39 pages 1 hour read

bell hooks

All about Love: Love Song to the Nation Book 1

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2000

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Themes

Self-Love Is Essential to Loving Practice

Throughout the text, hooks is resolute in her belief that self-love is an essential component to the art of loving. Knowing how to effectively give and receive love starts with the self. The journey to learning to love oneself is long and all-encompassing. The practice of self-love requires honesty, commitment, and patience.

According to hooks, the first step in learning to love oneself involves a commitment to trust. Learning to be honest with oneself “lays the groundwork for the openness and honesty that is the heartbeat of love” (53). Without honesty, one can never know love within themselves or others. hooks asserts that it is only once “we can see ourselves as we truly are and accepts ourselves” that “we can build the necessary foundation for self-love” (53). Essentially, honestly breeds self-acceptance, which in turn, breeds self-love.

The process of self-acceptance relies heavily on a person’s ability to examine themselves closely and honestly and to reflect on their own thinking and behavior. By taking responsibility for oneself in this way, a person can commit to living purposely, which involves “creating goals, identifying the actions necessary to achieve them […] and paying attention to the outcome of our actions so that we know whether they are leading us where we want to go” (62).

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