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Feelings😏

feel·ing

/ˈfēliNG/

Learn to pronounce

noun

plural noun: feelings

1. 1.
an emotional state or reaction.”a feeling of joy”

I write these blogs from my feelings , heck a lot of my work as a psychiatrist is about understanding feelings , so how come it is not so easy for me to write ABOUT feelings ?

Perhaps this is because FEELINGS can be sooo subjective. NO one really is an expert on another person’s FEELINGS because it is so personal, so subjective. You have YOUR FEELINGS and I have MINE… both are valid and demand respect.

When a patient is telling me how they FEEL in a therapeutic session, they are granting me special access to their psyche, in hopes that I can be helpful to them . To me , this feels both honorable and humbling at the same time.

I am well trained to do this type of work however I do have to work really hard to try to understand WHAT and HOW my patients are FEELING. This is because they are only granting me temporary access to a very personal space, to their very personal property- THEIR FEELINGS.

Scientific data support that animals have the ability to feel , however we humans are the only known species thought to have the ability to “ think” about our FEELINGS. This is a form of introspection. Lucky Us right?

Well not so fast , you see this amaze ability we’ve been given also comes with challenges. Think about it, since we can think about feelings, then we may easily be expected to “understand “ not only our own FEELINGS well but the feelings of those around us, perhaps even our pets . I mean why not , right?

Well the problem with this “tall order “is that we are generally not great at understanding even our own FEELINGS let alone those of others in our lives.

Can you guess what we’re feeling here?lol

Nonetheless, FEELINGS are a vital piece of our communicative ability . We need to not only be able to express our FEELINGS but also try to recognize those of the people around us. We typically do this by observation of behavior, affect and ofcourse expressive language. Sharing and understanding FEELINGS seems harder and harder for us to do in this technologically advanced, face mask wearing , Instagram posting , pandemic life we are all currently living.”’.

No wonder emojis and GIFs exists to help us out 🤪

It is wonderful to have the ability to express our feelings safely and hopefully without judgement. You see, because feelings are “ like visitors, they come and go”. Having the terminology to express how we are feeling at any point is extremely valuable. It allows others to “ hear “and “see” us more clearly.

There is also an inter connection between our FEELINGS, our thoughts and then our behaviors.

Feeling like Blues Hockey Stanley Cup Champions!

FEELINGS also have a way of surprising us at times. They seem to have a “ mind” of their own, showing up at unexpected times such as , a stronger than expected reaction to a situation, tearfulness at a romantic movie or a nostalgic music, the thrill of the physical touch of our loved ones, fearfulness triggered by specific phobia, or even guilt and self loathing of our own self.. ouch!. Our feelings can sometimes illuminate parts of our psyche that we may not be ready to uncover yet, for better or for worse.

To get to be better at understanding FEELINGS, we must first pay attention and welcome feelings . This is not an easy task, you see , because FEELINGS can be varied and complex. Some FEELINGS are beautifully intoxicating like LOVE , some exhilarating like a thrill of adventure , some are frustration when you discover for example that your middle seat on the plane doesn’t work to do that very tiny recline thing to bring you comfort (ugh!) while others can be pain staking such as GRIEF and PAIN.

It is no wonder , most people prefer to sweep both theirs and others’ FEELINGS aside due to the complicated nature of FEELINGS. It can feel like a Pandora box that we rather not to open , least this exploration unleashes DRAMA!

In reality, not acknowledging FEELINGS does not make them to seize to exist. ALL FEELINGS , good or bad, are valuable and can teach us more about ourselves and the world around us, IF we let it. Beauty and growth can be on the other side of adversity or even those negative FEELINGS.

It is important that we validate our feelings, even when we cannot find the words to describe those feelings. We should honor our feelings and those of the people around us.

Practice getting comfortable with FEELINGs.. the next time you casually ask someone , “how are you?” , it may be worthwhile to actually give space to receive their response, instead of rushing away without knowing how they really are FEELING.

We can get better at embracing FEELINGS without judgment. Can you imagine a world where humans actually cared about how each other were FEELING? Geez, that almost sounds utopian.

Feeling loved and sun kissed!

