We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it’s something we nurture and grow; a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them—we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect self to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.
Practicing Love and Belonging
To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than as a
feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner
automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.
~ bell hooks
Brown, B. (2010). The gifts of imperfection: Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. Hazelden: Center City, MN.
bell hooks, (2001). All about love: New visions. Harper Collins Publishers: New York.