Gbemisola Ero-Phillips

You’ve Got the Love

Originally posted on April 20, 2015

“Well I’ve been searching high, I’ve been searching low (to)

Feel this completeness, everywhere that I go.

Maybe if I just keep walking, walking, walking

Through my mind I’ll stumble on it somewhere

And somehow in this space and time I will lose my worrying mind”- No Love Child, Corrine Bailey Rae


They say when all you can see is your pain, you lose sight of God. I used to write about love and sorrow, and pain and heartbreak. I used to be filled with longing for the things I didn’t have and it consumed me so much that I lost sight of the things I already had.


For a long time, all I did was ask God for things that I wanted. I had a long list and one of the top 5 items was a partner. Seeing as I had done a shoddy job at choosing for myself, I decided to wait for Him to help me with that last major bit. I had prayed about it before then, albeit subjectively. So this time I went all in and prayed again. And all I could hear was “Live Child. Live”


I had written previously about living and all the things you could do while you were single and waiting for something to happen. It turned out that I never took my own advice. I’d write the things that I thought and felt at the moment, but I never went back to read them when I needed the hope I always wrote about. Well, early this year, I told myself that I would start taking my own advice and living freely. There’s so much I missed out on not living to my full potential, and now it’s a herculean task trying to catch up.


Three months into 2015, I wonder where this Gbemi was hiding before. I know that there was a time for standing still, the time when I was supposed to grow root and be strong for the future. And I don’t think that I regret any part. I just wish that I had been a little braver. I’ve seen doors open only because I dared to knock. I’ve seen all the love around me only because I dared to open my heart. I’ve learned that God didn’t use the potter analogy for nothing. Because no matter how many times I’ve felt broken and torn, He pieces me back together piece by piece till I’m whole and brand new again.


Above all, I’ve come to realise that the greatest love I’ll ever have is my Father’s love. And that’s manifested in my love for myself and the love that I have to give. I’ve learned to open my heart to the endless possibilities that life can offer. I’ve learned that it’s okay to reach out to grab the things I want, because not everything is a mirage.  I’ve grown to a whole new level of self-love that scares me sometimes. I went from the girl who was (and is probably still) too shy to speak in public to being the light of the world.
In the end the love was always here, only it was within.

letter to my younger self

Letter to My Younger Self: Sierra Tango Oscar Papa


“Now before I finish, let me just say

I did not come here to show out

Did not come here to impress you

Because to tell you the truth when I leave here I’m gone

And I don’t care what you think about me, but just remember

When it hits the fan brother, whether it’s next year, ten years

Twenty years from now, you’ll never be able to say

That these brothers lied to you Jack” – Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter, PSA



Dear Gbemisola,

I wish I had written sooner. I hope you get this in good time, it will make things a whole lot easier for you. But then again, maybe the beauty in life is in the stumbling and sauntering. Whatever happens, you are reading this now, and it means you are still alive.


If I had to give you one advice to live by, it would be a single word: STOP.


Stop obsessing over everything. You’re 15 and ready to take on the world. I know you think you have it all figured out- graduate at 19, serve at 20, get married at 23 and have all your babies by 28. But I need you to let go off everything that you’ve planned. The thing with life is that most times you don’t even know what you want till you see it. I wish I knew a better way to explain this, but I don’t. Don’t be so pre-occupied with what you want that you lose out on all the beauty in life.


Stop obsessing over love. I know you don’t like to hear this, but you’re only just fifteen. You may think that you know what love is, but what you feel has not even scratched the surface. Love will kill you. Love will raise you up. Love is your mother working seven days a week for you. Love is your father buying drug after drug so that strange illness doesn’t snuff life out of you. The things you’ll do for love, the things you’ll do in the name of love, some of it will make you wonder if it was ever worth it. Love is amazing, but it’s never enough. You’ll find out though. And oh that boy you think about every night before you sleep, ten years from now you may hear he died and not feel any emotion.


Stop being so easily swayed. There’s so much that you’ve been taught already. You’ll find some of it to be utterly useless. You will learn that it pays to be your own woman. You’ll find the things that you think you should stand for in life. When you do, hold on to them. Never let anyone’s opinion shape your perception of someone or something. There’s over 6 billion people on earth, and we all have opinions. Not everyone will agree with you, and you shouldn’t agree with everyone either. Just don’t go on the offensive.


