Someone commented on this post and so I was curious and went to read it. It is very good, I like it and I think you may like it also. So I have re-posted it. It is important to honour people, especially before they leave this world, why do we bring flowers and say kind words after they have gone? Show them your appreciation now while they are here. If you like, please “big up” in your comments or in even a post, a teacher, mentor etc, someone who has made an impact in your life. Big up mi MADDA and all my spiritual mentors. My enemies, big up oonuh self, you all made me stronger.
I have always been sure of who I am from ever since I can remember. As a young girl growing up, I sought to know many things of life. I was most often intrigued of things of a spiritual nature and I spent a lot of time out in nature, feeling clost to it,I had no friends so I embraced nature and books. I remember when I was in primary school in Kingston, Jamaica, our school Maxfield Park Primary School would go on outings to Castleton Garden, there is something mystical, magical and enchanting about that place. Jamaica on a whole is beautiful, big up mi place!
I always felt an eerie feeling when I went there, a fear I cannot describe. I felt as if the place was alive and that there I was being watched, by unseen eyes. Of course, I never voiced my fears, because even as a child I was aware of how ridiculous my fears were and was sure never to let anyone know what I thought. Instead, I would stick close to the teachers and pray for the time to come soon so that we could leave. It would be years to come before I understood what that feelings were and why. The feeling not only came from Castleton Garden, but anywhere I went and there were rivers or Ocean, rivers more so than Ocean. Even while driving there, as drew to get close, the feeling of fear would come.
One day here in Africa I was having a conversation with a Babalawo called Ifa Kazeem. I told him about those days in Jamaica (Africans like to hear about Jamaica, they have great respect for us, and I am a great story teller, so we would sit and talk in between work) and how I felt when I visited Castleon Garden and he laughed. He knew that I was an initiate of Osun, the water Goddess and so upon hearing my fear of water and its surroundings, he laughed, a healthy booming sound and slapped his thighs as he laughed. He said in between laughter;
“Of Course you would feel like that, you are Osun and she is water, your spirit knows that she is there they are seeing you, your family is there and you feel them even though you were small and did not understand, this is why you fear”! Kazeem laughed until the laughter spread to me, and I began to chuckle, for there I was sitting with this Babalawo who in one sentence told me why for all my life I feared water. As simple as that.
I sat with another Babalawo and I asked him why was it that I feared these places, not revealing to him the conversation I had with Ifa Kazeem days earlier, and he looked and me and said, “You are from water world, and so when you go around water, you fear, because you want to live in this world with us, you are not ready to go with them, so your head, unknowingly to you, reminds you of this. This is where the fear comes from”.
He said we all comes from different worlds, and this I knew before, but I remained quiet as he spoke. He said many peoples fears come from what they already know or have encountered in another realm, another life. Many people may fear eating meat because it maybe that in another life they were either poisoned or they choked on meat, or it may be their taboo, or they made a promise before they came into the world that they would not eat meat. Some people will fear to drive or ride in a plane or car because the world they come from is the realm of Iron, or maybe that is how they left their last lives, or this is the means they chose to die before they come into the world, so seeing these things threaten them and they mistake it for fear, not knowing why. There are many mysteries to the world and if we deal gently we will begin to unravel them.
I asked him what did he mean by deal gently (I knew the answer but but I want his explanation), he said, we should not hurry our lives, instead we should remain positive and focused, patient, prayerful and humble and face life and its adventures. We should have no fear, but trust our heads to guide on to the correct path in life. I studied him for a moment. All this I knew I practiced, so I was true to my own path.
“I am Ogun, he continues, “and Ogun is of God of Iron and steel and God of war. If something annoys and upset me, immediately Ogun comes out and shows himself. I have mastered this feeling however, because growing up, I would fight at the drop of a hat, but Ifa has calmed me down since and so if I shout, I am honoring both Ogun and Ifa. Ogun, because I allow him to shout thorough me instead of fighting, therefore I honor his presence and the warrior in me, and Ifa because I only shout, not fight and I forgive right away, I keep malice with no one.
He said “remember that we are more than who we think we are in this life, even though we have physical bodies, we are apart of a greater spiritual family somewhere beyond this earth. We must expect remnants of ourselves to come through, it is the spirit which motivates the human being, not the other way around. This is why we do sacrifices to stay balanced, to be grounded and to stay in alignment with the Universe”.
His was is an old Baba, who had experienced much in life, and I admire him for his knowledge and wisdom.
My mother was also one of my greatest teachers, she taught me many things about life and how to have Iwa Pele ( E-wah-peh-lay, Good Character) before I even knew what Iwa pele was, Iwa Pele is the overall concept of the teachings and practice of our traditional practice of Ifa/Orisha. Orunmila teaches us that we MUST practice good and gentle character.
She taught me, never to ignore even an enemy who asks for a drink of water, if I can, I should give it to them. This one I practiced all my life, but as I grew and experienced human beings and their wickedness and coldness to each other, I found this a hard pill to swallow, yet I continued to heed to her words and even taught my own children the same.
I was in America when the wicked baby father called one day complaining of his life and all he faced, he needed help as he had fallen and for a long time was not able get up, in terms of his everyday life and prosperity. He felt that Obeah was apart of his life and he needed my help spiritually. I thought it odd, because when I suffered while we were together at the hands of him and his woman through Obeah and the wickedness she threw at our young and newly formed family, all in her hopes of getting him, when I would tell him what she was doing and pleaded with him to remove her from our lives, which was crumbling at her hands, he would lambaste me and quarrel with me and said there was no such thing as Obeah! Ahhh, life!
While he spoke to me, almost in tears, (he didn’t cry, but his voice shook with emotion) as he lamented about his suffering, while he spoke and I quietly listened, I found myself remembering his terrible treatment of me and also how he totally forgot about his children in every way. I thought of how he never took care of them when he had it, and even now when he had lost everything he never called them at all, not even a happy birthday. I thought, as he spoke, “the nerve of him! How dare him, ask for my help, did he forget all that he did to me and my children, especially the children, never mind me!. I never voiced any of my thoughts, but instead told him that I would call him back.
I hung up from him and called the same Babalawo in Nigeria and told him about the phone call. I told my him that I was not prepared to help him, he should find someone else. His treatment of me and the children was too much, too bad, I could not forget it, I wanted nothing to do with him. Baba interrupted my speech with “Ni Suru, (be patient) Farabale (calm down).
He said, “My dear we shall help him”, I protested, but he insisted, he said “Please, forget about what he has done, he is down and he called for help, put bad feelings aside and help him! I asked Baba who will pay for his medicines, he said that you will, never mind what he didn’t do, help him. He told me, in the same words of my mother and also with what I have practiced all my life, but was willing to put aside when It came to this wicked man. Baba said,
“He asked for help, we cannot as initiates ignore his cry. If God is to pronounce judgement on him, then that is for God to decide, but we will help him! Of course I conceded, but the wicked man never followed up, so we are yet to assist him.
Here was one of the very same teachings my mother drummed into our heads as children, and I in turn taught my own children while practicing what she taught me, which was really forgiveness termed another way. Emotions and hurt at the hands of this vile man made me forget this and had to be reminded by Baba that although this man was an enemy, look at him as my mother taught me, (Baba never said these words, it is I who m explaining it this way for you), “If an enemy asks for water and you are in the position to give it, do not deny him!
Our teachers are all around us, and we also teach as we learn. As you all know the earth is a school room, there are many lessons here for us to learn. Through out my life, people always called me teacher, and anywhere I go in the world, once I begin to speak, crowds would draw near, it is amazing to see. I always had something to share, and I loved sharing what I knew as well as I loved to learn and still do.
My three mentors in spirituality was Mr. Mitchel, Mr. Pierre and my sweet Padrino, I will never forget them. Babalawo’s here speaks of their Oluwo everyday, and they always begin their sentences with this, “My Oluwo taught me…..”
The Babalawo told me how great his own Oluwo was, he made his transition well over a hundred years.
He was not sick, he just left on his own. It was his Oluwo who taught him what I now teach you here on this site and that is…..it is not good for person to expect life to be happy and good for them all the time, rough times, and turbulence has to be in the mix, but we should pray that we do not see devastation, because a person who has life good all the time, who is happy and who does not experience some bad at times, will not live long, there must be balance.
His Oluwo taught him not to speak dreams at night, his Oluwo taught him the use of every plant, root and wood in the bush and the uses of certain animals for the goodness of mankind and to cure many illnesses and also his Oluwo taught him Ifa! He mentions his Oluwo every day, from I know him to this day, he has never forgotten him, and so he shares those teachings with me and also his students on our compound. I also share my knowledge with him, and things that I have learned throughout life, from these three men who were my mentors, to my mother who taught me many thing through life, the cycle continues, because I teach my children and they in turn also teach me.
We teach each other here on this blog, for it is not I alone who teach here, I also learn from you. This post came because a couple days ago Baba and I sat in our parlor talking, and of course he was telling me some of the lessons he learned from his Oluwo, by the way an Oluwo is an Ifa Chief (the word actually means chief), but it is a title given by the Araba who is the head of all Babalawos in the town, not all Babalawos have this title, or can be called Oluwo. In Africa you are recognized and respected because of your title. he said during our talk, that everyone has a teacher, and it is important for us to recognize and respect that. The idea for this post was born in that moment.
We learn from everyone and from everything, we must look at every thing in our lives as lessons. We must recognize our teachers, even if she is the wicked sister or he is the wicked friend or spouse. As we search for gold and prosperity in life, we must seek knowledge, if we do this, we can grow and become who we ought to be in life.
Parents listen to your children, or rather we should not ignore the younger ones, some of our greatest teachers are them. Always think before you speak, words are like eggs, once spilled they can never be retrieved.
Never be quick to lay curse on another, think and deal gently before pronouncing judgement or curses, some curses can never be removed, and often times it is the undeserved who suffer.
Adults, all children belong to you, do not care only about your child, if you see a child having difficulty to cross the street, assist him or her. Do whatever you can to assist, not just a child but all you fellow beings, there is only just one race here on this planet (others are visitors) and that is the human race. Color is an illusion, racicism is conditioning of the mind.
Wives respect your husbands, Husbands respect your wives.
Respect your elders, even the ones who have no respect, be mindful not to be found at fault, if anything let the fault be theirs!
Do not worry about anything, everything that is supposed to be, will!
Everything happens for a reason and everything comes when it must!
Never hurry your life!
If you pray and you feel that your prayer is not being answered, look again, the wisdom of God surpasses man, and often times God answers our prayers, we are just not wise enough to see it!
Wait and be positive in life, positive thoughts and out look is better than any antibiotic,
Never be found with Jealousy, what is yours will be yours in this life and if you never find riches, then it was not meant for you, accept that. You may have gotten something even better of which there are many, Knowledge being the best!
Never Judge, this bears repeating, you do not know what lay in wait for you tomorrow, no one is above another persons circumstance, never judge!
Love surpasses all, let love be a part of your life, show it and open your self to receive it!
When you find a good person, cherish that person!
Reject the spirit of arrogance!
Be humble, release ego
Release hate, it only destroys all these lower your vibration making you not able to evolve.
Practice the things you preach, be an example for others to follow
Never rejoice over another hurt
Figure out what is your service to humanity and do it, if you even have to volunteer at a soup kitchen, help your fellow human beings
Pray, meditate and practice your affirmations daily
Never do what is taboo to you
Remember your sacrifices
Honour your ancestors
I have so much more, I am not even finished!
I have so much more to write on this topic. I want to tell you my lessons from Padrino, and Mr. Pierre and Mr. Mitchel. From Madda Myrie de Jamaican Obeah woman, and Miss Milly another wicked (as in great) diviner. Lessons from Miss Jenny who read tea leaves, and from my Jamaican Oluwo. I wanted to tell you many things, but if I continue then the post will be too long, and many of you I notice are drawing away from me, the visits are not as much as before. You all know I call is as I see it.
I will continue to blog until a voice says stop! mi nah watch oonuh!
Ìyà ńjẹ ọmọrí ìṣaṣùn; ìṣaṣùn ńjẹ dídùn ọmọrí ńjoru ọbẹ̀. /
The pot-lid is exploited; the pot gets all the sweetness but the lid gets all the steam……Yoruba Proverb!
[Only a fair deal, a win-win position is sustainable in the long run.]
All religion are valid as long as it teaches peace and love…. Obara Meji!
