Ever felt some frangs of jealousy?

A few weeks ago, I was on LinkedIn. I was going through people’s profiles and was impressed with everyone’s achievements. As I searched and searched, clicking on known and unknown persons, I was thrilled and amazed with everyone celebrating their wins.

However, beyond this excitement, I noticed I had an unsettling lump in my throat. I paid attention to it and found out I was a little comfortable and started questioning my abilities. I was asking if I could ever be as smart as the people’s whose profile I read, why I never graduated with a first class…why I had never started my career in a multinational…on and on and on I went.

As I drown in this thoughts, I realized that I was comparing myself with other people and I was not grateful for my own wins. I had forgotten that I had achieved feats too in my career and in my personal life. I immediately had to consciously switch my thoughts and be thankful for my wins whilst celebrating others. Some of us have this kind of feelings but we are too ashamed to admit them for the fear of being tagged a witch, a bitter person one who’s not happy for others. I mean, I have read on my newsfeeds about how having jealous feelings is the next class you attend before you become a witch.

I perfectly understand the lesson, but I do think that some of us genuinely struggling with this feelings. We don’t like it, we don’t feel good about them and we want them to go away. We’re not bad people. We’re not witches. We don’t fly at night. We honestly want to rejoice with our friends and neighbors, we love them, but we can’t help think that many things we’re hoping for are happening to them but not to us.

A while ago, somebody shared that she was happy for her friend who was making better grades than her in school but had an unsettling feeling about wanting good grades too. She didn’t hate her friend, she was just a little jealous about her. Not the kind that wants to kill, but the kind that also wants good things happening for her too.I told her I could relate. Here are some of the examples I gave her.

1. Several months ago, while I was still dealing with the pains of miscarriage, a friend had called me to say she was pregnant and didn’t exactly plan for the baby. My first feeling was jealousy. I was jealous that she didn’t need a baby while we were here desiring one and didn’t have. She noticed my silence and because she’s is an amazing person she said “Omoby, you don’t seem to be happy for me”. She did not say this to ruin me or make me feel less of myself, she said this without a hint of accusation. She didn’t sound hurt or angry, righteous, or victimized. She said it as if it were a neutral observation.

In the moment she said it, I began to realize she was right. But her words hit me more as I got home. It became crystal clear: if I’ve gotten to the point where I couldn’t be happy for my friend whom I have come to love, who has something that I also desire, it means I wouldn’t go far in life. I had only just been cultivating my own happiness, mourning my loss, but struggling to support and be excited at another’s testimony.

2. When I was in Uni, I had a very close Muslim friend, still do, who was always getting better grades than me. While I made C’s, she made A’s and while I made D’s, she made B’s. I’d become so jealous of her and wonder how she did it. I wished she would just fail. I was almost beginning to start hating her. I didn’t like the feelings but it felt safe to just wish that somehow her grades drop…and when something hard did hit her, she even made better grades that I could ever imagine. Imagine loosing a loved one and making all round A’s in all your modules. Ha! What kind of human being was she? I’d wonder!

3. Years ago, a friend told me she had gotten a job in a very juicy organization and when she told me about it, for months, I’d think of how miserable I was without a job despite a Masters (she had no masters) and mourn and groan. In the heat of my jealousy, I went to apply to the same firm she was working, perhaps I could be lucky as well but I failed even before I could start. I have shared on my wall of how my friends have achieved feats faster than me and how I am always happy for them. Some of you may assume that I’ve never struggled with those jealous feelings. Oh no! I have, but over the years, I’ve worked on them and leant to pay them no attention.

How do I deal with these feelings? Perhaps it could help you too.

I realised that being anything less than happy for others would block my own chances at success and happiness. This is because by ruminating in the idea that I don’t have what someone else has I was simply attracting more of what I was feeling: lack. This boils down to the emotions we have inside of us. Feeling excited for someone else feels good, therefore creates more good things.

I realised as well that frowning at another’s blessings doesn’t feel good therefore can’t create good things. It’s a conscious step I took and walked with.

2. Seeing positive experiences of others has helped me open up to possibilities. For instance, when a friend of mine got a job with a multinational, instead of becoming envious and gloomy, it proved to me that such amazing possibilities were present. When my friend relocated out of Nigeria in 2016, it told me that my relocation dreams were valid and getting a second option can also become my reality. This means that there’s enough good to go round for me, for you, for all of us. We only have to believe so.

3. I remembered that time is a function of everything I desire. My friend’s amazing job, relocating to a new country…and other feats my friends achieved faster than me have now become my reality. You may get things before me…that’s perfectly fine…I would too. This helped me put my thoughts in check.

4. I surrendered my struggles to God. For me, this was the hardest. But I took it all to Him regardless. I feel ashamed telling Him though, but I tried to always remember that He knows them already and He always has my best interest at heart. Its just like avoiding someone who only wishes you well. He has never disappointed me. The feelings did not go overnight, but I knew that since I had confessed it to God, I’d be alright. And I was.

