Love: What Do I Believe I Deserve and What Is My Love Langauge
We often hear people say, “God is Love,” and most of our human experience is about receiving, expressing and understanding love. During our weekly support group, many people talked how they experienced love as a child and how those experiences have shaped their adult lives and relationships. I believe that love, self-worth and what you believe about what you deserve in life, attracts what you experience. I personally think, you can want anything, but if you do not believe you deserve it, you may not get it or if you do, you may not keep it because you do not truly believe you deserve it.
In Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, she talks about “deservability”. She says, “we sometime refuse to put any effort into creating a good life for ourselves because we believe that we do not deserve it.” Deserving has everything to do with having good in our lives. Allowing ourselves to accept good, whether we think we deserve it or not is important to our life experiences. Every human being needs and deserves love and to be loved, sometimes the problem is we just do not know it.
Often, two people in the same relationship can have quite different versions of how they define love and their expectations about love. People often idealize love and how we communicate that to individuals in our lives can create challenges in our relationships. The problem with idealizing love is that it causes us to develop unrealistic expectations about what love is and what it can do for us. These unrealistic expectations then sabotage the very relationships we hold dear to us.
It’s possible to fall in love with somebody who has different ambitions or life goals that are contradictory to our own, who holds different philosophical beliefs or worldviews that clash with our own sense of reality, and all these things matter in relationships. It is when these things clash that we can often find ourselves making sacrifice that compromise our sense of self and our self-worth.
But when it comes to sacrificing one’s self-respect, one’s dignity, one’s physical body, one’s ambitions and life purpose, just to be with someone, then that same love becomes problematic. A relationship is supposed to supplement our individual identity, not damage it or replace it. If we find ourselves in situations where we’re tolerating disrespectful or abusive behavior, then that’s essentially what we’re doing: we’re allowing our love to consume us and negate us, and if we’re not careful, it will leave us as a shell of the person we once were. Knowing your personal love language can help you and the individuals in your life have better communication and healthier experiences. I read Gary Chapman book 5 Love Languages over 10 years ago and it changed my life. In the book he shares that each person has one primary and one secondary love language.
Chapman explains that to discover another person's love language, one must observe the way they express love to others and analyze what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. He hypothesizes that people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive love, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when one can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands. According to Chapman, the five ways to express and experience love are called "love languages", which are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch.