Loosen up

Balpolam Idi
5 min readMay 1, 2024

I’m not wound up tight

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me ‘Loosen up’ or ‘Lighten up’, I’d be, well, not a billionaire per se but I’d have an insane number of nickels.

Why are people so stuck on the idea that what they think is fun is the benchmark for all fun? I find it very interesting that human beings project their standards on everyone and are usually so fixated on their ideals as universal and not relative. Except of course when it comes to the absolutes, then suddenly everyone knows a subjective truth. Tsk tsk.

They tell me to loosen up so I can have fun. I’m plenty of fun. Guys, do you have any idea the premium cinema in my head and the amazing and intriguing things my mind conceives? It’s even shocking that someone sees me, (I mean me oh) and says I don’t have fun. Me that likes to play. I mean I’m a PE girl for God’s sake.

Now just because my idea of fun reminds you of a 7-year-old doesn’t make it less real or enthralling. It’s not my fault a whole generation lost their imagination to ‘growing up’. Everyone was in such a hurry to do adult things they forgot to nurse the little children inside them. I reckon that’s part of why we’re callous and unkind adults. We skipped the basics and many people don’t know the magic words. Anyway, as Madeleine L’Engle and C.S Lewis will always preach through their stories, don’t grow up.

I love to play, I love to move my body (I can’t dance no mean say I no go try). Somehow sha, our generation has decided they are the caretakers and monitors of fun. I know that every generation has its vices — there was a time when disco parties were the hallmark of coolness and fun. Even now, I see that vaping, being sensual, being savage and such are the badges of honour young people should wear for being fun. It’s so heartbreaking. I mean you, Imago Dei dancing (make that twerking) on TikTok to be perceived as fun or hopping from pillar to post with questionable characters because you are trying to lighten up? It can’t be that Jesus died for you, full of love and utmost compassion so you’ll vandalise your precious body and temple because you want to be ‘fun’? Are you a circus dear? Do you not see it? You’re so valuable.

Photo by Alberto Gasco on Unsplash

I no longer like that sentence of loosening up or its variants. I get triggered when I hear that because more often than not, after that loosen-up phrase is an invitation to compromise. I’ll go ahead and speak to the lukewarm believer here. — You’re two seconds from compromise if everyone you have around you is injecting those sentences into your heart. My darling, for your sake, flee. You can’t be loosening up when you’re not bound. It is for freedom that Christ set you free, amen?

I know this might seem like a strange angle this week but I have been thinking about my landslide and how it all started with one dangerous sentence. Words are seeds sown into the fertile soil of our hearts and minds. And our thoughts are like little watering cans or hoses and the more we dwell on a matter, the more we give it the moisture it needs to germinate, and the higher the chances of the seed germinating and growing to maturity. Now imagine if you have 50 such seeds sown in the soil within a month. Chances that your thoughts will vie that way are quite high. All this is to first tell you that you don’t need to loosen anything — you’re not a fisherman’s knot or a thieving baby’s fist. Don’t even feel the pressure. Secondly, if that’s all you hear, it might be time to change company and companions. I can tell you for free that the day you say “oh whatever, let me give this a go” — it will not be your invention alone but a collection of the recurring voices. Guard your heart.

Lastly, if you have gone down the road of compromises like myself, extend grace to yourself Child of Light. We may slip up and land ourselves in hot pots of ogbono soup that can scald, but our King is merciful and if the Thrice Holy God can look upon you with mercy, your little heart must not be proud to say you don’t deserve it. You have pierced yourself because of disobedience, now let the healing hands of Yeshua mend you. You have indulged in shameful and unspeakable compromises, let Yahweh use your story to save his sons and daughters who are about to lose their way. Nothing is wasted in God’s hands. The question is, will you let him tighten your buckle? Or are you going to be a malfunctioning loose knot or bolt?

Hiiii, thank you for reading.✨ I hope this was for you. My heart has been heavy on the battles we face silently and how we’re constantly being assaulted by suggestions of compromise. Have you ever fallen for the ‘loosen-up’ mantra? How did you deal with it? You already know how much I want to hear your story. My eyes are peeled out for your responses. I pray the Lord keeps you and preserves you from pressures and perversion.

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Balpolam Idi

Live, Love, Give. But most importantly, Dream. Learner. Teacher. Wanderer.