Little girls are taught to always seek validation and approval from people because we are taught that our value is placed in being chosen as a wife or daddy’s girl. We are taught that our first love is always our dad, which indicates once we leave home our second love should be a man. Because of that, every lesson we learn indirectly and directly is how to please someone or how to change ourselves to fit who someone wants us to be.
“Love begins with self. You are born loved, worthy, and beautiful. Women who are love is shifting a generation to understanding that romantic love isn’t the only love that matters. We are finding ourselves and birthing the girl from within that help us see love as a transformational force that demands each person accountable for nurturing their spiritual growth.”
On this journey of life, I am discovering that most of us never truly learn how to love or receive love. We learn to neglect ourselves and cater to others. As I continue to grow, I hold myself accountable and responsible for the type of life I want to live including the people I vibe with. It is important to me to always have a community of love, not just a partner who loves. Women who understand that loves always live within and love thrives in a community know that without a partner love is still present.
The Female Search For Love by bell hooks is an excellent piece of love for women of any age. She guides us through her own path of love, the feminist movement effect on love and the foundation of love.
My Fifteen Takeaways From Bell:
- Women long for the love they were promised as girls. However, that love can only come from within. When we begin to love ourselves and teach other girls to love themselves, people find a way to place fear in our hearts. True love begins with self-love.
- It is possible to be married and still keep your own identity. Patriarchy seeks power and control while creating a hierarchy. A true partnership yields a place where one remain who they are while loving another.
- It is not the woman place to be a nurturer. Men can be nurturing too. Women are just taught to stay in tune with their emotions and nurture others. Men can be nurturers too if they are given the blueprint and taught.
- Feminism movement open doors to power through work and money yet did a horrible job challenging the emotional labor and housework of women. Women were expected to do it all even though her needs were lacking.
- Men often still want power, especially in equal economic situations. When that is the case, they find power in sex. Women reclaim their power by reclaiming their body.
- Women are not naturally or biologically more loving or nurturing than men. From day one of our readiness, we were taught how to nurture; a learned behavior that can be taught and grasp by both men and women. However, we hold on to the idea that women are more nurturing, which means we are never taught how to truly love. The ability to nurture is only one aspect of love and some women nurture in ways that are overbearing. Women who truly learn how to love is a threat to patriarchy status quo.
- Women who learn how to love reject the idea that women are naturally more nurturing. To learn love, we must start with our own mind, body, heal, soul, and spirit. Our love journey is to examine our ideas of love and beliefs we have about love and intimacy. Choosing to love allows us to commit to personal growth and emotional openness.
- We cannot be self-loving and still hate our bodies. Self-love starts with self-acceptance.
- The foundation of self-love is honesty – to be honest with oneself because only then we are sure of who we are. Another woman’s life will not make us envy or jealous nor will it allow competitive spirits that create a community of gossip and pettiness. And self-love cannot flourish in isolation or communities that pushes us in a competitive spirit.
- Powerful, highly successful women know that self-love is the foundation and they know that to love and be love enhances our lives in many ways. Self-love cannot flourish alone. To be passionately committed to work and be loving challenges the patriarch view that women have to choose one over the other, and if they choose a career they lack the ability to love and be shot. Women who seek power and success should not have to live in isolation and feel insecure.
- Men AND women need to challenge the system. When men are ready to love, they embrace challenges and make changes that push them to be open and honest. And we have to respect honest men.
- To experience love from a man you must let go of patriarchy views and gender differences: men don’t cry, men don’t express emotions, men need to be strong, etc. These views conflict and confuse men who are yearning to love. They are unsure what to do and what women want. Give them space to freely listen and open their heart. The man who yearns for love and wants to create possibility, but it starts with them.
- Women who are lesbians find power in being able to explore, learn, and choose love in variety of forms. They understand that love is different from sexuality. Every woman and man can work on love because love is a deep care and respect for another human being even if it’s a woman. The key is honesty and openness – something women receive already in their circle of friends.
- Embrace that romantic friendship does not indicate the possibility of sexual activity instead it shows a commitment and care for someone which is love. The love between a partner isn’t the only love that exists. It’s important to have a community of love that is constant, committed and lasts a long time. When we understand that love exists in all forms, someone who doesn’t have a partner will still know true and abiding love.
- Wise women know that they must open their hearts to other women, laying the groundwork for true sisterhood. But it can only come from within. Self-love will guide your path and make life fulfilling after all the power, success, and material well-being loses it meaning.