being loved

“See and be seen.” #BeingLOVEDIs?  What does it mean to you?

No matter where you are or what language you speak, being loved is a concept that transcends all boundaries. So, where are you and what does being loved look like where you are? I want to know!

Being loved is what life’s about! I recently took this photos at the US Open Surfing Competition in Huntington Beach, and I think they’re a great reflection of the diversity of what love means to young people!

Being loved can mean feeling accepted, accepting your mistakes, gaining true friends, and the love we get from parents.

“#BeingLOVEDIs giving a hug each day.”

Let’s face it, everyone needs (and deserves) a hug. It can come from anyone; a friend, a lover, a stranger, a colleauge, or from family.  Better yet, to give and get one every day is just what the doctor ordered.  Touch is a critical part of our lives and being loved can come through the experience of hugging.

From our #BeingLOVEDIs journey, we came across many people that said so much about what love was WITHOUT it being romantic. Maybe a hug a day is just what everyone needs to feel complete and it doesn’t have to be romantic.

“#BeingLOVEDIs living ones life with passion, commitment, zest, love, compassion, vulnerability, and honesty towards oneself  and others.”

Each word has so much power.  I especially love the word vulnerability.

Vulnerability is being disarmed and expressing our true feelings in a relationship.  A key to creating a secure relationship!

Most of my couples counseling I am looking at how couples can either be or not be vulnerable in the relationship.  When people can’t be vulnerable to their family, friends, or lover, it shows that there is a block in the relationship safety.  I love that Eddie brought up the vulnerability.

Eddie is San Diego’s OUTside Travel Guru who travels the world and provides helpful tips on friendly LGBT destinations in the world.  Thank you to Eddie for giving great #BeingLOVEDIs description for us and providing LGBT tips on traveling.

“#BeingLOVEDIs free for all.”  

We all deserve to be loved and give love. We shouldn’t have to pay for it, we shouldn’t have to beg for it, nor should we have to go without it.  Being loved we all should have, yet at times it may be difficult to fully accept.  Many times, I notice clients in my office struggle letting someone love them.

This is Sister Ida is one of the San Diego Sisters.

Children are experts at knowing what #BeingLOVEDis all about.   When I ask them, they say it is “mommy and daddy” or “cuddles” or “having good parents.”  They understand that being loved is the nurturing acts that they experience from their family.  When their parents love them, provide food for them, hold them when they cry.

Kids are my weakness!  They make my heart melt.

Children need love and they also like to give love!  Above are a few of my favorite little ones.

“#BeingLOVEDIs loving in return.”

This couple has it right.  Through this project, people describe relationships as something that makes them feel complete.   They describe it as a feeling that makes them feel happy 50 years from now.  #BeingLOVEDIs something that makes our blood cells feel like it is filled with warm helium.  Or better yet, having a partner loving you in return.

As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I get the privilege working with couples every day in my office here in San Diego.  I get to witness passionate love, supportive love, and love to fight for.  Here we want you to see what others say #BeingLOVEDIs all about.

San Diego Pride 2012

And the search begins! July 2012 we went out on the streets of San Diego during Pride.  This was our first time bringing our idea public, asking people what being loved meant to them.   We were amazed by the responses.  So many people would try to be funny, and ended up writing very deep statements!  

The LGBT community puts together the Pride event to stand up for love.  I saw the event alone was a way to show what being loved is all about.  It is about support and acceptance…no matter who you are.  

These are a few of the photos we took at San Diego Pride .


This project grew larger than we ever imagined! Here is a little about the birth of #BeingLOVEDIs.

One day, Corinna (the social media guru) comes to me (the relationship guru Jennine Estes) and says she had an idea to create a hash-tag project to help my company.  She called this her “splash media” idea to literally throw out a message and “splash” the social media world.  For those who do not use Twitter or Instagram, a hash-tag is a word or phrase with the number symbol # in front of it attached.  Anyone who uses the hash-tag, you can see the comments and community that use the hash-tag.

I thought her idea was great!  And my business mind began to run a thousand directions and thought of how we could get a hash-tag project that would really go viral. Our first goal was to just make some sort of impact and visibility online.  But then our minds went further. We thought it could really far if we get people to interact with us.  Since I am working day-in-and-day-out with relationships, I thought of the main goal I see everyone looking for: LOVE. Either to be loved, to give love, to share love, to heal love, or to be in-love.  It was simple!

I didn’t want to focus solely on couples, because this excludes the single folks.   All I knew is that love is our natural desire as a human being, so we came up with #BeingLOVEDIs.  It included everyone!

The best part about this project is that I focus my counseling on love daily.  I get to hear my clients share what it means to be loved, what they need to feel loved, what parts of their heart hurt when they don’t get love, and what happens if the love they have is lost.  I want to know the deeper side of what it really means for people to be loved.

San Diego Pride 2012 was right around the corner and we thought it was a great place to test out our idea.  That event is all about acceptance and love. We quickly created tattoos, chalk boards, cards, and t-shirts to spread the message and really find out what people really think being loved is all about.

To our surprise, this small hash-tag project became very well respected.  Everyone wanted to be part and share their thoughts.  And this is when it began to grow. We couldn’t stop with this event.  We couldn’t just sit back and watch Twitter and Instagram people.  I needed the face-to-face contact and making it personal.

And of course, it didn’t stop there.  We created a short little video as well.

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