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self development

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The business of wellness has become increasingly popular over the last several years due to the trend of more Americans becoming conscious of their mental health. For the Black community, racial trauma along with other factors can contribute to more Black Americans dealing with anxiety and depression. One Black woman decided to create a series of workshops to help other Black women cope with their anxieties through breathing sessions.

Jasmine Marie is the founder of Black Girls Breathing, a special workshop series for Black women to practice breathwork, a type of breathing exercise or technique used to improve mental health. Marie found that this type of wellness exercise was critical for Black women who face their own set of challenges.

“After practicing breathwork and incorporating the tool into my life (while experiencing the many up’s and down’s of various chapters) for 4.5 years, I decided to get my breathwork training. During training, I noticed the lack of diversity in our groups (not uncommon for the wellness industry) and thought even more how this work isn’t really known in the Black community or accessible,” said Marie in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“I created Black Girls Breathing when I didn’t see any organizations focusing on bringing this work specifically for us while knowing the power of this tool and how Black people suffer from the highest rates of chronic stress and the related physical ailments related to it.”

Unlike mediation, breathwork can be described as an active practice that lets a person control their breathing, which can be used to boost immunity, enrich creativity, and reduce stress levels. For Marie, it was important to bring diversity in this space that is typically predominantly white to help Black women with their healing journeys.

“Black women have different experiences than non-Black women of color and white women,” she added.”It was important for me to acknowledge that our particular lived experiences and how the world perceives us has an impact on our mental health and create an environment that addresses that reality and offers tools to help us work through and heal through that.”

Customers can book virtual sessions amid the COVID-19 pandemic to take part in group sessions. Marie says in addition to healing in their own individuals, the sessions have also created a safe space for Black women to convene and feel relaxed.

“Most of the Black women who experience it once, come back and have begun to develop a practice. Now more than ever we’re seeing how lack of insurance and low-income due to layoffs have caused additional stress on top of the everyday stress felt of being Black,” said Marie.

“Our community has been so grateful that we’ve made the core of our work available in an accessible way. We’ve begun to host some sessions with a licensed therapist so the community benefits from traditional talk therapy + somatic healing (healing of the body). We look forward to expanding our work so more Black womxn can experience this powerful tool.”

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Due to the pandemic, the educational sector has faced some of the most profound changes, and so many of our children have been homeschooled for months through online learning, radio, and television. 

With the new directive to reopen schools this month, many schools continue to maintain distance learning, but many others will reopen for physical classes. The government, school proprietors, teachers, parents, and the students themselves have been forced to innovate and create workable solutions. Education is a critical component that’ll help children realise their goals, and technology is key to fast-tracking our development as a nation

As physical schools begin to reopen, I hope we will merge the various forms of learning and not lose the life-changing skills that so many parents, teachers, and students have gained by embracing technology at this time.

Every new school year presents huge opportunities for children, along with some challenges for parents. The academic year comes with significant costs: school fees, uniforms, supplies, and all the paraphernalia that must be paid for. For most parents, particularly at this time with finances stretched and some job losses, it can be a huge challenge to prepare for children to go back to school. 

Here are some things to consider as you prepare for the new term:

Plan ahead

Ideally, parents and guardians should have started planning for the school year long before the resumption date. When you shop early, without the pressure of time, there’s no rush and you can take advantage of sales. When you wait until the last minute, most items will be at full price. This is probably the most expensive time to shop for the school year. If there are some items that your child doesn’t need right away, you can decide to wait for when unsold inventory is being sold at discounted prices.

Review the school list

The school supply list can be quite daunting, so go through the list critically and determine if your child really needs every single item there. Check to see what your child brought home at the end of the last term, you will be surprised to find that there are many items at home that can be used this term. That way, you can avoid wasting money or duplicating items. 

Make an inventory, it is important to keep track of what you’ve actually bought. Keep a list and give one to your child as they leave for school. Children should be accountable for their belongings and, at the end of each term, should be expected to bring them back home largely intact. Unpacking when they come home and ticking off the items that could still be used for the next term is a good idea. To encourage this habit, some parents give a small reward to children that respect, manage, and care for their personal possessions.

Prepare a budget 

Most people cannot afford to buy every single thing on the school list. How much money do you have to spend? Set out a budget for school supplies including school books, lunch, the school bus, uniforms, allowance, and so on. Shop with your list, prioritise, and stick to it.

