Personal Development

How to Fix Your Daddy Issues and Have Healthy Relationships

I have had tumultuous relationships with men. They were the triggers of most of the trauma in my life and they came in every shape and form. These men were father’s, boyfriends, sexual partners, boys in the hallway at school and men I heard about during gossip sessions. They were men that inspired my first daddy poem and they gave me my formal introduction to heartbreak.

The interesting thing about trauma of any kind is it has a delayed response and then a ripple effect. I didn’t realize how damaged I was until one day I couldn’t get out of bed and I couldn’t stop crying. The rejection I felt from men made me believe things about myself that weren’t true and I didn’t know how to fix it. 

It wasn’t until I got into a serious relationship that I accepted that it was time to face and deal with my daddy issues. Here is how I partially fixed mine and how you may be able to do so as well. 

Get Naked 

I think this is the second hardest part of addressing your daddy issues and that’s because you have to be vulnerable. You don’t have any ‘men aint shit’ memes or ‘men are trash’ group chats to hide behind. You’ve got to unpack and figure out why you hate men and where the bitterness stems from. It means revisiting memories that you hoped would decompose in the bottom of your broken heart. It also means accepting that you’re hurt and allowing the pain of that hurt disrupt your body, mind, and spirit.  

I remember writing a daddy poem about daddy issues and being terrified of sharing it anywhere. I felt stupid for caring that my dad didn’t check for me and disappointed that my dad didn’t care enough. 

Talk to Your Dad 

After I finally accepted that I had daddy issues, I knew one of the only ways to fix it was to talk to my dad and have an honest conversation. Since I hated verbal conversations, I decided I would send him an email. I asked why he didn’t call to check up on me and why he didn’t care how I was.

Being the cultured African man that he is, his response that was it was my job to call him. As angry as I was at that response, I had to accept that cultural beliefs don’t die easily and it was unlikely that he would change. I could either let that eat me alive or accept it and move on. I chose the latter. 

Today, my dad and I have a better relationship although he still barely ever calls and it isn’t perfect. I embrace the good times and accept him for who he is. I remember him buying us McDonalds after church on Sundays, teaching me how to cook Nigerian food, and teaching me how to drive when he got back from work at 1:00am.

I remember him making my sister and I dinner and trying to force teach us the keyboard. I remember the joy in his voice when I ran away at 15 and called him after a month to tell him I was coming home. Those memories and remembering that family is sometimes all that you have is enough to help me get over the wrong that I so much despised. 

With that being said, be better than me and try having a conversation with your dad face to face or over the phone. Get naked and vulnerable and tell him things that make your palms sweaty. Also, don’t expect too much as the response may not be as romantic as you plan it out in your head. 

If for any reason you can’t talk to you dad, try writing him a letter although he may never read it. Some people burn the letter after writing it while some keep it somewhere and revisit it later on in life.

Lower Your Expectations 

In order to find peace and let go of the disappointment I felt with my dad, I had to lower my expectations. I had to accept that he couldn’t love me in the way I wanted and my anger or resentment wasn’t going to change that. I thought about how I would feel if he passed away and my welling eyes was enough to make me reconsider my stance. 

Kids hold their parents to unrealistic standards a lot of the time, forgetting that they have their pain, struggles, and trauma as well. With that being said, empathy goes a long way if you want to heal from daddy issues. You may even discover through conversation and digging that your parents have daddy issues of their own. 

Surround Yourself With GOOD Men 

At times, I wonder if all of these ‘men are trash’ girl bands have any good men around them. Sometimes it’s all that’s needed to remind you that just because you have bad experiences with men, that doesn’t have to define your relationship with and perception of men. 

Look for good menand make friends and acquaintances with them. This should serve as a gentle reminder that there are still supermen with invisible capes roaming the earth. 

Also, consider showing them appreciation by getting them gifts. If you want to go for something sentimental that they’re likely to cherish, consider getting a custom-written canvas poem. A daddy poem is the perfect way of saying ‘I appreciate you’ which men may not hear as often as women or mothers do.

On the note, I’m not fully healed and I’m still unpacking, but I have found peace and haven’t died from a broken heart. Writing a daddy poem was therapeutic, confronting my father about my pain was liberating, and accepting his imperfections was the ultimate freedom.

We aren’t born with perfect dad’s neither are we in a society that encourages men to be great dads more than it criticizes them. You, however, can choose to see the good in your dad or appreciate how the pain he’s caused has helped you evolve. If not, you may never know that all men are not trash and many are superhuman.

The Naked Poet

XOXO

broken heart
Personal Development

Can You Die from a Broken Heart? Here’s What Science Says

Every day, all over the world, millions of people die while they’re awake. Their hearts are shattered into a million pieces because of a betrayal, death, loss, or disappointment. These people are known as the broken hearted. They could end up spending the next couple of days, months or years mourning unless they find a cure for their heart break. 

I am one of those people. It feels as though my heart has been broken all of my life and some days, I feel like there may very well be no cure. There are self-help articles. There are motivational books. There are awe ridden stories, but how really do you heal from a broken heart?

What Does Christianity Say? 

For those who are Christian, open to religion or generally spiritual, it’s interesting that the bible has a few verses on those with a broken heart. God must see a broken heart as a huge deal. I wish that employers did too and they’d give us a few paid days off to recover. Ah well, for now we’ll just have to settle for crying in the bathroom during lunch breaks. 

Anyway, here are a few verses I came across. 

What Does Science Say? 

I found it interesting that science had something to say about what’s going on in your body when you have a broken heart. Seeing as it feels like you’re going into cardiac arrest, I’m happy science is here to tell us that we aren’t exagerating. 

Interestingly, studies show that your brain registers the emotional pain of heartbreak in the same way it does physical pain. 

When we’re in love, dopamine and oxytocin which are hormones that make us feel good rise. On the contrary, when heart break happens, these hormone levels drop and the stress hormone cortisol steps in. Too much cortisol over a period of time can result in anxiety, nausea, acne and weight gain which all sound like heartbreak symptoms to me. 

