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Starting again

By Debbie Olujobi

The past two columns opened a flood gate of emotions in quite a number of people and it says how much we all need support. These days I get a lot of counselling requests and I wish I had more time and even wisdom to really deal with them one at a time extensively.

Once in a while we all get to a stage in life when we get stuck in a rut and it looks and feels hopeless; at times like these we need a reservoir of strength to draw upon. Most people think of certain events or even relationships as their final destination, so they are understandably devastated when it crashes.

I will not insult anyone’s depth of feeling by dismissing their pain or hurt, all these are quite natural; people have a right to grieve the loss of anything they value; be it a loved one, a business or a relationship but it is important to begin a process of healing that rejuvenates their existence once again.

I went through a horrible ordeal not too long ago and I thought I would die from the pain! I was hurt and totally broken… it looked really dark for a while but I had two wonderful small people who needed me so I could not really give in to the despair that was threatening to overwhelm me!!

Resilience is the key to surviving any and everything. Unlike a majority of people, I am very resilient and this (I think) is my most redeeming quality; I take a lot of blows but I crawl my way from zero back up. I believe that life is a journey and consider every event a stop; no matter how long or short, painful or happy; they are all just stops.

In my mind the most important thing is to enjoy the pleasure of the journey. Pain is an important part of life and while unpleasant it’s a necessary gauge of the intensity of our emotions, it has a purpose; it is an alarm of things or emotions out of sync; being crippled by pain however is self defeating and serves no purpose at all.

There is absolutely no value to pain if we don’t learn any lesson from the event that heralds it; yes!! You read write; pain is a teacher and from my experience, painful lessons are never forgotten. It’s like a child playing with an open flame; you never ever forget the searing pain of your burning flesh no matter how little you are.

I don’t think a person can be defined by the failure of a relationship but unfortunately some people do themselves this dishonour. The end of anything can also mark the beginning of something new maybe even beautiful.

Fighting change is exhausting, refusing to accept reality is at best delusional.  Anger is a totally useless emotion if it keeps you bitter and harsh. What we all need is a deeper appreciation of our roles and value in the universe; everyone has a right to be treated with a degree of respect in any relationship or association.

I am always baffled by clingers, especially when they are clinging to abuse, emotionally and sometimes physically..No one should mourn a relationship that breaks down and not build up. If a man can walk away from a life long commitment without any thought to the vows he made or his family then he is not worth thinking about.

The same goes for women who cheat on their spouses or disrespect them for material reasons, when such people leave, it is better in the long run. The way I see it, the end of such relationships should be seen as the removal of a malignant tumour, may be painful but better in the long run.

These days I am no longer in love with Love; I know what values I need in a human being to be able to co-habit and co-exist peaceably. I can say I love my husband and state the reasons why. Love is not an abstract thing, its a force that is there in every interaction, in every single moment.

So how does one start again? Laughter is my answer. No matter how bad it is now, finding and in this case hunting down something to laugh about is a sure way to lighten our loads. It may seem trivial and trite but nothing is as attractive as a laugh; it draws people in and empties out heaviness.

My grandmother always said laughing at life is the best way to get on its good side; to be favoured by the gods! That may be rooted in some medieval tradition but I know I would rather be with someone who laughs a lot than someone who yells a lot.

Laughter heals; its a gift from God to ease tension and its a most inexpensive but effective medicine. Starting life again can be done at any age, it can be scary but life begins when we give ourselves permission to live, to love and even laugh… the rest is all in God’s capable hands.


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