I just bought a pair of bright pink socks because my spiritual teacher told me to. I imagine your responses. Some would say: “bright pink socks—now that’s a religion I can stand behind.” Others are probably planning to kidnap me for a deprogramming mission, fearing that I worship the great goddess Argyle. Not so. I’m buying the socks to show myself some love and caring, because, as Buddha said: “Giving to the self is also giving.”
It’s easy to forget something like that as I go about my daily business. I want to be kind to others, to help someone out with some spare change or my free time. The needs of others sometimes seem so obvious. How can I not help them? It’s important for me to remember that I need to nurture myself first, that only from a point of strength am I really capable of giving. I also believe that everything in the universe is connected, that nothing is separate from me. By caring for the “me” part of the universe, I am taking care of the whole thing.
I usually buy myself some small delight, and I don’t count things I really need. Toothpaste is wonderful, but as a present it lacks a certain spark. Last week I got myself a little stuffed kitty. It looks like my housemate’s orange tabby, and it is indecently soft. I recently bought myself a pen with bright green ink, a favorite for writing by hand. I wander around seeking these little presents, and I feel like a child who has been given a handful of change. I consider one thing, and then another, buying many things in theory but purchasing only a singular item. This practice makes me feel wealthy despite my meager paycheck. It keeps me from the thought that all my money goes to bills. It keeps me going.
Next week I’ve got my eye on a blue glass vase to hold flowers, or maybe I might get a new yo-yo. Then again, there’s always that decadent lemon-scented lotion, or that relaxing meditation CD, or. . . .
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
51. Buy yourself a little treat, just for fun. Would you like a new candle or perhaps some scented soap? Enjoy the process, and then pick out something special for yourself. You’re worth it!