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Lesson’s Learned: Love and Behavior

Five years ago, this month, my Grandmother passed away.  That night, in her home of more than 50 years, she was surrounded by her entire family – husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, singing one of her favorite hymns as she took her last breath.  She has always been the rock of our family.  Hard-working and extremely well prepared and organized, she also had a contagious laugh that would sweep the entire room.  She would purchase next year’s Christmas gifts during the post-holiday sales, wrap and tag them, and by the following year, forget what she had gotten everyone. She would always joke that she did it that way so she could be surprised too. 

And, she had a love language that spoke volumes to me.  She had 3 daughters – for my mother, she would pick us up every day from school and keep us until Mom got home from work.  For her eldest daughter that worked in our school kitchen, she would volunteer her time every morning to prepare and serve the school lunch, because the school could not afford to pay another worker to help my Aunt.  For her youngest daughter, who had 3 small children of her own, my Grandmother would drive across town each week to clean her house and finish numerous loads of laundry.  As I grew up, I admired my Grandmother for many things, but most of all it was for her love.  I valued the relationship she and my Grandfather had, so much that it’s what I’ve always dreamed to have for myself in a relationship. 

Now that I have 3 children of my own, I’m beginning to notice some patterns and practices that seem very familiar to me.  Bottom line, it all relates to the language of Love.  You may have heard of Gary Chapman’s book:  The 5 Love Languages.  (I know, you probably just checked your browser to make sure you were reading the right blog – you’re still on H3Daily… just trust me, it will come full circle on how this relates to health J…)  As described in the book, the 5 Love Languages are as follows: 

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

Clearly, my Grandmother’s love language was acts of service, which I certainly gravitate more to myself.  I’ve noticed my oldest daughter, Hala, seems to respond more to quality time and physical touch.  If I consciously take the time to engage in a specific activity with her, her behavior is much better.  I am naturally better at showing my love through acts of service, and I have to work harder on showing through physical touch or even words of affirmation. 

The way we demonstrate love for others, as well as our perception of how others love us can have a large impact on our behavior.  If we do not feel love from those closest to us, it can impact our self esteem or even lead to depression, which in turn may impact our weight.  If your focus on diet and exercise has not lead to success, what are you missing?  Take this assessment to learn what your Love Language is, what words or actions make you feel less loved, and how others might be expressing a love that you aren’t recognizing.  Discover the impact this has on your relationships and experience the improvement this understanding may have on your health. 

Affirmation of the Day:  “Believing there is a solution paves the way to a solution.” – Dr. David Schwartz

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