Looking back at my life coming up as a young woman, I had no thought as to who or what I was supposed to be. My parents had ambition for me, I had none. All I wanted to do was read books and be comfortable doing so. Reading was and still is my favorite thing to do. Life, however, had other plans for me, and a lot of emotional challenges would be the name of the train I would ride.
In hindsight, as I type listening to Lana del Rey this Sunday morning in Nigeria, it was as if I had been pulled along life’s roads, streets, avenues and lanes, without protest and a bit of naivety through it all. As I have written here before tears were a constant companion those times. Tears, because while life dragged me, somewhere in my mind, I felt this was not how it was supposed to be, but it felt as if I had to just allow myself to be dragged. I made decisions based on trying to please everybody else but me. I now wonder if I was even there as I somehow seemed to have been in a bubble. I go there (the bubble) at times, when life becomes too harsh, becoming numb lessens the hurt.
Someone close to me cautions me on listening to Lana’s songs too often, because her music inspires sadness. She warns me of the energy transference, something that I often warn others of. Yet when I listen to some sad music, I find myself go back in time and return with some new lessons learned. Sadness has its place as does everything. We cannot discount even what we fear or do not like, they have their purpose.
Some years ago when I was with Mr. High Grade (the one time I was ever married, he was a bum) life became a little dull. Finances were low and I had to go out and search for bread to feed the family. High grade busied himself with horse racing and smoking. I did a course and was out doing this job where I had to canvass the area for clients.
Today, as I laid down singing along with Lana, a flashback of me all dressed up in the boiling New York summer sun came to me. It appeared out of nowhere. Then it struck me that something wanted to show me much I have evolved, how much I had grown, how far I had come… Can any of you see how you have evolved within the last, let’s say ten years of your life? Where you were then as opposed to where you are now?
Back then I was married to a man who became my fifth child. Someone I disliked, but settled with. Someone I walked and canvassed for clients so that I could earn a commission to feed him and my children. Would I do so again? Absolutely not, but we learn and grow from past experiences. These are all apart of the evolution of life. It is a process, one that we should note.
Often times life passes you by without you taking note of the things you have accomplished. The brain is fond of holding on to negative memories and forgetting, or ignoring, your accomplishments. While they may be small to you, that you have discounted them, they may have molded you into who you are now.
If there has been no change in your situation, your circumstances, or even you, nothing to tell you that you are emotionally, spiritually or physically in a better place (while still alive), then you have been wasting your years here and have been taking your life as a joke. You will want to say, “Obara I cannot change my circumstances, life has dealt me a bad hand” or “Obara, I have accepted my fate“. To which I will disagree with you. We evolve constantly, some of us are aware and many of us are not. Sunday turns to Monday and Monday turns to Tuesday, this is your proof that nothing stays the same. It is impossible to stay the same when the world around you is in constant motion. I can say, spiritually, I am in a much better place today. Embracing my spirituality was a very harsh reality for me, but I have grown into my spirituality and am happily conscious and wide awake although the road to get here was jarring to say the least.
Emotionally, while it has been a challenge (I am extremely compassionate and at times naive), I am much better than I was when I was growing up. Throughout the years I had to unlearn seeing and judging things through emotions. This was hard for a person like me who took so much to heart. But today as I looked back to those years when tears and sorrow were my only companions, I realize that even though my enemy was experiencing these heartaches, I was not emotionally present, I was numb. It was almost as if I experienced these things from outside my body. Will have to do a post explaining this.
Looking back, I realize that while I went through whatever emotional abuse I suffered at the hands of the wicked baby father, his other woman, his mother and siblings, my mother, father, and siblings, and evil friends I had, all these assisted me in growing stronger. Emotionally I became stronger and fear who was like a dark heavy cloak upon my shoulders began to disappear. Perhaps life knew that there was far more for me to endure as I grew and walked my path and so they tested me early and prepared me for a tougher road ahead.
