Sometimes Love Is A Battlefield – But It Doesn’t Have To Be

I heard this song “Battlefield” by Jordan Sparks on the radio and like the lyrics. I of course give a hat tip to Pat Benatar’s classic Love Is A Battlefield. This has me thinking about the concept of why we “fight” for love and relationships. Sometimes incompatible people are locked in a battle of wills and broken dreams. Other times this could apply to working through an addiction, either your own or being helpless to witness another’s decent into madness. Or speaking of that….it could also be a mental disease or defect. Perhaps it’s a Romeo & Juliet scenario where outside instigators are throwing obstacles at you left and right.

Maybe it’s our own inner demons that we are fighting for as we’ve been discussing indoctrination tactics that keep women subjugated to false concepts are varied and deeply ingrained. The tie that may bind (and the subsequent chains that may shackle us) is some concept of love that we have. Maybe we think certain people and concepts are worth the fight. At some point though we must realize that the one person and concept we should love the most must be ourselves. This may run concurrent with a spiritual practice but I think even in that situation it’s still a relationship and we have to be fully present to have the most fulfilling engagement. Being distracted, pulled into opposite directions, dealing with warring factions (either internal or external), wrestling with adapting concepts that work for us as individuals and being positive above all takes a lot of mental/physical/emotional capital. We cannot run on empty lest we stall in the side of the road.

Isn’t it time for many of us to step forward boldly and declare that we will live our best lives, not one of getting by? If you’re already there perhaps you may want to reflect on how you got there and where else you want to go to continue.
Don’t try to explain your mind
I know what’s happening here
One minute, it’s love
And, suddenly, it’s like a battlefield

One word turns into a
Why is it the smallest things that tear us down
My world’s nothing when you’re gone
I’m out here without a shield – can’t go back, now

Both hands tied behind my back for nothing, oh, no
These times when we climb so fast to fall, again
Why we gotta fall for it, now…

Chorus:
I never meant to start a war
You know, I never wanna hurt you
Don’t even know we’re fighting for
Why does love always feel like a battlefield (2x)
Why does love always feel like a battlefield (2x)
Why does love always feel like

Can’t swallow our pride
Neither of us wanna raise that flag, mmm
If we can’t surrender
Then, we’re both gonna lose we have, oh, no

Both hands tied behind my back for nothing (nothing), oh, no
These times when we climb so fast to fall, again
I don’t wanna fall for it, now…

Chorus


We could pretend that we are friends, tonight (oh)
And, in the morning, we wake up, and we’d be alright
‘Cause, baby, we don’t have to fight
And I don’t want this love to feel like a battlefield (2x)
Why does love always feel like a battlefield (2x)
I guess you better go and get your armor
(repeat to fade)

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I’m Hoping The "Free Your Mind" Events Will Become A National Campaign

I first saw the Free Your Mind dating event at CW‘s site and a few other bloggers have posted it. I thought I’d do my part in supporting positivity and taking concrete steps so I’m including it here. I am hereby officially requesting a San Francisco event (though with a 3% black population you simply MUST date interracially). Instead of some other foolishness that won’t be mentioned again THIS is an organization that should be supported. Even the naysayers should be silent on this one. At least one of the moderators is a black guy and the event hosts have specified no negative discussions of black men. So the focus can be completely on black women meeting eligible (non-black) men and it won’t have anything to do with abandonment or disappointment but about them expanding their options for finding mates. Now of course one must use caution and cunning in evaluating any man for caliber and character but this could be start of something wonderful for many people. My only advice is that they may need to add security as these events grow more popular for I have NO DOUBT that they will. Let’s send good vibes for women taking dating risks and finding love – and hopefully marriage. Which is the established social norm for a majority of women around the world. Others may want to use this model to host events for LGBTs of color. 

