Stop The Hate: 5 Steps to Loving Yourself

hi haters scrabble tiles on white surface

We must stop the hate! The hate we feel towards ourselves will help stop the hate we feel towards others.  We often project to the world our inner feelings.  If we are feeling disgusted, disappointed, misguided towards ourselves we will treat others the same. The answer is LOVE, love towards yourself and others.  I know this seems like the trendy, in thing, that these news kids are talking about or trying to bring back from the 70’s, self-love, tsk!!

Hear me when I say this is the way to attracting and accepting happiness and most importantly joy into your life.  We spend so much time in a space of self-deprecation, self-criticizism and self-loathing that self-love sounds stupid and almost impossible.  Let me tell you it is neither of these things.  Here are a few ways you can start this self-love journey.

Be kind to yourself and others

You must learn to be kind to yourself and in turn you will be kinder to others.  We treat others the way we feel about ourselves.  Stop the judgement on yourself and your judgement of others will not show up anymore.

Be of Service

Most people feel good when they do for others.  We are taught to be of service to others but not are taught very well to be of service to ourselves.  The only way to be in full service to other and not feel depleted is by self-care.  Taking care of yourself, giving yourself a break, permission to rest and have fun is how you are of service to yourself.  In turn, you will be so much more genuine and effective when being of service to others.

Nurture Your Body

Love your body no matter what you think it looks like. Nurturing our body is not just about eating right or exercising, don’t get me wrong, these things are extremely important.  Equally as important, is accepting your body.  Acceptance makes room for unconditional love. If you do not love your body for what it does for you, helps you move, create, dance etc., no matter how much you eat right or exercise, you will never be happy in your body

Connect with Others

If you are reading this and you are an introvert, your initial reaction will be to disagree with this step, just hear me out.  We are social beings, we need to be around others.  Just because you may be an introvert does not mean that you do not need a tribe.  Your tribe may just be smaller than an extrovert.  If you are like me, an ambivert, likes to be around others but when you have had enough it is time to be alone in order to recharge.  The differences between intro and extroverts is they way they “recharge and process.” Extroverts need other people around them to recharge and process, they get their energy from being around others.  Introverts can be around other people but have limitations on time spent and amount of people that time is spent with.  They need quiet time to process and recharge. My point is we all need connections to others to thrive, learn about ourselves in order to better love ourselves. When you have found people who can help you do this, you have found your tribe.

All Parts are Welcomed

We all have different parts of us, those parts make us who we are.  These parts get created in different stages of our lives through different experiences.  There could be the 3-year-old little child who is scared and needs reassurance because they did not get it at that age.  There could be the angry 12-year-old pre-adolescent who feels super confident in their ability to play the guitar because that was the first time anyone complimented their musical skills.  All parts of us are there for a reason, they are part of us.  We must learn to love and accept all parts of us, the moment we do that, the easier it will be to works towards a balanced life.  We will no longer be fighting internally with ourselves, we learn to love ourselves wholeheartedly giving us the ability to better love others the with our whole hearts.

“The sum of its parts is greater than the whole”, means that we are better together.  All our parts “good and bad” light and dark make us who we uniquely are as individuals.  This is also true for humanity.  All of us, as unique as we are individually are stronger and better working together than alone.

If you want to learn more or embark of your self love journey a little further, got to my new web site www.healingheartswhole.com and sign up for more information.

 

Peace, Love and Light,

Jessica Alejandro, LMFT

For psychotherapy (individual and couples) www.4wholehearthealing.com

Your Word Has to Be Your Bond

words text scrabble blocks
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Have you ever had someone in your life who says that are going to do something and just never seems to keep their word? Maybe you have a best friend who is a great friend overall, but just seems to fall short in the following through department. You can choose to continue your friendship and accept that they just are absent minded or inconsiderate, or you can choose to not have that person in your life anymore.  I am very much a believer in accepting people for who they are, but there are limits.

I tell my clients that people are who they are. They are not who you want them to be and there is nothing you can do to change that.  People change because they want to change.  You may be a good influence or a catalyst to their change but trust me, you did not change them.

