There is no more precious gift than to love and be loved. I have experienced conflict in my relationships whether they were a lover, friend, or family I found that I was the one always willing to go the extra mile to express my love and concern to others. Loving someone and making them a priority without having the love you need to be reciprocated can be painful. Most of the time the problem was not the way I loved; the problem was the love language I spoke. Conflict and rejection in any form can be hurtful and confusing. Not long ago I learned of a book: The 5 Languages of Love, written by Dr. Gary Chapman. The education of Dr. Chapman is extensive and thorough in the specialty of spirituality, self-awareness, and personal development, earning him Masters degrees in religion and anthropology, and Ph.D. in philosophy. Having this type of experience and background makes his authority and guidance a good place to start when searching for answers to self-improvement.
The 5 Languages of Love was an epiphany to me. Why wouldn’t we express and understand love differently? Understanding that we all give and accept love in a different was is like learning any other skill; some of us learn through textbooks and others through a hands-on approach. Once I understood this, I had a sense of comfort come over me. Finally, I had a lifelong answer to a question that had gone unanswered and hurt me repeatedly; there is nothing wrong with me or my love. My love language was foreign to those that I loved; it was like going to a new country and you couldn’t yet speak the language. I felt free and comforted that I had found an answer to a life long struggle.
Having the courage to improve yourself and gain a better understanding of those you love is a great goal to set for the upcoming new year. Dr. Chapman has an assessment available at http://www.5lovelanguages.com. When you arrive at the website, click on the bar that reads: “Learn Your Love Language.” The survey is not only available for you and your significant other, but they also have a version for your child too. How wonderful would it be to know that you can better convey your love to those you love most and to have them return love in a way in which you understand. So often we have major conflicts because of misunderstandings or not expressing concern and love in a way that other people know. Learning how you receive love is key to your happiness. As individuals, we are all unique, and with every journey, we embark on we find out more about the key factors to our personal progress and life fulfillment.
While pursuing satisfaction in life one will often reach out to actual items that are available to fill the emotional void. Often a belief of acquiring the latest technology or hottest trend is going to give a fulfilling amount of comfort that will satisfy the emptiness. Ask yourself this question: “If I lose everything tomorrow what is the top five items I couldn’t live without?” I bet that list is going to be mostly family, friends, pets, sentimental items that are irreplaceable and your individual life. There will come a time that understanding the most important things in life aren’t things at all, they are people, experiences, pets, and memories of great things from the past. Use this perspective to put order to the areas your life that you would like to build up. Learn your love language then pass that skill to others. You cannot pour from an empty cup; therefore, you cannot give love without first loving yourself.
There are five personal emotions of love language; those are 1. Words of affirmation 2. Quality time. 3. Receiving gifts. 4. Acts of service. 5. Physical touch. For some people, they will identify with one of those emotions instantly and for other’s it will not be as easy. There are many articles and blogs on the love languages, just enter a search term, and you will find some great resources. Love is many different things to different people and knowing their definitions will help you love them and others in a way that they recognize.
Learning to love yourself in all ways is key to bringing about change, peace to your life, and giving love to others. I never make promises to people, but let me promise you this one time. Love yourself with no barriers and that love will set your free. Having self-love means you are willing to seek out your weakness, accept them and find out why they exist. When you love yourself and all the flaws, scars, and mending battle wounds you will see that you are free from fear and the opinion of others.
Remember people’s opinions are a removed view of what they perceive about you. Practice this view when others feel the need to give you advice that appears to serve them more than it does help you. The secret weapon to doing this is only to ask this questions: “How does this person add to the overall function and happiness to my life?” Surprisingly, you will find that we allow a lot of individuals to bring us down, feed our insecurities, or make us feel less than and unworthy. Take back your power and love yourself first and then go and spread that love to others.
Here are some great links to find your love language: I do not gain anything from recommending these books, except that the fact that they have significantly improved the life of many people. Our world needs more love and compassion, and I am happy to do my little part to share.
Dr. Chapman’s website and 5 Love Languages additional book titles:
http://www.5lovelanguages.com The 5 Love Languages – Couples
Dr. Gary Chapmans other books:
A Teens Guide to the 5 Love Languages.
The 5 Love Languages for Men
Discovering the 5 Love Languages at School (Grades 1-6)
The 5 love Languages Singles Edition
The 5 Love Languages Military Edition
The 5 Love Languages of Children
The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers