12 Practices of Optimal Healing: Love

Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is

– Gary Zukav

Think back to the last time just didn’t feel well. Perhaps you got the flu and had to stay home. Or was it back pain from an injury that didn’t allow you to stay at home forcing you to keep working yet limiting your movements. Perhaps you overdid it during the holiday parties last Christmas waking up feeling like you needed a day at home in bed. These are the times that love can be healing. Did you know that there are five love languages? Understanding which one is most healing for you can speed up healing. Let’s take a look.

What kind of love would most likely support healing for you?

  1. You feel much better when a loved one, or a friend stops by, checks in and is willing to sit and be present to whatever kind of interaction you might want? (Quality Time)
  2. Your partner pays close attention to what you really need, providing healthy food, extra blankets, healthy drinks, walking the dog, or taking the kids. (Acts of Service)
  3. Your friend checks in on you regularly, email, on the phone, sometimes in person, making sure you feel the love. Her words make a big difference. She notices slight changes in your state, saying things like “You sound better” or “your color is coming back in your face.” (Words of Affirmation)
  4. A friend brings you a book she thinks you’ll like, or special food that she thinks is healing. (Receiving Gifts)
  5. A partner or parent comes and sits on the bed rubs your feet or your shoulders. He applies warm or cold compresses to your head, or just holds your hand. (Physical Touch).

One of these most likely makes you feel loved, and it makes sense that feeling love-615307_640loved improves healing.  Yes, love is one of the 12 Practices of Optimal Healing.

Dr. Gary Chapman, a psychologist, has been studying the 5 Love Languages decades . His work has uncovered five basic patterns in which an individual most perceives love. These five patterns are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, & Physical Touch. In many ways, these 5 Love Languages are pretty self-explanatory. What is key is that we all don’t have the same love language as our primary way of recognizing being loved. What Dr. Chapman has so eloquently uncovered is that we often show love to others in the way that we most like to receive love. That seems intuitive to me. But if you want to learn more do read Dr. Chapman’s case studies or read his book The 5 Love Languages.

teamwork-383939_640His research uncovers the many ways in which we prefer one way of receiving love (sometimes two) and that we so often give this way to another. What he helps people identify is the way we most prefer to receive love. He then teachers couples and most everyone to be better able to identify and work with that love language, thus helping most anyone give and receive love most effectively. If this seems pretty simple, it is. If you would like to fast forward and see what primary love language is you can take his free online quiz.  then you can even hear the 2 hour abbreviated version of his book

But for those in the healing profession or in serious need of healing, reading the full book will make a big difference in how you help others love you, and you can give to others what they truly need. If you need a hug or a good word from a friend, perhaps give the book as a gift or spend some time with a loved one, once of these ways will light up their day. This might sound like and advertisement, perhaps I just like to acts of service!  Let the loving healing begin.




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