Now, if you’re wondering whether your heart can physically be broken from heartbreak, the answer is yes and no. What apparently can happen is you could experience Takotsubu cardiomyopathy, which is a syndrome that can be caused by the stress of a heartbreaking situation.

More specifically, the emotional stress from a heart break can cause the left ventricle, which is the hearts main pumping chamber to be stunned or paralyzed. This explains why you may experience symptoms like chest pains, shortness of breath, or dizziness. The good news is that this condition doesn’t usually cause permanent damage and will resolve itself. In other words, it will hurt like hell, but you shouldn’t die. 

How to Heal a Broken Heart

broken heart black girl

Now that we’ve established that heart break is lethal and both science and Christianity agree, it’s time to look at how you heal it. Although healing is spiritual, there is a practical approach you should take to healing as well. 

1.) Accept it

This is sometimes the hardest part of the process and a reason many aren’t able to heal. Accept that your heart is broken and take the time to dissect your feelings. You honestly cannot heal if you don’t know what you’re healing from. One of the things that triggered heart break for me was my miscarriage.

I had to understand that the aftermath of feeling neglected and unloved is what caused so much pain.  I also had to accept that people are imperfect and that was the beginning of my healing. 

2.) Develop a Healthy Routine

A routine outside of lying in bed, crying and skipping baths until you reek of all things ungodly is necessary if you want to recover from heart break. If you don’t throw some positive things into that routine, you’re likely to sink deeper into despair and depression. Try and develop a daily routinethat forces you to do a couple of self-loving things a day.

It could be getting up to have a shower, opening the curtains and eating some fruit the first few days. As you begin to feel better, you can gradually add more positive things to your routine. 

It starts with remembering to love yourself intentionally even when you don’t have the energy. I created a self-love checklist that you can download herewhich helped me to remember to do things that were good for me EVERY DAY. 

Nobody is saying don’t cry, because even thugs cry. Crying can be therapeutic a lot of the time, but don’t let your tears drown you.  Add activities that trigger the brain chemicals that make you happy. Some include walking on a treadmill, volunteering, and reminiscing on happier times in your life. Also, eat foods that literally lift your mood such as dark chocolate, walnuts, spinach, and blueberries. 

The world needs your energy. A routine should distract you from your pain momentarily, but also, allow yourself to feel the pain. It is a necessary part of your healing.

3.) Give it Time

Nobody wants to hear it, but you can’t rush the healing process. If you break your leg tomorrow, you don’t expect it to be magically healed the next day, so think about your heart break the same way. Let time pass and let the emotions fully express themselves after a while, you will become strong enough to manage them.

If time isn’t doing the trick, it could be best to reach out to a professional. They may be able to provide you with tools you need to recover.

You have to deal with heartbreak as you would with grief. You have lost something that you saw as integral in your life and you need time to process that. You also have to restructure your life and learn to live without it. 

4.) Choose Healing

 Many people begin to love the self-pity and woe is me that accompanies the pain of a broken heart. This can be the biggest hindrance to moving forward. Instead of choosing self-pity, choose healing.

If not, you could miss out on all of the beautiful things the world has waiting for you. Remember that your broken heart may not be your fault, but fixing it is your responsibility. Nobody is going to do the healing for you. 

My Experience 

As I’m writing this, I am realizing that I’ve never truly given myself time to heal, because I didn’t know how. It wasn’t just about isolating myself or letting time pass. It was about unpacking and offloading dissecting my emotions. Revaluating my beliefs as they influenced the decisions that played a part in my heart break most times.

It was about replacing all of those false beliefs about myself and people and replacing them with healthier ones. To mend my heart, I had to believe in things that bring life, not death. 

At thirty, I am doing that and I have never felt more liberated. I am tapping into a higher version of myself that is praying and cleansing her soul in the middle of a field of wild sunflowers. Who is purifying herself with transparent oceans of tears. Who is facing her pain head on instead of running from it. It’s incredibly uncomfortable, but absolutely necessary. 

I want so desperately to find refuge in the arms of someone who will run their fingers over each scar and ease the pain. But I know this healing process is one that I have to walk alone. Hopefully, I will be a better mother, lover, sister and friend because of it. 

The Naked Poet

xoxo 

family poems about life
Lifestyle

Why Family Will Always be All You Have

I come from a bit of a dysfunctional family which I suppose everyone does. Maybe all families are dysfunctional in their own way seeing as families aren’t exempt from life happening to them. 

I’m the fifth child and first girl in a family of seven kids and I didn’t really have a sense of family growing up. My family isn’t the best when it comes to communication so I never formed deep connections with the rest of my family members. As a result, I have always seen family as the people you choose as opposed to those you are born with. 

When I started writing poems about life at the age of 16, I don’t think I wrote a single one about family. However, since I started my business Love on a Canvas, I’ve been thinking a lot more about family and trying to understand why I have such a disconnect with the whole saga. Seeing as the focus of my brand is reaffirming the relationships in your life and showing the people close to you love, I’ve had to think about the people I value and why. 

It’s especially important for me to think about this seeing as I have a family of my own now. Since I turned 25, I never had many friends, but over the past two years, I’ve lost most of the ones I once did have.  The most valuable lesson I’ve taken from it is the importance of family. Here is why family will always be all that you have.

They’re Harder to Throw In the Bin 

One thing my mom told me when I was about twelve that stuck with me is that you only need a handful of friends. As I began getting older, I also noticed that my moms’ friends list started getting scantier. Now that I’m thirty, I can’t count my friends on one hand and that’s because of a number of reasons. Sometimes people change, sometimes the purpose they served in your life is up, and sometimes the relationship is no longer mutually beneficial. 

