When Life Gives You Lemonade When You Need The Lemons To Make Lemon Cake!
1. Fear is a habit
My mum has taught me so much but if it there is one thing that she has said that has stuck by me it’s that “fear is just a bad a habit of yours.” I used to be afraid to speak and share my views on podiums that have now become my lifeline. Once, when I organized my first big workshop for Nigerian Lawyers of the Nigerian Bar Association on the topic of international space law and what that means for Africa, she stayed up with me all night trying to calm my anxiety. Afterwards, the workshop was so successful that the Nigerian government even highlighted it at the United Nations as a great Nigerian initiative to increase space law education in the country. My mum, proudly in the audience wrote these words that I keep on wall “break this habit with 2 simple resolves, I can and I will.” Every time I felt fear or anxiety, I read those words, but then I realized that I hadn’t really felt fear till the day the doctors told me my unborn child might be sick. No amount of resolve made the doctors diagnosis any better… But I was comforted my belief that through our weakness the lord shows his strength. He became my refuge as my resolve cannot handle everything. I’m happy to say my boy is doing a lot better now, his prognosis is bright but I have been through every emotion possible and can face all things through the one who strengthens me.
2. You got to be the change you want to see
One of Ghandi’s most famous words he never said was “be the change you wish to see in the world”! I tried to live by this mantra, but it presupposes that we are one man islands and is extremely pressurizing, playing on the notion that we can single handedly make change. Before now, I felt I could go anywhere, cross any mountain, but now I live for my family and can only crusade for causes that get me home in time for dinner! Thankfully, the causes are no longer grand like “to try to save people of developing countries,” therefore they can now have some meaning and be sustainable. Now I remember the small things count, i.e. don’t waste water or electricity, only buy the groceries I need, and volunteer some free time locally for strangers and friends alike…
3. I learn to better myself
I learn to better myself so I can make progress in the world, so I can get a good job, so I can look intelligent and make friends…all worthwhile reasons that continue throughout life but now I learn so I can teach, so I know some of the answers when my son asks me questions like “mommy, why is the sky blue?” We all understand teaching children is a noble profession, but how come those that are tasked with the job are so neglected and overwhelmed? How come it’s so badly paid? You remember how they inspired you to hate or love a subject. They hold the keys to our children’s future and yet we fail to adequately advocate for them because we truly did not understand their plight when we had the energy to advocate for causes! I imagine now that my sons teachers will become my new best friends, by force! Am buying apples every Sunday that’s for sure!
4. Knowledge is power or ignorance is bliss
You have to choose one, which one do you choose? That’s easy, the first one right? I thought so…me too. So I amassed degrees, certificates and awards hoping it would help my confidence. But, I found out life is no less clear and actually to not know more sometimes is not always the best thing for you at that moment. Bu, when you are ready to be informed, it’s important to dig down to 5 levels of the “why” and if you can, you’ll find an answer. i.e.
• Why am I feeling unconfident? Because I’m afraid
• Why am I afraid? Because I may fail
• Why do I think I’ll fail? Because my fear is a habit that I instinctively feel whether its founded or not
• Why is my fear a habit? Because I grew up feeling like …
and voila, before you know it you have a root cause you can work with!
5. Keeping your man with 3 simple steps
My cousin gave me this great tip and I never forgot it and it really works. The cardinal rule to keep a man happy is simple once you learn the secret: lots of good food, lots of good sex and lots of respect. This still hasn’t changed but darn it, it just a lot more difficult to keep up! The last one was always the hardest but with the lack of energy I have in my last days of pregnancy, they are all close to impossible… All I can give now is not very sexy advice but everything has to be scheduled and planned for! I mean everything…those of you that manage spontaneity… Please share your secret!
The CAIL Approach
This period of self-reflection, two weeks before my son is due has taught me that life is but a continuous cycle where we mold and shape our views depending on where we are in that period and what we are facing…Perhaps after he is born I will say I was wrong again or perhaps I will find out I was right after all. Either way, the lesson is that there is a need to constantly self-reflect and challenge your own views, preconceptions and ideas. And as I’ve said before when presenting my CAILian approach to life, be careful of signs and symbols merely designed to trap you into thinking that once your immediate needs are met you have no right to challenge basic societal notions. The new 5 CAILian principles that guide me through life empower me by working on my core, building and nurturing my relationships and trusting God.