Tag Archives: Polyamory

Stepping Out of the Box: Meditations on Love and Labels

Hey Speakerz! Wow! Some weeks go by quickly, others go by slowly. Really, what difference does it make, if any? Time is relative. Daylight saving. This week’s post is about the different kinds of love we can and do surround ourselves with. Let’s dive in!

We’ve established what it is to identify as Queer, now let’s think even more out of the box. Why? Well, because growth is stepping out of the box, pulling ourselves up and out of our comfort zones. Also, I realize that while the visibility for Queer black women is growing, so  too must the visibility for those of us who love differently in so very many ways. From the time that we as human beings are born, we are taught that there is a Prince Charming. Well, you can imagine the shock when you start being attracted to people and realize that Prince Charming could be either Prince or Princess or none of the above. Beyond that, they’re not actually royalty. There are no grand titles. So, Prince and Princess have the reality of being, a human being, possibly devoid of gender identity. Whoof! Glad we got through that! I get to be comfortable now right? Wrong!

I begin the dating process, and I realize that maybe what’s best is to find myself. I do a lot of self love, I dedicate myself to the movement. “I must be a forward thinker in all aspects.” No, I don’t live as a desexualized being, but I become much more choosy about who, where, why and how. Through this process, I learn that maybe monogamy in it’s traditional sense, isn’t what works for me. The classic, one man, one woman is already thrown out, so why not keep the broad?

I begin to engage with multiple identities with one common thread: Communication & Honesty. While doing this, I may find that there are other people who identify as I do! It’s called Polyamory! But then, I find multiple definitions and settings that only serve to make me more confused. So I defy the label. I live outside of it. I keep the thread of Communication & Honesty and leave the name somewhere in the wind as I run and jump in a meadow of acceptance. This cheesy dreamland is where I find myself.

Most people don’t understand the concept of loving more than one person openly, but it’s what we’re wired for. Why do we choose to live in a world of staunch monogamy? What if the “person of our dreams” is really ourselves and 10 additional people are our companions? They help guide us through life, they facilitate in our romantic development, they aid in communication improvement. Can that be enough?

Maybe the question isn’t if that can be enough, but how do we let love in? Every day, human beings choose to fight the programming and conditioning of thousands of years of expectation. We are expected as Americans in society to do certain things. Going against that reality requires a pioneering spirit. But let’s think critically. How many relationships end yearly because of “cheating”, which is really just code for lying? Too many. So what if the fear of rejection is gone and we’re openly allowed to discuss such taboo things as attraction to another human being? An open stream of communication allows for me to live freely and still have love in my life. It is possible to have my cake and eat it too! It just requires maturity of spirit. Why is this taboo again?

It would seem that fear navigates so much of our movement throughout this world. Unnecessary fear. It’s false. I don’t need or want it. So I simply discard it along with all the negativity and lower vibrational operations that the rest of the world wants me to pick up and carry. But hold on, we’re not finished!

Well, what about the people who are truly monogamous? I’m not saying that everyone should pick up the banner of multiple loving and storm through requiring that we all do the same. But what about just accepting the multiple and monogamous options? We should love, how we love. Be who we are. Wholly. Step out of our comfort zone and establish a being, human or otherwise.

The thing about love is that it’s expansive and never-ending. It doesn’t only filter in romantic or sexual relationships. What about the strong ties of friendship and sisterhood, brotherhood, etc. We have a very narrow scope of what those are and yet the love that they evoke can be so expansive. But without knowledge of self, how can we engage through all the rest? Through all the talk of attraction to others, how do we establish attraction with the self, the spirit absent of the ego? Human development is established in the Ego and the Spirit. The ego, is the truly human part of ourselves. It guards the petty, the self conscious, the prideful, etc. The spirit is the elevated state of ourselves. How can we filter between the two unless we know the two? Here we go with the Self Love mush.

Self love is really the fact that I know myself, I spend time with myself and I love who it is that I’ve found. Do I deserve to be alone and stranded because I’m not perfect? Certainly not! I deserve to be alone and full, complete, whole. Human beings are flawed and will continue to be. Knowing myself, loving myself, means that I can take accountability for myself and my actions. All of this is imperative in loving relationships with others. “Monogamous Heaven” as I like to call the expectation from society, leaves this part out. In “Monogamous Heaven” we wait for someone and we live happily ever after. But it’s a lie. That isn’t life. Life is constant work. Different types of work. We work on ourselves spiritually. We work on our career. We work on our communication. We work on maintaining the balance. The better we embrace it, the more ready we are for a life of adventure, acceptance, and yes…love.

