INSPIRED TODAY: Life Is About Impact

This life is not just about existing—having a home, car, house, or job—life  is about impact. Impact is achieved by meeting needs. The question every human should ask is: What can I give to this world? That is the question that imprints your name on the sands of time. However, many people ask the wrong questions such as: what can I get from this world? And a lot of people are struggling to get as much as they can from the world, instead of giving as much as they can. This is why they are broke busted and disgusted. Looking for jobs instead of creating them, striving to use the latest inventions instead of inventing or creating something others can benefit from.

There is a saying, “We come to this world with nothing and we go back with nothing.”  I beg to defer. We come to this world with potentials, for our world and generation and we go back with either fulfillment or regret. In other words, what you go back with only depends on what you have given.

Those who take from the world are not known, but those who give to it. Examples are David, Moses, Daniel, Prophet Mohammed, Esther, King Solomon, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Da Vinci, Newton, Galileo and many more. In contemporary times we have Lincoln, Martin Luther, B. Franklin, Jefferson, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Edison, Carnegie, Awolowo, Mandela and Azikiwe to mention a few.

Today, your goal should be to find out what you can do for this world to make it a better place. Remember, you have not started living until you find a cause to die for

INSPIRED TODAY: Leave The Horizon

I haven’t done much of sailing, but I have been on little speed boats within Lagos. However, from geography I know that the horizon is the point where the sea meets the sky. Ancient sailors used the horizon as a reference point to calculate their progress. They had various ways of calculating the distance between the ship and the horizon. I won’t bore you with navigation lessons, but there is a vital lesson we have to learn from this. Sailors mark the horizon as a set goal. The captain tells the crew “bring me the horizon” and they go for it.
In our day to day activities, we often set certain goals for ourselves. We give ourselves time bound targets, which is good as it helps to monitor one’s progress in a certain endeavour.

However, when these goals are achieved, some of us tend to relax and dwell on the present achievement. You know what? It is like sailing out of the lee, and after one full day of sailing you anchor the ship in the middle of the sea because you have reached the point you calculated as the horizon.
The interesting part of navigation is that when you reach the point you marked as the horizon, there lies another horizon. After one achieved goal, there is more. That isn’t the end of your life. It only means a minute phase of it has been concluded.

The sailor can’t see his destination because his line of sight isn’t aligned with it. Yet there is a temporary focus—the horizon. Every horizon he reaches brings his line of sight closer to his destination. You can’t get to your life’s destination if you don’t set those goals as temporary markers and if you don’t leave the achieved ones behind. No! Not until your line of sight is fixed on your ultimate destination, when the officer of the watch announces land

Rid yourself of the complacence. Stop drinking the stale waters of past achievements. Press on. Don’t let down your anchor in the middle of the voyage. It was a brave step to have left the lee, but leave this horizon as you left the lee. This is why Paul, who is one of the most successful people who ever lived, could say “….I have finished the race…” However, he couldn’t have made that statement in the second letter to timothy if he hadn’t practised this principle. In his letter to the people of Philippi he said “brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind (the past horizon, achieved goal) and straining toward what is ahead, (the horizon ahead the current set goal), I press on toward the goal to which I have been called.”

Friends, this is a new day. Make that shift from that point of a past achievement. You may have beaten your target by achieving it earlier than you projected, but I put it to you that it isn’t your destination, it’s just a horizon. Leave the horizon as you left the lee.

White Onions

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WHITE ONIONS
She allowed the tears to flow freely as she chopped the onions. It didn’t matter anymore if the tears were the remnants of her pain or from cutting the onions—white onions.  Nifemi would be four in August, she would start asking questions. Questions Ireti wished she wasn’t obligated to answer.  She had anticipated that period and she had done everything possible to be ready for it. She no longer felt the heaviness of the need to give her daughter the right answers, but she would.  The time was short and the past happenings made it seem as though the whole universe had ganged up against her to make sure she failed.