One thing you’ll find with family, however, is that your relationship isn’t based on how mutually beneficial you are to one another. You’re tied together because you’ve known each other since your inception, or because you share parents, or because it would be almost impossible to avoid them. It’s not as easy to say, “I don’t want to be your sister anymore” or “I’m dumping you as a cousin”. If you have people who love you in spite of what you bring to the table, I think it’s something worth cherishing and you should work on strengthening your family bonds

Because Blood is Sometimes Thicker 

Sometimes, family is all you have because blood is thicker.  As mentioned above, even if you stop talking to your family it doesn’t change the fact that you share past, present and future ties. For a long time, I was upset with my brothers because they never kept in touch or made an effort to reach out. However, one thing is for sure; whether they reach out or not, ten years from now, they will still be my brothers and we will still share the same blood. 

The exception to the ‘blood is thicker’ rule is those rare people that you don’t share blood with that become your family. You’ll know they’re family because no matter what you go through or how much you fight, there’s a sense of eternity in the love and connection you share. 

All of this isn’t to say that when family is toxicyou shouldn’t distance yourself. But if they’re human, and they care for you, then they may be worth the headache. 

It’s All That Matters 

The last reason I think that family will always be all that you have is because it’s all that matters.  No matter how many places you go or how much success you achieve, without people to experience these things with, what does it amount to? You want to share your joy with people who were with you, who are with you, and will always be with you. Most of the time, such people happen to be family. 

Looking back at the friends I’ve lost over the years, I miss some and some I don’t miss so much. When some of them left, it hurt me so because I took my friends as my family since I wasn’t close to my blood family.

Now that I have a family of my own, I’m understanding why family is importantand why keeping us together is worth working at. I may not have come from a close-knitted family, but that doesn’t mean I can’t create one. I want my son to know that no matter what, his family will always be there for him as that’s something I didn’t always have. However, I think family will help me write some of the best poems about life. 

Over the years, however, I have learned that it is okay for people to not want to be in your life and not want to experience life with you. Sometimes such people will be blood family, and sometimes they’ll be friends. Nevertheless, appreciate the few people who will be constant denominators throughout the course of your life and love on them. They are your family, and they are all that you have.

poems for kids
Lifestyle

How to Make Your Kids Feel Loved

As a new parent, I’m often thinking about how I’ll love my kid. Growing up in a Nigerian home, my parents idea of showing me love was taking me to get a double cheeseburger with fries some Sundays. They didn’t do things like write me cute poems for kids or hug me until I turned blue. Well I’m sexual chocolate so I can’t turn blue, but you get the picture. 

Now that I’m older I realize my love language is words of affirmation and acts of service. I always yearned for my parents to tell me how beautiful I was and how much they loved me etc. 

The truth is, you’re more likely to love your kids in a way that you know how to love as opposed to how they need to be loved. Here are a few tips I cooked up for making your little rugrats feel an unconditional love. 

Understand Their Love Language 

You have probably heard at least one person going on and on about The 5 Love Languageswhich is a popular book by Gary Chapman. For those who don’t know, love languages aren’t only restricted to romantic relationships, they can extend to relations with your friends, family, and kids as well. 

If you want to make your kids feel love, it’s important that you discover what their love language is and work towards loving them in that way. Because Gary is teh plug and this love language stuff makes sense, I’ve based my tips on the Five Love Languages.

Quality Time

Some kids require undivided attention or quality time in order to feel loved. What’s most important to them is that they are able to spend time with you and they get to do something with you, no matter what it is. Here are some ideas of things you could do with one another.

  • Creative Days: A practical way that you can enjoy quality time with your little one is by doing something creative. Ask your child what kind of creative activity they’d love to do with you and plan a time as well as place to get it done. I struggle with this because creativity with my one year old translates into more mess for me to clean. *rolling eyes*
  • TV Time: Although not everyone is a fan of TV, it can be educative and entertaining as a quality time activity. You could decide to watch a documentary together about a topic their curious about. On the other hand, you could pull up some classic family-friendly movies and binge watch with healthy snacks of course. You could also throw in that weird show on YouTube where kids watch each other play if you really wanna be a loving parent
  • Explore: Adventure can be a fun idea for quality time too. Try going to visit museums, parks, or nature reserves that you’ve never been to before so you can create exclusive memories for the both of you. 

Physical Touch

If you have one of those cuddly kids that can’t keep their hands off of you, physical touch may be their love language. You could do anything from hugging, kissing, tossing them in the air or holding hands to make them feel like the most loved kid in the universe. My one-year-old enjoys digging his toe nails into my skin and slapping me in the face, so I’m not sure if physical touch is his thing. 

Although it can be annoying and make you want to shout when your kids won’t give you breathing space, try your best to touch them often throughout the day. 

Words of Affirmation

For some kids, they need to hear that you love them often. Consider buying ready-made poems for kids and having it framed in their room so they can see as well as hear your words. Such poems would make great wall art as well. There is a range of words of affirmation you can give such as words of praise and encouragement, affection and endearment or positive guidance. 

  • Write Them a Letter: If you were anything like me when I was pregnant, then you probably wrote your kid(s) a number of notes while they were baking. Why not write them a letter that tells them how much you love them and like the poems for kids, have it framed? If you aren’t good at putting your words together, have it custom-written and printed on a canvas so it’s something they can keep forever.  
  • Have Heart to HeartsHaving intimate conversationswith your kids is another way of giving them the words of affirmation that they need. Talk to them about their day, how they’re doing in school as well as their relationships with their friends. You can then slot in how proud you are of them, what a great job they’re doing and other positive affirmations. 

Gifts

For some kids, if you want them to feel greatly loved, buying them gifts is the only way. These gifts can become symbols of love. Although you know that most kids have a million gifts on their wish list, you’ll know that it’s your little ones love language by the way that they respond when they receive gifts. Only you would know the best gift to give to your child, but it should always be a gift that they’ll appreciate and will have meaning to them. 

