The 5 languages of love by Gary Champman provide brilliant insight into how love is expressed and experienced. For a quick reminder, the 5 languages are: Words of affirmation, Acts of service, Quality time, Physical touch, and Gifts. This book brought many Ah-ha moments when thinking about my relationships. I recognize the misunderstandings in a brand new way.
I also came to understand the overwhelming feeling of lack when people are not in a relationship. There is a misunderstanding that we have to wait for a romantic partner to show up in order to experience any of the love languages. “Well, that has got to be bullshit,” repeated over and over in my head. Sure I like to be in romantic relationships where words of affirmations seem to fall out of your mouth easier than air. The delightful physical touch language which is dominant in relationships. Many new relationships are filled with hand holding, kisses, snuggling and a multitude of loving expressions that come easily and effortlessly. So when I find myself in the hallway between relationships, it is easy to focus on the lack of love in my daily life. I decided that was ridiculous, and decided there must be a way to love my self fully without being too weird.
I figured why not express love to my self daily using the 5 languages of love. Think about it, we are with ourselves all day long. Wherever I go, there I am, so why not start simple. I see myself in the mirror, shower, eat, and have some household thing to do every day. The choice of moving through each day as though it were something to rush through or in a loving way is completely up to me. I have the perfect opportunity to take advantage of all that self time. When I go to brush my teeth in the morning and see the hot mess of my hair with sheet marks on my face, I used to huff and make an ugly face in dissatisfaction. Now I greet myself with a smile and say aloud something kind to give myself the loving words of affirmation. Some examples are, “You are kind. You are loved. I can’t wait to make life smile today. You are strong! Most importantly you are worthy of love.” It really has made a difference in my morning and my entire day.
Acts of service and gifts languages show up in meal times. I cook for myself daily. Previously, I would see cooking just for me as a chore or just a pain in the ass. Now I make sure I cook special items I enjoy and make my body healthy. I gift myself with great meals and leftovers for lunch. It has completely transformed my attitude about cooking for my self. It is an honor and turned into a gift. I say thank you to my self . Even though it feels funny, I still do it.
Quality time language is easy for me as an introvert. My quality time includes but is not limited to; hiking, running, hot bath, reading, writing, and dancing to loud music in my living room! The dogs get quite a show. I sometimes turn to see them staring at me from the couch. I just laugh and keep dancing. My singing is pretty incredible when the speakers are full blast!
I have always enjoyed receiving and giving massages. I don’t have the time nor do I care to pay for a massage daily. Trying to give my self the physical touch love language daily seemed present a challenge at first. How in the world does one do that? Then it hit me in the shower. I bathe myself daily. Much of the time I rush through the process while thinking about other life events and then rush through the process of applying lotion absent mindedly. Why not slow down, close my eyes and receive the gift of being bathed and lotioned? I now quiet my thoughts, and close my eyes as I lovingly wash my hair and body. I then treat my body to my favorite scented lotions as I massage away muscle tension if I can reach that part of my body. The entire process is calming and most importantly loving. I sleep on soft sheets in a bed filled with wonderful pillows. My body is so very thankful for all this loving attention.
I have heard the saying, “Thoughts become things.” My state of mind certainly impacts my reality on how life shows up for me and who comes into my life. Giving myself loving attention has shifted my perspective. This new practice eases the feeling of lack as I move through the hall way in-between relationships. The hallway has been pretty awesome since I started loving myself fully in all 5 languages! Does that mean I am multi-lingual?
I dare you to give loving yourself fully a try! What’s the worst that can happen? Maybe we can let our partners off the hook of being responsible to fill our feeling of lack. Then they can show up as a full person to compliment our life in a loving way.
I have been told I am incredibly sappy, and I kind of like that label!