Love to fuel our fight

To clarify, in case anyone is confused:

I’m talking about 💕 LOVE 💕 here, not head in the sand denial.

I’m talking about love as the WILL to act, to support the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of ourselves and each other. I’m not talking about unity or forgiveness, and certainly not, forgetting.

This self-love that I am preaching right now is about re-membering. Putting ourselves back together so we have the strength to fight on.

Right now, in THIS moment, I’m calling on you to TRY a practice of radical, revolutionary self-love… BeCause WE NEED YOU!

We need you whole and whole-hearted for the fights ahead. Work with me to heal and be whole, so that you can find what matters to YOU, and pursue it with passion.

The work ahead will look different for each and every one of us. But we need to know who we are. We need to FEEL the pain of the past four years and feel the lightness of this temporary moment and be able to remember BOTH moving forward. Join me! ❤

Why we need love

Four years ago, the day after Trump was elected, I wrote:

“I’m not ok. I am stunned, numb and horrified knowing that many millions of people supported that vile, disgusting creature. That they’ve been surrounding us all this time. That they are now ascendant.”

This past weekend, I was ELATED when the news came in that this year’s election had been called for Biden and Harris!!

We must celebrate this repudiation of Trumpism—even if it wasn’t a landslide. If you’re like me, you’ve been repeatedly stunned, numb and horrified for four years. And now, we have the additional stress of a global pandemic that has isolated us from each other, leaving us to deal with these continuous blows feeling like we’re alone.

My friend, Celeste Derozier shared this quote from May Sarton that expresses the danger of this situation:

Hatred rather than love dominates. How does one handle it? The greatest danger as I see it in myself, is the danger of withdrawal into private worlds. We have to keep the channels in ourselves open to pain. At the same time it is essential that true joys be experienced, that the sunrise not leave us unmoved, for civilization depends on the true joys, all those that have nothing to do with money or affluence – nature, the arts, human love.

Right now, it’s not just disparate media environments separating “us” from “them” and each other. We have been literally isolated into our own private worlds by the pandemic.

There are two parts to the antidote: keeping a channel open to our pain, and celebrating the true joys that come. Both require love. This is a piece of my thinking right now on the importance of love fueling our fight as we move forward, and why I hope you’ll start with my challenge to practice real self-love for one minute every day this week.

“I love you, me!” Campaign for Compassion

“This is ourselves… Under pressure”

The self-care establishment is always talking about loving yourself and practicing self-love. I hear that and think it’s so obvious. And yet…Over the summer, this idea of actively practicing self LOVE became a recurring theme in the conferences and classes I was taking online. I took it as a sign and tried starting a Self-love Journal.For someone who has never had any trouble cranking out words when putting pen to paper, I found this exercise of simply writing — and FEELING — “I love you” to myself surprisingly challenging, achingly revealing, and ultimately powerful. I could easily tell myself:

  • “I love how you try.”
  • “I love how you care about the animals.”
  • “I love how hard you work.”

But, simply to write and mean, “I love you,” forced me to confront my inner critic in a way I never really had before.I’ve been thinking a lot about love, lately. As we begin to see a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel we’ve been in the last four years, I feel strongly that our continued fight for justice MUST be fueled by love.

I’m talking about the love that works actively to support the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of each other, our community.

I’ve argued in the past that we need to expand the concept of “self” to include our community, otherwise all efforts at personal growth come at the expense of recognizing our place within systems of power.

But if it’s this hard to tell myself, I love you, and mean it, how am I going to fight for the broader community from a place of love? How am I going to overcome the demons of racism and white supremacy that live on in me, that lurk beneath the surface as fear of perceived others?

Perhaps my difficulty saying, I love you, to myself, and meaning it, is in part about my own shame and guilt, the recognition that those OTHER white people I call racist are also me (along with my other shortcomings).

Well, guess what? None of us is perfect. So I figure we could all start by learning to love our own imperfect selves, and support each other in the process. Perhaps through this process we will gain compassion through community.

We’ve all been under a lot of pressure these past 8 months… 4 years… 400 years. We need to heal and move forward with love. There will be many paths forward, different for each of us. But I see the unifying factor as love and compassion for ourselves and each other.

This week, I invite you to join me in the practice of simply saying to yourself —either verbally, looking in the mirror, mentally, or in writing: I love you. Acknowledge all that you are struggling with and give yourself credit for persevering through this crisis. Do this for just 1 minute every day for 5 days. Let’s see how we do. #iloveyoume