How We’ve Come to Love

by Pascale Denise

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A collaborative writing between Johnta Hotep & Aakifah Maat

“I’ll be your bad girl, I’ll prove it to you
I can’t promise that I’ll be good to you
Cause I have some issues, I won’t commit
No, not having it
But at least I can admit that I’ll be bad no to you (to you)
Yeah, I’ll be good in bed but I’ll be bad to you
Bad that I never made love, no I never did it”
-Wale “Bad”

Defining love is a task in its self.  In Sanskrit ‘LOBH‘ love means ‘greed’ .

Merriam Dictionary: states ‘attraction based on sexual desire; affection and tenderness felt by lovers; an assurance of affection; affection based on admiration’.

How did your surroundings shape your idea of love? Parent encourages their kid to do well in school and as a result of them doing well they receive an abundance of praise/admiration. They feel loved for their accomplishments. This will be a starting block to help in developing a base of how we come to our idea of love.
If we overstand the power of words as they are associated with spelling (is generally used for magical procedures which cause harm, or force people to do something against their will). A word actually cast a ‘spell’ this is why we spell out words. What type of magic is in the word ‘Love’ greed-a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed, in our relationships have you not heard the phrase used with this aspect of thought.

Example: “If they loved me they would do…”
“If they loved me they would be here right now…”

When viewing television PROGRAMMING and movies you see this obsessive behavior associated with love affairs.

Words like admiration, enthusiasm, devotion, sexual embrace, affection become the building blocks of this ‘Love spell’. Love is now becoming a performance based confusion. A person is a contractual obligation in the pursuit of love.

But, how do we formulate the contractual view of love? Life is based on contractual agreements that is how! Birth you are given a contract (birth certificate) that makes you a debt slave. School is a contract based on performance, you earn certain marks and then you are able to move to the next level. Work also is based around a contract that is centered on performance/expectations.

Contract: a binding agreement, limit, restrict

When life is built on the barrier restricting contractual birth it is hard to view anything differently. On the playground you have young kids interactions built on these society based theories. If you don’t give me that candy I won’t be your friend. As we gain more years but less understanding of what love is we still bring the playground mentality to our relationships. *If you don’t get me that ring I will not be your wife (this is what love is)! A ring doesn’t mean I love you. In my mind the actions are what truly display the emotion/verb love.

*Briefly here is Samuele Bacchiocchi take on the  wedding ring
In the first stage of the apostolic period, there was no apparent use of the marital ring….

The first mention of the wedding ring as an option in a marriage ceremony, occurs in the 1872 manual of the Methodist Church, known as Discipline: “If the parties desire it, the man shall here hand a ring to the minister, who shall return it to him and direct him to place it on the third finger of the woman’s left hand. And the man shall say to the woman, repeating after the minister, ‘With this ring I thee wed, and with my worldly goods I thee endow, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’
Sex is a form of communication for two who are connected. Sex can also become a hindrance for individuals who have not developed a proper state of understanding of love. This expression carries a strong emotional impact so for it to be confused can be a troubling aspect in building a relationship. Society has helped to place sex and the sexual act in a state of view that is debased from the essence of what it should have been. Sex is something pictured daily as some recreational aspect done for sport. The connection of two becoming one has no impact on the act. So, with sexual desire being in the definition of love; a person has been given in this society the ability to love all those that arouse your sexual appetite. This arousal is what love is and is something exploited by society every second of the day. Business says ‘sex sells’ and we buy it. This has brought us to how we view love.

Should this be how love is? In a bond should I feel the pressure of performing certain aspects all the time in order to be loved? Or should I have the freedom to be myself and in this liberty be given the chance to experience love in a pure unconstrained manner. How can I get to the purity of love if I don’t know the building blocks of its development?

My belief is that words are key in our view of love. Think of the innocence of speaking “Awe they have fallen (to drop oneself to a lower position) in love with each other.” Why would love cause me to go into a state of declining or lowering? Why do we not have a statement that illustrates we have elevated in love? I believe that use of love in its current state is negative. So what am I saying? Am I trying to tell people that love is a hopeless pursuit that should not be pursued?

No, I am saying that love is something that has to be evaluated and defined by each individual. The aspect of what love should truly be is what you have to formulate in an unfiltered view. Eliminate the performance based theories that you didn’t know exist. Incorporate the freedom to be, allow yourself and others to be themselves. I care or love you because I choose to.

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More than half the body is made up of water and I believe this is done purposely. Water like a stream in its natural state is free flowing. This is a display of freedom the ability to navigate unmolested. A stream that is allowed to flow on its own will leave a mark on the earth. We have been given a trail to follow that is not necessarily the best map for our journey.

From the womb journeying into adulthood, domestication is what is shaping our beliefs, character, and influences how we love. Society has definitely placed a lot of barriers as the way we define love. When we exit from the womb we grasp hands for support in our early years. These people are responsible for feeding us (mental understanding and physical sustenance).  If our parents and family have not been able to develop an unadulterated vision of love, then we are subject to following their same path.

