I have a sweet friend that suffered a severe injury several years ago. She is still on the road to healing and recovery. She is also one of those people with a humongous heart who works hard to make sure her relationships stay strong. However, when her healing required lots of time away from public places and normal social situations, she had to find a new way to connect. That amazing lady did it, too. She became the queen of cards, encouraging letters, and remembering important dates. She just had to figure it out. When I have ladies who fear giving up a habit because it links them to someone they love, I always think of my friend.
Food and alcohol are often a social link we have with friends and family. And there might even be activities you want to take a break from that are the way you have enjoyed time with your loved ones. In the face of this habit change, I want to encourage you that these habits are not necessary for you to have a friendship or relationship. In the absence of these habits, you might even find you grow closer with these loved ones as you work to find new and deeper ways to connect.
But how? Well, the answer is love. Isn’t it always? After all, love never fails” (See 1 Corinthians 13:8). However, I love using the Five Love Languages developed by Gary Chapman to really help myself and my clients understand themselves and the people they are in a relationship with. In simple terms, we each love using one of these methods: physical affection, gift giving, quality time, acts of service, or words of affirmation. When we understand how we love others and then also understand how our friends and family express love, we can be more specific and strategic in our relationship with them.
For example, my dad loves hugs and acts of service. A hug and a home cooked meal might be his favorite things in the world. However, if I were to show up at his house and offer to take him to the movies, he wouldn’t be very excited at all. It just isn’t his thing. Knowing that, I can make sure I connect with my dad in ways that are relevant to him.
I would encourage you to take the free online quiz https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes and also read a little about the different love languages. You might even ask your friend or loved one if they know their love language so that you can connect with them better in the absence of this habit that you are taking a break from.
Journal Prompt: What is your love language? Name one person who’s relationship with you might be in danger as you take a break from this habit. Can you think of another way to connect with them that is in line with your love language? What about their love language?
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by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.