Going through the school list with your child is an opportunity to teach some valuable money lessons. Talk through the difference between wants and needs. For instance, the standard trainers that the school recommends for PE can be compared with the much more fashionable high-end trainers that they would rather have. This provides strong lessons in costs, prioritising, and budgeting. It is also a good idea to go along with them for some of the shopping trips. 

Hand me downs 

Uniforms are essential and are a constant part of a school-shopping list. Every child would love to have a brand new uniform each year but where there are older siblings who attended the same school, it makes perfect sense to hand them down to a younger child if they are in good condition, even if you can afford to buy new ones. Some schools offer second-hand uniforms in perfect condition for a fraction of the cost but many Nigerian parents are embarrassed by this. Don’t be.

The booklist 

As children go through the same stages year on year, one can find second-hand books in good condition. When handing in your book list to the shop, request that they check for available second-hand alternatives in the correct edition listed on the book list. Talk to friends and relatives with children who have just completed the year above. So many parents find that they can do book swaps. Children should be taught to protect their books, so they can be used by others after them.

Buy in bulk 

Some people advocate buying school items, such as stationeries like pencils and notebook paper, in bulk. This can lead to waste so be careful. This technique is most effective for households with multiple students. For single-child families, consider doubling up with others for extra savings on basic supplies. If you buy too much, they will get lost, lent out, given away, misplaced, or just never used. 

Buy quality over quantity

It is tempting to buy a cheap school bag, lunch box, or water bottle, but what may seem cost-effective now will fall apart in no time at all. It pays to spend more on good quality, sturdy items that will last for a long time. 

Quality and durability are key as opposed to being trendy or having the ‘latest’ version. Children face enormous peer pressure and when they start school and see that their friends are all using the latest version, they are embarrassed. It is important for parents to take the time to talk through these challenging issues as they seek to raise confident, well-adjusted children.

Send them to school healthy

Before your children go back to school, see to it that they are healthy and have had all their checkups: eyes, teeth, and general health, to avert any festering problems that could cause them to miss classes. The premium on a family medical and dental insurance plan is a small price to pay to ensure that have access to the best medical care. We all know packed lunches prepared at home are much healthier and cheaper than the fast food alternatives.

Coronavirus has not disappeared, but we must learn to live with it for the foreseeable future. While your child’s school is obliged to enforce the COVID-19 protocols, the onus is on you to ensure that they understand how to protect themselves and others by wearing face masks, washing their hands frequently, using sanitizers, social distancing, and sneezing or coughing responsibly. Without being healthy, they cannot learn effectively.

The most expensive school may not be the best

Today’s harsh economic climate has left thousands of parents struggling to pay for their children’s education. If your child is bright and talented, there may be opportunities for scholarships and bursaries, which should be explored. But where you have run your numbers, cut back on family expenses, even sold assets, and are still struggling to meet your obligations, it is time to have that serious conversation about withdrawing your child from a particular school and enrolling in a cheaper option. 

For many parents who are earning in Naira and have children schooling abroad, the exchange rate and availability of foreign exchange make it increasingly difficult to keep paying the fees. Be careful not to jeopardize your livelihood and retirement plans to pay exorbitant school fees at all costs. It will be worse for everyone if you go broke!

Whatever you decide, the key to successful educational planning is to plan ahead and take advantage of the various products available including long-term educational plans, investments in property, etc. Start to plan for your children’s education from the time that they are born. This gives you the advantage of time to plan and prepare effectively for this important obligation. Your child’s education is the greatest legacy you can leave them.

They are the best of times, and they are the worst of times… yes, I’m referring to your roaring 20s! This unique, awkward, blooming, uncertain time of your life is pretty essential to how you’ll live the rest of it. And there are A LOT of growing pains you won’t be able to avoid during these times of development. Just remember that you will not be experiencing them alone.

1. Friendships will get weird, deteriorate, or fail.

The sad truth is, some of your friends now won’t be your friends forever. Some of your best friendships will fade. And as daunting as that may sound, it isn’t always a bad thing. As you travel through your personal journey as a 20-something, your pals will be trucking on their own as well. You may go months without speaking, have moral-related disagreements, or just simply fall out organically. As much as you’d like to keep your #girlgang alive, you may have to let them go like those old Lil’ Bow Wow posters.

