hey y’all happy thursday so today we’re talking all about love you see what i did there it’s the title of the book or whatever and that’s what we’re gonna talk about all right we’ll go back [Music] hello welcome back to my page my name is timothy dwight and these are the dwight pages oh so good to see you all um if you’re new to my channel welcome and if you’re returning hey nice to see you again uh we have a whole studio audience situation over here to get used to it but let’s get back to you so today we’re going to be where should i start well to be a hundred let’s just keep it real because that’s how you know we do it on my channel we keeps it honest um i’m not feeling the best today uh emotionally so we’re gonna see how this goes okay because i’m feeling kind of like a mess but you know this is why i started this channel maybe it’s not why i started this channel but it’s just gonna be a facet of who the hell i am so we’re just gonna have to deal with this if i end up not doing this video then y’all won’t see this so we’re wondering what matter right so here we go so for this series in february i wanted to focus more so and like kind of give and create content that’s more heart-centered so and thing and by heart-centered i mean things that mean a lot to me um so for the first video if you’ve seen it if not i’ll leave in a card symbol um i talked about black queer youth right and that means something to me because i was at one point of black queer youth and i to this day um still see the importance and um ride for black queer youth that exists and i am always looking for better ways to be an advocate and to be a champion of black queer youth so that was my first video and today um i want to continue on the vein of sort of getting you all to get to know me and what i value more uh so yes so today we’re going to be talking about obviously as you could tell from the title and probably the thumbnail of this video all about love by bell hooks but coupled with that i would like to discuss a little bit about my journey reading this book um and also a little bit about my relationships as it relates to like love right in particular i wanted to sort of compare what bell hooks is talking about and the sort of steps around like love and like showing love and um receiving love and all that as it relates to my relationship with my um now estranged father uh so yeah y’all just gonna get to know me a little bit more you’re gonna be a little bit more in my business but i just feel like this is a worthwhile conversation to have because during around around valentine’s day folks always attribute this kind of this like sort of holiday or this like just gearing up towards this holiday is always readily associated with romantic love and though i have romantic love in my life um by way of my partner and by way of like a lot of friendships and stuff i really want to bring this conversation into the familial and how to be honest just valentine’s day is bringing up just me missing my father and how that is a valid um how that is also a valid feeling to have um during a time that is supposed to be like this fest and merriment of love right so yes that is what we’re going to be talking about today daddy issues all right let’s do that in bell hooks all about love um she talks about you guessed it everything about love there’s sections here that talks about familial love that talks about um spiritual love like the like divine love this like connection between you and spirit and you and god she talks about obviously romantic love uh love amongst friendships um all those things but for the sake of this video i’m gonna break i’m just going to focus on the first three chapters um and hopefully after having the discussion it will lead you all to want to check out the book yourself and read the rest of the chapters because there’s just so so so so much information in here that it’s just worthwhile and also truly like in some ways life changing and also in some ways super life affirming um i experienced a lot of like feeling affirmed the things i’ve like experienced in my life through reading this that felt really good so yes um all this to say i’m gonna just keep saying that i highly highly highly highly um recommend picking it up so the first chapter in this book is entitled clarity give love words um and basically with this um entire first chapter talks about is the idea that love has been said to be undefinable uh and like and very often in like our media and in particular our rom-com universe this idea of love is some sort of always seen as this sort of intrinsic uh natural it just happens like you just know it there’s no putting words to it oftentimes it is said that even to try to put words to what love is sort of diminishes it right because it’s supposed to be this like heralded magical thing and in this book bell hooks is just like nah yeah in the chapter she discusses the different um different ways in which love can be sustained right and oftentimes a lot of what we see or is depicted in media as it relates to love stops at affection right sorry or attraction so in a lot of these different narratives you find just the very nature of someone being attracted or someone feeling pulled towards another being is enough or is seen as like that is what love is and like that is like the summation of what you should expect from love but what bell hooks argues is that attraction and affection are just one ingredient as it relates to sustaining a love that can continue to go on right so the other things that are a primary importance as it relates to love things like care trust respect commitment like all these other ingredients are very much so important and sometimes even outweighs um what we know to be attraction or affection right so yeah that is one that’s like the opening premise that bell hooks gives us to sort of help us better understand where she’s going to navigate us as relates to the rest of the book and just to start there as it relates to my own story as