Wow, 2020 - what a year. What? It’s been a month since my last post. So much has happened and is happening not only in our personal lives but in the world today. It feels like every time I turn on the radio, news channel or log into my social media platforms, it is one heart-aching news or the other. If it’s not police brutality, it is rape. If it is not sexual assault, it is the death of someone. If it is not the manipulation and misuse of power and authority, it is the desperately wicked actions of mankind and so on. I get tired. I get confused. I get angry. I get frustrated. I question God. My heart feels too heavy for crying out loud. I tend to log off, for sometime. Personally, certain issues especially sexual assault, manipulation from authority figures and racism triggered memories that I have (almost) experienced but chose to suppress or ignore. This reminded me that I still had some root issues to surrender because keeping quiet due to my suppressed emotional experiences does not always contribute to the solution. It could prolong one’s healing from trauma. However, in the midst of the dark going on in the world, light has truly come out of this year - for me & probably you reading this too. I have learnt to intentionally create time to identify, focus and really appreciate the good (that has happened to or) around me. If not, any fokin’ thing le daru opolo é at any given time. In English, it means any and everything can demoralize your mental health.
Right now, the whole world is waiting. Waiting for things to go back to normal. Waiting for justice to reign. Waiting to go out. Waiting to start that job. Waiting for our favourite restaurants and stores to be open. Waiting to party. Waiting to finish that course. Waiting to go to your work building. Waiting to travel. Waiting to close that dream house. Waiting for e-transfer alert. Waiting to meet at your physical place of worship. Waiting to see a goal/promise get fulfilled. Waiting to meet with family, friends or that potential bae we have been talking to online - hellooo? Waiting to have sex #teamcelibateorabstinencetillmarriage. What else didn’t I mention that you are waiting to do? You get the point.
Waiting is part of the human life. At some point in your life, you have had to wait (in line) for a product, service or to complete a transaction. The process of waiting elicits different emotions based on the context. For example,
- waiting for justice - you may be furious
- waiting for a package from an online store - you may be excited.
- waiting after a job interview, for grades or medical test result - you may be nervous.
- waiting for food, child(ren) or a music album - you may be happy.
The thing about waiting is, it puts us in the place of the unknown. When we don’t know things or have an idea of what is going on, we feel like we are in the dark. The dark makes us uncomfortable. It pushes us to want to seek for - at least a glimpse of - light. In today’s current times, that glimpse of light looks like seeking justice for black people, children, girls and women. This is because light brightens, justifies and brings clarity to the unknown.
Waiting is a process. It is tough. It is exciting. It is intentional. It is nerve-racking. It is exhausting. It is a place of preparation. It refines character. It is uncomfortable. It is faith. It humbles you. It is a place of growth. It reveals. It makes you pay attention to what you may have ignored. Waiting is also a period of time where you are looking forward to seeing or receiving what you're petitioning for.
Have you heard this song by Travis Greene?
“While I’m waiting, I’m getting stronger
My faith is rising, and I will run on.
While I’m waiting, I’m lifting up on wings as eagles
I believe, I will trust in You..”
For a second, I paused to think 'what about waiting gives the ability to run or be lifted?' It seems like there is something about the waiting period that should make us better but who likes to wait? I have had to (and still have to) wait for certain things in my life. Today, I want to share 3 things that help me wait with intention.
- Be proactive with what you have. Do what you can with what you have. You don’t need to have a mass following to contribute in your own way. While you wait for whatever it is that you are expecting to see, identify what goal you want to see fulfilled. Then, prepare yourself accordingly so you will have built the capacity to maintain whatever you desired. Allow this waiting season make you better by creating or adding value to yourself first then others.
- Educate yourself. About whatever you are waiting for or seeking justice for. We have a personal duty to increase in awareness, compassion, understanding, accountability and life-long learning about issues that matter; especially in areas we are not (very) knowledgeable about. We do not have to wait till someone close to us is affected by these issues to contribute our unique voices, ideas, resources or any type of support. If you are in a season where you are saving up to buy a property, use this waiting period to read about the ins and outs of real estate investment. Reach out to professionals in the field too. Concerning any cultural or social issues, seek out credible information about ways to support like having progressive conversations with your fellow boys/men and girls/women around you. Even though social media is a powerful tool to use, it shouldn't stop there. Continue these conversations with people close and around you. Please let’s stop with the deception online, if in our immediate environment we are part of these larger issues. For the men (& women) who say it doesn’t apply to them, can never be me or they don’t know what to do, I suggest you start by having conversations with your bros, not “ignoring fellow repulsive behaviours” and holding each other accountable. This is a table that I am willing to stand on. The behind the scenes matters too. But I digress. I encourage you to make donations and sign petitions if you can. Note: One persons method of advocating does not have to be the same as yours so stop being a tyrant forcing people to do what you do. What is important is that the goal is the same - to stand up unapologetically and fight for policies and laws that advance the safety, dignity and unity of humanity. It doesn’t end with us, it’s for our generations to come too.
- Seek Light in dark areas. The reason you turned on the light few minutes ago is so that you can see clearly. Light illuminates dark and blurry areas. The more I spend time in light, the more darkness gets revealed which is always for my best interest. Light here is the presence of God. Through His lens, we are able to see more clearly because mehn, this year kasala don dey burst. 2020 vision, indeed things are being more evident and clear. It is like what has been in the dark is coming to light - with full force. Our hidden desires are coming to light. When I’m happy, angry or feel sad, I enter into my heavenly Father’s presence for wisdom on how and when to speak, peace of mind, for strength and for clarity. The anger I have felt has pushed me to seek light. I ask Daddy questions and want to get answers. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t yet but I always leave better than I entered. So, it is okay and a godly thing to be angry my sis/bro from Calvary. Emotions influence external behaviours. If you see people being angry about sexual assault, understand that a trigger initiates an emotional experience in that individual or group of people which results in a response. What matters is what we do with that emotion. Trusttttt me, there have been situations I have wanted (& still will lol) to take justice into my hands but Light directs me to wait with intention. God - a Good Father - doesn’t want us to be silent about injustice so we shouldn’t. He wants us to use wisdom in how we respond to these situations to get maximum impact. So speak unapologetically about your story and experiences. I encourage you to create time to seek His light for wisdom and clarity on healthier and progressive ways to handle situations in our personal lives and in the world today. Things may not change immediately, but our perspective in the midst of chaos will; which give us peace of mind, hope and reasons to rejoice; regardless of dark and uncertain times. He is a God of justice who sees everything happening today & those we can’t see. As we do our part here to speak up progressively, God knows how to repay people for their actions better than we can ever imagine - when we invite Him to take full control.
All these starts with self-awareness. Being honest and open with ourselves. We can lie to others but not ourselves. Admitting we have unhealthy and possibly toxic mindsets to unlearn. Regardless of your age, leadership position or what you think you know. We need to be committed and willing to seek ways to learn and re-learn progressive and healthier mindsets. Keeping each other accountable for our actions. Eventually contributing to a world that is filled with more love, compassion and advances the safety and dignity of women (and men). We have heard that little drops of water make a mighty ocean. Your input is not wasted. We need you. In your little circle. In your home. In your positions of power and authority. Be transparent. It starts with you and I, using what we have - no matter how little. Healing and Justice will begin when we intentionally admit and deal with issues from the root cause.