Facilitator: Dr. Sehin Teferra, Co-founder of Setaweet

The session began with our facilitator Sehin asking the members to take a few minutes to form into small groups and introduce each other. The members were then asked to introduce the other person from what they learned about them. Self-love was the following topic. Sehin asked what self-love means. Sehin referenced Brene Brown’s perspective, highlighting that it’s physically impossible to love someone or something more than oneself. However, the discussion questioned whether having too much self-love makes a person selfish. It was emphasized that self-love means “me too,” whereas selfishness implies “only me.”

Parenting was described as a one-way love and a moment in life that requires patience and nurturing. The idea was that if individuals can’t fill their own emotional cups with self-love, they may struggle to provide love to others and deal with life’s stressors. The session delved into societal expectations related to gender roles, independence, sacrifice, motherhood, education, and inequality. These societal conditions were seen as influencing how individuals perceive and practice self-love.

The discussion touched upon factors that hinder the practice of sisterhood, such as societal norms that don’t encourage it, competition between women, and the tendency to “other” people who are different in terms of appearance or social class. The importance of sisterhood, understanding, empathy, and effective communication among women was highlighted. Working together was seen as a way to help each other overcome challenges and lead better, happier lives.

Participants discussed practical ways to practice sisterhood, including mentorship, providing domestic support (e.g., babysitting, helping with chores), sharing opportunities and information, being conscious of biases, and accepting other women without judgment. Sehin encouraged members to reflect on the concept of self-love, its relationship with selfishness, and the importance of sisterhood in overcoming societal challenges and promoting mutual support among women.

Major Takeaways:

  • It’s impossible to love others more than oneself, prompting a discussion on the balance between self-love and selfishness.
  • Beware of the societal expectations, encompassing gender roles, independence, sacrifice, motherhood, education, and inequality, that shape our perceptions and practice of self-love.
  • There needs to be collective support among women to tackle challenges and lead more fulfilling lives while addressing barriers like societal norms and competition.

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