I know, it does sound a tad morbid this title of mine but hopefully as you read, it will not sound so melodramatic (or maybe not actually *smiling*). But do read on please.
I was watching one of my favorite movies of all times, The Steel Magnolias. I love all the main women but of all of them, I loved the character played by Shirley MacClaine the most. But this article is not about her so I shall move on swiftly. This article is about you and I and how we are going to manage/handle our key relationships as we proceed in this new year. I have an idea that I believe will help us put things in perspective when things go awry and tensions rise and vexation comes between us and the people we care about and love the most. My idea is simple really. Just imagine them dying.
Imagine yourself faced with the reality that the person, your spouse or estranged mother or ex-best friend or grown-up child with whom you have been vexing with for ages had just one month to live. Yes, close your eyes and imagine the person dying. Would that problem, that quarrel, that bone of contention, that rift, that argument, that irritating habit that just ticks you off and keeps causing spats, will it matter anymore? If it will not, then take a deep breath in, exhale and let go, let love and move on with your life, creating as many good memories as you can with said person!
You see, as I watched this movie, tears coursing down my cheeks (again! you would think that after watching it over 10 times this would not happen anymore. For where!) grieving with Jackson, Shelby’s husband. As I watched him walking like a moron in a daze from the grave site after his young and beautiful Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) had been buried, this was the thought that dropped in my spirit. He looked so lost, so pained, so grief-stricken. He had lost the love of his life and somehow I just knew that had there been any issues between him and his wife, none of them would have mattered anymore if he could only have her back with him, alive and well.
I just thought to myself this could be an effective way to keep me from holding on to ‘stuff’ for too long. When those storms come in my relationships, cos they will come, I shall, God helping me, step back and ask myself this question: If this person was dying would this still matter so much? I mean what on earth could be so huge that the prospect of losing the person doesn’t have the power to diffuse or neutralize it?
May our God, the One that gives and sustains life keep all our loved ones alive and well in Jesus name. Amen! I cannot bear the thought of losing any one in my family BUT I really believe that letting go of stuff , especially in the relationships that mean a lot to us, should be easier in now if we let this question help us clear the fog that tends to prevent us from keeping our focus on what really matters.
Don’t you think?
Editors Note: We offer our heartfelt condolences to the our dear Aunty Bola on the demise of her Prof; her Father, Professor Daniel Oladele Adefolalu; 22-Nov.42 to 26.01.14. May He Rest in Eternal Peace.
Read Her Tribute for him here
Bola Essien-Nelson (aka Salt) is a blogger/author based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with her via her blog – The Salt Chronicles on Blogger where she is ‘seasoning’ the world around her one salt blog at a time.