“Be kind and generous to yourself.”
Written on a small lavender card. It’s all I have left.
Recently one of my mentors died. A colleague, a mentor, a wise, wise woman. She died at the hands of a sadistic killer. A killer with a preference for people in their thirties that ends their misery with slow strangulation. Rashmii Lew Lew died of Motor Neuron disease. But that’s not the important thing about her.
The important thing is how she lived…
And what she shared while she lived. Because she might be one of your mentors too. We all need beacons. Beacons of wisdom so bright they provide a night light when you can’t sleep at 3am and it’s looking very dark inside here, or in the morning when the weather outside and inside reflect cold and grey. We need a bright light then.
Not only was she a grab-life-by-the-nectar kind-of-gal, a sing-out-loud-on-the-street, dance-til-you’ve-got-blisters, she was also a brilliant sexual assault therapist. Or worker, or psychotherapist, or whichever you prefer. I think she’d go for compassionate.
She had a thousand, and then a few more wise things to say, about emotional freedom, about gendered violence and culture, about knitting together a shattered identity. I wish she was here.
What I have, and now you have, is this nugget: ‘Be kind and generous to yourself.’ I‘ve stuck it by my bedside where I look at it in the morning and before I sleep. It’s also lived on the fridge beside the magnet that reminds ‘Life not fair, but entertaining’, last year’s fortune cookie wisdom, ‘People are naturally attracted to you today’, and a horoscope from 2009 that promises ‘abundance, joy and sexual fulfillment’. Delivery soon.
This is not to reduce Rashmii’s depth of perception to a fridge magnet; we have lost an avatar. It’s to say that along this daily path of life and healing, collect these bits of gold, your bits of gold, the ones that sparkle for you. Post them where you can see them. Where that reminder may be guidance for the next hour, or can give you a lifeline, a reminder to ‘be kind’ (compassionate, non-judgmental, accepting, loving) and ‘generous’ (open-hearted, giving, and of service).
Wise words to live by.
Wise words to die by.
Resources you might too find useful…
https://www.louisehay.com/affirmations/ (Louise Hay)
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/building-self-esteem_n_1029454 (DBT & self-talk)
https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/self_compassionate_letter# (Greater Good Science Center UC Berkeley)
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Happiness-10th-Anniversary-Handbook-ebook/dp/B002UK6NO0 (Dalai Lama and Dr. Harold Cutler)