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How to overcome the fear of independence

Have you noticed how when you’re looking for something and you put it out there, somehow some way, it comes to you – you find it!  Often it’s in the most unexpected way but you get the answers anyway.  Well, having personally had this experience so many times I am convinced that it cannot be coincidence.  Allow me to share and my latest example has literally brought me to writing this blog right now.

I decided over a week ago that this week, I would write a piece on independence.  From that moment, I have been trying to work out which angle to approach it from.  This was still outstanding until now.

On Wednesday, 5th March, my 3 sons proudly donned their ‘Ghana’ flag colours of Red, Yellow, Green and Black, instead of their blue uniform for School.  This was the specified attire for the celebratory march they would participate in for 57 years of Ghana’s independence.

My 5 year old, after spending the last few days hearing all the noise of independence, wearing the colours and marching in a pre-independence celebration, was still in the dark and wondering what all the fuss was about.  He rushed to his dad in the kitchen to ask him, “dad, what is independence?”  This was going to be interesting, I thought, as I followed closely behind.  I was not disappointed.  My husband begun to explain “when you grow up, leave home to live life on your own and later have your own wife and children, that’s independence”.  The look was on his face was priceless and one of fear to be honest, as he reached for my husband and hugged him tight; his dad gave him a reassuring hug back.  He then asked if he would still be his dad so he answered, “of course, I will”.  Perfect chance for me to chime in that “and yes, I will still be your mum” – naturally this became a group hug.  It was then that I knew what to write this post on.

Of course, the thought of being independent can be frightening.  Imagine for years, not having to worry about how you survive because it is someone else’s responsibility, what you eat, drink, where you sleep, how you spend your time and in some cases even what to think (that’s a scary concept).

Then one day, you find yourself responsible for managing yourself, your resources and your outcomes or results. It is no wonder a lot of adults actually do not ever fully become independent.  I believe that we were all created with what we need to live a fulfilling and prosperous life.  I know that ‘reality’ does not always agree with me as so many people struggle trying to make ends meet and for the most part, are just surviving rather than living.  This does not mean it’s not true!   Yes, we come into the world fully equipped to make it at whatever we choose.

As a parent, I see a major part of my role being getting my children equipped to be independent.  There will be times that the thought will be fearful for them and if I’m honest, for my husband and I.  We’ve had conversations about whether or not we are doing a good job as parents and we normally decide yes we are, because we are doing our best and always aware that our behaviour affects their future more than we realise.

I believe these 3 steps can help anyone manage and even enjoy the journey of independence.  It is your right and you are more than capable of being great.  If you do not believe this, it is only because of your past experiences and what your worldview is currently.  Start by seeing the world differently and changing your beliefs about who you truly are and how you can contribute to your community, nation and the world.  I have faith in you and you can overcome your obstacles, starting with the mental ones (often the hardest but the best to work on).

Overcome and achieve in 3 easy steps:

  1. Be grateful, content and accept who you are.  Believe that you have enough and you are enough:  you are equipped with talents, abilities and whatever resources you need to live the life you were created for.
  2. Do not worry or be afraid; have the confidence to do and say what you want without fear of rejection; do it in the name of love and peace.
  3. Express who you really are in a joyful way. You deserve to enjoy and bring joy to others.  Do this by ‘being’ yourself and trusting in your creator – that he made no mistake when he created you.  It is now up to you to create…… not just react to life!

So this will be my aim in my interaction with my children.  I believe any individual, group or nation can only really be independent when they possess the confidence to do what it needs to do.  We all have the responsibility to bless the world with all it has.  By using the above 3 points can make an amazing difference.  Do let me know your thoughts. 

Finally, as we celebrate 57 years of Ghana’s independence, let’s give God thanks for this beautiful country which is so blessed with all the resources to make its inhabitants self-sufficient and prosperous! Let us with boldness, create and live out the great name we have made for ourselves as a nation – the good name we love to uphold and defend, so help us God.  



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Popcorn Chicken

Everyone who has ever cooked a meal would agree with me that there’s nothing more fulfilling than hearing your name closely followed by praise and compliments about how delicious the meal is!  With comments such as ‘mummy, you should enter a chef’s contest and make this popcorn chicken, you will win” and if you were selling this, I would use all my money to buy it” and Jen, you can put a global chicken restaurant out of business with this and one son ready to ‘pinch’ as much as he could get away with, and mummy you are such a great cook…. The list goes on and on.  To say my head was swelling and feeling physically heavy would be an understatement.  Confession:  let’s just say I have made this dish on more than two occasions this week.  Let’s face it, we all like to feel great about what you are doing and receive such positive responses from our nearest and dearest.

Let me tell you more about the lessons I have taken from this experience.  Until a week ago, I had never made popcorn chicken – it’s not the kind of ‘dish’ my mother taught me to prepare and I have learnt some  fantastic chicken recipes from her but no, never this one and the thought had never crossed my mind.

In my quest to rarely say I don’t know how to do something or cannot do it simply because I have never done it before, when one of my sons requested I make them popcorn chicken, I said yes before really thinking about it.  I figured it can’t be that complicated, and I was right.  What was more fascinating was that, I already had all the ingredients I needed, namely, chicken breast (or boneless chicken), milk, flour based coating, and oil – that is it!  As you can imagine, the recipe is pretty simple too:  clean the chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces, cover in some fresh milk and toss in the coating before frying until golden brown. Then serve to hungry fans and get heaped with praises.

This beautiful experience has reminded me of 2 things.  Firstly we have everything we need to achieve anything we want if only we would dig deep and follow our heart, passion, dream, intuition, spirit ……  The second thing is that when you are willing to try something you have never done before with an open mind and enthusiasm, you may be very pleasantly surprised at how well you do.  The response from the family is just a priceless bonus in all of this and of course, I now have a new skill under my belt.  What more can I want?