I know we all pride ourselves as being good, lovely and always on top of our game, but there is one subtle part of us that makes us human and weak. Don’t be deceived. Everyone one of us struggles with one thing or the other. Jealousy would plant a one glaring misconception in our minds: who we are isn’t simply enough.

Just like I was looking at other’s LinkedIn profile and thinking I hadn’t done well, I had forgotten that I was doing well in my own path. I had also forgotten that in life, we would always have people behind and ahead of us. We’ve to realize that the hardships we are experiencing isn’t meant to point out our inadequacies, but to create an entirely new life experience that was more fulfilling and more…us.

Being jealous doesn’t make you a witch as popularly opined, it really makes you human. However, this should never be a license to become wicked or covetous.

I hope that just like me you can admit that you’ve these feelings, be open to God about them, or to any trusted friend, refuse to be guilt tripped about these feelings, but recognize that almost everyone of us deals with these feelings from time and time.

In the end, recognize that you’re doing well on your own path. Cease comparing yourself with anyone, and when those stubborn feelings refuse to go away, consciously pray for them. Know that you’re not a witch and let nobody give you that label.

Transformed by unfair situations.

I am aware that one of the ways God develops His work in us is to place us in the middle of situations that are the exact opposite of who we are. He gives us people who have exactly what we’ve been trusting Him for.

God develops real peace within us, not by making things go the way we planned but by showing times of chaos and confusion. God uses the exact opposite situation of each fruit to allow us make a choice.

We can’t claim to be good, if we haven’t been tempted to be bad. We can’t claim to be faithful, if we haven’t been faced with the option of cheating on our partners. We can’t claim to be patient if we haven’t been faced with impatient situations. We can’t claim to celebrate our friend’s successes if we haven’t been with friends who seem to have it more than we do. Likewise, Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be fraudulent and cunny.

I will explain.

A dear and close friend of mine is so hippy. I used to envy her lot. A lot. As in, those kind of moments that could almost make you hate. And when I had reasons to see her without clothes. I’d beat myself down and mumur of how shapeless I am, eventually becoming depressed.

Isn’t it ironic that God places those who seem to have it more than us around us so that we can actually learn to be content with what we have and we can grow in our character? God didn’t give me a friend whom I thought I was physically more attractive than, rather he gave me friend who was so hippy. Her being with me helped me to love myself and be content. It was hard o. Chaiii. Thank God for growth.

Oh! What about living in the same room with a cousin who has big butts? Imagine the horror having to constantly live with what I so admired yet couldn’t have? I used do all the comparisons and just marvel at how God gave somebody so much, yet some so little. I realized that God didn’t give me a cousin who I thought was shapeless, rather He gave me one who had the exact features I so envied so that I can learn to be content with what I have.

For me, this is a way God works in me. I cried and prayed to God for more hips. Nothing changed. I have just learnt to love myself regardless.

Similarly, I concentrated on features I have. I have got a very flat tummy. A tummy several others take all sort of drinks to have. A tummy that lots of people register in gyms for. A tummy that many would do anything to have. I have also got a stature that looks younger than my age. A stature many take spend millions to have. Please note that, I am in no way shaming those who have big tummies or those who’re big, but I had to deliberately highlight features I have.

The Bible talks about God making us perfect in every good work to do His will, working in us that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. If God will work in us, He’ll put us in the midst of opposite situations to strengthen our character so that we can learn to grow.

~ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Omoby, 2016

Been a Blessing

I have realized that if we dont consciously look out for whom to help, we may never find people who are in need of help thus missing out on the true essence of living and loving. We have all been told to look out for ourselves before others. The old cliche ‘every man for himself, God for us all’ is often said by several of us to save our heads first before saving others. ‘What’s in for me?’ is the world’s expectations from us. ‘I would help you, but what would I get in return if I do?’ is the often our condition to helping others. We readily acknowledge this as the “me” generation, and that same narcissism sometimes spills over into our relationship with God, our families, and one another.
 
Many people nowadays are blatantly and unashamedly living for themselves. They’re not interested in other people. They don’t have time to help others in need. They focus only on what they want, what they need, what they feel will most benefit themselves. Ironically, this selfish attitude condemns them to living shallow, unrewarding lives. Even when opportunities arise to help, they deliberately shut their eyes and heart against such. No matter how much they acquire for themselves, they are still never satisfied.
 
If you want to do something out of the ordinarily, If you really want to live beyond the norm, You must be on the look out for whom to bless. It does not necessary have to be in monetary terms but be on the look out for whom to encourage and inspire. Be on the look out for whom you would lift up and share a prayer with.
 
