How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate
by Gary Chapman


Since the success of his first book, The 5 Love Languages, Dr Gary Chapman has expanded his Five Love Languages series with special editions that reach out specifically to singles, men, and parents of teens and young children.

He is the author of numerous other books published by Moody Publishers/Northfield Publishing, including Anger, The Family You’ve Always Wanted, The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.

Dr. Chapman speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences. He hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, A Love Language Minute, and a Saturday morning program, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, both airing on more than 400 stations. Dr. Chapman and his wife have two grown children and currently live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves as senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.

Dr. Chapman holds BA and MA degrees in anthropology from Wheaton College and Wake Forest University, respectively, MRE and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and has completed postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina and Duke University.
Here is an excerpt on the spiritual practice of kindness  from 

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate

“1. To remind yourself that ‘Words of Affirmation’ is your spouse’s primary love language, print the following on a 3×5 card and put it on a mirror or other place where you will see it daily:
Words are important!
Words are important!
Words are important!

“2. For one week, keep a written record of all the words of affirmation you give your spouse each day. At the end of the week, sit down with your spouse and review your record.

“On Monday, I said:
‘You did a great job on this meal.’
‘You really look nice in that outfit.’
‘I really appreciate your picking up the laundry.’

“On Tuesday, I said:
etc.

“You might be surprised how well (or how poorly) you are speaking words of affirmation.

“3. Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for one month. If ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ maybe a compliment a day will keep the counselor away. (You may want to record these compliments also, so you will not duplicate the statements.)

“4. As you read the newspaper, magazines, and books, or watch TV or listen to radio, look for words of affirmation which people use. Observe people in conversation. Write those affirming statements in a notebook. (If they are cartoons, clip and paste them in your notebook.) Read through these periodically and select those you could use with your spouse. When you use one, note the date on which you used it. Your notebook may become your love book. Remember, words are important!

“5. Write a love letter, a love paragraph, or a love sentence to your spouse, and give it quietly or with fanfare! (Chances are, when he dies, you will find your love letter tucked away in some special place.) Words are important!

“6. Compliment your spouse in the presence of his parents or friends. You will get double credit: Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

“7. Look for your spouse’s strengths and tell her how much you appreciate those strengths. Chances are she will work hard to live up to her reputation.

“8. Tell your children how great their mother or father is. Do this behind your spouse’s back and in her presence.

“9. Write a poem describing how you feel about your spouse. If you are not a poet, choose a card that expresses how you feel. Underline special words and add a few of your own at the end.

“10. If you find speaking ‘Words of Affirmation’ is difficult for you, practice in front of a mirror. Use a cue card if you must, and remember, words are important.”

The Truth Shall Set You Free

“Your mother is evil,” he told her. She listened quietly, not arguing. For the first time in her life, she gave herself permission to agree with this.

His words resonated with her and she sought to process them as she wrote in her journal the next morning. The words flowed – as she wrote of that little girl who had to grow up faster than necessary. The memories came rushing back, the pain, the feeling of being used, and the knowledge that she had been a pawn in her mother’s games. And with the words, came the tears, unshed for many years. Racking sobs – crying for that young girl, that young woman, that older woman – each a part of her and every one of them needed healing.

She was grateful for the man who has stood by her through this process – challenging and cheering her on as she redefined the dynamics of her relationship with her mother.

If he had said those words to her a year ago, she would have fought against them and accused him of being mean. Today, thanks to the journey she had started some months back, she was ready to face the truth.

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The Truth Shall Set You Free

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~ Aldous Huxley

Whatever happens to us is stored in our minds and even our bodies. We try hard to suppress the painful memories. We don’t want to face up to our own vulnerabilities and the fact that we have been hurt. This is even more true when the person who has hurt us is someone we love very much – a parent, a partner or a sibling.

We pretend we have not been hurt at all. For to acknowledge our pain, is to paint our loved one as a ‘villain’. This is where misplaced loyalties and wrong notions of what love is come into play. We take on the role of martyrs for the cause of family loyalty and love.

 

the truth shall set you free

And so we continue to suffer. Our hurts continue to affect our lives and other relationships.

It is only when we are ready to face the truth that health and healing can begin.

If we our blessed as the woman in my little piece at the start was, then we’ll have people in our lives who will challenge us to the truth – challenge us to heal. But it’s up to us to want this healing. The process is not easy. But if we want to be authentic, it is the only way.

We can choose counseling, group therapy, spiritual exercises or journaling as ways to begin the healing process. The good news is that it’s never too late to be healed. Even if we’ve been suppressing our pain for a lifetime, if we are willing to release these secret hurts, we can be healed. And the truth that we tried to suppress will itself be our healing!

