I recently read “All About Love” by bell hooks and it’s a book I will continue to return to often. One of the many quotes that caught my attention is, “self-love cannot flourish in isolation,” and since reading that I’ve been thinking more about the spaces where love flourishes.
When I talk about love, I’m not only referring to love between partners or family. I’m talking about all forms of love but especially self-love. As bell hooks reminds us, “when we see love as a combination of trust, commitment, care, respect, knowledge, and responsibility, we can work on developing these qualities or, if they are already a part of who we are, we can learn to extend them to ourselves.” Imagine how good it might feel in your body to embrace self-love as a part of our lifestyle and not as a thing to do to check off a list.
When I think about conditions under which love may flourish, I think about conditions that support safety, openness, and genuine curiosity. In order for us to feel love and feel safe enough to give love to others we should be attuned to our needs and values. We should be aware of how we want to feel loved and supported and also be very aware of what makes us feel unsafe and hesitant to give and receive love.
Self-love is a great starting point for personal exploration. How would you define self-love? I challenge you to think more intentionally about how you can flourish in love and how love can flourish in your life.
~ Karisse C