Did I tell you about the time I wrote a bunch of different topics on sticky notes about aspects of life I would like to explore, threw them in a gift bag to be picked out one by one at random for me to blog about?
No? Okay well, I just did.
And with every note I pull out, I understand just how much I don’t know.
This ‘Sticky Notes Series’ category is meant to spark a thought in you for you to explore with regards to how it relates to your life, not to tell you how to live your life. Again, I don’t write as an expert, I write from what I know and what other great thinkers have to say.
As iron sharpens iron, it is my hope that we can start a conversation, even an imaginary one 😀
If you can’t comment on the posts, find me on social media or phone- I’d like to talk more. I promise to be a safe space because this world can be savage, or?
Post publishing thoughts: You know what’s sexier than sharing? Feedback. A shout out to Eunice who told me though she saw the logic of this piece, she did not agree with it on the basis that sometimes you have to go the extra mile with some people, regardless.
THAT I fully agree with.
What I now realize I didn’t articulate is, this post talks of those friendships where even after addressing the person’s behavior, they persist on treating you in a disagreeable manner. I am aware that for certain people you have grace to put up with them for whatever reason (you’ve been friends for years, they changed after a troubled event in their life, they are family or relatives, they are depressed or suicidal etc.). There are however others where walking away, when all factors considered, it’s the right thing to do, especially if they affect your personhood in deep way. If they come to a realization that there was sense and goodwill in what you were trying to do/say and come back, cool, if not, don’t take offense, just know you did your part.
Let peace be your guide.
Do you know how many times ‘nice’ is mentioned in the bible?
Do you know how many times ‘right’ (right, righteous, right hand) is mentioned in the bible?
And you want to sit there and tell me to be ‘nice’, to be ‘pleasant, agreeable, satisfactory’… 😛
I have been wondering what to do with my excess baggage (read: ‘people who are still in my life but shouldn’t be’- again- read: ‘continuing to be in people’s lives who have shown me through their actions I am not really needed’- yes, being taken for granted in a friendship is a choice), and I came to the conclusion that being nice is not nice. Si the ‘right’ thing is to stick with friends who are nice most of the time? And when you complain about them and you’re asked what you are still doing there you’ll say, ‘Xyz is not a bad person, that’s just how they are.’
I just came across a post on Facebook where a friend was asking ‘how do you help someone that does not want to be helped?’ As my good friend once said, ‘You are not Jesus Junior.’
The nice thing is to stick out a bad friendship because you can see how messed up someone is and you want to help them. The right thing is to do is say what needs to be said, then back off and allow Jesus to do the rest. I realized this was a problem I had, and I guess most of us have- we want to be the hero and savior in the friendship. In as much as we think of ourselves as well intentioned (is that a word?), this actually points to a broken part in ourselves. Next time you feel the urge to stick around someone because you feel they need your help, check yourself… then save yourself.
In hindsight, I was in such a situation where I didn’t want to be helped even though I needed it, and come to think of it, it was rather condescending- ‘You want to tell me you know how to live my life better than I do?’
So, here’s the thing:
- The nice thing to do is pick up calls. The right thing to do is not to entertain time wasters.
- The nice thing to do is to respond to messages. The right thing to do is stay silent and not encourage people to think they can pour nothingness into your inbox.
- The nice thing to do is check in on a friend. The right thing to do is to live your life especially if you have nothing constructive to discuss.
People who ignore other people from their past are often perceived to be snobs when in reality, the right thing is to let bygones be bygones, especially if you know a conversation will be strained or stale.
So next time you wanna call someone up or text, sip some tea and ask yourself, ‘What good thing am I bringing to the table?’ It’s a humbling question to ask especially because our predisposition is to think that we are God’s gift to earth. Jesus was, not you. Or me.
Fear is both a noun and a verb that, according to Google, means:
(n) an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
(v) be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. Feel anxiety or apprehension on behalf of.
But Wambaire, why are you talking about fear?
About two months ago I wrote on 35+ sticky notes topics related to life that I wanted to explore and today I pulled out ‘How to overcome fear’. I rolled my eyes because of just how general that statement is. And then I remembered this quote from Furtick:
I could easily say that this topic has been written about and brush it off, but then Edouard Delacroix said: “What moves men of genius, or rather, what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is not enough.”
Let’s get to it!
Disclaimer: I am not a professional, these are just my opinions backed by a bit of research.
Looking at my life, I am beginning to see that fear is blurry. Some forms of fear never rush into the room in a frenzy and say, ‘I AM FEAR, FEAR!’ apart from obvious moment where danger is not perceived but actually very real, then I have the fight, flight or freeze as a response. No, I’m talking about the subtle kind of fear.
A trip online took me to one Karl Albrecht, Ph.D., who says there are five types of fear. He’s written more than 20 books so that must count for something, right?
