Updated: Jan 14, 2021
Greetings, and Happy New Year! What a tumultuous start to 2021! How are you? How is your body handling all the stuff that's going on? What kinds of support do you need? Personally, I find doing small acts of kindness, taking a conscious deep breath whenever I think of it, and now today, writing this blog, to be calming and centering.
And noticing little things to be grateful for, like that the birds are coming to the bird feeder outside my window, and the sun is shining.
I've been reading the book "The 5 Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. The 5 love languages are: words of affirmation; quality time; acts of service; receiving gifts; and physical touch. Now, are there only 5 love languages? My guess is, it's not that simplistic. Love, like humans, is complex, multi-dimensional, evolving. Still, there are good insights and learning in the book. Chapman explores nuances in each of these 5 languages, and provides personal case studies and practical suggestions for noticing/asking what other people's love languages are and learning how to communicate in them, so that they can feel more loved and appreciated.
I took the test for the 5 love languages (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/), to discover mine, and discovered instead that ...... I cheated!! Wha.....??!! Yes, I cheated. [blush ... I'm a little embarrassed to admit this!]
Why and how did I cheat? Well, I found myself downplaying my desire to receive in two ways: acts of service and gifts. Actually answering differently from what my gut was telling me. Like I didn't want to be perceived as "too much," "selfish," or "high maintenance." And could "get by" with love languages that didn't require "too much effort." (like I know what's hard and easy for others...not!)
I acted as if some critical person were looking over my shoulder, ready to punish or ridicule, while I was answering the questions. I feel silly even writing it, but maybe I'm not the only one to experience something like that, so I'll just confess. Clearly, there's still some early life wounding that makes me feel really vulnerable saying that acts of service and gifts are meaningful to me. There's an opportunity for healing in talking about it .... bringing it out into the open.
It turns out that I'm pretty balanced between all five of these, if I'm honest with myself. I feel loved by all of them, and feel especially vibrant and appreciated when they are all present. Not necessarily full-on all the time for all five, but over the course of time, some of each. I also enjoy giving in all those ways.
Now I'm curious to be more mindful of how others like to receive -- not just a romantic partner, but also family members, platonic friends and colleagues. How can I express love and appreciation in ways that make their lives sweeter?
Rich, juicy learning!!
I'd love to hear your experience with giving and receiving, or with the book or test itself. What language(s) resonate with you? Do you find it hard to ask for what you want and would make you feel appreciated? Please share in the comments, or reach out to me directly. Thanks!
Interested in a deeper conversation about this?
I'm planning a series with my friend Michael Berkowitz, to provide an opportunity to reconnect with tenderness and build skills for honest, vulnerable communication and tantalizing touch, so that you can reach a deeper level of intimacy and pleasure with your partner/friends/yourself.
Have your feelings of love, romance, and tenderness gone underground over the past year, with all the stress of pandemic, political upheaval and uncertainty? We hope this will be a supportive, nourishing experience for you.
We're bringing resources, body-based practices and hypnotic trances to reawaken your capacity for pleasure, settle your nervous system, connect with your desires, and increase your capacity for kind, honest, hot communication and skillful erotic touch.
We'll be meeting Saturdays, starting around the end of February. Check the Workshops area of the site for info when them becomes available.
We are inviting participants to take the 5 Love Languages test before we start, and to look for ways to express appreciate and love to their partners, or others, in meaningful ways, throughout the five weeks (and hopefully, afterwards!!).
I invite you to do this, too, and wish you delight with it!