To Condom Or Not To Condom

With the rise of awareness to STD’s some are still wondering whether to wear condoms or not. In many of our countries, prostitutes who make love without condoms are paid double or triple the price of protected sex. It is true that money is scarce for the majority of africans, but wd u rather put your life at risk than be healthy and keep on providing for ur family. I remember those days when I was still studying in Paris and one of my friend who was a Medical Doctor got pregnant by accident! Shit does happen even to the more educated of us. Why? Just because African women r always afraid to say no to their men, fearing that he wd leave for another one. So be it Ladies! No one is worth your health and your life! And in the best scenario pregnancy is the best thing that could happen to you, compared to Aids. No be so? Whoever values and loves you MUST accept that you protect yourself. Recently reading statistics about aids propagation in Congo Brazzaville, I was shocked to find out that many faithful married women were condemned to death by their husbands! Chaley! Wetin I go do now sistah Naboulove? Well make sure you drag your man and yourself to HIV testing regularly. And the greatest tactic is to constantly remind him about the people in your entourage who either died of it -especially beautiful women- or are currently going through tri-therapy. And please talk to him about using condoms if he slips. Unlike what preachers of all sorts are claiming, aids is not a punishment from God but a fatality transmitted by careless individuals. A close friend of mine has been contaminated by her husband over 10 years ago and she never starts a relationship without informing her partner and protect him. So obviously you gathered the answer to my question so stay safe and turn your back to any individual that might put your life at stake for few minutes of pleasure.

Protect yourself
©Naboulove

Forgiveness is freedom

“Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. YOU are the one who gets burned.” Buddha

Life is about managing pain and anger on a daily base. Whether at home with family or friends, or at work with colleagues, daily, we can find reasons to hold grudges on someone. But are you must be aware that holding back the forgiveness process is like building an emotional wall and prison around your feelings? 

Whatever reason has caused the pain (betrayal, break up, rejection, etc) the waltz of question and the stages of feelings involved are similar:

1-Pain: we feel hurt 

2-Guilt if x,y. Or z did this or that am responsible.

3-Incredulity Maybe he/she didn’t mean to hurt me

4-Disappointment how could he/she do that to me
4-Hate I hate him/her ,or am never going to talk to him/her
5-Analysis: rethinking the whole situation from a to z trying to understand the “how, why, etc.”
6-Confusion: How do I move on? From where do I start?

7-if you don’t gather your strengths & wake up the truth is you might sink

Depending on each person these stages can be simultaneous or not, can be long or not . But saying and thinking « I will never trust anyone again » is the greatest lie you can tell yourself. Life is about take risks and facing the outcome! Like everybody, I have been through these and it took me time to realize that whoever hurtled me doesn’t deserve my hate. Because they had greater scars in them that pushed them to hurt me.I also looked at the woman in the mirror realizing how human and imperfect I could be .we need to work on the pain and humiliation we feel as women when the man we love leaves us for another partner or when we realize we have been cheated on by him. Most of the time we have been warned by our intuition and we still allowed ourselves to be in situation where we could only end up being hurt. I knew he was a player, but I thought I would change him. He cheated on me but he swore he would never do it again, He told me he had another girlfriend but I was sure he would leave her for me. I fell in these traps living in a world of Illusion more than once. I hated the men for that but getting wiser, I realized that only my misconceptions of these relationships were to be blame. I have put myself in such positions so I had to learn to let go in order to heal totally. Healing totally means being able to talk about each of these stories without resentment or regret.  You must think: that person came into my life as part of my path of learning or growing as a woman. I thank all these people for the good time spent and the lesson taught. Most of the time we won’t admit it but if you keep on trusting a friend who betrayed you or maintain a relationship with a player, etc. Putting yourself in such situation can only result in painful situation for you.

