LOVE NOT FEAR
The following are some random and incomplete thoughts on love slapped into some paragraphs. Lets start talking about this together.
Love not Fear. This phrase has been circulating around my geographical queer communities these past few months. For me, embracing love instead of fear means that we must reformulate and unearth the unknown possibilities that love holds. The ways we learn to love are deeply embedded in dominance, fear, and ownership. I don’t think loving like this creates vibrant or nurturing spaces for people to learn and grow. I often feel like the ways we are learning to love are broken and harmful. Believing love can be different is what keeps the fire in my heart alive.
Recently, an amazing activist and thinker in my life, Khalilah Alwani was inspired by this spoken word piece by dubpoet D’Bi Young. She shared this beautiful quote with me and several others:”I cannot promise to love you fearlessly, but I will love you with courage and integrity”. In her spoken word piece linked above, D’Bi Young talks about the need for us to love one another “courageously and relentlessly”. My belief in the powerful potential of love profoundly affects my politic, and loving “courageously and relentlessly” with patience for the complications, is part of that.
The idea that we can approach our relationships, our activism, our bodies, our lives from a place of “courageous and relentless love” has been one that I have mulled over constantly these past few months. Depending on the day this feels unspeakably difficult, or absolutely possible. I believe that a huge part of transforming our world means making room to learn to love one another in new ways. The problem with that, as Ashley Aron once wrote is that love is a sticky package. Loving with courage and integrity takes work, and is complicated by the baggage (read: UNIQUE LIVED EXPERIENCE) of those involved.
North America is a climate thick with fear, fear of the state, fear of each other, fear of our bodies, fear of love, fear of death - I could go on and on. Loving others or ourselves in a complete and total absence of fear seems a somewhat insurmountable feat to me. That being said, I really believe that love has the ability to soften and melt fear, which is a start. I think a lot about fear. How it has changed me, and how it has mediated my relationships with others. I have been thinking about how fear divides us, and prevents connection. It is fear that prevents us from reaching out, and doing things that would likely be really amazing for us. Fear is like cement. Like quicksand for hopes, dreams, revolution. It slows us down. It stifles us. I think it’s time to tell fear where to go.
When I think about love not fear I can feel it scrape against something rough in my heart. This rough place is deep, dark, gorgeous, raw and filled with possibility. I know that this place is a place where radical and revolutionary love can emerge and proliferate. Love is powerful, and dangerous as fuck. To being to relearn love, we must relentlessly pursue and rework it. We need to take love back to the drawing board. What are some ways that we can do that? How can we come to each other with courage and relentless love, instead of fear?