Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on LOVE. I’m not just talking about romantic love, although yes, that can be really, really, amazing (and sometimes not so amazing at all). I’m talking about universal Love. All of our faith and personal growth readings remind us that LOVE is genuinely the only “truth” in our existence. We are spiritual beings having a human experience and boy, don’t we know that lately!
But seriously, let’s take a few minutes to think about and explore love. What does love look like in your life? How do you define love? What is your love language? How does love manifest in our cherished relationships with our children, our colleagues, our dear friends, and our communities? How do you show love to others? How do you want to receive love?
I find it helpful to think of love in its simplest but most powerful terms - we are either thinking and acting from love or from fear. It’s that simple. Our job is to find and remove those barriers that block us from the recognition and acceptance of love. Through our own individual journeys, our interactions with others, and within the context of our personal faith, we strive toward love everyday.
You may be familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages," which gives us insight into how we best receive love and also to understand how to most effectively give love to others based on their primary love language. This is a great way to dive into a little self-reflection as well as to learn some new tools to better communicate love to those we cherish, including our children. Defining our terms is so important but often overlooked. What approach does your partner need? Think about your children - how do they differ in their primary love languages? We all respond to positive words, actions, and the precious time we spend together, but which of these approaches is number #1 on their list? In general, we tend to give love the way we like to receive it, but as we know, everyone is unique in needs and personality, especially within the same family.
The “Five Love Languages” according to Dr. Chapman include:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
I encourage you to take a few moments to take this brief quiz yourself
and then with your partner or child and see how your love languages are ranked. It’s a great way to start a conversation on improving your communication and relationship. Let’s talk about love!
As my Valentine to each of you, I offer this beautiful meditation on “The Power of Love” for your own self reflection. Take some time this week to be open to new ways of growing (and showing!) LOVE.
“Today I open my heart and mind to the spiritual power of love. I am a radiant expression of divine love, a brilliant stream of infinite possibility. This love beams from me and shimmers in a rainbow of colors as I love others.
Each day is an opportunity to love. I look for places and people I can silently bless. If I watch the news, I use it as a tool to know where to focus my prayers, my love, and my positivity. I look for the uplifting examples of loving-kindness that abound in this world.
I find creative ways to perform acts of kindness: a small gift, a large tip, a positive note, a compliment. I infuse my smiles with light and love. When I choose to keep my mind focused on unconditional love as the greatest power in my life, I create and experience greater possibilities than I have ever imagined.”
-Rev. Bronte Colbert
Lisa Hellmer, LPC
St Gabriel’s Counselor