The practice of mindfulness and meditations may be helpful in embracing FEELINGS in an nonjudgmental manner . Although this may not come easy to us at first , remember like most things in life … Practice yields Progress !

My dear reader, it is my wish for you , that you find value in your own feelings and the feelings of those around you, and may this wonderful gift be also returned to you DOUBLE FOLDS!💕

As always, thank you for reading my musings on this blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Mother Of Multiplies ( M.O.M)

I have belonged to a Facebook group of Physician Mother of Multiples for many years . On this platform women physicians swap helpful advice with each other, related to raising multiples – twins, triplets, quadruplets etc etc

We share advice on a variety of topics ranging breastfeeding advice to dilemmas about having twins graduating from different colleges on same weekend… how do parents manage the need to clone themselves in two different states?🤔🤔

On this platform and others alike , I have made new friends and reconnected with old friends as we navigate being working mothers of multiples( M. O.M)

In general, I have always felt blessed to share space with mothers of ALL types, whose wisdom are pearls and our common experiences , reassuring and comforting.

Mothering is a BIG task that can leave us at times questioning our abilities. Therefore any time one gets reassurance that they are not alone in whatever struggle/ challenge/puzzles OR even Joy equals a good thing!

Thirteen years ago today, my DH * and I joined this beautiful club of Parents of Twin Boys, ( with our 17 month old daughter who already blessed us with our original Parent title status !)

Life WAS busy AND beautiful!

I vividly recall my LONG twin pregnancy complete with a medically indicated bed rest beginning at 19.4 wks EGA which “ interrupted “ my residency training program at the time . My family supported me in more ways than I can even enumerate! Thank you 🙏🏾

My SIL helped nanny our 17 month daughter, while helping me stay off my feet. My mother came into town and supervised that I was eating enough calories to gain appropriate weight for the twins , Incase I go into preterm labor and they “ come early”.

My DH was my ROCK- relying on him literally for both physical and emotional support when I was weakened physically or fighting my own doubts.

I was scared but hopeful.

My wonderful Obgyn referred me to an amazing high risk Obgyn who was God sent in EVERY way and managed my pregnancy till we delivered two healthy wonderful boys into the world close to midnight on June 24th 2009!

Interestingly they were almost born on different dates since they were born 8 mins apart through a natural birth at 11:37 pm and 11:45 pm.. and we even avoided any NICU stay… phew and alleluia!

Grateful for twin actually born on SAME day!🥰

They turn 13 yrs old tonight and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for their light in our lives! They are healthy, brilliant, kind and handsome young men and I get the blessing of being their mama♥️♥️

I am giddy with excitement to celebrate them this entire weekend and in the meantime as I await the sun rising on this glorious day .. I lift them up in prayers and ask you to join me in sending up a prayer of thanksgiving and blessings on their lives.

Happy 13 th birthday to our Double Blessings ♥️♥️, pray lines always fall in pleasant places for you both.

With All My Love,

M.O.M

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by finding and clicking the follow icon, makes it easier to share these musings with you and ensures that you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH ( Darling Husband)

Champions For Christ

How do you respond to compliments about your children?.. Aww thanks, OR that’s sweet of you to say, OR yes we’re lucky they’re great kids, OR we thank God for his blessings? etc etc

All of these are appropriate response in my opinion, however I especially like to return the praise to GOD.

You see, last week a dear friend was going to be one of the leaders of the music ministry at a local Parish’s VBS (Vacation Bible School) . The theme of the VBS week was Champions For Christ.

This friend had inquired about having our oldest daughter assist her in teaching the VBS younglings. After I wrote her to inform her that she was already committed elsewhere that week, a lightbulb moment occurred to me!

It went something like this in my head…. “Well she couldn’t do it Buhhh , what if our younger three ALL could?.. I mean why not send our twin 12 yr old boys with very little dancing experience, to lead music and dance ministry at VBS?…..

It continued…

“I mean ,sure , they played little Joseph In the musical Joseph and the technicolor dream coats years ago,that ought to count for something right? Besides, they will have their younger sister who is mostly a “grandma” with her 12 yr old wisdom and her fantastic dancethletics ( I know , I know it’s not a real word lol)😉 shepherding them.”

