This blog was created to serve as an inspiration to all who read aspire, to love and to live a life of purpose.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dear Carolyn, How Do I Force Myself to Be Happy For my Friends?

Happy Friday!

I'm an avid Carolyn Hax fan. She's a columnist for the Washington Post and I read her column everyday. Sometimes, just sometimes, I come across one that I really can't help but to share. 

Like yesterday.  The topic? Jealousy/Envy. It is a REAL emotion (AND one of the 7 deadliest sins listed in the Bible)- both being the giver and/or the receiver. If we'd admit it ourselves, even the person with the cleanest heart can get tempted to be jealous of another person. It's what you do with that feeling that matters. Acknowledge it first, then remind yourself of your own blessings. Moreover, my mom always says that it is being happy and celebrating for others that your own blessings come. I must add that you can't be a true friend to a person you're envious of. Personally, I cut off "friends" who show any signs of envy or unnecessary competition. Like I said in my 7 Mechanics of True Friendship and Curse of the Negatives posts, true friends should have mutual admiration for each other but never negativity. If someone you call your friend can't be genuinely happy for you and your achievements, cut them off. FAST!

But I digress....

The truth is that contentment is one of the hardest achievements for a human being. And I call it an "achievement" because it takes some will and self-direction to constantly remain in gratitude for the good in your life, especially when things seem dire. We always want what others have and sometimes, it seems like your problem is the biggest in the world. 

Like one of my friends mentioned last week, the truth is that if everyone was to expose their individual problems for grabs, you'll choose yours. Forget the facade, everyone is hurting somewhere. No one's life is perfect. Be content with yours. Focus on making YOU better and stop worrying about what others are doing or what they think about you.  God has entrusted you with yourself. You can't always make everything or everyone around you better, but you can always make yourself better!

Have a blessed weekend!

Oh yea....

Here's the Carolyn Hax letter that inspired the above mini-rant :-) Its worth the read!

Dear Carolyn:
You never seem to have a slow week, but I’m hoping you’ll get to my question.
How do I force myself to be happy for my friends?

They are all buying houses and taking fabulous vacations, while I am stuck in a studio apartment with no savings and years of student loans. I feel so jealous and angry that I can’t fake happiness for them, and my only proposed solution is to avoid them until I feel better.

And no, trying to be grateful for what little I do have has not helped me.

Helpless in Seattle

Dear Helpless in Seattle,
It needs to be a slow week for your question to matter? Are you always this quick to negate your own significance?

Yours is a legitimate problem, no less worthy than the others that appear here regularly.

One reason is its prevalence: There’s always someone who goes home to a better house in a better car.
Another reason is the impact: People who envy peers start to doubt themselves, which drains them of the resource they need most (a sense of self-worth), which then leads to reading random ups and downs as part of some cosmic conspiracy against them, which fuels the cycle of envy, anger and self-loathing.
There are ways out — but not by forcing yourself to love your apartment. It has to be through what you do. Such as, be an excellent friend/sibling/child/auntie/uncle, or a hardworking employee, a dedicated and compassionate volunteer, a nurturing pet owner, a fierce teammate, an uninhibited playmate/singer/dancer/artist, an insatiable reader, a generous host or cook — whatever taps into your best — thenbe proud and grateful you’re this way.
When you love your contribution, that’s when you’re able to say: “Yeah, nice house, but would I give up who I am to have it? No.” The fab house would require different choices, after all, and different choices would have created a different you.
Reaffirming your choices inoculates you against envy. Is it perfect, no — you’ll still gawk at a friend’s palace — but it’ll be a fleeting, not chronic, annoyance.

For Helpless:

You’re not alone! For nearly a decade I felt like I was barely treading water while my friends were off living fabulous lives. I resented them.

