Chidera Eggerue’s book “What a time to be alone” is an ode to self-love. Every page of the book is a new revelation and a new source of motivation. The author takes us into a colourful, dynamic and expressive world. Using ethnic proverbs as well as original shapes, she conveys her messages without filters: love yourself! Here are the main lessons given by the Slumflower:
LIFE WILL CHALLENGE YOU TO GROW
“Handle failure like a boss
We have to expect that life will not be kind to us. And in some ways, that’s good. Chidera tells us that we are exactly where we need to be and that more than once we will be shaken up. These moments will be an opportunity for us to grow, to learn and to excel. If we don’t fail, we don’t learn.
DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE
Disappointed expectations are also part of learning. We tend to put hopes in the people around us, as well as in our loves. Loss is then an important lesson. With experience, it is important to learn not to set expectations so as not to be disappointed. We have no control over what the people we care about think and do. Conditioning our happiness on their actions is far too great a risk to take.
LEARN TO COPE & TAKE ACTION
“The sooner we learn to stop pretending to be immune to the feelings that scare us, the sooner life will start to make sense.
We run away from what scares us. Being vulnerable is scary. In our societies, it’s not a positive thing so we pretend everything is fine instead of facing our demons. We are surrounded by people pretending to be fine so we do the same. Instead of putting our energy into just being ourselves. To move forward, we need to let go of our fears and not fear rejection, failure. All are only temporary. The only thing stopping us from going where we want to go is ourselves. We must learn to grow through our failures, however painful or embarrassing they may be.
ALWAYS CHOOSE YOURSELF
“Self-love is the least aggressive and most effective form of bullying.
One of the most important lessons to learn is to always choose ourselves. Choose yourself. No matter what. Slumflower reminds us that we are not here to meet anyone’s expectations. We don’t have to be the same all the time. We are free to change our minds or even to change at all. It is up to us to say yes or no. You must always choose yourself, even when you have forgotten yourself, even when it is not easy and even when you are tired. The world will always tell you that you are too much of this or not enough of that, so know that:
- Make sure you are always enough for yourself.
- The time you spend with and for yourself is never wasted.
- Don’t be afraid to choose who gets access to your space
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM OTHERS
“No matter what happens, always remember: you have the right to change your mind about how you feel about people.
Some people have a way of waking up our bad sides. We need to stay as far away from these people as possible. Also, when people dwell on the past, it is often because that is where they belong. Also, some emotionally unavailable people will come knocking at your door. Their condition will not allow them to appreciate you to the fullest. It is important to learn to identify them so that you can also keep them at a distance. Never give anyone a second chance to hurt you. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is.
LISTEN TO YOUR INTUITION
“If you have a strange feeling of guilt/uncomfort after sharing good news, you are sharing yourself with the wrong person.
When you are having trouble figuring out a friend, trust your intuition that tells you to beware! Learn to see the signals. For example, watch out for people who tend to flip-flop, people who express jealousy etc. Most of the time, when we realise something important and negative about a person, we already knew it. We often choose to turn a blind eye when we know deep down what it is. People know it when they try to take advantage of us, it is up to us to be honest enough with ourselves to realise it.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
You can’t save everyone and not everyone deserves you. There is always a reason why people are the way they are, but you are not responsible for it. The sooner you raise your standards, the sooner you will meet people who are willing to meet them. Don’t be afraid of loneliness because you will strengthen yourself in it.
IT IS NORMAL TO WANT TO BE LOVED
“One day you will mean more to someone than anything else.
Although we all try to hide it, we want to be loved, and it is normal. However, this need should not lead us to accept less than we deserve. Pay attention to how you are treated, if you get confused signals, don’t waste your time and again, choose yourself!