I met a man early this year who was extremely disgruntled with life, disappointed with God and himself. He had attempted his professional examinations more than three times and failed repeatedly. He was so depressed and thought himself a failure. Having failed mine as well, I understood what he was going through. I did try to cheer him up and encouraged him to keep pushing through until he comes out victorious, ensuring to take into consideration the mistakes he has made in the past and avoid making same. Some few days ago, he told me that my words gave him the courage to push through again and avoid his previous mistakes. Top of his joy was that he came out in flying colours. I could not have been happier.
 
My point is, somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. Your story. It may be your listening ear. It may be your arms to encourage. It may be your smile to uplift. Be on the look out for whom to help. Dont just go through life only looking out for what’s in for you. Make efforts to reach out to those in need and offer what you can.
 
I implore you to quit trying to figure out what everybody can do for you, and start trying to figure out what you can do for somebody else…and see the immense benefit of giving and truly living your best life now.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, Omoby, 2016.

How far have you gone away from God???

Several years ago, when I used to struggle with some silly things, I would hide them away from God. I would be so ashamed to tell it to Him. For days running to weeks, I would not speak to Him. I would brush Him aside when thoughts of Him flash through my mind. ‘I feel too ashamed to even look at you Lord, when I feel better, I would come back to you’. I would intentionally blank my mind against thinking about Him.

Like a loving father only looking out for the best in his daughter, I would hear Him say to me. Deep, deep down my heart, ‘Omoby, I am here, always here, whenever you are ready’.

Over the years and through my personal walk with God, I have realized that God does love me and I am no longer ashamed to tell Him when I hurt. I am no longer ashamed to tell Him when I feel jealous about somebody or something. I am not saying this should be a license to continue in bad deeds, but I am saying that I do not feel ashamed to run to my Heavenly Father when I flaw. He knows them already anyway. He knows I am really weak and I daily lean on His grace and strength.

Here is my point. Do not get that place in your life where you would be ashamed to turn to God regardless of what you have done. Note my words, REGARDLESS. He knows them already and He only wants the best for you. And if you are already at that place where you feel too ashamed to go to Him, I want you to know that God is concerned about you. He wants you back. Like He told me, He will always be waiting for you..

Your sins may look unpardonable with men, you may have even gotten to that point where you hate yourself and feel outrightly condemned, but God doesn’t think that way. He wants you to come to him with a contrite heart. Tell it all to him. Tell your feelings to Him. Expose it all to Him. He knows them already and the good part is that He wouldn’t use them against you. Experience the peace that comes with knowing that you’ve got somebody who always has your best interest at heart.

This has given the confidence to forge through life. Knowing I have a Father who loves me unconditionally and personally. I do hope that you would know how much Gd loves you and you would never ever run away from Him.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, Omoby 2016.

Wandering Thoughts about God?

God listens. He hears every single bit of our heart cries. He cares. He is real.

I had been looking for my ID card. I presumed to have forgotten it in my office, but on getting to my office the following day, the card was not there. It’s nothing serious jooh. I thought.

Yet days went by and my card was still missing. I was getting worried by the day. I couldn’t go to places because I had no access. The more I sat to think of where the card could have gotten lost, the harder it was for me. That evening when I got back home, I searched again. Yet nothing. I fell asleep worrying about the my missing card.

‘Omoby, you have not yet asked me to help you,’ I heard that silent voice yet so strong in my heart. ‘No, never mind,’ I refuted. ‘I would see the card. It doesn’t have wings to fly away anyway. I would be fine. Don’t worry Lord. I would be alright.’

The following days saw me still looking for this card frantically. I asked friends. I checked my room again. I checked my kitchen and sitting room. I opened the microwave, checked inside the bin, checked the path I took prior to the missing card and after. A friend said he last saw it on my neck. Did it drop? Was it pulled off my neck? I called the security at my residence. They also called the security at other residences to ask if anyone saw the card and brought to them. I had checked my office and its kitchen and asked the cleaners. I got to my department to ask the secretary. She told me to check with the security and the information desk. I went back to my room and checked again. This time, I turned my room upside down, checked the toilet, bathroom, wardrobe and raised up the sitting room cushions…yet nothing.

listen

‘Omoby, I am here. Whenever you need me to help, I would be willing.’ Oooook Lord, I give up!’ I said reluctantly realizing I had reached my wit’s end. Where else was I going to check that I hadn’t checked? ‘I am sorry I tried to shove your help aside. Please forgive me. Although I had the money to get another card, knowing that the card was laying somewhere just hurts. There and then, I prayed. I spoke to God. I called forth my card, after-all universal laws bow to the name of Jesus isn’t it?

Just about to get ready to go to the office, I rose up from my bed. I opened my wardrobe, brought out my towel and heard something cracky fall as I pulled my towel. Lo and behold, my card fell! I screamed! Wasn’t it this same wardrobe I checked turning everything upside down? Even with a friend?

God does listen. He does hear. He is not deaf to our cries. He knows when we hurt and are struggling to get things done. It doesn’t matter that whatever I was looking for appeared insignificant, He still proved Himself and He located my card for me. I am grateful.

I don’t know about you, but this is another prove to me that God is real.