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How to help and what does NOT help.

Things to do that help:

  • Engage in social change advocacy online or offline to affect positive social change.
  • Donate blood.
  • Donate items specifically requested by humanitarian efforts.
  • Donate money
  • Volunteer at local humanitarian efforts.
  • Post and reshare what others are doing to help.
  • Promote positive and actionable steps and ideas that help.
  • Suggest actionable steps #ActionableSteps that help.
  • Check in on your loved ones.
  • Don’t compare tragedies.
  • Provide some form relief and support for hard working first and second responders.

Things to NOT do that don’t help:

  • Bash others online or offline.
  • Post and reshare negative posts or unverified critical information.
  • Argue with anyone with differing opinions and experiences.
  • Shame, verbally assault, threaten or aggressively debate someone else’s beliefs and experiences.
  • Reshare anything that does not serve to help or inform in a positive way.
  • Diagnose mental illness, especially if you are not qualified to as a mental health professional.
  • Make significant legal or political assumptions before professionals are able to do their due diligence.
  • Self appoint yourself as an expert in any profession you are not a professional in.
  • Distract others working to help with unnecessary negative information or arguments.
  • Personalize anything online.
  • Make judgments.
  • Argue or debate with or about people who are in shock or dealing with trauma.
  • Repost and share graphic images or footage constantly.

Get off Our Block or Join us in Moving Forward in Recovery and Healing: Puerto Rico, Hurricane Maria.

Unless you are from Puerto Rico, have family and friends there, or have watched the reality on Spanish language TV, social media, and listened to it on Spanish language radio, from before Irma was even announced, much less Maria striking, you really have no idea what has happened there and the absolute incompetency that was dealt with from before even Irma was about to strike.

Those of us who do, know better. Not intending to put POTUS down just for the hell of it, and no desire to politicize this monumental humanitarian catastrophe, but reality is reality.

As a 9/11 survivor and a Katrina front line provider for disaster mental health, I have nothing but absolute contempt for the overall lack of preparation, readiness and response this man displayed. It was unconscionable.

Those of us who watched our relatives suffer or die because of it will not sugar coat it for the rest of you who choose to not accept our reality over his.Those are the facts and this is so not debatable with opinion and emotions.

Please stop giving us these basic facts that only served the bare minimum required in preparation, response and execution. It was never, ever enough and it was obvious. We absolutely are in a position as a country to have been better prepared for search and rescue, relief and recovery, and control over the disaster and its aftermath for our people.

You can choose to either join us and move forward in the relief, recovery and healing to lift our people up, or you can kindly get off of our block and let us be to do the work ahead of us. But please do not insult our injuries by sugar coating or qualifying anything of the many things that were wrong in this situation.

We need to now redirect our energy with the fact that today the Jones Act was finally lifted after begging for it and that the Army is now in charge and we can deploy as we need to. That is all that matters to us in moving forward.

#SocialChangeAdvocacy #Humanitarianism

Counselor Xiomara A. Sosa

Kneeling is their right, even if I don’t like it.

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You should check what most veterans are saying about this before you try to speak on our behalf. It seems to me, as a veteran, that we served to protect everyone’s right to peaceful protest. Period. That was not conditional on your opinion, preference or position. I don’t agree with the kneeling only because of when it is done, but I surely agree with their right to peacefully protest however they choose.

They are not kneeling to stand against veterans or first responders. They are not kneeling to disrespect the flag or national anthym. They are kneeling because that gesture historically gives honor to an injury or injustice. Their specific injury or injustice is for them to say, not me, or you. I choose to not allow you or anyone to attempt to pit veterans against professional sportsman and women, much like you attempted to pit us against the immigrant communities, the LGBT+ communties, etc. Nothing bothers me more than people using veterans to pit us against other communities who are fighting for their right to exist in peace. Something which we signed our lives away to protect.

They do not need my permission or approval to peacfully protest how they see fit, as long as they are lawfully and nonviolently doing so. I am not obligated to like it. I am obligated to honor their right, as they are mine. Coming from a long line of family veterans, service members, first and second responders, including law enforcement officers, with a healthy mix of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Moderates, Liberals, and Conservatives, no, you do not speak for us. Peaceful protest is not intended to be liked or comfortable or to require our permission and conditions. It is simply a right, protected by us when we serve.