i said before i wanted to sort of connect my understanding of this book as it relates to what i’m currently feeling um with my [Music] sadness i guess that’s the best way to say it surrounding my relationship with my father and i’m deciding to bring this up because literally while reading this entire book i couldn’t stop thinking about my father which was interesting because i thought when i was reading this the first person to come to mind is my partner um right like i thought that would be the thing like it’s all about love so of course i’ll be reading this for strategies to better our relationship but in actuality what was coming up was um what i was feeling like i was missing from my father and i think to start at the first chapter what brought that up is this idea of how we define love and also how the absence of a definition um causes a lot of turmoil right um and also what she talks about in this book in many different sections is that how we define love and how we learn to define love varies as it relates from person to person so what i would define as love or loving is different than what my father for instance would define as love and loving and the reason for that difference in many ways is just the way that we had grown up right i existed in a time period in a generation that was having different conversations about love than the generation my father grew up in um and also to know that my father grew up in a household that wasn’t a love focus right like that that wasn’t the center of like their ecosystem of existing was how in which they love each other causes our definitions to be different and in that difference and in that lack of definition rather causes turmoil and that can happen with any relationship and it’s sad when it happens with a parent and a child but i think what bell hooks explains very well in this book is that the dynamics of what makes love possible and what makes love sustainable actually is not very different um across types of relationship right like what makes a quote-unquote romantic relationship work impossible isn’t very different from what makes a friendship um possible right and also isn’t really different of what makes a like son and a father’s relationship possible i think that was a realization that was super important for me read and see because that was something i was experiencing and i already knew to be true but for it to be voiced in this way was very very helpful for me as a person so the second chapter is entitled justice childhood love lessons um and basically this whole chapter this chapter was actually pretty pretty rough to engage with i’m not gonna lie um in this chapter bell hook explores childhood and explore and or rather acts as the reader to explore their childhood and she she posits that abuse and love um cannot live in the same like space right so if within the space abuses it exists then love cannot exist at the same time which may feel like at first it felt like an sort of reasonable assertion when i first like heard it i was like okay that makes sense like i don’t think abuse and love should be considered to be like um partners or something that could possibly um feed one another right like i i think that is in itself violent and destructive right um but when she was discussing this concept as related to childhood then and when it became a little like right little rough you know where she acts as us as a reader to look at our childhood and to look at the times within our childhood that our parents acted in ways that weren’t that didn’t feel loving to us right and she asked us to sort of think about the ways in which we rationalize that and learn to rationalize it and how that rationalization and the logics we employed as children to sort of um make sense of the violence that we were experiencing along with this sort of assertion that it was because we were loved so much by these authority figures in our lives she asked us to like sort of evaluate that and think about how that has trickled um on into our adulthood and how we define love if you really think about and this is not everyone’s experience and i actually hope it’s not everyone’s experience because that would not be good but i can say for my own self there was a lot of times in my childhood where i was just confused by my parents actions and i was confused because there was one part of me that just knew so wholeheartedly that my parents loved me and knew in the sense of i was told it enough right at least by my mother um so i just knew this i knew this thing like okay i knew i was loved but it was hard to reconcile what i knew to be true which was i was loved to what i was feeling which was not love right and i feel like that was the beginning of a lot of my cognitive dissonance that i think a lot of people experience to this day this idea of like the difference between what your mind knows and what your body knows um and this i’m saying this coming from this is coming from me who mother was an alcoholic for most of my life um and whose father was emotionally unavailable for the majority of my life as well right so these are the two people who raised me who also i know were doing their very best right who i also know had was raised by parents of similar circumstance if not in many cases very worse right so i know that my parents were doing the best they possibly could but i also know what i was experiencing um and how i wanted to offer grace as much as i possibly can throughout my childhood as a child i wanted to offer my parents grace so much that i built built up this sort of cognitive dissonance of what it means to feel abused but also believe that i’m being loved and i say all this to say that when she talks about this in this chapter she not only asked us to reevaluate our childhood as i mentioned before but she asked us to think about the ways that this has kind of spilt over into our lives today and i think nightmare i think i know that so many of my relationships in my early 20s was vastly informed by my desire similar to when i was a child to believe something in my mind that i wasn’t feeling in my body um and it was so long that i spent just like confused by why i was this way right like i had friends telling me like oh you need to leave this person or all that but like my mind couldn’t let go of what i believed i knew to be true even even with so much evidence of the fact that this wasn’t true right and i think about adulthood rather is spent trying to undo unlearned what do we have um built up as like sort of coping mechanisms and protection mechanisms through our childhood that we’re learning we don’t need now and i think this book just that chapter in particular opened up that conversation for me in ways that i just need it like i just needed someone to say it you know and it wasn’t an easy thing to read and then an easy thing to think about um but i hope through the course of me um within this like small time period of us being connected in this video um and me sharing these stories it’ll help to jog uh you to be able to think about these things as well so the final um chapter i’d like to talk about in this video is chapter three entitled honesty be true to love um and [Music] this chapter was also quite something and in this chapter bell hooks tells us basically that we’re all liars and how so much of our lying has stemmed from again our childhood and also stem from what society has told us um is polite right and how in many ways this idea of being nice is also self-inflicted pain right like this this desire to be nice at all means it’s also like a vicious attack on the self in ways that is not just like cute or small or a little white lie that is actually very very traumatic and um disastrous to your own well-being so she talks about lying in the sense of like how you how we are taught to lie so for instance she uses examples like if you’re younger and you see your your mother actually father um oh do i look fat in this right and you see your father take a moment like squint a little bit think about it and say oh no absolutely not of course you don’t right um [Music] you as a child know your father well enough to know when he lies right so in that you could see lies and then even if you were to ask your father about it right or maybe some other circumstance in which he has lied and if you were to ask him he’ll say well you know sometimes you lie to protect the other person right and how just that very lesson alone has done so much damage to us as people that we don’t even understa that we don’t even know the gravity of it that even what we do as a means to keep each other protected or um like care for each other with these lies is actually doing the very opposite um and she even explains that how there is no room for dishonesty in true love she defines love as one who is seeking to expand one’s own or another’s spiritual growth right like that’s her working definition of love and she says within that definition um like an intrinsic part of that definition is honesty because you is impossible to um be a positive enabler of someone’s spiritual growth if you are lying you know today um i have been thinking a lot about that as it relates to my father and how i’ve spent a lot of time lying to him in the sense of i have not been honest about what our relationship actually is and i’ve been a little bit more honest as of late which is why we haven’t spoken for um well over a year now and and it’s painful to think and to read this book and to know that the only way that we could possibly have a healthy relationship is if i’m honest but is the very nature of me being honest that keeps us from having a relationship but the truth of the matter is and that bell hooks teaches us in this book and that is that there is no true love without honesty and if that and if your relationship cannot endure the honesty then true love does not exist between you um even if it is a parent even if it is a parent and i think that part that part was really hard to that part was really hard to come to terms with it was and it still is you know um but it’s so important and she talks about this idea of living a living a life with a love ethic um and many things go into love ethic right um many many different assortments of things that she speaks about in this book constitutes a love ethic but the most supreme that she keeps returning to is honesty and honestly this isn’t an easy video to make and honestly i was thinking about doing something a little different a little more fun um but i think the point that this book was trying to tell me and that like just the universe my ancestors everyone has been trying to tell me is or maybe is also trying to tell you is that you’re doing the very best that you can and all you have is the truth literally that’s it and i think that’s good enough all right so my camera died um apply for the best because i started really feeling it but we’re back so yeah yes those are the first three chapters um again there’s so much more in here that i really really would suggest and i would love for us to rethink um rethink holidays like valentine’s day and what should be centered um in this conversation because yes valentine’s day is often marketed to the romantic couples into like just coupling in general but let’s take this holiday of love though obviously like super corporate industrialized or whatever but if we wanna if we’re going to use this space that we have which is this holiday might as well use it for our service and some of that service can be going back and trying to look at our relationships from a non-hierarchical plane and seeing that how that we can how we can be better lovers to those who are not just being us laying beside us at bed at night you know yeah this has been all about love we have reached the end um if you made it to the end of this video would you please leave a heart eye emoji um yes leave a heart eye emoji and of course um please like share and subscribe if you like this video and i will see you next week