You Have to Take a Break...
You will not be able to decolonize everything you have ever learned about non-monogamy, s-x, relationships, intimacy, and commitment overnight - let alone in this lifetime. for those of us directly affected by forced diasporas, slavery, colonization of our/ancestor's homelands, xenophobia, imperialism, racism, and more - decolonization of non-monogamy is almost required for us to feel freedom or gain some sense of closure. And it is exhausting. this means putting down that book or other resource focused on decolonization related to interpersonal relationships. It means giving yourself time to appreciate what you HAVE unlearned and learned. It means opting out of conversations surrounding generational trauma due to colonialism for a few days, even if the topic is tempting to engage in.
Give Yourself Some Grace
taking time away from being hyper-focused on decolonizing your non-monogamous relationships and mindset does not mean you are giving up on the process. It's just that, a process, not a sprint to the finish line of decolonization. Non-monogamy is already a lot to process in a predominantly monogamous society, let alone the atrocities endured by some of our ancestors for attempting to engage in their culture's relationship styles after colonization. The process of decolonization is like an onion - there will always be another layer to pull back, and you can't do that if you are still processing anger, shame, fear, and sadness from a prior layer. Be kind to yourself and applaud yourself for taking the time to be present and focus on relaxation before diving back into education.
Forgive Your Ancestors
some of us may feel fleeting anger and disgust towards our ancestors for how they dealt with colonialism concerning non-monogamy. this is the time to unpack those feelings - this doesn't mean opening another book just yet, but simply sitting down with that frustration. Usually, assimilation into westernized societies is forced, but there are some cases where a group or individual willingly gives up their culture. Remember that our ancestors were not monoliths. Every one of them was not non-monogamous; if they were, there were incentives to forego those traditions. They were still individuals.
So forgive them whether that ancestor was from 500 years ago or 50 years ago. Moving forward with disgust will make it difficult to accept new knowledge without resentment for choices you did not make; someone else did.
Be Grateful for What You Have
if you choose to navigate traditional cultural forms of non-monogamy or explore your right to love how you want without colonized limitations, be grateful for that option. Self-care while decolonizing non-monogamy looks like enjoying the relationships you have cultivated. It looks like quality time with partners. It looks like incorporating or creating traditions to practice with your partners.
whenever you have finished your break, do not deep dive back into heavy decolonization studies if you can help it. oftentimes our curiosity and thirst to unlearn and learn will have us back at square one, drowning in information and negative feelings. Maybe choose to unlearn with a group of like-minded individuals with a book club to pace yourself and get support. Or set a time limit of how much time you will spend on a subject per day/week to minimize overload.