How I dealt with it: I just forced myself to focus on ME. I focused on getting out of debt, trying to earn more money, etc. I did avoid some of these friends. I just said it wasn’t personal, I needed time alone.
Some interesting things happened. That great big house my friend owned? Foreclosure. That luxury car? Leased or eight-year car loan. Overseas vacation? Maxed-out credit cards. That six-figure job? My friend got laid off. One friend actually told me he wished he had MY life.
You just don’t know what goes on in other people’s lives. . . . You have to focus on yours. So that’s what I did.
When you set and achieve smaller goals, it makes you feel more optimistic. I won’t lie — it took me a lot of time, but eventually I got to a less envious/resentful place.
Love this, thanks. Sometimes the luxury car is actually paid for, but your answer still applies: Set meaningful goals, work toward them, derive satisfaction accordingly.
Stay Inspired!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Survivors' Guide: How to Succeed in School

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This year, for the first time, I’m not enrolled in any kind of school. I’m done. Or so I say. Those who know me well enough don’t think I can stay away for too long. They claim they see a Ph.D in my future. My mother hopes I’d come back to Nigeria for a year to grab a Nigerian law degree. Right now, I’m working on convincing myself that I’m done…But if I say I’m not going through withdrawal symptoms, I’d be lying because the truth is that I’m really a nerd (I just hide it well ;-)).

So! Co-inspired and co-written by my brother-in-law, who is a final year M.D./M.B.A student at Harvard, this post exists for two reasons (1) to inspire undergraduate and graduate students and (2) to let me live vicariously through you all.

This post is dedicated specifically to graduate school (medical, law, Master’s, and Ph.D) students but will be extremely beneficial to undergraduate students as well.

Until I found myself in law school- from kindergarten to college, I’d always sailed through school. Two weeks into law school, I’d lost confidence in my “ability”; I was suddenly lost in translation…It seemed as if my entire educational life had been a lie- “Aha! I’m not smart after all”- is what I told myself. No matter how many times I contemplated another career path, no matter how many times, I fathomed heaven to be 8hrs of sleep without disturbing thoughts of 40 unread pages of contracts and no matter how many times I became convinced that I would rather work at McDonalds than sit through another lecture, I knew my parents didn’t raise a quitter. 

I say that to say that these tips are my “Get out of your rut and succeed” list. The day I began to actively do these things was the day I began to mark my return to confident sanity. Somehow, I found myself. Somehow, I convinced myself law school didn’t render me “unsmart”. Somehow, I actually began to understand the sounds resonating from my professor’s mouth. Somehow, I graciously made it.

If you’re reading this and you’re an undergraduate student, you have to realize that this isn’t high school. In the same way, if you’re reading this and you’re a graduate student (medical, law, Master’s or Ph.D), you’d have to first realize this isn’t undergrad. I say this to say that the higher you get in education, the bigger the expectations. My brother in law calls it “the pyramid effect of academia”. Which is to say that as you progress further in academia, there will be fewer peers and more expectations. In order to continue to rise up this pyramid and meet increasingly difficult demands, you must continually take several steps above and beyond what you are used to. For example, as an undergrad student, you can’t rely on the same level of output that propelled you to success in high school…unless you want to remain at the same level of high school achievement. “Step your game up”. The same principles apply upon transitioning from undergraduate to graduate school.

So here it goes…

1.  Mind-setting: The first thing you need to do when you start a new task (which is essentially what school is), is to KNOW what and why you are in there. Set goals. Remind yourself of how much you want this education and what you want to do with it. Knowing WHERE you’re going with it, will set your mind and body in mo(tiva)tion to success and will see you through tough times.
2.  Organization: These are the “protocols” that seem too irrelevant at first but boy do they come in handy, more than you know. Get a planner to record your schedule and all your assignments. Set reminders on your phone for all important events. Buy all the relevant books and supplements. If you are in med school, invest in flash cards on which you can write factoids to aid in memorizing. If you’re in law school, invest in supplements. These supplemental books will be your most esteemed school buddies/best friends. After every assignment for each class, you should cross reference the matching chapter in a supplement for a clearer understanding of the subject.

3. Your professors: It can be helpful to get to know your professors. Visit their office hours once or twice and if there is a class or subject your anticipate struggling with then swallow your pride with your saliva and go to office hours often. Professors often explain concepts better to you in person and you may find that it is clearer the second (or third) time around. Also, you can ask them questions, you may have been too ashamed to ask in class. Not only does knowing your professor’s style help but professors will often give you little tid-bits (what they expect/want from you in their exams). And although professors will deny that this happens, they are only human and putting a name to a face may even help when they are grading your papers. Besides, this connection will be an incredible help if/when you need their recommendation/reference letters in the future.

4. Go to class: Apparently this isn't common sense for students these days. But I get it: If anyone knows the boredom of class, it IS me. I always want to touch my phone, look at Facebook/Twitter or count down the time: anything but listen. It killed me my first semester in law school. I thought I could listen and do everything else. This bit me in the behind really bad when I ended up missing the announcement of a due date change for an assignment. The professor moved the date up and I didn’t know. So! I showed up with my assignment on the original due date- two days after the new due date. The points I lost for my tardiness demoted my grade in the class one letter. Lesson learned.

LISTEN in class. Minimize the Gchat window or CLOSE it out. LISTEN. You might hear something that you will never forget, even if your memory attempts to draw a blank on the day of the exam. Take good notes. Write down what the professor is saying. It doesn’t have to make sense now. After you settle down to study, it will make more sense. Also, when you write down things you hear, you have a better chance of it sticking to your memory, even if you never reread the notes. (You should reread your notes!)

If you’re in law school, speaking up “in class” makes a world of difference! Forget the “I’m not a conversational person” excuse. The truth is, speaking up in class is what works in law school! As a lawyer, you will need to speak up at all times. You might as well begin practice early.

If you’re in medical school some of this advice might not apply to you. Many medical schools have audiovisual recordings of their 1st and 2nd year lectures and because so much of the learning involves digesting text-books on your own time some students will forego lectures choosing instead to read in their rooms and watch lectures. I have to caution that this is a dangerous game. “To thine ownself be true”. If you will not watch the lecture on your own time, or you will spend the time in your room distracted on HULU or twitter then you should head over to the lecture hall because you will learn more from sitting in the lecture half paying attention than sitting in your room fully distracted. If you however do work quite well by watching lectures on your own time then make sure that you watch ALL the lectures. You will often find that professors will re-package their class slides into questions come tests at the end of each block. 

5. Time Management- KILL THE PROCRASTINATION. Seriously. Procrastination will be your death sentence, especially if you’re a graduate student. From two or three weeks into each semester, based on your schedule, you should make a study plan for at least 5 out of 7 days of the week. Stay on top of your assignments. Make a schedule that you will stick to. Write down what days you will study for each class and stick to it! With effective time management, you can avoid constantly feeling overwhelmed with material. The proverbial "drinking water from a fire-hose" phenomenon will not apply to you if you plan appropriately.

6. Good study hygiene: Unless you have a photographic memory (God Bless you if you do...but you probably do not), the secret here is REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW! Study periodically to refresh your memory! Don’t wait till the last minute to learn a semester’s worth of material. This can ONLY hurt you on exam day!

My brother-in-law is a strong believer in the power of repetition for learning in medical school. For example, prior to a block (let’s say Physiology) he would do his best to try and get through the assigned readings ahead of time. He finds that this at least helps him familiarize himself with the general gist of the topic and when profs would teach the subject for the first time, he could give better than an educated guess when a question came up. He would then re-read the same material as it was being taught along with supplemental material and this would give him a deeper understanding. Then he would review 1-2 times before test day. Now depending on how voluminous the block, this aggressive type of reviewing (i.e. 4 exposures to the same material) may not be possible but at a MINIMUM you should have reviewed a subject two times before being tested on it.

Unless you're sure you learn better by yourself, get in a study group consisting of people who ACTUALLY study. There, you can bounce ideas off each other, do practice exams together and quiz each other afterwards. Trust me, your study group member probably knows something you don’t know and you probably know something he/she doesn’t know. Basically, being able to talk about the class material with your colleagues is a great strategy to embed the material into your brain. Realistically, many of us remember more clearly conversations we had with our colleagues, than lectures we heard in class.

Be wary however of the inefficient study group members. Find serious-minded individuals like yourself. A study group should do exactly that….study. [This is not to say that you should be the study group Grinch that shushes everyone per second per second]

One of the most important study secrets is “past exams”. To prepare for exams, research and do past exams from your professor. This will give you an idea of how your professor tests. Also, write out your answers like you will do in an actual exam and submit to your professors for review. Many professors are kind enough to sit and review these exams with you. Trust me, this is a learning experience. One time, I wrote out what I believed to be a flawless answer to a practice exam. I took it to my Professor for review. I don’t think I would’ve passed that class, had my “perfect” answer been on my exam sheet.

7. School/Life Balance: Take calculated breaks. Schedule a day off for resting, hanging out with friends, watching movies or doing whatever it is you love. My brother-in-law views study breaks as a nice reward for sticking to his study schedule. He does something that he likes during those study breaks (watch HULU, work-out etc). As he explains, the rewards reinforce his work:  “Work hard to Play hard”.

8. Network: The art of “knowing people” and as Igbo’s call “Imma mmadu” begins in school. To you, the boy sitting at the front of the class is just a nerd- you never know, he might be the person who you’ll need to sign off on that job twenty years after you graduate. The students who sit beside you in class are more than your classmates- they may very well be future big shots. Be nice to everyone because you never know. But be cautious- Only attach yourself to those who’ll bring you up and not push you down…. Those whose goals align with you. Remember, you need company that will positively influence your success.

Perhaps just as important as networking with your classmates is networking with Alums. What undergraduates often do not realize is the immense pride that alums take in their alma mater. A lot of alums see themselves in the current generation (you) and are itching to help and mentor you. To this day my brother-in-law raves about his undergraduate alumni mentors who have steered him in the right direction. If you are in graduate school the same applies and it is even more tangible because alumni of your graduate school will likely help place you in your job.

Get involved in on-campus activities that interest you. Although people play the game of doing things that will look good on their resume, do things you are passionate about. You will invariably excel at this and capture a leadership position. Also when asked to talk about it at an interview your passion will shine through.

Through undergraduate, law school and my Master’s program, I realized success post high school is less about being smart and more about strategy, application and dedication. Post high school studies is about YOU paying attention and applying yourself.

What is success without challenge? What is endurance without pain? What is feat without defeat?


Stay Inspired…
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***email me at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dear NwaVic: Save My Marriage

Dear Nwavic,

I have been married for a while now and I found out that my husband is cheating on me. I love my husband and I have never thought of divorcing him but there's no day that goes by without picturing him with other women and I think I'm going crazy. Any time he steps out of the house I assume he's going to meet a woman. It's so bad that when he gets home, I go through his pants and sniff his shirts and underwears to see if it smells like a woman. I know I can't live my life like this but then I really don't know what to do. Thanks. Pls do not publish my name.

Save My Marriage

Dear Save My Marriage,

Thank you for writing NwaVic at 
Infidelity is an incredibly sensitive issue and I must first acknowledge how you are feeling. It is normal after finding about a cheating partner to feel anger, insecurity, obsessive thoughts, and inability to concerntrate. Hang in there and please don't blame yourself for your husband's personal shortcomings. In majority of 'unfaithful' cases, the infidelity really isn't about you.

Some couples successfully survive an affair and even go on to build stronger trust and closeness. Hence, I understand your need to save your marriage but you can't save your marriage alone. Have you confronted him? Has the affair ended? Are there children involved? Is he remorseful? (both in words and actions) Do you see the zeal in him to make it up to you and rebuild your relationship/marriage? 

In order to successfully move on from infidelity, (1) the cheating partner must be remorseful and understand the impact of their actions (2) both parties (especially the cheating partner) must be willing and ready to rebuild the relationship at all cost. The latter involves honesty and open communication. The cheating partner must be willing to explain the reasons for his/her actions so that the other partner can understand. That way, recovery can include working on what's missing in the relationship to prevent a reoccurrence.  

If your husband has done the above, you can "decide" to forgive him, especially if there are kids involved. If so, he has to allow you do what it takes to reach this clean forgiveness and he has to give you reason to trust him again. Practically, this may include counseling, a getaway for just the two of you to focus on each other and rebuild any love lost, him spending more time at home, etc. Once you decide to forgive him, you have to refrain from checking or sniffing his pants. That will drive you crazy! Realize this takes time. Once there is commitment on both your parts, you can make it, with time.

