I recently got around to reading Toke’s mini autobiography after all the buzz it created online and for someone who was Toke’s roommate in year 1 (newest hall, unilag), I initially wasn’t keen on reading it because I thought I had Toke all figured out.
I had been roommates with her when she was living a wanton, majorly carefree life and coming from a sheltered home, Toke was to me the embodiment of the bad UNILAG girls I’d heard so much about. Through the years, that impression was reinforced every time her name came up regardless of whether it was for good or evil.
Little wonder that when the news first broke that she was having marital issues I kept thinking karma, karma, karma! Well if the truth be told, bad is a relative term and after reading her story I had a rethink about the woman I thought I had all figured out. Really until you have walked in a person’s shoes, you cannot ever judge said person regardless of their colorful past. Maybe we give karma too much credit!
Toke is a strong woman, not because she didn’t make a ton of mistakes and not even because she went through the worst psychological trauma any child can endure but because even when her life was going all shades of wrong, she found strength in God and that strength gave her the will to finally move on, the grace to rise above her past and present and wisdom to spin the biggest sob story ever into a money making investment during a recession! Toke may never make it to my hero hall of fame but I have an unswerving respect for her. Her story could have happened to absolutely anyone regardless of what they did or didn’t do to deserve it. I know so many women who couldn’t rise above a husband who had betrayed them or some other life tragedy. From suicide to revenge, from bitterness to chronic sickness; many of these women could never find the strength to climb out of the murky waters that they had been unceremoniously thrown into. Breaking the silence is always a great place to start…
So without further ado, here are ten things I learned from reading Toke’s book:
- No one is really bad, they are just broken and many times the product of their past, don’t be so quick to judge. Let he who has no sin cast the first stone…
Don’t ever manage a boyfriend, a lousy boyfriend makes an even lousier husband, your case won’t be the exception.
If he breaks your heart the second time, don’t look back- just leave for good. The sting of betrayal is far worse than the prick of a heartbreak but the former only becomes apparent after you have vested too much time and emotion into the relationship. Get out while you are still ahead.
You can never run out of ‘second’ chances. Even the bible says a righteous man falls seven times (and how many of us can actually call ourselves righteous) and yet rises up again. No matter how messed up your past is, your future can be unbelievably bright if you let God in.
Get a support system that’s foolproof. You don’t need a million friends or fam. Two or three people that would always have your back no matter what and would always give you the truth instead of telling you what you want to hear, people you can trust with your life, your drama and your kids. Find them and keep them close!
A counsellor should not be a last resort, if the problem is big enough to give you sleepless nights and you love the person enough to wanna stay, seek help. You both may have deep rooted psychological issues that will keep ruining things till you tackle them. Hurting people hurt others and more importantly broken people attract brokenness. Get the root problem fixed.
God is close to the broken hearted and He doesn’t give two hoots about your past or what you did or didn’t do to deserve it. When you have no where else to turn, no place to hide, no one to run to, go to Him. He is always waiting with open arms.
If you ignore the signs you won’t like your final destination. There are always signs. If you keep making excuses for him/her then you already deserve to be treated better. That is a sign! A broken relationship is better than a broken marriage. People have clung to the devil they know instead of trusting there was an angel out there that they were yet to meet and the devil dragged them to hell. Take a leap of faith.
Anyone or circumstance that makes you feel less about yourself or eats away at your self confidence is toxic. Love doesn’t live there, the sooner you realize you deserve better the sooner you can start your journey to freedom. It’s difficult but doable.
A person chooses to cheat. There is no such thing as he/she was pushed or tempted due to the inadequacies of his/her partner. It’s a personal decision. Yes I agree that some factors can make rationalizing the sin of infidelity easier but still it’s your sin. God will not hold you less accountable because you had a bad marriage or relationship. And for the men, if you never discussed the possibility of having a second wife with your partner BEFORE marriage- regardless of perceived tribal or religious norms- then it’s still wrong. Marrying your side chick or concubine doesn’t erase the sin of infidelity! If you are going to alter your partner’s life forever, she deserves a say in it before she commits to you. Speak up!
Toke I hope the release of this book, brings you a new lease on life, a breath of fresh air, closure and more importantly sets you on the path God created for you. You cannot have gone through fire only for you to turn your back on God when things start getting really good, resist compromise! Let this experience be your epiphany, your starting point for a fuller and better life and not just a well thought out business decision. I wish you all the best, and to everyone who thinks she deserved what she got due to karma or her poor choices or because she ignored the signs, take a chill pill, I was team karma too (and was quite vocal about it) but I realized that ‘nobody holy pass’ and we all have someone or something that is our ultimate weakness. It’s by His mercies alone that we are not consumed lest anyone should boast.
Have a great night Chutzpah fam,