As I sat down, staring at the couple saying their vows, I could see how happy Ola was, I couldn’t just see it, I could feel it and even taste it. It was bitter and I felt that same bitterness. All emotions came flooding at that very moment and I wanted to just scream the hurt out. Then the minister said, “Is there anyone who has anything as to why the couple shouldn’t be married? Speak up now, or forever remain silent.” My feet moved but somehow I couldn’t dare stand.
This was me 3 years ago at my ex wedding, I didn’t even know what led me to attend the wedding after all warning from concerned friends. I guess I just wanted to see his face one last time and somewhat see my replacement, I wanted to understand what was special about her, I wanted to know where I missed it, I wanted to see if she was beautiful, I wanted to see if his eyes shined brighter when he looked at her as he once did me, I just wanted to understand why I wasn’t enough.
You see, I went to that wedding to hurt myself even more, I knew I was strong-willed but that day I was shattered in ways I couldn’t fathom and it left a sour taste in my feelings towards men. For years I felt unworthy, I felt I wasn’t meant to be loved, my self esteem was at its lowest when it came to self worth, I didn’t consider myself beautiful or pleasing to look at and as such I became a recluse.
At work, male folks didn’t bother staring my way except when they needed assistance with work. I knew I was smart and also tough when it came to work. In business, I was the go- to person and it earned me the respect of all that knew me, meanwhile, deep down, I was emotionally bankrupt.
Ola was the love of my life or so I thought, fresh out from the university I met him during my service year, he was already working, tall, intelligent, gentlemanly, great conversationalist, man of the people and handsome. What’s there not to love? To both male and female he was admired, he had a way of making people feel at ease and there I was in need of acknowledgement from him it didn’t take long I was deeply in love with him.
We started dating and all went well for a while until I started feeling him detaching from me, I was left hanging. It all started when he travelled to the US for a business course of three months, I could barely hear from him and all that. Our breakup wasn’t even confrontational it was via a text message like all we shared was worth ending via such means.
After the initial feeling of hurt, hatred, unworthy to have him and all well look at me now, standing in front of an audience ready to share my self esteem growth story.
After my distasteful breakup and self wallowing pity and hate for male folks, I delved into reading books and agreed with any self motivation quote. I listened to soul lifting music, I and also immersed myself in God’s word. Then the reality hit me. I was worthy. I was worthy of being loved, worthy of being treated right. I was worthy of being showered with unwavering attention and guess what, I started doing those things I thought I needed a man to do for me. I gave myself all the attention I could and loved myself intensely.
I continued feeding my spirit with God’s word, and grew so much, I started to glow, my smile was contagious, my spirit was lifted, my confidence was at its peak, and my relationship with God was great. I was literally transformed all because I came to a defining moment of realization, I came to know happiness starts from within; this made me my own cheerleader.
As I transformed into a positive female, this affected my relationship with others, I started attracting like minds, became more productive, and began to understand people better. I learnt to guard my heart fiercely, and was no longer the embittered one. I became the ever smiling and positive one. All these I learnt and gained in my growth process. I learned to BECOME first what I wanted from another.
We all fear growth sometimes but it’s necessary. Let loose from every confining state, break free from depression, it really isn’t worth it. Find God, find yourself, become and spread love. Say to yourself that you are worth every good thing, realize this and then pursue growth.
Written by: Nneka Okoro.
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