Delighting myself in the wisdom of bell hooks in Salvation: Black People and Love & allowing her words to wash over me so that I may continue to cultivate self-love.
In meditating on the cited passage:
it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that self-care, self-acceptance, self-esteem, & self-determination are not necessarily destinations on the road of self-love. Rather, they are themselves roads we choose to continually travel that lead us to self-love & communal-love. For hooks, an ethic of love is an integration of “care, respect, knowledge & responsibility”, collectively they are the foundation for healing & life-giving relationships & communities. It’s difficult to love others when self-love is not present.
On our journey, whether intentional or unintentional, circumstances & relationships will continually attempt to challenge the ways in which we care for & accept ourselves, how we see ourselves & exercise self-determination. But, it’s in choosing love as our ethical compass that self-care, self-acceptance, self-esteem & self-determination become practices for living so that when we’re challenged, we know how to push back; when we’re knocked down, we know how to get up; when we’re knocked off the road, we know how to get back on it; and when we’re lost, we know how to find our way back to the roads that lead to self-love & communal-love.