Walking the Labyrinth to Self-Love


“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” Bernice Johnson Reagon

When I began to realize many people in committed relationships find it challenging to be honest and authentic with their partners, I began to question my clients to understand what was happening.  I discovered that vulnerability and transparency, two crucial components of true intimacy, were the biggest challenges.  People disclosed that they feared being ridiculed or rejected if they were seen by the ones they loved.  What came from that finding was my first book, The Honey Jar: Tips and tools for couples…, which includes my formula for finding self-love.  Before we can experience a true and loving relationship, we must accept ourselves just the way we are, and self-acceptance/self-love is a challenge in and of itself – it’s like walking a labyrinth.

Formula: Courage, Faith, Trust, Honesty


Self-love requires courage.  It takes courage to be yourself, allowing your mate to see you. That can’t really happen if you’re not authentic.  When you’re afraid that your partner may not feel the same way about you, once they learn your other facets, then consider yourself lucky. That person isn’t your “Person.”


Did you know that every time you conspire negative feelings about yourselves or your capabilities, you deny there’s an Infinite Intelligence, (God, Source, The Universe) that created us, and breathes us each day?  Although you can’t see it, it’s here and it has your back.  That – is what we have faith in.  Our higher power.  The quote below is from The Honey Jar, stated by one of my former students.

“Faith can hold us together and tear us apart.  The day I found faith within myself was the day I gave up.  I gave up trying to be someone I wasn’t, trying so hard to please others, and moreover, I gave up on the belief that something was wrong with me.”


Once you have faith, there’s trust.  Trust and faith go hand in hand, as they are twin components operating on different planes.  Trust is on a human, horizontal level of emotions, and feelings.  It works in this dimension, we trust in people or things.  We trust in our faith as we navigate the world on our journey.  You’ve got to trust that you’re good enough.


Honesty in all relationships is the foundation of any relationship, especially the one you have with yourself.  Until you can lay all your cards on the table, and look yourself in the eye when it’s just you and You, there’s work that must be done. “Self -love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.” (Caroline kirk)


  1. Have Faith in a higher power,
  2. Trust in yourself,
  3. Have the Courage to face you’re your fears
  4. The ability to be honest with yourself,

This is the formula that will take you to the center of the labyrinth, where you’ll find self-acceptance, which equals self-love.


For a Discovery Session with Dr. Wielenga click the link below

The Coaching Kiva  (562) 895-0516


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You know, the reason I started working with couples is because my own relationship failed.  We were great together when things were going well, yet we didn’t know how to get through those tough times-when thigs were not going well. Those were the times when we weren’t great together.

That was over 20 years ago, and since then I’ve become an expert on, the subject of relationships, male & female interaction, and communication.

I work with couples – people wanting to be in a relationship, and those who are heart-broken and coming out of them.  Believe it or not, there’s a common thread between all those phases of relationships.  I began to see this a few months after I begin working with couples.



I realized that people were looking to their partners for love, and happiness.  Completion.  You must first look to yourself for love and happiness.  Now this may sound like it makes no sense, but it’s exactly true.  There is no way your partner can make you happy or make you – love you.  Many people enter a relationship expecting to be given these components by their partner.  However, when this occurs, the relationship is in jeopardy.  Going into a relationship with the wrong expectation of what’s to come – in terms of acquiring love and happiness from your significant other – is not fair to the other person.  Your partner can, and will add happiness to your life, and can and will offer love, which generates loving feelings.  But that’s all they can do.  In a healthy relationship, couples complement each other.  When you’re happy, happiness flow through your relationship.  When you have self-love, it’s easier to accept the love of your partner, which makes for a loving relationship.  Self-love and personal happiness is your responsibility.



I will reiterate. Self-love and personal happiness are your responsibilities.  The common thread I’ve seen throughout the years, is one of lack of personal development.  There’s been no personal growth.  Somewhere along the path, many people have simply stopped.  Smackdab in the middle of their lives, they’ve failed to move.  They’ve frozen.  They’ve allowed their minds to go numb, and they’re closed to new ideas.  They appear to have discontinued thinking for themselves and would much rather hand “it” over to someone else.  “It” being their lives.