Let’s try to be more mindful and less hipocritical of how much offensive, unpatriotic bullshit we have to tolerate from our own POTUS that is far wider in breath and scope, and so blatantly flies in the collective face of many communities and their sanctities to exist in peace.

A POTUS who till this day has not spoken out against crowds of White Supremicists and Neo-Nazi’s violently, hatefully and aggresively “protesting” their view and agenda, their “nationalism” agenda, even when such a “protest” concludes in an innocent child being murdered and injuries to so many others.

That “protest” seems normal and acceptable to our POTUS, yet sports figures calmly and peacefully protesting in their chosen way does not. This does not go unnoticed.

So if you want to be upset with such disgraceful behavior, start there. Then talk to me about sports figures kneeling in a way that offends you so. Yes, it offends me. But it does not take away my right to exist in peace the way that the march for White Supremacy, Neo-Naziism, or Nationalism does. So no, I don’t accept your point of view. Yet, I honor and respcet it, as it is your right.

Constitution of the United States of America Amendment I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

#SocialChangeAdvocacy

Kneeling in peaceful protest is not unprecedented to affect positive social change.

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I am an INFJ. Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging (INFJ) PERSONALITY (“THE ADVOCATE”)

INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging) is an initialism used in the publications of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to refer to one of the sixteen personality types. The MBTI assessment was developed from the work of prominent psychiatrist Carl Jung in his book Psychological Types.

INFJ: the Seer of Souls video: Watch video at https://youtu.be/X9RMEfCCcj8 

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

Martin Luther King 

The INFJ personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As Diplomats, they have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is the accompanying Judging (J) trait – INFJs are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

INFJs tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging in rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

INFJs indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – INFJs will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to INFJs, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

INFJs find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that INFJs need time alone to decompress and recharge, and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw. INFJs take great care of other’s feelings, and they expect the favor to be returned – sometimes that means giving them the space they need for a few days.

Really though, it is most important for INFJs to remember to take care of themselves. The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point and if their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy and stressed. This becomes especially apparent when INFJs find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational, unhelpful ways.

To INFJs, the world is a place full of inequity – but it doesn’t have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. INFJs just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INFJ

http://awarenessact.com/if-you-have-any-of-these-12-traits-you-belong-to-the-worlds-rarest-personality-type/

 

Romantic Love versus Actual Love.

The Trap of Romantic Love.

This is the one of the best articles I’ve read on this subject, which is near and dear to my heart: romantic love versus actual love.

I have put the link to the article I am referring to at the end of this blog post.

Research shows that romantic love is addictive. It has a similar impact on our brain as cocaine. Studies show through brain scans that the brain causes people to behave much like addicts do while they are experiencing romantic love: obsessive thoughts, risk taking behaviors and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

The brain secrets enough dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, which are hormones that increase the pleasure synapses in our brains. Much like cocaine does. The psychological effects from romantic love are invigorating from the hormonal boost. All seems so wonderful in romantic love.

Just like the high from cocaine, it fades, it is not humanly sustainable. Once everything gets back to normal and we have to deal with the daily normalness, good, bad and indifferent, this becomes the challenge for most people.

Returning to normal reality is when most relationships either begin to experience serious troubles or simply fail and end. The romantic love seeker must face this sense of inner emptiness and then deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Most often, they seek someone else or otherness to find that fix once again.

It is an unsafe self-delusion because romantic love is only transitory. The strongest of romantic feelings, lust and passion is not sustainable. We are human, not built to sustain such an intense way of being emotionally. Most partners make choices and decisions at this juncture that most often are regrettable.

It is important to recognize that romantic love is not real or lasting.

We can have actual love with some romantic love, but we cannot have romantic love without mostly actual love.

With the exception of clinical abuse, actual love requires real understanding from both partners, especially when times are hard. Understanding that no one, especially our partner, can “complete” us. The emptiness we feel inside is brought to the relationship and only we have the ability to fix that for ourselves. That can only be done with real self-love, not with romantic love.

If we cannot love ourselves then we are not able to love others. It is that simple. Love relationships that are healthy can truly only exist and survive when both partners come to it as complete people. Already fulfilled, enriched, with hearts full of self love and love for others. That is the only time we can build a truly healthy and happy actual love relationship and bypass the need to hold onto the romantic love part forever to feel happy.

