Changing Lives

Posted on Thursday, November 18th, 2010 at 12:14 PM

By Glory Edozien

The trick to life is to learn to LIVE with the cards you are dealt

(Glory Edozien 2010).

I am not much of a card player. As a matter of  fact, I can hardly shuffle a deck of cards without the whole pack collapsing  and falling to the floor. But I think there is something to be said about card games and the way they mirror life. The way each player comes to the table and are randomly given a set of cards they didn’t pick themselves and have no way of knowing which card they’ll be dealt next. The skillful players are able to turn the most insignificant card hands into a winning game while unskilled players like myself remain clueless even with the best of hands!

This is very much like life itself. We really have no way of knowing what will happen tomorrow, yet alone within the next 3 seconds! But like card players we must learn to play with the cards life has dealt us and move on. Of course this is much easier said than done. How do you tell someone who has just lost their only means of livelihood that they should “deal with it on move on”! But in realistic terms this is the only way to keep living.

I recently had a chat with a lady who frequently visits my office. She is in her mid to late fifties and has never been married, has no child and is currently undergoing menopause. She has no formal education  but was a secretary for an oil servicing company a few years ago but sadly lost her job and has been unable to reenter the job market since. She told me of how people who live in her compound carry rumors about her, calling her a witch and how she feels like life has dealt her an unfair package. Aside from her redundancy package which she had wisely put in the bank, she really had nothing more. She also confided in me that she dreads leaving her house most days and prefers to spend her days locked indoors.

I sat and listened to her tale and my heart sank. Looking at her, anyone could see she was broken inside. She was afraid to carry on living because to her she had nothing left to live for. No husband, no child, no job…nothing! Her shoulders were slumped and her eyes told of a deep sadness that even money could not brighten. For several minutes ,I looked at her not knowing what to say. What could I possibly tell this woman that would give her some hope of a better tomorrow? For me it made absolutely no sense to just give her cash. She needed something more than a hand out. After what seemed like several minutes, I finally asked her “aunty, what do you really want to do with your life now”? She looked at me with an uncertain eye. So I asked her again, “Aunty if you could do anything with your life now what would it be”? She finally said she loved kids and she would love to be involved with children. So I told her why don’t you look for a job in a motherless babies’ home? Or set up a small day care centre with the money you have saved and start your life over again? She shook her head, “my dear, I am too old to start again”. My answer was a tad bit harsh but necessary. “Aunty, do you want to spend the rest of the years God will give you in your house feeling sorry for yourself or do you want to do something with your life”. The direct nature of my words stunned her but I didn’t think joining her pity party was going to be of any benefit to her. She needed someone to gear her spirit up and not someone to tell her “Eyahh, it is well” and dash her one thousand Naira! Unfortunately, Aunty is yet to take my advice, and instead prefers to come and sit around our office looking sad.

Now, please don’t get me wrong guys, far from me to be judgmental. But the truth is very few people walk into their dreams without fighting for it first. Sometimes life just has a way of taking the joy out of living but as long as you can still breathe you must be willing to get up and go the distance. I have learnt this harsh reality first hand. Years ago, I went through a really rough patch. I literally felt that my life had been turned upside down. I was so depressed I actually thought I had very little left to live for. But slowly and prayerfully, I started to think about the kind of life I wanted to live. That was when I discovered writing. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write for hours. For me writing became my tonic, it helped me to reconstruct my life and realign my priorities and goals. While I cannot categorically say that I am now living the life I want to live, I know without a shadow of doubt that I am well on my way there.

So this is the philosophy I have developed for facing life’s challenges. You must not only dream of the kind of life you want but you must get up and go get it. From personal experience and from the experience of those around me I have seen that in life there are two situations. The ones you cannot change and those that you can change. For those you cannot change, you must slowly and prayerfully come to terms with the situation and learn how to live around it. For those you can change, you must dig your feet in and fight tooth and nail to turn that situation around because nobody will do it for you. This to me is the trick to overcoming life’s challenges. May God grant us all the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can….and the wisdom to know the difference.

Photo Credit: Black Youth Project

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  • 35 Comments on “Changing Lives”

    Comments
    • shola Pacheco November 18, 2010 at 12:23 PM

      Sad story but great write-up glory, In life we are dealt cards and blows that often times we feel like quitting. From my own personal experience I have learnt that Situations You cannot change, leave to god but the ones you can change; work at it, keep fighting..Everyday takes u a step closer to your dreams.
      I have been told no too many times in my life but I persisted and 98% of them No’s have become yeses.

      My philosophy is; Hope is the last thing to die, dream it. let the world call you crazy and unrealistic but make sure your revenge is not in words but in achievements. as for the lady in question God will always stand by you when folks walk out. Pls and Pls ignore them nay sayers. the same tongues with which they said the king looks unfit for the crown, its with such mouths they eat at the kings banquet and praising him at his great choice of a cook…

    • kehnie November 18, 2010 at 12:27 PM

      Oooooooooooh,Thank you for this inspiring story.

    • C November 18, 2010 at 12:50 PM

      Two thumbs up. God bless you for this.

    • mariaah November 18, 2010 at 12:59 PM

      Glory I must say, this write up is really inspiring. I am currently going through my fair dose of “turbulent times” but God dey!!
      I will use explore every possible options and even if my options are all used up, RECYCLE it is…

      • jennietobbie November 19, 2010 at 7:48 PM

        amen and best of luck to you

    • Lady Jaye November 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

      Yayyyyy! Thanks Glory!

    • lols November 18, 2010 at 1:01 PM

      Totally agree,situations we face each day have been pre-determined and everyone can be an overcomer if they believe.I would say I have learnt to move on from things I cannot change and don’t waste time worrying or crying over spilt milk…I guess some people find assurance or comfort in people joining their self pity party as they feel they understand and can relate with them….Also to think of it not everyone have the strength to move on, do they actually want to move on is the question?.Embracing change determines how people would deal with the unexpected and I believe not to feel comfy on one spot,we don’t know tomorrow…….

    • Shei November 18, 2010 at 1:02 PM

      Thank you very much for these words gloria… i have tears in my eyes as i type. i want to tell you that you have touched the life of a sister far away in malaysia who thinks all has been lost… you have blessed me with this words today!
      I AM GOING TO SHAKE THE DUST OFF MY SHOULDER, STAND UP AND WALK AGAIN!

      • Buki November 18, 2010 at 2:23 PM

        Shei,
        You took the words right out of my mouth, deeply touching and inspiring ‘very few people walk into their dreams without fighting for it first’ – I’l keep that in mind forever- whatever you do, all the best.

    • Ms. Jayee November 18, 2010 at 2:20 PM

      hmmm…Well sad my dear..well said. God help us all!

    • Oto November 18, 2010 at 2:21 PM

      Inspiring and straight to the point: we can all change and make the best of adverse situations starting from where we are and using what we have.

    • Ifeoma-adiagwuagwu November 18, 2010 at 2:47 PM

      Your article: Inspiring and refreshing. May God bless you real good; Gloria, in Jesus mighty name I pray Amen. In all sincerityl

      • jennietobbie November 19, 2010 at 7:56 PM

        I second that with a resounding 100% AMEN!!!!

    • Ifeoma-adiagwuagwu November 18, 2010 at 2:48 PM

      Sorry; Glory. My mistake :)

    • Temiloluwa Adebayo November 18, 2010 at 3:05 PM

      Great message Glory!

      In life, the default mode of most people is to sit down and mope when things are not going well. In takes an extra surge of hope and faith to make people get up and get going. I really do pray for the woman and others in similar positions that they find their lost hope once again.

      http://temiville.wordpress.com/

    • misslee November 18, 2010 at 3:20 PM

      wonderful write up.this has made my day.it is sad tto see the extent to which people allow failure to steal thier joy and dreams.life is a battle thanks for reviving my spirit.

