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.
“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
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.
when the lights gazed down
for our attention and petals fell
rain-streaked you tied a ribbon around my
waist before we sank in a sea of swimming bodies
streaks of sunrise flushed
in our cheeks
Lately I’ve been having these little moments where I’m just suddenly really happy for the relationships in my life. For the friends, family, best friends, s/o (Oh, s/o sounds so formal. Boyfriend.) Whether it was last night as we were reuniting over Mediterranean American and sweet rosé, thin fries and gin & tonic, or today, while we were curled up on the couch, eyes glued to the screen, feeling ambivalent for Eleven in Stranger Things, (leave! Hawkins needs you) munching on take-out Indian.
Sometimes over half-eaten shrimp you’ll take about God. Or over savory soup dumplings you’ll talk about your family. Or, late at night, you’ll toss and turn over strange ballooning hypotheticals that seem, in the mental fatigue and subconscious lair, daunting, terrifying, unbearable. Amid the this’s and that’s, I believe in the buffer hypothesis, that the people in our lives keep us sane and happy and from going sad-stressed-loony. I feel warm, content, okay.
we drive home
bound with the windows
down carrying bags of tea that smell like
Christmas, flecked with
ginger, decked in lights
pass by billboards for
fidget spinners &
a bridge that reminds me of beyond two
souls & a school with the sign that reads “meet the Teachers night”
lo que sera, sera means what will be
will be, fate that’s putty in the
hands of what we can’t see
Weather’s been doing its usual tango-merengue between hot and cold.
I tell myself that time goes by faster around this time of year, end of October. November zips by, solid block of cold, fades around the middle. December’s usually quick, submerged in work, two weeks of wrapping things up in cold tired bows of maybe-nostalgia.
Then the feeling of surprised triumph that things are done, that it’s been yet another half of a half (of a half of half) that’s passed.
Wearing the familiarity of home like something skintight. It’s easy to forget that soon I won’t be watching sunsets in tinted car windows anymore, that in place of lazy comfort will be sprints through quiet city streets in slush and rain and snow.