(Image from here)
Happy Valentine’s Day, beautiful writers! The quote of the day comes from my man Rumi:
“Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”
I think Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity for us to think about what we love to do, what lights us up inside, what gets our hearts beating faster. For my fellow writers, that would be writing and storytelling and reading. Words and words and words. So this is a great time to do a gut check, to see if we’re really dedicating ourselves to a passionately lived life, whatever that looks like for you.
Taking that a step further: the most important person you can love is yourself. I know, this sounds self-helpy and crazy and selfish and all the bad, negative self-talk we throw on ourselves. But I’m learning that if you don’t love yourself, it’s very hard to love other people, or to at least love them well. Loving yourself teaches you compassion, gentleness, and a go-with-the-flow mentality. In learning not to be too hard on yourself, you learn not to be too hard on others. In discovering that you can royally fuck up and still be a person of worth and dignity, you are training to extend that same grace to others.
There’s a lot of negativity in the writing community. We like to bitch. A lot. I know I’ve been guilty of it. We live in a culture that values overwork and exhaustion, as though these things should earn gold stars. And sometimes we’re afraid that people will know how much fun we’re having because then they won’t take us seriously. In those moments, we feel like we’re getting away with murder. Or maybe we really ARE miserable, but we perpetuate this in a million different ways that don’t serve ourselves, our writing, or those we love. That’s not to say that it’s all roses and that we have to pretend to be okay when we’re not. But it can be very easy to get stuck in this cycle and I think, at the end of the day, this touches a little bit on the issue of self love. We can be so brutally hard on ourselves. I generally side with that school, viewing being an artist in the same way an Olympian trains for their event. BUT it’s important to be able to leave it all on the page. And there’s a balance that you need to achieve between loving yourself and going easy on yourself. Laziness and excuses is, ultimately, not loving yourself well. Because you feel like crap when you don’t give it your all, right?
What do you love most about yourself? Write yourself a love letter. No joke, do it. Apologize for any ways you’ve done yourself wrong, and make gallant promises to do better. A little romance never hurt anyone.
Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxxo