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Susan J-Enyenihi: Listening to The Wise Old Woman Within Me



Everything seems bleak. In a flash, everything seems unreal. My mug of coffee tastes like a mixture of herbs poorly mixed together.
All I can do is stare at the e-mail well written to convey its sorrow.

I lost it. I lost another business pitch.

My belly aches. My head is spinning like a carousel. My mind is a beehive of activities. All of a sudden, my eyes can detect picture pixels. I can hear everything at once and surprisingly clearly too. I hear my watch ticking fast to beckon the end of another business day. Even though, my time piece says it is noon.
I can smell everything, yet I can’t put my thoughts together. I would think I was used to failing, picking myself up again and starting the next new thing. But no, failure still felt the same, especially when I felt so close to winning.

One. Two. I blink. No tears.
The wise old woman says, ‘Good girl, you are getting stronger’.

I hush her.

‘It is a bad thing to fail. Even worse, to get used to losing’.
‘Keep quiet, I need to be alone. I can’t feel me. I am not sure I can put myself together. I will take a rain check’.

She smiles.
‘I know how you feel but we can’t lose the next fight’. She continues.
‘True. Let me sulk for a while’.
‘Don’t stay there for too long’. She says on her way out.

Nobody likes failure. It is heart breaking when you have worked so hard for something and have nothing to show for it. It could be a relationship, a business deal or something else.

Failure has a way of gripping its claws tight and reducing one to nothing. Sometimes it makes you feel like you have lost your essence. Life loses its meaning for hours, days, months and maybe just maybe years. Yet, there is no better choice than to pick yourself up and move on to the next one!. Note your mistakes, recount your losses and go back to the drawing board. Oh, do not forget to also count your blessings. Trust me, it helps and yes, if you think deep enough, there are some gifts you should be grateful for.

‘Do not stay there for too long’ means to have a very short period to sulk. It is ok to cry when you feel hurt, let it all out. But it doesn’t mean that you have to go on a crying mission and eventually sink into a state of unending despair.

I like to think that every man has a wise being living in him. My A.K.A for our inner man. The one that speaks to us in time of despair and in time of victory. The wise old one that sees everything while seating down.
The language your inner man speaks is dependent on what you feed him and the crowd you associate with.

Over the years, I have learnt to feed my inner man with inspirational stories, jokes, good music, scriptures and many good good things I can find. Suffice to say, I am fortunate to have a close circle of few and wonderful friends who always have kind words to say, when I am down and out.

You must always feed your inner man, consciously or unconsciously. A wise quote says, ‘old wine tastes better with age’. I say ‘my wise old woman gets better with nurturing’.

Life has taught me to live by the following rules, some of which have been said, a zillion times:
-Work Hard.
-Don’t be too hard on yourself.
-Celebrate every victory, even the small ones.
-Do not take everything to heart.
-Sulk when you lose. Do not stay there for too long.
-Let loose the kid in you, sometimes.
-Leave (when it’s time to) and Live (You only live once).
-Be happy. Stay happy. Do not put your happiness in somebody’s hands, they will drop it every time .

‘Are you ready?’ She questions softly.
‘Bring it on’. I am winning this one’, I mutter with a grin on my face.
‘Aha! Good to have you back’.
‘Thank you’
‘You are a strong woman. I will pick you up whenever you fall’. She says.

Whatever dirt life throws at you, pick yourself up and move on to the next one. I am not a motivational speaker but I do know that when shit happens; please flush the toilet, wash your hands and leave the stench behind.
Breathe. Relax. Eat. Pray. Take a walk. Call a close someone. Do all or anyone. Just don’t give up, that sore moment will surely pass.
So how do you deal with losing? Will love to hear from you.

P.s. Weeks later, after days of voracious preparations, taking confidence pills and sky-driving for ideas, I won a new business pitch. Cheers to the wise old woman in me!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Paul Hakimata

Susan Johnson-Enyenihi is a marketing communications professional. Call her,a self-proclaimed shoe addict and a happiness enthusiast. She believes in ‘doing the do’ and ‘living life’.


  1. Gertz

    June 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I love the message(well received), i love the delivery(subtle and precise creativity), i love the wise old woman(nurturing in progress…totally intune with her), and I love the author! lovely read.

    • Susan Johnson-Enyenihi

      June 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you.*e-hugs*

  2. Suwa

    June 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    My inner man is not that strong… anyway, nice article.

    • Susan Johnson-Enyenihi

      June 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Not to worry. It takes grooming. Permit yourself to fall short sometimes.

  3. Helen

    June 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I try to distract myself, so that my thinking will not focus on the loosing. Is either i visit an old friend or i can share it with my family. Problem shared is problem solved, period.

  4. Ope

    June 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    When I am down about something, my remedy is to go and watch a comedy show online. So I laugh hard then I cry then I pray n cry and then I start over again. starting over again may seem difficult but I like to look forward to things working out i guess I must be a glass half full sort off person

  5. 'debs

    June 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    lovely post! I can relate with the message very well….. it’s not like I love to keep things to myself but I do not have people I can discuss my disappointments with. That said, I tend not to sulk when disappointed. I just find ways to distract myself by listening to music and playing lots of games because I know everything will be good eventually. 🙂

  6. awesu jomo

    June 12, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Our ways of handling failures sometimes is often played out by how well we were groomed as children to handle them(failures)…some were often times tongue lashed for failing while others were nurtured to take a shot at greatness once again…..#deeply inspired#

    • Susan Johnson-Enyenihi

      June 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      I agree. Growing up, my mom taught my siblings and I, the strategy to succeed after failing school tests, as far back as primary school!. It was tasking at the time but now I look back, I am forever grateful.

  7. oy

    June 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    message well received. many thanks

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