Lessons from Becoming

Kudos to Toke Makinwa for writing her version of events on what led to the demise of her marriage. It’s not easy to even say that your marriage is experiencing trouble or has ended in these parts as a woman, you will be judged harshly for it. Moreso than the single woman who can’t seem to settle down it seems. So for her to write about it and own up to many of her mistakes, she’s a brave one.

Now I read the book and from the prologue, I was picking up lessons. Ahn ahn, only her went through all this? Mind boggling. But many of us will go through our versions of this private hell if we don’t learn lessons that were plain to see in her retelling. So here’s some of the more obvious lessons I picked up.

  1. I’ve heard my sister @EkeneOnline say time & again. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
    Stop seeking validation outside of yourself. The only reason I can think of for Toke to stay so long and through so much abuse is that she felt incomplete without this Maje fellow and his “picking” her was the only form of validation she recognized. Even this entire book of “On Becoming” is centered around him still I hope she has realized that she is enough and doesn’t need anyone’s approval or acceptance to live a happy life. Neither do you. You are enough.
  2. YOU ARE THE WRITER OF YOUR STORY, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF & YOUR ACTIONS.
    See so far, I don’t see Maje as an awful person. He served his own interests and this is what all human beings do. He’s really no different than many of us who take miles when we’re given an inch. Toke shared many warnings and signs she’d received since Day 1. But she chose to stay, to take him back, to beg him. She’s just as responsible for how Maje continued to disregard and disrespect her because she continued to make herself available for his bullshit even as she complained that she wasn’t happy. She knew what/who her problem was but refused to excise it/him out of her life. It’s easy to claim I’m weak/I’m in love/I’m forgiving so you can lie to yourself to remain in that dead relationship/job/friendship but you’re responsible for your life and the decisions you make. Could Maje have treated her better? Of course. But could Toke have treated herself better? Absolutely yes.
  3. SET BOUNDARIES IN ALL YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, DON’T LET ANYONE CROSS THEM.
    In any type of relationship (romantic/platonic/family), you have to know what you’re willing to accept and what you absolutely will not tolerate. Inform the other parties what the guidelines to having you in their life are. If they violate & continue to violate, you just remove yourself from their lives. Even if it pains you. They know what it takes to keep you (pay me my salary on time and in full/don’t sleep with other people/treat me with respect) & if they choose not to regard those things, you have to let them and their BS go. No relationship is by force. Not even the ones with your parents/siblings. You determine the boundaries in your life,  you know why each one is important to your peace, happiness & well-being. Don’t let people who don’t respect your boundaries remain a permanent fixture in your life.
  4. EVERY RELATIONSHIPS MUST ADD VALUE TO YOUR LIFE.
    Actual tangible value, not just make you feel good. If someone is not adding value to you and you’re giving them a part of you, it’s bad market. Toke got flowers and a 6 page hand written letter. Oh yes, and peppered snails. Does it worth it? She never said how he challenged her to become a better person or supported her  dreams for her life… so far doesn’t seem like he added much to her life. Meanwhile Toke gave him free marketing for his EdenLife business that has a $$ value, talk less of housing him free. She didn’t get any sort of reciprocity in this deal and never seemed to. In all relationships you choose to cultivate, you must get some actual value. Your life ought to be better because the person is your friend/lover/employee. It doesn’t have to be monetary but it has to be value.

Of course now I’ve finished the book, and I picked up so many more lessons that I will have to jot down at another time because nna mehn, NOBODY should have to live that life.  What about you? Did you read the book yet? What lessons have you picked up so far? Share with me biko

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