Yes, I Said No!

 

and Moses, when he was come of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

Anonymous

For the most part of my adult life, I’ve been learning to say no. Only a few tasks in the whole wide world could prove more difficult than saying no. I could give up a huge chunk of my life savings just to evade the unpleasantness of turning down a request. *The things people say when they have little or nothing in their savings…*

Each day, we make new decisions and review old ones – choosing to live, to love, to laugh, to be free, to hit the mark… So that, when we have to say no, once may not be enough. Rejecting the things that don’t align with one’s purpose takes more than verbalizing fancy zingers. We ought to live practically by design.

Saying No is in three stages:
I. Saying
II. Doing
III. Being

Stage I
Thoughts, desires, and interactions make up the ‘Saying stage’. We say no first by mental assent, and then by communicating. Sometimes with a smile, at other times we just blurt out the word coldly. NO! When saying No, clarity and firmness are not less important than being polite. Whether it be a case of one walking away from a toxic relationship or, rejecting a deal that negates what they stand for, a polite but unclear No is in the vicinity of a Yes. This is not surprising, given that in most real life situations, our options are usually binary:
Yes or No
True or False
To Love Aloud or to Hold back
To Live or to Merely Exist
To Invite the Future or to Wallow in Regrets

If there be any middle ground or shades of gray, they are real only to the degree to which one embodies indifference as a virtue. No one should be in doubt when you say No.

Interestingly, ‘Saying’ doesn’t always suffice.

Question: I am free from the thoughts of my awful past, but I still find myself in similar situations now.

Answer: You’re still at the first stage. Move on to the next.

Stage II
Actions take us to the ‘Doing stage’. I learnt not long ago, that we do not always do what we think or desire to do. That’s why a person can be kind and yet not good. One may entertain noble thoughts all day on a Friday, and yet hang out with the wrong company at night, while still having mental flashes of puritan endeavours in the same gathering. It takes great effort to align actions with thoughts, and this is simply due to behaviour inertia. In fact, when we do not go through on our word, it’s not necessarily because a situation became daunting in the course of time. It just takes more effort to do than to say.

‘Doing’ involves smartly dissociating one’s self from the people, places and things which conspire, though discreetly, to Yes the No. It involves giving up the privileges and benefits we’d enjoy if we had said Yes. One of the ‘privileges’ of wallowing in regrets is that we get to compare what we are now to what we could have been had we not messed things up so badly. A person who has chosen to say No to the past, has to give up that ‘privilege’. In ‘Doing’, we bear the opportunity cost of ‘Saying’, and sometimes this cost could be so high that we wonder if we’re not overreacting by ‘Saying No’.

Question: This is getting kinda dogmatic with methods and steps, dos and don’ts. I just want to live my life, be me, and be real. How?

Answer: Actually we should have started from stage III

Stage III
Underlying this whole Yes/No rant of mine is a rhetorical question that almost every adult individual asks: Why Can’t I Just Be Me?? Thankfully, it’s rhetorical, so I’m not obligated to provide an answer. *Of course I wouldn’t even know where to start the answer from…*

There isn’t a standard checklist of what and what one needs to do to ensure their No remains No. By ‘Being’, we are simply Unavailable to the things that distract us. This is not some fancy theory.

We are what we are by Nature and by how we are Nurtured. By Nature, there are things we can’t do. But each of us yet has a responsibility to defiantly unlearn even our most natural failings.

It is possible to live like the past is gone forever
; like no one has ever hurt you
; to choose not to be an emotional burden to one’s partner
; to walk the path of truth and honour daily.

We get to this point by ‘Being’. At this stage, ‘Saying’ and ‘Doing’ follow almost naturally.

Here, we do not just say No, we affirm our position. Yes, I said No!

Yes, I said No.
No! Yea I say it again.
Though for saying so,
I yet have nothing to show.

Yes, I said no.
Seasons come.
And seasons go.
But I’m not worried about tomorrow.

Yes, I said No.
Lofty heights, sunken depths.
Wherever I go.
I shall never lose hope.

Yes, I said No.
Though I still need You.
But if No costs me You,
Then I’ll walk alone.

#YesSayNo


© August 2016 clickpresh’s blog

Destiny by Boat

I squint, I pray, then I doubt. I pray again.
And again, and then, against doubt.
My faith as small as a hydrogen atom,
Unduly outsized by fears.

Fright.
But I row still. Courage.
Faith unbelievably fueled by fear…
…The tragedy of leading an unfulfilled life.

A night voyage from good to great.
Self-pity left behind in my comfort zone.
No better time to set sail,
Than when the mind’s made up.

Hope, an invite to life outside my comfort zone.
Life, a two-man event; Purpose and I only.
I shall give up who I am,
For who I should be.

