Guard your heart…

 

Two Sundays ago, it felt like my pastor had it in for me. I could have sworn he was speaking to me the whole service and I was so convicted. You see, I always say this: I love love. I am very quick to give my heart away, to fall in love or to just believe that each time, it could be love. Every time I do this, and every time I get hurt. I get hurt and it’s all my fault because I had no business giving my heart away like cotton candy. You see even the Bible tells us to guard our hearts, it is our duty to protect our emotions and the issues of the heart. So my pastor went on and on and when he said: God knows how delicate our hearts are, that’s why He put it inside our rib cage. He had to build a whole chest to guard it because He knew it needed to be safe. When my pastor said this, I felt like someone splashed a bucket of ice cold water on my face!

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It was definitely a wake up call for me. It is pointless to always blame other people when you get your heart broken. It is time to start accepting your portion of the blame and realize that not everyone deserves your heart and your devotion. Often times, we are so quick to say stuff like: oh! I am very emotional, or I love with everything I have in me but then nobody gets hurt but you!. It is time to become emotionally intelligent and also to ask God for the spirit of discernment. Too much time is wasted casting our precious pearls to the swine, we literally take ourselves, our emotions and our bodies which are precious pearls and cast them to people who have no business touching them in the first place.

These situationships have to go! Neither here nor there, neither hot nor cold, here today gone tomorrow. If there’s no clear definition of intent what then is the point? This heart is staying inside my rib cage where it’s meant to be, not on my sleeve, not handed away like party favors! Because giving should be reciprocated, if not you’ll give and give and give and one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you gave yourself all away and there might be nothing left.

Above all else, guard your heart. For everything you do flows from it.” –Proverbs 4:23

 

 

Tell Me…

If you are a writer, there is nothing as daunting as a blinking cursor. Nothing as taunting as that little black line, blinking away daring you to write but you have no words so you just sit there and stare, stare at it until you slam your laptop close in frustration. There is nothing as frustrating as reaching for your phone because you thought you heard a beep only to find that it was a phantom beep; no one sent you a message, no one is calling.  Your mind is playing tricks on you because you want your phone to beep, you want a call or text or something! nothing as painful as scrolling through your timeline, seeing your friends celebrating milestones, and achieving great things. There is nothing quite like sucking it up, repressing that surge of envy and typing them a congratulatory message…

“So and so asked me out and I don’t want to date any of them, I don’t have the time to date because I am trying to…” it’s painful to hear because you cannot relate but you smile anyway. The only man that has spoken to you in months is the doorman at your apartment, asking you if you had a good day and telling you that you have mail. Tell me what is worse than seeing your plans unravel, adjusting and resizing your dreams because they just won’t work out like you hope they would. Does it get lonelier that screaming in the shower and standing there till the hot water runs out and you are forced to get out of the tub?

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A lonely street…photo Credit: Me

What bigger lie is there than “I am fine”? Even when everything inside of you aches, when uncertainty and doubts and insecurities have pitched tents in your head, but you smile anyway because it is easier to say “I’m fine” than to try and explain why you cry yourself to sleep every night. What hurts more when your friends fail to support you and be there for you when you need them the most? Or when you stop confiding in them altogether because your problems are starting to sound depressing even to you? So the bottle of henney you stashed away in your room becomes your best friend and you spend hours and hours on social media because it feels good to watch funny videos and to read about other people’s misfortune for a change…

Your social media presence is quite strong, your posts and pictures are carefully selected, and well picked out and the likes are pouring in by the numbers. But then you make the mistake of  giving  yourself the false belief that if people don’t like you in real life, at least they like your pictures and status updates. Tell me what is more ignorant than saying “Oh, He/She is fine, I saw their status update and pictures the other day” don’t you know that people are not all they seem to post? We often lie to ourselves, especially we Africans that everything is alright, that all is well. Nobody takes mental health seriously and if you say you want to see a shrink or seek psychiatric help, you are instantly labelled crazy.

This probably wasn’t a happy post to read was it? But it’s real, and if we tell ourselves the truth, we have all found ourselves in one or more of the aforementioned situations. Lend a listening ear, a hug, your time or whatever it is you can if you sense that the people you love might need it. Do something!

This is real, I am one to talk; I should know.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.”― David Mitchell

 

A Stranger’s Kindness

 

Dear Diary,

It was a really long day. Emotionally tasking and physically draining. Walking to the bus station seemed like a herculean task and as I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, I found myself doing that which came naturally to me; crying. So I stood there, in the middle of Lindbergh station, bawling my eyes out, feeling the weight in every inch of my body. I could care less if anyone was watching me cry, I just knew I needed to ease the tight feeling in my chest and too bad if I was on the road. It was a windy day and my tears dried before they reached my lips, leaving streaks in my makeup and what was left of my eyeliner, I looked a mess.

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I needed to blow my nose so bad so I dug frantically in my handbag looking for tissue and I could not find any, somehow that made me even sadder. Now this is America, if you strip naked on the road people will probably walk right through you, because everyone is always in motion, and they just keep moving. Still digging through my bag in a frenzy, I felt a hand on my shoulder and the person said to me; here, you need this and handed me a pack of tissue. I took it buried my face in it for a minute, finally feeling shame and remembering where I was. When I looked up, the person who handed me the tissue was a man, dressed as a woman, make up and all.

He led me to the nearest park bench and asked me what was wrong and if I wanted to talk about it and the words came spewing from nowhere and we talked and talked. The bus came and went and we did not notice, this stranger somehow, had taken my pain away. He offered to buy me coffee but the next bus had come and I really wanted to go home so I declined politely. He encouraged me some more, gave me the warmest most comforting hug and thanked me for not looking at him like a crazy person. He was walking away and I called out to him and said; thank you so much, God bless you and Jesus loves you…His eyes lit up at that and he gave me his card and walked away.

I finally got on the bus and I thought about the experience I just had with a total stranger. I  was standing in the middle of the road, crying my heart out and straight, regular people walked by without a second glance. Not that they owed me anything but still, they did not care. This man, who is kind of confused about his gender and  judged by many to be crazy was the only one that stopped to show me basic human kindness and a love that trumped race and orientation. We are often quick to judge, condemn and dismiss people based on their outward looks, quick to label and call them names forgetting that we cannot reach anyone unless we do it in love and tolerance and humility. How as a Christian, do you hope to convert an unbeliever if you refuse to associate with them or talk to them? How will you tell them of God’s love, a God they do not know and  cannot see if you who they can see refuse to show them love? We cannot change anybody by sheer will power, only the Holy Spirit can do that. Our job is to obey the greatest commandment of all, to love our neighbors and to show them the way to God’s heart through love and patience rather than condemnation and disdain, at the end of the day, we are all broken. Whether or not we admit it, we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God and we all need Jesus.

Your life style, the words you speak and how you conduct yourself might be the only Bible an unbeliever ever gets to read, your life is a message, what are you saying? I made a friend today, and somehow someday I will invite him to Church but until then, I will be loving and kind to him, to show him a glimpse of the restoring power of the Love of God.

“It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, especially when we’d prefer not to be.”- Josh Radnor

 

Imagine.

 

Dear Diary,

This has been on my mind for a while now. Why is it so hard to just be real these days? To actually say what we mean to say? When did we get to the point of suffering and smiling, of telling lies so easily instead of just calling it what it is?

Imagine.

Imagine a world where a guy and a girl have their first date and totally hate it, so instead of faking it  if they just told each other that they weren’t feeling it and called it a day. Not  letting a meaningless and clueless relationship form.  A relationship that will drag on for weeks and maybe months and not add any value, but waste time that cannot be recovered. Imagine a world where we tell ourselves and our friends the truth, rather than lying to them and giving them half hearted advice, telling them what they want to hear rather than telling them the truth that will make them better. Imagine a world where we didn’t have to tolerate one another.  A world where If you don’t like or regard someone, they do not have to be in your life, in your head space or on your social media! It is ok to unfollow them, or leave their life, rather than hanging around and acting like the friend you know you aren’t and then trashing them behind their backs.

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Imagine a world where people keep their word, where they do what they said they would do in the first place? Where it’s ok to say to no and not be hated for it. Imagine a world where you can voice your opinion when you don’t agree with something rather than nodding like zombies and accepting everything just so you can appear cool and be liked. where it is ok to call a spade a spade and not a big spoon.

Imagine a world where we live our life to please those who actually need to be pleased. A life that honors the God who gave us life and can take it, the parents who brought us into this world, and a few people that  matter. A world where we don’t have to bend over backwards to be liked…

It’s hard to imagine that the world will ever be like that, but I owe it to myself to start acting like it, and maybe you should too. To treat my own corner of the world like the precious place that it is, to dedicate my head space and mind and attention to the things that actually matter and have eternal value, to stop chasing the love and affections of people who don’t care, and to treat life like the priceless gift that it is because every minute wasted can never be regained.

Imagine.

Back and Better, Whole and Healed…

 

My people;

I am so sorry that once again I went MIA. It wasn’t intentional, I promise.  l meant to write, I really did but words failed me again and again so I just took a little break from it all. Life has taught me a couple of lessons over the past weeks that I didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t want to learn, all the things I had  been writing about battling with depression and finding joy came back to taunt me. I read those posts over and over but they didn’t help. If tears could solve anything, I would be problem and stress free, literally. But tears did not solve anything, they only left me with headaches and chest pains and no solutions. As if I wasn’t stressed enough, I woke up one morning to discover that my tooth broke while I was asleep, like actually broke into pieces, at that point I just gave up, I was done.

But I thank God for His love, and His friendship and His never ending grace because I wouldn’t be sitting here today writing this post if it wasn’t for Him. I have learned to pray for myself, to go to God and tell Him my woes instead of asking friends to pray for me. I have learned to depend solely on God because the people I found myself depending and leaning on also needed people to lean on as well and you can’t lean too much because as our people say, “lean on me no be press me die”.

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I’m obsessed with this app, totally random I know but download prisma and thank me later!

While I was busy letting the devil win and wallowing in depression, I had no clue the battle that God was fighting for me. Anyone who remotely knows me will testify to the fact that my mother is my best friend after God. So imagine my reaction when she called to tell me she had a close shave with death. I felt a million feelings at once, the most paramount of them being immense gratitude. What if I had lost my mum? All those other issues I was depressed about would have seemed like a needle dropping in a hay stack! Right there and then, my sorrows turned into joy and I finally saw the reasoning behind thanking God for all the things that He will and will not do.

So for all intents and purposes, I am back! And this is also my chance to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of you that reached out to me. I treasure those emails and it helped more than you’ll ever know… if you’re ever battling with depression or suicidal thoughts, please I beg of you pray. Pray and pray and pray and after praying call your mother, or your best friend, or email me I will reply swiftly. Don’t sit and let those thoughts overwhelm you, they are lies from the pit of hell and no matter how dark it gets, the sun will shine again.

Getting better from depression demands a lifelong commitment. I’ve made that commitment for my life’s sake and for the sake of those who love me.” -Susan Polis Schutz

What you believe is very powerful. If you have toxic emotions of fear, guilt and depression, it is because you have wrong thinking, and you have wrong thinking because of wrong believing.” -Joseph Prince