October 14, 2015

6 Answers to those gnawing accussations of guilt

Ever have that sinking feeling that you are in the wrong and should feel shame for some justified (and sometimes unjustified) reason. Well next time you have that feeling, answer your guilt with one of these responses:

"I am not perfect"

Be kind to yourself. You will not always be right, will not always respond well to provocation and may even react badly under certain situations so don't be hard on yourself or overly self conscious if you disappoint yourself or anyone by your behavior sometimes. Hopefully, they remember that they have faults too and that the particular situation wasn't all of your own making.

Sometimes you need to tell yourself; "It doesn't matter if someone thinks I didn't do a good job  or didn't say the right thing because I don't always do a good job or get it right each time".

"It is not a life and death, heaven or hell situation"

You shouldn't feel guilty about little things which in the grand scheme of things can be overlooked like being late for an event or not agreeing with what someone wants you to do. If the situation is not a matter or life or death and is not a sin, then maybe you ought to relax.

"It can be forgiven and forgotten"

You deserve forgiveness. If you can make mistakes, you can be forgiven. You don't deserve the accusing stares, the incidents where your mistakes are used as a weapon or reference point. Expect forgiveness and defend your right to it when freedom is with held. Permit yourself to live as though the offence is in the past- because it is.

"Am I guilty of something or being controlled and manipulated?"

People use anger to control and someone might overreact to a situation just to set a precedence to avoid being challenged or put outside their comfort zones again. When someone begins to attack your character and not just the offending action, there are chances that they are beginning to take advantage of your remorse to gain more control over you than the situation justifies. Be careful not to take false responsibility for something that wasn't your fault at all or entirely.

"I apologize"

Our social media era and modern day culture promotes justification for every wrong you can argue and "odeishi" your way out of. These days until we are caught and as long as we make no admission to the wrong, an apology is the furthest from our minds. It is immature to think that an admission to wrong is like giving your opponent the advantage and showing weakness. A heart felt apology is like paying a debt out of integrity. It is  honoring yourself by meeting up to your expectations to be good and honorable.

"I forgive myself and permit myself to move on"

Never say in your hearing "I will never be able to forgive myself for xyz". Sometimes you have to say; "I have beat myself up over this long enough! I am giving this situation too much attention and penance than it deserves. It's time to let it go". If God is able to forgive you when you ask, then who are you not to forgive yourself? Are you more holy than God? You'd rather insist on repaying a debt that has been written off than turn around and thank the one that has taken the pain to pay it off for you? What dirty pride?

There are somethings you can't pay for, some losses that cannot be quantified only forgiven. To insist on paying is to insult the aggrieved by suggesting that their loss is replaceable while to seek and accept forgiveness is to acknowledge that you cannot do or say or pay enough to restore things as they were. Forgiveness -God's, theirs, and yours will cleanse your sin.  

Finally, If someone still holds a grudge over your head after you have sincerely apologized and after a lot of time has passed, offer them understanding for being stuck in the past but as for you? Move on.

October 09, 2015

What do you do after reading what I write?

Like? Comment? Share? Or call to tell me how great a writer I am?

I'll admit I want to be able to say I get tons and tons and tons of traffic to this blog and that everything I post online gets lots and lots of comments, but the reality is sometimes I check and recheck my own posts on Bella Naija several times a day just to count the number of comments and on some days my own visits to this blog rack up the daily traffic more than those of real visitors, so yeah I'm not up there when it comes to those metrics.

But when I ask myself what my Call To Action for each post is (Call To Action (CTA) is a term for that element crafted into your posts that makes the reader act in a way you want, for instance buy a product or click a link), I realise my CTA is not like, comment, share or buy but it's think. And if I get lucky it's think, change and act.

I hardly leave comments on the best blogs I read. And it's not because the author's talent doesn't deserve appreciation or the content can be overlooked, but I'm silent because what they say leaves me deep in thought. 

I've read things so powerful that rather than like or comment, I have reclined in my seat to chew food for thought or stood up and taken a walk just trying to understand why a sentence had hit me and why so hard.

That's the way I hope what I write makes my readers feel. That they consider my thoughts and theirs side by side and  come out of that interaction with a new one. That they are engaged, entertained and changed. That in one moment of weakness something they read me write gives them strength or moral resolve.  

And those are the best comments; the one where someone says, not I commented but I cried or not I retweeted, shared or reposted but this really helped me. 


And occasionally I get to relish those comments where someone says "thanks for sharing", and I know that those moments spent capturing fleeting memory and minutiae emotion, and mining words of hope from depths of suffering are absolutely worth it!


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