Tonight, the weatherman is under the weather.
His forecasts safely tucked in his subconscious.
The clouds not giving a clue to a novice.
Storms and Quiet equally await my launching out.

Water everywhere;
Around my boat, from the sky,
And at the corner of my eyes.
But it won’t get into my heart.

Did self-pity jump in again?
No way!
I’d rather swim to shore,
Than enjoy a luxury pity-party cruise to nowhere.

The night now at its darkest.
Hope fading into dense clouds,
Tickling them to sustain the downpour.
But I’ve come too far to give up.

Alas!
A path in the sea.
Walls of water standing erect,
For a man on a mission. __ ME

Destiny appears on the horizon,
Casting bright shadows on low hanging clouds.
In a moment, dawn will be.
Wings and feathers, their flights and songs aloud.

But destiny is a journey,
And thus have I embarked.

© December 2015 clickpresh’s blog. All Rights Reserved

Thank You For Lying

Dear Associate, Thank you for lying
Impressive profile, innocent face, tailor-made sheep’s clothing
The voice of Jacob laced with a sweet accent
How I so easily fell for a lame scam. A trick so cheap only a greedy fellow could be fooled____
How you mirror me
For were I honest, not swayed by shades of empty rhetoric, your real colours would have been revealed
A man is deceived only to the extent to which he deceives himself
Now I realize the need to be true.

Dear Uncle, Thank you for lying
So you were scared??
How highly I thought of you
The substance of man’s grandest reputation is dwarfed by the lightest consequence of truth____
Everyone is scared at some point
This simple fact had eluded me… until now
Now when bad approaches, there’s no need to cover my tracks with lies… I face it
‘Cos I know everyone goes through this phase

Hello Lover, Thank you for lying
You and I at the gate to paradise, loneliness far from me
Just one more line of yours and bliss would have replaced blood in my veins
My whole sense of fulfilment delicately hanging on perfectly delivered false-hope____
You and I in a humble apartment, downtown Lagos
Dinner – though a modest helping of cassava flakes and bean cakes – was a near heaven experience
‘Cos all day you shared with me a dream about our future
But you had other dreams – Susan your ever present ex was also tagged in the same future.

Thank you for lying
The truth is bitter only when it doesn’t appear on the menu, but sits comfortably on the dish one orders
Perhaps it needs no introduction, no fanfare, no colouring
Or is it possible to colour or distort one truth with another??____
Yea, I’ve had my days of pretentious living
Loving the most, that which was sure to ruin me
Battered and bruised, healing comes to me, undeservedly
Now my options are few – Truth or falsehood – Fulfilment or ambition – Contentment or lack

Thank you for lying
But you won’t get another chance… to lie to me

Copyright (c) April 2015 clickpresh’s blog. All Rights Reserved.

STELLA NEVER FORGETS

We are shaped by our most dominant thoughts
——- Stella

Stella never forgets,
Her mind always deep in thought.

Stella never forgets
The wrong she did;
Though she’s repented a million times,
She still feels guilty.

She never forgets
Friends who said they’ll be there,
Who left when evening came;
Friends who left and evening came.

She still regrets
That one act of carelessness,
While juggling job, hubby and baby

The pain of separation,
The loss of her baby,
Her joy tampered with.

The pain and the hurt,
Kisses of betrayal,
The time wasted with a fake lover.

Stella never forgets,
She never forgives,
Not others,
Not herself.

Can’t say if its a natural gifting or a learned skill but Stella has an incredible ability to recall really unpleasant events in her life.

For someone who can barely remember the topic of her final year undergraduate project, you may begin to wonder how she’s able to recollect the date (day, month, year) of almost every misfortune that has ever befallen her.

Before now she was a slave to the memories of her past. Every decision she made (or didn’t make) was predicated upon unobjective and/or emotional deductions from some unpleasant experience in her past. A loop was initiated, such that one hurtful experience led to another. The common link being the fact that she was hard at letting go of the awful memories. Of a truth, our lives are inadvertently shaped by our most dominant thoughts.

At the part where our wall of defense against hurt is highest, there we are most vulnerable to it. The more we try not to be vulnerable, and are suspicious of everyone and everything we come across, the more we move into zones where hurt is more subtle, not easily identifiable, but is most potent – especially with the element of surprise. Moreover, the sting of a hurtful experience is in our habouring the hurt not in the hurt itself. Of course, that’s not to say that hurt is an illusion, or that we shouldn’t be careful.

When we gloat over previous disappointments, we run the risk of training our minds to see failure in every assignment, hypocrisy in the most sincere motives, betrayal in the best of friendship, and blessings as disguised curses. Given the fact that no friend, colleague or family member is perfect, and no situation is trouble proof, these things become clearly visible and we then pride ourselves to be of great intuition. Not knowing that we are gradually becoming opportunity blind.

