It's day one of my Love Week!
In this blog I'll be discussing how healing and therapy influence self-love, which is the first step to allowing others to love you and form healthy relationships.
While you're reading be sure to download my Love Week self-love freebies!
Self-love, is the love and relationship you have with yourself...the most important relationship, I might add, in my opinion. It sets the tone for the other relationships in your life. Self-love simply means the way you love yourself, there's no right or wrong way to love yourself, it's all on your terms, you define it, and it's a constant journey.
We are ever-evolving beings, therefore our needs and wants constantly change, including what we require from ourselves. Understanding how to love yourself can start with therapy, but it absolutely does not end there.
Continue to do the inner work. Spend time alone. Listen to yourself. Observe the things that make you happy, or sad, and feed your spirit. The same way you study those around you to make them happy, do the same with you. I know it sounds relatively simple, but many of us don't take the time to do so. So be sure to set aside time for you to invest in you. Of course we all want romantic relationships, healthy ones at that, but without knowing what you require you won't be able to teach others how to love you and you be able to return that love.
Remember loving others starts with loving yourself!
Healing before dating, or getting into a relationship, is very important. Whether this is your first time dating or your first time dating since your latest heartbreak...take time to heal. Healing includes acknowledgement, acceptance, accountability, and affirmations. Acknowledge what happened and how it made you feel, accept reality and take things for face value, take accountability for your actions (overlooking red flags, making excuses, accepting less, etc.), lastly speak affirmations over your heart until you start adopting a positive outlook on not only your love life, but your life in general.
Millennial Dating Coach.
I interviewed Marquita Johnson of Millennial Dating Coach, Marquita is a licensed therapist and dating coach. We spoke more about healing, therapy, what healthy relationships look like, affirmations for love and more! Read our interview below.
What is a common misconception behind therapy/counseling?
Many assume that if they go to therapy it will make things worse, that someone will be "all in my business", or that the therapist is going to tell me what is wrong with me.
I don't focus from that model. I focus from a strength based model, but also a relationship based model. In a sense that you're coming to therapy and now creating a relationship with your therapist, a therapeutic one. It can foster a lot of growth in that space, in that you get to be real and transparent, with no judgement. My skin in the game is helping you heal.
Another misconception is that it's expensive.
But you have to think, what kind of price tag would you put on your healing, what price tag would you put on having a healthy relationship, having children that know a healthy relationship, and being able to fully live your live in a way that's genuine, authentic, in overall health (mentally, physically, spiritually, financially). There's no price tag on achieving that value. What you invest into therapy, the benefits far outweigh the investment of it.
We are in black history month...there's this stigma in the black community that "black folks don't go to therapy", where do you think that comes from?
It's a lie! But it's changing and millennials have been responsible for that change. They are one of the fastest growing groups that have sought out therapy that are not ashamed about it. They don't see it as a stigma or a weakness.
They've been able to embrace the help. They talk about it. That has definitely opened up the avenue for others to talk about it, even celebrities and professionals talk about it and endorse it. It's also more accessible, nowadays there are more relatable therapists. There's been a mistrust overall in medical and healthcare professions because of some of the things that have happened in the past, such as The Tuskegee Experiment and Henrietta Lacks.
So we are also in February, the month of love. I speak a lot about self-care in my platform specifically self- love. What's a huge step in loving yourself the "right" way?
It's life changing, being a dating coach and therapist, I found that people don't love themselves often and that can be based on their previous experiences of what love was. Also being able to define what love is for them. Not going based off someone else's version of love, it's you defining what love is and how your happiness might be tied to that. But self-love is the first love, because I believe your relationship with yourself is the longest. So if you haven't established a healthy relationship with yourself then it's going to be impossible to establish one with someone else. Apart of that is why I started offering dating coaching as a service. I found that self-love and that stability within oneself help you build that foundation, then you're able to address any issues that come up because you have a clear sense of self.
Before dating what are 3 things people should work on within themselves?
1. Know your negotiables and non-negotiables.
2. Effectively communicating your needs and wants. But, also being okay if people can't meet your needs because they open up space for someone healthier who can meet your needs to come along.
3. Be clear about not settling. Settling leads to a lot of resentment, and can keep you stuck in a place where you're not getting your needs.
During the dating process, what type of qualities should people be seeking out before selecting a partner to be monogamous with?
Well looking at the key ingredients to a healthy relationship are important. Think of it like cooking. You can bake a cake, if you forget the eggs or the even the milk, that cake is not going to taste the same. So some key ingredients you need in a relationship are definitely vulnerability, trust, and effective communication.
So transitioning into relationships. Without giving too much away, what is a key foundation to dating in this new millennium?
Have fun with it. Working with many couples and individuals, I find that they have drained all the fun out of relationships and dating. So many times, they approach it in a way that sets you up to fail. A lot of people have these lists, it can come across as cold. So make it fun and exciting. Make dating fun again. I even made dating affirmation cards and dating conversation cards to speak life into and to keep things fresh. Don't change based off of who you are dating.
In terms of healing. What does healing look like for those going through a heartbreak whether it's a divorce or a break up. What are 3 things they should try to do? 3 things to try to avoid?
Thing to try to do.
1. Giving themselves permission to love again. To have their happy ever after, many times they give up and become negative.
2. Seek out professional help, you don't have to do it alone, the healing is an ongoing process.
3. Live your life, have fun!
Things to avoid.
1. Repeating the same mistakes that they did in the past. Taking accountability. 2. Getting in a relationship too soon. Communicating that to others.
3. Being negative.
Can you leave us with 3 affirmations for love. One for single, One for dating, One for healing.
1. I am worthy of the total package because I am the total package.
2. There are no short cuts to healthy relationships
3. You are deserving of the love you give out.
Head to IGtv where we spoke a bit about social media and its impact on dating, relationships, and more! Also follow Marquita Johnson the Millennial Dating Coach on Instagram and visit her website for services and some affirmations of love!
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