    • Ewa November 18, 2010 at 3:31 PM

      word

    • wealthy one November 18, 2010 at 3:55 PM

      really nice write up< as for marriage there are loads of widowers, divorced good men, she might need to join a social group, make new friends, or check this site, for update on marriage seminars, have heard and met 40's ladies, even older get married just by this teaching, me myself my friends went for the seminar, is very straight forward or is for all ages, people who wish to learn the secret of marriage, how to get the right spouse, should check this site, click on counseling, send an email, then you will get a reply, the office is in Lekki phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria. http://www.singlesandmarried.org. amazing testimonies, that you will achieve on your own, just knowledge, is like a class, then the open big seminar's takes place at MUSON CENTRE, ONIKAN, the counseling is private and very enlightening and Godly, no stories, no diabolic stuff, just teachings, that will blow your mind. cheers, is not a church too. he travels round the world, he was in the UK recently, at the EXPO center.

    • lioness November 18, 2010 at 4:01 PM

      Swimming against d tide is immensely tiring especially when that first dose of adrenaline (that initial “I-can-do-all-things attitude”) subsides. Your muscles are weak & you tend to go limp inside…its exhausting & altogether painful! Especially when you keep hitting the same brick wall. My mantra has always been “it only makes the biography a lot more colorful!!!” Who wants to read a book detailing success with no challenges & pitfalls? “He came, He saw, He CONQUERED!” not “He came, He saw, He enjoyed!” For me its choosing to love me, love me enough not to shortchange myself; whatever the case may be. We are all meant to model life for the next generation & we all know their challenges will outrank ours in the zillionth! I choose to be happy, I choose to be all that I can be (or at least explore the possibility), I choose to live & not merely exist.

      Plus, No man is an island. Even though you fight your battles alone (be it prayer, dogged attitude of “I CAN” i.e getting your internals right so as to welcome the externals you crave), surrounding self with people that attune your internals by watering your shriveled roots is VERY important in the elevation process.

      Thank you Miss Edozien, your sincerity is what make your write-ups an envelope of healing. God bless you girl! May u be watered also as you continue to water.

    • Sandra November 18, 2010 at 4:08 PM

      good write welldone Glory u have inspired alot of downcasted God Bless u

    • lioness November 18, 2010 at 4:19 PM

      Swimming against d tide is immensely tiring especially when that first dose of adrenaline (that initial “I-can-do-all-things attitude”) subsides. Your muscles are weak & you tend to go limp inside…its exhausting & altogether painful! Especially when you keep hitting the same brick wall. My mantra has always been “it only makes the biography a lot more colorful!!!” Who wants to read a book detailing success with no challenges & pitfalls? “He came, He saw, He CONQUERED!” not “He came, He saw, He enjoyed!” For me its choosing to love me, love me enough not to shortchange myself; whatever the case may be. We are all meant to model life for the next generation & we all know their challenges will outrank ours in the zillionth! I choose to be happy, I choose to be all that I can be (or at least explore the possibility), I choose to live & not merely exist.

      Plus, No man is an island. Even though you fight your battles alone (be it prayer, dogged attitude of “I CAN” i.e getting your internals right so as to welcome the externals you crave), surrounding self with people that attune your internals by watering your shriveled roots is VERY important in the elevation process.

      Thank you Miss Edozien, your sincerity is what makes your write-ups an envelope of healing. God bless you girl! May u be watered also as you continue to water.

