Essential Audre Lorde Quotes on Self-Care for Growth and Reflection

Self-care is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important for marginalized communities. In this blog post, we will explore some essential Audre Lorde quotes on self-care with a deep emphasis placed on growth and reflection.

As a black lesbian feminist activist, Lorde understood the importance of taking care of oneself in order to continue fighting for justice. Her words are as relevant today as they were when she first uttered them. If you’re looking for inspirational quotes that touch on self care, mental health, and identity, look no further than the works of Audre Lorde.


act of political warfare


Photo Source: Akua Naru

Audre Lorde’s quote on personal power

“When I dare to be powerful

to use my strength in the service of my vision,

then it becomes less and less important

whether I am afraid. “

Why we love this quote: Civil rights activist, Audre Lorde knew exactly what it meant to be a powerful black woman. In this quote, she speaks to the fear that often comes with using our personal power and why we should push through that fear.

This is an excellent reminder that we all have personal power and we should use it to create the change we want to see in the world. Our best work unfolds when we’re able to see what future change looks like and take steps towards it.


Lorde’s work on the concept of self-care

“I am not free while any woman is unfree,

even when her shackles are very different from my own. “

Why we love this quote: Not your traditional quote on self-care, right? This quote is a great example of what community care should be. When we see someone who is struggling, it’s important that we offer a helping hand. As Lorde points out, no one is truly free until we are all free.

This is a call to action for us to do better and be better for the people around us. We can start by checking in on our friends and family, lending a listening ear, and being there for them in whatever capacity they need when we’re emotionally available to do that.


audre lorde quote on self-care


Photo Source: Penguin Classics

Quotes on radical self-care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence,

it is self-preservation,

and that is an act of political warfare. “

Why we love this quote: Ah, you didn’t think I would leave this quote out of the list, did you? The radical act of self-care is an act of political warfare.

This quote is a love letter to black people, especially black women who fear that they will be seen as weak if they put their needs first. It’s a reminder that we need to love and care for ourselves first in order to have the energy to show up for others.

When we take care of ourselves, it benefits everyone around us.


Audre Lorde quotes on the forms of oppression

“It is not our differences that divide us.

It is our inability to recognize, accept,

and celebrate those differences.”

Why we love this quote: Black lesbian mother, Audre Lorde was way ahead of her time when she spoke these words in the late 20th century.

In a world that is still struggling with racial tension and unacknowledged class differences, this well-known Audre Lorde quote is a much-needed reminder that we are all different and those differences should be celebrated, not used to tear us apart.


Black feminist quote on the learning process of fear

“When we speak we are afraid our words

will not be heard or welcomed.

But when we are silent, we are still afraid.

So it is better to speak.”

Why we love this quote:

In recent years, Lorde’s work has been widely read and celebrated, but that wasn’t always the case. In her lifetime, Lorde was often criticized for being too radical. But she never wavered in her convictions and she always spoke her truth.

For the rest of my life, my work to advocate self-care for black women is one of the forms of activism I’ve committed to speaking out about.



black feminist


Photo Source: Afropunk

The only thing that matters when it comes to the idea of self-care

” I have to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent.

Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

Why we love this quote: Recent examples of self-care will have you believe that the only way to practice self-care is to spend money on spa days or vacations.

The examples above are just the icing on the cake to an already established self-care routine. Lorde ties it to a more holistic approach in that we need to care for our bodies, minds, and spirits. When we do that, it’s an act of survival. It’s a way to preserve ourselves so that we can show up for the people and causes we care about.


Future of change quote

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game,

but they will never allow us to bring about genuine change.”

Why we love this quote: This quote is a metaphor for white supremacy and the tools that we use to fight it. We can’t use the same tools that oppress us to bring about change. We need to create our own tools and our own methods. We need to be creative in our approach if we want to see real change in the world.


Care of the self quote

“Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.

I am who I am, doing what I came to do,

acting upon you like a drug or chisel to remind you of

your me-ness, as I discover you in myself.”

Why we love this quote:

This brilliant queer woman had so much wisdom to share about how we should view ourselves. Our “me-ness” is something to be celebrated, not hidden away to make others feel comfortable. For me, self-love means using our particular identities as a strength, not a weakness.

We are all here for a reason and we all have something special to offer the world. No one can take that away from us. When we remember that, it gives us the strength to showcase our individual quirks and talents. It allows us to be unapologetically ourselves.


lorde's work


Photo Source: YPN

Powerful connection to self quote

“If I didn’t define myself for myself,

I would be crunched into other people’s

fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

Why we love this quote: What a burst of light this quote offers to many of us feeling this constant drain of energy. If we don’t take the time to define ourselves and set our own boundaries, we’ll be consumed by other people’s expectations.

We need to define ourselves for ourselves if we want to live our best lives.

New age self-care quote

“I have come to believe over and over again

that what is most important to me must be

spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the

risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

Why we love this quote: The common cause of one not wanting to speak out on issues they feel strongly about is the fear of being misunderstood.

But this audre lorde quote urges us to share our truths anyway, even if they might get bruised in the process. It’s important to have these conversations so that we can grow and learn from each other.


Lorde’s quote on the sense of self

“The erotic is a measure between the

beginnings of our sense of self and

the chaos of our strongest feelings.”

Why we love this quote: The deepest life force within us is often the most chaotic and hard to understand. But it’s also what makes us human. By acknowledging the erotic within ourselves, we can begin to understand our sense of self on a deeper level. We can start to see ourselves as whole and complex beings.


idea of self-care


Photo Source:  Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy & Fabiola Jean-Louis 

Quotes to shed light on Lorde’s work

In conclusion, Audre Lorde’s quotes on self-care are essential for growth and reflection. They offer a radically new perspective on how we should view and care for ourselves.

I hope that as you are journeying through this everyday life, you remember to take care of yourself in particular ways that reflect your unique identity.

And if you ever forget, just read these Audre Lorde quotes on self-care again and let her words remind you of your own power.


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