I was first introduced to Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages by Cathrine Silver who served as my life coach for several years. Recently, I read the book as an assignment for a leadership training program. As I read this great book I began to realize that I had never told anyone how to love me. Of course, without knowing my love language how would I be able to do that anyway?
There is at least a bit of a romantic in each of us and more than a few of us have the belief that if someone really loves us they will just know (fill in the blank here). And when that person does not know it is easy for us to chalk it up as them not loving us. And no matter what we think of ourselves at any given moment there are people in our lives who truly want to love us. But if they do not know how we will hear and get that they love us, their love will never connect and we may feel unloved by them.
As I explored this more deeply in myself I wondered how many people in my life wanted to love me but had no idea how to do it. And how much love in my life had I missed out on simply because I never told anyone else how to love me. So yesterday I did something very unorthodox for me. I would go so far as to say it was outrageous! I went on to my group’s Facebook Messenger page and told my team members my love language and invited them to love me using my love language. I knew I wanted to do this but felt scared and silly at the same time. What if no one responded? How sad would that be for me? But people responded powerfully and lovingly. And I was humbled and filled with joy.
Most of us believe that it is better to give than receive and we work hard at being the best givers we can be. But many of us struggle to receive love. We tell ourselves stories (all lies) that we are unlovable and undeserving and un-whatever. But the truth is that if we don’t learn to receive, no matter how much we think we give to others, we are just takers who rob others of the joy of giving to us. This is not to suggest that we are consciously takers. Being a taker, perhaps in the eyes of one we claim to care about, is simply the result of our choice not to be open to receiving.
My coach Allana Pratt shared a story about Tony Robbins from his early days. He told a man that receiving is the measure of giving. If we don’t allow another the pleasure of giving to us by being a good receiver we are truly stingy, but when we are the space to allow another to express of themselves fully as we receive it fully, we give them the gift of their fullest expression.
So, when you are ready to become a true giver learn to receive selflessly and remember that one of the greatest gifts you can gift another person is to be willing to receive their gift to you. You don’t have to do what I did but I encourage you to learn your love language and tell someone you love how to love you!
Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.