death of another victim in a stormy marriage! Death has punched hard. Shockwaves of grief are running through the veins of all who know and love them. It seems so wrong. So upside-down. Excruciating. Inconceivable. Unfair. Crooked.

My soul is restless with questions.

If life in Christ is promised to be abundant and full (John 10:10), then why are there times when it seems so empty and broken? Why does pain sting so violently? Why do good people die young? Why do we sometimes allow the devil’s workshop to occupy a space in our idle minds? Why do honorable Christ-followers face such compelling hardships?

So, for all of us still living and silently enduring a painful relationship, let’s cultivate a habit of SPEAKING OUT when we are hurting! even when the one-two punches come, we can trust God – not because we understand all the circumstances, or even like them – but because we know HIM. And because we know HIM, we can trust that He will provide all that we need to process pains, heal from wounds, and move forward in strength, grace, and peace.

When we are intimately familiar with God – when we don’t just know about Him, but when we KNOW Him – the most crooked roads we travel are made straight. Not because life is easy. Hardship stings and life is complicated. Not because all that we experience is just. Much of life is unfair. But because when we know God, we know:

His strength that is accessible in our weakness

His comfort that meets us as we mourn

His mercy that withholds the punishment our depravity readily deserves

His peace that defies our unrest

His joy that kisses the cheeks of our sorrow

His courage that emboldens our weary hearts and casts away fears

His redemption that reworks our brokenness into beauty

His love that binds us to eternity and delights over us with singing

 

Yours in HOPE!

Yinka Lawrence

Reference:

www.girlfriendsingod.com

 

 

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When “Sexual Addiction” becomes a choice in our life: Should we continue to Love it or List it?

couple addt 1

What is that personal sexual uncontrollable craving you are dealing with? Yearning? Urges? Weakness? Itch? Or Impulse? Are we aware of the burden of the price label that comes with it? Especially amongst us, the pew lovers (Christians) who are still struggling with acceptance, rejection and reaching out for help! Aha, Do I have someone’s attention? Any palpitating heartbeat, racing and galloping like an un-tamed horse running wild?…’Let’s talk about it.

Angela and Bill have been married for 5 years. They truly love each other. And they deeply love God. One day, a visit to the fertility clinic to evaluate Bill’s sperm count due to the couple’s inability to have children has done more than ignite their passion. Bill, on several occasion has to deal with sitting in a room plastered with different pictures of naked women posing and sexually touching each other, looking excited and ready to devour him! This is the stage-up enticement room – inside the clinic. Not in the comfort of his house or at the gentlemen’s club he’s often heard his colleagues discussed and has vouched never to visit. He’s supposed to look through the porn magazine thrown carelessly on the chair, or at the picture of an overrated gigantic re-constructed set of breasts, get excited and be aroused, masturbate and then jerk off into a tiny specimen cup the nurse gave him. Even the cup has his name boldly written on it, only thing missing: picture of his wife and a “jerk off” guideline. Intellectually, he’d figured it out somehow.

5 years after, the family is complete with a lovely set of twins. But the underlying factor of provoked sexuality is now a huge challenge in their lives. Bill is now a proud father, and holds a degree in addiction to pornography/masturbation! On the other side, Angela is a loving mother who’s hooked on assorted sex toys that comes in different colours and shapes. And of course, they both still love the Lord, well literally and also dealing with their individual addiction alone. Confused and confined. Aware of their pain towards each other, and not able to discuss it either. Until now…

So, is masturbation inherently sinful? But what about those who are married? Or single? Is it okay to self-stimulate to orgasm? Since our bodies, and thus our sexuality, no longer belongs to us alone, but also to our spouse (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), masturbation by those who are married is not as simple a question as it is for singles. In general it is our spouse’s “duty” to deal with all of our sexual needs and desires. This does not mean that masturbation is sinful for a married man or woman, but it does somewhat limit its proper use.

Then if masturbation is not inherently sinful, there must be situations in marriage where it is allowed and situations when certain conditions approves it, even if we are not in a relationship. In some situations it is the only wise choice for some individuals. Right? Then what about pornography!!!…that’s a different topic for another day! (disgruntled sign!)