Freedom must be at the foundation of actual love relationships. Freedom of time and space to take care of ourselves, our souls, our hearts, as we were made todo. Sharing all of that with a partner creates and sustains actual love, ot romantic love.

Most importantly, healthy relationships that survive on actual love, and not just on romantic love, require work. A lot of it. None survives without it. They don’t just happen, They are built with so much effort and mindfulness.

Regardless of how sgtrong, beautiful and special the relationship starts off, it will always need to progress onto the next stages which include hardships on some level. It is natural. Arguments and hard times require understanding and communication. Not judgement and a defeatest mentality.

The most important thing is to get that there is no such thing aaas a perfect relationship. That is the biggest pitfall in romantic love. They do not exist, because no person is perfect, therefore no relationship can possibly ever be perfect either.

Actual love recognizes flaws in both partners and does not allow those flaws to break down the love. Genuine love relationships are built on foundations of acceptance, honestly and understanding. Not romance. Romnce is a nice part of a healthy realtinshp, not the root of it.

Passionate sex and romantic walks have an important part in relationships. They cannot build or sustain an actual love relationship.

Keep your love real. Not romantic. Enjoy romance. But keep it real. Real is not perfect but it sure is beautiful.

The Trap of Romantic Love

My Personal Back to Basics: Minimalism.

It has been a “Back to Basics!”mentality and goal for me for some time now. The process has been very liberating. I have been working towards this path of minimalism for a while, on and off. Recently I’ve finally taken a deeper plunge into it. I have managed to cut everything in my bedroom closet down by more than half. I have cleared out so many other things too by either giving them away, throwing them away, or donated them to charity and to others where they can be of service to other people. I am down to only what I need, use or treasure.

I even cleared out whatever I had been attached to in the kitchen and bathroom. I basically broke my entire life down to the necessities and the few things that bring me some form of joy in my “today” life. The feeling that comes from knowing that you can basically break your entire worldly possessions down to the most basic and minimal lifestyle is something I am unable to fully express in words. The only thing that comes close is the word “liberating” because of the sense of freedom that comes with it.

My current goal is to remain in this lifestyle for as long as it serves me. The freedom that comes from knowing I can live without so many things is amazing. I do not currently feel attached to much that is materialistic such as furniture, cars, jewelry, clothes, makeup, and many other materialistic things. I have what I need, what I actually use, and what brings me joy. If none of those things are there, I get rid of it. If it is not of service to me, I get rid of it. Back to basics.

I have never really been a materialistic person in general which is what made this plunge easier to take now. I have never been the kind of person who cared what others had or did, or what their idea of success looked like. That has always been a blessing for me and thankfully has always kept me from feeling pressured or “less than” anyone else. My successes in life have been the reason why I ever accumulated things in the first place. Owning property, houses, needing to commute, working in certain environments, all of those things obviously required that I, like the rest of my contemporaries, accumulate things.

That is no longer what I want, need or do because I have gravitated towards a life and a lifestyle that does not require any of that. Now I have fewer things around me that actually belong to me anymore, and that has opened up an even happier way of living for me. Slowly I am getting more and more to where I can see my personal happiness and sense of what matters getting even clearer than before.

Although this works for me, I do not expect it to work for others. This is a very personal and subjective life choice. I support everyone in doing what it is that works best for them This works best for me in my life now. I do encourage everyone to take a very hard look at your life and meditate on whether or not it is what you truly need or want it to be.

Before I made the decision to go in the minimalism direction, I also had made the decision to stop being so busy all of the time with nonsense and instead slow down and choose things to spend my time and energy on that are actually worth it to me, personally. That included my professional life as well.

I took that path a few years ago and have never looked back. I stopped being so busy and I stopped glorifying busy and allowing others to be impressed with that. It is no good and brings no joy. It serves no purpose. So I stopped. Doing so has also made this new minimalism lifestyle so much easier to work on. Do what works for you. It is worth it.

Here is a link to a good article “Goodbye things, hello minimalism: can living with less make you happier?”. Take a read at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/12/goodbye-things-hello-minimalism-can-living-with-less-make-you-happier