One way to get to know yourself is figuring out how you give and receive love. It’s also helpful to find out the love language of the people around you, but start with yourself first.
The five love languages are quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts and acts of service. The way you receive love will directly affect whether you receive the gifts of others as love or not.
I used to be a gifts girl, and I still am, but after having kids my receptive language is definitely rooted in acts of service. It’s very helpful to know how I receive love so I can make requests and have tools to talk about it.
Did you ever watch Runaway Bride? I was a bonafide Julia Roberts fan. A total sucker for all those romantic comedies of the 90’s. Could.not.get.enough. They don’t make romcoms very often anymore I’ve noticed.
Anyways, do you remember the scene of Richard Gere and Julia Roberts where they are at the diner and she’s trying all the different ways eggs are prepared for breakfast because she’s discovered she’s always deferred her preference to whomever she was dating. One beau liked eggs benedict (side note: is this how Saint Benedict liked his eggs?), so that’s what she ordered too. Another preferred scrambled, so that was her choice as well. No one, including herself, had ever asked her “How do YOU like your eggs?”
Obviously this spanned far more categories of self-interest than eggs, but it was poignant because we all do this. Maybe you defer to your spouse, parents, kids, boss or friend. Have you stopped to ask yourself what you really like?
Compromise is a necessary part of life. We won’t always get our way or preference, but it’s freeing and empowering to know what you love. And we should be sure to include what we love on a regular basis in our life. It’s the real us.
It may sound simple, but rediscover what you love. Have you been drinking lemon tea because that’s what you grew up with? Pick up a few flavors that sound yummy and explore them. My favorite is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea – fall in a cup.
Go beyond food, what books do you really love to read? What stores do you like to shop in? Do you like to talk on the phone? Is Facebook really your thing?
We can’t eliminate everything we don’t like or love (as previously stated) BUT, we definitely can eliminate those things that don’t serve us and we’ve just been holding onto because.
Please share, what do you love? What have you been holding onto because _____? I’d love hear from you!
Do you ever think “I have no idea who I really am,” or “will I ever know?”
This process of becoming is long and often it feels like you’re walking on a narrow path that is blanketed in thick fog. The visibility is poor so it’s one step at a time. It is lonely work.
Often, our tendency is to look at others. We fashion ourselves like a patchwork quilt, taking the good parts from what we see in others and appliquéing it onto our own person. But it’s not really us, is it?
Or maybe, you continually bump into people and often feel out of place. Especially when we’re in the process of becoming we’re in change and that disrupts our circles. Others may bump into me and not like the difference they see.
What do we do when faced with these circumstances? We’re not sure who we are, but we’re not the same either and others aren’t thrilled with the change.
A mentor and friend of mine is known for saying:
“You may not be their cup of tea, but you are a cup of tea.”
As you go throughout your day, remind yourself of this truth. Our goal is not that everyone should like us. People-pleasing is a path wrought with frustration and inauthenticity. But, as you begin the transformation of becoming your true self will call forth others on the same journey. Souls that love you just the way you are.
You are a beautiful cup of tea, don’t change your flavor to suit those who won’t be satisfied. Allow yourself to unfurl and develop the depth you were created for.
One of the best ways I’ve found to process my thoughts and where I’m at is journaling. I’m an internal processor which means I have a TON of thoughts bouncing off the walls of my brain at any given moment. It’s a tangled mess in there and writing it down helps pull it apart.
Here’s a quote I heard mentioned on the Lively Show (episode 87):
Have you ever felt that way? I definitely have. Obviously, counseling, therapy or a good friend are fantastic traveling partners for exploring our minds and hearts. For me, journaling is one way to ‘go in’ my mind that doesn’t feel quite so alone. I can get a record of what’s really in there and spit it all out on the pages of my journal.
When I journal I’m often naming. Meaning, that I’m putting a name on what’s going on inside my brain. Maybe, I’m feeling sad. I can start writing down how I feel sad, why, and eventually get to the ‘what’ made me sad (most of the time). When we name things, it puts the ‘thing’ in it’s proper size.
For example, several weeks ago I was picking my son up at school. This is only his second year at the school, so there are lots of ‘rules’ that I still am unaware of. The whole drop off/pick up thing is one of them. We live close enough to walk, so that’s what we do 90% of the time. This was one of the few times I decided to drive.
I decided to go to the back of the school where I’d never picked up before because it was closer to his classroom and all the parking spaces in the front were full. I pulled into what appeared to be a drive lane. All the cars were parked, engines off for the most part. They appeared to be waiting for their kids to get in. My guy is still too little to walk out to the cars and get in…and this was a new thing I hadn’t even talked to his teacher. SO, I decided to pull past those cars and park. I’d heard the bell ring, so I knew I was already running late (cue elevated heart rate).
I ran into get my little guy. When we got back to my car a mom approached me. She was angry. She said, “Why did you steal our spot?! All these moms were in line waiting for these parking spots and you went around and stole it.”
Oh no…have I mentioned confrontation is not my favorite?
I had no idea this was the protocol, so I told the truth, “I’m so sorry, I thought you were waiting for your kids to get in your cars. I’ve never picked up here before, I didn’t know the drill.”
She huffed away, got in her car…drove down two spots, got out and started hashing it through with another mom right in front of me. Man did I feel small.
Let’s just say I was a mess. I was in tears, frustrated and hurt.
I couldn’t understand why I was so upset. I mean, yes it was mean and mean girls & moms are the WORST, but this was going so much deeper for me. I couldn’t shake it. I brought it up with my counselor and started writing it out — pulling it apart.
The thing was, this event triggered my little girl (remember her?). What this mom said to me went directly to my little girl’s heart and hurts. I had quite a few mean girls growing up and she bypassed my adult reasoning and went strait for my little girl.
Once I realized this, I could write out the things I remembered as a little girl, why this triggered those. Then I could begin to soothe that hurt. I could tell her that it’s okay and ask for healing in those wounds. Naming what happened also put this incident in it’s proper size. I could logically see that yes, this was just a crabby mom on a bad day. It was an honest mistake and that’s all it was…a mistake.
Am I all healed up from those wounds? No, but I’m on the path and I am experiencing healing it’s just not complete. It’s like layers of an onion. Each layer named and processed it one step closer to healing. Journaling is integral to this process for me.
Do you journal? What works for you? If you have journaling strategies I’d love to hear them.
“One of the central endeavors of the human experience is to consciously discover the intimacies of who we already are. As in: life is not about building an alternate name for ourselves; it’s about discovering the name we already have.” – Erika Morrison
Today, I’m linking to a guest post on Sarah Bessy’s blog by Erika Morrison. She just released a book all about finding your soul, discovering your true self. This post is filled with so many gems and it’s exactly what we’re talking about. While we can skirt around the subject of WHO we are by trying to fill in blanks about our roles, our hobbies, or interests and what we like… if that’s all the further we get we’ve missed the point. We are not the sum of our surroundings, but a unique individual never to be seen again in history. So, pull up a chair and breathe deep in these words by Erika Morrison.