Dealing with the scorpions of life

Casual Musing with Chioma

Email: Twitter: @cutechyoma

ChiomaOne of the most stressful things to deal with in life is PEOPLE, especially the category I choose to refer to here as ‘scorpions’. Daily we run into toxic people who can be very obnoxious, hurtful and difficult to please, and we wonder how to respond. No matter how nice the best foot we put forward is, such people still strike and sting us. How we choose to react to such thoughtless actions or words says a lot about who we are and would determine what happens next.

I would like to share an experience that could have changed a friend of mine from an angel to a vicious arachnid.

She was madly in love with some guy who gave her one of the worst experiences of her life. They met at the NYSC Orientation camp and she thought he was the next best thing after sliced bread. After their Youth Service, they got engaged and decided to settle in Lagos. She was retained by the oil and gas company she served with while he was thrown into the job market.

Few months later, his sister whom he lived with got married and had to join her husband abroad. She left her two-bedroom flat for him. Due to his lack of income, he could not afford the rent when the lease expired. My friend then asked him to move in with her until he finds a job. That was when he bared his fangs. Loverboy was all shades of deceit, laziness and infidelity. She forgave him every time he erred and kept giving him many chances hoping he would change for the better. She handed him the ATM card to one of her accounts and gave up her car for him to use. She chose to engage the services of a cab driver which was highly inconvenient and pricey for her. She loved him that much. In return he used her car to ferry ladies all over town and run errands for them and their families.

One day, a lady came to their flat, introduced herself and told my friend that she was pregnant for Loverboy. She hoped she was dreaming but alas it was the truth. In a daze, she packed a few of her things, called a cab and left the house for a week. By the time she returned, Miss Preggy had moved in completely with Loverboy in her own flat! That was the height of it. She died a thousand deaths that moment, went in packed her valued items and left the entire flat and all the furniture for them. Even her car. She moved in with her sister who helped her pick up the pieces of her heart

Seven months later, her phone rang. It was Loverboy. He needed help desperately. Miss Preggy was at the hospital and doctors will not perform an emergency caesarean without a deposit. Did my friend think twice? No. She dashed to the hospital, paid the deposit and sat there till the baby was delivered.

I asked her why she put herself through all that. She smiled and said it is who she is and told me that I was no different. She proceeded to remind me of an ancient story someone shared with us some time ago about a wise old man and a scorpion:

An old man was meditating by the river and in the process he saw a scorpion crawl up the rocks and fall into the river. He saw the scorpion drowning, momentarily stopped his meditation and decided to pull it out from the water. He calmly extended his hand to reach the creature. When he did, the scorpion stung him. With the effect of the pain, the old man let go and the creature fell back into the water. Realising that the scorpion was drowning again, the man got back and tried to rescue it. Again it stung him and he let go again.

A young man standing by said to the old man. “Sir, why do you keep trying to save this vicious creature only for it to hurt you over and over again? You are causing yourself pain.”

The wise man replied. “Don’t mind me my friend, the nature of the scorpion is to harm while mine is to help”.

By nature some of us are like this old man. We always let things slide like water at the back of a duck. Even when push gets to shove and we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place, we do not strike back because that is who we are. We do not have it in us to react negatively.

Never let the scorpions of life change your nature. Simply apply caution.