We always think that our love for someone will change him/her and it appears to be a misconception. A compulsive liar will continue lying to you unless he decides to stop. A compulsive gossip will end up gossiping on you after gossiping with you. And so on. If they have hurt you once, analyze the facts, step back if you have the possibility but if you have no choice, that person being a member of your family, make sure you avoid putting yourself at risk. All this doesn’t tell you how to let go of the pain? When you have resentment don’t chase it away, let it burn inside you, feel it, write a letter to the person who have caused your distress, making sure you pour all your grieves . Imagine all the nasty things you would tell him or her -virtually- and let them flow on the paper. Don’t let that state of aggressivity last for too long, for it destroys your inner peace. Once you have expelled all the negativity in you burn or tear that letter. Remember it is not meant to be given to the person. It is time to remember that plotting revenge, keeping all this pain inside is giving a lot of power to the one who caused it initially. Bitterness is the result of an unforgiving heart. Anger is the price holding grudge against someone. Not forgiving is self hate because you are letting a poison circulating in your mind, soul and spirit. This poison is preventing you from growing spiritually and mobilizes positive energy to realize your projects. Some people are fueled by a revengeful motivation, it is time to take charge of your life and ask God to bless him/her and send him positive vibes. My mum taught me a very powerful prayer that has proven its efficiency throughout the years « the spirit of God in me salute the Spirit of God in X, between us reigns only peace, harmony and divine understanding ». Repeat it, meditate on it, fill your heart with love as if it is filled with hate, it is only yourself your hurting. The world is a beautiful place and one single person cannot keep your heart in hostage with endless pain, disappointment, hate. No one is worth it. Forgive yourself for having been too naive at first and smile at yourself in the mirror, no matter what, you are alive and once you have been able to work on your forgiving abilities, you will build a better life for yourself. So do an assessment of your grievances, release them and let them go one by one. Free yourself from that past and Start a new and fresh inside.

Forgive & Free yourself

©Naboulove

Le courage de changer

«Le courage est cette qualité supérieure qui nous permet de faire face d’un coeur égal aux multiples désagréments de la vie. Aller de l’avant, ne jamais reculer devant les difficultés, voilà le courage véritable.» Sangaré Oumar

Avoir le courage de changer de vie, d’arrêter de s’ennuyer, d’être frustrée et envie de vivre pleinement et audacieusement est le challenge auquel chacune de nous est confrontée quotidiennement. Arrêtez d’attendre le bon moment pour vous transformer en papillon, révéler vos couleurs et prendre votre envol. Le meilleur moment pour réaliser vos projets de vie, ce n’est pas demain, ni quand vos enfants grandiront ou que vous aurez plus d’argent, c’est maintenant !

« Soyez le changement que vous voulez voir dans le monde » Ghandi.

 Il est temps d’arrêter de geindre, de vous plaindre et surtout de  tenir pour responsable de votre vie morose  et sans éclat votre passé, vos parents, votre éducation, votre mari, vos enfants et enfin tous les autres facteurs externes qui  selon vous sont les motifs de votre frustration. Arrêtez ! Et si au lieu de rejeter la responsabilité  sur des facteurs exogènes, vous preniez quelques minutes pour vous recentrer sur vous-même. Maintenant, préparez-vous à assumer pleinement la responsabilité de vos actions. Seule une attitude courageuse face à vos choix antérieurs vous affranchira de vos prisons intérieures. Rappelez-vous : c’est vous qui avez choisi ce mari ! C’est encore vous qui avez arrêtez vos études pour vous marier ! C’est vous qui ne demandez pas cette augmentation ! C’est encore vous qui repoussez au lendemain vos projets ! Ah ça y est vous acceptez le rôle principal que vous jouez dans votre vie ? Maintenant, que vous endossez totalement le fait d’être le seul maître à bord, vous devriez vous sentir  prête à faire le grand saut vers la réalisation vos rêves. Mais gardez en mémoire le principe universel : « on ne fait pas d’omelette sans casser des œufs ».Vous devez oser dire non à l’immobilisme et enfin commencer à vivre.

