Book Review! All About Love

Ah Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, tis the season.

Cynics among you, bear with me. Love your self and go get this book! I am not just speaking to the couples here by the way. Absolutely everyone should be reading All About Love by Bell Hooks. Grandmas, singles, fur parents, and young adolescents included!

Our society has been painting the picture of love incorrectly for too long. If I could turn the beast into my prince charming only after risking my life, my father’s life, and abruptly deserting my lifelong passion of reading books, I may have had a husband a long time ago. But I would also be miserable, guilt-ridden, and bored. Disney storylines reek of toxicity don’t they?

But this isn’t love, and love isn’t a thing, it is a doing. Hooks’ book rides on the premise of love as a verb. “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spirtual growth.” It is a will, an action, a choice.

With this underlying definition, Hooks looks at all areas of society and family life. The key that I found so helpful is that each layer is connected. If there is a love lacking in your childhood, that blockage is impeding your ability to fully express your unique love. If you love your husband, but cannot find the will to assist your struggling neighbor, that is a dysfunction in your full love potential.

Maybe this sounds like my normal idealistic rambles! Orrrr, are we just comfortable? Worse, are we selling ourselves, our home lives, and our community short? What is a world without caring for one or two of your neighbors in their times of need? Or being able to be 100% your authentic self with your spouse? Well, we all know the answer is not good.

But this is what is exciting, we can change this! We all have the power to start a domino effect with our love prints! Even if we were to just read this book with our partners (my partner and I are doing so!) or our children, the positive butterfly effect there would be incalculable.

For me this book completely opened my heart, it helped me understand that challenges in love are not to be feared. They are opportunities to grow into the purifying and redemptive powers of love. Don’t quit!

I will leave you one of the important quotes I found from Hooks below:

“The wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others.

When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.”


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