I confess: I’ve made mistakes. I’ve also bled, and I’ve sweated, and I’ve sneezed. I’ve lost my breath, and I’ve caught my breath. I’ve fallen asleep. And I’ve woken up. Based on what I’ve learned lately, it turns out making mistakes, like all of these other actions, is natural. The fact that I’ve made mistakes means I’m human. Not a bad human, or a dumb human. Just human.
Then again, saying “just” human doesn’t quite work here, either. My mistakes actually show that I’m strong. I’m a person with the capacity to learn and grow with every choice I make and everything I go through. And that’s pretty incredible.
As a survivor of violence, I don’t always use words like “strong” and “incredible” to describe myself. I have many regrets, about getting into hard situations, and about some of the ways I got myself out of them. I sometimes think of myself as a bad person for making the choices I made to help me survive.
But that’s the thing – I survived. And that’s something to celebrate. I deserve to celebrate my survival, as an act of love to myself. At CUAV, we’re spending the last three months of the year showering ourselves with self-love, using the metaphor of the Spiderweb of Self-Love. For us, a key part of self-love is honoring how I got to today. Like the spider, I have built my web the best way I knew how. That means there’s no need for regrets. That means it’s time for a celebration.