Acts of Service

If you notice that when you do simple acts for your kids they’re over the moon, acts of service could be their love language. It could be that by helping them dress their imaginary doll or cook them their favorite dinner they feel loved. If you notice this is your child’s love language, make an effort to do the things they ask for and help them when they need help. This doesn’t mean doing everything for them, but just show them you love them by being ready to show up and show out when they need ya. 

If you aren’t sure what your kids love language is, as long as they’re old enough to communicate, just ask! Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be loved unconditionally by my parents through words of affirmation and physical touch. Now that I’m older, I still want the same love from my imperfect superheroes. 

I hope this article has helped you learn more about how to make your kids feel loved. Now go on and be a loving super incredible super badass parent! You got this <3

The Naked Poet xoxo

inspirational poems
Personal Development

5 Ways to Stay Inspired Every Day

I feel the most alive when I am inspired. It is when I have written the most inspirational poems and done things I am the most proud of. During the 6 years of my depression, I struggled so much because I couldn’t find inspiration. It was like my drug, and without it, the withdrawal I suffered from crippled me. Now that I finally feel alive again, it is because I have found my inspiration, and I’ve discovered how to get it. I’m not saying that i don’t have days that I want to hit the restart button,but I am mastering how to control my day instead of letting it control me. On that note, here are four ways you can stay inspired every day.

Master Your Emotions 

Every single tip I’m going to give you to help you stay inspired every day is action-based. That means if you can’t get over ‘not feeling like it’ and get a hold of your emotions, you may never experience the magnificence called inspiration. 

The third book I read this year was Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does, and it taught me so much about motivation and inspiration. The premises of the book is that all people are motivated, but while some are positively motivated, others are negatively motivated. In order to shift from negative motivation to positive, you’ve got to identify what’s creating the negative motive and get rid of that perspective. What I took from that, is if you can find a positive reason and purpose in everything you do, it’s easier to motivate yourself. I say once you can motivate yourself, you can inspire yourself too. 

To master your emotions, you’ve got to start by mastering your physical body. Working out transformed my life in ways that you can’t imagine and since I stopped a week ago, baby it’s been downhill. *Cries in back fat

Aside from working out and eating those veggies, try meditating and staying focused on your goals. Also, focus less on how you feel and more on how you want to feel by saying and thinking positive affirmations. Let’s keep it real, some days you’re going to fail woefully! But the better you get at it, the more you’ll win and the better your chances of living a life full of inspiration. 

Revisit Yout Goals

It’s so imperative that your goals are written down. When you have something to work towards, it helps reignite the fire in your bones. If you’ve got amazing goals floating around in your head but haven’t written them down, use this free goal template I created. You’ll also find a column for action points and affirmations to keep you on track.

Read! 

Adults all over the world are telling white lies every day and saying they have no time to read. Whatthey’re really saying is that they don’t feel like it. The reality is that if you have time to catch up on TV, scroll your social media timeline, or faff around, you can read a couple of pages of a book. 

On days that I’m like “throw the day in the garbage and go back to bed”, something as simple as reading a few pages of a book gets me back on track. There is something about being able to focus, read a few positive words and acquire new knowledge that can help tame your mind and redirect your thoughts. 

Some of the best reads for me this year have been; 

• Man’s Search for Meaning 

• You Are a Badass 

• The Social Entrepreneur 

• Steal Like an Artist 

On days that I want to quit, I go back to my goals for the year and look how far I’ve come. I then realize I’ve got to keep going until I get to my destination snitches. 

Find a Song 

Although not everyone is a music head, there is magic in music. It has the ability to shift your mood as well as tap into emotions that you didn’t even know you had. Music can awaken sleeping memories, drown you in joy, or pick at half healed scabs. 

The point is, if you can find a song, you may be able to find the inspiration you’re looking for when you need it. Gospel is my thing, so I’m constantly on YouTube looking for new songs that will make me feel mind blowing things and help me write inspirational poems.  Some of my fave artists right now who have my eardrums on the verge of bursting are Chandler Moore, Travis Greene, and Anaysha Figueora. 

Create 

You don’t have to be a creative person to create stuff. And the beautiful thing about creating as that you could make anything from an atomic bomb to a cheetah shaped cupcake, and it all counts. On days where I feel empty or overly emotional, I paint what I feel and I’m always inspired by the time I finish. 

Creating is one of the keys to inspiration as it unlocks the God given creative power in you. We all have the gift of creating different things, so when you practice being creative, you start to uncover what your specific gift is. The end product can also leave you feeling like a pretty bad motha shut yo mouth. 

Inspiration is one of those things that we all want so badly but have no idea how to create. I think that all human beings are the truest versions of themselves when they’re inspired and it’s also when we feel the most alive. Although you won’t feel inspired all of the time because of the range of emotions humans feel, hopefully the tips above bring you close enough!

vulnerability in marriage marriage poems
Relationships

Why You Need Vulnerability for Marriage to Work

Tears weren’t something that fell often in my house. This means that while growing up, vulnerability wasn’t something that I saw often. The only time I ever saw my mom cry was when her mom died, and I couldn’t have been older than seven years old. In the same regard, I had never seen my dad emotional or cry in my entire life until date. Now that I’m married, I so deeply wish I was in a household where we all cried while watching Titanic and we sat around and talked about our feelings over dinner. It would have made me a better communicator and more comfortable with vulnerability. It also would have made writing marriage poemsfor Love on a Canvas a lot easier during the initial stages. 

As an adult, vulnerability is so hard for me. I was a timid child growing up and I suppose I tried to be vulnerable once or twice by sharing intimate things with my parents. I didn’t quite get the response I hoped I would get which was something like a warm embrace and reassurance like I saw on shows like Full House, so I stopped doing it altogether. I tried showing vulnerability in relationships and friendships, and I found most times, I was left feeling humiliated, so I stopped. 

