While in Haiti, I met a man named Sergio; a worker at the orphanage, whose love for God was evident. My first encounter of Sergio, he walked straight into our guest house without knocking, and was singing very obnoxiously. He brought light into the room with him, though.
I enjoy purposeful, meaningful, genuine conversation. Conversations with substance; that make us use our brains. That make us stop for a second to actually take in what the other person is saying. Sergio shared details about his life, and some advice for my own; with no clue in the world that I needed that exact conversation while I was over in Haiti.
When I told Sergio my passion was helping people, he gave me two pieces of advice; “never change who you are, that’s special,” and “put up a border in your life to protect yourself. To protect your heart.”
The love that I give is so strong. Some people pour into others way too much, and I happen to be one of them.
I have so much love to give; not only to others but myself, too. I wouldn’t go as far as putting up a border in my life, but more so boundaries. Building walls results in keeping people out of my space, and preventing anyone from getting close to me; even any help that may come my way.
Not everybody responds to boundaries how we would like. Although, we are only responsible for ourselves, not for other’s reactions to our boundaries. Hence why it is important to understand an individual’s love language. Everyone doesn’t love the same, everyone doesn’t want to receive love the same. Take time to become familiar with your own love language, and those around you. It can allow more understanding in relationships, and eliminate a lot of conflict.
My love language is quality time. Something I can’t stand is trying to converse with a person who is on their phone. I need undivided attention. Active listening plays its part in this as well. To an individual with a quality time love language like myself; sitting down sharing experiences, thoughts, and feelings has more impact than receiving a gift does. If I feel that our time together doesn’t matter, my love tank will not be filled.
Learning and mastering a love language does not come overnight. It requires time, patience, thoughtful conversation, and feedback. Most importantly, enough care and desire. Childhood experiences can make mastering love languages difficult. An individual may have trouble fulfilling Words of Affirmation if they never received it themselves growing up. Words of Affirmation includes speaking encouragement, appreciation, affection, and praise. Therefor, if a mother never told her child how special she/he was, or how she felt, that individual may not view a simple “I love you,” as important or “normal.” It’s not what they are familiar with from their first encounter of love.
I wish I knew about love languages earlier on. You begin to understand that wanting a specific something, that the other party may not view as valuable, is okay. It’s your love language, not theirs. Learning love languages allows you to be more sensitive and compassionate towards others.
Take the time to learn yourself. Love yourself.