Flight or Fight: Growing Through The Cracks

The way to get through life is to count your blessings but there are times  when you feel that there aren’t any to count. There are moments when you feel like your life is useless and you haven’t achieved anything that makes your life all a bit more meaningful. Have you ever felt like this? Well I know this has certainly been the case for me far too many times. There are days when I feel like I have nothing to be thankful or blessed about. Where is the blessing in losing loved ones? That’s right! There is no blessing in that-none whatsoever. Having these negative thoughts made me so bitter and pessimistic; to the point where I actually started  believing there was no hope left. “This isn’t the way to move forward”, I kept saying to myself once I came to the realisation that my emotions were getting the best of me. There is no way I can be negative and happy at the same time it’s one or the other, but certainly not both.

Granted, losing my parents was a painful and still is, however the experience was also a humbling experience. Their deaths changed my whole outlook on life; allowing me to truly realise what’s important: my friends, family, and my mental health. I have a tendency at times to ignore what’s going on in my head and keep telling myself that ‘I’m fine’. In actual truth I’m far from fine, I have my moments of sadness but I try not to let them consume me to the point they disturb my positive energy. Being positive isn’t about crying less or a guarantee there won’t be bad days, it’s more of a choice (emphasis on the word choice) to purposely grow through the cracks despite the hardship. I have personally made the choice to grow through my pain and be positive no matter how hard it is (and it will definitely be hard).

I see positivity as choice between fighting or flying. Both are a matter of acknowledging your negative emotions that has you torn on the inside.  When you choose to fly, you’re letting these feelings of pain and endless sadness consume you to the point where you don’t even attempt to address them. What you’re essentially doing is letting these feelings ‘fly away’, instead of fighting the good fight. Choosing to fight is simply about confronting these emotions and controlling them rather than letting them control you. It’s an active choice to find ways to positively overcome these negative thoughts.This is all easier said than done, because I’ve been through times where I’ve let my emotions ‘fly away’ or get the better of me. The feeling of defeat and loneliness  led me to think life was no longer worth living. I felt like a massive failure, I didn’t want to push through the cracks (hardship) or even be positive as I didn’t see the point. The pain felt so deep that I didn’t see any way of overcoming it. In these moments I felt like giving up on everything.

 

It isn’t always easy to fight and combat negative emotions but a part of me knew that fighting them (mentally) was the right thing to do. I’m trying to live positively and choose to not live in a perpetual state of mourning. I want to grow through the pain,the sadness, and the hardship.I can’t change or erase my experiences as much as they have affected me, but I choose to live implicitly without fear.

Jermaine Omoregie. 21.09.16

 

 

 

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“Pain Is My Microphone”

Dad is gone, Mum is gone,and Grandad is also gone. How many losses can one take until they reach breaking point? I ask myself this question all the time and wonder whether this is all a test from God. I’m convinced that it is, that is the only sane and somewhat logical explanation I can attribute to all this bereavement. I have been hit so hard with the death (consecutively) of my Mum and Dad that I can’t weep anymore for anyone else as there is only so much loss I can take.

‘I am doing fine’ is often the blanket response I deploy when people, who have heard what I’ve been through, ask me how I am or how I am coping with it all. There are days where I don’t feel like being expressive about my true feelings, so on those days that response just prevents me from engaging in a heart-to-heart conversation. I am not always like this, I just have my days when the pain just hits me harder so I don’t feel like talking to anyone. A lot of the time I’m told: “with time you will heal”. This is so generic and somewhat unnecessary at times. I almost hate hearing it now because it’s not true as I personally feel that you learn to adjust with time rather than heal. On the other hand some people say it because they don’t know what to say, which is understandable. I don’t lash out when people say this because it’s not easy trying to console someone who has been through ‘hell’ in such a short space of time.