The only place I was able to be vulnerable was within the sacred pages of my fluffy Tigger diary. I wrote every forbidden thing in that diary, and I guess that’s where I developed my gift for writing. However, now that I’m married I’ve realized that my ability to communicate will determine the success or failure of my marriage. Unfortunately, writing things down and avoiding discussing them doesn’t cut it. As a result, I’ve had to cringe and stutter my way through verbally discussing sticky and ugly topics. Based on my journey so far, here’s why I feel you need vulnerability for a marriage to work.

It’s the Only Way to Establish Honesty 

I have always been a people pleaser, and it’s something that I hated about myself. I couldn’t stand the thought of letting people down or making them unhappy. I feel like that stemmed from my fear of rejection and my need to feel liked, loved, and accepted by everyone. I didn’t realize how big of an issue this was until I got married and struggled to tell my husband how I HONESTLY felt about serious matters. It wasn’t until things got really difficult that I realized that I was hurting more than helping my relationship by not allowing myself to be vulnerableand by not telling MY truth out of fear. 

Sometimes, speaking your truth makes you feel vulnerable. You’re telling people exactly how you feel and what you think without the sprinkles on top. However, in doing so, you liberate yourself and you also send a message to your partner that you trust them enough to share your most intimate thoughts and feelings with them. By being able to do this, you experience a greater level of intimacy. 

If you struggle to say how you feel verbally, try writing letters or intimate marriage poems instead.

It’s the Only Way to Establish Trust 

I find it hard to trust people with my vulnerability. The first thing that happens when I think about falling apart in front of anyone is that they won’t help me pick up my pieces. I’m afraid of feeling embarrassed, humiliated and rejected when I allow myself to be vulnerable with people. So I refrain from doing it. Playing it safe has saved me so much pain. But it also means that I haven’t been able to experience the enchanting feeling of deep connections and unconditional love. I’m too guarded. 

Marriage has taught me that the true test of trust is vulnerability. If I can’t show you the most distorted version of myself, then I don’t trust you. And if I don’t trust you, there isn’t much glue holding us together. If you sneeze, boom! I’m on my way out and Googling how to get through a divorce. 

With that being said, if you want a divorce-proof your relationship, take gradual steps towards being vulnerable and let your partner see you in your most humiliating states. Your marriage could be better because of it. 

It’s the Only Way to Experience Deep Love 

If you ever want to transcend past this surface level love to that married 50 plus years, still writing cheesy marriage poems and smitten love, you’ve got to learn to be vulnerable. 21stcentury love isn’t vulnerable. It either packs its bags and leaves at the sight of vulnerability or breaks under the pressure of it all. 

And perhaps that is why our love isn’t lasting and why it isn’t immovable. Because nobody wants to be vulnerable and nobody wants to be naked. After undressing halfway, you find that most couples are filing for divorce and posting sad marriage poems on social media.

I understand firsthand that you don’t want to be vulnerable because what if it breaks you? Well, yes it might. But it may also recreate you. The vulnerability that petrifies you could be the key to you experiencing a love that surpasses your human understanding. Without vulnerability in your marriage, you’ll only ever experience surface level love. Nothing that sets your soul on fire.

Say things that make you cringe, write your lover marriage poems, prioritize your love over being right, and be okay with being uncomfortable some days. 

Because Successful Marriages Require Courage 

Some of the greatest love stories in history are so epic because two people had the courage to let the other person into their forbidden place. They had the courage to throw caution to the wind and lose themselves in love. 

To be courageousis to live, and to feel and to experience and to love. Let’s face it, in order to commit to staying married to someone forever, you’re going to need a shitload of courage. 

SOooo in Conclusion….

In marriage, you get to a point where if you aren’t vulnerable, and you don’t strip yourself bare, you break. You have to speak the things that make your palms sweaty. You’ve got to come face to face with the toxic things your parents taught you that are now damaging your relationship. You’ve got to confront all of your demons and this requires vulnerability.

Marriage then ultimately becomes about you working to change those things, but you don’t get to do that alone. You do it with the person you’ve committed to spending the rest of your life with. They watch you struggle, they watch you fall, and sometimes they watch you fail. But the test of marriage is evolving into a better version of yourself and still being together when you get to the finish line. 

To be vulnerable is to be courageous. And to be courageous is to be fucking super human. Ultimately, when you’re vulnerable you’ll experience a magic in love that you never imagined existed. 

How do you deal with vulnerability in marriage or your relationship? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

forgiveness
Personal Development

How to Forgive Your Parents and Why You Have to

As you get older, your parents transition from superheroes to flawed human beings. You become old enough to see their humanity and many of us, as a result, are left a little broken. This could be because we’re often under the perception that nobody can possibly love you and protect us like our parents can and they’re the first examples of love you have. So, what then happens when they don’t meet our expectations and how does that affect the way we love?

Growing up, I struggled greatly with forgiving my parents. It wasn’t until recently that I found the courage to talk about my grievances and find peace. I know many other people out there struggle with broken relationships with their parents. For that reason, I’m going to tell you how to forgive your parents and why you should based on my experience. 

Remember Their Humanity 

Before your parents were your heroes, they had pain, trauma, and burdens of their own to carry. Unfortunately, those things don’t disappear just because they became a parent. As a new parent myself, I can testify to that. 

However, because I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of my parents, I’m resolving to go to counseling so that I can deal with all of the pain, rejection, and isolation that I can’t just seem to shake. I’m actively working on dealing with my inability to stand up for myself and my inability to effectively deal with confrontation and conflict. I know a failure to do so could have a negative impact on my child and result in me failing and damaging him in ways I feel failed and damaged by my parents. 

When I was having a heart to heart with my mom and sharing the things she’s done over the years to hurt me, one thing she said is; ‘I did the best I could and I’m sorry if that isn’t good enough for you’. That was the moment I realized that my anger had reached a dead end. I had to accept that she was human and she couldn’t do more than she had the capacity to do. So I had to lower my expectationsand accept her like that. 

