in my flip-flops, hair net and shoes in my left hands; purse and utility bag in another hand, I raced out the door scuffling and scrambling to keep up with my husband. He had been impatiently waiting in the car and blared his horn for about 20 minutes.I would normally not scurry out my house in this manner, looking disoriented and frazzled, but we had been invited to a dear friend’s wedding and I was the master of ceremony. This time, I could not afford the luxury of tardiness or even the slightest appearance of not been in control so up I went, finally in the car and en-route to the wedding venue.

After what seemed like 10 minutes into a quiet and relaxing drive, I decided to get myself organized and put together for this prestigious event. I went ahead to get my weave brushed, proceeded to reach for my make-up bag at the back seat of my car.Alas, it was nowhere to be found. I searched bag after bag, emptied out my purse, still nowhere. I immediately broke out into a panic, because I cannot possibly be found without make-up and with being a host for this wedding? Oh my God! I continued in my anxiety desperately searching for a glimmer of hope – even an old foundation brush that might have some powder residue left on it just to smoothen out my face, or a stray lipstick…perhaps a lip balm will do at this time. It was all to no avail. Exasperated, I turned to my husband who had been quietly witnessing the whole ordeal of turning my bags and purses inside out in an effort to find my precious make up bag and waited for him to say something…the right words will do at this point. “Hey, you are okay the way you look” REALLY??? I think I am screwed because I look like I just rolled out of bed…in the wrong outfit! He pacified me with these words “ It doesn’t matter what you wear, how you look , how much you’ve got or who you know, make sure your confidence in yourself and sense of identity is not tied to something tangible or visible” That sure did it for me not just for the evening but a lifetime.

Ladies and gentlemen, how many times are we caught in the trap of feeling under dressed, disconnected, not popular enough, not connected, not influential or smart enough?t We let these feelings get the best of us and some of the brightest of us walk with our heads bowed in timidity and shame. Some of us are naked if we do not have our Ferragamo shoes on or we forget our Louis Vuitton bags. Most of us have nothing to say or contribute to society if we are stripped of our titles and narcissistic accessories that stroke our egos.

The problem with is that we confuse fame, wealth, connections in high places, education, prestige and looks with our core identity, so when we are stripped of these vanities even momentarily, like I was, we go into a state of upheaval. You are not what you wear, you are not your profession or your income, and you are not your affiliation. Discover your sense of identity which comes from within; find yourself. Ask burning questions that do not include the extra coverings and curtains that we tend to hide behind.

Today, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Who am I and what do I stand for?
  2. If I was stripped of all my titles, wealth, education and my face got badly scarred in a fire, would I still identify with a purpose for my life?
  3. What is my purpose here on earth and am I fulfilling that purpose or am I hiding behind the curtains of man’s approval Some people define and find themselves in a higher being and some define themselves based on strong core values and beliefs while others define themselves based on material belongings and possessions.

Who are you? Until you make peace with who you are, you will continually be defined by a spouse, a job, money or other external things separate from who you are made to be. Needless to say, I went on to be a great host and still felt like a million bucks. Friends, know thyself and to thine self, be true. Ehi Mabo

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