2. There will be trial and error in your relationships.

Unless you’ve decided to stick with your middle school sweetheart, you’ll find out that dating and relationships will not be the fairy-tale you dreamed of as a child. This is the time when you’re not only figuring yourself out, but you’re also figuring out the type of people you want to be with and what you will or will NOT tolerate in relationships. You’re older now and when shacking up and long-term commitments come into play, you’ll find yourself kissing A LOT of frogs trying to find your perfectly-flawed prince. You’ll most likely get your heart broken, pieced together again, and broken one more time.

3. You might hit a point in your life where you don’t know what to do. 

Let’s be honest, there’s more than a few of us out here who have no clue what we’re going to end up doing with our lives. We feel the pressure after comparing ourselves to our peers that seem to have it all together and examine our own lives and say “What the heck am I doing?!” We want to make an impact in the world, but we don’t know what we want to do, who we want to be, or how we’re gonna go about making that impact.

4. Decisions about your career, education, and life will be made…and made again.

One minute you’re enrolled in five classes at a university and the next you find yourself taking a year off in hopes that you’ll figure your life out. There’s never really a one-and-done system with making decisions during this time. There’s always a, “Oh! I want to be a psychologist” followed by a, “I think I’m gonna move out to L.A. and sell art for a living”…  Do you move, do you stay, do you pursue your dreams? Like WHAT DO YOU DO?

5. You can’t always pay yo’ bills.

As much as we may be warned about managing our money, we will still spend our last savings on some Takis after getting fired from Old Navy (thanks Bibi). Bills are foreign to us until we have a few of our own, and our cashier position at Wal-mart may not cover that light bill you’re already late on from last month, so naturally, we learn to penny-pinch and pinch some more….and some more to be able to partially pay our bills but still hit the sale rack at Charlotte Russe.

6. You’ll get cut off or decide to go it alone without your parent’s help.

If this never happens to you, God bless your soul. If so, then brace yourself for a very rude awakening. Being cut off financially doesn’t feel so great. It’s like having a fur coat yanked from your body during winter in New York.  On the other hand, some of us tap into our pride and decline our parents help because we want to do it by ourselves…. until we can’t and we have to borrow $40 for gas for the week.

7. The pressure of your parents will be REAL. 

“So what exactly are you doing with your life?”

“Why aren’t you spending your money right?”

“You should just come back home and let us take care of you again”… Truthfully, I don’t think our parents will ever trust us as adults. There’s always something we’re doing wrong, and they aren’t shy about letting you know it.

8. Every few years, you won’t recognize yourself.

Think about who you were in 2015, and who you are now in 2017. I bet if you look at pictures you’re amazed (and a little embarrassed) at what you see. As you go through these inevitable experiences, your perspectives, appearance, and just about everything else about how you once were will change.

9. People will still think you’re too young to have real-life issues.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “You’re only 21, you don’t know what it’s like to (insert “something I know what it’s like” here). Even when you’re older, people older than you will always think their experiences are grander and that they’re much wiser than you are. Truthfully, they still consider you a 15-year-old high school student who’s only concerned about the homecoming dance next Saturday….if it’s any conciliation…I get you, I understand…we see each other.

10. You will struggle to try to balance school, work, and a social life.

School is taking your mornings, work is taking your mid-day and sometimes nights, and your social life is thrown in every chance you get an hour or two between or after school and work. There is no such thing as balance really….

11. You’ll want to go back to being a young adult so badly.

Naps will become a thing again. Running to your parents for help will become a thing again. Pouting and not getting your way in life — will become a thing again. But the luxury of just being a kid in an adult world will become a fantasy that you’ll never be able to get back into your reality.

12. You will become self-aware.

The twenties are generally referred to as the “finding yourself” years as well as your prime and many other things. But I refer to it as the accountability “call yourself out on it” stage. And from there, you make the appropriate changes or remain an irresponsible self-sufficient twenty-something forever. We all know we do NOT need any more of those. As of now, you’ve been pretty much told who you are and what you can and can’t do. But as you navigate the world alone, you’ll explore every area of yourself that will kind of punch you in the face when the time comes. You’ll find out how you are in relationships, how you treat other people, how you treat and feel about yourself.

Truthfully, we shouldn’t allow our twenties to make or break us. Because they’ll be different hardships in our thirties, forties, and so-on. But our foundation and self-awareness do begin here, make it count!

Source: https://baucemag.com/inevitable-hardships-twenties/

If you are in a long-term relationship, you may find that there is no longer that spark and magic that you once enjoyed. Over time, most couples fall into a routine and they have other commitments that result in romance being put on the back burner. Of course, this does not mean that they no longer care about one another, it simply means that they have to put other things first and romance simple doesn’t get a look-in.