Love Always,

Damali Speaks Xx

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Falling First, Falling Last, or Not Falling at All: Meditations on Romantic Relationships

Hello Blogosphere! So this month has given me a lot of time to think about romantic relationships and the ways in which I have framed them in my mind up until this point in my life. I thought to myself, self, you’ve gotta sort this out in a blog post. Mostly because you can’t be the only person thinking this way, but also because writing it, helps to flush it out in my own head.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I grew up in a single parent household. Why is that important? Well, where do we learn relationships? At home. I’m not broken or feeling pity for myself at all. The fact of the matter is that I didn’t see conventional relationships growing up so I don’t feel bound by them. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe it’s not. Maybe it just is. When I got to be a teenager and thought about dating, I was petrified that dating would come with sex which would come with attachments which as a sexual assault survivor, I desperately wanted to avoid. But I also had a weird complex in which my self worth would be tied into how/if/when this other person wanted to date me, wanted to be with me and just me. I took monogamy as what everyone takes it as, the pinnacle. Then I got to college, got cheated on a few times and my thoughts started to change on the matter. If I was the most important person in my romantic world, could I live with people filtering in and out of that if they proved themselves capable?

Ok so backing up, where did this all come from? I recently listened to Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, featuring Cynthia Erivo and Joshua Henry. The musical documents a failed relationship backwards and forwards. Joshua Henry’s character Jamie, sings the show going frontward, from meeting until marriage and divorce. Cynthia Erivo’s character Catherine sings the show backwards to frontwards, starting with Jamie divorcing her back to their first date. In the show is a song called “I Can Do Better Than That.” I’ll post some lyrics to the second half of the song because although Cynthia is absolutely incredible, the point of the matter is the lyrics.

You don’t have to get a haircut,
You don’t have to change your shoes,
You don’t have to like Duran Duran,
Just love me.

You don’t have to put the seat down,
You don’t have to watch the news,
You don’t have to learn to tango,
You don’t have to eat prosciutto,
You don’t have to change a thing,
Just stay with me.

I want you and you and nothing but you,
Miles and piles of you
Finally I’ll have something worthwhile
To think of each morning–

You and you and nothing but you,
No substitution will do,
Nothing but fresh, undiluted and pure,
Top of the line,
And totally mine!

I don’t need any lifetime commitments, I don’t need to get hitched tonight.
I don’t want you throw up all your walls and defenses.
I don’t mean to put on any pressure, but I know when a thing is right,
And I spend every day reconfiguring my senses.

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OKAY! So hopefully that was an enjoyable break/analysis. This song spoke to me for days. I played it on end until I could sing it freely for days. Then I stopped. I realized that society teaches us that monogamy is for everyone and that monogamy is ownership. I want you, nothing but you and I want you to be totally mine. But people aren’t ours. They’re free. Although I still love the song, I’m thinking about it so much differently now.

I’ve always been interested in unconventional relationships. Being with multiple people, not just sexually but romantically as well. I’m not incredibly jealous by nature. Unless it’s thrown in front of my face that the person I’m with is with someone else, I don’t notice. I don’t look for it, I don’t anticipate it and even then the betrayal of not speaking to me about it honestly is what hurts.

I don’t need to be with someone. I realized today how much self-love that is. It wasn’t always this way. I thought that being with someone, being their “girlfriend” validated my existence. Post College and post many failed attempts at relationships, I thought what if I try something different? What if I decide to be completely open and honest upfront about what I want and if that person can’t handle it, then I won’t have wasted my time?

So began the beginning of unconventional relationships. So far, so good right? Well, I’m still learning to love myself, to place myself first. I think society tells women that to put themselves first is selfish, its something that’s frowned upon. The black community tells black women that we must continue to give until we are shells of ourselves, yet in my discovery of putting myself first, everyone around me actually gets more of me because I have more to give. I’m happier, more available, more vibrant and alive when I am my main thought. In a relationship, I tend to push my partner and sometimes my dreams take a back seat. I can’t afford that right now and neither should any young woman. We also don’t have to be sexless. We can have great sex, great friendships, a lil bit of romance, self love and great focus on our careers.

 

I had a lover say to me once, “I think you love me more than I love you.” That’s the scary part isn’t it? The acknowledgment that you might fall for someone and they won’t fall back? Well, it wasn’t actually true but let’s take it apart as though it was. If I fall for someone, is it the end of the world if it’s not returned? No! Falling in love is beautiful. You can fall in love with friends, family, lifestyles, yourself, etc. and all of it is beautiful because you gained the realization that you have the capacity to love greater than you thought. I’m completely honest about being a loving and mushy person. I come off as having a hard shell and then as soon as you know me, you know that I’m a mush. I love love. I love everything to do with love, thank you Pisces cusp. The biggest thing is being open and honest enough to keep each other clued in. 

Don’t be scared to fall front, fall back or not fall at all. We’re human, it’s what we’re made to do. So let’s just live with a lot less judgements, a lot less restrictions and much more openness.