Being Human with Busola is a monthly series that attempts at dissecting the hard questions we all have about life. On this journey, we would deepen our understanding about emotions, fear, love, happiness, choices… the things that matter! Busola is many things: a clinical researcher by day, a writer by night, a singer, everyday! She is a thinker, a seer, a feeler. A gypsy at heart, but a lover of truth, beauty, and wisdom. While she doesn’t see herself better than anybody else, she realises she is a unique piece in this beautiful picture of life. She just wants to paint beautiful pictures.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think… When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” ― Stephen King
It’s been more than a year since my first article on BellaNaija, and to be honest I have not planned my life to go this way. Needless to say, I was amazed when the editor suggested I did a regular column on BN. I mean, I loved books as a form of escapism from reality but I detested the vulnerable part of telling my own story. Don’t we all? But, you see… there is a special kind of healing you find in writing and telling your story. It was just the other day, I was drenched in tears when I made a decision shock myself! I would start writing again, I thought to myself. It was frightening because I didn’t want fame, it was freedom because I needed to live. It was like gasping for oxygen to breathe, I just WANTED OUT! I wanted out of preconceived ideas, and opinions of me, I wanted out of boxes, I wanted out of playing victim, I wanted my power back!
Real life experiences I have seen, can obscure logical reasoning. We lose ourselves in temporary moments of pain, hurt and disappointment and the first thing your brain suggests is ‘I am alone’. Wrong! Everybody struggles… we are just very good actors so nobody notices it. So what does it mean to be HUMAN?
Our experience of being human is a dichotomy that is either exciting or stressful, fun or depressing, but most often it’s simply confusing. How can we make sense of our world with all its pain and suffering, its delights and disappointments?
Being human is in the ability to feel because feelings are universal and the basis of our connection but we stifle our emotions… especially the unpleasant ones. I struggled too, it was passive aggression. Inability to be assertive because… fear? To be honest, I really can’t explain how it started but I have come to see that partial honesty is dishonesty, and honesty with others begins with honesty with self. Now I know that unprocessed emotions will show up time and time again in a thousand different ways. You either acknowledge it, or you keep running for the rest of your life. The former seem lest exhausting.
To be human is Cause and Effect because life experiences shapes how we think and what we see in the world around us. It is not so much of what is right or wrong but more of, what happened to you? But the question ‘what happened to you’ itself is a weighty one because vulnerability is excruciating… if not borderline dangerous. Think of it as being naked, and to stand naked in front of another person is associated with ‘risky behaviour’. Suffice to say it is understandable, that many people avoid being vulnerable. However, acceptance and belonging cannot occur without significant vulnerability. Why? Because you cannot understand someone until you understand where they have been. Be transparent!
To be human is freedom of choice… My life, my rules! But you should know that there is no such thing as true freedom which takes us back to cause and effect. Absent fathers and mothers produce already broken children who are forced to deal with the effect of their childhood in intimate relationships. And Rape? Gives birth to rage… Still on choices – boy meets girl, girl meets boy… boy likes girl… girl likes boy… boy sees someone better… boy leaves girl… It could also be reverse but you do get my point, don’t you? Sadly, too many of these stories abound. Do we ever stop to think of how trauma changes people? You cannot argue freedom of choice where lives are on the line. Sadly, most people are too self-absorbed to see that you can kill someone without using a knife. Now, ask yourself… How many people have I murdered?
To be human is to be thoroughly flawed. See, we don’t like to talk much about imperfections as it triggers the feelings of ‘not enough’ and to be honest, it is just easier to pretend they are non-existent. But who defines what ‘enough’ is anyway? And why do we fear that someone else is ‘more enough’ than we are? The issue with flaws is… they cannot hide for very long so it shows up in heated moments of conflict, outbursts of anger, rants of self-doubt and seasons of disappointment.
But what do I know? It all comes with the territory of being HUMAN. Love and Heartbreaks, Failure and Success, Loss and Grief, Pain and Regrets. Stories, no matter how badly written holds a lesson, and the lesson is not just for you but also for others.
Just the other day I was mentoring a young girl dealing with intense feelings of jealousy and I told her to focus on taking responsibility for herself. So what if another woman is throwing herself at someone you like? Fighting to earn him does not solve the problem, neither will constant rants of inadequacy. You need to be so rooted in your identity that you will not take someone else’s behaviour as the absolute truth of your person. Yes, these were my words, and I believed so much in them to the point that it shocked me. Indeed, I had changed! You see… I wasn’t always this girl, but when the wind of change blows, some people build walls, others build windmills.
Welcome to BEING HUMAN with BUSOLA.