With that being said, accept that they are human and may not have been able to do better than what they did. It may not be good enough for you, but accepting them as flawed as they are will give you peace and free you. 

Have a Conversation 

Many people find it difficult to communicate with their parents and tell them how they really feel. I find that for many, it’s born out of fear that they won’t own up to their wrongdoings or feeling as though doing so won’t make a difference. I used to feel that way until I realized that I was mad at my parents for things they had no clue I was angry about. I owed it to myself and to them to at least say what was on my mind and how I felt. For me, that was the first step to forgiving my parents

I also had to accept that with them being raised in Nigeria and me being from the diaspora, there were many cultural differences that affected their ability to communicate with me or simply say ‘I’m sorry’. 

Remember They’ll Die One Day 

Another thing you’ve got to remember when you find it hard to forgive your parents is that they’ll die one day. I don’t think anything teaches the importance of forgiveness like death does. When you lose someone you found it difficult to forgive, you realize just how insignificant their shortcomings were. I’m not disregarding the fact that some parents are toxic and you’re doing more damage than good trying to repair the relationship. However, even if that’s the case, you only get one set of biological parents, so forgive them for not loving you as you wanted to be loved and let that hurt go. It’s so heavy to carry!!!

For Yourself 

Me not forgiving my parents was one of the many things that triggered my suicide attempt a few years back. I felt like the only people who were supposed to have my back weren’t capable of giving the unconditional love that gives you a reason to live. 

However, I found as time went on that not forgiving them was doing me more harm than it was good. This is especially true because you also see as you age that you are more like your parents than you know and the very things you hate about them will haunt you if you don’t forgive. 

My mom wasn’t as caring as I wanted her to be and as a result, I found myself become just as reclusive and isolated as she is. My dad was really passive which made me feel as though he didn’t care about me, and as of recent, I’ve found that I’m very passive in all of my relationships too. And guess what, reclusive, passive and isolated people don’t tend to be very caring or seem so to those around them. 

Forgiving them liberates you. It gives you the chance to be better versions of them instead of repeating the toxic behavior that you loathe.

But then I saw you as you are 

Although I remembered you as you were 

My “I Love You’s” became slurred 

My reality equally blurred 

As I came to terms with who you are 

and mourned the mother I thought you were 

first love couple love poems
Relationships

Why Nobody Will Ever Compare to Your First Love

 

Hey my sexy butterflies! *waves in butterfly*

Tradition demands that I start every post with an update so here’s a quick recap of what’s been going on in my universe. I’ve been busy writing love poems for a new venture I’m working on amongst other super exciting things I can’t wait to share with you! I’m baking in my cocoon and my wings are almost ready. 

Alongside this, I’ve been parenting a giant sumo wrestler heavy weight champion one year old and freelance writing. Some days I want to break my head. Other days I want to eat flowers. Comme ci, come ca.

Moving on to the reason we are gathered here today, beloved butterfly bishes, the first topic I thought to cover this year since Valentine’s Day is around the corner and everyone is hot and ready for love is the first love. Your first love. Our first love.

I’m sure most of you have heard the saying that there’s no love like your first love. So, I wanted to explore this saying and how true it actually is.

I thoroughly enjoy sending annoying broadcast messages on Whatsapp asking thought provoking questions. And sometimes I think my contacts like it too. So according to the statistics of the Naked Poet’s Whatsapp, no love can compare to your first love and every love after your first love can. Let me explain further. 

A First Only Happens ONCE 

Your first loveis the first love poem you write. Sit back and think about how you saw your heart beat out of your chest for the first time. Remember when you kissed them and it felt like stars were exploding in your chest. When they smiled and you felt like you were hugging the sun. I feel like the second time you experience those feelings, they don’t hold the same intensity, because you can only experience a first time once. 

One of my faithful Whatsapp contacts shares similar sentiments.  

You can’t have a second first experience, so that special one really is momentous. But as you grow and expand, your capacity to love changes, matures, deepens, and can eventually become more profound than your earliest experiences.”

The reality is you don’t get the magic of a first love twice. You can create new magic, but you can’t relive the first.  

Your Perception of Love Evolves 

One interesting thing a first love does is moulds your perception of what love is. At 30 years old, I still can’t give you a clear and definitive answer if you asked me what love is. However, because of how explosive my first love was, I expected subsequent loves to feel like that as well. And perhaps that’s the very reason that they weren’t. My roll dog Ezimma better explains it here; 

I think love after your first can be ‘greater’ or as explosive. But maybe we’re unable to realise it because we become accustomed to the feelings…Also, I know people whose relationships have become more explosive as they’ve aged and developed a deeper, clearer understanding of what love actually is.”

So as baby girl said, when you’re able to let go of the fuzzy feelings and develop a clearer understanding of what love is, I think you can begin to grow beyond your first love. Because the first essay you write probably isn’t your best essay. And the first painting you draw probably isn’t a masterpiece. And the first time you rode a bike you probably busted your ass.

From my first love until now, I can say that I now believe that love is about freedomand coexisting in one another’s world without demanding anything from them. Love is about an ongoing exchange and appreciating the magic that happens in between.

With that being said, your perception of love will evolve over time, leaving room for it to be far better than the first.

Pain Changes the Way You Love 

Unless you went on to marry your first love, you probably experienced your first heartbreak when it ended. And that pain changes the way you love. Moving forward, the mark where you heart was burned serves as a constant reminder of love’s first sting. You marvel at it wondering how you were able to survive it and so many loves after. 

I think the heartbreak that ensued after my first love has changed the way that I love in the sense that I have a more practical approach to it now. I no longer write love poems in the middle of the day and find myself ready to explode as a result of the butterflies in my belly. My first love made me feel as though that love was the only thing that could make me happy and make me feel alive. Now, I understand that love isn’t about placing your happiness in someone else’s hands. So, I love with a mind of giving and limiting my expectations. 

