5 Love Languages

In the spirit of Valentines Day and in the recent multiple recommendations I have made to people to read the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. http://www.5lovelanguages.com/I have decided to write this month about the book and the effects it has had on my relationship. It’s about to get a bit personal and I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little vulnerable about publishing this. If even one person reading this gets something out of it, it will make it all worth it. I’ve found that reading and writing is an outlet for me in healing and growing so let the vulnerability flow.

About a year ago almost to the date my husband Doug and I were in a very weird place. I know that every marriage goes through hard times and I believe this past year was our hardest time to date. We had been married 10 years. We found ourselves just kind of going through the motions. We were in the mundane everyday routine. Working, raising kids, paying bills, chores and trying to keep each other happy. It was exhausting. Truth be told it wasn’t all bad but it definitely was not the relationship either of us always dreamed of or envisioned for ourselves. We believed we were doing everything we could to show each other love but we were both kind of left unfulfilled and to be honest a little resentful. We weren’t getting along. We would argue, our walls would go up and we would both get super defensive. We would listen to each other but we were not hearing each other. We were coming home so disconnected from each other that we would just do the dinner thing, then go do our own things for the night. For a little back story Doug suffers from depression and anxiety. (Yes I got his permission to write this and he is my editor.) I had no idea why he couldn’t just let go of some of the things he would obsess about. Although I have witnessed people in my life suffering from mental illness I never really could wrap my mind around it. Doug was on medication which he had started about 2 year prior and I was confused why he was still so anxious. We like a lot of couples decided to try counseling. We figured out through counseling that Doug’s drinking while on medication was quite counter productive to even taking medication. This is when he stopped drinking alcohol and it’s been close to a year since he has had a drink. The therapist recommended The 5 Love Languages. Now I don’t want to give all the credit to this book cause we had a lot of stuff to work through, but this book I truly believe was the start of our new amazing relationship.

So basically to summarize the book. We all receive love differently. The 5 love languages go as follows.

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Quality Time

3. Gifts Received

4. Acts of Service

5. Physical Touch

The book goes into detail about each love language. We all benefit from all the love languages but each person has 1 or 2 main love languages. You may know what yours is right of the bat or there is a quiz to take to help you figure it out. The theory behind this is that if you are not showing your partner love in the way they receive it they may be feeling neglected, unappreciated, unwanted or even unloved. It also suggests that if you are acting in a way toward your spouse that is opposite from the way they receive love, it can be very detrimental. For example if your partners love language is words of affirmation and you are constantly criticizing them, not saying thank you, not telling them how much you appreciate and love them, this can be extremely destructive to your relationship. Although every person would like to get words of affirmation, not getting it wouldn’t be as devastating if it’s not your love language.

Back to how this book pertains to our relationship. After reading this book we both thought it made so much sense. We were definitely speaking 2 different languages but had no idea it was like this. We could figure out Doug’s love language was physical touch. That was easy! Wink wink!! But I had to take the quiz to figure out mine. Mine ended up being quality time and a secondary of acts of service. So what clicked after we figured out our love languages was a game changer. Ah hah moment! I was showing Doug love with my love language and he was showing me love with his love language. I would think what the hell? I make all these plans for him and I to go to fun events together and dates. I make this mans lunch and dinner everyday. I make sure the coffee is ready in the morning. I do his laundry, handle everything with planning for the kids and he is complaining of feeling unwanted. Wellllll! What I didn’t understand at the time was although we would get intimate on a fairly regular basis it was the lack of attention such as the hug and kiss as he’d walk through the door, the brushing him off when I was making dinner if he came up behind me for a hug, the sitting across the living room instead of snuggling next to him on the couch, the rejection he felt when I told him it was too late or I’m too tired. His love tank was not very full. He felt unwanted. The same idea applied to me. He couldn’t understand why he would show me so much affection, always wanting me in a physical way, showing PDA and I was still aggravated with the relationship. The truth is when I would plan an outing to go to a concert or dinner or anything that would allow us to spend quality time together, although he would do it he would never show the amount of enthusiasm I would. Same with when I would clean the house all day and go to work to come home to toys everywhere, dinner still not picked up, kids not ready for bed. Or when he would start a project and 6 months later it was still only half done. This would make me feel so unappreciated and like the things I wanted didn’t matter.

