Fix Yourself First aka FYF
I had a privilege of counseling a friend recently, he came to me with such a heavy heart and I was moved to tears after listening to him. He lost his job recently and in less than 2months after that his wife of 5years left the house taking with her their two kids; she moved to another man’s house. He explained that, “losing the job didn’t break him as much as what happened after”, his trusted partner in a moment of trial disappeared.
I have had my own fair share of job loss and what comes after however this was on a whole different level of #@$&# but as much as I shared his pains and heartbreak, I also saw something different from what he was seeing. It was bad that the wife left but seriously at this point in his life, if they had stayed they would have been extra baggage. I couldn’t tell him that though but I saw that first.
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Yes, he was filled with self-pity, that sense of humiliation and betrayal, and to him he needed to fight back and at least get his kids back. I agree, all these are true but what is truer is that when you don’t have means to win a fight, you don’t fight (you don’t go into battle you are sure you can’t win). Yes, he needs to fight but a different battle entirely.
So I had to make him understand that his next move should not be fighting for custody or the wife rather fighting to fix himself first. I let him understand that once he is all fixed, he would be the one trying to decide whether to take the wife with the kids or just the kids back when they all start begging him to come back.
You cannot kill an unwanted tree growing in your backyard by plucking its leaves, you have to pull from the root. The root of his problem isn’t the wife leaving or another man fathering his kids, all these and more are just fallouts of the main problem, which is job loss. Problems are never solved when keep treating the symptoms, you have to fix the root cause.
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Whatever you are passing through what you should really be worried about is fixing yourself first (FYF). When you do that all other things would fall in place.
When you are down people would take advantage of you, people you expect so much from will do things you least expect but your move should not be trying to face them else you create more mess rather you focus on getting back on your feet, FYF.
There is this Yoruba adage that says “when big problem comes, small problems would cease the moment too“. So it is expected, people will talk thrash, friends would avoid you, some family members would stop picking your calls, folks would call you names, and there would be several versions of your story. Your next move is not to set things right by confrontation, no! no matter how painful it is.
Your only move is to fix yourself first, work on getting back to your feet, pull your remaining resources together, even if it means disappearing for a while and once you are back on your feet; the thrash would stop, friends would want to identify with you again, family members would start calling you, folk would give you cool nicknames, and there would only be one version of your story, the one you wrote.
My friend yielded to my advice and he is currently working on himself. I pray God hears his prayers and pull him back on his feet and put smiles on his face again and any other person going through similar challenge. Amen.
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