Self-Compassion, Not Love

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In the end, I think it’s less about self-love than it is about self-compassion. “Love”‘s tricky. Sometime we confuse love for admiration, infatuation for love, acceptance for love, love for friendship, love for a whole host of things. But self-compassion is being kind, or compassionate, to yourself when you’ve messed up or you’re suffering. It’s not about how you think you’re the shit all the time, which ‘self-love’ might imply. I think of it from a third party perspective. This third party’s a compassionate figure, like–like Buddha or Jesus or, if that’s not your cup of tea, your kind forgiving grandmother. When you make a mistake, these figures don’t shit on you for it. They don’t say that you’re stupid so that’s why you failed the test or you’re actually fundamentally terrible so that’s why things ended. They say things like oh, it’s okay, it was just this one test, or you’re still altogether a lovable person despite what you’re going through. Except, instead of a separate third party telling you this, it’s you telling yourself this.

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wya

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Of all the relationships in my life, the “wya”–where you at?–relationships are my absolute favorites. wya. Out of work, let’s get dinner? wya. Just got lunch, headed back home. wya. About to run errands, come with? wya. Near Starbucks, join.

Simple blue whale-tailed bubble, three lower-cased words, demarcation of easy closeness, comfort candidness. It conveys the message that: being with you is as it is being by myself.  And: I like you enough; I don’t have to try around you.

With most people, you have to make plans. Peer at your calendar, set a date, time, and place. Do this all days in advance. It’s a delicate social dance. Some people are, well, more of a headache to make plans with; it feels obligatory or it’s a back-and-forth game of swerve! or, whatever it is, just feels like work. A lot of people are at the in-between, where they’re still plugged into the schedule, it’s not too difficult to spend time with them, but it’s not as easy as, you know, the wya relationships.

For just a few people in the world, and there don’t have to be many, I can shoot out a quick wya test–no plans, no pretense. There’s a quote that goes, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude. Hints at romance, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d say that these wya relationships are just as sweet as, if not more than, solitude.

when we were younger

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“you know what i thought of the other day?
our childhoods are for our parents
they remember our first steps
they remember what we liked and what we didn’t like
they remember what we ate, what we didn’t eat
our childhoods
they’re their memories to have,
not oursas you grow older
your life becomes yours
but when we were younger
it was once theirs.”

 

– april 23rd, 2015 | 4:08 pm

Something my best friend said to me a few years ago.

Sleeplessness

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From last night’s play. Turns out it wasn’t just based on Haruki Murakami (one of my favorite authors who writes trippy dreamy stories that almost always feature some character dissociating from herself) but Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina as well. Coincidentally, I invited the friend who I’d befriended in a class on Anna Karenina exactly three years ago. Synchronicity, anyone?

The play itself was good. Strange, a little creepy, but intentionally so. Murakami’s work always leave me feeling weird, like I’m straddling some in-between of reality and a bad dream.

Best Friend(ship)

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I’m grateful to have “found” my best friend three years ago. It sounds weird, but I see our friendships as vaguely ‘magical’–a sort of fate, of meeting a person you can automatically be yourself with. Someone who gives you shit, someone whom you give shit, someone whose flaws you’re aware of and vice versa and accept anyways. Like, that shit is hard to find. It’s already hard to find people you can be utterly comfortable around, whether you’re feeling moody or overly excitable or incredibly confused. But to find someone whose hair you’ll get into, who’ll get into your hair, and will still be your best friend, true and through–that’s not common. Someone who’s there, and not just when it’s convenient: well, my, oh, my. You’d be surprised, or maybe not, at how fast people’ll chunk up the deuces when things get real. Or unpleasant.

To be frank, I’ve had a whole string of friendships that soured at some point, got weird or complex or messy, that either got better or just weren’t anymore. And sometimes I’ll forget that, but then something’ll remind me. Maybe a dream or conversation or social media post. And then I’m reminded of why I avoid groups of girls, am biased towards one-on-one friendships, am irritated by highly defensive people (maybe the last one’s just a personal thing), etc. The reality of having had weird and muddy and possibly shitty relationships makes me appreciate the current relationships in my life. The ones that are, for lack of better word, clean. With the closest people in my life, it’s easy. There’s unwavering support, no resentment, genuine kindness, and contentedness. We’re not erupting in fights every Thursday or secretly being passive aggressive or what-have-you’s.

Every year I feel like writing a little best friend appreciation post, about how happy I am to have certain people with whom I can be weird or moody or just real around. So that’s this and this is that, my annual spurt of gratitude post.