Well, if you want to try and bring back some of that romance, there are ways in which you can do this. You can use simple yet effective methods that are easy to put into place but can make all the difference. When people want to add spice to their physical relationship, they often turn to measures such as adult toys and will buy dildos online along with other toys. However, if you want to add romance, it is important to think with your heart.

What Can You Do?

There are various methods you can use in order to add some romance to your relationship. So, let’s take a look at some of the options:

Cook a Romantic Meal

One very simple thing you can do to romance your partner is to surprise them with a romantic home-cooked meal. You will find lots of great recipes for romantic dishes online, and this means that you can enjoy good food, good company, and a wonderfully romantic atmosphere with your partner. This is a method that costs very little and can be fun for you. You get to choose all the dishes and whip up culinary creations that will impress your partner. You can set the table with candles and chilled wine, or you can even head to the patio if the weather is good and dine al fresco.

Go for an Afternoon Picnic

Another great way to surprise your partner with a romantic gesture is to whisk them away for a surprise afternoon picnic somewhere beautiful. You can make some simple picnic dishes, pack some cold beers and other drinks, and head to the beach or a local park to while away the afternoon. This is a great way to get outdoors without spending money but still being able to have a great time with your partner.

Book a Short Trip

Depending on your budget, you could surprise your partner with a romantic trip away to their favorite type of place. This could be a secluded cottage, and cabin, a beach hotel, or a spa hotel depending on the type of thing they like. By doing this, you both get to benefit from a change of scenery, and you can look forward to spending some quality romantic time together without distractions. You don’t have to spend a fortune – you can even go on a romantic camping trip.

So, these are some of the ideas you can consider if you want to add some romance back into your relationship.

Source: Bauce Mag

Let me start by saying that dating is defined by what you do in it.

Dating is an act of spending time with a person to get to know them well and consider if you want to get committed.

Dating is not necessarily about sleeping with different people to ascertain who you want.

There are 3 ways to date on purpose and following this method can save you from unnecessary heartache.

  1. DATE INWARDLY: This means spending time with yourself to know what you want, who you are, the kind of relationship you want to build, who you are becoming, your personality, values and emotional needs. Gaining clarity in these areas of life helps you understand who you are. Another way of knowing yourself is seeing yourself through the lens of God because your internal lens may be broken if you have not healed from past hurts and you can’t afford to allow your wrong perceptions of your identity keep you stuck. You’re more than you think you are.

 

  1. DATE OUTWARDLY: Definitely, it is necessary to spend time with other people so you can network and engage well with them. Dating is a social word for meeting people and it is what you do in it that matters. You can have friends and spend time knowing them well before thinking about a relationship. Don’t be too quick to get into an intimate relationship with a person, consider knowing them for a while, asking the right questions, meeting their friends, observing patterns, giving value, praying about it and listening to your intuition before getting serious about it.

 

  1. DATE UPWARDLY: This is definitely your relationship with God, unshaken. If you don’t get this part right, it can mess up with the WHY around your dating. You should not date someone to feel complete or valuable.

 

Seeking for approval or validation from a man or woman for that can lead to more identity crisis.

This is still a process because some people haven’t really spent time knowing themselves, hardly go out or have a sour relationship with God. Do you see why you should sit down to also create a plan that can make this strategy work?

 

Here are examples:

 

  1. Dating yourself: Read books around self-discovery, Identity and Purpose.

 

  1. Dating outwardly: Hang out with some friends monthly or weekly, depends on your time. Read about building healthy relationships and boundaries.

 

  1. Dating upwardly: Spend more time knowing God through fellowship. Journaling is good too.

 

Which of these do you need to get better at?

Depression can put a strain between you and your partner if it’s not handled properly.

Tips on how to cope with a depressed partner [Atinka Online]
Tips on how to cope with a depressed partner [Atinka Online]
Atinka Online

Living with a depressed partner who is often unhappy, critical and negative isn’t easy, and it may also be hard to persuade the individual to get help.

Depression varies tremendously in severity, but it has many behavioral impacts that can profoundly affect all significant relationships. Many factors can contribute to one’s depression, most especially when he is in a low place in his life.

Depression results from shifts in brain chemistry that influence mood, thoughts, sex drive, sleep, appetite, and energy levels. All factors that could affect a marriage, as well as disrupt home and family life.

So what do you do when your partner or husband won’t talk to you but grumble, complain and mope around the house? Here’s how to deal with a depressed partner.

1. Find the root of the problem

 You have to know what the problem is to solve it [How Africa]You have to know what the problem is to solve it [How Africa]

Howafrica

This is the first step to solving the problem. You have to know what the problem is to solve it. Is it the person’s job? Earnings? Or even you and the family? A problem shared is a problem solved. And in a case where he doesn’t talk, do some digging, but not snooping and getting into the partner’s business. Just gather enough information that would help in solving the problem.

2. Identify what you each can handle and stick to it

Supporting a significant other through a hard time is always going to be stressful. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, but it can be a danger to your well-being. You can’t help your partner if you’re too overwhelmed to function. When you’re helping your partner, be sure to give yourself some clear boundaries on what you can and cannot offer them. Getting a therapist for your partner is advised.

3. Seek help together

Support goes a long way in helping your spouse. Seek help together, whether it is a counselor you see or a professional therapist, a spiritual counselor or help from family members. You need to be by your partner’s side so the individual doesn’t go through the journey alone.

4. Demonstrate your love

Telling and showing your partner that you love them helps them [Pulse Nigeria]

Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support. Proactively counteract those thoughts by telling and showing your partner that you love them. Let them know that you understand that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you (still) love them. Reassure them that you are here to support them in their journey to get better.

5. Do family activities together

You can take him and the kids out, do something fun as you used to you when dating. Getting him distracted will help the recuperation process. He needs to feel needed and useful again, to know that there are people counting on him. You are the one who can best help your husband because you know him best.

 The easiest way to get healthy skin is by incorporating certain nutritious foods into your diet. Save money on cosmetics and skip filter if you try these natural and inexpensive foods.

Carrots

This vegetable has high levels of beta-carotene which is turned into Vitamin A in the body.

This vitamin has been found to decrease the skin’s oil production, and there’s also some evidence that it can improve psoriasis.

One cup of carrot juice straight or in your smoothie will give you about 22 mg of beta-carotene, as well as a good dose of vitamin C, which also could help the skin appear more firm and plump.

READ ALSO: 3 easy homemade treatment for your hands

Avocados

Avocado is a superfood used in many face mask. They are a rich source of Vitamin C and E. Avocados are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids that can really improve your skin from the inside. You can directly apply the pulp on your face for deep moisturization and regeneration.

Oranges

Citrus fruit, orange is a loaded with Vitamin C which helps reduces wrinkles, dark spots, and blemishes. Oranges peels also do wonders for your skin with its anti-aging properties.

Eggs

An egg is a popular ingredient in the most face mask. The amino acids found in protein-rich foods like meat or eggs are the building blocks of collagen production.

Dark chocolates

Aside from the numerous health benefits, dark chocolate is great for skin firming. It also has flavonols, which is a very potent antioxidant.

In this article, you will discover some of the natural ways to make your teeth white and shiny.

5 natural ways to make your teeth white and shiny  [thehealthy]
5 natural ways to make your teeth white and shiny [thehealthy]

Although everyone desires white and shiny teeth, there are some who have resigned themselves to the belief that nothing can be done to bring their wish to reality.

After all, they’ve tried every possible means to make it work without achieving a positive result.

Well, you might as well change your belief if you’re one of them; because, in this article, you will discover some of the natural ways to make your teeth white and shiny.

Here are five natural ways to make your teeth white and shiny

1. Banana peel

Surprising but efficient, the banana the peel has been proven to contain lots of magnesium, potassium and other teeth whitening minerals that can make the colour of your teeth look better.

However, it is very easy to use the banana peel method. Rub it on your teeth for some minutes after brushing and rinse out of your mouth with warm water.

2. A mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Both the hydrogen peroxide and the baking soda have been known to give results when used singly and have been used as home remedies for whitening the teeth for quite some time now,

As a matter of fact, a mixture of the two is bound to give better results.

This remedy is used by mixing the hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and forming a sort of paste, which is then used as a toothpaste.

However, it is not advisable to make use of this remedy regularly because of the abrasive nature of its components.

3. Baking soda and lemon combo

The paste is formed by using half a lemon and a teaspoon of baking soda.

Apply it in your teeth using a cotton bud and let it stay for a few minutes (not less than one minute and not more than two minutes).

Use your regular toothpaste to wash off afterward.

