HOPEFULLY HELPFUL TALK || EP 08

Happiness Comes From Within


You may get worn out by anxiety when you struggle to receive approval.

Happiness doesn’t come from trying to prove a point to others or trying to get people to like and approve of you.

It will come from doing the things that you love and connect with, without expecting accolades or approval.

Many times, your happiness gets tampered with when you become concerned with the accolades, approval and recognition – all external factors. (Psalm 128: 2, Ecclesiastes 2:11)

I have 50 Naira

I have 50 naira
My favorite note.
She used to be beautiful
Blue, fragile and promising
But I still loved her.
Right from childhood,
50 naira held a bouquet of colorful promises
A plate of rice and stew
Plenty wraps of coconut candy
Fanta
Happiness

But then she turned on me
Had a makeover
Became glossy and glamorous
And slowly became worthless.

She used to command respect
now 50 naira has esteem issues,
hardly making any impact when she stands alone.
A once revered note that now only has value in its multiples
50 naira has let me down.

50 naira has now has mood swings
I only get to find out when I arrive at the market.
I just discovered that 50 naira and sachet tomato aren’t in speaking terms
50 naira and onions are no longer friends

50 naira is treading a dangerous path
The path of 5 naira… The path of irrelevance
I’ve tried to warn her.
She said her fate is not in her hands.
That it’s not her fault

50 naira is breaking my heart.
She has changed
Grown distant
I still hold her in my hands but can’t feel her impact in my life.

Damaris Akhigbe
©2021

CHILDREN’S CRY


Why are we left?
To always suffer pain
Are there no more hopes left?
What in this world is gain?
What more is there to claim?
What joy, refined is given?
Evil just keeps growing
Suffering persist with a blow
No scene of happiness
No thought of happiness
Where is the future glory
Where are the leaders of tomorrow
Are they not the fatherless?
Ignored, homeless, speechless,
Non-important, useless, senseless
Are they not a prey to AIDS?
Instruments of evil rather than good
Child abuse, drug abuse
Love of sex, zeal to steal
I don’t care, where’s the money?
That’s the world’s request
Where’s the exemplary leader?
Where are the hope, peace and unity?
Where’s the freedom of good will?
Where’s the chance to be good?
Where’s the parental love?
What struck LOVE itself?
Why are we neglected?
Why are we suffering?
Please! Can someone help?

Charles Young
©2021

GLORY


We built houses
with an even mix of mud and imagination
our hands were soiled, our eyes were bright
we smiled our teeth missing but our joy complete
we laughed, our sound a symphony of disjointed, pointless happiness
we knew no shame, so we knew no bondage
our childishness was our charm
our naivety, our glory
but glory, like a flower
fades.

Damaris Akhigbe
©2021

CHASING SHADOWS

What does “chasing shadows” mean?

How many of us have ever attempted chasing after our shadows? Pointless you would say. If you have ever done this, did you succeed in catching your shadow? Now someone is smiling. Okay, did you try stepping on your shadow when you were young? Did you succeed in doing that? Although I never did literarily chase my shadow. I remember I once attempted to step on the shadow of my leg when I was young. What a ridiculous and pointless exercise! It was futile and I thank God I did realize that on time.

As funny as this illustration is, some of us have enrolled in the rat race of chasing the shadow called happiness. In catching this grand shadow, we assume that if we can have the baits it offers, we would have succeeded in our pursuit of happiness. It is puzzling, however, that every time it appears we have caught this grand shadow via the possession of one of its baits, it suddenly develops invincible wings and flies away and we wonder how and why?

So what are the baits of the grand shadow?

The baits that we sometimes pursue to be happy refer to our heart desires and ambitions which are inherently good. I mean there is nothing wrong with desiring a good job, a new house, marriage, or whatever it may be, but when possessing such become the basis of our happiness, we rob ourselves of a joyful life. Imagine if you had to wait for days, weeks, months, or years to be happy! That’s too expensive a price to pay for what you can have now. The danger inherent in tying our happiness to these baits is that we begin to operate in the illusion that once we can catch any of these baits, the ultimate prize would be the grand shadow – happiness. Alas, once we succeed in catching whatsoever bait we are pursuing at the moment, we soon come to the painful realization that such bait could not deliver to us a lasting experience of our ultimate expectation. A feeling of disappointment soon sets in and we identify another bait we feel if acquired, will give us a permanent access to the grandmaster. Sooner or later, we find out that the same cycle of this result is the case. This can become an endless, vicious cycle if we don’t break free from it. So how do we break free from this enslaving, endless race?

We stop chasing the grand shadow!

Yes, we stop chasing happiness and instead, seek God who is the source of all good things, including happiness. We choose to be happy at the moment while pursuing our goals and desires. 1Thessalonians 5: 16 says “Rejoice always”. This is very effective as it allows us actualize our goals from a happy stance. Chasing the baits of happiness to be happy will never satisfy us for when we acquire any of these baits, we soon realize that we need another bait to be happy. Furthermore, what happens if something happens to the bait which was supposed to make us happy? Our happiness should never be dependent on something that is not assuredly permanent. Only God abides forever (1 Peter 1:25).

The same way I couldn’t catch my shadow by chasing it is the same way we can’t catch happiness by chasing the baits it offers. We choose to be happy and then chase our goals or desires from a happy stance. I didn’t need to chase my shadow because I already had an original version of myself. In the same vein, happiness is a choice and we must make a conscious decision to be happy now! When situations and life events disrupt it, we grieve as humans that we are and after that is over, we choose happiness over and over again by trusting God who knows best.

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
(C) 2020

Once Again

Once again , here I stand
Covering my face with a face pad
The world shouldn’t see these scars,
It’s petrifying to behold,
It reveals a story untold,
Lost hope, lost happiness and dreams torn apart.

Once again, here I stand
With my saviour hand in hand,
Saved, healed and restored.
Once battered but now full of joy
Forgetting the past story because the son has given a glory that lasts.

Princess Pirinye
© 2020

Joy

What is Joy
Joy is pleasure
It is deeper than happiness
Joy is rapture
Rapture is orgasm

This is His gift to dead men
Men who are broken bread and poured out wine
Men of the alabaster box of savored oil
Sweet smelling living sacrifices, men of obedience

Joy is dying, joy is cheerful giving
Joy is Abraham returning home with a resurrected Isaac
For the LORD will not abandon him in the place of the dead
By Faith, you kill you; By His Spirit, He gives you your life

That is joy

Favour Omeje
© 2020