Friday, August 19, 2011
Love language or as I like to call it "Why Can't I Make you Hear Me?" - I recently discovered (and this may be no surprise to those closest to me) that my "love language" is affirmation. I know that I am loved when I hear words of affirmation.
When I think about the time I worked outside the home, I know that I worked my hardest and did my best when I heard words of encouragement and words of affirmation. At home, it's a little harder to hear words of affirmation because at this time in my life I am devoted to serving my family. Little ones don't always give you words of affirmation. That is not to say that they don't give them at all, they do. But maybe not as often as I need them.
Growing up, my family wasn't big on words of affirmation. I think my mom's love language is service. I remember asking my father why my mom rarely said, "I love you" or rarely gave hugs and kisses and he often said that when she cleaned my room, provided us with food to eat, and gave us clothes that she thought we would like that was how we were to know she loved us. That's hard to understand when you're little. Again, I think this is a cultural thing. I heard that when my mom went back to visit her family after 17 years of being gone, her mother didn't hug her. My grandmother just cried.
I realize that I need words of affirmation. I sometimes think my husband doesn't always give them to me because he doesn't want to placate me or say something just to make me feel good. He wants me to toughen up. But sometimes, I need to hear it. I need to know that I'm a good mom or a good wife. I think he thinks it's my "brand of crazy" and he isn't signing up for that.
While words of affirmation will lift me up and I would to the end of the world for you, silence and snarkiness will make me curl up and crumble. I know. It's sad and I should be tougher than that. But I learned long ago that silence and the cold shoulder treatment are my kryptonite. I'm very sensitive to negative language and actions. And I'm fortunate that my husband has never used my kryptonite against me.
While making this self-discovery I realized that some of the communication issues I have with my parents is that we don't speak the same love language. They don't understand me and probably don't even realize that their words bring me up or tear me down. Or maybe they do. I don't know.Something that I'll have to learn to do is not to live on the words and actions of others. You would think at the age of 33 I would have learned this already. But my hurts are deep and I've had them a long time. It will take some more time to move on. Can you redefine a love language?
One night while chatting about this topic my SIL asked me where I find my affirmation. To my embarrassment I didn't have an answer right away. She asked if I received it from my writing and I do. I write because it's my catharsis. I write because once I unload what's in my heart, I'm able to take a step and move on. This is my online diary, my brain dump, my catharsis and you my dears, are along for the ride in my crazy roller coaster of emotions.
My children can be and have been affirming. Boogs tells me he loves me everyday. Buggy loves spending time with me and asks if she makes me happy. Even Mr. Bananas sends me his love with a wide gummy smile.
Don't get me wrong. I have a wonderful life. My husband and my children are my loves and I know that they love me.
This just has been a topic on my heart for a while. I wish that I communicated better with my parents and my brother. I wish I could decipher their love languages better and love them the way they need to be loved. I'm working on it with my brother and I believe he's doing the same with me.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.