4. Baking soda and coconut oil

When it comes to either home remedies of DIYs, coconut oil is king. And this is because it contains a lot of nutrients and minerals.

However, when combined with baking soda, they form a teeth whitening paste that can be applied to the teeth for a few minutes before washing off.

Apply baking soda and coconut oil paste to teeth for few mins and rinse with warm water.

5. Use of foil and toothpaste

Cut out two rectangles of aluminum foil and rub your toothpaste or any of the above homemade remedies. Use the foil to cover the teeth on your upper jaw and lower jaw and leave it for a few minutes before removing it.

In conclusion, when making use of the homemade remedies, remember to apply them consistently, because that is the only way you can get your desired result.

I was in my room one night, basking in the darkness and silence of it, when my sister put on her radio.

I hate noise. I hate it more when the moon is out, when the curtains are drawn to kill the little rays of light straying in from outside, when everywhere is still, the room is the colour of black and all I want to do is to live in my head and fall in love again with my imaginations.

But the OAP’s voice was sad and she sounded like she was sniffing. There were a lot of awws and I’m sorrys and my ears were suddenly stretched forward – like that of Bebeto, our silly, troublesome rabbit. That night, she asked callers to share any experience they had of when they found it difficult to forgive themselves.

One caller’s – let’s call him Aremu – story is one I’ll never forget.

Aremu had been dating this lady – let’s call her Kauna – since they were both undergraduates. Like many youngies, they were broke, madly in love, and had lots of sex. Now, having lots of sex means that one day, the tip of the condom might tear, there may be no condom available and you will use the withdrawal method – and, of course, small semen might have found its way into the vagina, or you may use pills, or just have the sex and rely on Insha Allah and vibes not to get pregnant. Being madly in love also means that when you make a mistake – like getting pregnant when you don’t want to, you erase this mistake, shake body like say nothing shele, and still set your bodies on fire at night.

But when these mistakes become very frequent, the person whose vagina is constantly prodded with metals, who had to watch blood flow down her thighs or the dismantled foetus drawn out of her will complain. There will be apologies. Begging and cajoling will swiftly follow, too, accompanied by “just one more time.”

This was the case of Aremu and Kauna.

Even after they graduated from school, Aremu was still not ready to become a father, although Kauna frantically begged him to let her keep the pregnancy. “I was waiting to become financially stable. I didn’t want to bring children into this world to suffer,” he said.

But years after they got married, and were both financially stable, they had no child. Every attempt to get pregnant failed. Fear became desperation, desperation gave way to despair, and Kauna slipped into depression. When you want something so badly and you cannot get it, the desire grips you in ways you cannot explain. It grabs your jugular and sucks air off your lungs, it pummels your heart and chews your intestines slowly and steadily until you shrivel from within. It was this desire that ate up Kauna until she became bones. Aremu was weighed down by guilt, “I kept wondering if it was my fault. I was the one who asked her to abort our babies. I didn’t know what to do.”

Kauna eventually died without a child.

“I have not been able to forgive myself. Every day, I regret asking her to abort our babies. Every day I feel I killed her. I cannot sleep, I keep seeing her face. She really wanted to have a baby and it is my fault she didn’t have any until she died.”

It is over a decade ago but I can still hear his voice clearly. His voice is still shaky, thick with emotions, crackly with tears. It dripped guilt. When he said “I really loved her and I cannot forgive myself,” he was undone, gasping, choking on his own tears.

“Forgive and forget” is probably one of the most abused phrases in the world. No one, nothing, tells you how hard it is to forgive. The burden it places on you. The tightening of your chest or the way big balls of sweat escape your pores.  How do you forgive yourself if you are Aremu? Do you say “but I loved her”? Do you say “but she also agreed to it”? What do you say to console yourself? How do you forgive yourself when you are the cause of the accident that killed tens of people, yet you’re alive and well?

How do you forgive that man who calls himself your father? Who dumped you at the orphanage when your mother died, told you that you were his worst mistake, but suddenly came back, after you were successful, to seek forgiveness? How do you forgive your rapist? How do you forgive your mother whose toxic words still haunt you?

Forgiveness can be a burden sometimes, like something you have no choice but to do. The world expects it of you and you expect it of yourself too. The world makes you feel like you’re the devil if you refuse to forgive those who have wronged you. There’s the “for how long do you want to keep this in mind?” There’s also the “they are your family, your blood, you have to let it go. “Then there’s the “what is past is past, move on” (I really hate this one, but isn’t it true? Can you take back the hands of time?) They say forgiveness brings peace, but what if you don’t want peace?

