A few weeks ago, I got to spend a couple of days with my friends K and U. It was groove galore. K brought some chicken home and we cooked and chopped most of it that night.

Next day, we headed out to run some errands and took some chicken to “hol belle” until whenever we got to eat. We’d been out for about an hour when hunger begin catch U, so, she promptly brought out her chicken and selected a juicy drumstick. She was about to bite into it when K turned and said to her “Put it back, don’t be afraid of your stomach” We all laughed at the statement, and then K went on to remind U that she had some diet goals she was trying to reach. She concluded by saying something along the lines of “You need to get comfortable with hunger. Don’t put food in your mouth as soon as you get hungry, you need to learn to control what goes in and when. Don’t be afraid of your stomach”

U jejerly put her chicken back into her bag, but the statement has stuck with me since then because it applies to much more than food.

Are you afraid of your stomach? Your physical stomach? Your emotional stomach? Your financial stomach? Any kind of stomach?

Let me describe what I’m talking about…

Getting out of one relationship and jumping right into another because you cannot stand to be alone.

Doing anything to avoid uncomfortable emotions including avoiding people and places

Seeing something you want and refusing to sleep or eat until you get it

There are different types of hunger, and sometimes the best thing that can happen to you is staying hungry, because if you feed yourself every time you are hungry for something, how will you ever learn discipline?

I’ve thought about my ambition stomach now that I’m in a transition phase in my life. Gosh there are so many things I want and I want them right now! But God has His pause button on a lot of those things and even though the chafing stresses me out sometimes, I can see myself gaining clarity in the hunger. Ideas are changing and evolving, directions are changing and I am in a different direction now from where I was facing 2 months ago. E be like say the hunger nor really bad like that after all.

A few years ago after yet another disastrous relationship met its expected end, I decided to take a 1 year break from dating. Make I no lie, there were days when I was like “Na me start this thing, I get right to end am. Abeg e don do!” but I stuck to it. In that year, I learned so much about myself and why I kept making similar mistakes in all my relationships. That year of hunger has changed my approach to relationships forever.

Bottom line, you will not always get what you want when you want it, and that’s not a bad thing. Let me even go one step further, you should not always get what you want when you want it. That period of hunger is a great clarifier (is that a word?). As uncomfortable as it is, follow the hunger and see where it leads you. Get into that emotion, stay away from that person, don’t buy that thing you have to have…wait.

And the end of the period, you will not only know a little bit more about yourself, but you will have unlocked another level of mastery that is sure to be a blessing somewhere down the line. And when you finally get the thing you hunger for, you will have both a deeper level of appreciation and a sense of balance that stops it from being overwhelming.

Don’t be afraid of your stomach.