November 24, 2015
Tis the season to be gifting. The season where conventionally you could find me buying all of the presents at the very last minute, and then having to settle for the leftovers of all the other shoppers.
I always wanted to be that thoughtful person who put heaps of time and intent into the process, but just seemed I couldn’t get past the thinking and into the doing in time, year after year.
And there always seemed to me to be so much pressure about what the best gift of the season or the day would be. I always felt doomed for failure.
But last year saw a shift in little Miss and I into a simpler way of living. We unplugged the telly cord, we packed away all the superfluous toys (still in boxes in the garage mind you) and just headed down the road to a simpler way of living.
Then quickly came the silly season again and all the pressure to buy buy buy came around.
This time I was reminded of a book my best friend shared with me that really caused a profound shift in the way I looked at all my relationships & made me have a good hard look at myself to see how I stacked up in my efforts to really nurture the people I love.
The book, The 5 Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman is an amazing read. It explores how we communicate our love, both in the giving and the receiving, and how our perception really can effect how we receive love from others.
It is a great read and I recommend if you have not read or heard of it, do your self and all those you love a favour and find a copy to devour.
The book explores the five languages as being Words of Affirmation, Quality time, Physical Touch, Acts of service and receiving gifts.
So basically breaking it down we tend to communicate love using one or more of these languages, with a tendency to resonate quite strongly with one or maybe two of these.
And the thing is, that in a lot of relationships people do not have the same language as each other.
So even though I may be over here showering you with positive words (talking Russian) and you may be over there giving me all your time (lets say Spanish), even though we may be both saying I love you in our own language, I may not see or receive the love the you are trying show to me, as I just don’t understand Spanish. Capish?
And as I read through the book I had so many light bulb Aha moments, and just couldn’t believe that I never saw this way of thinking before.
I realised that I really am an affirmation and acts of service kind of girl. And whilst this was all wonderful it dawned on me that my beautiful little girl really is into giving and receiving gifts and quality time.
For a bit after I read the book I lead myself down another destructive way of thinking & behaving, that I had to over deliver without much thought.
Armed with the realisation that my daughter loves to receive gifts – especially from Mummy, I found myself scrambling to over deliver without too much thought or intention behind what I was doing, let alone what I was buying.
I used to over buy, over spend and found myself at the checkouts of Toys’r’us just throwing every little trinket that was swinging my way at the cash register, just desperate to meet her on her needs (and perhaps override a little bit of that working mummy guilt too)
But that all kind of ended rather abruptly late last year. I am not sure I even chose it, I think it just kind of happened.
Once a lot of the busyness and noise was switched off, I was able to see what really gifting her my love was all about.
It was kind of this weird synergy where we both became quite intone with each others love languages by default. She appreciates that I use kind words to let her know how much I love her. And I find notes gifted to me all over the house. I love nothing more than to do things with her and she in turn loves the undivided attention she gets from me when we are doing things together.
Sometimes I will still have to make a conscious effort to make sure I pick up something little or create something a little bit special for her, because when I do her little face just lights up like all her Christmases have come at once.
But the funny thing is as this Christmas comes around, and her list is starting to grow, I realise that the greatest gift I can give her, is meeting her emotional needs by communicating in a language she understands.
Honourable mention must be given to the best and only present Santa delivered last year, a $15 whiteboard from the reject store and a packet of whiteboard markers. They still get used every day 🙂
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