As we navigate through the ups and downs of life, we all face challenges that can impact our mental and emotional well-being. From dealing with stress and anxiety to coping with grief and loss, our mental health is constantly being tested. In the midst of these struggles, one thing that can make a tremendous difference is speaking from the heart.

At its core, speaking from the heart means expressing ourselves in an authentic, heartfelt manner. It involves tapping into our deepest emotions and values and communicating them with clarity and conviction. When we speak from the heart, we not only connect with others on a deeper level, but we also connect with ourselves, gaining a greater understanding of our own thoughts and feelings.

In the context of mental health and personal growth, speaking from the heart can be a powerful tool for self-expression and healing. For example, if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, speaking openly and honestly about your feelings with a trusted friend or mental health professional can help you gain insight into your own emotions and find effective coping strategies.


Expressing ourselves authentically can also be a key component of building and maintaining meaningful relationships. When we share our vulnerabilities, we create a space for others to do the same. This can foster deeper, more authentic connections with        others, which can help us feel less alone and                                                                          isolated in our struggles.

However, speaking from the heart can be challenging, particularly if we’re not used to expressing ourselves in this way. It can feel vulnerable and uncomfortable to share our innermost thoughts and feelings with others. That’s why it’s important to practice self-care and self-compassion and to seek support from trusted friends or mental health professionals if we need it.

Here are some tips for speaking from the heart:
1.  Take time to reflect on your emotions and values. Before you can speak from the heart, you need to have a clear understanding of what’s important to you and what you’re feeling. Spend some time journaling or meditating to gain a deeper understanding of your own emotions and values.

2.  Find a trusted listener. Speaking from the heart can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to expressing yourself in this way. Find someone you trust, such as a close friend or mental health professional, to share your thoughts and feelings with.

3. Practice active listening. Listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to speaking from the heart. When someone else is speaking, make sure to give them your full attention and actively listen to what they’re saying.

4. Be honest and authentic. Authenticity is key when it comes to speaking from the heart. Don’t try to sugarcoat your feelings or hide your true self. Speak your truth, even if it’s difficult.

5. Practice self-care and self-compassion. Speaking from the heart can be emotionally taxing, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Make sure to practice self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. And don’t forget to be kind and compassionate to yourself, especially if speaking from the heart brings up difficult emotions.

In conclusion, speaking from the heart is a powerful tool for promoting mental health and personal growth. By tapping into our deepest emotions and values, and communicating them authentically, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves and build more meaningful connections with others. If you’re struggling with mental health issues or just looking to deepen your connections with others, consider speaking from the heart as a way to promote healing and growth. Remember, when it comes to speaking from the heart, authenticity is key.

A kiss is the greatest form of affection that can numb you altogether. It can make you feel alive, calm you down while you are in a state of panic, or give you some form of jittery feelings. In a scenario of first-time kisses, it is mostly used as an “I want you” gesture. It is beautiful how a kiss that is pure without any sexual intent can make you feel. I once experienced this and I still consider this as one of my best kisses of time, not that the others were shitty or anything, but this one just stood out

I had just joined culinary school fresh from high school. And my mom was pretty much the ” stay away from boys” advocate and I couldn’t blame her, she was only doing her job as a parent. But I had other plans in mind. All my life I had heard the slogan,” study first, boys latter” and it honestly didn’t make sense at this point in my life. Why? I was eighteen, I had my ID and this fact made me feel that I could make any decision I damn well pleased, replications later or as we normally say “kesi baadaye”.

I joined college during the WhatsApp era. At this point in time, WhatsApp was the in thing all the cool kids used. You would find yourself in groups where you don’t know anyone and join the conversation. What a good way of meeting strangers, I was very shy back then and found it very convenient. That’s where I met the kisser, the kisser that sealed my lips with a kiss that awoke every part of me.

