Allow Yourself to Celebrate the Triumph of Love

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public”

Cornel West

Love triumphed in the States today.

This morning, same sex marriage became legal nationwide. Those few states who were holding out for a right-wing hero are screwed — gay marriage is now federally recognized, federally legal.

This is a victory. This is a victory for love, for queer rights, for justice, for the progress of us as a species.

And yes, there is much more work to be done. Things still pretty much suck across the board for the majority of QUILTBAG people, especially trans* folk. We should not forget that, ever.

A rainbow-striped heart on a transparent background.

By JorgenCarlberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

But we should take some time to celebrate.

Today I saw people say, in the same breath, “Hooray! BUT LET’S GET BACK TO WORK GUYS” — allowing themselves a millisecond, at most, to feel good about this victory before throwing themselves back into the fray.

This is the fastest way to burn yourself out and make yourself useless to activism. Trust me — I’ve been there. Multiple times. I now have such a short burn-out fuse that I can barely accomplish anything, and am only able to focus on one or two small issues to fight for. I destroyed myself in the pursuit of justice, because I did not care for myself.

In the long, grand scheme of things, same-sex marriage may be a small victory — but it is still a victory, and dear Aphrodite does it feel like a big one. And it’s one so many people have been working towards for so long. Achieving it should be a celebration.

Aphrodite isn’t just the goddess of romantic love, or sexual love. She is love — which means She is justice, and She is self-care. Never forget self-care when you’re in the pursuit of justice.

Refusing to take any time to celebrate, to breathe — even for small victories! — will guarantee you burn yourself out quicker. It will make all the losses hit you harder. It is absolutely essential to taking care of ourselves as activists to allow ourselves time to celebrate.

So take three days. Three days where you just bask in the triumph of love — because love did triumph. And then on Monday we can all get back to work, more refreshed, more eager to take on the fight.

We’re only human. We are not tireless machines.

Love yourself, as Aphrodite loves you.

~Morag