Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships

Western ideology has contributed to a variety of unhealthy philosophical beliefs when it comes to love, relationships, and intimacy. These Western ideologies are particularly damaging to those of African descent because many of these thought patterns are in direct contradiction to the ancient teachings passed down through generations of ancestors whose descendants are now dispersed in the Diaspora.

Thankfully, Sobonfu Some has accepted the life mission to help resurrect African spirituality, which is the foundation of traditional African ideology.

Sobonfu Some, in her book The Spirit of Intimacy introduces the reader to African spirituality specifically from the perspective of love and relationships. At a time when the divorce rate in the West is at or near all time highs, the time is now for those looking to reverse this trend to listen to what Some has to say in this book.

The overall theme Some introduces to the reader is the concept of spirit. Her concept is a direct reflection of the African spiritual system derived from the Dagara people of West Africa. The Dagara people live in the countries of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, and Burkina Faso.

In their philosophy, the concept of spirit is the central theme that plays a critical role in the success or failure of relationships. This concept is quite contradictory to what most Westerners have been raised to believe.

An example to illustrate this contradiction is that the Dagara people don’t even have a word for sex. According to Some, they “express the concept in terms of journeying or traveling with someone.”

It is also their view that if one aims at pleasure only during a sexual experience, not only will intimacy be lacking but the “journey” will be unfulfilled and end quickly. On the other hand, Some states that if intimacy is “spirit-driven and goes beyond the limitation of pleasure, then intimacy can have a long-lasting effect. It can be life-giving and healing.”

To totally grasp these concepts would essentially take one to reprogram his/her thought pattern from top down, something that would not necessarily be a bad thing when considering the current state of intimate relationships in societies based on Western ideology.

Nevertheless, if you have become fed up with how Western society’s norms have taken a toll on the relationships in your life, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy of The Spirit of Intimacy as soon as you can. Additionally, even if you are not experiencing relationship problems, this is the perfect book to help you reach back into the hearts and minds of those ancestors with whom you have lost a connection.