By Brian Friday Bwesigye:
There is a path you loathe without necessarily personally treading it. You may have trodden the path through others, after all, don't we Africans say, we are because others are? So, when another treads the path, it is not only them that experience it, we also experience it through them. That is the African philosophy. This path is not of philosophy. It is a path of loving, living and letting nature take its course in all matters of love, in all matters of intimacy and all matters of life! It is a path of accepting who we are, accepting ourselves as we are made and letting life flow, letting situations play out naturally.
The first step on this path is to know yourself. To be aware of who you are, of your needs, of your attributes, of your likes, of your feelings, of your attractions. To accept them as they are. They are natural; you have no control over them. You have to stop judging yourself. This awareness opens you up to experience life. To explore yourself, to follow all possibilities your nature allows. To let things flow. To grow naturally.
After knowing yourself, your feelings and personality, what follows is being true to yourself. Allowing yourself to grow as you are. This means that you have to give no attention to the voice in you that tells you what is right or wrong. To you, there is no judgment. You live life as it comes. You live today for today. You do not have to be wrong or right when it is your nature playing out. You do not have to care for anyone else who may be hurt by your being true to yourself. The only thing you can do is to tell them to be true to themselves than to judge you.
What I am rumbling on and on about is the conceptualization of personal freedom, self discovery and exploration of attraction without limits, without boundaries. Call it ultimate personal freedom and growth through exploring chemistries that flow with who you are. In matters of love or interaction with others, when there are people or a person you are attracted to and who is attracted to you, you do not have to stop it. You go right ahead to explore these attractions without rules. This means, if naturally you are attracted to more than one person, you explore all your attractions. You do not have to feel guilty. It is your nature that these attractions have grown and are mutual. The theory is that you can only grow as a person by exploring all your attractions and flowing with your own feelings.
Flowing with nature and life means no commitment, no responsibility and no accountability to anyone because you are flowing with the feelings and attraction of the day. You are not sure you will feel the same tomorrow so no guarantees. You do not even have to label this exploration in love-terms, as erotic or agape because you do not believe in social convention. You perceive social convention as repression of your individuality and personality.
The surge of this feeling and belief in this theory of exploration, discover and ultimate personal freedom that does not have any limits, may have found you in a committed relationship. On its arrival, you start seeing your commitment to anyone as co-dependence, as unnecessary attachment, as limiting to the possibilities you have in life and to your development. Because this thinking emphasizes that life is about you and how you discover your purposes in life, you have to pull out of the commitment and live freely, as a free person without guilt, or debts to pay.
In exploring your attractions, some of them sexual, you give away your allegiance to morality, and put yourself ahead of anything else. It is about pleasure and it is only natural that when you are attracted to someone who is attracted to you, you explore the attraction. It does not have to create any commitment to him or her. It is nature that rules. No one has any right to judge you for following your feelings and attractions.
In cases where you are attracted to more than one person, you intimately interact with all of them because you believe all your feelings and chemistries contribute to your wholesome growth. What is happening in your life can be called love. Pure love, without attachment, jealousy, commitment but full of pleasure and personal growth. You call it love and personal growth until a reality check hits you.
You realize that an attachment has developed in regard to someone you were attracted to and involved with in your exploration, when he or she does not see the situation the same way. You start seeing that the personal freedom you sought was a fallacy. The person or people you are exploring with start feeling jealous. You also start feeling jealous. If you were relating before you entered the personal freedom phase, your former partner might have moved on and forgotten about you. You face the need to have him/her back yet they now look at you with judgmental eyes and are unable to consider you reliable anymore.
It hits you that indeed, love can never be pure, the same way no one can ever be perfect. You see the consequences of your actions stark naked there hitting at your face. What you thought was exploring, exercising freedom, discovering yourself turns into addiction to sex and relationships. The guilt you thought did not exist hits you hard. You start experiencing pain. You want to apologize but to no one in particular. The truth is, you wronged no one but yourself. You cheated no one but your own integrity. You freed yourself from no one but your own self-esteem. Love is an obligation to your own self first and to others. It can never be an obligation to only your self. Freedom is freedom because of the duties and responsibilities it comes with.
Most importantly, if you want to go into a laboratory to do experiments, never use your own life and body as the apparatus. An experiment can turn wrong or right, if it turns wrong, you lose everything. Your body and life are far more important to be risked just like that. And social and cultural conventions do not develop without any good intention. Sometimes it is better to give them a benefit of doubt. The Africans say that what an old man sees while squatting, a young man can not see while standing. Society is that old man, the individual is the young man.
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