Love Languages? – Intro

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Hello, my love,

You know, it’s strange how every day brings something new. I’m almost done listening to the Love Languages for Singles by Gary Chapman. I love this series, because it makes it so simple to understand ways to show love, care, and appreciation to others, and the applications go beyond marriage. It has helped me to understand, at least at a surface level, why people do what they do and cause problems for each other. It can explain my strange behaviour, as well.

As an amateur armchair psychologist, I of course have a million ideas that I thought you might be interested in. As the smartest person I know, I realized I might actually have a lot to offer on this topic.

So, if we don’t love ourselves, how do we love others? I’m sure when Jesus commanded us to love others as much as we love ourselves, He wasn’t telling us to love ourselves the bare minimum so that we can achieve this commandment with the least effort. From what I know about Him, He isn’t interested in half-measures, splitting hairs, and trying to figure out what we can get away with before we’re crossing a line. He wants us to put our all into doing what he’s asked us, and to ask not, “What is technically fine?” but “How can I go above and beyond to do what I think I’m supposed to?”

How can I go above and beyond to love myself so that I can pour out this love to those that I wish I could reach better? I think it can be a bit of a paradox, but the heart of it is being able to accept God’s love. Accepting the fact that you are divinely inspired, no matter where you are right now in your faith – or lack thereof. You wouldn’t be here unless God wanted you here, in this precise moment. Even if you’re a serial killer on death row or a rapist or Vladimir Putin or an accountant, God loves you. There’s nothing that you can do that would stop God from loving you, even if He is angered and saddened by your choices, actions, or attitude. He wouldn’t be upset if He wasn’t invested, and He wouldn’t have decided to try and meet you at your level if He didn’t love you.

And it’s never too late, even if humans may never forgive us, we can learn to forgive ourselves by loving ourselves, and therefore turning from causing harm to ourselves and those around us to doing good, even if it’s thrown back in our faces the same way Jesus’s love was thrown back in His face. Remember, whatever you’re going through, Jesus can relate, not just because He can see you right now, but because he physically experienced it in some sort of way when He came to earth. He already knows the worst of you, so why not put down those double-entry depreciation spreadsheets and let him grow the best of you, as well?

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project? Loving myself with Jesus by my side will pour so much goodness into my love tank that when the darkness comes and I have to hunker down, I’ll be back on my feet faster, with fewer adverse consequences and a quicker recovery time. Sounds like a win to me!

So how do I think that I – and Jesus – show love in the Love Languages? How do I like to receive love? Maybe my rambling examples will help you understand yourself and those in your circle a little better!

Maybe you’ve never thought of how to show love to yourself, but for me, I conceptualize it in terms of what I would be doing if I had the day to myself. Maybe this thought is horrifying to some people who would find the thought boring or lonely. But even if you find energy by being with other people, I think it’s still valuable to learn how to love yourself, all by yourself.

So, what do you do to self-soothe? What are the self-care activities that make you feel good about yourself? And most importantly, why do these things make you feel better? People can undertake the same activity for different reasons and get different things out of it.

Even extroverts have moments of needing to “get away from it all.” If you’re not vibing in a situation and you’re looking for an excuse to leave, what would you want to leave to do if no one else is available? When you’re being a lonely extrovert doing that thing that you only do when you can’t find someone to hang out with, what is that last-resort activity? What do you like to do with others that you could turn into a similar self-love activity, even if it takes some effort to reconceptualize doing it all by yourself?

I’m also not asking you to pick a single love language, either, but maybe you’ll discover a few that you want to focus on, and realize that there are others that simply don’t speak to you in anyway. I think we each have multiple love tanks of different sizes, in various states of functionality, that need to be attended to in different orders for them to all stay full. Gary Chapman may not agree, but I think however many love tanks we have, each one requires different sensitivity from ourselves and others in order for that stream of love to actually hit the mark and not just leave love gas spilling on the floor. Being able to open each tank to fill it can require different skills and healing.

However, you might discover that there’s a love language that speaks to you quite strongly, but makes you feel too vulnerable or triggers a trauma response because of how it’s been used against you in the past. Realizing that you are longing to be loved or to love yourself in a certain way but you can’t because it reminds you of an unfortunate accident or something that was deliberately done to you can be a starting point. It can the start to processing this trauma, reconceptualizing the act of love, and empowering yourself to love yourself. You can advocate to be loved the way you need, with limitations and boundaries that help you feel safe. Because safety and security is at the heart of true love, whether for yourself, God, or others.

Please read all of Gary Chapman’s love language books. All of us are going to have to interact with others in a workplace setting, or spend some amount of time with a child, or with difficult family members, or a married couple. Even if each of his books don’t seem to be immediately applicable to you, I think they empower you to interact in a variety of settings with increased empathy and comprehension of the motivations and needs for others. Whether you’re reading them in prison or in the bathroom when you’re hiding from your children, these books will change your life. And I can say that without even having read all of them myself. That’s high praise if there is any!

I’d highly encourage you to spend time in prayer, chatting with other believers, and undertaking the often discouraging and drawn-out process of finding a skilled therapist that you connect with. That way, you can bring these discoveries to them and they can give you actual studied techniques to try and overcome your barriers to loving and being loved.

Even though my preferences for these languages shifts a bit as I get older, my current ranking seems to go something like this: Quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts. Since I’m writing to make sure that none of you feel alone, I’ll tell you why.

Thanks for Stopping by!

I hope you liked what you saw. What did you think of the topic? Leave a comment and start a discussion with your thoughts! Don’t forget to like and share with your best friends, mortal enemies, and everyone in between. Come back later to see if your icon appears in my subscriber cloud! Even better, validate my work by leaving a tip to support this (not actually) starving author. You can also support my company, Planet Hope Christian Enterprising, by donating to our crowdfunds on at GoFundMe and FundRazr down below. We are a non-profit providing pay-what-you-can creative and communication services to individuals and organizations – including you! By donating, you can help us reach our goal to provide top-rate creative and support services to charities and others who would like our help. But we can’t do it without your support, so even if you can’t give financially, please like, share, subscribe, and comment. Many blessings to you today and every day.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13


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