Happy February HOPE Center family! It is the season of love so as you go about your daily commute, go as though you are love embodied. What could that possibly mean? Love is such an abstract concept so it can mean something different for everyone. Some forms of love that we at the HOPE Center want you to think about is the love that is shared with yourself, your family, your friends, and your community.
Self-love and self-care are really important in our lives. It is fun to do face masks and splurge on things that we usually don’t allow ourselves, but it can be much easier to just find a few moments for yourself each day. Bell Hooks wrote, “one of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. Loving yourself more often than not also includes doing things that challenge us. Something such as taking a financial literacy class, saying no to an invitation or praying for wisdom in a situation as opposed to accepting where we are now. For example, you can journal or talk about how you’re feeling, you can easily identify what aspects of life need to be filled up; whether it be emotional, social, spiritual, professional, or physical.
Becoming more aware of our own needs can also teach us how to be present for ourselves and others because at its core, love and listening go hand in hand. In listening we can welcome others to be themselves. This month, take the time to do a favor for someone who you feel is often doing so much for everyone else. Some of us have chosen families, families we have built with those who have made you feel like you matter.
Community love is special because we are a part of so many communities in different ways. you can decide to pour into your community by getting involved with community service, supporting artists, buying from a small business or making foods that remind you of your culture, you choose to continue a legacy. This month is Black History Month so although Black history is present and important every day of the year, showing up is celebrated and encouraged more during this time. Learning about Black history is another way to show up and support your community regardless of whether or not you are Black. It’s especially important to be mindful how to appreciate and learn from other cultures as a way to show that you love and care for those around you. Listening as opposed to assuming in order to recognize and respect the views of others. We encourage you to lead with love in every way!