In general, I find when I assume strangers are intending to be loving and kind it makes my experience of living in an oppressive world a lot easier for me.
Pronoia helps me keep my brain decluttered from other people’s judgments. I could spend a lot of time micro analyzing how strangers look at me or if I hear an audible sigh from someone seated next to me on a plane. Most of the time I assume their looks and sounds don’t have anything to do with me or my size. Maybe that’s not true, but probably it is true the majority of the time.
Tomorrow marks four weeks since we took possession of our dream house / super quirky rental. I kind of can’t believe that it’s been so long because it has gone by so fast.
We’ve been so focused on getting the house put together while trying to manage all those new things that affect how you settle in somewhere that it is hard to feel that we’re in LA for real. If you ignore the time of year and weather, which is very special and wonderful, I could be anywhere learning new stuff. Where is the bank? Where is the grocery store? Which grocery store do I supplement Trader Joe’s with? How many times can we go to Home Depot before we become a lesbian cliché, and do I get a pass for a certain period of time after moving? Where is the most ethical/farm to table butcher shop? (The last question still unanswered.)
I use a positive outlook as a coping mechanism in the face of prejudice and oppression. As a fat, queer, female, working class raised person, I am not supposed to love myself. But I do, and I have a much better life because of it. As a person who believes in the inherent worth and dignity of all people, I will not sit silently by and watch the world I live in crumble. I believe this world, this country, this city can do better. I know I have control over myself and my actions, so I am going to do better. I know that I can control my thoughts and going into a negative space grinds my work to a halt.
So, with grand triumph that we got through the past week/month/season, I present April’s astrological forecast from Katie at Empowering Astrology, with self-development exercises from me. I include some journaling exercises to take note of what’s going on with you to help heal your deep emotional wounds. I also talked about how I learned to have compassion, which Katie says is the trait that will help us the most during these rough times. There’s also a ritual to acknowledge a significant material loss you’ve had.
You don’t have to wait to have a good relationship with your body. Not after you lose weight or start going back to the gym or get a lover. Whatever space you’re in with it, you can start making peace right now.
Our culture normalizes talking about bodies all the time. There is especially a lot of value placed on weight gain or loss. Turn on a television and just listen to diet chatter. It’s pervasive, obnoxious and well-meaning individuals perpetuate it in our personal lives all the time.
I like to create an environment in my life that is about substance over small talk, where compliments are genuine and weight is value-neutral.
“Oh, but Bevin,” you may be saying. “I really mean it as a compliment when I notice you’ve lost weight!”
But, well-intentioned friend, just because you’re well-intentioned doesn’t mean what you say doesn’t have a harmful impact. Weight loss doesn’t mean I look good. I believe I look good at all of my weights–all bodies are good bodies. And I know your perception of me might have changed because you are socialized to believe smaller is better, but I would like to gently invite you to do something different with your nonpliments of “You look so good!” when someone has lost weight.