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We All Deserve Love

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Yet it seems to elude so many of us. We don’t know where or how to find it. Is it like a seedling that needs water to grow and nurturing under equal parts sun and shade to fully thrive? Can it be dropped from the sky into our waiting arms and if so would we know how to care for it?
I wonder if Black children have been particularly failed because we see the behavior of the past generation as manifested by the sharp increase in unmarried status of Black women coupled with the nearly doubled out of wedlock birth rate in the past 30 years to more than 70% in both cases.  Along with the increase in HIV cases.  
That alone should be a call to arms, on the national agenda of the Civil Rights Industrial Complex and a heated a roundtable discussion but it isn’t. There’s no shame involved. This isn’t about judgement it’s about survival. Free will gone awry will lead to destruction. So I ask about love because somewhere along the way the wheels fell off the bus and it’s skidding dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. Whether the people in the bus or those standing outside looking on agree with this doesn’t change anything. 
What is love? There’s a biblical example that is often misunderstood and misquoted and dismissed as something for “other people”. Believe me it has to be because for so many to sit in churches week in and out and to never get it means it’s not being applied or considered. So let’s talk about the things so many of us do allow because we feel desperate or are confused.
I know that it’s not rushed and loud phone calls at 1am where expletives are hurled like missiles back and forth in angry tones because she is trying to track down where he is and who he’s with. It’s not laughing at causing someone else pain. It’s not a male who by nature of birth wields his appendage like a badge of honor and uses the act of multiple insertions into numerous partners to show he is man when that does everything but prove it so. 
It is not taking delight in receiving attention by someone who disrespects you. It isn’t pushing someone to go past their comfort zone into uncharted physical terrain as proof of their affection. It isn’t taking and never giving anything back in return. It isn’t raising your hand to strike the first of what will be many blows. It isn’t you taking out your frustrations and personal failings on someone you claim to love, when they already know you can barely stand them because you already hate yourself so you have nothing left of value to give to another. 
It isn’t putting race loyalty over standards or sharing a man with other women. It isn’t selling your body. It isn’t taking the innocence of a child. It isn’t investing all of your energy into someone who isn’t worthy. It is not that pit of desperation that eats away the lining in your stomach because you know this person you’ve invested so much time in and whom you foolishly gave your heart to doesn’t really want to be with you, but you make it so convenient they won’t say no. Yet neither will they honor you, leaving you no peace until you say “enough”. Even if you do, if you don’t figure out your part in choosing a less than and never was will fall for another cookie cutter version hurling down that assembly line. 
Or you’ll become angry and bitter because you were already wounded to begin with and are now even more so. If you’ve had a steady diet of substandard food you’d still reject the balanced meal because it wouldn’t seem “real” to you. That would make you a bit of a fool you see as your fears impair your judgment. Even if you do know better and choose better there’s no guarantee of not finding defective property without needing an extended warranty. 
So you raise the white flag and retreat into creature comforts, but taking yourself out of the game doesn’t mean you’ve mastered the rules. If you’ve stumbled and fumbled your way through this process you have to dust yourself and get back in the game. You have to learn how to play to win and be ruthless in your execution. You have to pass “go” to collect your $200. You have to roll the dice to land on Park Place. You have to grab that “Get Out of Jail Free Card”. You have to accept that life is a struggle but it doesn’t have to define you.
It’s always a choice and one that should be made soberly and with wisdom. We have to give our best to eventually get the best in return. It’s trial and error sometimes. It’s something that we need to do patiently and with care for ourselves. It’s like training for a marathon. Endurance wins out in the end. It doesn’t matter whether you are the fastest or slowest the point is to cross that finish line.

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What We Can Learn About Love and Life From Famous Women

Women who are famous are not so different that we can’t relate to certain universal truths or find commonalities. They may have certain career pressures as well as access to unique circumstances. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. What lessons can we glean with regards to the men some famous Black women and Women of Color chose to partner with or marry? 

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Where Would We Be Without GrandMa & GrandPa?

A grandparent’s love and support should never be underestimated.
Senator Obama will drop everything to be by the side of his ailing maternal grandmother. As he should because though he’s in the political fight of his career he still has his priorities intact. Which is family first.
I have lost all of my grandparents and with them the wisdom of those that came before us. My maternal grandparents had divorced (with my grandmother moving to a new city) and I only saw my maternal grandfather a few times during my childhood. I remember him to be a bear of a man as he was well over 6ft. tall and solidly built. I wish we’d had more time together. 
My paternal grandparents were local. My paternal grandfather worked at a steel mill and had just reached retirement when they all went under. He passed when I was eight and my memory of him gets a little fuzzier every year. The one thing I remember about him is that he loved me because he was very affectionate. He would hug me and kiss me on the cheek and give me pennies! He always told me how much I was loved and I remember feeling very safe sitting in his lap and being enveloped in his arms. I immediately felt his absence, the absence of unconditional love after he was gone. 
My maternal grandmother was the relative I was closest to for most of my formative years. She was the person I was able to completely unburden myself to. Our bond was tighter than the one I shared with my parents, second to the one I had with my God.  She helped get me clothes when I had to transfer from parochial to public school unexpectedly. She always listened to what I had to say and didn’t treat me like a ‘child’ but as a person. She was just there – as the physical embodiment of that spiritual connection. I really enjoyed spending time with her because I could relax. No chores. No younger siblings to care for. No navigating through the ins and outs of my parent’s sometime volatile relationship. 
As I got older she continued to serve as an inspiration. She went to college for the first time during her 50’s to obtain her degree. I interviewed her for a class project of mine and she expressed her wish for the choices women of my generation had. We also discussed the options available for Black women during her time and how societal mores had evolved. It was a kick to go through public records and see how certain details of her life (and women like her) were available for review.  
In her later years she wanted to go back to certain points in her life to make a different choice. I am certain many of us have similar regrets, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t impact others in a positive way. My younger siblings and cousins had an entirely different relationship of course, being that I was the first grandchild and eldest child of the eldest sibling. I will always be grateful though, for that little pocket of time in my youth and the guidance I received from her. 
Best wishes for all of our ailing grandparents and for Mrs. Dunham. I hope she gets to see her grandson elected President!