Neither one of us intended to make the other feel this way but you can’t fix what you don’t know. I have so much gratitude for this book. On a daily basis we are using what we have learned from The 5 Love Languages to strengthen our marriage. I now will take the few extra seconds it takes to walk away from what I’m doing to give him a hug and a kiss when he walks through the door. I will never again act annoyed when he try’s to show me affection in public and because my love language is being met I want to be intimate more often then I used to. For me I have notice that Doug is starting to come up with activities that we can do together instead of me always making the plans. He has started helping me more around the house and with the kids. Projects are getting done around the house and I am feeling the most love I have ever felt.

I am not sitting here proclaiming to have a perfect marriage, not even close. No marriage is perfect nor would I want it to be, but that’s for a whole other blog. What I can say is that Doug and I have found a new respect for one another. We understand what each other needs and when we aren’t getting it we make sure to express that. We are so much more in tune with each other and take the time to put ourselves in each other’s shoes. We check in with each other to make sure the “love tank” is full and if it’s not we do our best to fill it. It’s become kind of a joke as I like to use it when I really want him to help me with something, like the other day when I wanted a bunch of pictures hung! To me it really is just about respect for each other. We have made a conscious decision to put ourselves and our marriage 1st. Yes, even above the kids, because without our marriage being in a good place what kind of example is that showing them? I want my kids to look back and when they think of their parents they think of pure unconditional love. I want them to have healthy relationships and strive to find that person that him and I have found in each other. Lead by example. I hope you guys read this book cause it really can help with any relationship, not just significant others. Kids, friends, family members. We all have a love language and we are all beautiful souls.

7(8) Cardinal Rules for Life

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I, like most have failed every New Years resolution I have ever attempted. Most of the time it was pretty common stuff. Such as eat healthier, exercise more, cut back on the caffeine, floss more, stop swearing. I know……. who can do that!? This year I made the resolution to stop setting myself up for failure, and not make a resolution. Of course, that is perfect. If you don’t make a resolution you can’t fail!! Well!! Hi, I’m Sarah, and I failed at not having a resolution. As I aimlessly scrolled through Pinterest I came across these 7 cardinal rules for life and they really hit me in the gut! Like “YES” if every human could live by these rules this planet would be so much more peaceful and satisfying. So not only did I fail to keep my resolution, I took on 7 and added an 8th rule of my own. Way to go me!! I thought I would write a little bit about each rule from my perception and belief systems. I am in no way an expert or professional. I just really resonate with this stuff and want to share it with you.

1. Make peace with your past so it doesn’t disturb your future.

So we have all heard this before but have we really done it? We have heard all the clichés. Your past doesn’t define you, don’t ruin a good today by thinking of a bad yesterday, yesterday is history tomorrow’s a mystery.  Cliché maybe, but I love clichés. Because not only are they true, but for me so many of them make you really think and can bring you to a place of acceptance. Acceptance is truly what we are talking about with this rule. Our lives are made up of many events, good, bad and ugly. These events made us who we are today. Some choose to take those events and look for the good in all of them. Some not so much by dwelling and holding on to the negative emotion that is associated with the event. I truly believe that everything that happens to us is for us. I believe that every moment is made up of lessons to teach us what we need to learn. It might be that we have past trauma to let go of, or we hold grudges, or we have false beliefs about ourselves that we need to heal to know our true selves. Whatever our lesson is, it will keep showing up in our experience until we learn it. That is why some people keep changing their environment with the idea it will make them happy. But the truth is you bring yourself with you. Same faces different places. Making peace with your past will set you free.

