Love languages

​Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch are apart of the 5 love languages. A love language simply means the way in which you like to recieve and give love. Each person has a primary love language. A characteristic summary of each love language is as follows:

Acts of service: This person feels loved when others do things for them. Folding laundry, running errands, cooking and lightening the load for this person makes them feel special.

Quality time: This person feels loved when uninterrupted time is spent. Spending time with this person one on one with no outside interruptions will mean the world to them!

Recieving gifts: This person has a giving spirit and loves to give and recieve gifts. Monetary amount does not matter. This person uses gifts as a symbol or token of love. 

Physical touch: This person likes to holds hands, hug, or kiss. This person feels connected and close when they are in contact with another physically. 

Words of affirmation: People in this category feel loved when they are built up by kind words. Compliments are the way to this person’s heart!

What is your love language and how does that influence the ways in which you interact with others?

Find out your love language at http://www.5lovelanguages.com

“Dear younger me”

The lyrics of the MercyMe song, dear younger me, are inspiring. How many of us have said to ourselves something to the effect of,”if I knew then what I know now.” We ponder how our lives would be different or the ways in which we could change our past. We select an age or moment in our lives that we could go back to and shift things around. We create these images in our mind of a “better today” because we changed our yesterday.

 However, every decision made in life shapes you into the person you are today. Living with regret over something that cannot change is a heavy burden. Regret can lead to shame, guilt, and depression.When we blame ourselves for our past there is a deep loss that happens.

 A metaphor for the ebb and flow of life I like to use is that we are like diamonds. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth after a combination of high temperature and pressure. In life one may go through situations that seem intense and rough. However, once you make it through the pressure you come out a better person. 

MercyMe’s song talks about going back in time and speaking to a younger version of himself. Through the course of the song you can see how the singer is empowered and able to move forward from his past. The song takes us through the singers journey from regret into redemption. In the beginning of the song he thinks over the heartache in his life and all the things he should say to prevent them. However, by the end of the song he is empowered and states he would have never been the person he is now if he had not gone through his experiences. By speaking of his past he was able to gain insight into the positive ways his experiences created who he was today.

” Every mountain, every valley, through each heartache you will see, every moment brings you closer to who you were meant to be. Dear younger me, dear younger me, you are free indeed.” -MercyMe  (dear younger me).

I think this is a beautiful depiction of life experiences. We cannot go back in time and change our past. However, we can learn from the mistakes we have made and help others who may be going in the same direction we did.  Do not let your past define you. You can’t rewrite your past, but you can take control of what is written in your future. Let your past prepare you not define you.

How have you let regret of your past influence your life? What are some ways your negative past experiences have positively shaped you today? 

How to alleviate negative emotion

Have you ever felt angry, depressed, or anxious about a situation? Whenever you feel overcome by intense emotion it is time to check in on your thoughts. Little do we know we have “automatic thoughts” that are cued during every event we encounter.

For example, if your friend is late to dinner. There maybe a fleeting thought, “here we go again, can she be on time for once”?! We may not hone in on the thought, but it’s there. This thought leads to a negative emotion: anger, sadness, regret. 

It is common for us to believe that an event causes our emotions. In actuality our thoughts cause our emotion. It was not the friend being late that caused the angered reaction, it was the thoughts behind it…”here we go again, can she be on time for once”?!

When we feel negative emotion it is time to reflect on our thoughts and actively can change them. If the automatic thought instead was, “I hope traffic is not to bad” the reaction changes to concern. If the automatic thought was changed to, “she keeps me on my toes” the reaction would be comical. We have the power over our thoughts. Whenever we feel upset its time to combat negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones! 

When was the last to you checked your inner thoughts?

Not feeling heard

Proper communication is the basis of any strong relationship. “Not feeling heard” is one of the biggest complaints I receive from couples. Many times people feel they are fighting to get there partner to see where they are coming from. When a partner does not feel heard it affects the intimate connection and damages the relationship. When you are feeling unheard it is time to stop and tell your partner how you are feeling. Communication should not feel like a battle or leave you feeling upset. One way to ensure that you are communicating effectively is to practice reflection. Reflection is the restating of what was heard by the listener to confirm there understanding of what was heard. In doing this, each partner is better able to communicate properly because they have a better understanding of where the speaker is coming from.

The harm in criticism 

Criticism is what is called a “relationship killer.” It is also considered one of “the four horsemen of the apocalypse”. That means that it is one of four characteristics in a relationship that points to a rapid decline, dissatisfaction, and a high predictor of divorce. Research suggests that we must say five positive things for every time we criticize our significant other just to even the scales. No one likes to hear how bad they are doing. If you want to see a change in someone comment on how well they are doing, even if it is a baby step. Compliments drive motivation, while criticism makes people think, “why try?” Train your brain to look at the good and highlight the positive rather than focusing on negative aspects! 

Living a healthy life

Self care is of utmost importance! As a new mom, I pride myself in making sure I am adequately caring for myself! Sometimes moms can get so caught up in taking care of everyone else, that they forgo time for themselves. It’s okay to take 20 minutes to yourself to regroup, sit in silence, or pamper yourself. I make it a point to excercise 5 times a week. On my off days I take 20 minutes to myself, I either go on a walk or just listen to relaxing music! I also make it a point to get a massage or my nails done every other month or so just to pamper myself.  Self care comes in many forms, journaling, talking with others, eating healthy, excercising, and meditation/relation exercises. Self care is not a one size fits all. Find what works for you and make sure to do it often! Don’t feel bad about taking care of you!!

Becoming a new mom

I will have been married to my bestfriend for six years in December of this year. We welcomed our first child, London, in April. I have been able to be a stay at home mom since March and have loved seeing her grow and change. As a new mom, I have transitioned in so many ways. I never knew my senses would become so sharp! I can hear things and see things in a different way. I can here changes in her breathing pattern when no one else can! I also have a new found respect for moms everywhere. It can be easy to judge the mom with the screaming children or think to yourself, “my kids will never do that”. However, this needs to be a judgment free Zone. You don’t know if the child is teething, how much or little sleep the mother and child have gotten, or if the baby is simply overstimulated. Those who are mothers and those who are not need to let go of the stigma of “the perfect mom” and “perfect child”. No, your house does not need to be spotless at all times. No, your child does not have to have it together in public at all times. As adults do, babies have good and bad days. Sometimes we get good sleep, sometimes our sleep is lacking. However, we must take our little ones as they are and enjoy there cute little faces. Once we stop being so worried about what others are or are not thinking we are able to free ourself of the burden of comparison and are able to better enjoy what we have in front of us!