Love and life are so complicated. Sometimes more complicated than you can articulate into words. We have a tendency to not even verbalize our emotions during complicated or tumultuous times because to do so would be to talk yourself into a moment of clarity where you come to the illuminating question of……..What Am I doing? We can identify that we are making mistakes but we try to avoid being confronted with them because we know what the practical course of actions always is. Do the right thing. The smart thing. The practical thing. But we run from what our mind is telling us and go with our heart. We even run from our loved ones because we know that they will tell us when we are making mistakes. But just as much as our concern should be about doing the right thing by others and upholding a standard of dignity and self-respect, we should be cautious of how our decisions of “love” will come back to affect us later.
Alicia Keys is one of the most talented women of her generation. She is equally as beautiful and her messages of strength, respect, love and compassion resonate with the spirit of millions of loyal fans all around the world. So when reports of her carrying on a love affair with a married man surfaced it caught her fan base by storm and set off an earthquake of criticism and spots of support all over the blogosphere. I was not upset with Alicia Keys. Alicia is a human. A woman of love and compassion and feelings. A woman who speaks throughout her music about love and how controlling it is and how important it is to her life. And if this was love, how could she resist? So, upset with her, I was not. But I was definitely disappointed. Disappointed that the woman of grace and empowerment….the woman who knows her worth…the woman who had given her fans so much joy as she talked about her emotions and a yearning for happiness in her music, had finally achieved that happiness at the expense of another woman. A married woman. And for many people it is the closeness that she has built with her fan base that has put her squarely in the line of criticism from so many people. While she is not alone in the seemingly conscienceless relationship, she is taking the criticism alone. And that’s not fair to her. But because people have a higher level of appreciation and respect for her and for what she has stood for people are more befuddled with her than they are by her new husband Swizz Beats. And to some degree I understand that because Swizz Beats is certainly nothing more than an entertainer. He has no real fans. People like the music that he produces and they like to hear him shout “Showtime” on his records but no one is a Swizz Beats FAN. No one knows his real name. No one buys his concert DVD’s to get backstage access to his life. We don’t feel an emotional connection to him because of who he is or his music. I mean…he consistently produces work that contains over-sexualized references, acts of violence and over the top profanity that is more geared toward lifestyle flashing braggadocio, than soul bearing emotion. And a lot of people certainly enjoy it (myself included). However I really don’t need to hear anything from Swizz outside of a bangin’ club atmosphere. So Alicia is left to deal with this criticism alone. The criticism that she stole some other woman’s man. That she broke up a happy home. That she had his baby while he was out having other babies. All common internet speculation but enough to peak our interests.
But more than the common message board haters with the vile language and the internet dating site advertisements, I am more troubled by the justifiers. The people who see nothing at all disturbing or unusual about this whole thing. The people who say and think…She can’t take away a happy man or So what? A. Keys doesn’t owe that woman anything… These are common perspectives that might even have some merit to a certain class of people but the fact that so many people are selfish enough to put their own pleasures, at any cost, ahead of other people is concerning and a bit scary. Relationships that develop like the one between Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats are not uncommon and they should not become the poster children for these sorts of situations for sure. But people have to consider what these circumstances can ultimately bring you. The level of distrust that might make Alicia question her husband whenever they are apart or going through troubles. The back of the mind speculation that always lingers when relationships are formed on not so great terms.
It’s funny how we can suppress these thoughts of when we are initially following our heart and being led by our feelings. However, it’s just a matter of time before our mind takes over emotions and we start the mental gymnastics.
I like Alicia. I wish her well and believe that she feels that her love is all that matters to her now as she has officially gone from media proclaimed home wrecker to housewife. But I hope that somewhere during this whirlwind of emotions she has thought about this with a clear mind. And has considered all that she might endure from a man who was not loyal to his first wife. Considered the possibility of some day inheriting the difficult circumstances that another woman feels that she boxed her into. Considered that karma is something that we all experience. Considered the chance that as easily as she could be Jada Pinkett a decade from now that she could also be Mashonda.