Love Thy Self Fiercely: How Self-Love Makes for Better Health CareMarch 13, 2014
Two years ago, one of my close friends recommended that I read bell hooks’ All About Love, and it literally changed my life. The book is the first installation of her trilogy about love and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. In the last installation, Communion: The Female Search for Love, she writes, “the most feminist action any female can take on her behalf is doing the work of creating positive self-esteem, the foundation of self-love.” During my journey through these books I began to do the work of fiercely protecting my self-esteem to build a stronger foundation of self-love. My work toward greater self-love included holding in higher regard my physical and mental health. I worked out more, ate better, and practiced better self-care (which can be hard for me as an organizer who sometimes works odd and long hours). In embarking on this journey, I realized that as a Black woman, I was raised to “carry” and present myself in a very particular way, despite sometimes lacking the self-esteem internally that I always displayed outwardly.