I became aware of the power of Audre Lorde in my mid-twenties. My mother was a huge fan of Maya Angelou, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. It was because of these voices, I was able to form a poetic roux. There was, is a power to her work that I envied. There is a rawness which I believe can only be mimicked, never recreated. With impersonation being the more sincere form of flattery, I indeed consider myself an fan of the oracle, Audre Lorde.
When I came across her quotes regarding self love and acceptance, I was unable to breathe. I was unable to breathe not because of the truth presented, but because of how relevant the truth it. This the quote seen at the beginning of this post.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
There is an element to self-love, self-acceptance, that is radical. In the face of the world which desires to devour you, and all you offer or contain, being able to tell the person in your own mirror, “I love you” is powerful. Being able to honor all that you are, all you contribute is amazing. Being unafraid to continue loving that same person when the world tells you that is not good enough is revolutionary.
From flaws, likes, eye color and the way you chew your gum, you are worthy of preservation. In the harsh realities that life brings, where it is easier to give up and change, rather than be content to be yourself, loving you, taking time for what you need, saying what you want can be social defiance.
The act of being bold enough establish boundaries, wants, desires and dreams and be unapologetic about it? This allows the world to know you are aware of its influence, and will be unchanged by it. Indeed, political warfare.
Caring for yourself is not a catch all phrase for the elite unable to cope with life. It is not a phrase to make you believe your life is unmanageable. Self-care is what you do in order to make sure you are okay. It is what you do to take stock of the things that matter to you, and to maintain presence and acceptance of your own life. Self-love keeps your accountable for your actions, and free to forgive yourself for mistakes or inaction.
Intimate knowledge of self, is independent of Instagram followers, and blog subscriptions. Self-worth is independent of selfies. You determine your worth, and your power. Let no one tell you different.
This life is yours…be in love with you first. From that love, comes all others.
(Happy Valentine’s Day!)