2. What other people think of you is none of your business.

I have to admit, this has always been a struggle in my life. I’m 36 and I think I have finally come to a place that this has sunk in. I work on it everyday. It is so liberating to truly not give a flying you know what about another persons opinion of you. Of course we all love and want praise and positive feedback about ourselves, that’s normal. The difference is I like it, I want it, but I don’t need it. Have you ever heard “Your perception of me is a reflection of you?” Anytime someone has a negative opinion of you it is a direct reflection about how they feel about themselves. They are projecting onto you their insecurities. This is a difficult theory to get behind and that’s why I think so many people seek acceptance from outside themselves. This also goes back to lessons. When someone is getting under your skin or says something that hurts your feelings this is a perfect occasion to stop and look at what it is that triggered you to feel hurt. The hater is actually doing you a service by acting in this way. It’s opening up an opportunity for you to learn why what they are saying or doing is getting to you? Do you need to reevaluate a belief about yourself or something else? Do you have trouble with forgiveness or holding on to negativity energy? Do you have your own internal negative self talk? The lessons could be endless. If you can look at the hater as your teacher instead of your enemy you would feel so much lighter and free. This doesn’t mean you’re a push over. It means you care to much about your wellbeing and happiness to let a troll take it away. Also remind yourself that when someone makes you suffer it’s because they are suffering themselves and it’s overflowing onto you. They don’t need hate they need help. It has nothing to do with you.

3. Time heals almost everything.

This may sound pretty self explanatory and it pretty much is. The way I’m diving a little bit deeper with it is to look at where I was 10, 5, even 1 year ago and the things that seemed so “end of the world” are nothing but distant memories. Obviously the healing time differs for every person and every event and how the person chooses to look at the event but time really can lessen the pain and eventually heal. I know you will never “get over” the tragic death of a loved one, a painful divorce, a traumatic experience such as sexual, physical or mental abuse. I do however believe with time and willingness a person can heal from these traumas. When I’m feeling stressed, down, or I’m faced with a hard situation, I have been trying to tell myself that everything always works out. Don’t confuse a season for a lifetime, you will not be in this situation forever, you will not always feel this way. Think of the good in every situation. (Yes, there is always a good) If you can’t think of one think of what it’s trying to teach you.

4. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

This may be my favorite rule. It is human nature to place blame.

“Well if they were like this or that then I wouldn’t be as stressed.”

“If my boss gave me more appreciation I would like my job.”

“If my kids would just always do what I say I wouldn’t be such a lunatic.”

“If I only had more money I would be happy.”

I could go on and on writing about ways we place blame on others or lack of material things for the reasons we aren’t happy. The truth is we get what we give. When we are constantly in a state of blame, anger, jealousy, or fear. We are attracting more of that into our experience. I have recently come to a place where I realized I am 100% in charge of my happiness. Nothing and nobody can give that to me but me. Of course we experience happiness with others and become happy when we get a new material thing that we have been wanting, but these things are completely temporary. Once we manifest what we want in our lives we will always want something else or more to build on it. We are ever expanding creatures who’s creating never ends. What I am working on doing is getting excited about the journey about the everyday experiences that are there to surprise and teach me. Something I always go back to is this quote I read by Marianne Williamson. “Ego says “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel Peace.” Spirit says “Once I feel peace, everything will fall into place.” I believe this with everything I am. You can always, without exception find the good, a silver lining. You can choose happiness. You can’t control your environment all the time but you can choose how you decide to react and respond. You can choose peace.

5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

So this has a 2 part rule. Comparing yourself to another is one of the most counter productive things you can do. Every person on earth is exactly where they are supposed to be on their journey. You have had a lifetime of experiences to get you to where you are. This is something we should look at like a badge of honor. We should be proud of where we are in every moment. When we compare ourselves to another we are saying we are not enough. We are all enough and we all deserve all the abundance the universe has for us. If we could look at the people that have more than we have, or that have a life we think we want and really truly try to be genuinely happy for them, it would change our whole outlook. Also the people that we envy more then likely have their own list of struggles they are suffering with. They may very well be looking at you saying “Wow! They seem to always have it all together.” I have been a hairstylist for 17 years and have come into contact with people from all walks of life. The one thing they all have in common is that they all want to feel good about themselves. Everything we do or want is because we believe we will feel better in having it. The truth is, if we can feel good even in the absence of what we are wanting we have really figured it out.