Example:  Let’s call him Charlie.  Charlie’s been going to school for quite some time.  Once he obtained his academic goals, he began the rat-race of life.  Working his dream job, marrying the hot girl, moving up the ladder of success.  With a lovely wife, three beautiful children, a vacation home on the beach, and disposable income – Charlie’s made it.  Yet, when Charlie came into my office, his problems (according to him) were his wife.  He wasn’t happy and wasn’t sure he loved her anymore…



After our initial 90-minute session, Charlie realized he hadn’t been in motion. He had been stifled.  He hadn’t done anything to continue his personal, or spiritual growth.  Stagnation convinced him he was no longer in love with his wife, and that she was the cause for his unhappiness.   In actuality, the only person that had anything to do with Charlie’s unhappy feelings, was Charlie.  You see, he had stayed in the same place he was in when he completed his original life goals.  Charlie didn’t continue to grow.  He found himself blaming his wife for everything that had to do with his need to develop himself. We all need consistent Personal Development.



  1. Absorb Yourself in Personal Development Books.
  2. It Begins Within – Meditation helps you to reach your center.
  3. Treat your relationship like it’s a new relationship.
  4. Appreciate & Respect your partner.

Try these 4 simple secrets for the next 30 days and see how your relationship shifts.

Let me know your experience by leaving a comment at

Facebook group: The #1 Love Doctor 

Dr. Wielenga

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Self Love

The Story You Tell

Do you ever notice that you talk about the things you see in front of you? You know, things like what’s going on at work, or in your relationship? And if you think about it – most of the things you’re talking about are negative. Is that correct? Take a listen to my video and see if it resonates with you.

The story you tell yourself is the story you live.

When I first started my career I worked as a social worker with young girls. We had a motto for these young girls, the story you tell is the story you live. So we encouraged them to say to themselves only positive affirmations and try to get rid of all the negatives thoughts they had about themselves.

Now that I work with adults and couples, the same thing is true when it comes to yourself and your relationships. You have take care of yourself in order to care of your relationship and others. All the little things you tell yourself add up and make you who you are.

Even if you aren’t there yet, it is important to tell yourself the story of who you want to be, and this positive thought will begin manifest into reality.

This goes for your partner or your children as well. People love and need to hear positive things about them to feel great and confident. Especially children. Telling your children you love them, that are beautiful, hansom, that you are proud of them, on a regular basis will allow them to grow up with these feelings and help them live better lives.

I hope you are living a great life today, but if you aren’t, change your story, and you can.

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Romantic Relationships

Six Types of Love – Which Ones Are Right for You?

Now that we know what the Six Types of Love are and the details of each one, it is time to start understanding which types you project in your relationship, which ones you want out of your partner, and if you have a partner, which ones they project. Do you know your love types yet?

This is the final post in our series wrapping up the Six Types of Love from John Alan Lee’s book The Colors of Love. If you missed any of the series, you can start at the beginning by reading an earlier blog post called John Lee’s six types of love.

Understanding each type of love in your relationship will help you and your partner understand each other, and what you are expecting from the other person. If those expectations don’t line up, it will cause problems between the two of you. However, understanding your partner’s love type, you will learn to expect what they naturally project.

This can also make searching for a partner a bit easier. Knowing what love type you are and what you want in a partner can help you find someone you are more compatible with. Typically you would be looking for Eros, Storge, or Agape love. These three are the healthiest love types. You can also look for Pragma love if you know you want to find someone for who makes a certain amount money, for political reasons, or who is strategic to help you build the life you want to build.

So now that you have a better understanding of the Six Types of Love, it’s time to go out there and apply it to your life.

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Romantic Relationships

Six Types of Love – Mania and Agape

Why is it important to know the six types of love? What does it have to do with you? Well, knowing this helps you to understand where your feelings are coming from. If you find yourself in love with someone, but you’re confused about your interaction in the relationship, you both may be experiencing a different type of love.

The last two types of love from John Alan Lee’s book The Colors of Love in which he talks about Six Types of Love are Mania and Agape. If you missed the last articles about this topic, be sure to watch this video first: Six Types of Love – Eros and Ludus.

So what is Mania? Simply it is a possessive type of love. It when someone is extremely obsessive and show a lot of jealousy in the relationship. Even though it may feel good sometimes to have someone feel this way about you, it can be very dangerous. Possessive people can get angry, physical or even abusive. Mania lovers can become stalkers when the relationship ends, not allowing the other person to leave or be with anyone else. It is important to avoid this type of love.

The last love type is Agape love. This is universal spiritual love. It is not a sexual attraction to someone, it is the type of love you feel towards your fellow man or woman, your friends, your family. It is important to feel this not only for those around you, but also your partner in combination with other types of love.

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Romantic Relationships

Six Types of Love – Storge and Pragma

I enjoy sharing the Six Types of Love with you. The reason for that is, so many people are unaware of them. They believe when they find love, usually by way of Eros-the romantic love, then that’s all there is. Love is so much more. The next two types of love are Storge and Pragma.

Here is the next video in a series about John Alan Lee’s book The Colors of Love in which he talks about Six Types of Love. If you missed the last article about Eros and Ludus love, be sure to watch that video first: Six Types of Love – Eros and Ludus.

This video we are talking first about Storge Love. This type of love usually occurs when you and your partner are friends first. You fall in love with your best friend and begin a relationship together. You enjoy being with each other always and get along really well, but the infatuation may be a little lacking. Sex tends to feel less passionate, but still happens and can eventually become more passionate with some work.

Pragma love feels more like a business relationship. Two people come together because they have the same goals and their views align really well so it seems like a good fit. People on the outside may feel like you two are perfect for each other because you have very similar qualities or have similar jobs, but the actual infatuation and love for each other is a bit lacking. Sex occurs but because it feels like you are supposed to, not because you want to, there is usually not a lot of spontaneity there. This type of relationship can and does work for a lot of people, but usually begins to fade or even fall apart later in the relationship, once kids are grown up and a lot of the goals you had have been accomplished.

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Romantic Relationships

Six Types of Love – Eros and Ludus

There are more types of love than that of the romantic. There are at least six types of love. What does the love you have for your partner feel like to you? I’m going to talk about two of the six types of love. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…

I’ve talked before about John Alan Lee’s book The Colors of Love in which he talks about Six Types of Love. If you haven’t read that article explaining what the six types are yet, I encourage you to do that now: John Lee’s six types of love.

Eros love is that romantic, sexy, lustful primal love. It is usually the first type of love we fall into, when there is an infatuation and deep connection with the other person. This is a healthy type of love that we all strive to feel for another person.

Ludus love is an unhealthy type of love. It is when you are in the relationship because you feel love for a person, but they look at the relationship as a game or a conquest. It is a sport to them and you are the prize. This creates an unbalanced relationship and you will inevitably get hurt.

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Romantic Relationships

What are your Love Languages?

What lets you know you’re loved by your partner? Is it a walk on the beach, a new car, a homemade meal? Is what makes you feel loved, what you give to your partner to inform them of your love for them? If that’s what you’re doing, I’ve got something for you. Have a listen…

Gary Chapman wrote the book The Five Love Languages that describe 5 ways to to express and experience love in our lives. Everyone expresses their love to their loved ones differently, but a lot of problems arise when a person expresses their love in a way that their partner doesn’t understand.

For instance if you express your love through gift giving, but your partner doesn’t really care about receiving gifts and wants to experience love through affirmations, they may feel unloved because they don’t receive enough affirmations from you. In turn you will get frusterated at your partner because they get upset with the lack of ‘love’ that you show.

However understanding that your parter experiences love through affirmations, you can then work on giving them what they need, creating a much more loving relationship.

If you do this excercise with your partner and better understand how you both express and experience love you can begin the process of better communication and a healthier relationship.

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Self Love

Finding Self-Acceptance

girl looking in the mirror and loving who she sees

Fear doesn’t have to control us. We all experience fear and anxiety in certain situations, some more than others, but it is our self worth and how we think about ourselves that drives us. We have talked before about the Four Components of Self-Love and how honesty, faith, trust and courage helps you realize who are, and love that person. Well now we are going dive a little deeper into each of these things to understand how they will bring you closer to finding self-acceptance.

It doesn’t take just one or two of these components, we need all for to finally come to the place of self-acceptance and self-love. When you love yourself you will be stronger about not accepting the things that are not good for you. You can stand up for yourself and say no to the things that you aren’t sure about or don’t want in your life.

Only you can change you. You have to go inside and do these things yourself. Have the courage to be honest with yourself about yourself. Have faith that you are not alone. Trust in the work that you are doing is working, that everything is going to be ok, and that you are better than ok.

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Self Love

Four Components to Self-Love

Many times, we just can’t wait to delve into a relationship.  You don’t want to wait.  You want instant gratification!  Right?  Have you been that person?  Does this sound like you?  Do you want to be in a relationship so badly you can taste it?  Well before you jump in, make sure you have your bases covered with these the four components to self-love.

It takes time to learn yourself, but when you learn to love yourself and who you are, you don’t feel like you have to be hasty and run into something you aren’t sure about. But when you are afraid of not being enough, then we begin to do things out of desperation, and that is not a good thing.

Finding self love is like walking a labyrinth, when you get to that place you don’t feel like you are not enough, and don’t care about what others think about you.

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