To love someone deeply gives you strength.
Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.
The weeks leading up to the holiday season can be emotionally intense. We are coming to the end of the year. Did it go well? Was it disappointing for you? Did children grow up, leaving home an empty nest? Are you celebrating your successes, or grieving your losses? Both perhaps.
Emotions are felt most keenly with those closest to us; those we love the most. None more so than in marriages or close partnerships. This time of the year is one in which we are being showered with spiritual Light. This Light comes as a blessing: to let us see more clearly where we might have something to learn; to heal our hurts; to reassure, soothe and comfort us; to bring us joy.
Communicating, giving and receiving awaken us to more of our love. The buying and giving of material gifts is not the only way we can demonstrate our love.
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
A Little Story
There was once a young man who wanted to show his love for his wife. So he swam the deepest sea, climbed the highest mountain and tried to reach for the stars. Guess what happened?
His wife left him. Why?
Because he was never home.
Dr Gary Chapman has written a book on The Five Love Languages. If you are feeling unloved by your partner, husband, wife or close friend, it could be that you understand different love languages. What is your love language? What do you have to receive to know that you are special, that you are loved? How do you communicate your love with others?
The five love languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
If your primary language is words of affirmation, you need to hear from your loved ones verbal appreciation, compliments or encouragement for you to feel special and loved. Simple and honest statements such as: You did really well getting that promotion. Or: You looked radiant and beautiful in your new outfit. Or: You are a great Dad to our kids.
2. Quality Time
Quality time with our loved ones is important for most of us, especially so if this is your primary love language. Give undivided time and attention with activities you enjoy doing together. During conversations, make sure the phone, tv or other distractions are turned off.
3. Receiving Gifts
Gifts are visual, tangible expressions of love and devotion. If this is your love language, you are likely to value gifts as touching and meaningful. Gifts do not have to be big and expensive. A single beautiful rose, a favourite food brought on the way home or a small souvenir from a trip away can speak volumes.
4. Acts of Service
Better to ask which acts of service are really appreciated than assume that cleaning the kitchen, or bathroom, clearing the garage are wanted more than looking after the kids on Saturday mornings. Most importantly, these acts must be undertaken not with resentment but with the joy of loving.
5. Physical Touch
Sexual intimacy is only one aspect of physical touch that communicates love in marriage or close partnership. Here it is important to discover from each other what forms of touching mean the most. These may include shoulder rubs at the end of a working day, back or feet massages, holding hands, stroking a cheek, a gentle hug.
Love is a fruit in season at all times and within reach of every hand.
To discover your own love language ask yourself the following questions:
1. How do I express love to others? (For example: I express love by giving words of encouragement and support, especially during challenging times.)
2. What do I request most often? (For example: I love to feel appreciated and acknowledged for what I do.)
3. What do I complain about the most? (For example: You never seem to notice when I have done something really well and that I am proud of.)
What you and your loved ones find out about your love languages needs to be communicated, shared and acted upon. Learning can lead you to greater joy and happiness with the ones you love the most.
Be willing to make changes. Small adjustments may make a big difference and cost very little.
The blessings of this season can grow and deepen your love in ways that perhaps you had not thought about before.
Love, the key that unlocks the bars of impossibility.
How do you enjoy receiving love from those dear to you? What makes you feel special and most loved? Could you celebrate the holiday season by giving differently this year?