Thursday, February 14, 2013
In other words, what I do for you, I want you to do for me, for the book makes it very clear that the love language we "hear" most clearly is the one we already "speak." Dr. Chapman categorizes those languages into five categories: Words of Affirmation; Quality Time; Gifts; Acts of Service; and Physical Touch. I'll spare you the breakdown of each and how to determine which language you speak (you can read the book for yourself or take the quiz here to find out). However, of the many concepts discussed, the notion of having our "love tanks depleted" when our language is not spoken back to us, in particular, was most interesting. So, when Dr. Chapman was featured on a recent episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, I eagerly tuned in.
In other words, have you learned to be your own biggest cheerleader and speak loving, encouraging words to yourself? (Words of Affirmation); Have you learned to enjoy your own company and spending time with yourself? (Quality Time); Do you spoil yourself with the things you want (not just the things you need) or treat yourself to your guilty pleasures often? (Gifts); Do you keep your commitments with yourself and show up in your life how you need to? (Acts of Service); Do you treat your body lovingly (massages, manicures/pedicures, etc.) or even give hugs or pats on the back to those in need (Physical Touch)?
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I began to ponder this even more while watching a recent episode of "Mary, Mary," the reality show, which follows the gospel singing duo's life in and out of the spotlight. Most recently celebrated for their latest hit, "Walking" (I know, the irony), sister Erica Campbell has begun to share her desire to take her career to the next level; to reach platinum status--even if that means leaving behind her sister, Tina Campbell, who seems to prefer a more relaxed schedule that will be sacrificed by chasing something greater. Once on the same page of how and what level of success they wanted to achieve, this new proverbial fork in the road for them has resulted in numerous arguments, breakdowns in communication, hurt feelings, and stress. It may make for good TV, but if anyone has been in this predicament, it does not make for a happy life.
And thus that begs the question: how many of us have been--or are--in that predicament? Be it a job that is not allowing you to grow to your full potential; a relationship that does not allow you to be your best self; friendships that keep you stuck in a routine rut; or even family relationships that force you to hide your true light as not to ruffle feathers, are you walking when you should be flying? Are you compromising when you should be challenging? Are you settling when you should be soaring? Are you refusing when you should be accepting? Try to fool yourself all you want, but praise be to our higher selves, our souls always know the difference. And if you're quiet enough to hear it ask, "What are we doing here?"--wherever that "here" may be--honor yourself enough to know, as the old folks say, "If God put a new dream in your heart, He's already given you what you need to realize it." Then begin figuring out how to make that dream a reality starting today! (see previous blog post, "Are You Missing the Parade?")
Let's stop merely wandering in search of whatever "scraps" will sustain us for the moment, much like that tiny bird. Let's not risk losing our true selves (or even our lives) before we realize our true potential, much like that tiny bird. And let's be reminded of our capacity to spread our wings and fly...yes, much like that tiny bird.
Sunday, February 10, 2013
You see, the father never explained what a parade is and, so, the son had no idea how to identify it when he saw it. We could see this as the simple, cute naivety of a child, but how many of us are "missing the parade" every day because we don't know what "it" looks like? And that "it" could be anything from a good job to a good relationship to an overall good life. Call it human nature or an over saturation of pop culture stimulating us, but we seem to be less and less satisfied with what we have and more and more desperate for what we don't. We jump from relationship to relationship; job to job; home to home; city to city in search of.... Exactly. That's where it begins: taking inventory of what we do have by making a list (literally, if need be) and checking it twice (just like Santa ;-) so we can figure out what it truly is we're looking for or looking at.