Masturbation reduces our desire for our spouse, or the ability to be sexual when we want to be, we also need to understand that things change: changes in work stress, busyness, relationship can result in an increase in a person’s sex drive. Also, women’s sex drives often increases in their thirties and/or forties. Sexual refusal, dissimilar sex drives. Illness and separation. What was right or necessary at one point in a marriage may no longer be either right or necessary unless there is open communication about sexual wants and needs, and about any masturbation going on, maybe you are even masturbating when your spouse would like to have more sex with you!

Do people engage in masturbation for emotional reasons and self-esteem issues than for physical needs? Are we dependent on it? Enslaved? Fixated or Hooked on? Whatever way we want to address this, still all boils down to the same issue of addiction. It is our habit of ability that’s considered injurious, mind-blowing and character disposition. It is a problem covered with limited pleasure!

Whatever started this? How did we get here? Why do we want to stop? Why do we keep going back to it? Psychologically, what’s the impact of it to our personal life? Are we hurting someone through our selfish desire or damaging our own conscience? Is it a dark place? Is it okay to be subjected to our own pleasure? Do we need to stop? Are we ready to stop and get over it? Who to do? …… To be continued!

Yours in HOPE, as I share one of my favorite songs below,

Yinka.

 

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He LOVES me! He loves me NOT! He LOVES me! He loves me NOT! ‘come on Ladies…’about time to attack this mask called “Domestic Abuse”

abuseThe sound of the siren outside my bathroom window, the pounding beat of my chest frustrating the little confidence and I hope I have left, the pain and fear of letting out my sobs, the rush of the cold water from the shower now falling hard against my bare back, sharp pains shooting through my battered skin, that same tender olive skin he’d vowed was all he needed to see on a cloudy day! Am confused! Should I cry out for help?

Or should I continue under the pangs of desperate falling cold water? I am drenched in my own blood! Probably woke up again after passing out from his habitual aggressive beating. But my feelings always fail me. I let my emotions get the best of me. “Oh. He loves me, I know he does! “Honey, I need help to manage my anger issues, ‘Baby, please don’t leave me! I will never be the same without you! “Sweetheart, it’s the devil… and with that, I am a lover’s-fool again, for the 100th time of my life.

But right now I think He’s gone too far, the knife, the hot water, the hot iron, the baby’s bassinet! Oh no! The baby! W-h-e-r-e I-s m-y b-a-b-y? And my neighbor’s questioning looks, always nosy anyway, out of fear they had called 911 this time…everything is happening so fast! I think am loosing it? No, I have actually lost my mind! Is this love? What to do…

So, all in the name of love, we accept the unacceptable, we explain away the pain, we justify and rationalize every blow- physical and otherwise, at times we blame the victim.

All in the name of keeping up appearances, we remain silent to the glaring indications, we remain blind to the blatant battle signs, we remain recklessly optimistic that somewhere, somehow, the abuse will stop all in the name of love. Maybe one day, the abuser will stop and return to the doting loving person you once knew…

But enough is enough! Let us break the cycle of silence! Let us shed light to this dark aspect of so called love! One time is too many for a loved one to raise a hand, or even worse a weapon to the one whom they profess to love. One time is enough for you to know that you are worth more than that; you are a gem and a treasure to those who genuinely care for you.

You are created as a peculiar being, made to fulfill a given purpose. Do not let your light be snuffed out early all in the name of love.  Speak up against love that leaves you black and blue; speak up against love that leaves you feeling worthless.

Let’s break the cycle of ABUSE- ‘Bad Unnecessary Senseless Experience. Reach out and Get help today!

Written by Toyin Erinle for #Moving Forward With Yinka

Introduction by Yinka.

                   Violence help hotlines

Call the hotlines below for help if you have been hurt by someone you know or have been attacked by a stranger. You will not have to pay for the call, and you can ask to have your information kept confidential. Even though these calls are free, they may appear on your phone bill. If you think an abuser may check your phone bill, try to call from a friend’s phone or a public phone.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

  • Call 800-799-SAFE (7233) or 800-787-3224 (TDD).
  • Staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • More than 170 languages are available.
  • You will hear a recording and may have to wait for a short time.
  • Hotline staff offer safety planning and crisis help. They can connect you to shelters and services in your area.
  • Staff can send out written information on topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and the legal system.

http://womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/get-help-for-violence/how-to-help-a-friend-who-is-being-abused.html

 

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