Forgetting is so difficult. To gloat over a misfortune seems like the easy thing to do. With little or no effort, one can recall with clarity, certain experiences that have left scars.

Therein lies the challenge – that we forget the past, approach life boldly, making friends, opening new doors, massively investing time and resources in new frontiers – and when the unexpected happens, we take a moment to ease the grief, evaluate the situation, learn our lessons, then move on.

Since Stella finds it difficult to forget, she has decided to redirect her energy. No longer a slave to hurts, grudges, revenge, guilt and disappointments. Focused on the nice and sweet things in her life, she’s surprised to find so many.

Her marriage is on the brink of crashing, but she’s determined to save it, though married to a man whose only discernible talent is the ability to creatively design new ways by which life will be unbearable for her.

In spite of all, she chooses not to forget that each hurt was designed to make her stronger, each disappointment for her to see new opportunities, each wrong done was not to burden with guilt but to help her identify with other people in similar situation. And most of all, she chooses not to forget that She Is Blessed.

Stella’s marriage eventually crashed, But she’s resolved to forget her awful past and step boldly into a new life.

#StartANewLife

…………………………………………………………………

Copyright (c) February 2015 clickpresh’s blog. All Rights Reserved.

I CAME LATE | An Assertion of Hope… by clickpresh

And so I joined the race.
Was I supposed to sit and watch?
There’s not even a seat in place,
VIPs, Nobodys, Everybody, in the rush;
The quarterly targets,
Annual deadlines,
Schedules and itinerary,
Impossible timelines.

Time waiting for no one,
Tirelessly sprinting to the future,
An era in the distant past to come,
A full circle in eternity conjectured;
For one, a time to cuddle her baby,
Me, a time to hope for a spouse,
No competition,
Destiny sets the agenda without grouse.

The right business opportunities,
My long awaited better half,
Sincere heart fancies
All have one thing in common;
The tendency to delay,
The denial illusion,
Prayers seemingly unanswered,
Aversion to arriving when needed most

Patience and endurance,
The rules of the game,
If I must make it in time,
Then I must take my time;
I run with diligence,
Walk with patience,
Crawl with speed,
I eventually arrive.

Wasn’t rich at 35,
Didn’t make my papers at first sitting,
Wasn’t married at 27,
No child 5 years after wedding;
But I know how it works,
There is a time for me for every need,
When they are most beautifully met,
The pain of desire vanishing in a second.

I came late,
And its on record,
But I won my race.


Copyright (c) November 2014 clickpresh’s blog. All rights reserved.

IF GOD DID NOT EXIST | Musings of a Fresh Convert by clickpresh

If God did not exist
And life was meaningful
Though empty of doctrines
Creeds, tenets not so doable
If there were no holy books
No moral compass codified
Inspired to correct and rebuke
Restraining man so defiled

If God did not exist
The creator of the universe
By whom good and bad co-exists
Rain and sunshine on every house
If conscience were an illusion
That still small voice
Unevenly distributed among humans
Acutely limiting the volition of choice

If God did not exist
Man without an external force
To ensure judgment as works be
Blessings and curses appropriately
If day did not come after night
The darkness lingering after dawn
The blind having no need for sight
Sunset and sunrise taking no turns

If God did not exist
And life was void of the hereafter
Of Heaven and hell, precincts
Of space and time eternal
If history just began now
Yesterday never really happened
Tomorrow never comes
Today, only piece of time unraveled

If love wasn’t a command
The greatest of all virtues of man
Forgiveness blessedly divine
And I could repay them who do me harm
If lust was a sign of adulthood
Maturity and chastity mutually exclusive
Lewd glances at women in my hood
Well rounded behind swaying in rhythm

If I protect the defenseless
House the destitute
Clothe the naked
Only because God has asked me to
If I take children for wives
Kill innocent people
Deprive girls of learning and basic rights
Thanks to the Benevolent, the Merciful

If I cannot be morally upright
Be involved in community projects
Quit social vices
Except there is a religious agenda
If I, in my full mental capacity
Conclude that my economy is of heaven
And so ignore the poverty around me
Not touched by the sufferings of others

If I cannot pray for the sick
Volunteer as a health worker
Make donations to a health trust fund
Join awareness rallies on social media
If in my air-conditioned office I sit
Make boast of my healing faith
When an epidemic hits my city
And make mockery of the sick and frail

If evil were more beneficial than good
Would I bother to do right?
Do I put up righteous acts
Because I will be blessed for doing so?
If living standards improve; learning,
Mortgage, health, job opportunities,
Security of life and property
Would I still have need for the Almighty?

Is fear of divine punishment
My motivation for right living?
What kind of life would I lead
If God did not exist to police me?


Copyright (c) August 2014 clickpresh’s blog. All Rights reserved.