« Chaque homme doit inventer son chemin. » Jean-Paul Sartre

 Il est difficile marcher vite avec un lourd fardeau, il en est de même dans la vie. Pour avancer, libérez-vous du passé, laissez le derrière vous et  concentrez vous  entièrement sur le présent. Que voulez-vous dans votre vie? Etes-vous totalement satisfaite de votre situation professionnelle, personnelle, etc.?  Que changeriez-vous pour être plus heureuse ?  Répondez à ces questions par une phrase claire ; exemple : Je souhaiterais perdre 10 kg , apprendre l’anglais et postuler pour un poste dans une agence des Nations Unies. Vous n’y arrivez pas ? Prenez le temps de réfléchir, munissez vous d’un papier et d’un stylo puis  répondez-y. Maintenant que avez clairement énoncé ce que vous voulez faire de votre vie, faites un bilan de vos ressources et compétences : avez-vous la formation nécessaire pour devenir la nouvelle directrice commerciale de votre entreprise ? Avez-vous les moyens de quitter votre boulot pour ouvrir cette Galerie d’Art qui vie dans vos rêves ?

« Quoi que tu rêves d’entreprendre, commence-le. L’audace a du génie, du pouvoir, de la magie. » Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Prenez le temps de vous auto –évaluer de façon objective. Et ensuite lister clairement ce qui vous manque en étant très spécifique : -Un Master , un business plan, etc. Maintenant que vous avez une check list très précise, vous allez devoir penser à un plan d’action afin de mobiliser les ressources indispensables à votre projet.  Et à la question  « comment vais-je faire ? » , je vous donne une réponse très simple : « demandez ». Oui. Demandez à vos amis qui sont déjà dans ces positions ou qui ont des relations dans le domaine qui vous intéresse. Tout le monde a dans son entourage une personne qui a déjà un commerce ou qui occupe la fonction dont vous rêvez dans une entreprise concurrente. Contrairement aux idées reçues, les autres se feront un plaisir de vous assister. Alors il est temps pour vous maintenant d’agir afin de transformer vos rêves en réalité. Personne ne pourra changer votre vie à votre place.

Agir ne veut pas dire s’agiter dans mille directions ou parler de ses projets à tout bout de champ  mais plutôt avoir un PLAN, le respecter et surtout être responsable de sa vie à 100%. Chaque petit pas accompli en direction de son objectif est une victoire sur vous-même. Répétez vous cette affirmation : « Aujourd’hui je prends ma vie en main » plusieurs fois par jour et agissez en accord avec elle. A partir de maintenant entourez-vous de personnes positives et constructives et efforcez vous d’éviter les commérages de salon sans intérêt. Rappelez-vous que vous avez une vie à vivre et de grandes choses à accomplir. Donc ne perdez pas votre précieux temps, utilisez le à la réalisation de votre projet. Gardez un petit carnet en permanence dans votre sac et inscrivez-y vos idées. Inspirez vous de grandes personnalités artistiques  ou politiques, lisez des articles sur leur vie ou leur biographie. Vous apprendrez que le changement, l’évolution est soumis à divers facteurs mais que la réussite est soumise aux trois P: la pratique, la patience et la  persistance.

« On devient fort par ses échecs, non par ses succès » Coco Chanel

Chaque pas même  en arrière est une avancée. Sachez transformer les obstacles en opportunités, car quand « Dieu ferme une porte, il ouvre toujours une fenêtre ».  vous Vous êtes prête à enfin vivre votre vie, n’attendez plus , bannissez les excuses et commencez à œuvrer pour votre auto -satisfaction maintenant!

©Naboulove

Article International Working Lady n°1

THE BITTER SHIFT

The hot debates, violent discussions, and burning  issues in the Ladies’ circles are always about the « Other woman » , »the marriage wrecker » , »the husband’s thief », « the horrible mistress »  etc. but recently, in Africa many formerly happily married wives experience a reverse phenomenon resulting from their husbands’ commitment with another woman. I have been the witness of such a  situation as a friend of mine , a legitimate & legally married wife lost her moral  privileges towards “the other woman” . Unlike many situations where the man handles multiple wives, with equal responsibilities towards each of them, in this case, he deserted  his wife emotionally and disconnected totally from her without officially leaving her. She stays the Mrs but hardly enjoys the bliss and happiness of marriage.