It all started three years ago. She had met this good looking gentleman named Fred at a friend’s party and from the moment she saw him, she knew he was the one—the next one. They got talking that night and one thing led to another, so they kissed. It was that that kind of passionate kiss that gives you an assurance that this means something, the kind of kiss that spelt hope. And Fred lived up to her expectations. They became intimate, like twin souls, like two coats spun from the same wool—another self in a different body. They dined at the Ocean Basket Restaurant; they saw movies at Ozone and the galleria. They vacationed in London and lodged at The Ritz. It was the most wonderful experience.

After Six months had passed her expectations became increasingly high. She had been taking pills to prevent history repeating itself, but she believed it was time to stop. She believed the time was ripe for Fred and her to take their relationship to the next level.  She felt like she owed him for all the love and care and she felt guilty for preventing his seed from taking root in her.  She decided to put an end to the guilt, so she told him—everything; About Ladi and how she bore him a daughter, where she was and with whom. When she finished, the questions had started pouring in. Fred had discovered he was six years younger than she was, and that she was a baby mama to a thug.

They were dinning at The Oriental hotel in Victoria Island when the discussion had begun, and they continued in Fred’s car in the parking lot. At 8pm they were still there talking of what could have been. Fred had told her he couldn’t do it. That he couldn’t father another man’s child. At that moment she thought she had heard someone else—maybe from the radio. It couldn’t have been Fred who said that. The shock reverberated through her being and it shook her like an earthquake. When she looked at his eyes, they were still those soft, brown deep-set eye balls she had always known and they reminded her of those moments of wild passion when her body will shake and those same brown eyes will bore into hers, at the peak of pleasure. She knew from that instant that there will be none of those days anymore.

The only thing she could think of, was if she could get as much of those days as she could. At that moment, she wanted all of it—as much as she could get.  She kissed him and he responded. He took her right there in the car four times and neither of them thought it right to wait till they get to his apartment. There was this unexplained urgency in the both of them, as though to save what was failing. In the end, she could only ask for one reason why he couldn’t continue with their passionate love. Fred was speechless, he could only shake his head in disapproval and the look in his eyes told her it was over for real.  He dropped her at her chevron drive apartment. It was 3 am.

It took Ireti only a month to get on with her life, after all, she was still beautiful—very beautiful. She didn’t have the tell-tale signs of childbirth and her face was as young as that of a teenager. Marcel came by at a friend’s exhibition at Oculus, an art gallery on the Island. He was charming, young and successful. He was an On-Air Personnel at one of the radio stations on the Island. He was the host of a relationship talk show on radio, so he seemed as the perfect lover. She could remember the way he advised callers on the show, about the importance of transparency of the past life of every partner in a relationship, the importance of understanding and accepting people as they really are. So she thought marcel would understand—he was a passionate lover and he had promised time and time again, that nothing would ever separate them. Finally, she thought, the universe has agreed to smile on me and grant my wishes.

Three months into their relationship, she was listening to an edition of his show and the topic of discussion was if it is ideal for a lady to date a younger man. Different people called in, some in support and others against the motion. Majority of the guys who called in were of the opinion that they wouldn’t like to date an older lady. Marcel in turn emphasised on the fact that he could date and get married to an older lady as long as the understanding was present. “All we need to survive is love and understanding,” he had said. Ireti smiled to herself as she lay on the bed in the dimly lit room of his apartment, proud that she could call him hers.

The following day she asked for them to have a conversation, and she told him about the fact that she was older than he was, and the fact that she had a daughter. Instantly, what seemed to have been the beginning of a romantic night turned out to be the longest and loneliest night she ever had. She felt so alone in the world, so open, bare, insecure and defenceless. She had envisaged a Marcel who would cuddle her and tell her everything was going to be just fine, that she wasn’t alone and that they were a team—both of them against the world. But her Marcel proved himself to be a hypocritical brat. What made her more furious was his refusal to talk about it.