He slid into the DM. And the conversations were something to anticipate for. I would stay up all night talking to him and in my mornings it was all him. At some point, I got distracted in class just because I was talking to him. Was I in love? Is this how love felt?

I had never had a boyfriend before so I couldn’t quite tell if what I felt was real. But he made me feel alive. We had shared pictures and I liked how he looked. Tall, slim in body size, wore glasses like me (I always thought of us as the dorky couple) and he lived a few blocks from where I stayed. He was perfect. But I wouldn’t make my move because I was told the man is supposed to make all the moves, my work was just being pretty and make myself irresistible.

” Can you come over for a date over the weekend?” the text read.
I read it over and over again to let those words sink in. I would actually be going on a date for the first time.
“Yes! I would really love this.”I responded. This was on a Friday and I couldn’t wait for Sunday at noon to go see this man who had captured my heart with just words. Lol at the back of my mind I thought we would talk about books, movies, and music so I didn’t mind. A typical way of starting off our first date on a good note.

My best friend has always influenced most of the decisions I made. She is three years older than me and has played a great role in my life. So for this first date, I consulted her and she gave me guidance. Being my first date I wouldn’t want to ruin it, I wanted everything to go as I expected. We would watch a movie, eat the food he prepared, talk about books and music then he would walk me home. Plus I trusted him enough to go to his house for this date, he was my friend. The main aim of the date was for us to meet physically.

“Breathe in! Breathe out! you’ve got this., “I told myself.
” Hello, could you please come to get me? I’m here at the bus stop like we agreed,” I said through the phone.
“Okay! I’m on my way,” he said.
I have this habit of pretending to scroll through my phone as I am waiting to meet someone but secretly look around to see if I can spot them. Why? Because my face lights up with so much joy when I see them and I find it sort of embarrassing. Like seriously, I can have a banana plastered smile on my face just to see my friends, even though it’s the third time imI’meeting you in a row.

I think he noticed I was a bit shy so immediately after he hugged me, he held my hand as we walked. That calmed my nerves a little and I got a bit comfortable. I liked his laughter and without his glasses, he had the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen to date, milky big white eyes and once you looked inside them you felt safe. We watched some movies then we drifted and just began talking. I played my head on his thighs and he caressed my hair. This was the most beautiful feeling. It was such an innocent gesture of affection and I loved how I felt at that moment.

He asked me to take my glasses off and close my eyes because he wanted to see my eyeshadow clearly. I had some deep purple eyeshadow that I really loved. My hand in his hand, I felt him bend his neck and he planted a kiss on my lips. At this moment there were flames of love and ecstasy and my stomach suddenly became hot. Nothing else mattered, just him and I, we could take over the world now. In a wave of emotions, I opened my mouth and kissed him back too. His lips were soft tasted like strawberries and I remember I wanted to feel him more and more. He gently caressed my cheek and as if sensing I wanted more, he didn’t stop, kept at it till we were both zapped back to reality.


“I know it’s not going to be easy….,” he said in a shaky voice. I could feel the nervousness, ” …but I want to be with you. Will you be my girlfriend?” he asked
I sat upright and looked him in his eyes, “Yes I will be your girlfriend,” in another wave of emotion I pulled him nearer, and this time I kissed him more passionately.
As he walked me home that night, his hand in mine I felt like the only girl in the world, his only girl for the record.
What happened after the kiss? that’s a story for another day.

As the bus left the NYS Camp a slight ray of excitement filled my heart. Ever since I joined the NYS camp my anticipation for this day, my first job placement had been building up. When my parents found out about the NYS program, they didn’t bother to ask whether I was interested in joining it or not, they decided for me. This exasperated me but growing up with strict African parents, you already knew that whatever they said or decided had to be done incontrovertibly. After staying for three years with a useless University degree and no job, this seemed like a solid strategy to me landing a well-paying job.

