I have consumed more materials about human anatomy in the last few months than the law I’m supposed to be studying. This is me giving you a heads up for the biology that’s somewhere in this post. I just couldn’t help myself (smiles sheepishly). Thank you for being here, enjoy the read!

The popular meaning of Respire is ‘to breathe’ and the not-so-popular meaning is ‘to recover hope, courage, or strength after a time of difficulty.

I took a long walk to ‘clear my head’. I told myself that I will take the first vehicle back home once I get tired, the thing is, I did not get tired. I kept walking, picking things apart in my head, I’d slow down when something catches my interest and make mental notes of things I wanted to write much later. I do a lot of things in my head, it is a circus in there. No matter how much I’ve written or spoken, I’m yet to fully paint out that circus, if only I could “mind link” and show you. Anyway, let’s move on.

I lost track of time and distance until I felt the first drop of rain. My first thought was “oh no, I can’t continue my walk, the weather just ruined it for me”. I had no option but to find a shade and wait out the rain until I could go back home. So I found a shade, two young boys and one elderly man were there already, waiting for the rain to ease up just like me. I greeted the old man and then proceeded to watch the rain like he was doing. What was fascinating about the rain? Nothing, absolutely nothing but we both stared at it. A few seconds standing there then I felt the tiredness in my legs, I had walked quite a distance without realising it until the rain forced me to take a rest. The cold suddenly hit me, another thing the pause forced me to notice. Can you already sense where I’m headed? It’ll get clearer from here so don’t get bored just yet!

So I stared at the rain and wondered in my mind, “Is that all you want me to see, or is there more?” I couldn’t help the smile that broke out while waiting for an answer I knew would come. The movement on my left caught my attention, these boys I had noticed sitting on the floor earlier just stood up because the rain had gotten heavier and was leaking into the roof on their end. Then I looked at them properly, I saw how unkempt they were and how poorly they were dressed. I notice the wheelbarrow-looking thing they had taken a break from pushing. If you are Nigerian then you have probably seen someone like this before. They walk around collecting metal scraps. If you haven’t, here’s a picture below.

I could not find a picture of a boy but here is one of a man to give you a close example of what I mean.

These boys did not choose to be born in whatever circumstances they found themselves in, just like you and I. They are insulted and treated badly generally before they even utter a word, before you even get to judge their character, you already judge them by the page you walked in on. Is it fair to suffer through a decision you had no say in? What did these boys do wrong to be born into the life they know, wanderers, living hand to mouth? The point is, that could have been any one of us, your birth and birthplace were not your decision but what you do with it is completely on you. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have so many “if only” thoughts in your head? If only I was born in a rich family, if only I was born with stronger bones, if only I was born with a prettier figure, if only my family wasn’t dysfunctional, if only I had siblings, if only I was taller, fairer, born in a country other than Nigeria. The list is endless. Which “if only” crossed your mind today?

‘Clear my head’ means something or different things were clogging it right? The question is, was I truly clearing my head or I was just trying to tire myself out enough to gain control of my tear ducts and anything else a passer-by would call ‘weakness’. So you can say I was actually kind of ‘running’ away from what I should be duelling. But hey, we have all had those moments, I’m not a robot you know. How do you respond to new problems? For me, it starts with logic, if I can endure it, that’s usually my first resort. It’s a phase, it will pass. If it is something I should run from, I start drawing lines, finding out my best escape route. If it is something that’s really difficult to endure and the only option is to suffer through it, then I’ll throw myself into any kind of work. If there’s nothing pressing, I will give myself one, I realise I have the tendency to be quite crazy like that. This can only last so long before the burnout and then comes the breakdown so yeah, this post is for you and me.