Maybe you can accept a not so reliable best friend, but can you be with a partner who does not stay true to their word?  As a couple’s therapist I hear many people complain about their partner saying they will do something and not follow through.  This is bigger than just not doing something because you were tired or didn’t have time, this is presenting itself as blatant disregard for the person they say they love.

When working with a couple and this issue presents itself, I ask is, has your partner always been this way or is this something new?  hey often reply, “He (She) has always been that way.”  I then ask, “What makes you think that things will change now?”  Most people look at me like I’m crazy for asking this question, but I ask because behavior we allow early on in relationships can be difficult to change. Often, we make excuses for certain behaviors our partner displays at the start of a relationship.  The old rose color glasses syndrome.  As those glasses start to lose their color A.K.A., we start to grow and evolve individually, these behaviors are no longer acceptable and no longer cute.

My mother taught me to stay true to my word, if you say you are going to do something you better be ready and willing to do it.  It is not ok to set an expectation for someone and not meet that expectation.  This is a true sign that the person who cannot keep their word, has lost respect for the other person, or perhaps never respected that person in the first place.  If you find yourself in a relationship with a person like this, it may be time to end it, and if you find it hard to, set some very strict boundaries, for example never asking them to do anything for you again.

Love and Light,

Jessica Alejandro, LMFT

www.4wholehearthealing.com

www.healingheartswhole.com

In Search of Jason Burke

Every two years I take a solo trip to Jakes Hotel Villa & Spa, Callabash Bay Treasure Beach, Jamaica.  I have been doing this since 2011 and it was the best decision I have vere made.  As an Empath, it is essential to recharge your battery on a regular basis.  As and Empath who is a therapist, even more so (more on Empaths in my next post)!

This trip was relaxing and replenishing but I have not been able to let it go.  Ironically enough I talk to my clients about letting go all the time.  Not because getting back to the daily grind sucks after being in pure paradise for seven days, but because of Jason Burke. I met JB on the fourth day at Jake’s.  He was there with his father on a father son bonding trip.  They had been staying with friends who live in Jamaica and decided to take a break and head out on their own.  JB and his father hail from Australia.  I met his father first at Dougie’s Bar, which is the best spot at Jake’s, especially when Dougie himself tended the bar. Then JB rounded the corner. At first he was your typical good looking Australian guy, whatever that is, but as soon as he smiled it all changed.  His smile was everything.  We said our introductions, chatted for a couple of minutes and I learned that JB currently lives in NYC.  A plus, right? What caught my immidiate attention, besides his smile and that he was more local than I initially thought, was how attentive he was to what I was saying.  It is hard to find a man, at least for me, who actually takes an interest in what you are saying. This definitely stood out to me and started my feelings of admiration for him. With those feelings of admiration came my feelings of insecurity. So, I wished them a good day and went on my way to soak up the sun and put my insecure part to rest as I waited for my boat ride to the Pelican Bar.

The next day, I saw them again, but this time we talked some more.  We talked all day pretty much.  JB was polite, attentive, smart, witty, guarded but open.  We talked about relationships, work, life.  We had great banter and chemistry.  He listened and asked questions.  This was the first time in a long time that I felt extremely confortable with a man.  Yes, a man, JB was just that.

That is probably what scared me. I started to convince myself that I was too old, too fat, not what he is looking for. Because a guy like JB wants a blonde haired, blue eyed, skinny white girl. Even though we hit it off, I was sure that there was nothing there. So sure that I missed the biggest cue a man can give you at the end of a great day together.

We often sell ourselves short, most likely because of fear of rejection. For sure that is one of my biggest fears, rejection. I started to ask myself why? There have been times in my life when I did not give two fucks if someone did not want to see my awesomeness. JB saw it and I still let my fear get in the way. I have vowed to not let this happen anymore. Like Rebecca Campbell says “Work your light.” We all have a bright light inside of us. We are the only ones who can shine that light. When you let that light shine those insecure parts cannot and will not overpower you.

Sometimes when your light is so bright, rejection is protection. Some people can’t handle your brightness, it blinds them, exposes them and they must retreat, don’t take it personal and shine brighter than ever.

