Love Yourself Tenderly

“…good deeds should come from our natural instinct toward brotherhood, not from tribalism!” (or forced guilt) ~ The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

A week or so ago, a relative messaged me to say that another relative was ill… and that the whole thing was my fault for refusing to interact with said relative.

I was quite shocked. I mean, I know I’m freaking fantastic, but I had no idea that my mere presence came with healing superpowers. Still… I felt like I should not give the message all that much importance, since it also included pronouncement of hellish suffering and smiting from a rather wrathful god if I didn’t change my wicked ways.

I do love my ways.

Anyhoo, because nonsense spreads like wildfire (or the stench of shit in a tiny room), the first message was followed by a second and third… from individuals with whom, I assume, the first relative discussed my refusal to share my secret superpowers. Those messages weren’t unkind (there was no mention of my sexy flesh and bones burning for eternity), but they did make it a point to remind me that “loving others first is the duty of every good person. And I know deep inside that you are a good person.”

No, my Wicked Luvs, I didn’t laugh madly at the poor manipulation attempt. Neither did I pretend to misunderstand what the person was saying—passive aggressiveness and I have never cared for each other. I don’t seem to have the right sort of teeth for it. So, I just told her, “Loving me first is my first duty. Everything else is a gift. I’m not in the habit of giving anything valuable—especially myself—to anyone who believes their happiness and peace of mind are more important than mine.”

There were other messages (some not nearly as kind as the blackmail). I deleted them unanswered. I took a shower, went for a walk, returned home to blackout poems, took another shower, ate some yummy ice cream… and told the brilliant woman who lives in my mirror that regardless of what the rest of the world might think and do, she will always be first on my list. She grinned at me, with exactly the right sort of teeth.

43 thoughts on “Love Yourself Tenderly

  1. Her teeth are splendid (that woman in your mirror) and so is her attitude. I get to look at both quite often – if only virtually – and consider myself blessed. Your super powers are put to good use here!

  2. You do have super powers… I see them in action constantly & in awe of the way you wield them… and that toothy woman in the mirror, a reflection of awesomeness… I really hate shit, and I don’t know, but I think turds are taking over the world sometimes… and yes, that stinks xox

  3. The most super fantastic teeth this side of the galaxy! I’m sorry those wacky relatives are at it again…they do try ones patience, don’t they?
    Your interaction with the woman in the mirror was exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve neglected and rejected the woman in my mirror lately, and it’s high time she started coming first. Tender hugs, wicked one.

  4. Bwahahahaha……*there…I laughed for you* Now you have so many other people NOT to worry about you will have even more time and energy to love yourself 😀 XXX

  5. Oh..and btw….I wouldn’t delete any of them…I would have just added them all to a forwarding list of each other…can you imagine the spiral of chaos???? *nothing passive about my aggression lol*

  6. I have never understood why people, especially relatives, feel they have some ordained right to direct our lives along the paths they desire–I wonder how many of their actions are based in selfless love for others? Obviously not many, considering how unloving it is to guilt-trip other people into following their bidding, whatever ‘selfless’ explanatory excuse they may use to tell themselves they are somehow better than others, and are in charge of how others should be conducting their lives. Grrr. It makes my teeth grind. Your reaction is so typically you, Magaly–rational and self-secure. Thanks for the loving sanity–this world needs it.

    • I never understand why they think this kind of stuff would work on me. Sometimes I ask myself, “Can they be that dense?” And answer the question, “Yes, they certainly can be.”

      Sanity is good, especially when accompanied by maniacal laughter. 😀

  7. Glad u could see past the harsh words.. some would of believed those words and would have fallen under them feeling guilt.. btw what flavor ice cream?? 🙂

  8. Why should you think of other people first if they refuse to think of you before themselves? Nah, I don’t get it … although I struggle with the opposite myself and often put my own happiness and health on the back burner because “it’s not much the other one demands” – but the number of demands keeps piling up, and I can’t see my home from here. :-/

  9. You keep taking care of that wild woman in the mirror! Your strength is yours! I would say the sick relative suffers from victimhood, a truly horrible disease, but the cure resides within themselves. A transfusion from you would not fix the problem.

  10. You, your teeth, your wicked ways are all wonderful.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us again.

    P.S. sounds like your family and mine could happily weep about the state of our souls together whilst we continue to dance to our witchy ways.

  11. It is rather adorable they thought this approach had any chance of working in the first place. People are odd, but at least ice cream is yummy. 😀

  12. Oh yeah! Here is my way of handling that. Smile your witchiest (aka bitchiest) smile, make sure the most jagged of teeth show, fold your thumb and point the next two fingers in the direction of the itshay coming your way, and …..zap! Well, you know!

  13. Magaly, your handling of this situation, is exactly, what many of my closest friends and healing team have been telling me, for years; “look after yourself, first, before sharing yourself”. Too often, I have placed others, ahead of my own needs, to the point, I’m hurting myself, to help them. Only wished, I didn’t feel guilty, for looking after my health (mentally and physically), when I do this. Other than ice cream, Magaly, do you have any other suggestions?

    Have forsworn ice cream and other dairy productions, from my diet. And the soy version of ice cream does agree with me. Sigh. And yes, I miss my black cherry ice cream.

    • Guilt is one of the most useless things in the world. I’m not talking about not claiming responsibility for our actions, and doing what we can to deal with the consequences in ways that repairs any wrongs we might’ve committed. I’m referring to the ridiculous guilt society tries to slap on us if we love ourselves best and first. The whole thing makes me angry. I wish I could share some magic words on how to get rid of that feeling, but I don’t have them.

      I’ve never cared much for what other people think of me or want of me, if said people don’t care about me just as much… enough not to ask for what I can’t give. What I can say is that I’ve walked away from relationships with friends and family who weren’t good for me. I know too many people who can’t do that. I’m not saying that it’s easy, but it can be done (and it has to be done). If you know that you are not very good at the art of saying no, then you need to step away before they ask. Once you walk away, never look back. Reach out to people who don’t suck the life out of you, people who make you better.

      Dairy isn’t my friend either, I have it a couple times a year (and then pay for it). But this is not about ice cream. It’s about finding one thing you enjoy very much and delighting in it, while ignoring the nonsense people try to send your way. That’s what I do. And it works for me.

  14. You gotta love the manipulation attempts. People trying to make you feel small. You handled it brilliantly. 🙂

    What I wouldn’t do for some ice cream right now.

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