There are days when my pain gets deeper, and days where I feel like it’s completely gone. I’m grateful for these days because it’s part of the grieving process. In a weird way I enjoy the pain because it urges me to use it for something positive. As, author and pastor, Levi Lusko put it: “Pain is my microphone”. I have been reading this book Through The Eyes Of A Lion,  which looks at how one man (Levi Lusko) deals with unexpected death of his (five year old) daughter, and the ways in which he uses the pain it brought to minister to the world and give encouragement.

I’m not a pastor nor am I trying to be, but I do feel that my pain can be used as a microphone to speak to those who are hurting, those who have nobody to turn to, and those who are suffering in silence. I want to grab this mic and speak loud, and just let it all out. It is easy to keep things in, but speaking about your deepest thoughts and telling the world about your pain is so hard. There have been times where I’ve felt like caging my feelings and shutting people out because loss of this magnitude is too much to bear.  I felt that telling people about my losses would make them feel sorry for me because it is so sad to lose your loved ones one after the other.

The past few months haven’t been easy and each day is a battle, but I have come to the realisation that I can’t control or stop God from taking loved ones away from me. I wish could so badly! The only thing I can do is control how I think and the energy I emit to the world. My pain will be constructive rather than destructive because I have this desire to use it to help others who have experienced my pain, or simply those who are suffering due to bad experiences which may not be from bereavement. I don’t know what lies ahead in the coming days,months or even years, but I’m trying to feed my mind with positive thoughts and believe that there is still hope for a brighter future amid all this darkness.

 

Jermaine Omoregie. 23.08.16.

 

Is Materialism The Route To Happiness?

“Money can’t buy you happiness” … “Well I would drown my sorrows in a Range RoverHaven’t we heard all that before? I’m not going to just spend the next 20-30 mins telling you that Money isn’t everything and how we as individuals shouldn’t admire nice things. If I did then I would be completely talking nonsense. I personally like nice things, there is something great about walking into the shop and trying on that really nice jacket that looks fantastic on you, even if its £100. Yeah that’s right! I do like to spend money on nice things even if they are a bit pricey, I don’t see a problem with that because I like what I am buying and know that I won’t return it anytime soon.

Okay I could waffle on about what I like to buy and all that jazz, but I will choose another day to bore you (ha ha  … I’m joking). As stated earlier: “Money can’t buy you Happiness”, which is true to an extent, but it depends on what you class as ‘Happiness’, so some might believe that it does. Others might think that such a statement is total rubbish. So you see it’s all about our individual perception. There are days I picture myself driving around London in a Lamborghini or going on a big shopping spree down Knightsbridge. For now such are wishful thoughts, but I do hope to someday. I don’t think it’s wrong for people to want nice things, the only problem that I have is when we start to allow these things to consume us, to the extent we value them more than others. I will be adopting the same train of thought similar to my last post (Diamonds and Gold), as there are some similar points that need to be addressed.

When I was younger (like 16 or 17 or so) I used to always get excited when it came to Birthdays and Christmas, all I was concerned about was what present I was going to get. Admittedly when I was younger I was quite spoilt and used to sulk a lot when I didn’t get what I wanted –life of typical brat ay!. There was one birthday in particular when I actually started to think different: On my 15th birthday I remember waking up that morning in high spirits, as anyone would be on their birthday. I was excited because I had got a Nintendo Gamecube, which at the time was newest console. Later on in the day a few friends came over and we were all taking turns to play, but I wasn’t happy even though I got what I wanted. My mum had travelled that day too, so I kind of felt upset after a while because I  felt that I didn’t really get to celebrate with her properly. At that time I didn’t fully understand why I was getting so upset, it’s not like she was travelling for months it was just a week holiday!

It was only until I got older I started to fully comprehend the reason for this sadness. Presents are nice and all but nothing beats time spent with loved ones and those you value highly. These days I’m more content with spending time with my pals and just having a good time. I feel that it’s a waste of time constantly being fixated on materialistic goods.  It’s perfectly okay to want a new pair of shoes or a nice bag from Zara. But why must these things consume us? It’s not quite easy to fathom, some of us just like good things. When you’re younger I guess it’s okay to love materialistic things, because you probably don’t know any better. But as you get older you really start to understand what’s important.