The truth shall indeed set us free!

the truth shall set you free

 

The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be. – Shakti Gawain

The Secrets Of Happy Families

Some families just throw of happy vibes don’t they? They always seem to be there for one another. Their relationships seem to be based on honesty and trust and they just enjoy each other’s company. Wouldn’t we all like to be part of such a family?

What Are The Secrets Of Happy Families?

Author Bruce Feiler asked himself that, after a reunion with four generations of his own family.  Then he went out to look for answers that resulted in his book :  The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

 

Background:

Driven by his own need to find solutions to making his family work as a unit, bestselling author and New York Times family columnist put in a lot of research into out about families. He collected problem-solving techniques and team-building exercises from creative folks in Silicon Valley and even the Green Berets! Then he tried out these ideas in his own family.

The Secrets of Happy families is a collection of over 200 unique practices that can be used to draw families closer, create better relationships and teach children valuable lessons while having a lot of fun.

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I found the author’s style very interesting and the book filled with anecdotes and information. It made me smile, made me go ‘aha’ and made me want to consider many of the ideas he has shared.

Watch the author being interviewed by Katie Couric here:

You can download The Happy Families Toolkit here.

This post is written for the letter ‘S’ for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014.

I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

Patches For Beauty?

Patches for beauty? What will they come up with next?

I’m not sure whether you’ve seen the somewhat controversial viral video of the  Doves: Patches advertisement**.  Women were given a patch to wear that they are told by a Dove representative would enhance their beauty if they wore it. They were asked to come back and report on how they felt. Watch what happens:

As you can see this is all about how the women perceived themselves – they didn’t think they were beautiful until they wore the patch. The sad reality is that these women could be anyone of us. Questions we all need to ask ourselves are –

Do I constantly compare myself to other people?

Do I fall for standards of beauty that the media sets for me and other women around the world?

Do  I believe I am beautiful?

 

you are beautiful
I wrote this a few months ago and felt it fitted perfectly today:

I look into the mirror and say to myself
“Don’t hide your beauty anymore.
Don’t stop your laughter.
Don’t shield those eyes.
Don’t stoop those shoulders.
Don’t compare, accept.
Don’t judge, love”

I look in the mirror and see beautiful me.
I stand erect and feel good about myself.
I look deep into my eyes and appreciate my beauty.
I smile at my reflection and enjoy being me.
I breathe deeply, slowly, reveling in my body.
I claim my beauty.

I tell myself:
“I am beautiful.
I am courageous.
I am perfect just the way I am.
No makeup required.

 

 

This post is written for the letter ‘P’ for the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014.

You might like to read this:  Want To Be Your Own Best Friend? 10 Wonderful Ways To Make Friends With Yourself.

**Please note that the ad is consider somewhat controversial and has been criticised – read this for more.

My Happiness Project – February 2014

I had promised that I’d keep you posted on My Happiness Project. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I quietly updated My Happiness Project on the sidebar to February 2014.

Let me report my progress or lack of it from January.

Some of the main highlights were that I actually went for a walk more than half the month – which is good by my standards. Towards the end of the month, I got the ‘flu and then just gave up the walks. But I think resuming them will be much easier. However, I desperately need to work on going to bed earlier, so as to get up more energized.

I’m happy to report that I managed to clear out and give away quite a lot of household stuff, clothes and books. That made me feel so much better. I still have that nagging task to handle, but I’ve made a start with it, so I’m hoping to crack it this month.

This is what this month’s Happiness Project looks like. It’s all about love – very appropriate in February. While Gretchen Rubin’s project for February revolved around her husband, I’m trying to move beyond to family and others in my life.

myhappinessprojectfeb

I know that my whole effort to be more grateful for what I have, including a great relationship with Jose, has made a big difference to our marriage. I am more understanding and accepting because I’m grateful for having such a wonderful companion in my life. However, I can be quite a nag and poor Jose gets the worst of it. This is something I’m focusing on letting go of this month. So far, I can safely report, it’s going well. But that’s my side of the story – you’ll just have to ask him if he sees things any different! ;)

There is something I’ve learned after being married for seven years – we can and must improve ourselves as individuals, but we must always be striving to be better companions to our spouses. I can only work on being a better me, but when I become a better me, I find that the quality of my relationship with my spouse improves too. Less expectations and more focus on improving ourselves. I know it has worked for me. 

While it’s easy to give proofs of love in gifts and fine words, it’s always hard to give proofs of love – in small daily acts of kindness to our spouses and family. What better proof of love than to spend more time with them listening, understanding, laughing. I’m attempting to do that.

Will be back with more of My Happiness Project, next month.

Imagine It Is Heaven!

When Darla Dollman wrote a short post as part of The Writers’ Post Blog Hop, she raised a great question: How do you show compassion?

