Monday, April 25, 2016

Unrequited Love: Gamophobia

Unrequited Love: Gamophobia

In today’s technological age of text messaging, social media and smart phones we have instantaneous access to information, people, places and things unlike ever before. I can literally go online right now and order an item rush delivery from China that will arrive at my doorstep within the week. I talk to my God brother in Ghana like he's next door using a free app and I have successfully hosted a Hip Hop album [Unique Heat Vol 3: Clearer Understanding] produced overseas without having set foot in the UK. That is convenience. The downside to all of this is the minimization and lost of the human touch. With this lost of a human touch has come chronic and temporary emotional unavailability. People may often text instead of talk and tag each other on Facebook/Instagram instead of touch. This growing departure from human contact has also spawned a fear of commitment that manifests itself in the form of 'situationships': per diem relationships. Per diem meaning "per day" or "for each day" because these freelance arrangements have no long term commitment or stability.

When it comes to emotional unavailability, there are various reasons why people have issues with closeness and intimacy. As elaborated on in my book GAMES, some people have emotional unavailability issues going all the way back to their childhood. These issues, sometimes defined as R.A.D. [Reactive Attachment Disorder], classifies children who have a problem forming meaningful attachments/bonds with others. Scientists examined how the lack of attachment (stroking) that babies received over a period of time made them either not respond or react negatively to social attachments with others. In addition to the emotional, social and cognitive components, this lack of response and/or negative reactions towards attachments was also measured in the low or stabilized levels of Oxytocin these children had during pleasurable inter-activities. Children like this, without the proper counseling, tend to carry this into adulthood. Other reasons some people are emotionally unavailable include, but are not limited to, failed relationships, divorce, [sexual, emotional, physical or financial] abuse, trauma, mental illness, parental alienation, addiction, being workaholics and etc. Whatever the cause may be, the effect is the same; a person’s unwillingness or inability to be close to and share space with others. One of the other things that's worth mentioning here in regards to emotional unavailability is the trans-generational trauma First World [Original] People have suffered at the hands of western colonialism, global white supremacy, institutionalization racism and sexism. As a coping mechanism, many of us have learned to not put our thoughts or feelings out there and have been emotionally unavailable to America, so-called Americans and American ideals for generations; our livelihood and survival has depended upon that.

According to Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist/author of Emotional Freedom and other books, the ten key signs that someone is emotionally unavailable are:

1. They are married or in a relationship with someone else.
2. They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake.
3. They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict.
4. They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually.
5. They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers.
6. They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family.
7. They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods.
8. They are seductive with you but make empty promises — their behavior and words don’t match.
9. They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs.
10. They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw.

While some of these signs are obvious, others aren't so obvious because sometimes people send mixed messages. An example of this dilemma is a person who may be separated, still legally married or still in a quasi-relationship with their Ex while simultaneously presenting themselves as single. They may share themselves with you on various levels yet still be unavailable emotionally when it comes down to true transparency, closeness and intimacy. As a narcissist who is emotionally unavailable, they're comfortable dealing with people at a distance while simultaneously expecting them to be close to them; they desire a commitment from others that they're unwilling or sometimes unable to reciprocate. Sometimes this intimacy dilemma can become a tumultuous relationship similar to fighting Mike Tyson in a phone booth; where every time you get close, you get hurt.  

Aside from recognizing these obvious signs and mixed signals, the biggest challenge for us is accepting what we see and not rationalizing these signs and signals away. Our willingness and ability to see things for what they are, not what they appear to be or what we want them to be, is the key factor in not losing time waiting for unrequited love. Not only do we suffer but our families and communities do as well. How? Because other important areas of our lives get neglected when we prioritize people who only view us as an option. One of the biggest complaints I've had and have heard from others about relationships that didn't work out is the time wasted. Whether a person is dealing with emotional unavailability temporarily, it's chronic or they've been diagnosed with the anxiety disorder Gamophobia [a fear of commitment], as partner or prospective partner it's still time we're investing that we have no way of knowing if it will ever be reciprocated. Some people are simply unwilling or unable to give of themselves in a relationship and need help to get to that place to do so. We may be one of those people and it requires an honest self assessment, willingness and ability to seek that help. Again, and even with that help, there's no way of knowing if this person, or we, will ever be emotionally available. This commitment to self development is the first true commitment they, or we, must make in regards to addressing these issues with commitment and intimacy. And it is through this commitment to self that we learn to develop the trust, honesty, courage and other qualities that are necessary to commit to others who are deserving of us. It's a risk. It's vulnerable. It's frightening at times to depend upon someone to do the right thing with our heart, but it's ultimately worth it when we've found the right person. As people of color in America, the socioeconomic landscape and cultural backdrop has historically created an environment that breeds unrequited love. There are numerous daily challenges we face and open attacks on our self identity that the dominant society doesn't have to consider such as western colonialism, global white supremacy, institutionalization racism and sexism that has distorted our ability to love ourselves and each other. Finding healthy ways to address and define ourselves outside of these conditions is also paramount to our commitment towards self development. Again, it's a risk. It's vulnerable. It's frightening at times to depend upon ourselves and each other to do the right thing outside of these conditions, but it's ultimately worth it when we've found the right alternatives.


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Tapestry of Love; The Fourth Album

Tapestry of Love; The Fourth Album

     If you take a moment to look over at my right side bar and scroll down past my literature you'll some my album covers. My most recent release is called Tapestry of Love; a musical journey that highlights the sensual side of my life. As a creative artist I've been writing poetry, doing Rap performances, producing music and Spoken Word for years now. I've talked/written about it on many occasions, I have a creative arts playlist on A.S.I.A. TV sharing some of my art and I've dedicated a Musicology enthusiast segment of my Atlantis Build Talk Radio Show to feature/discuss various artists, music genres and their cultural impact on the world. In addition to many of the things I do, music is indeed one of my loves. Because of this, I'm always in my studio listening to or creating something.

     Part of my company Quanaah Publishing includes Quahadi Music and it is through Quahadi Music that I've successfully released my music projects. My first release, Brothers from Another Planet, highlights music from my physical brother Golden Sun and I. It's a self described soundtrack to a "mind expansive musical journey" that chronicles our "creative concepts, poetical insights & living experiences" weaving tales of rich Atlantean folklore. As you may tell from the title, it's based upon the classic 1984 film The Brother from Another Planet. My second release, The Emerald Tablet, highlights a lot of my music production. It's called the emerald tablet because it's musically similar to the cryptic piece of Hermetica reputed to contain alchemical secrets of transmutation. In this case, those secrets are sound and it's definitely for the listeners. My third release, Kontact, is based upon the 1997 film Contact about a scientist's race to interpret a possible message originating from the Vega star system. In Kontact, you are the album's lead character; a scientist listening to coded radio transmissions seeking evidence of Hip Hop's Extra Celestial life. You learn that each song contains lyrics of technical drawings that reveal a complex world of advanced civilizations, subterranean folklore and self exploration. Through this sequence of sound sent from a star light years away, you've been chosen to make first contact. All of these albums are unique and share different dimensions of who I am, lyrically and production wise.

     Tapestry of Love is a very different album than my first three. In the midst of choosing tracks for my album Kontact, an entirely separate body of work began to emerge. Some of the tracks I produced/recorded didn't fit with the story line so I put them aside. Over time I began to produce/record other tracks and this became a tapestry of uncensored pieces about love; my personal experiences, observations and aspirations. This album is a side of me I wanted to share because many of you are only used to seeing my journalistic, youth advocate, public speaking, community outreach side. Here's the official 17 track list as shown on the back cover of the album:
-In Her Eyes
-Incantations of the Earth
-Karamel Sutra
-Love Child
-Immersion interlude
-Soul Caliber feat. Beerlahai-roi
-Tapestry of Love
-Woman of All Seasons
-World’s Apart interlude
-Forgotten Palaces of the Opal Queen
-Filtered Dreams
-Inspiration interlude
-Heaven’s Gate
-Karamel Sutra *Remix
-Tapestry of Love *Willow Remix
     So if you're a music enthusiast like myself, take a moment to check out Tapestry of Love and any of my albums. Thank You in advance and Peace!