As my soul sister Liz beautifully states; 

 “..No one can compare to the first love… Not because of the feelings they gave me, but because of the lessons they taught me.”

The pain and euphoria you experience in your first love teaches you lessons and in some ways, teaches you how to love as well. Ultimately, your first love sets the tone for any other love you’ll give. 

Conclusion 

I think the general consensus is that no love can compare to your first love, but your second or third is capable of superseding the first. 

Yes, I think I have grown in love more in every new relationship. I love my current girlfriend more than all my past girlfriends. I think the only time we still believe our previous love, or first love was better is when we haven’t or never healed from the break up.”

Appreciate the experience of loving for the first time and then frame it in your museum of memories. Admire it from a distance accepting that there’s no need to relive it. You’ve got a chance at experiencing something so much more dynamic. You’ve got an opportunity to write a new love poem. 

Let me know what you think about first love’s and whether any other love can compare by commenting below!

working mom motivational thoughts
Personal Development

How Working Moms Can Attain Financial Freedom

What is good my thug life butterflies! In between watching 90 Day Fiancé and marveling at the peculiar people on the show and their eccentric behavior. I’ve also been having a series of motivational thoughts as of late. After a long battle with depression, I finally feel like I’m coming out on the other side and am ready to evolve into the multicolored psychedelic bohemian butterfly that I am. As a new mother, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the many other mothers out there who may be stressed, frustrated, and overwhelmed on a daily basis. I speak to many often and realize that there are a few common complaints that most women who play these roles have. 

However, rather than complain about it, I’ve been exploring potential solutions. In all honesty, there are very few tangible solutions, but the most functional one inspired the title of this article. On that note, I decided to write an article about why every mom needs financial freedom. 

Realize That it’s Something You Need 

If you want to live life on your own terms, you’ve got to be financially free. The only exception to this rule is the monks, priests, and nuns so if you don’t fit into that category, I suggest you continue reading. If you don’t believe that you need financial freedom, I’ve got a few fun facts that might interest you. For one, you probably already know that women are more vulnerable to poverty than men are and in this context, factors such as earnings, pension income, social security, and benefits are used to measure poverty.

  • Over half of all poor children (56.2 percent) lived in families headed by women.
  • More than one in eight women, more than 16.9 million, lived in poverty in 2015

Since I took a module on poverty and development back in my undergrad days, I was able to learn that poverty is a complex matter and is measured in different ways. However, I’m sticking with the UN poverty line which is $1.90/day.

We also know that statistics aren’t absolute as it’s dependent on your sample size, the accuracy of the data collected and also differences in cultures. Whatever the case, it’s safe to say that as a woman, you’re already more likely to be poor, so one of the only ways to beat that statistic is to be financially free. 

Stop Moaning and Start Planning 

One of the first enemies of progress to mothers all over the world is the moaning.  On that note, one of the first ways to attain financial freedom as a mother is to stop moaning, embrace motivational thoughts and start planning instead. I speak to so many moms on a daily basis who complain about not having enough time to spend with their kids, being overwhelmed by daily responsibilities, and not having enough money. It is also key that as a woman that you realize that whether you’re single or married it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to be in control of your finances!

Seeing as at least half marriages end in divorce anyway, you want to be sure that it doesn’t take that scenario to make you start effectively managing your finances. Don’t be one of those women whose attitudes towards finance are still stuck in the patriarchal past which means ‘investment’ is probably a dirty word to you and you’ve never thought that creating a five year financial plan had anything to do with you as a woman.

You should know that it has everything to do with you and your wellbeing. Learning about and developing financial skills is also something that you need as a parent as it’s a key skill that your kids need. You owe it to the little ones to teach them how not to live a broke life. Some elements to think about including in your plan are; 

  • saving for retirement 
  • passive income 
  • children’s savings 
  • assets 
  • investments 

Educate Yourself 

Once you’ve come up with a plan or while you’re planning, education is key. You’d be surprised at how much financial information and help that you’ll find if you just look for it. Schools don’t want us to be great, so they don’t teach us financial management as a life skill. And for that reason, you’ve got to help ya damn self babygirl. Some resources I’m currently using to learn boutmy finances are; 

There are so many more, so it’s left to you to do your research and find which ones break all the jargon down for you best. When you begin educating yourself, you’ll have more motivational thoughts as well as tools to keep you going. Also, try creating a vision board and hanging inspirational canvases on the wall.

Dream a Little 

Before you can actually make financial freedom your reality, you’ve got to know why you want it. I for one, want it as a mother so that I have more time to spend with my son without life’s worries hanging over my head.It is so important to me that I’m able to wake up on a Monday morning and finger paint without worrying about a pressing deadline or starving if I miss out on a day’s work.

It is also key that he has options and is able to go to ivy league schools if he wants to, take a year out to travel if wanderlust kisses him, or start a business if that’s the direction his heart pulls him in. For me as a mother, financial freedom is about creating options for my family and I. Options that the broke community just doesn’t have.  

Having said that, think about how money could work for you and make your life easier as a mother and as a woman. What are your dreams and aspirations outside of being a mother and/or partner? Think about what your values and desires are and how money could help you satisfy them. Once you’ve been able to do this, it’s time to gather your motivational thoughts and devise an action plan.

What are your financial goals as a super butterfly mom? Share them with me and lets discuss ways we can make it happen below! 

Darkness depression
Lifestyle

How I went From Depressive to Suicidal

 

The only other time I woke up so hysterically was when I woke up alone after they vacuumed my deceased baby out of my womb. The startling realization that there was nobody to hold my hand when I woke up drove me into hysteria. It was either that or trying to process that my womb, had for the first time, become a grave.

This time around, when I woke up, I was surrounded by people and this made me even more hysterical than when I was alone the first time. I didn’t want my hand held and I didn’t want to be alive. I wasn’t pretending to try and kill myself, I wanted to die and I didn’t. I had never felt such devastation.

