Time to think out loud again.
First I want to send a shout-out to all those lurkers out there who read but don’t comment. Lurker is a common internet term for people who are actively reading a site or discussion, but not responding / joining in the discussion. Though it sounds bad, it’s not always – we all would do well to observe what’s going on before we go to saying whatever is on our minds. With that being said, I do want to encourage anyone who drops by to let me know that you were here. Just a quick hello or even a smiley face 🙂 . Sure Google tells me I had X number of visitors each day, but it’s nice to hear from you rather than Google. This comes up because I recently learned that one of the two primary ways I experience love are “Words of Affirmation” ( which also scored equally with “Acts of Service”.)
On my way home from a concert I was feeling a bit frustrated. As I dug into what I was feeling I was even so bold as to tweet about it (here and here) – speaking up was a GREAT idea because it sparked a small discussion on Facebook (where my tweets show up as my status message). I realized in that discussion that I was placing myself in a good position to become burned out with a group I love dearly. This wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened in my life so I’ve been actively trying to understand the pattern and avert the cycle. For one, I don’t speak up nearly enough when something bothers me or I’m put off by something. I’ve done that for so long that it takes a while me to even notice that I’m bothered! Second I had to keep some things in perspective because I know I’m loved / appreciated by this group but I just wasn’t feeling the love. That’s why my second tweet was about my need to learn to communicate my need for love.
This communication issue got me to thinking about the Five Love Languages that I’ve heard of so frequently but have never checked out. So I did a quick google search to find some of the “Five Love Languages” tests online. The results helped me to understand all of what I felt this evening. I was feeling taken for granted and unappreciated for something in particular that I’ve done for them on three occasions at the last minute and with no thanks at the end. Now some of you are getting all ruffled because I expected a thank you, but if we’re honest – very few of us continue doing things where we get NO positive feedback. The funny thing is that the way I’m wired things would have been quite different for me if someone noticed what I did last time to ‘fill in’ and had asked me in advance to do it again this time, I would have been more than happy to do it! I guess for me it’s a form of affirmation that my contribution is valuable. I was sooo jaded that I’d walked into the event saying “no… I won’t help again” and before I could even be seated two different people were asking me to fix what was wrong. (I was trying to just be a ‘guest’ that night!) With the least bit of resistance I went and ‘helped’ – fixing the problem and maintaining that position for the rest of the night.
Ok… so now that I’ve vented all that out (and you’re still reading?! WOW?!) What I’m learning is that if I don’t speak up about the problem, it’ll continue to happen. I did (in a light hearted way) let the organizer know that they really have to be mindful to cover these kinds of basics since they do events so regularly. I also let another friend of mine know that I wasn’t feeling great (I usually don’t tell him things like that… more about that later).
The song “Simply Put” by Fred Hammond came to mind as I was processing all of these thoughts and feelings. The end of the verse seems to say it best:
…”My basic needs are really very simple
To know You love me
You like me
And I am Yours
I am Yours”
That phrase as stood out to me so strongly for years and it gives voice to my needs even now.
Even as I write this I’m so thankful for the many voices tonight and elsewhere that are so generous with their words of love, appreciation, and encouragement. More and more I’m realizing just how important that is to me. No one has to appreciate you or even care about you – so to be able to say that I have been blessed with a wealth of people who do just those things is amazing and I’m grateful to God. I’m thinking of very specific e-mails, conversations in cars, and even text messages and facebook comments that I carry in my heart. I’m thinking also of some of my most desperate times when God should have been far, far away and He’s whispered in my heart that he loves me and that I belong to him –still.
I am loved and I’m thankful for it. I just need to hear it.