By Aisha Musa Auyo
When I was in primary school, my grandmother visited us, and she was mesmerized by our nature-friendly environment. She said we were wasting resources by not utilizing the space with livestock. So she suggested animal rearing, that she would send a sheep first, and if all goes well, that sheep will give birth to many others, and in a few years, we will have a flock. She kept her words and sent a pregnant sheep. It was assigned to me since I’m the eldest.
The Fulani in me took over, and the bonding was natural for my sheep and me. I fed her morning and night. I brought her out and tied it with a rope in the afternoon for grazing. I then returned her to the barn in the evening. On a fateful Friday afternoon, I brought her out and tied her to a guava tree in our compound so that it would graze as usual.
I can’t recall what happened, but she cleverly freed herself. (That euphoria when a captive gains independence ). She walked, played, jumped and danced! Then, when she became aware of her absolute freedom, she began to run, somewhere far away from our house, and I followed her. The race continued, but I managed to hold the rope.
My sister went in to let my parents know of the happening. I was still holding the rope, but I fell while that ‘wicked’ sheep was still running. I was somersaulting and screaming but still managed to see my parents laughing like crazy outside. My world was spinning, and I had bruises all over my face.
Finally, when I couldn’t bear it anymore, I let go of the rope, thus the sheep, and as I managed to open my eyes, my parents were at the spot to pick me up, but still laughing at my stupidity. ‘Yar fari’ (first daughter), they all chorused! Firstborns are believed to be idiots!
They calmed me down, soothed my wounds and finally, they said, “This could be avoided. You should have simply let go of the rope and the sheep. She will come back”.
This is a life lesson I learned the hard way. I’m glad it happened in my early days of life, as within two days, the wounds healed, and all the bruises disappeared in a week. All thanks to the fruits and medication that I’ve been taking. But from that day, I learned to let go of anything I perceive as a threat to my life or my happiness with immediate effect.
My instincts always alert me of immediate danger, and I respond unhesitatingly. Sometimes even too early that people around me think I do not give people or situations the benefit of the doubt or that I make early conclusions. Still, better early than late. Letting go comes easy because I’ve learned before that holding on to what doesn’t want to stay leads to bruises, wounds and pain.
The recent trends in domestic abuse have made me think, how can we reduce this menace in the upcoming generations? How can we raise mentally sound and selfless generations that will not abuse and tolerate abuse? What are we doing in our power to sensitize our wards of this growing menace?
People, especially women, tend to hold on to their mental and physical abusers be they friends, husbands, relatives, house helps or any other person. They endure all kinds of pain and suffering while trying to hold on to what they think is theirs until they are finally bruised, injured, suicidal, or killed. That’s when they let go. No, this has to stop!
I’m not in the position to punish abusers, but the little I can do now is to enlighten you, the reader, to learn to let go of that which harms you or threaten your happiness and or well-being. Learn to follow your instincts, they are there for a reason, and most often than not, they don’t fail us.
May Allah protect us from abusers, amin. May we never abuse anything under our care, amin. May Allah give us the strength to leave that which will harm us. May we never get attached to what isn’t ours, amin. May the love and respect we give be appreciated and reciprocated, amin. May we see the light even in darkness, amin.
Aisha Musa Auyo is a Doctorate researcher in Educational Psychology. A mother of three, Home Maker, caterer, parenting and relationship coach. She can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.