There was a point when I was completely obsessed with footwear. I would always want the latest trainers without fail- I had a sense of pride when I wore the newest pair of trainers in the shops. My friends always used to hail me for having such a neat footwear collection. I felt like the man! Now I hardly buy trainers, I’m not really fussed anymore, there are far more pressing matters on my mind.

How do you live your life? Do your materialistic possessions consume you? More importantly what’s your perspective on life? I want to travel around the world and learn about different cultures. I yearn one day to start a family of my own. The way I see life now is much more different, mental stimulation and growth are way more important to me than materialistic possessions.

Treat yourself to that bag you saw the other day in the shops, those pair of loafers you spotted when you were out and about in Oxford Circus. And once in a while buy something for your missus, brother, wife, husband and so on, they will appreciate the spontaneity.  Life will feel good when we buy things to create meaning and love, rather than constantly trying to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’.

Diamonds and Gold

gold-bar-diamonds“Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”... I remember hearing that line from a few movies that I have watched. I think one of them was Mean Girls (don’t judge me lol) but I can’t quite remember the other films I had heard it from. Never mind though, I am sure it will come back to me at some point. The people we call our ‘friends’, believe it or not have a way of shaping our lives – for better or for worse. I know it sounds a bit extreme putting it like that, but when you really think about it, it’s true to an extent. If we hang around the same type of people long enough eventually we start to be like them, behave like them and probably even start talking like them. As I said that could be a good thing if they motivate you and are genuinely good people. This is good, because it’s always a nice feeling knowing you have friends who have your best interest at heart and want to see you do well in life. Yeah this may sound so cliché, but there’s some truth in it right? This year so far has been a roller coaster for me, the death of my father – earlier on in the year – really hit me hard, but it was the company of my friends that helped me manage the pain.

Being amongst friends really helped take my mind off things and just numb the pain. The pain never goes away you just learn to manage it I guess. But my friends did make realise and reassured me that I had their support, they were very understanding. I appreciated this a lot because it was a difficult time for me yet they tried their best to be there for me, no matter how difficult it may have been. When you go through tough times in life it’s your friends – and family of course! – that get you through the hardship, in those times more than ever you just learn to value them even more. Do we always have to go through tough times to realise that we have great friends? No we don’t, we can also learn to appreciate our friends in times where we don’t have a care in the world or aren’t stressed with the dramas of life. The littlest of things can generally make you truly appreciate your friends. Anything from playing  Fifa 14 to sitting on the settee and having endless banter amongst ourselves about the hilariously funny performances on X-Factor, are enough to make me truly realise that I have great friends. Reason being; you can’t just have a few jokes and relax with anyone, the people you do that with are the people you respect and trust.

TRUST is very important and it is one of the many things that build strong friendships and easily break them too. Your ‘circle of friends’ are generally the people that are there for you,help you in times of struggle and help you regain your positive spark when lost. We as individuals also need to help our friends during their times of struggle and hardship. Friends are like DIAMONDS and GOLD, their precious, rare and (most times) hard to come by. I’m sounding cliché again aren’t I? Well I am sorry, I cant help it!, it’s the only analogy that I feel best describes the fundamentals of friendship. So be it! you going to have to just take my word for it. So if you know you have your DIAMONDS and GOLD, then great! I am genuinely pleased for you because it’s always a nice – great in fact! – feeling knowing that there are people you can put your complete trust in. If you don’t, this is also great! As you now have the opportunity to really evaluate who you call your ‘friends’.

