My dear Jack, you’re rather too young to be having stress-based health challenges. That you’re having so much stress on the subject matter of your marriage says a lot. You don’t yet understand the nature of life, and the nature of the wonderful being called human. You seem to want everything in life to be honky dory – no stress, no altercations, no fighting, just peace. In other words you’re looking for a peace continuum, no disequilibrium, and that’s a false expectation. There’s an interesting prayer in the West African Yoruba culture: “Akoba adobe Olo’un maje ari!” Illustratively it means the fact you’re doing safe driving doesn’t mean someone won’t bash your car. There’s always a crazy driver, or careless driver, or wicked driver, or stressed out driver, or driver distracted on the wheel. That you don’t look for trouble doesn’t mean trouble won’t look for you. That’s why it’s called evil. There will always be people who don’t like you, or who are envious of you, or just can’t stand you. That’s life!
You worry a lot, and you incubate fear and anxiety. That’s looking for trouble. Anxiety and worry can lead to panic attacks, depression and all that. Stop worrying. At your age you shouldn’t be having high blood pressure and the kind of migraine you have. Let me tell you a secret on how to handle the stresses of life: if it gets too much for you just drop it! Switch off. Go to the movies, take a stroll, go visit a friend, go for a drink – whatever. Once it gets too much drop it! With or without you life will go on. If you pass away the world will move on. Stop killing yourself with worry and anxiety. And all your anxiety and worrying can’t change a thing, or change any situation.
You also have to accept that you can’t change your dad. Not at his age. He can’t even understand change. You have to work with the knowledge you have of him to advance your wedding plans. You need wisdom. Embrace the wonderful side of your dad. Accept as facts the parts you can’t change. He has his views on whom you should marry and who can’t marry. Dads are often that way. Some of those views are obviously wrong but they come from a good place. He loves his son. You can’t change those views through head-on confrontation. Even if you win it’s pyrrhic victory. You need to apply wisdom. And you still need to honour him; he’s your dad. There’s a blessing attached to honouring one’s parents. Lay claim to that blessing. Generational misunderstandings have always been. Yours and your dad’s won’t be the last. I can bet that when YOUR son also wants to marry you’ll have definitive opinions. It’s like that in every generation.
For the sake of your health never ask life why! Deal with “what”. In order words, deal only with facts. Trying to sort out motivations can take you into dark alleys. You have to accept people for what they are, for what they say and what they do. Those are your facts. Trying to sort out what people do from who they claim to be can lead to headache. Just deal with the facts. Asking life why people do what they do is to embark on a journey of incredulity on the loop of infinity. You will keep arriving at the same spot, and you will have the added worry of not having an answer. Anything that threatens to turn your brain inside out, drop!
You can’t use willpower for everything. Human will has limitation. It has an end, hits a brick wall. There’s only so far you can push your will, only how far you can use willpower. You risk breaking your mind. You have to learn to cope with life. This migraine is way beyond the issue of marriage. Life by nature is stressful. And in the country you live it’s even more stressful. Power is epileptic for instance. It’s why you shouldn’t joke with your vacation. Learn to take mini breaks during the day as well. As to all the things said by your aunt about your wedding, leave her be. Who knows why people do what they do! Some of the things people do come from way back! And you can’t understand because you don’t come from way back. For all you know your aunt may actually have a problem with your mum though pretending to support her. Humans are very complicated. Humans are deep. The motivation of the heart is 12 stories deep. Pun intended. Yes, we hope everyone will wish us well, but human nature makes that wishful thinking, literally. Stop trying to please everyone. You can’t! Even if you please everyone it doesn’t mean they will accept or like you. Stop looking for gross affirmations. And don’t view everyone through the quality of your heart. You can’t assume everyone has the good heart. And your name is Jack, not Hercules. You can’t carry the load of the world. Look at the picture of Obama and compare from 7 years ago. That’s how a man who carries the weight of the world ages. But at least Obama is getting paid to carry the weight of the world. You’re not, so why work without pay. And anyway Obama applied for the job. You’re not running for President of the US are you?
You should be careful how you stress your body, and what level of stress you put on your mind. The mind is more delicate than we tend to imagine. It wasn’t configured to carry certain kinds of load. Take it easy! You don’t want to accumulate health issues that’ll show up later in adult life. You have to develop healthy lifestyle, learn how to deal with opposition to your dreams. You can’t keep fighting everyone. Know which fights to pick and which fights not to pick. Some things we negotiate in life, and some things we don’t. May we be wise to distinguish.
Your mentor, LA
© Leke Alder | email@example.com