Loving myself

A definition of love from bell hooks that especially resonates with me:

Love is “the will to nurture one’s own and another’s spiritual and emotional growth.” “Love is an action, not solely a feeling.” “Love as a combination of care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust.”

But, someone might ask, where does that will come from? How do I know you are willing? What is it about me that makes you willing? They are seeking to understand what is good about themselves that they deserve to be loved.
But this questioning loses its weight if we accept that it is possible to be loved just for being ourselves. It is inconceivable to someone who does not love themselves that they could be loved just for who they are. And so the work of learning to love oneself is the work that must be done by the individual to free them from this thinking. Only when we learn to love ourselves can we accept the unqualified love of others. 

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