One of the best tools to build relationships is the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.
When we know our love language and the love languages of our friends and family, we can feed care into each others’ souls.
Recently, I discussed love languages with my son and reminded him about my primary language. “Acts of service,” I said. “I feel most loved when someone does something for me.”
Conversely, I often show love to others by helping them and doing kind things for them.
After a long month of illness, my love tank was pointed to empty. So I decided to tell my son exactly what I needed.
If we do not use our voices, we become invisible and our needs are not heard.
“Son, my love tank is empty.”
“You know, acts of service and all that love language discussion we had. I need my love tank filled.”
“What does that even mean, Mom?”
“It means…after being sick for so long and eating nothing but chicken soup, grapefruit and cough drops, I think my body needs some iron. That means I need a really good hamburger – not the cheap drive-through kind of burger. My body needs a buffalo burger with parmesan garlic sauce and potato wedges on the side. Lots of wedges.”
“So…you need me to go to Buffalo Wild Wings and get you a burger?”
“Now you’re catching on. Don’t forget the extra wedges.”
An hour later, completely satisfied after a whopping burger and salty wedges, I realized how good food affects our moods. Not only did my body respond to the burger with additional energy, I felt as if I might be moving toward healing. Hope returned.
But to make that leap, I needed to use my voice.
If I had continued to fill the house with my pitiful moaning, slurping leftover chicken soup and begging God to take me to heaven – nothing would have improved. My iron content would have plummeted and my love tank remained empty.
But because I spoke my need and used my voice, my son had the opportunity to do a kind deed. He knew exactly what I needed.
Isn’t life easier when we know what people need? Yet we often sulk in our self-sufficiency, thus depriving ourselves and others of finding the resolution to our problems.
Hope responds to authenticity and when we speak our truth – we all benefit.
Let’s make 2017 a better year by exercising authenticity, using our voices and speaking our truth. Then we can help each other move toward more compassion, kindness and hope.
©2017 RJ Thesman, Author of the Reverend G Trilogy http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh