Today’s prompt: How Do You Show Love?
(I just read back through my post. I need to add that there is no criticism intended in what I have written. We all do what we think is best, and we’re all different in our perspectives of what is best. Your story may be–and should be!–very different from mine, and that’s as it should be.)
I’m looking forward to reading what others have to say about this one. We all show love according to our particular personality, experience, and understanding of what love is.
My own love languages are acts of service and physical touch.
What that means in practical terms–and I’ve been told I’m a highly practical person–is that I would show my love and concern for you more by what I DO than by what I say, or how much time I may be able to spend with you. My husband is also an acts of service kind of guy. For instance, just this morning I knocked a bowl of hot oatmeal onto the floor (age is making inroads!) and he was there in a heartbeat to send me to lie down while he cleaned up the mess. That’s a loving act of service. I should probably include here that I’m pretty sure I have mono and have been drained of energy and craving nothing but quietness and sleep. He has stepped in to relieve me of whatever he can, as he always does when I’m not feeling good.
I showed my family my love by keeping our house clean and in order; making meals from scratch, keeping their clothing clean and mended, caring for them when they were sick. In other words, I was a stay-at-home wife and mom when my kids were small. One thing I did that they all loved was to bake our own bread every week. I’ve made literally thousands of loaves of bread over our 53+ years of marriage. It was two things–economy and knowing that they loved it. Also, it was knowing that I was providing them with healthy, additive-free and chemical-free food.
You may be thinking, “But didn’t you enjoy what you were doing, too? Couldn’t you have provided a better income, helped your husband, if you had gone to work?” The answer to that first question is NO, I did not love housecleaning, EVER. It’s one of those chores that you do because you don’t want your family living in a slovenly, filthy environment. I did enjoy cooking and baking, but that doesn’t take away from doing it for their health and enjoyment. The second question? I helped financially by the way I kept house, doing lots of sewing to save money on clothing. Back then, it was still less expensive to sew than it was to buy ready-made. Not so much, now, and I probably wouldn’t do it that way if I were starting all over in today’s economy.
I also canned and froze lots of food, made our own jams and jellies, and found many other ways to keep from spending a lot of money. If I had worked outside our home, we would have had to pay for daycare for our own children while I spent my days teaching other people’s children. Makes no sense to me! And my husband did not want me working outside the home during those years.
I guess I’ve gone off track a bit.
As for the physical touch part, that comes very easily and naturally to me. I’ve actually had to learn to be careful, observing people’s reactions to a touch on the arm or a quick hug. Not everyone is comfortable with physical touch, so I do try to be discerning. We were taught, in my schooling to be a psychotherapist, not to touch our clients. For the most part, I didn’t. But there were times when it was so clear that some kind of touch was desperately needed. I learned to offer a quick squeeze of a hand, which could easily become a hug with my client crying on my shoulder. And that was perfectly okay with both of us.