Because I grew up dealing with hair loss, a common question I get is: “Were you bullied?” I was, yeah, sometimes. It wasn’t a headline story in my life. I like to think I got sort of un-bully-able by being the best I could be. I avoided bullies.

To me, bullies are like dogs that bite. They aren’t socialized enough to be alone with people safely. I don’t hate all dogs even though I’ve been bitten twice. But I do exercise caution. I was bitten recently. I love dogs – ask my kids – I’ve stopped for a “lost dog” when it was standing 3 feet away from its mailbox. I’m always on the lookout for another dog friend. I’ve been bitten once where I needed stitches and once more recently where I was badly bruised. I still love dogs, but I do realize they can hurt me. My experience tells me so.

People can hurt too. Being name called, rejected, stared at…all that hurts. And as a bald person in a mostly haired world, all of that happens sometimes. But I don’t hate people.

Someone who behaves in a way that is uncomfortable and hurtful is letting you know how badly they hurt inside. People who are brimming with self-love simply don’t go around hurting other people.

I can make space in my heart to accept this. To accept this imperfect world which also includes bullies. This helps me to accept my imperfect self, too.

After all, have you ever bullied yourself? Spoken down to, accused, rejected yourself? Have you ever looked in the mirror and told yourself you are disgusting, ugly, wrinkled? That is the worst kind of bullying. The very worst. You can’t get away from that bully.

So as with dangerous dogs, bullies are to be avoided, noted and given a lot of space. There are trained professionals who know how to do rehabilitation with dogs and people, and that’s (probably) not your job. Your job is to stay safe and recognize that the inner bully is a thousand times more powerful than the outer one. Build self-love as a defense. Enjoy yourself. Spread love and be kind to yourself always.

A little over a year ago, I had the lucky fortune to attend Erich Schiffmann’s Freedom Yoga workshop at Yogaville in Virginia. He shared wisdom for practicing yoga and for life in all ways. Without giving it all away, or going into too much detail; for me, it all came down to this: love more.

It’s so simple, and so complex. If you want to feel better, Love more. If you want to be closer to your loved ones, Love more. If you want to feel at one with nature, Love more. If you want to have a happy life, Love more. There isn’t anything you can do or be or say in life that doesn’t benefit from this recipe.

Practice with the small and easiest of things: your pet, the sunshine, a delicious taste. Move on to more complicated things. Love the traffic jam, love waiting in line, try loving randomly while grocery shopping. Get so good at loving that you don’t even notice it’s a recipe anymore. Feel the expansion that happens when love is added to anything.

This Love more recipe is at the heart of my alopecia awareness practice. As far as I know, there is no cure for alopecia. Hair loss is just another matter of being human. It’s going to happen to some of us and some of us are going to have to deal with it in all our creative ways of doing so. So like I do with everything else, I add this recipe to my alopecia-life and see what happens. What happens to me is a kind of a cure. If I don’t like how I look without hair, Love more. I worry about how I am being seen? Love more. I love myself more, I love others more. If I don’t like what someone says to me? Add love and stir.

That’s IT for me, it’s the best advice I’ve ever been given and my personal alopecia cure is simple. Love more.