You may be fond of these so called ‘friends’, may get along and sometimes generally have similar interests. In the grand scheme of things having ‘friends’ that you have a laugh with, is meaningless if they aren’t elevating, pushing or supporting you to be the best version of yourself. If you feel like that it’s okay! You just need to remember that there is nothing wrong with ‘cutting people off’, who do nothing for you. Yeah they may be upset, angry and grow some resentment towards you. At the end of the day that’s fine – and part of life. You cant be friends with everybody because not everyone is going to genuinely care about your goals or well-being enough to be deemed as a ‘true friend’. I can honestly say that I can count the amount of true friends that I have in my life on each finger on both hands. In my 23 years of life I have realised when it comes to friendships it’s always about quality and not quantity. It can be hard removing the people who you regard as clutter out of your life – I have done it myself over the years, but at times it is something that just has to be done.

As Greek Philosopher, Aristotle beautifully put it: “A friend to all is a friend to none”.

In my opinion that has to be one of the most self-explanatory and elegant quotes I have ever read. Today take a moment and just reflect and ask yourself these things when evaluating your ‘friends’:

What type of company do I keep?

Do they empower me?

Do they Support me?

Do they make me feel mentally enriched?

I have always been meditating on these questions and truly try to apply to my life and my friendships. It most certainly has worked because I don’t even think I would be writing this post with such optimism if it weren’t for my friends constantly believing in me and encouraging me to be the champion that I am … LOL what can I say I guess I just love myself too much (I’m just joking but I am sure you catch my drift)

When your done thinking about these questions and you say to yourself: “Yes they do!”, then continue to cherish and hold on to those DIAMONDS and GOLD you class as friends. If you answer is “No”, then take that step and choose to surround yourself with people who are going to help and make you become that wonderful person you were destined to be.

Inferiority Complex

boss

“What have I done now?” I remember saying to myself one day my manager calls me into his office. Day in Day out I always ensure I work hard to the best of my ability and most of all do what is expected of me. As the job mostly involves communicating and liaising with people, whether it be via telephone or in person, I always ensure I conduct myself in a professional manner, I am attentive and always polite when communicating. But somehow it’s as if what I do is never good enough for my manager. You know those people that never try and see the good in you? Well he’s exactly that! …Why do I feel like I am always being chastised and never praised?

Maybe he just has a big Ego?

He’s not happy with himself in life?

He suffers from an INFERIORITY COMPLEX?????

Bingo! This has to be it, I mean it makes sense. But Why? Let me tell you because it may not make much sense to you now why this can be the only reasonable explanation for his resentment towards me. He feels some sort of inadequacy about himself and as a way of trying to compensate for that he will always try and find fault in all that I do. Perhaps I have something he feels he lacks, even so that is that isn’t my problem- I cant be faulted for the way God made me (LOL).

For a while I started to feel so berated, low in self-worth and worse of all completely unfit for my job. But you know what there is no point wallowing in self-pity, with these situations I think it makes you realise why you always need to hold yourself in high regard- not in a narcissistic type of way- and believe that you are talented in more ways than you can imagine.

Why beat yourself up worrying about what people think about you let alone ONE person, that’s just giving yourself an unnecessary headache. This might be somewhat contradictory as you ideally want to make a good impression on your boss/manager or whoever it is you answer to at work. In the workplace you do tend to worry about the way you’re perceived because you just want create a good reputation for yourself and ultimately be regarded as a good employee. This is absolutely fine, but when you start demoralising yourself because someone has a ‘vendetta’ against you then you’re creating a problem for yourself.

It took me a while to understand that you never do yourself any good letting people or things get to you. You simply cant expect others to value you if you don’t value yourself. That should be like a CARDINAL RULE.

Don’t ever let people- especially your manager- make you feel that you’re worthless or ‘not good enough’ because they seem to have a ‘problem’ with the way you are. Just remember that it’s their problem to deal with and not yours. I’m no expert on human behavior, but I believe that people tend to make you feel inferior about yourself because they feel inferior about themselves. These people (like my manager) may have some sort of authority over you, so they often try and use that power to make you feel insecure about yourself. Well let it stop now! Once you know your worth you will learn to appreciate yourself more, I know I certainly have.