Friday, February 24, 2012
Everyone needs a good therapist...
I strongly believe in a number of things, but the two that are always at the top of the list are: We all deserve to be happy, and we all need a good therapist.
I went back to my Sent-From-Heaven therapist this week for the first time in almost 3 years. It used to be me trudging through the pieces of my abusive relationships with my boyfriend, my mother, and myself. Sitting on her couch, kleenex by my side, shoes kicked off, snotty nosed, going back and forth between bawling my eyes out, and laughing hysterically from the discomfort of addressing my deepest fears.
This time, it was to intelligently discuss my current role as girlfriend to a man who has an ex-wife, an 8 year old son, no clear cut and seamless schedule, the issues that go along with each of those things, and the effects they have on a relationship. Our relationship.
I sometimes find myself questioning what is 'normal' in a relationship - only fair, considering my limited experience. Is it 'normal' to say "I miss you" to the person you love, and have them respond with "We just spent the weekend together". Apparently it is normal when one partner is male, and one is female. My God, gender communication differences are so much fun! They amaze me - even on a friendship level. I'm looking at you, Lil 'E.
In any case, through talking with my Angelic Therapist, she commented that we seem to have a very solid foundation, and communicate well together - even loving the "How Important Is It To You" scale of 1-10 we have adopted.
The light bulb moment during this session - because there is always a light bulb moment and an opportunity to change for the better when you are open to it - was discovering how I perceive love according to The 5 Languages of Love.
As an emotional human being, we all have ways we show and receive love, usually falling in to 2-3 of the categories below. When you know yourself well, and your partner makes the effort to know you and be mindful of what make you happiest and most secure, you are on the right track.
To do otherwise, would be to land yourself in a vegetative relationship. Ummmmm....yuck.
Here they are, in order from most, to least important for me:
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
I love learning new things! Growing! Changing!
Have an awesome day!