BACOLOD

Loving yourself and others

A Sound Mind

LOVE is the air.

There are many types of love. God is love. There is love between a parent and a child, love between siblings and relatives, love between friends, love between two people in a relationship. Some people have a deep love for their pets like dogs or cats. Love can be anything and can be given freely. One can even love a child who is not yours.

Self-love is also necessary. It is not being selfish. Loving yourself is the greatest love of all, according to a song by Whitney Houston.

It is said that you cannot love another if you do not love yourself. When you love yourself, it is easy to share and spread that love. Love is easier to give. There are many ways to do this.

Recently, Astrid Hocking, a volunteer from the Hearts and Hands Community Development based in Australia, gave a seminar on Trauma Informed Caring to the carers of children sheltered in a home.

Hocking is also the creator of Umbrella Hearts. They firmly believe (and I agree) that it is not okay to hurt a child. They promote this tagline by designing an umbrella ribbon and giving it to other people. By wearing this ribbon, it would mean that the person is taking a stand to demand protection and hope for children.

Many children who live in a shelter or home are neglected, abandoned, malnourished, abused (both physically and sexually), victims of child labor and trafficking, experience trauma. Carers need to know or understand how trauma affects children. Carers (a parent, a family member, a guardian or caregiver) should give extra love and accept the children.

Trauma is a disturbing experience which will change our lives. It is something for very stressful. Trauma can affect a child’s behavior, feelings, relationships with others. It is essential that a carer will make the child feel safe and loved. However, love is not enough to secure a child.

Hocking shared that there are things we can do to help these children:

* Offer a secure base of love and protection

* Be emotionally and physically available – consistently

* Recognize and respect the child’s needs

* Provide guidance and example

* Provide opportunities to safely explore the world

By protecting them from harm, they learn to be safe. When we give them support, nurture and respond to them, they learn that they can do it... and when we give love and affection, they learn are they are loveable.

Give love. Spread love. Share that love. Pay it forward. Love gives hope and joy. Love never fails.


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