My friend jumped on the idea once I shared it with her, maybe because she was part desperate for helpers to help her teach those random praise songs and dances she was charged with teaching preschoolers to 2nd graders, OR just a lovely friend and a great supporter of our family. I personally vote for the latter.

In any case, she bought and loved the idea and I was thrilled to unglue my kids’ eyes off their video games and TVs and get my three tweens out of the house for a few hours each day that week!

WIN- WIN!!!

A few hours after I dropped them off bright and early , the first morning, ofcourse not before I double checked that no one forgot their deodorant or water bottles. I began settling into my clinic when I got the most lovely surprise.

It was a text , filled with compliments for my kids! I have to be honest with you , my dear readers..I was glowing internally, because in my humble opinion… As parent , OUR Children can truly be OUR biggest compliment in life .

Throughout the week, the compliments kept pouring in, at times extended from people I hadn’t even met! , who told my friend, how much our children were blessing them, and how well behaved they were … HEAD SWOON☺️

Then came this layer of awakening, …I began to wonder whether I was surprised by the compliments?.. not entirely. Then I wondered if I too , give my children the evidence of my TOTAL belief in THEIR abilities consistently?.. hmm🤔. The truth is that as a mother , I find myself charged with DUTY.. duty to raise good citizens of the world. This is a duty I take very seriously, heck I even make my living (as a Child and Adolescents Psychiatris) helping others raise good citizens for our world.

However sometimes, DUTY can drown us from perspective. We forget to be PRESENT to all the good that is already around us, all the yield that our DUTY is already producing. We keep focusing on doing more and more, including inspecting for water bottles and double checking that deodorants have been applied lol.

It could be like missing the forest for the trees!

Well, this week’s Catheletics VBS at Incarnate Word Parish , reminded me to be MINDFUL of my yield as a mother . I am very grateful to be raising young citizens of the world whose inner light shines bright, even when I am not right there MOTHERING them. I am also grateful that they seem to be humble to their abilities too.

Therefore , I have received those compliments graciously AND return the praise to the one who made ALL of this possible…GOD!

Ultimately, VBS ended with a bang! Catchy songs and dances were learned by so many younglins ( and hopefully by some young at heart folks too), my lovely friend and her colleagues, did a fantastic job leading an amazing music ministry at VBS , our children got to spend more time together and grew closer this week – an unexpected gift all around!

I must say, I had hoped the week would go well, however I mostly trusted without any real evidence that our kids will emerge as real Champions for Christ. This was total bonus!

Of course they’re not perfect (yet)lol, but they danced , served as techno guy for audiovisual and bogeyed for Christ, all while mentoring young ones in the process.

I marvel at how the orderer of the universe knows EXACTLY what we need and when. We certainly ALL needed the JOYS and WINS that came from this week’s VBS.

My DH * and I very proud of our kid’s hard work and service to others this week.

Dear reader, when was the last time you took a chance and leaped with trust? How do you respond to compliments of yourself or your children , if you have them? Where is your perspective taking lens these days? I sure hope it’s PRESENT to all the blessings around you , versus muddled with DUTY.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by finding and clicking the follow icon, makes it easier to share these musings with you and ensures that you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

*DH (Darling husband)

Bearing Fruit

A spontaneous early afternoon parking lot conversation with a friend, has stirred my spirit.

Perhaps, it was the un scripted nature of our chance reconnection as we both waited for our dance daughters outside their studios that morning that sparked my soul nerve. The dialogue was quickly profound and apparently what my Soul needed in that moment.

Earlier that week, I was sitting in the hot tub outside observing the Magnolia tree in our backyard – a good distraction from the hustle and bustle of the day.

It was early May in the mid west, and this natural beauty was in bloom.

Between its green goddess leaves, I could see buds of white oblong shaped fruits bursting out in an attempt to become beautiful flowers.

It looked to be in a state of transformation.

These oblong shaped fruits looked quietly “ busy “ like they were struggling to birth something even more beautiful.

This is true of any change or transformation… it doesn’t always look “ comfortable “ nor is it “ easy” BUT it is absolutely worth it in the end!

The Magnolia flowers have started to arrive and they are so majestic that it is easy to forget the potentially painful process of it’s not so pretty transformation.

