Hello there, its another beautiful Month! How is the Monday morning disease treating you? What is your reaction on the Sand Music Festival? I know the intoxication of weekend’s rest and excitement is still so fresh and we feel like “damn its Monday again”. Well it is what it is. You just have to get out of your comfort zone and get productive again. I believe you are in great health and you doing great. As usual, today we will continue our ride with a new episode from Letters From The School Of Bitter Truth. Remember, this is a series that contains a continuous flow of random thoughts and random topics that most people don’t like to talk about. These ideas will be presented as articles. I’m just a vessel. As always, you can bring suggestions on the topics you would love me to discuss in the coming Mondays. Just leave it in the comment box and I will get it in my mail box.  Start your week fresh and mentally prepared with this G talk piece . Have a great week.

Don’t Take it Personally

We are living in a time where everyone is so busy and so focused on themselves. Almost every individual is dealing with their (εγώ) personal battles on a daily basis and nobody really cares about what the person next to them is going through because they are so swallowed in their own chaos. A lot of people are frustrated, struggling, depressed and crying for help every second but can’t be heard because everyone is in the midst of their own kind cry for help. Don’t be surprised when you hear about the rising suicide rate in the world. Depression is real and the silent treatment coming from our “am too busy dealing with my own shit” syndrome that has infected most of us is the booster that has got a lot of our brothers and sisters going suicidal (understand that am not justifying suicide here).

Wherever you are and whatever you do, there comes a moment in your life that you believe you’re going through the hardest time and sometimes it makes you believe no one would ever feel worse than you or would ever go through anything worse than what you are going through. We all have experienced such times. Everyone goes through hard times; some have gone through them already and have recovered or suffering from the aftermath, some are going through them right now while others will do in the near future and that’s a fact of life that is as inevitable as death. I have gone through my own predicaments too and that is the reason I write this to you to share the only lesson I have learned from all the struggle I have gone through.

Bare in mind that at this very moment, someone somewhere is in a soul ripping-out shock because they just had their eighth miscarriage at the age of 58 and the doctor told them it was the last chance to have their first and definitely only child. On the other hand, somewhere in this peacefully chaotic world, a 22 year old college girl is struggling with how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy which her married boyfriend is forcing her to mercilessly terminate. On the other side of the city, a very rich politician is struggling with how to source millions to send his children and wife to an Island in Jamaica for the holidays and he is literally and honestly stressed out about it and a poor widow somewhere in the slums is struggling to find one meal a day for her poor malnutritious child to survive and it depresses her every single second of the day. In your circle, a brother or sister (if it is not you that is), has just found out that the person they thought they had a future with does not necessarily see a future in them but their ex whom they are having an affair with and the brother or the sister was nothing but a “back up plan” for the past two years they have been dating. The list of these humanity sucking tragedies is endless. I was only trying to paint different vivid pictures for different scenarios so that you understand that everyone everywhere is going through a heap of ‘bull’s faeces’ (I came up with that don’t bother look it up). It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what you do. One way or the other you get to face misery and consequently deal with it, am interested in the consequential not the inevitable.

Am glad now that we agree on the universality of troubles and chaos. Just remember, don’t think of me as your psychologist or your mental yoga mentor, AM NOT, am just another brother dealing with his own issues but willing to share one lesson we should all use when we’re bent down to our knees in the midst of struggle. The lesson is simple and straight forward; don’t take whatever you are going through personal no matter how personal it seems. I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s actually a philosophy you will thank me later for after you fully digest it, that is if your mental intestines can stomach it. So here is the issue, the last thing you need to do when hit head-on with any devastating experience is to escalate the problem by overthinking it from every angle, picturing every possible worse scenario and beating yourself up about it convincing yourself in your head that you are really in big trouble. Trust me that is very unnecessary and from what I have learned you only hurt yourself more than the real issue at hand. So instead of beating yourself with unreasonable denial, face the truth and accept that whatever has befallen on you is an inevitable human life reality and just like many other realities it is going to be short lived though with undeniable stains that might change your life forever.

The moment you find yourself in deep bull’s faeces, the first step is to look at the world around you and see how many people are going through miseries. This step is key to not taking your hard times personally because it helps you understand and reminds you that chaos is inevitable in this world and that no one is a virgin when it comes to overwhelming negative experiences. Don’t waste your time crying to yourself, seeking sympathy or even considering of ending your life because you feel so hurt and you think you can never heal or you would never be the same again. It could be true your life could never be the same, pain and hurt feelings really change people (any rational person can’t deny this). However, don’t take your experience personal, you are not the first one, probably not the last and surely not the worst. There is nothing that has not occurred to someone, somewhere, before. 

No matter how devastating your experience might seem, don’t take it as your own because, sometimes, it is not entirely your fault. It is just how the world around us operates hence the need to never personalise them. Who ever coined the term “shit happens” is probably the Albert Einstein of social psychology and he surely deserves an award because he gave the simplest formula of how to not take whatever situation you might gotten yourself into personally. We are all prone to make mistakes, we are prone to get hurt by other individuals and we are prone to be raped by nature even when it’s not anyone’s fault. Shit just happens. No matter how bad it looks, we should always remember somewhere someone has gone through the same, is going through the same and will get through the same. Constantly remind yourself that you are not special when suffering knocks on your door. No matter how specific your troubles may seem, you are just another victim in the crowd of equally hurt victims so don’t take it personal, it’s just the universe confirming you’re a fully functional being not just existing but living, so mistakes are allowed my dear, after all it’s an imperfect world. Don’t be hard on yourself, It’s just life, we control what we can and accept what we can’t. It’s nothing personal.

Ntho’sPen✍️

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Joseph Daniel Sukali is a Malawian freelance writer, blogger, award winning spoken word poet and a mental health advocate. Some of his works have been published in the Best “New” African Poet 2020 ANTHOLOGY, Writers Global Movement (WGM) magazine and several other local and international magazines. He is also a contributor to an online library Good Literature Malawi, columnist of Malawi Talents Magazine and editor of Love Feast Magazine. Sukali has authored and published a book "Dealing with a Heartbreak: Therapy for the Broken-A Health Relationship Guide”. He is also a co-author of a poetry anthology "Whispers of Beating Hearts". His 2020 spoken word album “Wonders Of My Perception” is available for free download online. The 26 year old is a holder of a bachelor's degree obtained from Mzuzu University. Apart from being a wordsmith, Joseph Daniel Sukali is currently an employee of Emmanuel International Malawi and he is also an ambassador for Maphunziro265 Malawi.

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