sâkihitowin masinahikana // love letters
A Love Letter to Myself on Relationships
I needed the time and space to reflect about your past relationships and your attachments to romantic love ideals. I also needed time and space to reflect on how I was going to write to you about boundaries and balance. This past year challenged me, but also gave me the time and space I needed to get to know you better.
When I speak about relationships, it means that we all have varying forms of relationships with other people, non-humans, and the land. Relationships are nurtured on foundations of respect, responsibility, reciprocity, and accountability.
I think we have inherited a warped sense of relationships and what it means to love, and be in love from the colonial violence our ancestors and our other relations have experienced. Contemporary forms of colonial violence continue to affect our relations, as communities, and us, as individuals. Colonialism and capitalism have created this idea of the individual that is very much alone, and that we cannot be whole unless you are romantically partnered in a monogamous relationship.
We have forgotten that we are never alone. The land is always with us. Our ancestors are always with us. The animals are waiting for us. We also hold in our hearts the relations that cross time and boundaries.
With that, you need to work on being a good relative: to your family, to your sisters and brothers in your communities, and to all your other relations. You can imagine and live a traditional self-consciousness of love and relationships. Don’t worry too much on searching for a specific romantic partner. I think that it may be helpful to stop investing in the idea of the one true love and placing so much energy into romantic and sexual relationships.
Do what you love with infinite love in your heart. Love and care for your relations who are in your life, but be conscious for shifts that may happen in your current relationships, and also for new relations that may come into your life.
You need to learn how to say no. Be honest, and don’t feel guilty. People are hurting from colonialism and from living in a consumer driven and commoditized society. You cannot save them all, nor should you feel like you need to save them. Create space, if you have it. Listen, and don’t immediately give advice. Sometimes, people only need to be heard. However, you need to remember that there needs to be a balance. If people continue to take from you, you need to re-establish your boundaries and be clear about it. Speak from tâpwewin, your place of truth. There will be times when you will need to ask for help too.
I feel that there is important work that can happen through your relationships, in terms of getting to know more about yourself, and your commitment to decolonization and Indigenous resurgence in your body and in your communities, on the land.
I see you are doing important work. Be conscious about how you engage in relationships and how you think about love, so you are a healthy, strong, compassionate, and loving being for the revolution.
Remember, if you are feeling lonely, turn inward for self-reflection, but go outside. The land is the centre of all your relationships, and this is where you are learning to truthfully love, a radical and resurgent love.
I love you.
P.S. You might have to read this letter over and over again.