Posts Tagged ‘Emotion’

This particular person? I don’t remember how we met. Like I tried to search my brain this morning, no luck. But, she’s one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Francesca is the angel God sent from heaven to save me from myself, yank me out of self-pity, stress, fear, you name it. Fran is the person who will listen to me complaining about something and in the middle of my well-prepared speech will go, “but Chisco I reject this feeling of sadness in the mighty name of Jesus!” I either start laughing (I think it’s something with the way she pronounces ‘Jesus’ when she’s trying to shut me up), or I start crying because I’m overwhelmed. But she never leaves me there. She will sit with me (even if over the phone), and be quiet with me till I’m better, or till she decides she’s had enough then she’ll go back to bullying me!!

Lol. I love her. Few females I really love (or love at all), and she’s one of them. Everyone needs a friend like her. Someone who you can be silly with, who accepts you the way you are (and loves you intensely), who prays for/with you, who is real. That’s it, Onomarie (and I can never say this name right) is real.

2015 was the year I learned not to be afraid. Pause.

That’s not entirely true. Let me rephrase that.

2015 was the year I learnt to face my fears, confront AND overcome them.

You see, I’d often viewed “facing fear” as something soft or abstract – not overly ground-shifting or life-altering. The loss of a job maybe, a bad breakup, or an uncomfortable confrontation; you know, difficult things, but not really life and death.

Well. Let’s just say life happened.

I lost my father on the 2nd of January 2015, and in many ways it is still a shock, almost unbelievable actually. That swift, sudden, brutal and absolutely painful event shattered every single thing in my life. I hated God, life, my immediate family, my late father (God rest his soul), and everybody else I came in contact with. I was seething with this volcanic-like rage; just bitter, angry, lost, grieving and waiting to erupt. I wanted to colour the world black, because that is how my soul felt – dark and odious. Like Job said in the Bible, “the thing I feared most had come upon me.”

But fear (and grief) are heavy burdens to carry; they poison everything they come in contact with. So I had to make a (hard) decision – to keep moving, or to let my grief (and fear) consume me. My father may have died, but I was still living. I owed it to his memory, and more importantly, to myself, to live wholesomely and completely. As long as I had breath in my lungs, dreams in my heart, and yearning in my spirit, I would keep living, and by God, I would keep moving forward.

So I reset myself – my soul, my mind, and my spirit – not an easy task to do by the way. I cried when I had to, (still do that sometimes). I learned to share my grief, my questions, my angst, my concerns, with my friends and burden-helpers, those who upheld me like pillars, people who fought tirelessly to move me out of the funk. Those who gave me tough love by saying “Okay, that’s enough, no more now.” Those who sent messages of hope, encouragement and humour, those who stood in the gap for me, who prayed, sent me food, or just sat with me.

It’s been an incredible year really. I lost my father, but I gained an incredible perspective on life. I learned that family is less and less those who bear the same surname with you, but much more about those who share your grief and your triumphs. I learned that putting someone you love in the ground, is one of the worst things that can happen to you, but maybe also the most important, because you value more, those you have with you. I’ve learned to be less patient with time-wasters; people who take and take from you – your time, your energy, your resources, your emotions, – without giving back. I’ve learned to immerse myself fully in life, to laugh, to learn, to travel, to love, by God, to live!! I’ve learned to live this life honestly, completely, fully, but also intentionally. Never before, have I been this desperate to accomplish God’s call and purpose for my life. Never before have I cared less about “haters” or “enemies” what are those? Only distractions. Only pesky scarecrows in my rich field of wheat and barley.

I have learned that fear is there to be overcome; you must not let it rule you. Fear is not of God, it’s from the devil. I have learned to look fear in the eye and say “ehen, you’ve hit me with your best shot, now fuck off!.” I have learned to stand. Oh! to stand and keep standing. I have learned to stand victoriously. I have learned focus and the beauty of rising up from ashes.

I have learned that my scars are my greatest assets; that instead of reminding me of the past and filling me with regret, that they point me towards the future, towards the woman I am meant to be, towards the woman I am becoming. I have learned love – that it is ABSOLUTELY about giving – anything less than that, is jive. I have found God again, anew, different, deeper. I am listening for Him more, involving Him with everything – from the mundane to the important. Oh! And I am still fighting fear, daily – in my work, in my mind, in my spirit, but I am winning, because I am of God’s I CANNOT lose.

I don’t know exactly what 2016 has in store for me, but I imagine that it will be a year of achieving big goals and dreams. I’m standing ready. As the Yoruba proverb goes: “there is nothing coming from the sky that the earth cannot handle.” That is me, standing ready, standing prepared, because the earth is mine and the fullness thereof. Bring it on 2016!

My gorgeous friend...

My gorgeous friend…

I love you chekeleke. My sister-girl!

How did I even meet Fran? This lovely sister girl? Earliest recollection was buying some gifts from her for a young man I was seeing. Relationship was a disaster but no it wasn’t because of the gifts, lol!

Francesca is a darling, a great friend and encourager, and if you don’t have a Francesca in your life, you’re definitely missing out! I know two, and they are amazing!

For the 13th day of the #31days31writers project, I present Fran!

Who says black men shouldn’t cry?

I was a having a mid-day conversation with a former colleague of mine; we were talking about a guy who had been ‘toasting’ her.

“I don’t really like him,” she said.

“Babe why na?” I asked.

Her response: “He’s too sensitive. Imagine the other day something happened to him; he started crying, just like that!” If I was surprised (which I totally, absolutely was), I didn’t let it show.

“You didn’t like the fact that he was crying?” I probed further.

“At all o!” she replied. “Why should a man be crying? Is he a woman? Can’t he control himself?”

I looked at her for a long moment in shock, offended on behalf of this man who I’d never met and saddened because she would do away with him, this man who she had already branded weak – and why? He cried. Simple.

He cried. He didn’t commit murder, he didn’t rape someone. He just gave into a purely human impulse and let it all come out. Yet, somehow, because of that he had somehow become less of a man.

These are some of the things I struggle with – first, the notion that crying or any expression of ‘soft’ emotion is the exclusive preserve of women, or that men, because they are ‘meant to’ be tough and strong (emphasis on meant to), should somehow pack everything in and never ever show any emotion. It seems to me that the only emotion we want to see from men is when they are in charge, in control, taking over the world, or like Thor, killing off villains. But we forget that men have emotions too (sometimes running even deeper than women), they have needs that they are not always eager (or able) to express, because after all, they are men and so must be ‘strong.’ We forget that even Thor in all his gorgeous, blonde-haired glory, while hammering away evil, needed and thrived on the love from his girlfriend and mother.

And this is where our work as women begins – first as mothers, to encourage and raise our sons to embrace and exhibit sensitivity, the same way we would encourage them to play ‘police & thief’ or soccer. To let them know that no man by himself is a super-hero and that it is not a sign of weakness if he chooses to crumble every now and again. Then as sisters, wives, girlfriends, lovers, etc – to let them know that it is okay to let it out, to not be judgemental or condescending. To create an enabling environment where a man feels confident enough to let down his guard, where he knows that he won’t be laughed at or harangued to hell and back.

For me, it may be easier to say or write all of this, than it is to put it into practice; but it is something we must all do. Why? Because perversely, these men think they have to put up a show for us, to be strong and macho for us women, or else we would laugh at them. Imagine what would happen if they knew they didn’t have to carry this useless, meaningless, crippling baggage? Imagine seeing a man cry and instead of saying something (stupid) like “Be strong, men don’t cry.” You just squeezed him really tightly to let him know that you were there, or allowed him cry on your bosom? Imagine that. Imagine the strength, imagine the possibilities, imagine the change.

We should ask ourselves if not expressing emotion is a sign of strength or weakness. I say it’s a weakness, because the resultant effect of not ever engaging or expressing emotion is that these men become useless husks.

My name is Onomarie Uriri, I am Nigerian, and I am a Public Relations specialist.

Francesca Uriri

Simply gorgeous!