The NYS program was really hard and I loathed everything about it from the early mornings with tiresome exercise routines, the uniform we had to wear, and the fact that we were completely isolated from the outside world, apart from the days we went home. The fact that I didn’t have access to my phone for the early part of the program was depressing, imagine being confined with the same people, the same daily routine without even having a social media breather, mentally exhausting right?. For me, the rules that governed the NYS seemed needless, I was twenty-four why would I still need to operate as though I was in a boarding school. I finally got my phone back during the last lap of the program and this was because I got job placement at the JKIA. My parents and best friend were elated as much as I was, things were finally looking up for me.

As we got to the JKIA we were directed to a designated waiting area and advised to wait for the next directive. We waited in silence and as my anticipation for the day grew so did my glee, I intended to make a good first impression. In approximately thirty minutes the supervisor came and she directed us to our designated stations. By the time the bus came to pick us up in the evening to retire to the camp, I felt accomplished and could hardly wait for the next day.

Singlehood was a path I had chosen for four solid years after walking out of a very abusive relationship and was content with my emotional and mental state. My cousin had other plans for me, she decided to set me up with one of her friends who worked at JKIA too. George was quite an adonis but he was neither my type because he was a bit uncouth and rustic. He was completely clueless about how a lady was to be treated, this got me more disinterested. I urged myself to give him a chance even though I did not feel the same towards him.


Ben was the guy who kept on pestering me at work and didn’t take no for an answer. When we met at the hallways he would constantly say hello and tell me stories that didn’t make sense. With a blank stare on my face, I would unwillingly entertain him and wished that our encounter would end because he infuriated me. He took this courting to a higher notch where he would send my work-friends to bring me gifts like food and shoes just to lure me and constantly showing up at my workstation. I had made it clear that I wanted nothing to do with him, and he feared to give me the gifts personally because of my reaction. His fears were justified because, given the chance, I would love to shove him away and throw the gifts at his face.

As time passed by I got so comfortable and accustomed to his gifts and without noticing I developing a liking for him. My friends urged me to give him a chance because he knew how to treat a woman, was handsome and was everything George was not.

After a series of internal monologues, I decided to go on a date with Ben. Earlier during that week, I had filled in a leave-out sheet at the NYS camp with the reason being I had to see my optician. By Friday morning the Nys warden informed me that my request had been approved and I should be ready to leave by noon when my parents arrived. My glee couldn’t be contained and I texted Ben to tell him we would meet the next day for our planned date after I visit the optician.

I took longer than usual to prepare for my date because I wanted to look sensational and leave an impression that will linger in Ben’s mind. We met in the CBD at noon and went for lunch at the Big square. For the first time, I found myself enjoying his chattering and even laughed at some of his lame jokes. We then proceeded to Panari Hotel for skating which I had never done before. Fear took over me but he was there to encourage me to try out something new. By the end of the night as he drove me home a wave of calmness and peace radiated inside of me. As we got to my gate he leaned in and kissed my lips. My stomach became hot and some chills ran down my spine as he caressed my cheek, I felt complete. As I went into my room that night I went to eutopia as I smiled sheepishly reminiscing the day’s events.

I could not contain how I felt towards Ben, it was evident I was growing fond of him with each passing day. When He asked me to be his girlfriend I was elated and decided to end things with George. The news destroyed George especially when he found out that his successor would be his friend, Ben. In all honesty, when I accepted Ben’s proposal to be exclusive with him, I was not completely in love with him but I believed my love would grow gradually.

My hands trembled as I held the pregnancy kit in my hand, two red lines, I was pregnant. It had only been a month after I completed the NYS program and we had only dated for three months. How would we explain to our parents about this pregnancy?. His Parents were staunch Christians and his mother never advocated for fornication, she always wanted us to wait till marriage. On the other hand, my parents had so many dreams for me and this new situation meant that my life would take a different turn. Fate played a great role on the day we approached both our parents, they were a bit disappointed but expressed their support.

