I’m not sure if its because winter is taking its toll in the Southern hemisphere or if it is “That time of the year” but everyone I speak to seems to be feeling a little less energetic, a little more frazzled and quite bluntly “fed up” with their lives.
It could be SAD (seasonal Affective disorder) affecting us adversely, but honestly, in South Africa, where it is still heavenly blue skies above for the majority of the winter day (even when it Is -5 degrees outside) I struggle to think we qualify completely for this disorder.
I struggle the most with this lethargy and misery, not in my own business or with my customers, but in my own family.
They are generally an upbeat bunch, who receive constant reminders on Self esteem and proactive coaching tools from their “Girl guide, always prepared” mother. So when they come home from school and work respectively and just sit on the couch whining, arguing and complaining – I start to get a little worried.
Its time for me to fill up their buckets….. Their own, unique love buckets.
Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman ? As a mum, as a wife and as a friend and coach , this simple yet powerful knowledge has helped me so much. I’ll try to explain how I use it .
We all have different ways of feeling ,receiving and giving love , the 5 basic ways are :
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
I got to know my children and husbands love languages so I could love them better and be loved back better. I have changed the way I communicate with them now because of this knowledge. I know what love they need to receive, I recognise when their hearts are empty, I know how to best fill those buckets quickly and the majority of the time we fix family issues promptly. Here are some examples ;
When my son is lying all over me, digging his elbows and skinny knees into my stomach and acting like a big blob of jelly, I know his heart is empty and needs love from me – love in the form of physical touch. Rather than shove him away and tell him he is annoying me, I hold him close with both arms, kiss him to death with zurbits and sloppy kisses and within a minute or two he is off to play again. When my daughter steals money out of my purse to buy me a gift from school ,I have to look deeper than the act of theft – I understand that she needs to show and receive her love through Gifts and therefore needs to be rewarded with money so she can save for gifts (rather than steal).
I use the analogy of a bucket when I refer to their hearts. I take some time to give them exactly what they need…. and before I know it their buckets are full again and they become the cheerful, inspired, purposeful family I love so very much.
The same works for me too. When I am down and out there is nothing better than the medicine of uninterrupted quiet time cuddling. Dont buy me a gift (I may not like it yet feel obliged to lie about how much I love it and how well you know me) , don’t use clichés to motivate me and please don’t leave me to go wash the dishes because you think that will cheer me up – I’m a time and touch kind of girl and that’s how my bucket will runneth over !!!!
So the next time you are feeling sad, I’m not going to hold your bucket for you but I am going to help you fill it and trust me as soon as it is full you will find the energy and enthusiasm to continue with each and every area of your life – full of love ( …and you will have a secret tool on how to fill other peoples buckets too !!!)
Here is the link to a free assessment : Click on the block that is most like youhttp://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/ and answer the questions. You will discover your strongest love language or way you like to give and receive love.
Then if this August is dragging along painfully and you don’t feel you can do too much of anything right now ……Just do these 2 things ;
- Spend the rest of the week observing how loved ones fill your bucket and how you fill theirs.
- Tell the important people in your life how they can help you and fill up your bucket with love and go out of your way to fill up others buckets too.
Its really easy to do – spreading the love will help you get back on track I promise.
Love will melt the stuckness away!