On January 1st I wrote a post titled 7 ways to love yourself more in 2011. I didn’t have any specific new year’s resolutions but rather ongoing aspirations like learning to trust my intuition, to keep enjoying and exploring my sexuality, to be financially astute etc., things that contribute to loving myself more. And loved I have. I hope you have too?
By love I mean that even when I have been afraid, disappointed, mad, frustrated but I did not forget what matters. I still had me, I was complete sentiment within. I was mad perhaps, but just fine. Freeing myself of desire had left an opening for love, to know something is to have it. I contain everything in me; fear is a part of love like wood is a part of fire. There is pace in time and yet time is the only thing that is still. What I intuit is what I trust, there lies love lies love. lies. love.
Love, like revolution, is radical change. It spins you around your own axis until you have no choice but to observe it, to claim it, to live in the middle of a panoramic vista of existence. Everything…Love is everything. The Chinese philosopher Confucius is to have said, “To love a thing means wanting it to live”. And I learnt that I want to live. I want Africa to live. I want humanity to live.
Unfortunately, humanity does not love itself. The time span we call 2011 proved this disturbing thing even further. So much went wrong this year, I’m not going to bother with examples as I’m sure you remember perfectly well. Nevertheless remarkable changes too happened. it was the year of the woman, Africa Is A Country said and I agree. Masses protested around the world, which means love was getting fed up of contradiction and pervasively present. Naomi Klein spoke of the radical nature of caring in the occupy movement. And in Ghana breast-sucking in public spaces finally became a trend! (Nigeria – Ghana, 1 – 0 *wink*)
(Actually before any chales vex ehn, Ghana already scored seven previously)
Love of the type of eros, or romance if you prefer, is also revolutionary. Yet for many of us love of that sort is hard to find and keep. In heterosexual relationships, which are all I can testify for I guess, we find it hard to deeply connect because we associate primarily with the pleasures, and hardly with the hardships, of man- and womanhood. We want sexual passion without sexual equality. We assign qualities like promiscuity to maleness and vulnerability to femininity. Before we even start a romantic affair our minds have been confined to dangerous, limited frames through which we observe the person in our lives. That is not love. When the initial thrill ends we lack the tools to sustain it so we create more rules, we call them family values or tradition or something. We don’t allow noninstituionalized love into our lives, but if we do, the connection revolutionizes our bodies, spirits and minds.
In 2011, MsAfropolitan grew and grew thanks to you. Thank you so much. Your support, encouragement and engagement has been the most memorable event in 2011.
I look forward to more blogging in 2012.
One love! Happy New Year! Ashe!
Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.