“Because I said so.” 

That’s it. Just four words!

If your childhood resembled mine, those four words above sound very familiar. If I wasn’t allowed to go to a friend’s house, or have some sugary treat for the night, or watch TV, those were the words I was no stranger to whenever I challenged my authorities, which, in most cases were my strict, African parents. It was usually synonymous to, “You better not ask me ‘Why?’ again, or else…”

For my own good, I would arrest my tongue, seal my lips, and come to the conclusion that I wanted to live to fight another day, and thus drop the subject, reluctantly.

“Because I said so”. 

I’m much older now, and can make my own decisions, however, I find that I emulate my parents in repeating these words – but to myself. Instead of Ebun vs. Parents, it’s now Ebun vs. Ebun’s natural mind instincts, Ebun’s natural heart instincts, and Ebun’s natural body instincts. I’ll explain what I mean. 

For example, you know those mornings where you are certain you have to go for a run and get the blood flowing? In my case, my heart and mind are genuinely on my side to get my daily exercise, but my body decides to throw a tantrum when it is time to get out of bed early each morning. When Ebun’s natural body instincts start to whine “Why?”, I have to firmly respond with those four letter words that my parents ingrained in me, because if I don’t seize my body, it will surely seize me if I succumb to its demands morning after morning. 

“Because I said so” 

What about the times when I step out the door feeling like a million bucks? I’ve got my best outfit on, my makeup is on point, and my perfume is just right, yet people around me don’t seem to think so. No one bats an eye my way, nor passes a simple compliment, and as a result Ebun’s natural mind instincts start to invite doubt, questioning all self confidence I affirmed earlier. It’s gradual, but I’m learning to arrest the negative perceptions in my mind and assert the idea that I look fabulous regardless.

“Because I said so” 

It’s a learning process, but I’m beginning to understand that until I stop giving the negative thoughts the chance to challenge me, I am forever enslaved to its backlash.

Like a child that doesn’t know its boundaries, these negative influences can make you feel powerless over situations, and essentially make you lose respect for yourself.

Taking control of your humanely instincts, especially during the novice stages, is an act that must be practiced intentionally. You have to make up your mind that you will be the best version of yourself each and every single day, and be intentional in those minor battles we all face each day. With practice, we become better at training the mind, body, and heart, to the point where they have no choice but to surrender to us.

My body will have to eventually respond with a “Well, if Ebun said we’re exercising today, we are putting on those trainers and taking her out the door.”

My heart and mind will respond with a “If Ebun says we look good, well then GOSH DARN IT, WE’VE GOT IT GOING ON!”

“Because I said so”

Learn to make your mind, heart and body work for you, not the other way around.


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