Although love is available for everyone, it is not a one size fits all. Instead at Love Grows we are advocates and teach the importance of customizing your love for the recipient and this is applicable to all of your relationships. Love is indeed a language and as Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the 5 Love Languages, teaches we must become fluent in different languages. Even if you have multiple children, each child is different and interprets and receives love differently.
In our practice, we teach the importance of cultivating and nurturing your love spaces. Think of your relationships like a garden. To have a beautiful, flourishing healthy garden, it requires more than simply planting a seed. There are many steps required BEFORE planting the seed such as locating the land, surveying the soil, tilling it, identifying which seeds thrive in the environment, etc. Once the seed has been planted, nutrients, water, sunlight, are all required. Removing weeds and harmful insects are also required.
Our relationships are very similar to this process. Some seasons will require more nurturing than others. The weeds of deceit, unkindness, anger, dishonesty, animosity, bitterness, unhealthy communication, etc. will need to be plucked out and strategies implemented to avoid their return. The cooling, cleansing, refreshing and renewing water of forgiveness, patience, understanding along with the warm, bright, sunny energy of laughter, support, encouragement, protection, passion, fun and love.
Of course one of the best ways to improve the quality of your relationships is to improve the relationship you have with self by investing in yourself via therapy and healing any emotional wounds that hinder your ability to recognize, receive and reciprocate love.
Emotional wounds color the way you see others, receive information and interpret words/behaviors of others, etc. When you are wounded, you become hyper sensitive and in an attempt to protect yourself (which is actually protecting your wounds because you do not want them touched) you build all sorts of barriers which ultimately imprison you and wound others. This approach becomes a huge weed suffocating the nutrients out of your love garden (relationships).
A popular adage says ‘treat people how you want to be treated’ and many of us apply this to our relationships and ‘love others how we want to be loved.’ However, since love is a language, it is quite possible that the way you recognize, receive and interpret love is different from your partner/loved ones.
For example, if you feel loved when you receive gifts, you may also give gifts as a way to show your love. However, if the recipient feels loved when you spend quality time with him/her then although you have showered them with beautiful gifts both simple to extravagant; they may not FEEL loved because you do not spend quality time together.
Take the time to learn the love language of your loved ones and become multi-lingual. Do you need help learning a new love language? If so, we are here to help and are accepting new clients. Contact us today firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your sessions. – Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS