The Cinderella Effect

What do Cinderella and I have in common? on the surface nothing actually. I have somewhat of a childlike imagination and I absolutely love a good Disney fairy tale. Cinderella,in particular,seems to be my favorite.I have a special place in my heart for her, i have a thing for underdogs and i want to see them win.

We all love a good love story, we love to see the hero get the girl, we love the happily ever afters. Fairy tales fill us with a sense of hope and possibility. I know most of us, have been on the love carousel long enough to realize that real life actually doesn’t quite pan out like the stories. A lot of us when we get older, give up on this romanticized ideal of love,at least,I like to think we do. But ever so often,people arrive and circumstances occur that revive our hope.

And, i think personally, that is why a lot of us women have fallen in love with Meghan Markle and why we identify with her so well, we see ourselves in her, to us she represents the possibility of an idea, that every woman can have a shot at prince charming.

This isn’t Meghan’s doing and quite honestly, I don’t think she would be too pleased to be compared with Cinderella seeing as she considers herself a feminist. But here she is, an independent, self-assured woman, who seems to have abandoned her former life for the probability of finding true love,happiness and nobility. She and Harry symbolize the quintessential modern-day fairy tale. As a woman who just turned 30, I resonate with her.

A lot of times we are told that after a certain age picking a suitable mate becomes difficult, and the chances of you “bagging” your ideal partner, grow slimmer with every passing year. Meghan defies all those odds. She is 3 years older than Harry, a divorcee, comes from a highly dysfunctional family and is biracial (some people say black, but is neither here or there to me), but here we are 5 months away from them becoming parents, she has singlehandedly redefined the Monarchy and catapulted it into the 21st century, to say that’s impressive would be an understatement.

20181101_103007.jpg

Yes, she got her prince, but Meghan is certainly a prize herself, she is smart, articulate and very charming, she had a modest but thriving career in Hollywood, she is a UN advocate for women, her repertoire is broad and brilliant.

I firmly believe that she would have gone on to be very successful with or without her newly acquired duchess title, Meghan brought something special to the table. I wonder sometimes, when we fantasize about the perfect partner do we ask (myself included), if I were my perfect mate would I date me? I think the answer would be a big fat no for most of us! Lol! .

See, here’s what I think, no love story or person is perfect, but there are countless of couples who are perfectly happy, I don’t think there’s really a need to start running off, writing a list and doing a bunch of things, that are not really you, to bag you a ‘’Harry’’ but if it makes you happy go for it,.

What I really think we should be doing, to get some semblance of a fairy tale love story in our own lives is to rid ourselves of the Cinderella effect. It means leaving fairy tales, where they should exist in children’s stories and tackling our love lives like grown adult women. Let’s understand what love is supposed to be from a Godly perspective (1 Corinthians 13:4). Let’s focus on making ourselves happy and healthy individuals, let’s set standards so that the men we let in don’t think our hearts are dumping grounds for their emotional baggage. It’s not about being perfect, but it’s about loving yourself, even if you’re insecure about your weight.

So even though we live in a “real” world where things don’t quite work out as we expect, i still believe in romance,and in fairy tales,I am team Meghan and Harry,and I wish them both the absolute best, I’m still trying to figure out though,Cinderella,was she comfortable in those glass slippers,to be honest I don’t think so.

Xoxo

Go best friend,that’s my best friend?

Friendships can sometimes low-key feel like a full on relationship, and when they end you’re left feeling a bit lost and resentful ,like what happened, what did I do, what did she do, where did it all go wrong, at first you post the subs on social media (thank you very much Pinterest 🙂  then you un-follow each other and before you know it, months and years go by and you become complete strangers, you barely even both say hi, when you bump into each other in public, sigh, I have been there! Yes quiet me, with my 5 friends I can count on just one hand.

I remember one day, my best friend and I were talking about friendships in general, and how we’ve made friends, lost some and outgrown some. We as human beings, are constantly changing, who I was at 20 and what I desired in a friend is not what I want at 30. Honestly when I was a kid, I was just happy if anyone called me a friend, no matter how dysfunctional or problematic they were I didn’t know better (did any of us) but now eh, I am extremely selective, I really don’t do drama/ wahala very well, I am not Captain Save A Friend, meaning I love myself enough to step away if I feel like the emotional baggage you bring to the table may be too much for me to handle.

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to make friends with people who like you, really like you, not just the people who want to hang out with you because they feel you have something in common, and this will take some time for you to discover, I believe in prayerfully selecting friends and using wisdom, I never used to do this though, but I have learnt enough lessons to understand the importance of this.

Not everybody will be your friend and that is okay, don’t force it, God will bring good and amazing people into your life who will love and accept you for who you are, but you must appreciate them and reciprocate always, support them emotionally and in whatever ways you can, and also see the goodness in them as they do you.

Do not chase after people, repeat after me do not chase anyone’s friendship, the only person you should chase after is Jesus Christ. If people love you, and desire to be in your life they will give of themselves freely, they will show it in actions and words. If someone shows you who they are and what they want from you, believe them.

And this is for you guys, you know yourselves, the ones who will go weeks without speaking to a friend because she forgot to invite you out to dinner, when she went with Shola and Amara ( side note if you are over 25 and you have friends like this, What are you doing sis?!).

The ones who think it is okay to be a bitch to their friend because they had a bad day, the ones who are happy to bring the wine for the heartbreak, the job losses, the storms, but find it hard to bring the champagne for the successes, if you are dealing with such a person as a friend, then that individual is not your friend, plain and simple, it doesn’t matter if you have known for 10 years or you guys went to the same nursery school and you say ”Oh that is how so and so is”, is that what you want to settle for?  Quite frankly if you tolerate this kind of behavior then it speaks volumes on you as an individual and how much you value yourself.20181101_110956

Please there is no shame in walking away from toxic people, you can even pray for them from afar, and in order to thrive we must learn to surround ourselves with kind and loving people. No one is perfect we all have our issues…but issues don’t define us our responses do, and quite frankly just be honest and talk to your friend about how you really feel, express your dissatisfaction with her behavior or your personal frustrations in a mature and open manner. Above all let love and forgiveness lead always, always. The bible says we should forgive each other seventy times seven times (Matthew 18:22), that means as many times as possible, honestly just let it go, Forgive, forget and love, nobody is perfect, we all mess up a lot.

I have let go of a lot of friendships that no longer serve me, I have people who were in my life as recently as three years ago and who I have known since I was 13 who I no longer speak to, I don’t mourn the loss of the friendships so much, i  did initially but, time has passed I have met new people who literally brighten up my day, I’m fine and you will be too.

xoxo

 

 

Are you jealous?

Do you know anybody who admits to being jealous?, not the your dress is cute I wish I bought it type of jealousy, I’m talking about the my best friend just landed a fantastic opportunity and she gets to travel around the world, meanwhile I’m stuck in a two by four cubicle working countless hours without no recognition, but I have to act like I’m happy for her and not admit I secretly wish it was me instead even though we both know I’m the one who practically pushed her to apply for the job and coached her on how to excel professionally type of jealousy, yeah that one.

Nobody likes admitting that they are, because jealousy is the grandchild of insecurities and the step daughter to hatred and God forbid, we would want anyone to us perceive as such, especially when we call ourselves Christians.

First things first, it is actually perfectly normal human nature to feel this way, contrary to what people will have you believe, you will at some point in your life experience it and cannot for the most part avoid it even if you tried. Do not fear being jealous, you need to understand it for what it is, address why you feel that way and most importantly know what God says about it.

We are flawed, it is an uncomfortable truth, and we wrestle with three very problematic things that drive our nature, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Without the help of the Holy Spirit we are slaves to these beasts, because man is not perfect and will always fall short of the glory of the all-knowing God, the very things that lead us to perform great feats can also lead us to carry out actions that cause great harm, to ourselves and to others, knowing this helps us to understand jealousy better.

Have you ever wondered why we always want what we can have? Why we like nice things, why eating that extra slice of cupcake feels good even though we know we really shouldn’t (I digress lol). It is one thing to look at something and admire it, to appreciate beautiful things, or be proud of someone’s success. Ambition, and the need to improve ourselves, has propelled man’s survival since the start of time. However, it is a completely different ballgame when we start to feel inadequate or have shortcomings about our own lot in life because we perceive that other people have what we don’t.

In a social media driven world we can’t seem to escape other people’s success, and sometimes it sucks.

Most people say other people’s success doesn’t speak poorly of you, but I tend to disagree. Life is all about social markers and hierarchies, and to a large extent it  determines how you are perceived and treated, case in point you drive a Mercedes, I drive a Toyota both do exactly the same thing but automatically, you can probably assess, if I go on holidays regularly, how many times I eat out a week  etc, perception is reality in today’s world, which causes problems, nobody wants anybody to think that they are less than, that annoying pest called pride will just not let us be ,we all want to be seen as the alpha male or the head babe in charge.20181102_093716.jpg

Nobody wants to be unrecognizable, we all have a need to be celebrated and a need to be seen as important, and when we see someone or know someone who we perceive is just like us or perhaps we think we are better than, ahead of us in the social pecking order be it in money, status, marriage or life we get jealous or envious because we think why not me? Does this sound like you?

