I have 2 copies of a New-York Times Bestselling book on “love languages”. Which is odd because I really don’t like the book. Since it’s a major bestseller, I guess that makes me odd. The reason I don’t like the book: it spends all its pages convincing you and teaching you to learn the love language your partner speaks. Yet the book says nothing that I can recall about learning to receive the love language your partner speaks. I find this absurd! Why would it be ok to simply ignore or refuse to receive love from our partner because it’s not done the “right” way?
We need to feel loved so badly that its like a need to eat. And yet many of us are ignoring a steady stream of love that comes our way from our friends, our children, our spouses and many of the other people we come in contact with just walking around. We don’t notice or take it for granted or assume that its manipulative or someone just being nice or whatever. So we let all this love that is intentionally being directed right at us, go by without filling the sometimes gaping holes in our spirits. Don’t do this!
A big barrier to receiving the love directed our way is that it tends to come in forms that for any number of perfectly valid reasons don’t trigger an emotional response. I have found that by “translating” what I am seeing into something that triggers an emotional response, I can start to experience the love that is intended for me. For example, if hugs make me feel loved, but my husband likes to provide financially in order to show love, anytime money comes to me because of work he did, I will think of it as a hug. It’s simple enough.
In other cases, its my cynical side that’s keeping me from experiencing love. But then I remembered being a child who loved my mom or when I have smiled at someone and really meant it. I realized that I don’t want the love I put out ignored or rejected because other people find reasons to think I‘m being insincere or my love isn‘t “real”, so I can’t do it to other people either.