Having said that, if your husband hasn't done the above; That is, if he isn't remorseful, is still having an affair or unwilling/uncommitted to rebuilding the marriage, you may not be able to survive this with your sanity in tact. 

In this case, sadly you have two options; You can leave because you deserve better than a man who'll unrepentantly disrespect the sanctity of your marriage or you can stay knowing that your marriage as is intended to be and as you know it, is over. The latter option is really common when there are children involved but it requires, in essence, accepting his character, the fact that your "husband" will become more like a roommate and that you'd now have to take precautions when you're intimate with him. 

“I believe everything happens for a reason, people change so you can let go. Things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they are right. You believe lies so that you will eventually trust no one but yourself, and sometimes, good things fall apart so better things fall together.”                                                          —Marilyn Monroe

Whatever decision you make, don't forget that marriage is a lifetime commitment and you have to consider your own personal happiness in the long-run. Good Luck!

Stay Inspired.....

*Email with any further issues, concerns, questions, suggestions for a prompt and neutral response/advice. :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Dear NwaVic: Should I Say it?

Dear Nwavic,
Please I have a problem. I've been seeing this guy since Jan 12... Everything is going sooooo beautiful and I know I am in love with him but I'm not sure if I should say anything or not because he hasn't said he does either! What do you think?


Do I say it?

Dear "Do I say it",
Thanks for your email. Tricky question. Touchy issue. Your course of action depends wholly on a lot of factors; How does he treat you? When you say "seeing", do you mean you're in an official committed relationship? Does he act like he loves you? If he loves you, he'd be interested in your life, talk about you to family and friends, call you often, make an effort to get along with people in your life, make you feel special, make you a part of his daily life, want to spend a good amount of his spare time with you, etc. 

Has he loved and 'lost'/been heartbroken before? Some men are shy and have a hard time expressing their feelings. Some also play the "safe game" and wait for the girl to say something first. Also, people who have been burned by failed relationships tend to be more careful about saying the "L" word. 

If you're in a committed relationship and he acts like he loves you, chances are that he does. In that case, you have two options: (1) prepare your mind for the worst and go ahead and tell him how you feel or (2) don't say anything and wait for him to say it first.  If you choose to do the former, be ready to handle it well if he doesn't say it back. Either way, remember its worth the wait for a person to use the "L" word AND mean it. While I can't undermine the value of hearing/knowing that the person you love loves you back, love can't be rushed. Be patient. If he makes you feel loved, that's all that should count, but only for now. 

If you clock one year and he still hasn't said it, bring up a generic conversation about what love is or means to him. You can ask him, "what's your definition of love?", "how would you know if/when you're in love?", and the like. Those kind of questions will pick his brain and give you much needed insight into how his "love-brain" works. If that still doesn't work, it'll be time for an honest "where is this relationship going/ how do you feel about me" discussion. 

Good Luck!

Stay Inspired....

*Email with any further issues, concerns, questions, suggestions for a prompt and neutral response/advice. :-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 Tips: Get Over Your Break-Up

"Ral, this is my worst fear coming true. How could I have been so blind?  This was supposed to be my one. Now I'm back to square one." My dear friend winced. For purposes of this post, my dear friend's name is Lola. There were no tears but I could tell she had shed some. We were sitting at our favorite restaurant. This wasn't our usual "girl's night". Lola's boyfriend just broke up with her- This was an emergency.

I wasn't sure what to say, so I called on my psychology degree. "I'm listening", was all I said.

She took the cue.

"Ral, I'm just frustrated. I'm angry, maybe even bitter. I'm hurt. This wasn't how I planned it to turn out. Why didn't I see it coming? Wait a minute...actually I did. I should've just called it off but I was  hopeful while the yeye boy was busy planning the break-up. Men eh!" Lola hissed, took a sip of her Daiquiri and continued.

"Now I have to go and take down all those albums on Facebook. And you told me about putting up pics on Facebook and BBM but was I listening? Are you going to tell me you told me so?" She sighed looking up at me.

"No I won't", I said smiling coyly.

"Thank you for that, even though I know you probably want to. And how dare she (other friend) tell me I can get over it? She doesn't know what it feels like to love. Anyone who has been in love would understand why I feel really sick right now. I really need to dig myself out of this rut."