Know this, God has no business in who is better than who, or who has more than who and you shouldn’t too (1 John 2:16). God made us originally to be perfectly whole and complete, not needing anything or anyone to validate us. Sadly, sin has made us disconnected and distorted our nature, we have become largely insecure and uncertain about our identity, we have created mechanisms and systems, markers and fleeting things to define our eternal existence, and God forbid we fall short in any of these areas and someone else seems to be getting A stars in all, then that green eyed monster rears its ugly ass head, because you see, we say to ourselves, since we do not have such and such therefore we do not matter, but they do, they have an identity but I don’t , they got the job and I didn’t therefore they are more valuable, they have the husband and I don’t therefore they are more appealing and I am not, jealousy and envy combine to form the poisonous cocktail which is hatred, because we conclude that they are somehow more secure and whole than we are because they have what we do not have but desperately desire.

”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

God destined you for a purpose before you had your degree and before you got your worldly success, he didn’t wait for the world to say you a renowned bible scholar, he didn’t wait for you to get the job in a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t wait for you to buy the Maserati for him to deem you worthy for a purpose and an identity, even before your parents met, he knew he was going to use you for a purpose that you were specially designed for, meaning you don’t have to wait for the world to recognize and acknowledge you before you consider yourself a success, you don’t need to get jealous and upset if your friend has something that you don’t have, even if you deserve it because with or without those things, if you are in alignment with God’s purpose, you are still going to be all that God has destined you to be.

Don’t reject yourself, don’t let jealousy overwhelm you, stop fixing your eyes on other people’s lives on social media, stop keeping in touch with your friends only to assess who is where in the pecking order and where you belong.

Remember that life is an individual race, you will have your own pain, struggles, frustrations, joys and achievements and so will they, and nobody gets out of life unscathed. Your focus should not be on other people’s blessings but completely on how to please God and do his purpose here on earth.

We are in very feel good era in the Christian church right now, we tell people that blessings are an indication that God loves you, and they are very much so.

But that is not the complete story, I bet if you asked Job he would tell you something completely different. What good is your success to God if he cannot use you as a channel of blessings, that you pay thousands of naira or dollars in tithes doesn’t mean a whole lot to him if you are not manifesting the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace and all that good stuff (John 15:8), and what happens next? You finally get what you’ve been craving, envying and striving for and when you die, eventually you will leave it all and face God who none of those things impress, what will you have to show for your faith?.

It is important to have goals that we strive for, achievement is the pinnacle of  human existence and important to living a fulfilling life to a very large extent, but also learn to abide in God’s word daily, trust, believe and affirm his timing for your life, so that you are able to guard your heart from things that are just not for you, I also suggest making friends or having mentors who are older and much more experienced than you, I find that they are able to give you a broader perspective on life, and the ups and downs it brings, lastly if jealousy tries to rear its ugly head, take a deep breathe, kick it in the head and say not today Satan, that usually works lol.

xoxo

My Special Friend

Sometimes I sit and stare for hours
They say his presence is here but I feel nothing.
Week after week Sunday after Sunday
The words are spoken and heard but hardly ever felt.
I clap, I shout, I know the words by heart but sometimes it’s all a farce.
Sometimes I think he’s probably made up by fools who know no better
Who make up rules and form tales of wistful hereafters.
Sometimes I just want to do my own thing.
Meet the man of my dreams, have a couple of kids and travel by boat to Timbuktu.
And when I’ve finally convinced myself that perhaps he cannot be real, found or known
Alas, there he is knocking at the door of my heart
He’s patient, he’s kind, he’s always a gentleman, never rude, never hasty
Always willing to take his time, but persistent.
I ignore him sometimes, he annoys me sometimes but I find it hard to resist.
He asks me to sup with him, to dine with him, to sit at his feet, he asks for a lot and I’m afraid to give
He knows I will struggle, I like to be in control I do not know him, I cannot trust the unknown.
But I have to admit that when I’m alone I often think about the hole in my heart that only he can fill.
For he sticks closer than a brother and loves harder than a mother.
He knows my fears, he sees my secret tears, he understands my pain and looks beyond my flaws.
I will probably never be quite good enough,he knows, I may never respond to him the way he wants me to, I may even out rightly reject him and be downright rude.
But he’s always there knocking, seeking and asking to be my friend.