Oh boy, showing my age today…
I remember as a kid watching tv and a cartoon character named Popeye. Some of you may recall him. He was a sailor who had extraordinarily large forearms. He smoked a corncob pipe and had a scraggly “pirate sounding” voice.
Popeye would always encounter trouble, usually in the form of a bully named Bluto.
Popeye was not up to the task when Bluto started roughing him up but Popeye had a secret weapon—a can of spinach. I remember that when he needed strength, he grabbed a can and squeezed it with his hand and the spinach came out of the top of the can, right into his mouth.
This gave him the strength he needed to fight Bluto. He was transformed into a very strong man.
As he did this, he always seemed to say the same thing: “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.”
Can you say that sentence? “I am what I am and that’s all that I am?”
As you take your love language profile, can you accept yourself?
This is a key to change in the early stages, believe it or not.
We should not be in the business of changing others. We need to analyze ourselves and learn to accept who we are.
First we have to admit that we all have a self-concept, a picture of ourselves that has been “built” through the years by others’ images of us that they have shared, social comparisons to others, teachings from our culture and how we wind up evaluating ourselves. It is a complex process but as years go by, the self-concept is formed.
How aware are you of your self-concept? Some people have great awareness while others have little.
Some people think about what they do and seem to be able to imagine how they are coming across to others. They have the ability to adapt to feedback from others if things are not going well. Others are literally a “bull in the china shop.” They have little self-awareness and don’t worry about it. Their attitude is “take me or leave me. I don’t care.”
If you find yourself listening to others, seeking information about yourself and sharing with others you will likely grow in knowledge about yourself.
What if you take the love languages profile but don’t accept the results?
Is it because you really don’t see yourself as the profile says you are or are you not self-aware?
If you are lacking in self-awareness you will not pay attention to how you are expressing yourself.
Dr. Chapman says it best in these words: “If my primary love language is words of affirmation, then I will tend to use words to express my love for my wife. I am giving her what would make me extremely loved. But if that is not her primary love language, words will not mean to her what they would mean to me.”
Can you learn to fill someone’s love tank with a new way of expression even though it is not your love language?
You can, if you are comfortable with yourself.
If you have tremendous needs that must be filled, you will struggle with this. Egocentrism is not a key to having success with love languages. Selfishness will not help you have success with love languages. Lack of self-awareness will not help you fill someone else’s love tank.
Being comfortable with yourself will help.
If you are comfortable with yourself and your needs have not been met, you are ok with it. You are willing to put someone else first. You know what to do to express love to another because you pay attention to their habits of communication.
It is time for you to squeeze the spinach can and tackle this problem.
Learn to express the language that they need to hear because you are ok.
You can say “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.”
And you mean it.