Introduction to the Compass

Welcome to the Revolutionary Love Compass!

We have identified ten core practices of revolutionary love, backed by research and infused with ancestral wisdom. Revolutionary love is the choice to labor for others, our opponents, and ourselves. We imagine these practices as points on a compass. Point the compass toward whomever you want to practice loving— another, an opponent, or yourself. Decide what practice you need. You can use this compass as a tool in all arenas in your life. Download the complete guide here.

Click play below to LISTEN to Valarie lead you through the compass in this 9-minute audio track. Read the transcript.

Love for Others: See No Stranger

Seeing no stranger begins in wonder. It is to look upon the face of anyone and choose to say: You are a part of me I do not yet know. Wonder is the wellspring for love. Who we wonder about determines whose stories we hear and whose joy and pain we share. Those we grieve with, those we sit with and weep with, are ultimately those we organize with and advocate for. When a critical mass of people come together to wonder about one another, grieve with one another, and fight with and for one another, we begin to build the solidarity needed for collective liberation and transformation—a solidarity rooted in love.

Love for Opponents: Tend the Wound

An opponent is any person whose beliefs, words, or actions causes violence, injustice, or harm. The word “enemy” implies permanence, but “opponent” is fluid. We have a range of opponents at any given time, distant and near. Even the people closest to us can become our opponents for a moment. It is daring to put all these people in one big category, but it is useful, for whether our opponents are political or personal, persistent or fleeting, we can practice tending the wound—ours, and if it is safe, theirs. We can rage in safe containers to process our pain, listen to understand the contexts that enable our opponents to cause harm, and use that information to reimagine cultures and institutions that protect dignity for all of us. Tending the wound is not only moral but strategic: It is the labor of remaking the world.

Love for Ourselves: Breathe & Push

Loving ourselves is a feminist intervention: It is choosing to care for our own bodies and lives as a priority. In all of our various labors—making a life, raising a family, or building a movement—we can care for ourselves by remembering the wisdom of the midwife: breathe and push. We can breathe to draw energy and power into our bodies and let joy in. We can push through fear and pain to become our best selves, including through healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation. And in the most convulsive moments of our lives, we can summon our deepest wisdom and find the bravery to transition, undertaking the fiery and life-giving labor of moving from one reality into another. Laboring in love is how we birth the world to come.

When we labor with love, we let joy in. Joy is our greatest act of moral resistance. Joy gives us energy for the long labor. The tenth practice of revolutionary love is joy.

Ready to Explore the Practices?

This learning hub contains lessons for each of the ten practices of revolutionary love. Each lesson includes definitions, goals, guided inquiry, reflection questions, and home practices. I recommend keeping a wisdom journal as you explore the lessons. This is a place where you invite your own deepest wisdom to speak to yourself and guide you on what you need now and next. If you would like a free guided meditation on how to access your own deepest wisdom, sign up here