Stop being so damned soft. You’re still a good person, emotional, romantic, and godly. But good don’t always win. You’ll learn though. You see you may have been taught that if you give good out you’ll get good part. The earlier you stop expecting everyone to be nice to you, the better. People will hurt you, sometimes intentionally, other times unknowingly. Grow a backbone. We’re all living breathing people sauntering through life and trying to get home. Don’t expect too much from other people. Don’t take everything so personally, otherwise you’ll grow into a bitter lonely woman.


Stop putting other people before yourself. Stop putting yourself before God. You’ll find that you’re clueless about this thing called life. Put your hands in the hands of the One who designed the journey. Stop worrying too much and trust Him. I know that this is hard for you, but just wait and see what He does with you.


And Oh, no matter how much you cry, find the things that bring you joy. Regardless of how many times life knocks you down, there’ll be so much to laugh about if you only took the time to look. Enjoy every moment as much as you can. Love yourself. Life is hard enough, you need to be on your own side, just in case no one is rooting for you. But there are people rooting for you. When you think everyone else has left your side, a stranger will offer you a handshake. That’s the beauty of life.


Love yourself Kiddo. Love.


The Things your Mom Never Told You

Published in March 2015

(Disclaimer: This is by no means an indictment on my mother, or any other mother for that matter. I do not judge shoes that I haven’t worn yet, I absolutely admire your devotion. I simply share the things that I have observed. If this post offends you, I apologise in advance. Love)


She didn’t tell you that you too are Stardust. You are beautiful, a relic of some place that’s gradually being forgotten. You are beautiful, as is. And it’s okay to leave a little glitter everywhere you go. Not everyone should hold you.

She never taught you to love your body. So the Magazines taught you everything that was wrong with it. If only your nose was a little straighter, deep-set eyes are perfect, high cheek bones are more model-like, suck your stomach in, you need space between your thighs. So every time you saw something new, you would try to nip and tuck so you could fit just right, until you became a mash-up of something that you couldn’t quite put your finger to. And so when your first lover tells you “if only you weren’t an A-Cup, you would be perfect” you go home and strip in front of the mirror, and try to pull hard enough so you can at least fit a B-Cup. Till one day you learn that maybe it’s just about how they fit your body, and how your nipples stand in the cold.,

She didn’t tell you that there was more to life than going to school and getting a job and getting married. That maybe you could dream too, and make your life an exciting adventure. That you too could own anything and everything you dreamed off and create a life that you love. She didn’t teach you that you could write your own rules and that it was okay to be deviant. She didn’t tell you that whether or not you get wifed, you will still always be a trophy.

Your mother probably didn’t tell you that not all women were made to be domestic, and that maybe we too could be easy on our friends who were poor with cooking and house-keeping. That sometimes a man needed more than just someone to clean and cook for him and have his babies. She didn’t tell you that you were intelligent enough to listen to and advise him, that sometimes all he needs is to be held and loved. She didn’t tell your measure exceeds who you are at home.

She didn’t tell you that some men like to play with their food. That no matter how hard you tried to be perfect, and no matter how many garnishments you used, they just weren’t ready to eat. Or maybe they didn’t like the chef. And that’s okay. But she didn’t tell you that it was okay to walk away from love. Walking away from love didn’t mean you lost; you already won when you first loved. And when you left to find something new, you already set the stage for your next victory.

She didn’t tell you that you too could enjoy sex, as a woman. And that enjoying an orgasm shouldn’t make you feel guilty. That you could ask for what you want; doesn’t make you any less of a lady, just makes you a go-getter. She didn’t tell you that you shouldn’t be a passive participant in the things that could possibly give you pleasure. But you will get there, wait till you’re married.

She didn’t tell you that you are as much a lady when you forget to shave your legs as the Queen of England. That true grace comes from within and shines through, like a light that’s making dark places brighter. That perhaps other women are sisters, and not competition, and that maybe the man isn’t even the enemy in the end.