I have always been good at collecting small love acts- little tricks to keep me in touch with the bigger than me universe.It is through acknowledging that I am good at doing little love things for myself that I am able to look my big loves in the eye. Truth is I am a big mover and shaker of myself, brazen, hard-ass, tight-holder of myself. More and more I feel like I am doing a good job of letting myself be whole. And the little things really help me own up to it when I am otherwise afraid to take on an identity of self love for fear that I won't be able to sustain such an identity.
Social workers used to make me sign contracts with them consisting of lists of things I could or would do instead of "injuring" myself, which of course only meant injury so far as the eye and the system and their supervisors could see. I hated that those lists were contracts, but even as a first and second grader I had made lists of love things for myself. Litany-like secrets that I was preparing to break out of my fucked up violent, silent, secrets family... For example, I am acutely aware of my spacial and physical surroundings because as a small child I had games for taking in space. I moved around a lot and had a hard time really feeling where I was... I would often see myself standing behind myself watching. It still happens. So I always make a mental map or note of the spaces I'm in- patterns in the floor, art on the walls, books on the shelves.
My love thing lists are not about alternatives to "injuring" myself. As often as being preventative, they are about holding myself after the fact. Knowing how to come home alone after a one night stand and get in bed with Tar Beach or Eloise. Knowing how to get myself the fuck out of the house for a walk. Knowing how to tempt myself with treats- set down the shard of glass from my forearm and go buy a coconut. Draw in meetings or in class when rage rises close to the tip of my tongue. Visit the river. Visit the ocean. Just get on the subway and let the world move me if I'm too tired to do it myself. Know the right music right now...
Study the patterns in the floor.
So here are some Love Things from the past week: