Saturday, June 25, 2016

Personal Development at Its Finest

Have you ever sat down with a book and, every time you turned the page, thought the author was writing about you? Or better yet, speaking directly to you?

That's what happened with 5 Love Languages:  Singles Edition.  (Don't judge me for my choice of reading material... At least I'm working on stuff. Haha!)

Something that I knew I needed to work on personally... Love.  I didn't know what it was, I didn't know how to do it, and I didn't know how to receive it.  To be honest, I still don't.  As you can probably guess, this became a serious problem in my life.

Gary Chapman is the author of 5 Love Languages, a book that I remember my aunt reading while we were sitting on the beach at Cape Cod one summer many years ago.  Or maybe she wasn't actually reading it on the beach, but she was talking about it.  I don't know... We're talking maybe 15-20 years ago. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast most days!  But I remember her telling my sister, my mother, and me about the book.  Honestly, at the time, I was just like "eh; whatever" because I was young and didn't need to read a book about continuing to love your spouse.  I wasn't getting married any time soon.  (And I didn't realize at all how right I was... I've still never been married, and I'm 32 years old! Haha!!)

Anyway.  In my adult life now, part of my personal problems that were falling apart (or that fell apart) had to do with my personal relationships.  Not just with my ex-boyfriend, either.  Relationships with friends and family have also suffered.  I figured it was time to do something... to learn something... to try to make a change.  I planned to buy 5 Love Languages.  Looked it up on Amazon. Put it in my cart.  Saw the "other customers also purchased...." titles, and there it was... The Singles Edition.  Perfect!  I don't need to know how to keep a marriage alive.  I don't even have a boyfriend anymore!  The Single Edition was just what I needed!  So I deleted the other one and bought this one (as well as a few other books).

I will tell you this.  Gary Chapman is a genius!  There is so much truth in this book.  So many "ah-ha!" moments.  So many "I should practice that" ideas.  At first, I was a little embarrassed that I was even buying such a book.  I didn't even want to purchase in at Barnes & Noble because I didn't want anyone to know I was going to read it.  Amazon would send it to me in a sealed box, and no one else would see inside.  But guys.  Seriously.  This was a great book!  Not only did it deal with personal romantic relationships and discuss how to improve them; it also talked about the underlying causes of most people's struggles.  It focused on improving relationships with your family and friends.  Improving relationships with coworkers.  Improving your relationship with yourself.  I'm really glad I purchased this book, and I plan to definitely use the strategies suggested!  I started today by simply picking up the phone and calling my mother.  Easy stuff, I tell ya!  Not to mention, I learned my own primary love language as well as that of my dogs!  (Maximus is definitely physical touch, and Isis is more of a quality time kind of girl.)

I realize I'm rambling at this point, so I will leave you with this.  If you are looking for someone to help you with serious reflecting on your personal relationships, Gary Chapman is your guy!  I've even wish listed a few more of his books (and no, none on marriage).

If you do choose to read this book, I will warn you.  Gary Chapman is a Christian relationship counselor.  He references God and the Bible throughout this book.  I was worried about that at first because I honestly hate when people preach at me.  Tell me whatever I'm doing is wrong, and I'm going to Hell because of it.  But this author isn't that way at all.  While he makes reference to the Bible and God, he doesn't do it in such a way that will take over his true message, and he doesn't do it in every section of the book.  Even if you aren't into that kind of thing, this is still a great eye-opener if you can be open-minded.

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