The Mediator

A lot of my time is spent inside my head, no doubt my most asked question is what are you thinking? I say this because something I frequently do is evaluate my behaviour and reaction to certain things.

A lot of people do this mostly when they feel guilty about something, but this is something I do that’s almost as natural as eating. It’s a bit strange cause every time I do that, I usually think and assess myself as someone other than myself. That person I call the mediator.

My mum and siblings often tell me I’m someone that doesn’t get angry easily. She knows me better than most and has observed me ever since I was a day old; so whatever she says about me is 99% true. However, I feel the more accurate thing to say is I don’t ‘show’ anger easily. I’m not a very expressive person but I’m human, so I definitely have the anger nerves that can be toyed with.

I’m just not one to show my anger by shouting, cursing, throwing or breaking things…I mean when people do these things it could only mean they are angry right? So when someone does or says something offensive that ought to make me angry, the people observing don’t get to see me react that way so they assume I don’t get angry, but I do.  In the end it boils down to whether you are a person that controls your emotions or you allow your emotions control you…more often than not I control mine.

I remember back in high school during break, a friend said something very bad about me. The comment was not said directly to my face but literally behind my back where I was seated and loud enough for everyone else in the room to hear. The friend I was sitting with was looking straight at me and finally voiced his mind “Are you not going to say anything back?” I shook my head. That’s what she wants and I won’t stoop as low or allow her control me, I remember me telling him. “Altine you are too calm, and nice. If it was me I won’t keep quiet. Do you want me to say something?” I shrugged him off and told him to ignore her. The girl continued to talk and I could feel the warm water inside of me start to get hot and then boil.

I later told myself I did not have to remain in the same room and hear all she had to say. I got up and started to leave, but she saw it as a victory and started to say ‘see she can’t say anything…she’s walking away” I did not take the bait. I kept walking towards the exit even though it seemed a thousand miles away. She then made a lasting comment that left me immobile. The room kind of silenced thereafter, the only thing I could hear was the cry of a child from a far distance. If it were a movie that’s probably the moment I beat her black and blue for crossing the line, but the only thing I did was look down at my shoulder and address her from there; I was not going to nuisance my eyes to the sight of her. “Say whatever you want about me but leave my family out of this.” I was surprised at the calmness of my voice, cause I felt everything but calm. I took the final stride and left the room.

I’m not going to repeat what she said because hours later she came to me privately and apologised. I’m not stupid, keeping quiet doesn’t mean I walked out of there the winner. I felt extremely insulted and humiliated but there was one important thing I got in the end that made all the difference and would cause you to say I was the winner; and it was the fact that I wasn’t sorry for my actions in the end.

Having to be sorry is not a pleasant look. When she came up to me she couldn’t really look at me. I do not know if my other friends got her to apologise or she did so by herself but it didn’t matter, the only thing that mattered was that she did and I felt it’s sincerity.

I let it go and we continued to be friends up to this day, but I never saw her the same way again. I lost my respect for her the day she allowed those words to escape her mouth. The interesting thing about that incident is that a year after (before we all parted ways), she left me a note saying she wished we were a lot more closer because I was the kind of person she wanted to be. I don’t know why she said that but I think it’s because of the way I reacted that day; her respect for me increased. Had I acted any differently or listened to shaytan that was very tempting, I would have ended up a lot more sorry.

Two feelings I dislike the most in this life are regret and guilt; because they never leave me so I like to tread very carefully with the things I say and do.

I’ve had a few occasions were showing my anger costed me a lot more. Lets say my little brother did something that really angered me and I responded by saying something very nasty.

In Yoruba they say “ki la ju, ki la gba?” which means What did we throw and what did we receive? In other words your counter move was far greater than mine; I hit you with sticks and you throw stones back at me.

The moment I said something hurtful to him, I instantly feel bad but I don’t apologise immediately, because I’m so stunned at my actions and I don’t know how to make it right or take it back…you often can’t.

The next moment I find that I’m not too overwhelmed with remorse and can think a bit more straight, I allow my mediator to step in and take charge.

What did he do? How were you feeling before he did it? What did you say? Was that right or fair? Is it something you can repeat to him? Did you see him flinch? Do you think it’s something he can forgive you for and get over ? Or you need to be punished more? How do you think he felt? Are you happy he felt that way? If someone else was there watching how will they see you after hearing you say those hurtful things? How does your most beloved Allah see you now? Did you fail or pass that test? The angels on your sides just wrote that on your records. How can you wipe it off? What will you do now? How can you make up for it cause you certainly can’t make it right?

So many things go through my head I really can’t put it all down. It can be very unbearable being me but at the same time I thank Allah for the way He’s made me. My mistakes and the way I think allows me to focus and work on myself and not others, reminding me that I’m not any better than anyone else that has made a mistake.

A special friend once asked, if there is one thing you could change about yourself what would it be? Though the thing has helped me a lot in the past, I think I’ll like to change the part that I’m too calm and a times nonchalant…I feel it makes me seem emotionless at times.

I get really upset at myself sometimes and feel I could have done or reacted better. My mum often complains that when she asks my opinion about something lets say her dress (a very beautiful dress) I will only say ‘oh its very nice’.

I’m smiling as I’m writing this because I really think its beautiful, I don’t mean to be a buzzkill. My reactions are often very mild. Wherease my older sister will see the dress and say something like “Ahn Ahn Mummy! Is this You?! Mama the Mama! Oh my gaaasshhh, oya come come come, let me take a picture. Ah no I must take a picture..instagram things. In the end you’ll realise she hasn’t even answered the question. Hahaha I’m laughing right now cause I can picture her doing all that. My mum will then have to re-ask so its nice? She’ll then nod her head viciously and say yes yes yes, very. My sister is probably going to kill me cause i’m using her as an example and letting you all know how she is; the drama queen. But I really like that about her, it makes her fun to be with. So yes thundy I kind of wish to be less calm and subtle and a bit more expressive and obvious.

Maybe the word nice is what my mum is tired of hearing…she feels my nice and super nice is all the same. It’s not that I can’t get excited over something, I can but I’m just naturally placid plus I challenge and doubt anyone can beat the level of excitement my sister shows; it must be draining being her.

This friend of mine for as long as I can remember I call him thundy, so I wish to tell him something here. Thundy I promised to repay your five questions with five of my own. I finally have something and here is where I choose to ask (cause I know you check out my blog from time to time).

  1. What’s that one thing you didn’t do that you always think back at and wish you did?
  2. What cheers you up?
  3. Do you have any ritual? (alone/friends/family)
  4. What is one thing you wish people understood better about yourself?
  5. How would you describe yourself in three words?

I’ll put out there for my readers, the five questions thundy had asked me and I’ld really like to hear you answer one or two.

  1. What inspires you?
  2. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
  3. Best moment of your life so far?
  4. Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
  5.  Which non-family member do you cherish the most and why?

Have a great week everyone ^.^

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