Peace, Love and Light

Jessica Alejandro, LMFT

www.4WholeHeartHealing.com

The Year Of Me…We

It’s that time of year again! The time when we sit around with our family and friends and make New Year’s resolutions. As in years past, we will be deeply committed to these resolutions for the first two weeks of the year and then forget about all the promises we made to ourselves and others.

For the past ten New Year’s, I have made the resolution of “this year will be about me”.  Every year I say it with good intention but never really manage to stick with it.  I may get a massage or go to a yoga class and feel like I am doing what I have declared to do. But this year, I have decided to really think about what I am declaring.  I decided to really define “the year of me”.

This year, I will be turning 40, yikes! Instead of being annoyed or sad about it, I am going to see this birthday as a blessing for me and others. Again, I say this year will be about me, but this time it’s different, it’s more than just me…it’s WE.  As a marriage and family therapist I work with many great people in search of something.  I started to listen to what my clients were searching for; not what they thought they needed but what their souls were searching for.  I then noticed that I organically started speaking to my clients about the importance of self-care and kindness in the healing process We started to talk more about how self-care and kindness can lead to true self love, which leads to healthy love towards others.  I learned how important these two actions are when learning to truly love yourself and when learning to love others in a healthy way.  How? you ask. I started to practice what I was telling my clients and I noticed a profound change in me.

Self-care and kindness can help you deal with stress and anxiety in a much more productive way.  My clients and I, together came up with self-care ideas that work for them.  When my clients started engaging in productive self-care acts, they were amazed at how much happier they started to feel. They also found it much easier to do kind things for others; small acts of kindness without even thinking about it. Watching my clients transform in this way has made my work very rewarding.

I believe that I have found my life’s purpose in doing the work that I do with my clients.  Helping others provides meaning to my life. This is why I want 2017 to be “the year of me…WE”!  Every month of 2017 I will be celebrating my 40th year of life by doing one of two things: a solo self-care activity or a group (family and friends) self-care activity AND an act of kindness.  I will be celebrating the “year of me” by doing good things for myself but also doing good things for others, making it “the year of me…WE”.  To ensure that this will not just be another failed New Year’s resolution, I am constructing a list of activities for every month.  I am creating of list of 2-3 activities per month in order to have options and make sure that I do at least one of these activities.  Here is my list so far:

  1. Vacation for my birthday
  2. Road Trip to Canada
  3. Trip to Sedona
  4. Cross country drive

I know some of these ideas may be expensive but self-care does not have to cost anything…

  1. Create a daily affirmations box/file, change your negative internal script into a positive one
  2. Rock Climbing Gym, challenge yourself out of your comfort zone
  3. Weekly Hike, connecting with nature is very relaxing
  4. Let Go Bond Fire, start a bond fire with friends write down your worries, fears and negative thoughts and burn them in the fire
  5. Volunteer for a charitable organization, it is good for you and others
  6. Habitat for Humanity, nothing better than helping others obtain a basic need that many take for granted
  7. Volunteer at Soup kitchen, it feeds the soul
  8. Make care bags for the homeless, helps them see someone cares and they matter
  9. Volunteer at dog shelter/pound, because dogs are awesome and really have this love thing down way better than humans
  10. Pay for another person’s coffee when buying your own, because it is cool when someone does it for you
  11. Speak only kind words for a week, you will feel happier and lighter
  12. Spend a day leaving positive affirmation sticky notes in random places, the person who really needs it will find it

This is an ongoing list, please feel free to add any ideas you may have.

The goal is to learn to love Whole Heartedly by becoming better at self-care and at the same time becoming better at giving back to others, even in the smallest ways. To make it easier, I have provided some links to help with act of kindness and some additional self-care ideas.  Remember even the smallest act of kindness can mean a lot to someone.

https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/101-easy-ideas-for-random-acts-of-kindness?utm_term=.dwj1MbgQz#.lg41KkgaG

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/45-simple-self-care-practices-for-a-healthy-mind-body-and-soul/

I will be keeping a journal of my thoughts and feelings throughout this year long journey. I know that through this journey, I will continue to become a better person and learn how to love others in a healthier way. I ask you to join in on this idea and make 2017 the year of me…WE! We need this now more than ever!!

With Whole Hearted Love,

Jessica Alejandro, LMFT

www.4wholehearthealing.com