I laughed. Then thought maybe I shouldn't have.

"Why are you laughing this girl?" She asked with one eyebrow raised.

"Because you're asking me to tell you the same thing she (other friend) told you."

Lola laughed too. That was a good sound. I hadn't heard her laugh all evening.

"Truuuueee" She said dragging out the word. "But I know you. You won't merely tell me I can get over it. You're going to tell me how". She said letting out a deep breath.

So, there we sat for the next 3 hours over Martinis and Daiquiris discussing her "Escape from the break-up rut" plan. What I told Lola that night is what this post is made of.  If you're going through a break up or considering one at the moment, this post is dedicated to assisting you do the same: dig yourself out of the rut. 

First and foremost, you need to give yourself time to grieve. You've been hurt so you need to cry it out, in some way. Its understandable to want to cry, so let yourself do it. Go ahead and think about it....the good times, the bad times, the 'ok' times. For the last time. Take time to decipher where things went wrong. Cry. Think. Yell. Think again. Cry again, if you need to.

But do this within reason. AND most importantly, literally give yourself a deadline- two days, three days, one week. But when the time is up, go on the next step.

Make a conscious decision to get over it. My dad used to tell me that the human mind is the most powerful and obedient tool any human could possess. He even believed if you were determined in your mind, you could heal yourself of a physical illness but that's a whole different blogpost. Bottom line- You can't get over something if you don't decide/want to. If you're still secretly wishing you get back together, you won't be able to heal. If you're still blaming yourself for things that you did wrong in the relationship, you can't get over it. And if you're still holding on to the good times, you would never get over it. 

Like I told Lola, I'm not saying this is easy. But YOU can do it. You have to forgive yourself for anything you blame yourself for and accept the fact that the relationship is done. Having the "will" to get over it, is the first step to paving your "way" back to sanity.
"Build a bridge, get over it, burn the brIdge so you won't be tempted to cross it again"
More so, you need to stop worrying about what people will think. Lola's break up was especially painful because, against my advice (I must add), she had been gallivanting him on social media as the "love of her life". She wondered what she will say when people asked about him. I advised her to come up with a generic answer for when people (who aren't close enough to her to deserve the full story) ask. For example, "we broke up o, things just didn't pan out but it was for the best" or "it wasn't working out but you know how these things go, we're still cool". I told her to say something like that and change topic. Fast. She also needed to resolve to handle it well if and when she ran into him in a public place. "Things don't have to be weird", I told her "Be cordial, and keep it moving". It worked.

Talk to someone you can trust OR write down your feelings. Find a way to vent. Its always best to unload on a friend who's willing to listen. Just like Lola was doing with me that night. Sometimes, you don't even need them to respond- just to listen. It'll make you feel better. I also know a lot of people are uncomfortable discussing their feelings with others. If you're that kind of person, I won't bother trying to convince you otherwise. Instead, I'll advise you to write down your feelings. You can even write a letter to your ex- things you wish you had said to him/her. FOR YOU and NOT FOR HIM/HER. DON'T SEND IT no matter how tempting the idea gets.  

If you can, also write down the reasons why the relationship was fruitless, then keep it if you can. When you start having second thoughts, you may need to re-read it to remind yourself of why you need to move on. Even when you're in a rut, you'd be amazed at how clearly you can express the contours of the relationship and the positive lessons it has taught you. But you won't see this ingenuity of yours, till you re-read with a clearer mind-set. The more your grief lessens, the more you'd learn from yourself.

Regardless of whether you decide to vent to someone or write the feelings down, you should  surround yourself with positive people who love you and have your best interest at heart. Break-ups pave the way for feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, you need people around you to boost your self-esteem and get back to old/happy you. When they tell you its your ex's loss, not yours and that you deserve better, its in your best interest to believe them. They'll help you re-realize your worth.

Maintain a good distance from the ex. At least in the beginning. Even though I've never done so, I totally understand that some people need to go all nine miles- delete the ex, and sometimes his/her friends as well, off all social media . One of my friends turned off her Blackberry newsfeed just so she won't have to obsess over her ex's updates because she knew and accepted she was inclined to do so. Do what you need to do to keep your distance...and your sanity. No matter what you do, its never a good idea to call or text. No need to reminisce with your ex. 