The world tells you to forgive and move on, but they do not teach you how. They do not tell you that forgiving yourself is the hardest part of it all. They do not tell you that to forgive yourself is to break a part of you and bury it deep into the earth. It is to sprinkle tears on your past and try to make it look misty. They do not tell you that your past can sometimes be a ghost, appearing to you in the oddest of place and relieving the oddest of tales. They do not tell you that sometimes forgiving yourself feels like a betrayal to your loved ones, like Aremu moving on, living life, marrying another wife, and having many kids. Sometimes, forgiving other people feels like a betrayal to one’s self, like letting go of that person when you have made up your mind to deal with him/her. The world does not talk of this hollow you feel inside of you. This emptiness that is so filling it consumes you.

Forgiveness is hard. Still, it is not impossible to achieve. I don’t know where Aremu is. I still think about him all the time. Is he married now? Did he find love? Does he have kids? Or is he dea… never mind. But if I ever meet him, I’ll tell him that the dead is dead. The world never stops because someone dies. As long as we are alive, we must do everything we can to keep sane. And perhaps forgiving ourselves and others is one way to keep sane.

 

About the Author

Oluwadunsin is a Writer and Editor from Lagos, Nigeria. Her works have been featured on BellaNaija, The Kalahari Review, Barren Magazine, and others. Want to get in contact with her? Easy!! Send a mail to dd4damidunsin@yahoo.com. You can follow her on Instagram @oluwadunsin___ and on Twitter @duunsin.

When it comes to helping your business succeed there are a few things that you can do. At the end of the day though, all that matters is that you can do what you need to well. So, if you’re looking to get media coverage for your small business, then you need to know How To Write A Press Release and how to write it well. This is an essential skill that will take some time for you to learn, however, it’s very important that you can manage this.

You can’t just write anything and hope for the best. If you do this then it is likely that it will not work, and your press release will be a failure. You need to know how long a press release should be. What sort of information should you include? Ultimately, it’s not just a ticket to earn you news coverage though, you should also be thinking of your press release as a valuable piece of marketing content that can help your business succeed. So how do you write the perfect press release though?

Make Sure Your Story is Newsworthy

There’s no point writing whatever you feel like. Before you even start writing a press release you need to think about what people will actually want to read about. If you don’t know what to start with then think about what you like to read, watch and listen to what is on the media, this should help give you a good indication of what will work well. If you are still struggling to think of something after that, then most people will generally be interested in something that they haven’t heard of before, or something that surprises them, or even something that can help them solve a problem.

So, before you start writing your press release you need to ask yourself a few questions: is there anything “new” in your story? Is there anything unexpected about it and would anyone be interested in this? You need to think about the people who are already aware of your business, but also you shouldn’t forget about the people outside of your business. So, if you are a small gardening company, how can you impress people who have limited gardening skills, or hire a personal gardener to do the work for them? Will your press release interest them or only people who like to garden?

Write Killer Headlines

Even if you write the most perfect press released ever, you won’t get very far if you have a boring headline. You need to stand out from the crowd and entice people to read more. When you are sending your press release to journalists to review, you need to remember that they will probably go through a hundred emails a day, so it’s a good idea to label your email with something like “press release” and then also have a great subject line as well.

Don’t try and be too clever though, you need to make sure that they can understand it. So, if your subject line is too complicated and means that they’ll have to think about it for more than a few seconds, they will probably just bin it and move on. You need something that is catchy and draws in people’s attention. Writing a killer headline is a sure way to get seen, and you’ll soon have plenty of people interested in reading more about you and your business.

Be Concise

When it comes to writing your press release, you might be tempted to show off your business and just waffle on. This would be a mistake. The ideal length of a press release is about an A4 side, or about 300-400 words in length. If you go much longer than this, then you probably have a load of unnecessary things in it, that won’t add any value to your story. If this is the case, then you need to edit your piece down and get rid of a few words or paragraphs.

You will also want it to look good as well. You need to have the same number of lines in your paragraphs. You will also want to include things like sub-headings and bullet points to help the person read it with ease. Bullet points make all the information a lot easier to digest particularly if you’re including statistics and figures. Don’t forget it’s not just press releases that can help your business – why not check out these small budget advertising strategies for your business here to help you take that next step!

Source: baucemag.com