Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages was designed for strengthening and improving relationships with other people.
I believe they can be re-adapted for the relationship you have with yourself.
“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” ― Diane Von Furstenberg
But how do you speak the five love languages to yourself?
Here’s a list of my suggestions.
Words of Affirmation
From now on, I have a list of affirmations that I say to myself on a regular basis. These affirmations could include:
1. I am love.
2. I am loved.
3. I am lovable.
4. I am loving.
5. I am unconditional love.
6. I am okay.
7. I am enough.
8. I am who I am.
9. I am worthy.
10. I am capable.
Acts of Service
From now on, I have things that I do for myself that I appreciate fully. These acts of service could include:
1. Regular hair cuts, nail trimming etc.
2. Organising where I live to be more harmonious for me.
3. Wearing clothes that make me feel good.
4. Making choices that are congruent with my beliefs.
5. Saying yes or no without needing to explain.
6. Having the courage to safely do things I would like to do.
7. Doing something safely on my own if no one else is available to join me.
8. Asking for help when I need it (remembering that it gives someone else the opportunity to help you and can make them feel good).
9. Persisting and finding different or better help if one source of help didn’t work as well as I would like.
10. Politely thanking people for their unsolicited or hurtful advice and making my own choices anyway.
From now on, I accept the gifts I am given. These gifts could include:
1. Gifts I really like and treasure and keep close to me and look at frequently.
2. Gifts I sometimes forget that I take for granted (like my physical abilities and my unique personality).
3. Gifts I didn’t like but am happy to pass on to someone else who would value them even more.
4. Gifts I didn’t acknowledge previously but can now as being a life-changing catalyst.
5. Gifts I received from someone important to me that I really don’t like but I keep out of my love for them (and there is no need to beat myself up because I don’t like them).
6. Gifts that may mean nothing to anyone else but are important to me.
7. Memories of a gift that I had in the past but don’t have now for whatever reason.
8. Gifts that are part of my history and remind me of my past in either good or bad ways, but have made me who I am now.
9. Gifts that I bought for myself because they were what I wanted at the time and have brought me so much joy.
10. Things that I didn’t want or need and hurt me at the time but I can ultimately forgive or resolve fully and let go (this may need extra help).
From now on, I make time for what is important to me. This could include:
1. Time that I spend on my own in my own way doing what I would like to do.
2. Time that I spend doing things I enjoy (sport, hobbies, interests etc).
3. Time that I spend with people whose company I enjoy and being fully mindful and present during that time.
4. Time to reflect on my work and how it matches my values, strengths (learned or natural) and context (which may preclude some options) and be happy with 80% okay.
5. Time to be fully connected with my own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings for at least five minutes a day.
6. Time to reflect on my dreams, drivers, and goals for the future and what I am doing that is aligned with them.
7. Time to truly listen to myself and others without correcting what I say or they say, just listening.
8. Time to ask myself the question ‘what’s the worst that could happen if the worst happened’ over and over again until I find out my core beliefs and then decide how I will re-write my subconscious scripts.
9. Allocate time to focus on the love languages that work best for me.
10. Allocate time to do things I haven’t done before but that I choose to do that are within my budget (some things are free and they could include speaking up assertively when you haven’t before or anything that you know is beyond your comfort zone).
From now on, I explore various forms of physical touch. This could include:
1. Fully enjoying the sensation of a shower or bath, hot, warm or cold as I choose.
2. Touching things that are in my life that feel nice. This could include fabrics, blankets, ornaments, crockery, cutlery, and using my ‘best stuff’ on a regular basis.
3. Interacting with nature and touching plants, trees, flowers, or doing some gardening and reconnecting with the earth.
4. Being mindful as I go through each day and observing all the things I do touch. The bedding I sleep in, the items I touch in my work, the food I touch with my hands.
5. Touching my own pet/s or asking if I can interact with someone else’s pet. Walking to a nearby park and asking if I can pat someone’s dog.
6. Talking to a friend, a neighbor, or a colleague and touching them on the arm between the elbow and the shoulder. This is a very reassuring gesture for both parties.
7. Touching my own body by putting my hand over my heart and closing my eyes and taking a moment to observe how it feels.
8. Drinking a hot or cold drink and noticing how it feels as it goes through my body.
9. Doing any form of exercise and afterward, standing in warrior pose with my hands on my hips and my legs apart and saying my preferred words of affirmation.
10. Going outside with my shoes and socks off on a piece of grass or ground and truly reconnecting with the earth with my eyes closed and breathing deeply. Alternatively, lie down and look up at the beautiful sky that is hopefully blue, the same color as the sea.
I encourage you to speak the five languages of love to yourself, using whatever languages work best for you.