Viewing from the outside I see people who have (in my opinion) no idea of what ‘love’ really is. They have societies overstanding of love. They have married another individual for the economic opportunity they possess, some have gravitated toward another for the physical appearance, others love the sexual attributes they feel for another, and all these lower aspects of love development. This person is now bound to them for life to either continue or enhance what sparked the attraction. But, this tool was never a true building block for a relationship. Nor should it be an obligation to uphold to show a true bond.

In a perfect world love will be a free flowing river! It will not be stopped by any obligation or barrier. In love each person is able to do as they please. Now overstand that topic in an uncaged mental state. You are able to love me freely because you choose to. Not because you feel that if you don’t do certain things this would hinder our bond. Two people are drawn to each other by true loving energy that has re-defined the love aspect. We have now defined love by the attributes that the limits of our language cannot trap in a sentence.  Love should encompass a spiritual, mental, and physical all in one aspect. But, this world is not the one we have been fortunate enough to grow up in. So, what is the love we see? Let’s view a story that can probably relate to a lot of us. Here is how love came to be for Aakifah Maat.

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“Love is patient, love is  kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered…it does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…” Growing up in the church this was what I was taught love was to be. I grew up in love with love and how through love anything could be conquered. I grew up with this notion despite my familial atmosphere.

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Only a developing seed within the womb of my mother’s growing belly, my father not yet ready to bring a child into the world suggested the idea of aborting me from my soon to be existence. However my mother not one to easily back down, decided to carry me full term and give me a fighting chance in a world then unbeknownst to me. I am told that while in my safe place, I would kick and become overly excited at the sound of my father’s voice or his presence in the room. Maybe in tune with my emotions and the emotion of the outside environment this was my way of trying to win over my father’s love while in the womb. I wonder if his hands ever made it’s away to the roundness of my mother’s belly as if to say I love you too baby girl or his hands rushed over to my mother’s belly every time I kicked when I felt his presence…

Since the womb I’ve always yearned to be Daddy’s little girl, not Daddy’s only girl, however my desires never came to fruition. An intuitive child I came to realize that my father did not know how to display tender love as it was never displayed to him as a child. Instead he grew up under the rod, where there lacked a balance between the love and discipline. His mother a hard working woman and often one to discipline him and his siblings and his father a wandering drunk; early on his natural ability to love was squandered.  He exemplified love by being the provider and not allowing my brothers & I to ever need for anything, he was the provider and the disciplinarian. Needless to say there weren’t any piggy back rides, intimate father-daughter conversations or many laughs shared between us. The spitting image of my father the only thing that I shared with him were the contours of my facial features and broad smile. However at 27, I wish there was more that we shared…

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I can only assume from the stories that have been relayed to me that my mother and father met in love and were at one time immersed together in love, however the stories of their youthful love remained only stories and evadedthe reality that I became accustomed to seeing as a young girl. Their love was more so characteristic of the George and Weezy Jefferson than the Cliff and Clair Huxtable that I yearned for it to be. In my 5 year old mind I knew the importance of the love between my parents, so much so that at family held parties, they were not allowed to dance with anyone but each other. If sighted with another man or woman dancing, tears welled up in my eyes and uncontrollable cries would come from  my afro haired chubby little being. Adamant about my parents love for one another, tears never rendered me helpless, instead I’d march over to either of my parents, get in between them and their partner and lead them back to one another as dancing couples watched and laughed at my cuteness ignorant that I was the self appointed guardian to my parents love. And so when my parents argued I would become greatly upset, and usher my brothers outside to play, slamming the front door behind me, figuring that if we didn’t witness the arguing and hate filled words between them that it would become less of our reality. However sooner or later reality catches up to you and you have no choice but to deal with it.

Now old enough to realize that I was not in fact the guardian of their love, but more so a product of a love that seemed to be gone, I had no choice to accept my parents relationship dynamic as I watched my father being wrestled to the floor by police men and pepper sprayed after an explosive argument that became physical between the two. As if the truth about the lack of love between my parents became exposed, I can remember watching my father being violently ushered into a police car as I recited to myself “…love is patient, love is kind….”, as the police sirens blared awakening me to my reality.

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Conceived and born in this world, our existence begins with a clean mental slate; we’re at our most natural state. As new borns we are unadultered love and are every bit of what the Creator intended love to be. However as our life span progresses slowly and slowly we become degenerate in our natural ability to love. Love becomes associated with greed and manipulation. Instead of love being a verb transcending us into higher beings it is objectified and becomes this ugly thing that we grope for, this maladaptive thing that we need more and more of, keeping us in our lower state. Love in actuality is you, once we realize that we are in fact love we will cease to look for love in other places but instead looking for ways to share the love that we possess, where it isn’t a business transaction, but an emotion that is given freely without any wants or strings attached to it. And so we’ll choose to share our very being with another because our cup over flows with love, not because of what the other person possesses. In love and giving love intimacy becomes an exchange of the love that is within where two are united as one and spiritually bound to one another.

Love begins within us. Thus its time that we rid ourselves of society’s erroneous concepts of love and search deep within for what love truly is. Once you’ve found love within let it transform you and transform your partner and those around you…allow it to move freely from your core and move you and those around you.

Seeking unadultered love, we write!

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