- Loss of Autonomy
Click here to have a breakdown of what they are.
He talked about how we get to a level where we act so instinctual in response to situations that we don’t really stop to notice they are fear driven. In August we’ll be electing leaders to carry us through the next five years, and while people aren’t about having another PEV, anyone planting seeds of discord is someone who’s suffering from a fear of loss of autonomy- they don’t like the idea of not having control over who gets to govern them and an opposing tribe/party/candidate is perceived as a threat.
On a more ‘heart’ level, because I am a ‘feeler’, anger attaches itself to fear and hurt. It’s easier to be angry than to say ‘I am afraid’ or simply ‘ouch’. The more we avoid emotional pain, the likely we actually are to experience it. So we turn down invitations to hang out with people because you’re afraid of how things will turn out aka who’ll reject you (separation and ego-death), only to have thoughts of how unlikeable you are later.
Take a look at the things you avoid doing or saying and see if the root course is not fear. It may be because something happened in your life and that’s why your default response, for example, is to negate the compliment or treat someone you claim to deeply care about like rubbish. I’m not saying go embrace the f*ck boy ladies, I’m talking about doing and saying things to people who actually care about you or just getting outside your comfort zone to experience new things and people. Remember, “The people who trigger us, or cause us to feel negative emotion are messengers. They are messengers for the unhealed parts of our being.” (Teal Swan)
Okay Wambaire… sounds lovely. It’s been a nice read but this isn’t for me.
Experiential avoidance is defined as “attempts to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, physical sensations, and other internal experiences—even when doing so creates harm in the long-run.” That’s according to Dr. Roger K. McFillin, a Licensed Psychologist and co-founder of Center for Integrated Behavioral Health huko States. This idea of avoiding pain and suffering leads to a lot of what you see in life- including yours- depression, feeling down for no apparent reason, gross impatience, irritability, substance abuse, internet addiction, overeating, unhealthy sensual appetites… all that stuff.
I had to bring that up; running away from what you fear just leads to a crappy life. The stuff you ignore doesn’t go away, it just finds some unhealthy way to manifest. A wholesome person cannot behave in destructive ways. While I TOTALLY understand your fear of this assessment of self, will not last a life time- you will feel like crap for a few minutes, hours, days, but once you deal with the root issue, you’ll be a much healthier person, I promise.
Side note: Furtick is so on point. This blog post was for me more than it was for you. 😀
So, this Sunday, ponder on 1) how is fear holding you back? 2) What do you fear will happen if you deal with your fears? And 3) what can you do differently in the coming week to overcome your fears?
When you name your demon it loses power over you.
Be bold today, won’t you?
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr
After thought: My mind is fuzzy about this one, and like everything I write, this is just an opinion. You got something contrary? I’d be happy to have a conversation with you- iron does sharpen iron after all.
We often spend energy on things we cannot change, like for ladies, men 😀 On a grander scale, if you have to pick your battles, like the book by Mark Manson, we have to learn The Subtle Art of Giving a F*ck. We spend a lot of time complaining about things we can’t change- like the weather- and even more time complaining about things we can change, like our weight.
Disclaimer: I’m learning this. I’ll probably forget this along the way, so if I do, please send me this link. You might get a side eye but I’ll appreciate. 😛
When we experience perceived ‘injustices’ we forget that life is hard. KJV John 16:33 Jesus says ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ The Son of God tells you that life is hard, so why are we surprised when things go wrong?
Please note that I am not saying that you keep quiet when something is wrong. Anger, used correctly, does bring about results. You do however need to know when to ‘care’ and when to ‘let that ish go’.
It would be nice not to care about stuff huh? Be indifferent and super calm even when things go right or wrong… Caring takes so much energy and feeling nothing seems more ideal…
If you said yes, congratulations, you just displayed the symptoms of a psychopath! *claps*
If something that has made you emit negative energy spills over to tomorrow, or what worried you yesterday spills over to today, there’s a problem with you, not the world, because we already know the world has a problem.
Men who’ve mastered the art of letting go and not revisiting anything negative used to irritate the life out of me. I am that type that wants to discuss an issue 5 different ways and how it has affected me and will potentially cause problems in the future. I dunno if it’s growth or age but I don’t have that much energy anymore; spending my energy on things within my control, like being present and having a positive attitude, have become my priority.
Want the serenity to accept the things you cannot change? Here’s a point of view to ponder on: wanting positive experience is a negative experience. Accepting a negative experience is a positive experience.
The best thing you can do for yourself is remember that every time something wrong happens. Wanting to be happy all the time is a sickness and a cause of worry in terms of one’s mental health. The fact that you are avoiding pain means you DO care about pain, so how about embracing the pain that comes with things you cannot change and learning and growing from it?
“3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
If you can change it, take courage and do that thing 🙂
PS: Why is my brain so tired?