At a conversation with Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg, bell hooks defines the 6 ingredients to love (that her young lover just couldn’t quite grasp).
They’re characteristics that can carry love of any kind—platonic, familial, romantic, one-night-only, and maybe even begrudging love.
And they’re characteristics that will carry us through a life well-lived, from one of the most eloquent, profound, and change-making voices of our time:
More on love from bell hooks:
“Love is an action, never simply a feeling.”
“Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. To know love we have to invest time and commitment…dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love—which is to transform us.”
“Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”
“To return to love, to get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we seek romantic relationships. We believe these relationships, more than any other, will rescue and redeem us. True love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.”