I’ve been reading All About Love by bell hooks, and when I’m done I think I’ll read it again. After two very hard years of people treating other people like crap, and me treating myself like crap, it’s been a great thing to read.

It’s not about romantic love, it’s not a self-help book, it’s about living in our community with love.

“Embracing love ethic means that we utilize all dimensions of love– “care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge”– in our everyday lives.”

bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

Just right now, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d like to be able to believe in. The kind of thing I’d like to build up around myself. Around my family and friends. The people who have helped me survive the past two years in my lowest lows.

In the midst of two years of scary unknowns I am lucky enough to have people who take the time to lift me up. Even people who are not contractually obligated to, like my husband.

(He promised and he keeps promising – I’m very challenging).

For a long time I assumed that I was unloveable, and I also assumed that I didn’t really know what love was. I assumed I would never get married, I never planned on being a parent.

And then in the second half of my life I have experienced such love and loss, pride and devastation and anger. So much emotion packed into the last two years. I let the anger and pain win a lot.

A lot of other people have done the same. We need to examine this idea of the love ethic. Creating this community spirit, taking care of each other.

There was some of that, March 2020. Now there’s an ugly separation, distrust, what feels like widespread hatred.

I think it’s stepping back into do what you can where you are.

I need to take care of myself and make myself stronger so I can take care of my community. That’s where I’m standing today.

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