Let me begin by saying that this issue I’m about to speak of, I have expressed about before and have fumbled over it many times. I’ve also come to know that I am not the only one who has trouble with it. It has to do with “LOVE LANGUAGE”.
Sometime ago, I heard on Jennifer Fulwiler’s radio show, speak about love language on her program. I can’t remember who she was speaking with, but the topic was about being frustrated, down in the dumps about people’s behaviors towards oneself. Where you try to go the extra mile with certain people in your life so that they may revere you in the same way. Where you share yourself with them the same way as you do with everyone else, but these individuals don’t bite. This topic I come to again and find more and more lately, I am not the only one in this black hole.
Coming across others who experience the same thing, I tend to find the same characteristics. Usually, the one who seemingly goes out of their way to engage with others, repeats the same tactics, feels like there is progress, and then find themselves right back where they started. The lasting notion is that it is all very exhausting.
Going back to Jen Fulwiler’s talk, they hit on the answer well. It has to do with people each having different love languages. What might be a way for you in how you engage your love is not the same for someone else. This hit me like a ton of bricks! I’m sure it is something I have heard before, but didn’t pay attention to. However, this time when I reflected on it, it gave me a whole new outlook.
Over and over again, I would find myself being squeezed into these situations. It would feel like I’m running with a basket of love, carrying it here, there, over here, backwards, then running towards a doorway trying to not let it spill so they can receive it fully as I come towards a doorway that turns into a pinhole of their acceptance. Most of the time, feeling like I just went from 20 yards ahead to 10 feet back! Never feeling the love I hoped for returned back in the way I was sending it.
This idea of love language allows me to focus on not tiring myself out in trying to appease, but to give what I normally do, and then let it go. It doesn’t exhaust me and I stop fretting over whether I did something right.
I also would like to touch on something that we heard in Sunday mass a couple of weeks ago and it goes with this scripture:
Cure of a Crippled Beggar. Now Peter and John were going up to the temple area for the three o’clock hour of prayer. And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple. When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, [rise and] walk.”
Fr. John at our parish spoke about that in our lives of faith sharing…we give what we have whatever form that may be. If it’s our time, we give our time, if we can financially share, then we share, if we are a good baker or a handy person, then we give in those forms. You get the picture. So when I think about how I have a giving a heart, I just do that…give. And with my love for writing or expressing my faith walk, then I do that by writing on this blog. Care for my husband and my mom in best way. Being accessible to family and friends, when they look to me for a listening ear.
We give what we are given. What God has graced us with. It’s not about waiting for the best time to do it because we are measuring what we think is most valued, but instead giving in what we have today!! It’s not about gaining more of the world just so we can float on by in this life, but to share what we know and have. Our love and time are free. Whether faith filled knowledge, church knowledge, love, care giving, helping someone by preparing a meal or driving someone who needs a ride, etc. It doesn’t have to big on a big scale. It doesn’t need much prepping. It doesn’t have to look like someone else’s gifts. We each have it. Our Lord has given it and the more we pass it on, the more grace He will fill us up with to give again.
STOP looking for things not in your basket and START reaching in it and share the gifts that are in it.