There are no disappointments in life, only lessons learned!….Obara Meji
I hope you never stop posting and blogging. Because even if it’s one person that reads your blog and it opens their eyes then you have done A lot, far more than many. Keep being a blessing I beg you!
Thank you so much for this post very interesting. From I was a little girl I always afraid of the sea when I used to go to the beach I’ll just stay at sand and when they’re trying to let me float I’ll always flair up and run. When I getting baptized in the sea they’ve to dip me twice. And I don’t know why they used to greet me by saying welcome madda marium. I left that church and went to another church and there they go saying I have an mermaid spirit with me and my friends will… Read more »
thank you so much i needed to read this
Yes, this post resonated with me a lot!!!
I give thanks for my Rasta elders in the UK and the teachings they gave me to become the woman I am today. Before I began to learn the spirit I had no respect for myself or life, so I must give thanks to them.
Incidentally, I have an aversion to fire and to the ocean, yet am drawn to them also, especially fire. I often wonder if I died in fire in a past life, but I don’t feel that’s true, I don’t really know.
Evening Family ((MUAH))!
Let me big up these persons:
My Grandparents (All 4…gone)
Alan (basic school teach…gone)
Mrs. Goldman (2nd grade)
Ms. Lum (3rd grade)
Mrs. Maxine Koop (4th grade)
Mrs. Grace Crescente-Crosby (5thgrade)
Mrs. Buxenbaum (6th grade)
Mrs. Lillian Cosme
I let them all down. They expected more from me than what I have now. Love them dearly, hope to encounter them in the afterlife.
Reading this made me wonder if I to am of Ogun. I myself have somewhat of a fear of flying which I know is irrational and I’m not a person that has many fears but for some reason as soon as I’m on a plane its sweaty palms and nervousness. And it’s not at all a fear of dying as I’m pretty sure that isn’t the way that I will go but it’s still very hard for me to fly as regular as I do, part of me believes that if I were actually the one flying the plane I… Read more »
Yes Kevin, email me and I will tell you
Hello Obara, and fellow bloggers. I send out nuff respect to all my teachers and mentors ever since I was in grade 5 in Jamaica. I will call her Mrs J , took me under her wings taught me dance lessons which I became great at. We toured the Island of Jamaica wining every dance competition we entered. I was placed in a leading role. Nuff respect to Ms Y my brother in law sister, was a great mentor to me when I was attending high school in Jamaica, respect to my dad very strick and miserable but his strickness… Read more »
Good evening people thank you Obara for being one of my teachers in my life. I thank all my life’s teachers..some taught hard lessons but i learned. Thanks to my family for teaching me all my life and the man for teaching me how to love myself more than anybody.
One of the most important lessons under the not rushing your life for me is, when I left Jamaica, I went to a very small town (village), I and the other Jamaicans who are here would complain about the ‘village’. Small town breeds gossips, everyone is in everyone’s business and competing. Anyways, I couldnt wait to leave the village, as there was no sky-scrappers and whats the point of leaving Jamaica if yu nuh feel like yu dey a farrin. The opportunity presented itself for me to leave last month. Looking back, the small town wasnt so bad. The gossips… Read more »
I like this MTH
Morning Teach and everyone that reads this. This is really a lovely post. It is so ironic, I was thinking about most of what you have written here. I know I have benefited immensely from your teachings. I sincerely embrace your teachings about not hurrying your life and I teach it every opportunity I get. An example of not hurrying your life, I was talking to this Jamaican lady and she told me that she is from the poorer section of Jamaica. She couldn’t wait to leave. Then she got the opportunity to leave. She says looking back Jamaica wasn’t… Read more »
Mth I never kne who how much I loved Jamaica till I left it
what the hall did I type, I was in a car while I tested…shame!
I meant I did notkow.how.much i.love.Jamaica.until.I left
ah de phone, I give up!!
You can most definitely learn from anything or anybody…You can learn your ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ in life by observing others.
Thank you LaTonya
Great post, Obara. The teachers such as yourself teach us life lessons that we use daily. These teachers teach us to protect ourselves. You are also right About the enemy teaching us hard lessons that we use as a guide to see through people who are good and just bad. Teachers such as yourself are lifesavers. Blessings my teacher!
thank you Capediem
This was a great post – thank you!