On one of our dates, I developed excruciating abdominal pain and you rushed me to the hospital. To our dismay, the hospital attendants expressed some laxity and completely ignored it. With hot tears flowing from my cheeks, my motherly instincts were awakened, all I could think of was the well-being of my baby. After an hour it was our turn to see the doctor and he conducted an ultrasound and a pap smear test. He suggested that I had a minor infection that will clear off and prescribed antibiotics. I was dissatisfied with his findings simply because of the poor services the facility had offered and my gut had always been right. You felt I was being paranoid and we agreed that I should take the medication and monitor my progress after a day or two.

When my condition became worse with assistance from our parents we decided to seek a second opinion. We visited a new gynaecologist who was very worried because one of my fallopian tubes contained cystic growth and the pap smear test I did at the other health facility did more harm than good. He advised that I was to be admitted to the medical facility but I declined because I didn’t feel comfortable, actually I hated hospitals. He prescribed bed rest and my parents and siblings took it upon themselves to take care of me. A couple of days after we left the hospital was completely lifeless and my complexion had changed to yellow. My mother was so scared and took me to the gynaecologist we had met. On our way to the hospital, I sat in the back seat of the car in complete silence and tears flowing from my eyes my mother held my hand and tried to assure me that the baby will be fine.

It was too late, nothing could be done, our baby was no more. You came to the hospital as soon as you heard the news and held me in your arms:
” Baby, it’s going to be okay,” you said.
Having you at this moment gave me strength and for the next couple of days though my grief was heightened you were still there. When I lost our baby I felt like I died too but your love and support nursed me back to life.

After a couple of months, things began changing between us, you became notably reticent and pushed me away. We were in constant quarrels and on some days we wouldn’t even talk. This broke my heart because you were my happy ending and this didn’t seem like a happy ending, it was more of a nightmare. Then you broke up with me with the defence that you wanted to make a turnaround in your life and become a serious Christian like your parents. You alleged that we were sinning and if we don’t change we would go to hell, you even dared to criticize me and told me this relationship would only work if I changed my lifestyle and got saved, how judgemental.

I permitted you to have your way and picked my broken pieces and tried to move on. My heart ached for you, the nights became sleepless because all I could think of was you and your loving. Why was it so easy for you to let me go and forget what we had?. But then you realized you made a mistake and began pursuing me pleading with me to forgive you. My heart was glad, I choose to let bygones be bygones and accepted you back because I needed you.


Every time I came over to your house for a sleepover you were constantly on your phone, constantly on the lookout as though you were hiding something and numerous passwords for everything, which made me get more suspicious. Your neighbour was very attractive and I noticed you had developed a habit of hanging out with her behind closed doors of her house even when I was present. You would post her on your WhatsApp status and indicated she was the reason for your living. Was I insecure? Yes, I was extremely insecure, this woman was getting everything I once had and what I needed, your attention.

One day you left me alone in the house and I decided to do the general cleaning of the house. I began to find women’s items that did not belong to me in our bedroom. My heart shuddered with fear and distress, I had lost you I really had. But I convinced myself I would not leave you unless you told me to because I could not imagine life without you. With a heavy heart, I gathered all the items I had found and placed them on the table and I prepared myself to get my answers and clarity from you. As expected you came home really late and I was on the couch watching TV. I asked you if we could talk and I began to coax you about the items I found.

The conversation took a different curve, it turned into a heated argument and I began to cry, asking you to take me home. You took my cellphone and locked me inside the house because you didn’t want me to leave. Suddenly I couldn’t breathe, I developed an anxiety attack. I banged the door with my fists and pleaded with you to let me out for some air but you completely ignored me. After an hour you came back and apologized for everything. It’s funny how my brain had a perfect image of how this week would turn out, we would rekindle our love but look at how it turned out.

