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Self care

By Sabrina Niyigaruye

To set a table, first and foremost you need to clean the table.


You lay your most beautiful tablecloth.


You set your most beautiful napkins.


At the centre of the napkins, you place your plates.


To the left of each plate, you set down a dinner fork.


To the right of the plate, you place your knife.


To the left of this dinner fork, you place the salad fork.


To the right of the knife, you place your spoon.


At the top of the plate, you lay your dessert spoon.


At the top right of the plate, you place your glass of water.


But setting a table does not stop there, you need to invite the right people, place them at the right place and take your place as the host. Sometimes it amazes me how I know how to set a table perfectly but don’t know how to apply these skills to my life. For a long time, I was frustrated by the fact that I was not taught how to organize my life. Since I did not want to dwell in frustration, I decided to proceed and arrange my life just like you set a table.


I wiped my table clean, of all that was bad or impure.


I set my table of the most beautiful garment which was faith.


I laid the napkins of kindness.


At the centre of these napkins, I set my most beautiful plates.


All of my plates hold names: dreams, achievements and family


To the left of each plate, I set down my dinner fork, obedience.


To the right of each plate, I place my knife, truth.


To the left of my dinner fork, I set down my salad fork, love.


To the right of my knife, I set down my spoon, long-suffering.


At the top of the plate, I set down my dessert spoon, joy.


At the top right of the plate, I place my glass of water, His Faithfulness.


After I set my table, I chose who should sit and where. At each end of the table, I place the hosts. God is at one end. I sit at the other end. I chose each person to have a seat at my table.


Society has brought us to believe that everything we do that is structured and well-done, is destined to remain as is. My education system has taught me that if I put hard work into something, I will be rewarded. Despite the fact that reality constantly reminded me of the contrary, I chose to believe in that mentality.


Although, as I looked at my table, I soon came to realize that this was not the truth.


I have had life pull down my tablecloth.


I have seen the unforeseen break some of my plates.


I have seen people dismiss themselves from my table.


I have had to dismiss people from my table.


I have asked some people to change seats at my table.


I have seen some try to take my place at my table.


I learned that this table was not mine. I do not control anything at this table. Life is not as controllable as we depict it to be. In some pictures, we portray the host as sane. Life will hold its trials. Life will hold its victories. These elements will not be controlled. You will work hard and be rewarded. You will also work hard and will not be rewarded. Life is not predictable. So as I continue to hear the piercing sounds of the breaking plates as they hit the ground, as the tablecloth is continuously tugged from each side, as individuals come in and leave my table,


I lock eyes with the host at the end of the table.


There, I find peace.

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    Sabrina Niyigaruye


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