I once read that the people who love you the most (or are closest to you) hurt you the most. I think many of us would agree with that assertion. I would also add that those who love us the most have the highest potential to bring us the most joy and happiness.
I can be a random guy, but I like reminding Mummy Shark and our Baby Sharks that I’m in their corner. I hope and pray that as we ride this nduthi called life, my walk will match my talk. We are all created as social beings and that means the quality of our relationships largely determines the quality of life we live.
The reason I keep reminding my clan that I’m in their corner is partly for selfish reasons. Because I wouldn’t imagine how my corner would look like without them. My little man pushes the limit a lot. When he was born Grandma shark gave him a long gaze then looked up to me and said this one will take me on the same journey I took her. It wasn’t a smooth one. You see, when I was growing up, many of my intentions were misunderstood for being naughty, yet I was just trying to discover myself. In the process, my mum did not spare the rod. In fact, she went through countless rods to straighten my sister and me.
My kid bro was the executioner’s assistant as his role was to choose which belt (or rod) we shall be assaulted with. Mungu anakuona bro. I pray that for once her conclusion was wrong. Maybe this is where I apply the serenity prayer – Lord, help me to accept the things I cannot change. That’s motivation enough for me to move into my son’s corner and remain there as his ride-or-die guy. He’ll be a much better man than his father I pray and believe. Often, we send him to the doghouse but after a while, I join him just to show him we got his back.
Robin Sharma said that authenticity is the new luxury. That means that disagreements are inevitable when we relate without being pretentious. This leads to a disconnect and the temptation to leave your person’s corner and back up into your own corner. For me, it’s a self-preservation mechanism with an auto switch. Once I sense temperatures are high, I retreat into my ka-zone. For some reason, I don’t like calling it a cave. Maybe because it doesn’t last long. The longer I am moody, the more life passes me by so i have to find my joy somehow. Some of us are infected with FOMO (fear of missing out) so we must get back to class haraka.
I’m finding it easier now to acknowledge the disconnect when I sense it. Before getting onto the fourth floor some internal force would make me deny or ignore the disconnect I was feeling. It was like forcing me to smile when I’m crying. Imagine how clowny that looks. To remain in each other’s corner and continue cheerleading one another, you must talk about what gets in the way. At 40 there’s very little space for the elephant in the room. We travel light as much as possible.
Folks I’ve concluded that as we grow older, we become more aware of those we want in our corner. We achieve that by becoming more self-aware ourselves. For folks to earn meddling rights and get into our corner a lot more needs to be investigated. When we were younger, we would sometimes confuse Facebook friends for true friends.
Once we decide on the very few folks whom we shall give access to get into our corner then we should still be fine even when we disconnect for one reason or another. I believe it’s necessary to disconnect and create some distance in relationships so to regroup and come back with more to give. It’s like relational half term of sorts. It’s okay to leave each other’s corner as significant others every now and then but let’s ensure we don’t leave the room. Leaving the room (walking out of the relationship) may still happen but is undesirable. Nothing is guaranteed in this life apart from death and KRA (taxes). It could mean we backed into the wrong corner or, the room became round and the corner disappeared. These are all dynamics of life. What’s important for me is the folks I have in the room irrespective of the shape the room takes as we move on. Because life after 40 is much more about collaboration than competition.