I am today beginning the process of daily journaling with the prompts in The Daily Stoic Journal.
This week’s theme is about practicing love:
Instead of seeking love, can I give it first?
Yes, I can. In fact, if there is one thing I know to be empowering, it is the knowledge that I can show my love through my actions more than I can through words. The challenge for me is to say the words as well, especially when words can be actions.
I am sitting here, full of Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to a dear friend, one of the few people, other than my husband, my couple of longer-term dating relationships, and my parents and relatives, who has ever actually told me she loved me. It’s just not a word that I grew up associating with friendship. Which is nuts. Why not love? For me, it’s complicated by my reluctance to show any kind of emotional vulnerability to–well, anyone. I drilled that out of myself starting in elementary school, where in the face of bullying and exclusion I gained a reputation as a crybaby. So I learned not to cry in public. That led to not telling even my best friends about my crushes, for fear that word could get out (my best friend was teased for her crush). If anything, I have a tendency to assume that I will not be loved, and that seeking it was a neediness. But yet, I always gave love. I am loyal, and those few I trust, I trust fully. I have always kept confidences. I show up. I try my best to listen, and not make things about myself. But the pandemic has pointed out where I have taken things for granted. And that is perhaps the lesson to take forward for today.
I just got news about an hour ago that I’d been “approved for flair” on the AskHistorians subreddit. This sub has extremely high standards for answering questions–lots of details, backed up by current scholarship. Being approved for flair gives you a tag with your specialization (mine will be Medieval Christianity, Manuscripts, and Culture, 1050-1300) based on your demonstrated ability to write quality responses to questions. As I think I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been feeling in recent weeks like an actual active historian again based on my participation in these discussions and my ability to answer questions.
I’m also prepping for my next embroidery project — the famous Time magazine cover from 1942 featuring Shostakovich in his fireman gear. And I’ll also be jumping onto the American Duchess wrap cape bandwagon, having spotted an excellent deal on some garnet-coloured wool blend at Fabricland. I’ve ordered a large pad of 1″ gridded paper to help size up the pattern. And I also have an ongoing calligraphy and illumination project that is just about ready for me to sit down and crank out.