Some weeks ago i was invited by one of my neighbours to his house, he needed my attention urgently, a retired naval officer in his mid-sixties – rich, successful, charismatic and very outgoing. We all love him in the neighbourhood as he’s quite generous, respectful and helpful. He is a personal friend so I visit him often and we’re quite close. His entire family are known to me and I’m quite very familiar with his children. In fact, I’ve taken them as my younger siblings so they share so much with me even things I’m sure they’ll never discuss with their parents.
When I got to his house that evening, everywhere was quiet, the maid told me everyone was in the living room upstairs so i went up. Chief was sitting down on his favourite sofa, downcast and unhappy, he looked very distressed. Mummy as i call her, his wife too didn’t look any better, she just arrived from Durban early that morning and she looked pretty tired, she kept pacing up and down still and wouldn’t sit for a moment. I became worried, ‘what is it’ I asked? Chief shook my hands as we exchanged pleasantries and asked me to sit down.
Emmabong, his 19-year-old daughter was missing. She left home two days earlier and she’s yet to return. Though her phones were on and ringing, she wouldn’t pick up or return the calls and text messages. Chief believes she ran away from home and she’s deliberately avoiding everyone.
According to him, she came home a week ago around 8 pm with a red eye, bruises and scars on her left cheek and around her throat. She was also limping and her left wrist was very swollen.
I knew where he was going, It’s been a personal pain for me too, Bayo, Emabong’s 29-year-old boyfriend was at it again with this beating and battery. Based on the ones I’m aware of, this is the fourth time in 3 months.
Emabong wouldn’t talk to me or complain chief continued. She went up straight to her room and locked herself in as usual.
‘I tried talking to her and she wouldn’t even listen to me’ chief continued. I became angry and ordered the arrest of that useless boy Bayo. I think he called my daughter and told her what i had done, my daughter became mad at me and decided to run away from home. She’s not picking my calls and that of her mother; she’s ignoring everyone’s call. That’s why i sent for you. I hope she would pick up your call because i know you’re close to her, chief concluded with sadness in his voice.
I looked at mummy his wife, and there were tears in her eyes. I was sad, very sad, i picked up my phone and called Emabong’s number. She picked up almost immediately, Uncle Muyi she responded excited, where are you? I questioned, she told me where she was and i went there immediately to bring her back home.
Many of us today are going through very difficult times at home and at work because we hate ourselves.
By nature everyone wants to be loved accepted and celebrated. Of course, we all want to be loved. We hate rejection hence, we do all we can to gain acceptance, approval, and love. For some of us while growing up our parents didn’t love us unconditionally. We had to earn their love and approval through submission, obedience, success in academics and being useful at home. Hence we believe for us to be loved and accepted we must give something or sacrifice something, or be somehow, or do certain things, or compromise our selves, standards, ethics, and principles to win the love of people that matter including friends, colleagues and superiors at work.
Many years ago I was part of a brand strategy session somewhere outside of Lagos, and we were in a hotel for some number of days. One of those evenings after a hectic session we were at the bar chilling with one of the directors of the company. He ordered for drinks for me and one of my close associates. Personally, I don’t drink; i don’t do alcohol at all and am aware my colleague didn’t as well. I told this director I don’t drink and I’ll rather settle for non-alcoholic beverages. My friend maybe to impress this director, picked up a bottle of alcoholic drink, opened, poured and started to drink. I was a bit surprised but quiet and i guessed he wanted to impress this big oga.
A moment afterward, the Director opened a conversation on alcohol consumption. I envy you Muyiwa, he said. You don’t drink? Wow, that’s impressive. I wish I wasn’t given to so much alcohol myself but it’s too late. I’ve been drinking since I was a teenager and now close to sixty it’s in my blood already and it’s tough giving up. I’m addicted. One of my greatest regret in life is this beer. It’s gulped so much of my money and despite my health issues caused by excess alcohol intake, i still can’t stop. Muyiwa you’re a lucky man o, please don’t join us o he concluded and laughed.
My friend was so embarrassed and disappointed in himself. He placed his glass on the stool and began to sweat. I know he doesn’t drink at all but he compromised to impress this director and at the end, it didn’t pay off.
My dear friend, I plead with you this morning. Love yourself, respect yourself and value yourself. Know who you are and never buy love or acceptance. Be yourself and let people love you for whom you are. You can’t go around changing like a chameleon to please and impress people because you want their approval.
Break out of that negative upbringing, love from a parent should be unconditional, it shouldn’t be earned. Love should be free. Don’t love yourself less than you ought to. People will naturally return the hand you deal in life, they will treat and value you based on how you treat and value yourself.
Don’t ever think you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not beautiful enough, or rich enough. No one is there yet, any smart person would continue to improve and develop, we are all diamonds in the rough at different degrees, the fact you think someone is better than you today or superior doesn’t mean it’ll be like that forever. The room for improvement is never full or congested, you can be better than anybody as long as you don’t relent in self-improvement.
You’re unique in your way and complete by yourself. You don’t really need any man or woman to complete you rather, they are to compliment you. Stop underrating yourself and your potentials. You’re a champion in the making. You will get there, the negative perceptions, opinions and comments of your boss, colleagues and friends can’t define you unless you let it.
You’re better than it. Don’t hold on to approval and commendation too desperately. People are selfish by nature and once they notice your desperation, they’ll exploit you.
Nothing in life is by force, everything is by choice.
When the people you really loved and wanted left your alone by yourself in time past, did your life stop? Did you stop living? Are you not here today? Haven’t you come this far without them? If your answer is yes then you really don’t need all these mean wicked abusive, exploiters in your life and career to move ahead. Dump them. Set yourself free by really loving yourself.
Always see yourself from the perspective of where you’re headed and not where you’re presently at. The bus stop is not your destination; you’re still on your way, think, act and represent your destination, not your bus stop.
You’re better than this.
Please fall in love with you. Enjoy your day.