In the morning, she packed her things and went back to her apartment. It was a Sunday morning. She waited for two full weeks for Marcel to call her, but his call never came. “If that immature fool thinks I would call to beg, he has something else coming,” she thought, and that was the end of that.

The following months were a blur. She just lived through them like she never existed. She thought of her mum and how she had married her father at 30, while he was 25. She remembered her mum’s sister who had married a 30 year old man when she was 37. She remembered how every female member of her extended family had married men below their age. They were also single mothers before they got married. The only consolation she had from that was that they all got married. She was not interested in the age of the man she was going to marry, as long as he was mature enough to shoulder the responsibility of being a loving father to her child. That was the most important thing to her. She wanted a family—a complete family—with that assurance that they were all responsible for each other. She didn’t have the privilege of that. Her mother had her when she was 19 and the man she called father, adopted her when she was 11 so, she knew how it felt to know that the person you call father is not your biological father. She never had the privilege of knowing her father, and she didn’t want that for her daughter.

It was one year before she opened her heart once more to love, for what she needed to do. It was at a church dinner she met Dan, the sweetest soul she had ever met. Dan was an artist; he was tall, dark and handsome. He always had that smile that said ‘I know and it’s going to be fine.’ She felt secure and comfortable around him, as though her fears had melted into oblivion, as though they never even existed, so she decided not to speak of the past. Dan was not only a successful young doctor he was also an heir to a large estate, being a son of one of the richest businessmen in Africa. Their relationship was a model for all. She was the perfect young lady and he was the perfect gentleman. They vacationed in Vegas and Rio and Dubai, Venice, Rome and Paris. 

One year into their relationship, Dan took her to Florida to meet his mother. The family had a beach house there where his mother was vacationing. The moment Ireti set her eyes on the woman, she knew. She knew the kind of woman she was, and she saw that disapproving look on her face. Perhaps she wanted her son to wed a young heiress. Despite this, Ireti stood her ground and the old woman was surprised to see the level of confidence she exhibited. But there was a smirk that lingered on her face, as though she knew something about Ireti. As though they both had a secret they shared. It shattered her confidence. The questions poured in and Ireti tried her best to answer them as truthfully and diplomatically as she could. The old woman’s tone was condescending and when she spoke to her son, she gave him that look that said ‘you could have done better.’ Dan didn’t seem to notice—he was in love—and it surprised his mother more than it infuriated her.

They spent 2 weeks in Florida, yet his mother maintained that condescending tone all through. After Florida, Ireti knew something would go wrong. She loved Dan so much that she wanted to protect him from her past. She wanted to keep him in the lovely grey present. But at the same time her daughter was there, she wanted to protect her innocence she wanted to give her a sense of belonging to whoever she was going to end up with, because she knew her father would never show up for her. “Dan would understand when i finally tell him,” she said and strengthened her resolve to keep her past away from him until they get married.

Six months later, they were in Barcelona when a package arrived. It was addressed to both of them. She was quite curious and excited. She knew it was something that had to do with a proposal. She was so excited that she didn’t notice the surprise on his face. The package was quite flat so she wondered what could be in it, a card perhaps, or documents. Maybe marriage forms, yes! She thought he wants us to be married in Barcelona. Finally, they opened the package together and were surprised to see pictures. They were pictures of Ireti and her daughter. The resemblance couldn’t be mistaken.

On the pictures, was a question in bold clear prints ‘HOPE WHO IS THE BABY GIRL?’ She was speechless. She held the pictures in her hands as they shook, her eyes staring at something beyond the pictures, they were like twin dams of tears about to break. Dan had just sat there staring at her trembling hands and her face. Finally, he took her face in his hands and let her tears mix with the sweat that was already forming on his palm. He looked deep into her eyes and told her to tell him everything about it. She told him everything; from the time she was raped to all the men she had met and had dumped her. Their vacation in Spain was over. It took Dan a full month to summon the courage to tell her that he didn’t wish to continue with their relationship. His excuse was that it took her too long to tell him which meant that she was trying to hide it from him. She tried all she could to explain why she had decided not to talk about it, but Dan was too furious to listen. “It is over,” he had said, “my mother was right.” So the old witch spoke to him about me and he didn’t tell me, she thought, so she confronted him with that.

“I was trying to protect you,” he said. “And so was I” she fired back. “I was trying to protect you from my past. I kept you in the grey to shield you from the dark.”
“Maybe I wanted to know about the dark,” he snorted, “maybe love could shine its light and scare the dark away, but you’ve allowed the monster from the dark to drag me there unaware. I’m saving myself.”
“Save me too,” she was wailing now, “I love you Dan,” was all she could manage to say.
“Maybe love is not enough” he said and stormed out of her apartment. That was the last she would hear from him.  She was certain that she was cursed. She wanted to die.

Two weeks after that incident, Ireti began to have a fever almost every morning. At work, she would fall asleep often and it seemed as though she couldn’t get enough of sleep. The nausea came almost immediately, and then she knew. She knew that Daniel’s seed was living and growing stronger on her inside and for a split second a splinter of hope glowed in her heart. Maybe this would change the way things are she said to herself. I would name him Mayowa—or her—because he has brought joy to my heart. That evening she called Dan, but he refused to pick up the phone. She redialled his number some hours later, and there was still no response. She sent him a text message: Dan I’m carrying your baby. I love you and I’m sorry.

The reply had come almost immediately: I have nothing to do with that. I have nothing to do with you and your baby.

Then her heart broke. She thought of a million possibilities of how her life would end up. I can’t afford to keep another illegitimate child. I can’t possibly live with the guilt. And all her lamentations were full of the ‘Cants’ and the ‘Hows’ and ‘Whys’. She sobbed daily for weeks, until she got the courage to take a firm decision.

The hospital was along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, and it was quite reputable. The interview with the doctor was a blur; all she wanted to do was get the child out of her before it was too late. They scheduled her for a Friday—the longest Friday of her life. She left the office at four o’clock, an hour before the closing hour. She drove from Adeola Odeku Street in Victoria Island to Agungi where the hospital was located. The rendezvous took about one hour and thirty minutes and she was admitted for another one hour, thirty minutes to rest, before she was finally discharged. She drove herself home to have the coldest, loneliest and longest night ever. A night so void of hope, it was as though the world will end, as though tomorrow would not come. But if tomorrow comes, she thought, if only tomorrow would come, I would rise above my fears and forget the past. I would selfheal my sores and cover up their scars with hope, like a new blossoming skin, after all, my name Ireti means hope. I would stand tall and independent, and I would keep standing. I would stay on my feet and rise up again even if I hit rock-bottom; because rock-bottom—I know—is a good place to start afresh. I would teach my daughter everything my mother failed to teach me. I would teach her to be independent, to walk with her shoulders high and her head up. I would teach her that she needs nobody’s approval to feel important. If tomorrow comes, I would teach her of the values that come with womanhood—of self-esteem and confidence, of humility and of pride—pride in her godly virtues. I would let her know, that no one can make her feel a certain way, without her consent. And if tomorrow comes, we’ll stand together, holding hands and never letting go of each other. Together, we’ll achieve our goals.

The first streak of light announced the arrival of dawn. “At last,” she sighed, “tomorrow has come and has become today, and the world did not end.” She stood by her window and watched the first ray of sunlight filter in. A ray of hope, that the day held better things in store. She was tired and exhausted and was supposed to stay in bed resting, according to the doctor. But she wanted to keep herself busy, so she went about cleaning up her apartment.  There was a knock on the door and she took a quick glance at the wall clock she was surprised to see that a lot of time had passed—it was 5 pm. Yet she wasn’t tired, which surprised her. When she went for the door, she was curious about who it would be because she wasn’t expecting anybody. She peeped through the hole and saw the outline of a male figure standing with his face down on her veranda. But she couldn’t make out the face of the visitor.