Our central nervous system (CNS) is responsible for our “fight or flight” response. The hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, starts the process by telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Shout out to everyone who does everything last minute, you should probably get your body checked by a doctor with all that consistent hormone spike. These hormones quicken the heartbeat sending blood rushing to areas that need it most in an emergency, this includes muscles, the heart, etcetera. The hypothalamus tells all body systems to go back to normal when the perceived fear is gone. However, If the CNS fails to return to normal, or if the stressor doesn’t go away, the initial response will continue. “Chronic stress is also a factor in behaviours such as overeating or not eating enough, alcohol or drug abuse, and social withdrawal” ~ Ann Pietrangelo. Read more on stress here

A wise woman said to me, “it is all about perspective, what you choose to focus on”. So I ask you, will you focus on the “if only” all the days of your life, or will you see what is here, right now. Holding on to this truth that might have become hard for you to believe; the truth that we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who are called according to his plan and purpose Romans 8:28.

When next you feel stressed, overwhelmed and everything seems to be crashing down as you voyage through life, remember that you are human. Breathe. That rest might just be what you need to notice your tired legs, the cold that is gripping you and every other thing that is going wrong while your mind is clouded. Throwing hate and anger because you are stressed out is not the way to go. Breathe. Folding up and hiding your light should not be an option either. A wise man said to me “stress and rest are normal and must be calculated”. So if you do not want to be depressed, find and take that deep rest when it’s needed. Rest is any behaviour aimed at increasing mental and physical wellbeing. Rest is different for everyone. For me, writing out my thoughts or descriptions of things around me helps me relax. I smile a lot when I type. Finding the exact phrase I need or picture that fits would stretch that smile. There is also volleyball and the beach too, if I get fined for every time I say “I love the beach”, I will be in jail for real. For someone else, it could be a run or a little exercise, singing, dancing, painting and many others. What is yours?

Do not be mean to your body, it is as important as your mind. I heard another wise saying that if you don’t find time to rest, your body will pick a time for you and it might not be a period you’d like, it could be just before that important exam, you do not want that, do you? So care for yourself, it is important. I will leave you with something I wrote in 2019, feel free to laugh, it is also okay if you get confused. If you understand, then that’s great too. It would take an entire blog post to explain what eighteen-year-old me was trying to say in the piece below so just go along with however you can make sense of it. That’s all for now, thank you for supporting my blog with the likes, shares and comments. See you in the next blog post, remember to breathe!

Breathe breathless breather.
Lethal silence silences,
Lessened lessons lessens,
Culture the uncultured swine.

Breathe breathless breather.
Vicious voices often vexes,
Restrain the restive doorway,
Pave peaceful paths.

Breathe breathless breather.
Boiling battles aren’t better,
Peace and quiet, the perfect diet,
Sway both ways and your conscience pays.

Breathe breathless breather.
Come spring, summer or winter,
Come goats, parrots or humans,
Come lightening, thunder or hunger,

Just breath,
Breathe breathless breather.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will give rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

~Matthew 11:28-30

18 thoughts on “Respire

  1. This is a message alot of people really need to get. Thank you very much for sharing, your post is always educative, and peace giving. Great job👍❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Prospoet, I really love what you do. I realized that I was smiling while reading your very educative and instructive writing.
    I derived an unexplainable emotion that I really love reading your writing.
    You’re doing well darling!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The big pen just shot out ink bullets and our whites just got cleaned…
    Thank you Prosper
    The air is free and sometimes we just forget that
    We keep paying to have it
    Meanwhile all we have to do is breathe
    A beautiful reminder that we all need
    Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so privileged to be able to read this. This blog post came at the right time and I feel it’s telling me personally to calm down, chill and take a deep breath. The good Lord will continue to let his face shine on you so that his grace will give you perseverance to continue being a blessing with your write ups. Thanks a lot starlight💯💞

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If there’s anything I like about prospoet blog post most, is the calmness it brings to my soul. I love every bit of your work, I loved this more, it felt like you were talking directly to Me, this is like exactly what I need right now, to breath.
    Thank you so much for this piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey dear, u are an awesome writer ,I really admire your poetry. May God continue to inspire you and may our great teacher #the Holy spirit guide u through all. amen I love u specially sweetie.

    Liked by 2 people

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