Recently I’ve been participating in a book club where we are reading bell hooks’ All About Love: New Visions. Let me start by saying that if you haven’t read this book, you’ve got to pick it up. I have never recommended a book to so many people. I haven’t even read the whole things yet, and it is blowing my mind. I look forward to blogging about it after I’ve read the whole book.
In the book, Hooks talks a lot about self love. It’s not a new idea, but she very eloquently goes into great detail about how we can’t hope or expect to accountably love another person if we cannot truly love ourselves. Part of that love is affirming oneself, reminding oneself how wonderful you are. She is clear to make a distinction between “healthy narcissism (the self-acceptance, self-worth, that is the cornerstone of self-love)” and “pathological narcissism (wherein only the self matters)” (117), but she spends an entire chapter (“Commitment: Let Love Be in Me”) discussing the importance of healthy self love.
Well, I am about to embark on quite a HOBY journey, speaking to amazing young people in four states in four days (KY, CO, WA, and IL in that order) before returning to CO for about 24 hours and then heading out to one last HOBY in South Dakota. As I’ve been preparing for this marathon, I have been trying to think of ways that I can take care of myself while on the road. I am going to try to get my butt out of bed early to run most of the days, and I bought a bunch of healthy snacks so that I don’t just eat crappy airport food.
In thinking ahead, though, I realized that in all social justice work, it’s important to be doing it for the right reasons. I need to realize that my liberation is bound up in the liberation of everyone and that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thus, I have to remind myself of how much I love me, particularly as I am doing work that is likely to physically and emotionally exhaust me, so that I can keep myself focused in order to best work for justice in concert with the young people at these seminars.
Essentially, I need to take a lesson from Jessica:
I’ve been thinking that I need to come up with my own set of Daily Affirmations, things I can say or do every morning that remind me of who I am, why I love myself, and why I do the work that I do. Do you have any Daily Affirmations? What do they look like? How are you taking care of yourself?