What happened to them? What made the situation possible? How come  two adults who once loved each other to such an extent that they chose to share their life for better or worse could be living in a house like neighbors.  My friend told me her story. After few years of love, their relationship grew to a close friendship, with less and less sex. Due to Political turmoil in their home country, she moved to Europe with her kids ,ignoring that the few months would turn into years of separation that would  sign the death penalty of their couples’ life. With the help of distance , they started drifting apart slowly and surely. They shifted from less sex to Sexless leaving my friend bitter & depressed. Alerted by some of her friends, what she suspected turned into a  reality: her 15 years old husband had another woman in his life! Not just a girlfriend but a woman he was treating like he used to treat her. Whatever she lacked and missed from her husband, was given to that woman. The so called “Other Woman”. Hurt, scorned, depressed, she was consulting pastors and friends who were giving them some “wise” advices: « Don’t give up » « pray hard »  » be patient » etc. Who are they to patronize her constantly? I wished they could walk in my shoes. Distressed, lonely, depressed, longing for the lost intimacy & connection with her husband, she made a vow: I will never divorce. But whilst she is hanging on their vows « for the better and the worst », Mr Hubby the provider was living the better and Mrs Wife super depressed was experiencing the worst. And one day she woke up with a new perspective as if she was waking up from a bad dream : The awakening.  Mrs Wife realized that whatever is happening in her life now , the pain, the sorrow, the loneliness,  it is all about herself , not about her children, her friends, her husband, her parents or  the society. “I am the one carrying the burden of a messed up marriage, my life is sad” ,she confessed to me one day just after that moment arrived, “I have become the other woman. She is the one he laughs with , The one he confides his secrets to, the one  he travels with, the one he is living a life with. So Where do I fit? a bitter housewife waiting for a man who sees her as the mother of his kids. De-womanized, don’t I deserve to live a life of my own with a man who shows me love and affection? She turned around with a discreet smile : my sister, I decided to move from my bitter shift to my better self! It is about  time for me to live. »

©Naboulove

Kill The Self Sufficient Bitch In You!

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts

 

Having been the only child of a early widowed mother in the 70’s I was raised with the following mantra  » your degrees & your job are the first husband of a woman ». Restlessly I worked my way through school and grew up as  a very in dependant person. My mothers’ sisters & cousins were equally hard working strong women. So obviously I grew up in the kind of atmosphere where men r husbands but not an essential accessory to a woman’s survival. Did that shape who I am today? Certainly. But becoming a mother and a home CEO, I have been facing situations that really made me understand that men have another function in our lives (apart from sex & carried the husband’s tag). Honestly when I take my car, all I want is just open the door & start the engine. I expect drivers to check all issues related to insurance, maintainance , wheels, etc to report to my assistant who will then settle the matter, my only required action being to sign for payment. But when recently it occurred that the driver didn’t pay attention to some documents (don’t ask me which ones) expiry date, I just had a sudden revelation (actually it has been pending for years) : I am not Wonder Woman! And I need others to help and assist me and obviously that other should preferably a man dear to my heart. So whatever myth I have been entertaining for over 30 years, thinking that I could do it all by myself, it collapsed gently giving me the opportunity to test the needy woman in me. Yippi! I know, it will not be easy to change behavior overnight but just make a step forward and ASK what you need when you realize it takes more than your EGOcentric YOU to change the world. And try it at work , with your friends & family. Your shoulders will feel so much lighter. No you are not the keeper of all the planet  know how! And you are not a Island so get yourself together & open that mouth to Ask.   No it is not a degrading act to ask for help. If we were able to sort ourselves, we wouldn’t be living on earth. So The same way you like helping everybody is the same way others will -most of the time- gladly help you. And Men ( real ones) love giving a helping to Ladies. So use ( without any abuse) that charming smile to simplify your life. Kick that « superior » look out of your face and come back to earth among humans.

Afraid of « no »?  WhaT do you have to lose when someone says no.? You think it is Self Esteem or pride? B.S in reality you ain’t losin’ notin’ babe! Just realizing that yes is not by force & that no can be turned into “Next Opportunity” instead of complaining about your « not even lost » dignity. So if you get a no ( you won’t die of it trust me) move on until you meet a yes. And if it pains you it is because you allowed it to. And getting few « nos » really has a positive impact on the Self Sufficient ego! The first time, it is shocking and painful. « How can someone say no to Me », but then as time passes by,you will become a « No » management expert. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Try and believe me you will enjoy a new form of contentment. Been there done that and even though the SSB is still showing up at times I am aware that she needs to disappear once in a while and let me be!

©Naboulove