It was another lifeless morning that began with cheap alcohol. A mixture of gospel music, Lauryn Hill, and vacuous thoughts perpetuated both excruciating episodes of pain and moments of deafening numbness. That morning I thought about how to make the pain stop. The only resolve I could think of was suicide. I had tried everything else and nothing worked. I tried adventures. I wrote depression poems. I tried losing myself in purpose. I tried to fall in love. I tried to give love. I searched for God. I tried to grieve all of the death out of my body. I tried optimism and feel good quotes. Nothing worked.

My phone had been switched off for two days. Likewise, I missed work two days in a row which was unlike me. For two days I cried myself to sleep and cried myself awake. I couldn’t get out of bed unless it was to drag my corpse of a body to buy more alcohol to numb the pain. I knew booze elucidated the pain, but I needed so badly to feel something; anything. I felt betrayed by life every time my eyes opened. Betrayed by the sun for having the audacity to shine when there was so much darkness inside of me.

Around 5PM I heard banging at my door. It was my colleagues from work. Nobody knew where I lived aside from one girl who dropped me home once. I had joked a few weeks earlier in the office that if nobody heard from me in over 24 hours they should come find me since I lived alone in Nigeria. I guess they took it quite seriously.

I panicked. The thought of having to explain to them that I was broken and didn’t know how to fix myself was overbearing. Having to open the door and try and explain that I had prayed, forgiven, sought, laughed, explored, aspired and done everything I could think of yet still couldn’t escape the darkness that overtook me every morning was too frightening. How could I explain that I had given up? That I couldn’t get out of bed? That I couldn’t stop crying and I no longer understood why?

When night fell I heard them contemplating breaking the door down because they realized I was home due to me leaving the key on the inside of the door. They couldn’t see me this vulnerable and I didn’t want them trying to fix me. I made an impulsive decision in wake of this.

I crawled on the floor intoxicated and broken in every sense of the word, got an empty bottle, and filled it with bleach and toilet bowl cleaner. I asked myself if this was really it for the last time before I drank the chemicals gulp by gulp trying my best to finish everything. I wanted to make sure there was no possibility of me waking up. I also hoped they wouldn’t find me in time, that they wouldn’t be able to break in until the chemicals digested properly. I read over my depression poems and wrote farewell notes to my friends and family.

It burnt my insides, but It didn’t burn as much as the pain and emptiness I felt. Over the years, I had learnt how to hold my own hand. I cradled my naked body in my arms, held my lifeless hand and felt myself drift away.  As I faded in and out of consciousness, I felt a peace that I hadn’t felt in years.

Drowsy and half conscious, I heard one of my colleagues shout frantically ‘what have you done Elizabeth!’ They clothed my body, carried me to the car, and rushed to find the nearest hospital. I can’t recall most of what was being said on the way to the hospital.I just hoped I wouldn’t make it.

The next time I woke up I was in a hospital bed weeping and saying that I didn’t want to be alive. While injecting me, the nurse said ‘Elizabethit’s not your time to die yet’. I was so disappointed. They revived my body but they hadn’t managed to revive my broken spirit.

My family and friends were in shock. I was mostly happy, I was making progress in building my life and I was always strong and positive. They didn’t understand it, and I never explained it. I hated the attention that followed. Couldn’t stand the pity and didn’t want the counselling. I considered the anti-depressants. But I never ended up taking them.

In retrospect, I didn’t realize how depressed I was until I realized I was ready to die. Until I had isolated myself and created a religion out of my depression. Until darkness was more comforting than light for me. Until loneliness was my safe place, I hadn’t realized that I had already died and mourned alone at my funeral many times over.

Depression for me was about the juxtaposition of feeling so numb that it hurt. I had been struggling with it for years, but I didn’t realise. I thought I was perpetually sad because I was a poet or perhaps because I felt too deeply. It wasn’t about a single event that had caused despair. The source of my depression was that I had baptized myself in a doctrine whose focal point was pessimism and I just didn’t believe life could get any better. It was one event after the other. Miscarriage, rejection, neglect, heartbreak, and so it seemed to continue.

I don’t have a ‘Thank God I made it out alive’ story per say. For a long time after it happened I didn’t feel grateful to be alive. Life was mechanical and I was numb. I didn’t talk about the incident and when I thought about it, I felt nothing. Some days I thought about doing it again. But somehow with time and a miracle I got better. I started feeling something. I started believing in something. And living wasn’t so exhausting. I painted more butterflies. Visited more nature reserves. Finished publishing my book. Church helped as well. It gave me a reason. Even though my broken relationship with church and religion still has a long way to go, I decided to try again, one day at a time, and I believe faith is helping me heal.

This post isn’t really for people who say suicide is selfish or depression is a mood swing. It is for those who still have humanity lurking on the inside. For the empathetic. For those who do not understand but sympathise. Sharing this experience that I myself still can’t fully assimilate is to help those who are emotionally deteriorating and don’t know what to do. It’s for those who feel they’ve exhausted all of their options and don’t want to try anymore. It isn’t for the critical because criticism often lacks compassion. It’s for those who can’t talk because talking makes them feel even more isolated. Those who can’t see or feel hope because they’re blinded by the comfort of their own darkness. This post is for those who are woken up in the middle of the night by anxiety and those drowning in despair.

We should always remember that there are weak people in this world and there are also strong people. Sometimes the weak become strong, and sometimes the strong become weak. It isn’t our responsibility to criticize the weak. It is our responsibility to help them until they can become strong again, even if you don’t understand their weakness.

Religion has no refuge

Hope has no home

Tears no longer provide comfort

The remnants of my heart break alone.

Healing has no power

Mercy has no hand

Death has no revival

Justice has no stand.

Sleep offers no escape

For in stillness I dream

Of a reality that has no pulse when I’m awake

For withered leaves that will never again be green.

The queen is broken on her throne

The end of agony is unknown

Life is a journey paved with thorns

At conception both life and pain are born.

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