Book: All About Love, New Visions
Author: Bell Hooks
Introduction: I have been pondering about the mysterious word, action, feeling, we call love. It has been challenging understanding what it meant to love work, love people, love others, or love myself. Prior to reading All About Love, I defined love as something I gave and received.
- Love is “essentially an action of will.” It is a decision we must make every single moment of our lives. However, to love, we must overcome many barriers. First, begin with understanding how to love yourself.
- Love and care are two different things — love is treating others the way they wanted to be treated.
- Surround myself with things that enhances my ability to give and receive love.
- Seek out ways to continue to “love” with every single decision I make because everything I do and don’t do makes an impact.
- Love is something you give, which then assumes accountability and responsibility (13).
- Men speak about love from the position of authority, receiving and fantasizing love. Women speak about love from the position of lack.
- love: as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth (10).
- Care and affirmation, the foundation of love, are the opposite of abuse and humiliation (22).
- There is no justice without love (30).
- Males learn to lie as a way of obtaining power, and females do the same but also lie to pretend powerless.
- Wounded hearts learns self-love by first overcoming low self-esteem–practicing of living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and the practice of personal integrity (55). Living consciously means thinking about our actions, purposes, values, and goals (55).
- Affirmations work for anyone striving for self-acceptance.
- One reason women have traditionally gossiped more than men because it was their only way they felt comfortably could state how they really felt (59).
- We find satisfaction by giving completely total commitment to any job (responsibility) (62).
- Many jobs undermine self-love because they require that workers constantly prove their worth (64).
- Much of the violence in domestic life, both physical and verbal abuse, is linked to job misery (64).
- If you cannot love yourself–accepting and understanding your own self-worth, taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, etc., being clear with what you want–you cannot love anyone else. Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself (68).
- When we intentionally strive to make our homes places where we are ready to give and receive love, every object we place there enhances our well-being (66).
- The principle underlying capitalistic society and the principle of love are incompatible (72).
- Spiritual life is first and foremost about commitment to a way of thinking and behaving that honors principles of inter-being and interconnectedness (77).
- Learning to embrace our suffering is one of the gifts offered by spiritual life and practice (81).
- Though our paths are many, we are made one community in love (82).
- A love ethic presupposes that everyone has the right to be free, to live fully and well (87).
- There is a gab between the values people claim to hold and their willingness to do the work connecting thought and action, theory to practice to realize these values and thus create a more just society (90).
- Cultures of domination rely on the cultivation of fear as a way to ensure obedience 93).
- Embracing a love ethic means that we utilize all the dimensions of love–“care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect, and knowledge”–in our everyday lives (94).
- Addition makes love impossible (111).
- Dreaming that love will save us, solve all of our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love—which is to transform us (114).
- Community = group of individuals who learned to communicate honesty to each other, who have developed significant commitment to ‘rejoice together, mourn together,’ and to ‘delight in each other, and make other’s conditions our own” (129).
- Trust is the heartbeat of genuine love (135).
- If we want freedom and peace and the experience of love and being loved, we must let go and forgive” (139).
- Knowing how to be solidarity is central to the art of loving (140).
- Enjoying the benefits of living and loving in community empowers us to meet strangers without fear and extend to them the gift of openness and recognition (143).
- Breaking domination can best begin the practice of love by being giving, and being generous (164).
- To get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we week romantic relationships (169).
- Love as action is “essentially an act of will” — to love somebody is not just a strong feeling–it is a decision (171).
- When feelings are hurt and hearts are broken–that it was a case of mistake identity, that the loved one is a stranger (184). Most of the time, we think that love means to just accept the other person as they are. Yet, when commit to true love, we are committed to being changed to become more fully self-actualized 185).
- True love is unconditional, but to truly flourish it requires an ongoing commitment to constructive struggle and change (185).
- Honesty and openness is always the foundation of insightful dialogue (185).
- Healing is an act of communion (215). — rarely are we healed in isolation.
- Peace is found not in the absence of challenge but in our own capacity to be with hardship without judgement, prejudice, and resistance (230).
- “Shame is the most disturbing emotion we ever experience directly about ourselves, for in the moment of shame we feel deeply divided from ourselves (231).
- As long as we feel shame, we can never believe ourselves worthy of love (232).