Self care is a radical act
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” —Audre Lorde
I have used this Lorde quotation before and it is resonating more than ever.
One day I will share more of my story with you, wax drippings onto scorched paper, but for now I must resist.
I have long lamented about the deep yearning for self-care. Not the Lush-bath-bomb-glass-of-wine-netflix-binge, but the need that takes roots. The desire and ache for much more than this life seems to give.
On this blog and indeed in ‘real life’, I speak frequently about death. For nothing exists outside of its parameters.
As the worst 3 years of my life have lifted, the Complex PTSD is something I face in the light. But he is there. Watching, etched into muscles and tissue. CPTSD had created a new me.
I know this: very little matters. Your job would be advertised before your obituary.
Surviving means radical warfare. Thriving means aggressively resisting the capitalist lies surrounding our value being attached to our labour and ‘productivity’.
The above photo was taken on Saturday 11th January 2020 at a yoga retreat I attended with my 77 year old mother. Women weaving a sacred circle, the pain, the flesh spilling out into a golden circle of light. Women of all ages, sharing stories, secrets dropped onto the floor. Pink roses. Mary. Candles lit for the dead. Candles lit for the living. Glorious vegan cake filling soft bellies, hot tea pausing on the pink lips of women huddled to share.
I have my own rituals. We all do. I violently resist harmful practices, thoughts, norms.
[Pictured is my Sunday ritual following church]
Take time, push back. Assert your boundaries. Find the confidence to ask for what you need. say no more often.
Fill your spare time with whatever sets your soul on fire. Radically love your circle. Random walks with your parents. Early to bed with your spouse. Long evenings with old friends. Holding your children. Cuddling your pets. That time really is all we have.
Scrawl into your journal, heavy-handed and angry. Vent. Read with longing for each page that fills you up.
Social justice is important, it is what we strive for. We are all members of multiple communities, activist groups, voluntary positions. We must ensure our own cup is full first.
Reject the notion that we must always be working. That our creativity is frivolous. That caring for our needs is wrong. It is needed.
Weave circles wherever you can. Find joy in those small moments.
I don’t know who needs to hear this: but you matter and you are valuable. I will be working on creating more spaces for self care in 2020.