By Nikita Lakatoo
At the risk of hubris, the truth is, getting the attention of guys wasn’t a problem for me, I had grown accustomed to it, actually. Though, I must admit cutting through the proverbial ‘fat’ to get to the ‘meat’, proved challenging. I mean, it’s not like the right guy would suddenly stand out to me. Remember Satan knows what attracts me and he wasn’t going to make it any easier for me to focus on my long-term goals for love and family.
As I worked on being a Catholic with prayer life, I began to be more open when it came to talking to guys about God and things of God. And let me just say, that’s one way to trim the fat! I’m not saying I started evangelizing fellas and quoting scripture, but a simple “have a blessed day to the cashier” or “sorry I can’t make it, I have church in the morning” will introduce them to your spiritual self. I’ve gotten the “oh ok”, raised eyebrows, uncomfortable silence, even the ‘sips my tea and mind my business’ brush off.
But I’ve also gotten follow-up questions, conversations with substance and genuine curiosity which in turn led to testimony. I learned quickly that I couldn’t be two people, but instead I showed that the same person you can enjoy a beer and a good lime with, is the same person who can show you how a relationship with God makes me whole.
I loved how Pope Francis recently put it, “We need saints without veil, who wear jeans and sneakers, who are in the world and who know how to savour the pure and good things of the world, but without being worldly—we need modern, 21st-century saints with spirituality embedded in our time.”
But ‘it’s not an easy road’ as my boy Buju Banton rightly put it, and most times people will indulge you under spurious pretences. Emotions alone can’t carry us; we need the Holy Spirit to help us navigate matters of the heart. This is my truth.
“Youth is wasted on the young”, and “If I knew then what I know now” – are just a few quotes that often come to mind while I ruminate on all the ‘good, bad, and ugly’ that brought me here. Because, although having set my long-term goals, I’m sure I don’t have to convince most of you, if not all, of how sweetly the temptations are to veer off that road, no matter how fortified and faith-filled we think we are.
Having said that, I have been learning to forgive my younger self for not knowing better or doing better when in fact I wasn’t fully equipped or mature to do so. Instead, what was once held as an albatross around my neck for many years, I choose to see as life lessons and the very situations that broke me down and built me up into the woman I am today.