Get rid of "emotional triggers"- all things that remind you of the ex- delete their pictures from your phone or if you can't stomach that just yet, put them someplace where you don't have easy access and tag it "history". And STOP checking their Facebook profiles. Staring at their pictures or pictures of both of you will only set you back emotionally.

Remember once you have decided to get over it, you can't second-guess your decision and opening yourself to your ex's charm will only pull you back in. The truth is that whatever you don't feed won't grow- the only way to make the emotions go away is to starve them!

Get Busy/Redefine Yourself. This is as simple as the old rule that an idle mind is a devil's workshop. Keep your mind and body busy. Find a hobby and immerse yourself in it. Take the time to take a vacation you've been planning. Do something you've always wanted to do. Exercise. Indulge. Read a book. My mother still tells me to this day- nothing succeeds like success. Focus on making yourself better: look better, learn new things, impress yourself, remind yourself of your'll start to feel better. Remember, the best revenge is living a good life!

In the same breath, I have to add that you can't let a bad relationship/breakup change you. You've heard it many times- "every 'player' was once a heartbroken good guy". It is true. A lot of times, people close off and harden their hearts after a break-up. In fact, arguably, its quite normal. People say "I'd never fall in love again" "All men are cheaters" "All women are liars". And then, they start to live it. Its either they never give another person to chance to love them or even if they do, they keep judging them using the crimes of their ex.  Truly redefining yourself requires keeping who you truly are or want to be. Changing because of your ex is giving them means giving them indefinite control over your life. 

Never let yourself forget why the relationship ended. When a person shows you who they are, please believe them the first time. Remind yourself why you and the ex can't get back together. If he hit you, who's to say he won't hit you again? If she cheated, how can you trust her again? If they showed you aren't priority, what has changed? Learn your lesson.

You know, I've learned that the fear of the process of getting over the break-up is wayyyy scarier than actually doing it. Once you rediscover yourself void of your ex, you may even begin to wonder why you were heartbroken in the first place. Trust me, when you start to see things crystal clear, your relationship will start to play out in your head like a movie- you'd be experiencing it as a third party and you'd see things you never saw: little things will continue to add up.

You'd be surprised- a lot of people are in horrible relationships and don't know while they're "in" it; Lola for example.  She had settled for what she believed was "love" but really wasn't. Here and  here are two of my previous posts on what love truly is or should be. Read them. Most likely, you'd realize what you had with the ex wasn't really true love.

More so, if you never forget why the relationship ended AND you truly learn what love should be, you will more easily recognize the same dreadful traits in the next person you date. A lot of people fall for the same kind of person and get heartbroken over and over and over again. That's because they forget what they didn't like about their previous relationship and continue in an endless cycle of pain and loss.

Lastly but DEFINITELY not least, pray about it. God is not above hearing the little things that hurt you- it concerns Him and He IS the ultimate comforter. If you drifted away from a relationship with him previously, this is a good time to seek him out again. Trust me, He has a way of making you feel like he hasn't slept on you yet. Tell Him what you want. He listens.

In some weird way, I truly believe that hanging onto a past relationship can spiritually hide you from your "true one" because when your mind is overtaken by one person, you don't seem to see anyone else. So when you pray, ask God for help in healing and in finding the person who's meant to be yours. He has a way of getting around to that.

Lola is all healed and happy again. I hope these tips do the same for you. If you're currently going though a break-up, keep your head up. Remember, this ex wasn't always in your were once happy/content without them- why should they now dictate your happiness? Hang in there, give yourself time, it WILL get better. 

Besides, there's lot of love in the world to be found. My sister Ogo always says it's funny how when you're in a bad relationship or going through a break-up, you can't fathom the thought of being with someone else or that there is anyone else out there for you. But then, she says, there almost always is someone better. But you won't know till you get over the ex, learn your lessons, free yourself of the pain and get back out there. If you do it well, one day you'll look into someone else's eyes and say, "So, this is what real love feels like". 

Stay Inspired...

P.S.- this is funny.