the politics of rest

“So you can say, ‘Well, I can be a long time on the way of getting this thing, then maybe I’ll be worthy of it after I have suffered enough. See, because we are brought up in a social scheme where we have to deserve what we get and the price one pays for all good things is suffering. But all that is precisely postponement because one is afraid, here and now to see it.” – Alan Watts

Everyone: the personal is the political.

Affirmations are political. Self-love is a political act. Especially for women. Especially for sick folks, queer folks, people of colour, trans folks, gender non-conforming babes.

This is what we’ve been told: it’s a meritocracy. work hard, you’ll get what you want. ‘hard work’ is hard for a reason, it’s not meant to be fun. no pain, no gain. 

Listen.

We don’t live in a meritocracy. That’s a fallacy so that we’ll keep ourselves in situations that aren’t serving us (but serving others, turning the wheels of capitalism). Many people work hard and don’t get what they’ve ‘earned’. Many sick folks are not able to work in the sense that is presented to us in the mainstream.

Listen, we’re all inherently worthy. You don’t need to do anything. You don’t need to earn your place on earth. You’re here. You deserve to be here.

Suffering is not required. Especially for women, we’ve been told over and over that our suffering is for good.

You know when I was eleven years old that my moon time came? And I was told it would be worth it one day when I was a mother? My suffering for decades would be worth it and it was my womanly duty. What no one realized then was I may never be a mother. And I was only a child.

And a young girl is not meant to suffer.

This is why when girls tell their doctors they live in pain every month, they’re told it’s just normal and then seven years later they learn they have endometriosis. This is why everyone with a moon time is still expected to be as ‘productive’, to contribute, to ignore the pain.

Listen. You are not meant to suffer. You are already worthy of everything life has to offer.

Sometimes I ask myself why I went to school for seven years, accruing massive debt, so that I could get a job I hated. But I know that I was doing my best. The best decision I knew at the time. Because I believed what I was told. That you must work hard now to be happy later. It’s okay if you hate your job, because you will be able to retire happily when you are 65. Does this confuse anyone else?

You are already worthy of happiness. You deserve to be happy right now. I didn’t actually believe this until recently. I started to believe it. And then I quit my job and started taking anti-depressants (because before that I thought it was too easy. I needed to suffer for my happiness, earn it. Not just ‘pop a pill’ *side eye*.)

Listen to me. This is personal. Systems that encourage 21-year-olds to take on $50,000 in debt are not meant to empower. Governments that make people pay to exist (isn’t that what rent is?) are not meant to recognize inherent worth and lift you to your highest expression. It’s personal. They want you to stay small. If we realize how powerful we are, we will take our power back from them.

Listen. You are powerful and worthy. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be here.

This is a political act. I tell myself I am being a good activist when I take a nap. Because I am affirming my inherent worth, my love and care for myself, how much I deserve to be rested & comfortable & content. These are your universe-gifted rights.

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