Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Failed Expectations

It's so easy for me  to feel let down by friends or brethren that I  feel did not meet or measure up to my expectations. They didn't  meet my needs. So here I am left feeling hurt, disappointed or even betrayed.

The real problem though is me.
I can't control other people's behaviour.  But I can control my own.

The truth was I never stated my expectation.  I didn't state what I needed.

Maybe I felt that if they were really my friends they would just know. Whereas truth be told, I've been married over 3 decades and I still need to be told.  I cannot read my husband's mind.  Neither can he read mine.

This is why its always said communication is the key to all successful relationships. Not just when it comes to marriage.

If I don't say clearly what's in my mind, can I really be upset when my friend doesn't "just know" what I really want deep down?

I must admit I used to be very high maintenance when it came to friendships. I would expect understanding. I would expect loyalty.  I would expect support. I would expect acceptance.

These may not seem that unreasonable but I would expect it at all times. I've come to realise that one person cannot meet all my friendship needs.

I recognise that's too heavy a demand. Especially when that person has their own life to live and may be facing their own pressures.

Did it mean they were not a good friend because they could not put in an unfailing stint every time I needed to talk? 

The answer is no.

Now I see so clearly that true friends give you the best that they are able. When I demand still more that is me being a drain on them when they don't have it to give.

So what's the answer here. What do I do? How do my needs and expectations become realised? Easy. I have a myriad of beautiful people in my life. All special.  All blessed. All anointed. All gifted. I have to learn who has the gift for my current situation.

2 years ago I went through a terrible time personally that I would not wish upon anyone. My whole world felt upside down and no ground was sure beneath my feet. But one friend that I opened up to helped me and comforted me spiritually,  practically and materially.  Every morning, early ,  my phone would ring and it would be her. She was an amazing rock.  I had another friend that as soon as she heard she gave practical help within the hour.

Did this mean my other friends were not there for me? Of course not. And they all supported me in their own way which was truly greatly appreciated.

Sometimes it may not be all that deep, I may need someone to spend some recreational time with and talk about my creative ideas for business and ministry. I have friends who lunch and pray with me. It's all good.

When I need my eyebrows threaded I have trendy fashionista friends who can point me in the right direction and meet up with me after for smoothies and cupcakes.  It's all good.

And it's two way. I will be there to encourage and pray for anyone at anytime. I don't mean polite prayers either. I mean prayers that get the job done. We stay there til its done. I'll talk with you for ages on the phone if that's the need.

But if I  don't have it to give you because I'm in recovery myself you may need to seek another person. When you're in recovery you don't have anything left over to pour into someone else. But believe me when I'm fully recovered it's a different story.

If we have expectations of others that are not being met and we feel that they don't really care or that they don't really respect us or we feel we don't matter to them; Let me say, "that's a lie from the pit of hell" designed to fracture and break your friendship.

Friendship is next to fellowship.  Never withdraw from the herd. You may think you don't need the herd but let me tell you that you do. The lone deer that has wandered away is an open target for the hungry (roaring) lion (who is seeking to devour). The isolating of ourselves from everyone else is not empowering.  No one succeeds on their own. That's a simple fact. Even Jesus being who he was had 12 who worked with him.  And then he sent them out 2 by 2.

Don't allow powerful bonds and strong alliances to break due to failed expectations.

Instead pull up the deep roots of unforgiveness that leads to bitterness and anger so that you can be at peace in your own mind and spirit.

Then you can ask what you will and it will be done. Then  your prayer will be answered.  We can't get forgiveness until we give forgiveness. We do not want our prayers to be hindered.

Patricia Benjamin
Life and Relationship Coach
BEFFTA Best Radio Personality
Sound Women 200 List
Christian Women in Media International
Top 100 Most Influential Black People in Digital /Social Media

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Celebrating Success! #Woman4Africa

I've been to quite a few award ceremonies this year and have had a great time at them all.

From being six degrees away from Idris Elba, meeting popular soap stars, including Ellen Thomas (EastEnders), Chizzy Akudolu (Holby), Noel Clarke (Kidulthood), football stars Fabrice Muamba, other media personalities, dining alongside award winning film actors, producers and directors, it would still not be hyperbole to say attending Women 4 Africa's 4th Annual Award is a strong contender for my top pick.

It was vibrant with African fashion and colour, afro beats and dance, side splitting comedy, poetry that came from the heart and amazing, highly accomplished women.  I felt honoured to be amongst them.

I can't tell you how alive the room felt, pulsating with compassion, with joy in the achievement of other women and hope and belief in creating a powerful future. There really was a strong sense of sisterhood. Genuine pleasure in celebrating the victories of other women. Saying I was inspired is just not enough.

I feel very proud to have shared the same platform in the past through  radio with the host of the event Tola Onigbanjo alongside her husband Sam. A better partnering you couldn't hope to meet.

Thank you for the kind invitation to attend Tola.

Many many women were recognised and honoured and it must truly have been a tough decision for the judges as the calibre was so high. All those ladies were real winners whether called to the stage or not

A couple to mention are:-

Funke Abimbola who is Managing Counsel for Roche pharmaceutical operations in the UK and a regular lecturer at universities and conference;

Susan Edjang  from Equatorial Guinea,  a global health and policy expert serving in the UN for the Secretary General;

Ifrah Ahmed from Somalia, a committed and highly motivated social and community worker in such organisations as UNICEF, Amnesty International

But the full list will be found at - check it out.

In a time when mediocrity is often rewarded and fame is achieved by extremely questionable behaviour, I am so delighted that Women 4 Africa exists. We don't pursue our passions for awards instead its usually to fulfil that inner drive and our raison d'etre, but it is truly right that recognition is given.

These women who shine their lights so brightly and unashamedly give us all permission to shine our own. 

I'm encouraged to do so and I hope you will be.
However, no matter how much we laud these ladies never compare yourself to them or even believe you are in competition with them. You are only competing with yourself. To be better. To do better.  To grow.  To keep evolving.  Don't be tempted to stay where you're comfortable or where others are comfortable with you.

Be inspired and encouraged by these women but know that only you can achieve your mission in life. No one can do what you do in the way you can. You have your tribe to reach. You have your people to influence and you have all you need to make it happen.

Give it your all. Give it your 100%

Big Congratulations Sam and Tola Onigbanjo.  You are a winning team. Go on to dominate in your field. Thank you for showing us how its done as you keep recognising and honouring others who are doing the same.

Patricia Benjamin
Life and Relationship Coach
BEFFTA Best Radio Personality
Sound Women 200 List
Christian Women in Media International
Top 100 Most Influential Black People in Digital /Social Media