You have to make peace with your past in order to keep your present and future from becoming hopeless battles. – Mark & Angel
I spent some quality time with my mum today. Talking about the challenges I’ve had in the work environment and sharing the victimizing experiences I’d had with former work colleagues over the years. I found myself laughing as I recounted the bizarre stories, and quietly but briefly, relived a few of the demeaning and humiliating moments.
I felt sweet gratitude wash over me as I shared these incidences because somehow it was hard to believe that I actually did survive them. I felt immensely thankful that they would now forever remain in my past.
I also felt hopeful about the future, knowing that the lessons I’ve learnt can only bring me good and gracious rewards. Just hearing myself laugh as I related these stories of meanness gave me a sense of contentment and tranquility that meant I was at peace with that part of my past.
Another thing that was so comforting during the conversation with my mum was hearing her share about her own sordid experiences in the work place. Many years ago as a young military corporal, and practicing Dental nurse, she had the devil for a boss.
She told me about the unrelenting sexual harassment and unwarranted punishments she had to endure and eventually, foregoing a promising career was the only way to end the continuing coercion.
Years later, she would later to be told by friends and former colleagues, about how the said officer was paid back in his own coin and severely too by time and chance. At the time, she had regained back her profession, and had had many more promising opportunities, some of which she voluntarily relinquished because she wanted to spend more time with us her children.
Today I’m reminded again, that life itself has got its own memory bank where it stores our dos and don’ts and then processes our wages alike. In due time it will give to each of us a corresponding feedback. Everyone in his own coin.
In this regard, I am reminded to consider my present moments as blessings, no matter how they turns out, because I know one day they would be my past. I am reminded also to bless the hardest and toughest of memories and to never hold on to pain, rather release them completely.
My mum also shared about another very disturbing encounter of victimization which she suffered from the hands of two female instructors at the Army Training School in Ojo cantonment, Lagos; in the 1970s. I wasn’t born at the time.
They were both her junior in age but she never spoke back in defense nor did she act rudely in any way. She was the only girl in her class, and for some reason, these instructors decided that they would make her life a living hell. In an attempt to explain how cruel they were, mum said that the only thing that kept her going was because she was bent on becoming a dental nurse by all means. Otherwise under normal circumstances, she would have quit.
Unbeknownst to them my mum’s uncle was a LT. Colonel at the time and as a result she had the acquaintance of several officers who knew her to be his niece. Still she never for once, did she fight back. Least of all make a boast or threaten to use her connections against these female instructors.
They would finally come to this knowledge during an unfortunate encounter with a third party and senior officer who witnessed the ill treatment they rendered to my mum. It was only then that the mistreatment stopped.
Several years down the line, their paths would cross again; they met at the military hospital in Yaba. Mum was visiting an old military acquaintance who worked there as a senior nurse. The story that ensues is one of soberness and regret with tons of apologies to my mum.
That nothing truly goes unnoticed will be my solemn conclusion from these stories. Life sucks it all in into its master memory board and each one of us must tread carefully as each step is a written code in that drive.
How about me and you? We too have also played our sordid roles one way or the other; somehow we have hurt others, mistreated another and betrayed some. Though the memories remain in the past, even so that past too should be blessed and released.
Today as you reminisce upon your own toughest and most engraving encounters, remember to bless them and release them, so that you can embrace the future. Life is too short to hold on to pain and too brief to hold back from liberation.
Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision – Mark & Angel