    • bcgeorge November 18, 2010 at 4:29 PM

      God bless you for this, there’s no need over-flogging the issue. Welldone

    • Molicious November 18, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      Very nice write up, we all struggle in life and believe it or not, no one has it easier than the next even though it looks like some do. What I found to help is writing down visions and dreams and inspiration and jokes, mistakes and experiences; writing these things have kept me on track and accountable to myself and to God. Life is difficult and we’re so over stimulated by things around us it’s easy to get off the track. But imagine cleaning the house and finding a note to yourself about something you wanted to do, it goes a long way in reminding you who you want to be and where you’re trying to go. It even goes further to remind of things you wanted and helps you think of whether you still want those things or perhaps you even have those things and have just lost sight of those wants, we forget so easily so writing it down or telling someone you know will remind you and someone who’s advice you’ll yield goes a long way in helping us LIVE. Habakkuk 2:2 – 3

    • winneR November 18, 2010 at 5:03 PM

      Thanks Glory!
      I’m lucky & have got a whole lot goin 4 me now,but i want so much more. Not cos i’m greedy,but cos i believe God is ever capable of providing more & more favours & blessings & feel i must avail myself d pleasure of tapping whole heartedly into His infinite reservoir so as not 2 shortchange myself.
      It hadn’t always bin dis rosy & not 2 long ago i remb always askin myself “why me?” wen d struggle seemed endless,but wen i got over my pity party,i told myself dat God wud neva give me more than i can handle & dat He must tink very highly of me 2 give me such challenges.
      4 evry1 who’s down in d dumps,kip ur head up,life does get beta,jus b expectant not anxious,prayerful not pensive,optimistic not pessimistic,but do b e realist & discern fact from fiction.

    • atiya November 18, 2010 at 7:09 PM

      “May God grant us all the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can….and the wisdom to know the difference.”
      Glory you said it all, one has to know what he want and do is chores, for nobody will do it for her/him!

    • myne Whitman November 18, 2010 at 8:35 PM

      “Aunty, do you want to spend the rest of the years God will give you in your house feeling sorry for yourself or do you want to do something with your life”

      So direct and yet so true! Thanks for sharing this Glory.

    • fokasibe November 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

      Too true!

    • jennietobbie November 19, 2010 at 8:05 PM

      I feel like I own this website. I want to save all the blogs and post with every comment ever made here……since bellanaija’s birthday. This is the only website that cheers me up from Nigeria. I know things are not so fly back home, but a little inspiration and dazzling intelligence speak volume.

      Wow wow wow…..every weekend, I am here; every weekend I learn something new; and every weekend I see myself changing to be a better person and doing the unthinkable”

      Bellanaija team….I owe you all a fabulous vacation, wherever on planet earth, in 2014.

      I mean it.!!!!

    • Femi November 19, 2010 at 9:10 PM

      Great sob story.

    • kumzy November 19, 2010 at 11:15 PM

      Love u Glory Edozien…always look forward to ur write-ups. they’re always stimulating whether I agree with them or not and this one..I def agree and I will add that when you have God, you don’t have to do it on your own….He gives you the strength and perseverance and gives you hope.

    • Femi November 20, 2010 at 1:05 PM

      Am a bit too cynical to accept this stock, lock & barrel.

    • Smarty November 22, 2010 at 2:48 PM

      There is no greater death than the death of HOPE. Keep thy hope alive!

    • pearl November 24, 2010 at 2:13 AM

      Thanks for sharing this. As an individual going thru a lot right now, i guess i needed something like this to lift my spirit, knowing its just a stage in our lives every indiviual has to go thru, it just depends on how we handle the situation. Its well i guess. the bible said trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. with prayers and trust in God he is able to see us thru jare. it is well in Jesus name.

    • tia December 17, 2010 at 10:55 AM

      Lovely
      very inspirational,

      thank you

    • anita June 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      glory, sweetheart i dont know where to start from i really hope u get this cos dis is an old post (i love ur article so much am actually digging up everything u’ve writting and reading them over again… u inspire me). okay so am going tru crazy shit in my life right now and it looks bad ( am a working class chick n all i can truely afford for lunch is garri & groundnut n dats wat am sipping wit little tears in my eyes wen i stumbled on this article)
      av made up my mind to stop complaining but rather do my best with everything at my disposal to suceed and yes am sure i will .. thanks 4 dis article i hope to meet u in person n buy u a very expensive lunch one day LOL, God bless… shd i post this… well yeah…. thanks