I’m sure you’ve heard this song before:

“I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never going to keep me down”

Why is it that I live in this cycle? Why can I just get up again and end it?  Yeah, yeah, I keep getting up again, but I’m sick and tired of getting knocked back down!  Why?  Am I telling myself I don’t deserve to be up “there”?  Am I afraid of being up “there”?  Where is “there”?

Low self-worth?

What does this all say to me?  It says I have self-doubt or worse low self-worth.  That’s most definitely it.  Low self-worth or lack of self-love just allows things to crash.  Why? Because I don’t feel I’m worth being up all the time.  I don’t feel I’m good enough to stay in the highs for an extended period of time.  Why am I in the situations I am in?  It’s because of the value I put on myself right now.  Everything I have now is due to the value I have put on myself.

Next step?

So what’s the next step?  I guess the real question is how do I improve my self worth?  Better yet, how can I love myself better?  Ah hah!  The real question reveals itself.  How can I LOVE MYSELF better?  How can I love myself at all?

It’s funny asking this question, because it’s a similar question Tanya and I have asked ourselves in our own relationship and many times we have referred to the book, “The 5 Love Languages”.  After reviewing the 5 Love Languages (you can take this test) my number 1 Love Language is “Words of Admiration”, while my number 2 is a tie between “Quality Time” and “Acts of Service”.  Gifts and Touch barely make the radar.  What does this mean for me?  This probably means that I need to write more for myself, give myself time with myself and do things for myself.  Interesting.  Even writing this blog, while Tanya is in bed, is allowing me to lift up my spirits.  Words of Admiration – check, Quality Time – check, Things for me – check.

The light bulb has gone off!

As I type, it seems like I can’t type fast enough.  I look at my obvious top 3 love languages that make ME feel loved and I ask myself why these three and why are they so prominent over the others?  The answer is quite obviously in my past.  It’s painful to think about it, but as a child the two things I don’t ever really remember having are words of admiration from my family or quality time with my family.  Acts of service was there, which is maybe why that’s the number one way how I show love now, even though others, for instance Tanya, don’t understand it, because their love language is something completely opposite.

Going back to the big revelation though…

The biggest thing I ever remember hearing from my family was, “You could have done better” or “Why didn’t you get 100%” or “Why did so-and-so beat you?”.  I’m sure there were words of encouragement and admiration in our household – I didn’t live with ogres.  But the fact remains that these are the defining statements that I remember.

Similarly, I don’t ever really remember good quality time with my family.  I remember lots of stuff we did.  Camping was always fun in the summers and it was probably my most fond time of us as a family.  But that was 2 weeks out of 52.  The rest of the time always seemed rushed.  My parents worked a lot and both me and my brother were in every sport imaginable.  My parents really worked their butts off to provide us with every opportunity available to us/them and for that I don’t think I can express my gratitude enough.  They did their best guaranteed.  But maybe I needed just to have some quality time with them.  Maybe I needed time to just sit down and talk.  Time to laugh.  Time to share.  Time to cry.  One thing I definitely remember about growing up is never really sharing anything with anyone.  My parents, my brother, my “friends”, my teachers, etc.  I kept everything in.  I remember seeing kids at school being so open with their parents whether it was about girls, or grades, or anything.  I was always so jealous, though this is probably the first I’ve ever spoken of it.

Only now, in retrospect, does it all make sense on why I am who I am, and more importantly what it is that makes me feel loved.  When I began typing this blog I had no expectation of getting to this point.   What an ah-hah moment for me?  Yeah me!

Repercussions?  Gratitude first.

So now what?  Knowing that my family (at least my mother) reads these blogs, the real question to me is now what?  What are they going to say?  So I need to make some things clear.

I think my family did their absolute best in raising me and my brother based on the tools they had and based on their past.  My parents were both much younger than me when they had me and things were much different then.  Hell if I had kids in my early 20s I can only imagine how I would have raised them versus how I would like to think I’d raise them now.  So before the wrath, I’d like to express my deepest of gratitude (especially since it’s still Mother’s Day for another hour and ten minutes here) to both of my parents for raising me to be me.  The fact that I’m able to understand myself now is a testament to the tools you provided me at a young age to seek knowledge and to ever improve myself.  I am so thankful for the childhood I had.  I loved playing sports, I loved being good in school, I loved our camping trips, I loved all of our trips, I loved Halloween, I loved playing outside, I loved the outdoors.  And I owe all of these loves that I had and STILL have to you.

So thank you for raising me to be who I am, because I truly do (with tears in my eyes now) love me.



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4 Responses to How do you like to be loved?

  1. I’ve heard friends speaking of this book before and the five languages. They make sense. It’s like communicating with people. Some are phone people; some are email people; others prefer Facebook and others favour Twitter. If you know which one works for a person, you’ll get prompt responses and positive interactions.

    This aside, I’m a touch person; gifts are irrelevant to me. I had never realised the touch thing and how much I have missed it in my life until a few months ago. I’m single and have been for some time (and before than in relationships I have craves, but not received, touch). Part choice and part that I haven’t met anyone I’m that interested in. As a result, aside from occasional hugs from my mom and friends, I have very little touch in my life.

    In December last year I discovered acroyoga, which I really enjoyed as much for being physically demanding as the physical contact between participants. It is an acrobatic sport where trust plays a big role – you trust people not to drop you and to guide you. Movements are executed with a firm grip but also a kind of care and respect for the people you’re playing with. We have irregular, informal sessions (the sport is not established here) and there are three or four of us who attend most sessions and we usually have a few drop-ins each time too.

    Touch is very much a part of this discipline. What I especially appreciate is that it is touch that gives and takes. We draw from each other – A base gives the flyer a sense of security, they reassure with touch to relax the flyer and also to guide them into moves. The flyer absorbs the touch to feel reassured, relaxed and completely trusting of the base.

    There are elements of Thai massage that are brought into acroyoga (the three components are acrobatics, yoga and Thai massage). Again, this is very much about touch – soothing, relaxing, stretching and easing tired muscles. Most of the people at these sessions really are strangers to me and yet I can make a big difference to their day through touch – my hand placed against theirs as I lift them into the air or a well-placed palm soothing a back that has worked hard.

    And so I am rewarded in return.

  2. Anthea Scott says:

    Hi there Sean,

    I read your post and was touched by how brave it is for someone who ‘has it all’ (at least by my family measures – Athletic, Academic and Business) to share their vulnerabilities and not hide in the armour of pretended perfection. I too am the child of parents who were too busy, and who couldn’t share their love verbally, and the holes in me are still there… All the things you said about them doing the best job they could, being young, all ring true for my family too. I know that most of my pain, and struggle to love and accept myself comes out of their inability to love themselves. So I try for my children’s sake to love myself a little more each day.
    I thought this
    connects well with what you were saying. Maybe you have seen it before.
    Thanks for being real,

    Anthea Scott

    • Sean Verret says:

      Anthea, what a fabulous post. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my blog!

  3. […] a long time that people show their love in different ways and also feel loved in different ways.  I’ve blogged on this subject too, but I guess I just didn’t realize it with those who’ve been closest to me my entire […]