Life’s paradox

At the suggestion of a few of my students, I took an online version of the Love Language quiz based on the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. According to the results I received from this free online quiz, my preferred love language is one of quality time. Meaning: I prefer to receive and show love by spending quality time with people. languageoflove_icons

While this result made sense to me intuitively, I found it interesting how (1) I believe I am an introvert – not in the sense of being a shy person but instead in the sense of gaining my sense of energy by spending quality time by myself. And (2) I feel uncomfortable spending time with others because I feel unworthy of being in others company. Specifically, I spend a great deal of time on my own, constantly attempting to acquire skills and experiences in an effort to seem worthy, acceptable, sufficient, accomplished, and in every other sense of “enough.”


Consequently, many social interactions make me uncomfortable (1) because they prevent me from having the time to recharge my mental, emotional, and spiritual batteries, and (2) because they take up the time I would allocate towards various “self-improvement” projects. And yet, spending time with people – at least according to this quiz – is exactly what I need to feel loved (Read: acceptable, worthy, likable, etc.) in my preferred love language.

As I have been thinking about this, I have come up with the following question that I would like to offer to you for reflexion: What paradoxes are present in your life? How do you experience love and what things are you consciously or unconsciously doing to either aid or hinder your ability to receive and register that love? Can you take a moment to perhaps believe that any momentary discomfort you might be experiencing is actually the key to your liberation – if only you mindfully stick with it?

imgresThis question could apply to a specific relationship, your job or even your relationship to yourself and your body. Wherever it happens to present itself, can you take a moment to pause, take a deep breath, notice your automatic reaction,  ask if this is action will move you closer or further towards your desired outcome, and then act?

Can you trust in your own value and worth, even on a small scale?  What happens when you do? Is is possible that the last thing you want to do is the thing that you actually need to do in order to feel whole, seen, and complete?