The Five Love Languages
The five Love Languages is a very insightful book written by Gary Chapman. It had a profound impact on me when I read it many years ago. Relationships (and more importantly the challenges I’d had in them up until that point), really started to make sense.
Love Languages and Love Tank
In his book, the 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains there are effectively five universal ways we use to express and interpret love. Having counseled couples for more than 30 years, Chapman observed specific patterns or ways in which love is communicated. He explains that we each, have a love tank. The most important thing we need to do he says, is fill our love tank. Rather than expecting someone else to fill it for us, we must do things for ourselves – doing anything that really nurtures or nourishes us, whether that be:
- luxuriating in a warm bath
- reading a great book
- meditating or relaxing
- breathing deeply
- walking on the beach
- spending time with our children
- playing with our pets
- going to the hairdressers etc. etc.
Filling our love tank also means taking care of our bodies: by getting sufficient sleep, eating healthful nutritious foods, taking time out napping/resting, being in nature, sitting in silence (without the distraction of our computer or phone).
Sometimes though, we have inner programming that conflicts with the idea of self-love. Perhaps as children, we were told – “not to be selfish” or we were made to feel guilty when we pleased ourselves. Over time, we become conditioned to do things for others and nothing for ourselves. When our needs were not met, we overcompensated and tried to be everything to everyone. This resulted in us feeling disappointed, unloved, frustrated, bitter or resentful as we do ‘everything for them’ and nothing for us. This create an impossible double-bind.
When we start to become aware of this outdated programming we are able to begin to make changes. Firstly we can stop expecting others to make us happy – that’s not their job. We can also release the expectation of others being like us. In addition we get help to release the belief (and burden) that others should be the primary source of love in our lives. As we make changes and begin to focus on our inner world, we can start to fill our own love tank and take responsibility for our own happiness and well-being. The more we do this, the better we will feel.
The more positive and loved we feel, the more we attract positive experiences to ourselves. As we continue to do this, flowing love to ourselves, to our bodies and then out to others, the more we become surrounded by love. The more love we receive and feel, the more our “love tanks” overflow. We begin to see and love people as they are, rather than for how I’d like them to be. For me, that was/is one of the most empowering aspects of what Chapman wrote about. In subsequent posts I’ll share more about the 5 love languages. In the meantime – enjoy filling your love tank!
If you’d like to learn to fill your own love tank or explore any of the themes raised in this blog regarding loving yourself and others – feel free to contact us to book your private, confidential consultation. Appointments can also be booked online.
Alternatively join us for our potent Weekend Retreats, if you’d like to delve deeper and uncover/discover more about yourself, love and self-love. We will facilitate one in April and again another in October 2018 in the gorgeous Liss Ard Estate, West Cork, Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way!