She opened the door and was surprised to see Dan standing there. For a split second, she thought she was hallucinating and it took her all the strength in the world to restrain herself from making a scene. She stood in the door way preventing him from coming in, as she managed to ask what he wanted. He went ahead to apologise for everything he has and hasn’t done, for being a coward at the time of adversity. He apologised for what could have been and for what is—and only she, could know the difference. His sombre figure stood there appearing as a silhouette in the mixture of the rays of the setting sun and the tears that filled her eyes, and she couldn’t see him until they started flowing—they didn’t start flowing until she stopped knowing him, until he became a stranger. Heavy drops of tears, each one trying hard it tell the tales of her pain—her indescribable pain.
“I want us to keep the baby,” he dared to mutter. “I want us to keep our babies, both of them. I love you Ireti.”

Ireti stood there listening to him, shaking her head in pity for him. She pitied him for the emptiness he would feel for a very long while, she pitied him because he deprived himself of the privilege to be part of her life and her daughter’s, she pitied him because he would never know what it feels like to hold a son he could call theirs, that he would never know what his child would have looked like, whether it was a she or he. She smiled to herself as the tears flowed in increased torrents, because she could see the pain and the fear in his eyes—the fear of losing her. He had known when he saw her expression. She was glad because he too could feel a different kind of pain—the pain of regret—and it was enough for her. “Your child is dead Dan, go home.” she whispered, her voice cold and harsh, she slammed the door shut in his face.

She heard the screech of his tires as he left, she was in the bathroom huddled at a corner as the water poured down on her head drenching her clothes and she revelled in the moment feeling the water wash away the last ebbs of pain. Time for dinner she thought as she stared at herself in the mirror, her towel clinging to her wet skin and another wrapped round her head like a turban. She headed to the kitchen to prepare herself a nice meal. She put some oil into a frying pan and turned on the gas. She took some onions and started to chop them—they were white onions. Then her phone rang she glanced at the screen. It was Dan and she ignored, no, she thought. The sun was setting and she could see it merging with the ocean, from her kitchen window. A beautiful sight it was and it reminded her of the rising sun and of hope. It gave her an assurance that the sun will rise again on the morrow. She was lost in thought again and felt a distant pain, but the pain was bodily this time, it jolted her back to reality. She looked down and saw that she had cut herself as she chopped—her white onions had turned blood red.

THE RAGE OF PHILLIA

Your fluid form slithers in and out of my chamber
You cast your gaze upon my life—less form
What I would have been, but for this!
This shadow that looms above my crown at dusk
I hold on to the hem of your garment
‘Stay’ I cry with my voice on the edge of breaking
‘Stay with me, Till this scourge passes with the night’
But I watch as you leave a rush of wind in your wake.
Hold me, Lift me, and put me afloat the current of your fury
For there is peace in your rage,
The heat of your Ire: my refuge.
Phillia, oh Phillia bear me up till this scourge of odium passes with the night.

IDENTITY CRISIS!!!

The term ‘Christian’ was first given to the disciples at Antioch. It means Christ like. They took it to be a compliment but if we analyse what ‘Christ like’ means, as against what the sayings of Christ himself declare us to be, we would realise that the pronouncement on the disciples as Christ like was actually an insult.

When we use the word ‘like’ it means similar but not the same. Just like the figure of speech called similes. For example, ‘They fought like cats and dogs.’ This means their action was like that of cats and dogs, but they are not cats and dogs. Also ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.’ But life is not a box of chocolates.

Now, when they said ‘these people are like Christ’ , it meant that they act like Christ but they are not Christ. But is that what the scriptures say about us. No!!
In the journal of John the beloved, 17:
21  May they all be one! Even as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so let them be in us, so that all men may come to have faith that you sent me. (BBE).

