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Solitary Confinement!

The term ‘Solitary confinement’ sounds like quite an earful doesn’t it? Well I learnt to say those words with trembling quite early in life. My mother was a genius at inventing new punishments for her erring offspring and who would blame her? I couldn’t have been more than 8 at the time but I was the bane of my mother’s existence. I’m sure there were times she believed Loki must have fathered me and being the first born, it was usual for me to be the ringleader dragging my siblings into all sorts of mayhem. I remember the endless minutes spent kneeling down with our eyes closed and our hands high up, tears streaming down our faces as our arms began to ache but soon mum would grow bored and fall asleep and one of us would keep watch while we cheated on our punishment getting some much needed respite. Can I ever forget that evil old woman that sold canes not too far from my house? Any time we’d been bad, mummy would drive straight to where mama sat on the side of the road selling the most horrendous canes you had ever seen. Long ones, fat ones, short ones, thin ones like a bunch of ashewos on Allen Avenue all begging you to have them. Mama always smiled her evil toothless grin when she got the 5 naira reward for dispensing her canes and she’d wave as mum drove off seemingly excited that one of us was gonna get a whipping and many a kid had nightmares about that evil, old woman and her never ending arsenal! But I digress, this post is about solitary confinement.

So what is solitary confinement? According to wikipedia it is a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from human contact. My mum was definitely the prison warden. If you asked me to define solitary confinement back in the days I’d say it was when mummy locked me up in the toilet for ojujucalabar to bite me. Now before y’all get too shocked, the toilet was a clean, well-lit convenience room without any kid hazards but like all toilets it was a small room and what is a kid to do within the four walls of a cubicle with the door firmly locked? Oh, the horror! I’d scream, cry, beg, promise, flush the toilet repeatedly till mummy threatened to come beat me up in there for wasting water and then just sit on the floor feeling sorry for myself. It always felt like I’d be all grown up before mummy opened the door and never had a jailbird so longed for freedom. Maybe this was the Nigerian version of getting grounded since locking me up in my room would be futile seeing as all my toys and story books and more importantly my bed, lived there with me. The toilet was a hideously boring place and in the marble floors I saw images of Chucky, Freddy, Willy Willy, Madam Koinkoin and of course the great ojuju calabar! Little wonder I grew up to be a writer, my over-active imagination had me having mini anxiety attacks. As far as my mind was concerned solitary confinement was the worst punishment ever.

As a grown up, sometimes I have longed for solitary confinement (oh, the irony!) not as punishment for a crime because if I did ever have to go to jail (heaven forbid), I’d prefer to have an inmate who left me tons of gold and imparted great knowledge to me like in the movie titled the Count of Monte Cristo! Anyway I dream of waking up on Egyptian sheets in a lovely house by the beach away from all the stress that being a working wife brings and just lazying about all day with a good book or some great movies, without a care in the world. Now wouldn’t that be a solitary confinement worth having but so much for dreams. The truth of the matter is that we all need to have people around us and not just anyone but people who actually care, even self-proclaimed sociopaths!

We live in a world with billions of people and sometimes being alone is a luxury but what do you do with your alone time? Sometimes I think of Isaac Newton, Galileo and those other great dudes that shaped the world into what it is today and I think: “Damn I don’t have enough free time.” How does anyone expect you to be totally awesome if you don’t even have enough free time to summon the super powers within you? How does anyone expect me to break out of mediocrity or to do something ground breaking when I’m at work from 8 to 6pm and tending a home till I crash wearily at night not even able to remember my dreams?

Yep, we all need solitary confinement. No doubt about that. We need some alone time to remember, to imagine, to create and to consult. You don’t have to wait till you are incarcerated or till you can take that blissful vacation to release the genius within. There are 24 hours in a day. Find 30 minutes in there somewhere and tag it ‘me time'(MT), if you can get out more than 30 minutes, awesome! During MT, put your gadgets and devices out of reach and on silent and make sure you are alone and then do these 4 things.

1) Remember- remember the lesson for the day. Each day brings with it a new lesson and if you don’t learn it then you’ll be tomorrow’s fool. So what or who made you happy, angry, sad or excited today? What event caused you to pause and think? What mistakes did you make or almost make? Remembering will make these experiences sink deep and you’ll be able to draw from them in future instead of living your life like someone is changing TV stations very fast.

2) Imagine- The day you stop imagining, you sign up for eternal mediocrity. The first step to greatness is to imagine yourself there. You’ve gotta visualize. Where do you wanna be today, this year, in 10 years? How do you wanna look? What do you wanna have achieved in a specific time? If you can see it, you can be it!

3) Create- Our words are our creating power. Not every body can pick up some glass and wires and invent a light bulb but we can create and re-create our world. You need to open your mouth and start creating. Positive words build, they create. They are unseen messengers that do exactly what you tell them to. Tell your world exactly how you want it to be. Get creating and really following the instructor’s manual is the best idea since He was the first creator and we all agree that He did a pretty awesome job!

4) Consult- read, talk, listen. You need to have a meeting with the guy upstairs if you ever wanna be great. Read His words, talk to Him- His words say He is never too busy, too angry or too uninterested to listen and then it’s your turn to listen. You may not hear a scary big voice that causes you to shit in your pants, you may not even hear a voice at all but you will hear something. Sometimes God speaks through our thoughts and all we need to do is pay attention. Many life changing ideas have been gotten from just listening. Write whatever you hear down. It may not make sense then but later on it will.

When you are done, take a nap. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to face the world again. So here’s to solitary confinement, a little punishment does a world of good!

Cheers chutzpah fam. Off to get some me time! Xoxoxo 😉

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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in #TeamJesus

 

Impossible is nothing!

The bible says that if we have faith as little as a mustard seed we will say to this mountain “Be ye cast into the sea” and the mountain would actually locate the sea (even if you live in a landlocked location) and jump in! That same verse says nothing would be impossible for you. (Matthew 17 vs 20).

The saying that impossible is nothing is quite popular but how many of us really believe we can do the impossible? If doing the impossible is directly proportional to our faith and our faith just has to be the size of a mustard seed and the only constant in the equation is the Jesus within you- then why are so many of us limited by what is possible? Why is faith such an abstract term?

Impossibility = K X faith
Where Faith is > or = Mustard seed size and K=Jesus in you

Hebrews 11 vs 1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Meaning faith is the only thing that separates wishful thinking from reality. Faith is the only proof that you are not crazy for believing in the impossible.

A mustard seed is very, very small. Wikipedia says they are 1-2 millimetres in diameter. It’s ironic that all I have to do is believe to the tiniest degree that God will do it and Gbam! It’s mine. But sometimes I wonder why Jesus used such an analogy. He must have known that unbelief and rationalisation make faith so hard to grasp.

Some people are concrete thinkers. They only believe what they can see- a medical report, the state of their wallet etc and even struggle with their belief in God because they can’t see Him.

Others are over-analytical believers. They believe in things that can be achieved through logical means. They can trust God when they are broke or when they need to pass an exam (that they were adequately prepared for) but struggle with faith when they have to believe the impossible.

Impossible is a limit word- like uncountable, unreadable, unreachable, unattainable and unbelievable. It just means that it is beyond human comprehension but aren’t there so many things in this world that are? I’ve seen many unbelievable things in my medical profession and many more in the world. Doesn’t it amaze you that the very things that centuries before were deemed impossible are the things we take for granted now?

– Once upon a time it was impossible that the moon was even bigger than a little circle in the sky when that became possible the thought that a man could walk on the moon became impossible till someone actually moon walked!

– Small pox, Typhoid and a host of other illnesses were once believed to be impossible to prevent or cure.

– Once upon a time it was impossible to think that one could actually talk to someone on the other side of the world or even see a person miles away in real time.

– It defies logic that a man without 2 cents to his name can rise to be Forbes richest or a black man can be president of the United States!

But guess what I’ve learnt about impossibility? We human beings reset the limits of that word once somebody else is able to achieve the impossible. What makes that person different from you? FAITH!!! Regardless of your shortcomings or problems, every disadvantage is a potential advantage if you have faith the size of a mustard seed!

How do you build your faith?
Three things…
1. Read
2. Confess
3. Act

Read the word of God, read other people’s testimonies of how impossibility became nothing for them. Read books to build you up. The bible says in Romans 10 vs 17 that Faith cometh by hearing the word of God so yes, go on up to a church and get an earful or read the Bible out loud. If you’ve tried doing things your way without results, isn’t it high time you let someone else drive? Bible principles always yield results. Over half a billion people can testify to that, don’t you think you should join the bandwagon?

Confess the word, confess positive words. The power of positivity cannot be overemphasized and many people will agree that speaking positively into your life beats stating the actual fact which often times is shrouded in negativity any day! Remind God of His words. Nothing trumps that and it’s the fastest way to grow your faith. Obama’s ‘Yes we can’ has become a worldwide slogan and the bible says in Philippians 4 vs 13 that I can do ALL things through Christ that strengthens me. ALL THINGS!

Finally you’ve got to ACT! The next step after talking the talk is to begin to walk the walk! Faith without works is dead. (James 2 vs 26). Doing the impossible is what faith is all about and sometimes all it takes is a little step in the right direction. Do something however insignificant to show your mind you mean business. Yes you are gonna be filled with a million thoughts about the futility of that first step but that first step is critical in building your faith. Wanna be a CEO someday? Come up with a business plan and write out the full financial implications of becoming not a mediocre CEO but a Forbes richest kind. That’s a first step.

Sometimes faith is the most stupid, illogical, nonsensical thing on earth. Many times deemed too time-wasting for an analytical mind but remember that everything you believe is impossible- is only impossible till someone else achieves it. Don’t dull! All you need is faith the size of a mustard seed but remember it won’t work without the ‘K constant’. Let’s stop throwing the faith word around and actually start making it work for us.

“Please can you load me up on faith? Full tank please, I’ve got big dreams!!!”

Don’t you have a mountain you need to politely ask to go drown itself? Get your mustard seed today!!!

Have a blessed week fam, xoxoxo 😉

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in #TeamJesus