This made me recall one of Alan Cohen’s stories (yes, yes, I do love the man!)  in his book Deep Breath of Life. He talks about the time he was waiting for a friend to pick him up at the airport. The friend was delayed, so Alan decided to amuse himself with a game of imagining that the airport was heaven! People coming off the airplanes, stepping into ‘paradise’ and being met and greeted warmly by friends and relatives, porters were assisting passengers coming in with their luggage and helping them settle into heaven! Alan enjoyed the game so much he didn’t realize that an hour went by. When his friend arrived, he asked her to join in the game. So when a stranger walked up to them and asked them to mind his bags while he made a phone call, Alan and his friend were happy to oblige – after all they were in heaven and had no better place to go!

Alan writes: “Because we were at peace, we were in a perfect position to serve, and we brought this world closer to heaven.”

To me that’s a perfect statement to describe compassion - reaching out to serve another and bringing them closer to a place of peace via our words, actions and service.

When my father retired from the Army, he was asked by an old friend to take up a job in a Leprosy Rehabilitation Home. In India, leprosy patients are shunned and often  disowned by their families. My father is fastidious to a fault and was very reluctant to work in this area. This was mainly because he, like many of us, was not fully aware of just how Hansen’s Disease spreads. But once the friend took my parents around the Home he worked at, Dad decided to take on the job. It was always a wonder for me to watch him put his arms around disfigured and maimed patients. Compassion is what made the difference and in taking up the job he set us a fine example for us all.

When a friend would talk to young ‘urchins’ in trains and buses and try to find out more about why they were on their own, people would look at him strangely. But his compassion for these children moved him to set up a huge organization that takes children off the street and rehabilitates them – sometimes even reuniting them with their parents. My friend’s compassion has now made him one of the strong voices for Child Rights in India.

heavenonearth

When I watch someone bring home cooked food to feed the stray dogs regularly, I see compassion in action. When I hear of a group of nuns called Mother Teresa’s Roses and their volunteers offer a place for the homeless to bathe and have a meal, I see compassion in action.

As I write this post, I want to work on my own compassion – it’s something I seem to have lost on the way – as I’ve grown self-protective and closed. Time to move out of myself again, to reach out and see the beyond the masks that people in pain sometimes put on – time for me to imagine it is heaven!

Thank you for this reminder, Darla.

The World Is Yours?

Last week, we heard a woman screaming out a string of insults at the workers in the apartment opposite ours. As we listened closer, we realized it was a neighbour from upstairs, calling the workers ‘animals’ etc. Their crime? They were doing their work – breaking the plaster prior to painting. Her reason for being upset? She couldn’t sleep in the afternoon. My husband had to remind her that the whole building had suffered similar discomfort when the work in her flat (and subsequently ours) went on. And the workers in her flat worked late into the night. She argued that her workers didn’t make that much of a noise! How would she know – she didn’t live here at the time. But in her mind she was entitled to her afternoon nap and how dare anyone disturb her!

Is a sense of entitlement, described as an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable favorable treatment at the hands of others, peculiar to one generation or kind of people? Seems like dogs these days have it too! ;)

 

16 CanineEntitlementSML

To read more of what I think about this, please go to Shilpa Garg’s blog, ‘A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose‘ to read my post: The World Is Yours?

 


Picture credits:

Cartoon

Compliments: Turn The Light Back On

According to a Hawaiian story, each child is born with a perfect bowl of light. The light represents her true essence. When a child grows and learns to respect her light – then she will grow towards her highest state of being. However, if she starts to distrust the world around her and resists the light because of fear, shame, guilt, the light begins to dim. Every time she resists the light, she drops a stone into the bowl until the bowl becomes full of stones and her light goes out.

Today, on National Compliment Day, I thought of this story and realized that compliments are a way to turn the light back on – for ourselves when we receive them graciously and for others when we give them sincerely.

compliments

Compliments when given sincerely manage to reach a person’s soul. Fake compliments are pretty easy to spot – sometimes given when a person wants something from us, and often when the person wants to be complimented in return. To my mind, false compliments and what my nephew called ‘airy-fairy’ kisses go well together! ;)

Also, authentic compliments don’t need a lot of explanation – they’re simple and when given in person they’re accompanied with a warm smile that reaches the giver’s eyes. It’s not for nothing that compliments are known as ‘positive strokes’ – they have the ability to make people feel good about themselves.

Having said that, some of us have a hard time receiving compliments. I think receiving a compliment graciously takes practice too.  We need to take them with open arms, not feeling the need to put ourselves down or be pressured to return the compliment. The best way to receive a compliment would be to say a sincere ‘Thank you’ with a warm and open smile.

So every time to you give a compliment, do so sincerely, remembering that you’re helping to remove a ‘stone’ from someone’s bowl of light and don’t resist the light yourself – take compliments graciously and let your light shine!

Remember this, dear readers:

You are Beautiful