Imagine that you’re traveling overseas to one of your favorite destinations. One of your friends offers to drive you to the airport. On the way there, you’re amazed that someone went out of their way to drive you.
After being dropped off at the terminal, another friend shows up. They hand you a gift-wrapped box as they say, “Here, I want you to have this going away gift!” You receive it with a warm smile and open it.
Then, a third friend shows up. This person gives you a hug and kisses you goodbye. You receive their warm embrace with the totality of your being as you think to yourself, “That sure was unexpected!”
A fourth friend shows up. They walk straight up to you and looking into your eyes, say, “I love you, and I’m going to miss you so much. This place won’t be the same without you.” You take their loving words into your heart.
After checking-in at the counter, a fifth friend arrives. This person asks you, “Would you like to hang out until it’s time for your flight?” The two of you walk over to the coffee shop where you spend the next thirty minutes catching up.
Once inside the airplane, alone and in the company of strangers, what thoughts go through your mind? How do you feel? Do you feel seen, heard, cared for, valued, appreciated, loved?
Do you also feel stronger, more confident, and safe? Perhaps a more profound sense of belonging?
If you do, it’s because you’ve just been showered in what bestselling author, Gary Chapman, defined as The Five Love Languages. They are…
Acts of service
Words of affirmation
Physical touch, and
We all Love Differently
Many of us have learned to express our love in at least two of these Five Love Languages. But some of us have become so comfortable with our unique ways of expressing love, that we fail to recognize the others. They seem foreign, unfamiliar, perhaps even threatening.
And so we expect others to love us in a way that feels familiar and comfortable to us. Otherwise, we feel unloved, rejected, and not valued. We ask others to love us the way we want to be loved and not the way they know how to.
What if you could open yourself to new possibilities for what love could look and even feel like? What if you could recognize new expressions of love all around you?
In the person who is sweeping the street or cleaning your home or office.
In the shooting star you swiftly caught while staring at the sky the other night.
In the supermarket cashier each time she wishes you and other customers a nice day.
Each time you see two children holding hands, playing, and laughing.
In the way your dog or cat persistently follows you around the house.
As you become more willing to recognize these small and seemingly insignificant expressions of love, the world begins to look and feel like a safer, more loving and nurturing place. Doesn’t it?
Love All-Around You
There’s great love here for you. More often than not, it’s expressed in a way you can’t recognize it. But if you look closely, you’ll find it.
This weekend, how about taking some time to appreciate all the many expressions of love that surround you. Ask your heart, ‘Dear heart, please show me the love right in front of me that I’m not welcoming or allowing.’
Then, look, listen and wonder. There are at least Five Love Languages and there’s much love all around you.
From my heart to yours.
Picture by Unsplash