Meet Jenna LaMere, a ray-of-sunshine emotional healer from Portland Oregon also known as “Love Bubble,” to her friends and clients.
If you’ve come across one of her popular Facebook live videos you might be surprised to find that this love bubbly personality doesn’t always love herself.
After years of searching for this elusive quality of self-love to no avail, Jenna decided to try something else: radical self-acceptance.
I interviewed Jenna yesterday to discover how her unconventional approach is helping people process depression and the emotional challenges in their lives. “It’s not about empowering people”, she said it’s about “Being fully with them while they’re in a state of powerlessness”
1. What lead you to become an emotional healer & feelings coach. Was there a particular series of events or a catalyst that changed your direction in life?
YES!!! A major catalyst was being in a series of relationships where I was “too much,” my emotions were perceived as too great, or over the top. I attracted men who were not in touch with their emotions; I think that’s why they were drawn to me initially, because on some level they were trying to live vicariously through me, to find expression that way.
They could access their own emotions by feeling mine but when those emotions became too great, it would become uncomfortable for them. When going to them for comfort it would feel like going to a porcupine for a hug: I would constantly be pricked! So I had to seek validation and support elsewhere but I had trouble finding it.
My partners would suggest spiritual truths like: “You have to find self-love… You have to find it within,”… “You can’t get it from me,” or “Go meditate,” and I would do all those things (as well as read every self-help book on the planet) to find this elusive self-love but I kept coming up short. Self-love was like a dangling carrot that was out there but I just couldn’t grasp onto. It made me so crazy and sad.
After my last big break up I discovered the work of Teal Swan who was the first person to show me how my emotions were valid: that they were okay and that I didn’t need to change.
But I wondered, what if I never find self-love? Would this mean I couldn’t have a successful relationship and that my life would be worthless? That’s when I decided to think outside of the box, like a lot of Teal’s material and I said to myself “what if I just didn’t have to love myself? What if I gave myself permission to not have to love myself?”
From that moment I started to release the resistance to having to love myself and that’s when I truly invited love into my life. This was one of the most self-loving things I’ve ever done.
2. Can you tell me a little bit about how you help people overcome emotional challenges and the process/tools you use.
I use a wide variety tools and modalities such as Emotional Coaching, Inner Child Work, Completion Process Facilitation, Mirror Work, Hypnotherapy, Past Life Regression & Guided Meditation. All of those tools are handy but I find the most powerful process involves being in the present moment with someone and doing the whole “let go and let God” thing: I allow source to guide my work with people. It’s always different but I often feel like dropping the mic at the end of a session. Lots of magic happens when you tune in and let Source guide you.
Mainly I help people accept themselves. I never avoid the elephant in the room… instead I poke at it. Whenever I’m seeing something drastically one way I tend to flip it and try to look at it at all angels. I have a very unorthodox way of doing things but the end result is radical self-acceptance.
Many people believe the idea that you have to love yourself before finding a partner. I think that’s complete bullshit. It can be so discouraging and leads people into deeper forms of depression.
How you feel about yourself is going to reflect how you engage with a partner. If you don’t have a lot of self-love you are more likely to be frantic in the relationship and potentially attract unhealthy or codependent types of dynamics. But lacking self-love certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t love or be loved until that miraculous day that you’ve achieved self-love. This idea stifles a lot of people because love is what we all want so desperately.
3. What’s the most helpful insight you’ve experienced in regards to emotional healing? If you could only offer one piece of advice to those suffering from depression what would it be?
Most people I see who are in a state of depression aren’t really in a state of depression. I believe what we call “depression” is really a collection of negative emotions that are not being expressed: emotions we’re holding resistance to. Depression is when we’ve resisted negative emotions for a long period of time.
If someone comes to me and says I’m sad, I’m grieving, I’m angry or worthless I’ll often explore if they’re in resistance to those feelings… because if they were actually feeling all of those emotions they’d be moving through them.
So the best piece of advice I have to give to people experiencing depression is to realize that:
Resistance is like a layer of ice over your emotions, preventing you from getting into the water and experiencing what’s actually there. Once you can realize that you’re resisting, then you can often melt the ice, feel the emotions and allow them to run their course.
Sometimes I find people just need to give themselves permission to be “depressed”; to give themselves permission to eat large pizzas, stay in bed, watch Netflix or whatever it is they’re doing… because they’re doing all of those things but in a state of resistance to them. They’re looking at their behaviors and thinking “I shouldn’t be doing this, I shouldn’t be eating this pizza, I shouldn’t be watching Netflix all day.”
Once they realize that they should be eating pizza or that they should be watching Netflix …once they can get that radical self-acceptance then, and only then, can they actually soften and feel what those feelings are underneath… to allow them to come up. When feelings are expressed they actually tend to go away. From there people can gradually move up the emotional ladder towards their preferred feeling states.
To contact Jenna or learn more about her work visit:
The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Vital Mind Reset.