The other half of this rule is also difficult for most of us to follow. I think we all have a judgmental side to us. When we see someone acting in a way that we consider inappropriate, or looking a way that isn’t pleasant to our eyes, or having something we don’t that we wish we had. It’s easy to go straight to thinking, look at that train wreck, or what a mess! Didn’t they look in the mirror? or they must have been born into money, or sell drugs. The truth is we have no idea what any other human is going through or what they have been through. If we could look at every human through kind eyes no matter what, we could get to a place that more kindness would come back into our experience. We have all been in a situation where we have judged a book by its cover and found out we were so wrong. This also goes back to projecting our own insecurities onto someone else. Maybe ask yourself, what is it about me that this person is triggering that is bringing out this unkind judgment. Just be kind. It really is that simple.

6. Stop thinking so much.

Ahhhhhhh!!! Over thinking!!!!! We all do it. This is where meditation has been a major tool for me. We think about the past and fear replicating bad experiences. Ego keeps us stuck in that place of fear and tries to protect us by overthinking and holding us back from doing things that we may want to do. Living in the past keeps us stuck. We can’t grow if we keep looking back. The same is true with obsessing about the future. This is how one suffers with anxiety. We have no control what has happened in the past or what will happen ahead of us. The only real moment we have is right now. Living in the moment is really the best way to live. Being mindful and grateful of every breath we take cause we can’t get the last one back and the next one has yet to come. Don’t ruin a good today by worrying about a bad yesterday. Let it go!

7. Smile! You don’t own all the problems in the world.

I know this is a bit hard for those of you with resting bitch face, but try!! No, in all seriousness, forcing yourself to smile can reduce stress and change your mood drastically. When I find something effecting my emotions or I start to feel the need to control a situation, I ask myself this question first. Is this mine? If the answer is yes, I ask. Is it true? If it’s true, I ask. Is the solution with in my control? If not then I have no other choice then to try and let it go and trust that it will work out exactly how it’s supposed to. We take on stresses that aren’t ours to take on. Not only on a personal level but on a global level as well. I stopped watching the news and reading news articles years ago because I noticed how much it was effecting my mood in a negative way. I have made the decision to make my happiness and emotional wellbeing my #1 priority. Anything that interferes with that has to be let go. The Alcoholics Anonymous program has the saying “Let go and let god.” I believe every human on earth can benefit from this saying. We can not control anyone or anything other then ourselves. The more we try the more disappointed we will become. Expectation is the root of all heart ache. If we have no set in stone expectations and can just go with the flow we will never be disappointed.

8. Stop being so hard on yourself.

This is the 8th rule I added. In my opinion it’s the most important. Although all these rules will change the way you view everything and improve your life immensely. No human will be perfect at all of them all of the time. If you can, I applaud you and you must be the most enlightened saint on the planet. When we make mistakes or disappoint ourselves we have to let it go and start over without judgment. I look at these rules like a practice. I will never finish perfecting it and it will never be perfect. We are perfectly imperfect beings and thats exactly how it’s supposed to be. As long as we are doing our best we can’t ask ourselves for anything more. Our best is always going to be different! Our best is going to be dependent on the time, the day, the environment, our health,etc. The important thing is we recognize where we are and honor that. Self love should be our #1 priority. Negative self talk and core beliefs that we have about ourselves need to be let go. It’s like the old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it at all.” We should be applying this to ourselves. If I asked you what are all the things you love? How long would it take you to name yourself? Hmmmmmmm? That one got me when I first heard it too. Your answer should be 1st. Be gentle with yourself. Honor the light inside you. Get comfortable in your skin. There is nobody like you. You are here for a purpose. You are a beautiful soul.

I am super excited to start writing my first blog! I have this love for writing and I wasn’t quite sure what else to do with it besides writing in a journal. This seemed like the next logical step to be able to share something I truly enjoy doing.
I’m 36 years old, a wife and mother of 2. I have spent the last 17 years as a self employed hairstylist. I adore this career and I am so blessed to have the freedom I need to have the best of both worlds. Having a career and being a mom.
In recent years I have become extremely interested in spiritual self growth. I am not affiliated with any religious denomination. I just feel a strong presence of something bigger then me. Whatever you want to call it God, spirit, universe, inner being. Whatever your higher power is, I’m interested in it.
I’m hoping this blog gives me a platform to write about my knowledge in the hair industry, being a mom, spirituality, coping with everyday struggles and having a blast doing it in a positive way. Hope you enjoy reading. We are all beautiful souls!