My parking lot friend was discussing the need to continually assess aspects of our lives to ensure that we are BEARING FRUITS which led my thoughts back to my backyard Magnolia tree.

The process of bearing fruit is not an easy one , however it is a NECESSARY event for life to go on.

Like the saying, “the only thing constant about life is change”, we should therefore strive to change and grow, with good fruit bearing abilities.

Many obstacles can attempt to impede our growth and fruit bearing ability. In the case of our Magnolia tree, there was a freeze that came late in the season, confusing it’s growth process and threatening to shrivel its fruits. Resiliently, this green gorgeous beauty persevered!

While we cannot always predict where our obstacles may come from, it is important that we persevere through ALL of them with grace of God.. Remember his grace is sufficient for us…

Yes, some obstacles may even leave us with a scar, yet we must push through to our fruit bearing season.

Christians believe in the need to bear fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives. Feel free to refer to my past blog post on this topic here

Mothering with the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Bearing fruit is also examining the many aspects of our persons to ensure that our physical , emotional, spiritual and social beings are growing AND bearing fruits.

My parking lot conversation inspired me to assess where in my life am I bearing fruit or shriveling? It has me taking inventory , yet exercising kindness and grace to myself.

My dear reader, I am inviting you too to examine whether your spiritual life is fruit bearing? How about your physical health?Your interpersonal connections and relationships? Your business life, Your career ? Your family life?etc etc.

Whether you are in your spring season of growth and fruit bearing or in the winter season, where like the magnolia, you are safeguarding your nutrients and energy against the cold, I want to encourage you.

The obstacles may come but keep growing and assessing what areas of your life is indeed fruit bearing or not.

Just like the gorgeous Magnolia tree, our world is MORE beautiful with your flowers flourishing in it!

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts and not miss out !💕

Re Gathering

The world seems to have “ RE OPENED ”!

Regardless of whether you’re in the camp of believing the pandemic is over or not. It doesn’t seem to matter these days as Life goes on .

I have spoken to many people who are marveled at how full their social calendars are becoming PACKED again. Some are thrilled with excitement, while others had still a healthy dose of apprehension at all the upcoming reunions. In some ways, we have all lost some of our social muscles” from lack of use… we may even feel awkward at reconnecting, do we hug , shake or just nod in acknowledgment of the other? Hmm 🤔

Well, just like just like they say in show business – the show must go on! Ready or Not.

And so it did for us this past weekend!

You see , our oldest daughter was receiving her Confirmation into our Catholic Faith, a major milestone in the life of a Catholic . She was choosing to say YES to her faith-in her own way, as a young Catholic adult.

I must admit getting ready to host our first major gathering since the pandemic brought up interesting emotions. I had to prepare and talk about menus with caterers, get home ready, maybe finally make out time to plant my Lillie’s in the yard?.. after all it’s Spring for heavens sake lol.

Oh, and I didn’t forget to pick up the cake. Yes the one I didn’t order ahead of time but hit the jackpot in the refrigerator display of La bon bouche, with the perfectly decorated “Catholic” cake complete with even a rosary on top!!

To say the least, I was excited to have our home even more FULL with family and friends warming the rooms with their laughter and chatter.

Time does what it does best, it flies and by the time I knew it , It was Friday evening and I was on my way to picking up my parents from the airport. Unlike some people, we had been blessed to see our parents during the pandemic. We are very grateful and don’t take this for granted.

Ada’s confirmation was beautifully orchestrated by the hand of God! Details that only God could manage himself fell right into place … her sponsor ( my cousin by marriage n love) drove almost 7 hrs to arrive just in time – thanks to a surprise time zone change, she was actually EARLY!

She got prettied up after her drive and graciously offered to take our celebrant to church while we gathered the rest of the crew.

Church was PACKED! Parking was crazy but the cathedral basilica never fails to draw my AWE with its majestic bizantine architecture. You automatically feel closer to God in all the history so delicately narrated on its ceilings.

She was the most beautiful celebrant, and yes I am a biased momma.

As a mother, I have many prayers for my first earth Angel and today what I say to God is a big THANK YOU for the blessing of this child – turning young lady, and for the blessing and JOY of RE-gathering for my lovely family and friends!

How do you feel about life re opening these days? Have you gathered and for what reasons?

Here are a few pearls that may help make your next gathering more enjoyable and perhaps less daunting .

1) Consider yourself blessed to have the opportunity at life and having occasion to gather – gratitude is key!

2) Build up your excitement about whatever your occasion is.

3) Do your research- do you still need to wear masks or not, what’s the dress code?who are scheduled to be there ?

4) Show up, don’t take yourself too seriously and HAVE fun!!!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and accompanying emotions about our reopening world , if you dare..lol

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕

Easter Triduum

“The three 24-hour periods of the triduum include the major feasts for all four days at the heart of the Easter celebration: the evening feast of Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday” (Google search)

I am a Catholic Christian. Part of my faith practice is to attempt to participate in the triduum which occurs during the Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter /Resurrection Sunday.

I used the word “attempt” because this year , it was mostly hoping to wrap up a late clinic in time to make it over with DH and the kids, to church to participate.

Holy Thursday is most likely my FAVORITE celebration of the liturgical year! If you ever have a chance to experience this ( Incase you haven’t ) , I would highly recommend this.

Growing up in West Africa, Holy Thursday Aka Maundy Thursday was one of the highlights of the liturgical year.

This is the day the church celebrates the last supper , while our Jewish brothers celebrate Passover.

The evening is solemn and beautiful . There is a real sense of Christ as one of us, sharing a meal with his disciples, then practically begging them to stay up and keep watch with him, for his hour of death was near. The sleepy eyed disciples likely startled at the ambush by the soldiers.

So much action playing out .. Judas doing his “ thing” with the betrayal kiss, Peter with his hot temper cutting off a Roman soldier’s ear in defense of Jesus, and getting admonished in real time by Jesus. I mean LOTS of action happening that night indeed ! The drama continues into the next day when finally Jesus takes his last breath on the cross .. IT IS FINISHED!

Jesus conquered death in order that you and I may live eternally with God. What an incredible expression for LOVE!

Fast forward to 2022. I am a mother of four. I rush to get my clinic notes completed and head to mass at 7 pm with my family. We gather.. we made it just in time to occupy the last pew on the side of the church.

I finally catch my rushed breath to center myself on what I am experiencing. It truly is a beautiful night. The scent of the incense fill the air . There are many priest and deacons preceding over this very special mass, much like I recalled in my mind’s eye as a child in Nigeria. The Altar always seemed so full of priest and seminarians back then , all dressed in their white habit . They look so Holy.

Then come the part where we , the church congregation are invited to wash each other’s feet , just like Jesus did to his disciples. A sign of love and service.

Traditionally, DH and I would wash each four children’s feet when they were younger . However this year, we decided to try something different.. our twin boys took turns washing each other and our two daughters washed one another’s feet.

The idea is you go up to the altar where the wash basin is set up , take turns showing LOVE and SERVICE to one another as you pour warm water on their bare feet and then dry their feet afterwards. You may choose to say a prayer of thanks for them or forgive them a hurt , whichever the case may be.

Watching our children gift each other in service was tear jerking. Of course, I must admit there was that mother hen part of me , that had to refrain from worrying about whether they were doing it right. Honestly there is No right or wrong , it was just ALL in the doing 💕

Twins washing each other’s feet❤️
Twins washing each other’s feet❤️

Personally, I love getting to wash DH’s feet because I get to literally SERVE him, which is something he is most deserving of , for more reasons than I care to blog about right now. You see , because I think one of his LOVE LANGUAGE is acts of service , therefore, we his family, are great benefactors of his service on a daily basis!

When it came time for him to wash my feet, DH seems to forget we are still at the Altar of God o lol. He’s gently caressing my feet while he whispers loving words to me. My soul is melting in this love that I’m receiving and giving!

The washing of the feet command is one of the few acts that Jesus asks us to repeat in memory of him… what a LOVE jackpot!

How do you celebrate leading up to and on Easter? Please feel free to share your traditions so others may learn.

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences . Please feel free to also “follow” by clicking the follow icon, so you can get notifications on future blog posts💕