I recently learned about The 5 Languages of Love by Gary Chapman and feel inspired to share them with you because a friend and I had a very interesting discussion and debate about which love language most resonated with us and why.
Gary's 5 Love Languages are:
In his book, Gary describes:
"Each person has one primary and one secondary love language. To discover a love language, one must observe the way he expresses love to others, analyze what he complains about most often, and what he requests from his significant other most often."
Do you resonate with a different language of love for giving and receiving love?
A friend of mine posted this question on Facebook the other day and it went viral. It was one of his most popular posts, with hundreds of comments and shares.
Why do you think it was so popular?
We are all seeking to receive more love and to be able to give more love.
Throughout our lives, we take many actions that help us to receive and give love, such as seeking a partner, spending time with family and friends, having children, working in a profession that allows us to care for others, and volunteering for those in need.
If we are not receiving or giving love in our life, we can begin to feel alone, sad, anxious and even depressed.
I believe that love is the deepest form of connection we can ever exprience, with another person or with ourselves. When we experience love, we are in a place of happiness, contentment and peace. Love can even provide us with a sense of oneness and connection with ourselves, others and a higher consciousness, something greater than ourselves.
Although I practice and enjoy all the languages of love when giving and receiving love, I began to feel that there was something missing, and that they were not addressing the true meaning of love as I understand and feel it in my heart.
I began to consider what is important to me in defining love, ways that I feel more loved and that I am able to give more love.
Do you resonate with Gary Chapman's languages of love (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch) or with my languages of love (trust, honesty, kindness, respect, non-judgment), or perhaps a combination of both?
Of course, we all enjoy a surprise gift, hearing the words "I Love You" or "You Are Beautiful", spending quality time with a loved one in nature or playing and having fun, supporting and helping each other and physical affection and touch.
However, I believe we can feel a deeper sense of love through an intention and a state of being instead of merely through an action.
I teach ways that you can tap in and feel this deeper sense of love during our Body Flows Yoga Retreats.
Actions can be performed with different intentions so the above actions could be performed without an intention of love, and therefore I would not feel loved, nor would I be giving love, if my intention was not pure love.
I believe it's the intention that is powerful and contains the love, not the action alone.
Love is a deep state of being, feeling, and connecting. Love is energetic and filled with energy that connects us deeply from our hearts and our souls and feels so universal and expansive that often no action nor words are even required, in my opinion.
To take it a step further, love is actually our natural state of being and our true nature. If we could spend more time tuning into our true inner love that already exists inside of us, we may not spend so much of our lives seeking love from outside of us. This true sense of love cannot be found nor felt through a physical action nor a word of affirmation.
One of the concepts about Love that I teach at our Body Flows Yoga Retreats that this inner state of love that we already have inside of us is the pure sense of love that has no opposite. The love that we feel and talk about, based on something happening in our live, can have an opposite. For example, we might love someone for a few years, and then they do something we don't like and so we decide we dislike them. That love has an opposite of dislike. However, our pure inner love is so pure that there is no opposite. There is no hate, no anger, no fear. There is only pure love.
Discovering and feeling this pure love from within is one of the reasons we practice meditation and yoga. Yoga is not merely about stretching or strengthening the body, and meditation is not merely about relaxing the mind. The true purpose of Yoga and Meditation is for us to journey back home to who we truly are, our true inner Self, our true divine love, this pure sense of Love that has no opposite.
If you'd like to learn more about Yoga, Meditation or this Pure Love, considering joining one of our Body Flows Weekend Yoga and Meditation Retreats, where we will journey inwards and tap into this abundance of love we already have within.
If you'd like to learn more about Meditation or starting a meditation practice, check out our article with helpful tips for starting or deepening a meditation practice.
What are your thoughts and feelings around Love? I'd love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
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Author: Sally Mitchell, founder of Body Flows Yoga Retreats and RYT 200 Yoga Teacher leads yoga retreats in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. Living in beautiful Sonoma, California, after 15 years in NYC and San Francisco, her approach as a leader and teacher is holistic, balanced and grounded. She enjoys practicing and studying Yoga and Buddhism, hiking and trail running in nature, traveling, writing and inspiring others to live a more spiritual and meaningful life.