Self care as resistance
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. – Audre Lorde
It really wasn’t as dramatic as “political warfare” – then again in today’s political and socioeconomic environment, maybe it is – but when I first read Audre Lorde’s quote I immediately felt empowered. I felt like jumping up and shouting “Yes, by god, that’s right!”
You see, for years I took care of myself – always dressed well, loved designer shoes and handbags, adored bubble baths – but it wasn’t until just recently that I discovered that the idea of taking care of one’s self, in terms of being fit, fashionable and clean was very different from actually “caring for one’s self”. I believe what Lorde is talking about goes way beyond simply bathing every day and working out.
As self-preservation, this is a matter of all the above but mostly being true to yourself. It’s a matter of not letting the world (or any specific individual) stereotype you, label you, or bully you into not realizing your true potential and worth. It means standing up for yourself should someone, or something, try and denigrate you … even if you have to get absolutely rebellious. As a friend once said to me, it’s being ‘soft ice’.
This is where I am, right now, in my life. After a year of clawing my way back to wellness after learning I had adrenal exhaustion, I understand the meaning of self-care and self-preservation. The world can stress you out, and burn you out until there is nothing left of you to give. Don’t let that happen. Grab ahold of your true self, your desires, your goals and your true potential. Care for yourself as if your life depended on it. Because it does.
What are your goals and desires?
Here are some of mine:
Spend more time in the forest. Always remember my invisible crown. Feel strong in body and mind. I desire to be in the presence of my sons, to walk in the rain, to travel, have great luggage, to inspire others with my writing, to inform others with my writing, learn languages, earn respect, peace and quiet, to be alone, to write alone … for many days on end, catch snowflakes on my tongue, swim in the ocean, love my body, accept my body, take gorgeous photos which tell stories, publish a book of my photos, publish two books of my photos, experience more thunderstorms, continue to discover myself, live in a tidy well kept home, be wildly creative, belly laugh, learn to say no, find nirvana, conquer my fears, remember good posture, be financially solvent … forever, release anger, stay away from negativity, remember to focus on my own shit even when someone else attempts to distract me from my missions, and be comfortable in a pair of jeans again.