Recently I was talking to someone about a question that I often used as an icebreaker in my workshops. The question was “What is your favorite smell?” I explained that smell is the strongest memory and by remembering a favorite smell, you are transported back to that time, and since it is a pleasant memory, it brings forth the appropriate relaxing positive chemical responses in your brain and body. Thus, remembering a favorite smell becomes a great quick stress release technique, too. I explained that I loved the question as it was not just a great quick stress release tool but it also pointed out how different people had such varying responses to the question and someone’s favorite smell may sound odd or even distasteful to someone else. This encouraged more understanding of others, and pointed out the different perceptions we hold. … And then, my random mind led me to think about Gary Chapman’s five languages of love.
Gary’s Five Languages of Love are:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Gary suggests that we usually have one language of love, perhaps two, which are most important to us. So thinking about how different favorite smells are to others, I thought of my strongest language of love, which is quality time and second is words of affirmation and how that was different for my Mom. Her language of love was gifts and they were very important to her. If you didn’t like the gift she gave you, she got angry. And for me, if someone doesn’t like what I give them, it is fine with me, they are welcome to let me know and exchange it for something that they like better, as I’d rather they be happy with something else, if that is their choice. But in my Mom’s childhood experience, gifts were how she knew her family loved her, even though she experienced much abuse from her Father. For her, the abuse was overridden by gifts. She wasn’t very forthcoming with words of appreciation, so throughout our relationship, I was waiting for words of appreciation, feeling unloved at times, and she was there giving me gifts that had less importance to me, and sometimes I didn’t even like them. Then when I didn’t like them, she got angry, so I felt even less loved, as the gift felt to be more about her need than her giving me something that I would value or feel loved by. And of course, the reverse was if I didn’t like the gift, which was her language of love, then she felt unloved. What a mess!!!!
One time I was complaining to a massage therapist of mine that the man I was dating was inattentive. She asked me “What does attentive look like to you?” She explained that I might be waiting for chocolates and flowers and he might be out there changing the oil in my car, feeling like he was truly expressing his love for me, leaving us both feeling misunderstood and unloved.
So I invite you to look at this question of what language of love feels most important to you as a way for others to show their love to you. And at the same time, I invite you to take note of the people in your life you care about and see what their favored language of love is and see if you are responding in a way that is important to them and clearly demonstrates to them your love for them.
During this time of transition on the planet and within us, I feel that love truly is the most important support we can garner. Love for ourselves, love for others, love for the process. So I feel that the more astute we can be about how we look for love within ourselves, in our relationships, seeing how we can better support ourselves and others and how others can better support us, the easier this transformation will be. Nurturing is so important right now. The energy coming into the planet is so intense, and the process we are in has been so long coming, many of us are feeling quite weary and our patience and stamina might be stretched to it’s limits. So the more softness and support we can allow within us and around us, and for others, the sweeter our journey.
So what is your language of love? You can go to this website and take a quick assessment: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ Leave a comment below and let me know!
To support you on your journey, there are several links to guided meditations of mine, on the front page of my website and on the page “More Resources”, and several pages of stress release tools as well. www.empowerandbalance.com
Blessings on your journey,
Katelon T. Jeffereys