When I went back home I had a recollection with myself and came to a realization that I deserved better, not you. You had caused me so much pain in the past few months, I could hardly smile. You had become too toxic for my sanity, something had to give way for me to regain my happiness. I deleted your number and every tangible memory of you on my phone, you now became a distant memory. But you wouldn’t let me be, you would constantly call and text and I ignored you till the day you showed up at my home. The only decent thing I could do is give you a listening ear because I wanted to put an end to this aberration. To date, I don’t know what to make of what you told me.

You explained a few months before we met you stole a huge sum of money from your auntie who had been cruel to you. The money is what made you buy not one but two cars and it sustained your lavish lifestyle. You firmly believed she planted a curse on you which was the reason we lost our baby and the sole reason for every anguish in your life. You admitted that this was the reason you broke up with me the first time because you wanted to keep me safe from the curse.

That night as you walked out the door something walked out of me as well. This was the end I had spent preparing for the last couple of days.

As I got into the cab a feeling of great shame and guilt engulfed me, I had cheated on you. At first, I didn’t want to do it because I was faithful to you but society advocated it as healing for my bleeding heart. Every moment he caressed my body, kissed my lips, moaned in pleasure my mind thought of you. Cheating was something I would have never advocated for in my right state of mind but getting even with you was something I pondered about the past few days. Sometimes when you find yourself in a loveless relationship, you decide to look for ways to ease your pain.

All my friends told me to walk away from you because of how you treated me. You had suddenly turned into a manipulative, emotionally abusive, and disrespectful lover. Just the other day one of your side pieces came by the house looking for you. Of course, you denied everything and accused me of stirring up trouble because men like you never admit when they are caught red-handed. Men like you feed off the misery of women like me. You were my bully, taunting me with every chance you got.

When I walked into the house, you were seated on the couch and I wondered if you could sense my infidelity the way I sensed yours. The water glided on my skin washing away my infidelity and the deep sense of guilt and shame that lingered in my mind. Why was it hard to be like you, heartless in all your actions?. Society gratifies any man who commits adultery but is also the first to cast stone on any woman who commits the same. Double standards!

That weekend you had left home claiming that you were going to work then off for a team-building in the afternoon, you would be back on Sunday evening. You took me for a fool, I questioned and pleaded with you to be honest with me because no company organizes afternoon team buildings that will prolong throughout the entire weekend. Deep down I knew you lied to my face because you had planned to see one of your women. The thought of another woman pleasuring you made me sick, this was the incurable disease that inflicted me.


You held me that night, our bodies intertwined together, igniting a fire inside me. With every kiss, every thrust, every caress, this had to be the last time we would be like this. Tears mixed with heavy emotions fell from my eyes, and when you whispered you loved me, some tingly feeling settled in my heart. Your kiss that showered me all over made me feel alive and reborn was a similar kiss I shared with many. What a shame that your actions were not pure but full of malice and selfish desires.

When morning came my heart was unsettled, torn between leaving you and staying with you, the man who made my heart glow.

“God, give me clarity!” I repeated this prayer in my spirit for the next five minutes. Alas! as if the heavens were responding to my little prayer your phone beeped. Nancy sent you a message which confirmed my suspicions. This was not my first time contending with your infidelity. This was my awakening, a revival to steer me to my next endeavour. The laughter that would be confused to be that of a madwoman flowed out of my mouth.

Dear Lover,
I hope this finds you happy and alive, full of strength as you journey through life. Please forgive me for any form of unhappiness I caused, that made you constantly unfaithful. Now that we are no more, my prayer is that you may have happiness though sometimes(just sometimes)I wish thunder would strike you dead. The nights and days were hard at first because my body wasn’t designed to lay on its own without your embrace and my heart yearned for you, constantly calling your name.


Forgiveness is in the power of the forgiver not in the one who needs to be forgiven. I forgive you for all the emotional scars you caused, the low self-esteem you caused, the three years I constantly forgave you, and most of all for making me feel less human. Where you caused pain love will be my new hope. Thank you for being my confidant and for the few times you loved me.
Kind Regards,
The one you chose to forget.