Christ himself said that we will be one with God. Now each time He says he is one with the father, it implies that if you’ve seen him you’ve seen the father. That is,  they are one and the same. So also when he prayed in verse 21 that we be one in them it also implies that when they see us they should see Christ.

This is it! When you see Christ you’ve seen the father because Christ and the father are one. When you see us disciples you should see Christ because we are one with Him.

1John 4:
 17  In this way love is made complete in us, so that we may be without fear on the day of judging, because as he is, so are we in this world.

As he is so are we in this world. This tells us expressly that we are not meant to be seen like him, but as him. We are not meant to be seen like him based on what we do but as Him—who we are!

The being is more important than the doing.

The former determines the later.

“Except a man be….. he cannot see….” ‘see’ in terms of his experiences based on his actions. So the being is more important.

We are not meant to be like Christ. Christ is meant to be seen in us because we are one. And this name ‘Christian’ has affected our thinking and our mind set. We think Christ is up and we’re down and in order to be up we need to copy him and we strive all our lives to act like him. No!!!!

First we are seated with him in heavenly places, as he is so are we. All we need to do is come into an awareness of our being—who we are— then, our actions will follow our nature. Its nothing but an identity crises!!!

PS: It’s high time we dropped the nomenclature of the pagans. It’s time to drop what the evil one has called us, to confuse us. He’s father of lies we know.

Its high time we came into the first hand awareness of the son, and the union we share with him. That we may be changed from the inside out and our experiences,  encounters and actions align with our true nature. The light has come!!!

….before you say you love me.

Think twice before you say you love me.
When you see the chimney side of me,
I hope you’ll understand.
I hope you won’t try to change me,
Because I know of one who wouldn’t mind.
Still he desires I change, more than you or I do, but he wouldn’t force me. He wouldn’t even talk about it.
So think twice before you say you love me.

When you  see me in the ‘hood,
Frolicking with them bitches, I hope you’d still find the words ‘I love you.’
And again I’m a pervert–I guess you know that. And I hope it’s got nothing to do with sh*t!!!…I mean …the fact that you love me.
Because I know of one who knows all these and still loves.

I mightn’t be stable, I may be here today and gone for several fortnights.
And when I return I hope you’d open the doors for me and spare me those…those stamps… I mean those guilt imparting stares.
And when you find out I’ve been at the state pen…oh my…I hope you’d oblige me the comfort of a real bed–Not the sofa.
At least you’ve claimed you love me so far.
And I know of one that wouldn’t mind.
He’d erase my records with the state if need be.
So think twice before you say you love me.

When you find out I’m the guy who caused you a lot of pain. That I watched when your car was jacked, and I led the team that held up your store just so I could fix a joint for the night. I hope you would still look into my eyes and say you love me….Because love would.

And when I’m that girl you’ve sacrificed so much for and on a night in June you look forward to be wrapped in my arms…just the two of us…after a honest day’s job. But you come home to find me all ‘birthday suited up’ riding this ‘stallion’ you call ‘bestie’, Then, I hope you would have the courage to look into these eyes and tell me you love me.
Because love would.
So think twice before you say you love me.

If I’m that guy you so desperately wanted but turned out to be the one you least needed, I hope you’d still stay here and say you love me.
Because love would.
Think twice before you say you love me.

When I come home to meet dinner half done and …just because I have a temper…the old flower vase shatters into pieces on your innocent head.
I hope you’d still say you love me …and mean it .
Because love would.
So think twice.

I know of one who would look into me and tell me he loves me despite all of these because he truly does. He doesn’t judge, he sees me as perfect though I’m not….perhaps until I start seeing myself as perfect.
His’ is the kind of love that wins and prevails.
If your love is not his’ then think twice.
And don’t say you love me if you’re only out to judge me.