I have a friend, an older woman. She is soft spoken and a bit odd in her character. She has been through a lot in life, being disappointed in many ways by those who she loved and cared for, but one thing I have noticed with her, which always seemed to puzzle me: she never cries. Even if she is telling me a heartfelt story, which would normally bring about tears from Bam Bam Bigelow, she would not even sniffle. Yet she has told me of thoughts of suicide and there are times she becomes almost like a different person. Silently I worry for her, because I cannot see where she has changed from the bitterness she holds deep within, although she hides it with cheer and chatter.
It is ok to cry. It is healthy and it is something that mends a place deep within that no doctor can get to. As I remembered those days when I had to go hunting while High Grade was home, smoking and gambling horses on the television, to me now doing my work, in service of humanity, I see and appreciate how far I have come, and I thank my Ori for all the challenges I faced to become me.
The wicked baby father’s mother is in the hospital, she needs our prayers. They want to pull the plug, she had a stroke. I called and begged him to beg them, not yet. I told him to beg them to wait. Let’s pray I told him, he seemed to be resigned to whatever fate he was told of her. Yet I begged on her behalf. After all, she had only fallen a day before. She had made my young life with her son a living hell, but she was one of my teachers, although to me then, she was a tormentor. Because of this woman, I begged God to never let me meet a man whose mother was still alive, but better yet, I vowed to be a good and fair mother-in-law because of her. For that I thank her. She taught me what not to be, how not to be. Please all of you help me pray for her to recover.
Some years ago, I was passing by my sisters apartment, my parents were there. I greeted everyone by the door, not intending to go inside. I have never felt welcomed around my family. As I walked away to go to my own apartment, I felt someone grab me from behind.
It was my mother.
“Dance with me,” she told me, and proceeded to waltz me around the hallway. I laughed and danced and then began to cry. The last time I remember my mother showing me any affection at all was when I was eight years old. I thought those times were never to be again. Yet here she was waltzing me around the hallway, and all the love I had for this woman came flooding into me. I wanted her to hold me forever. I missed her terribly. She had no idea how I greatly admired her, how much I loved her. It is nice at times to reflect. Those memories made me realize and appreciate where I am today, emotionally and spiritually. I have never resented her for anything. Because of her and our strained relationship, I love my children and made sure I showed my love to them. I tell them all the time, I hug them, kiss them, squeeze them, comfort them, I reassure them, teach, them protect them, and forever I will. That one day of the waltz, made me erase all the things I had wondered about our relationship in my mind. I placed them in a bubble. Content with them there. She is my mother.
Today I want you all to sit and meditate on your life. See where you were at least ten years ago and where you are now. By seeing where you were, I mean emotionally, spiritually, financially, in your ambition, or just your outlook on life itself.
Answer These Questions
How have you changed?
Do you have resentments you harbor, or have you forgiven those who have hurt you somehow along life’s way?
Are you a better person now, or are you bitter like my friend and holding it inwards, where others sees it within you?
Are you more or less ambitious?
Judgmental or objective with all things?
How do you treat yourself? Do you love you or are you disappointed in you and why?
Are you the same as back then and you can honestly say you are better than before?
Where is your spirituality?
What are your beliefs?
Are you enjoying life or or you disappointed in life, in God?
Do you still believe in God?
Did you ever?
Who are you now, what have you become and who do you blame or thank for this?
Tí ẹ̀dá bá fẹ́ gba àwìn ẹ̀bà, ni wọ́n máa ńṣe ojú àánú, tí wọ́n bá yó tán, wọ́n á di ọkọ olúwa wọn. /
People present a facade of humility when seeking favour; once satisfied, they easily lord it over their benefactors………………..Yoruba Proverbs!
Àìríni bárìn, a máa múni pe ajá láàwé. /
The absence of anyone to associate with, could make one call a dog a friend……….Yoruba Proverb!
[In the absence of the desired, the available comes into focus.]
Obara Meji is a spiritualist, Ifa-Orisa practitioner, and teacher of metaphysics. Since 2011 she has used her online platform to share her personal experiences to those seeking answers about spirituality. Her teachings will expand into short stories, novels, and public speaking to continue her mission of bringing enlightenment to the world.