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Healing Our Relationships Take REAL Empathy

Tribal relationships—unions of people that involve romance and creativity—are hard to maintain because of conflicting worldviews. What it means to be a man or womyn in love causes problems for many tribes because their demands and dreams clash without a middle ground. Since I’m raised to be a black male by other black males, my performance as one resembles a group formation. Many of us have not constructed our own look at the world, have not questioned our comfort with not talking about how we feel. Instead, we renew our loyalty to the template of an unhealthy black male. All this goes said to shed light on the complications of love: the group template of any individual prevents a real communication with others.

All of my arguments with my lover, with my tribal other, have been fights of one team versus another. She cannot depart from the traditions of womynhood passed down from the other womyn in her life. And I can’t improve the bad habits I’ve inherited from my father figures. Even when the words are exchanged between us there’s always piece of us that will never be understood. In other words, we’re not critical of ourselves enough to achieve empathy. To really love and be a tribe, we have to look at ourselves through each other to pick out the bad habits. From there we should ask what is the advantage of monogamy; or what’s the sense in holding back emotions.

Love becomes trans-formative when the tribal members strive for empathy, strive to be the other and see themselves sticking to a side.  The middle ground for  a more healthy love requires a unified imagination. When both partners imagine themselves  their lover’s body and mind, a new worldview, a tribal one, can be created. Our tribes becomes revolutionary in the sense that the new empathetic imagination changes each individual’s relationship to their previous group identity. I adopt a critical attitude toward manhood, my group’s worldview, when I can separate the good and bad habits. As I make my identity a creative project that I share with others, it becomes possible to keep myself from unconditionally imitating mistakes.