A Simpler Life Starts With Love

holding handsAs people, we love love. You love love, I love love, everyone loves love!

It feels great to love other people, things, places, everything. Feeling love is a fundamental part of what makes us human. It connects us all and gives us all something in common – we all want to love and be loved. The complex, wonderful thing that is ‘love’ guides all living things to act not only for themselves but for others, too, and that is what keeps the world going!

Where would we be without our compassion and empathy for others? The joy of loving and being loved back has been enjoyed since the beginning of the human race. It is a joyous, generous emotion that can be felt and shared in so many different ways. When it comes to how we love other people in our lives, and how we want to be loved back by them, there are certain ways that we tend to do those things, which are called our “love languages”. Gary Chapman wrote a best-selling book in which he defines the five love languages and what they mean.

Learning what your love language is can help you create stronger and better relationships in your life because you’ll know what you want from people and how you can best show people that you love them. Improving relationships is important with all kinds of people, not limited to your significant other. It’s important with friends, family, coworkers, and everyone else in your life. Knowing your love language can help you feel more confident in showing affection, and in letting people know how to show love to you. Knowing your loved ones’ love languages is also important so that you can make them feel loved and important. The five love languages, according to Chapman, are as follows:mom with baby daughter

1. Words of Affirmation
You use kind, encouraging words to lift your loved ones up. You feel supported when people you love use these words with you, too.

2. Gifts
Receiving and giving thoughtful gifts shows love for you.

3. Acts of Service
It means a lot to you when your loved ones do things for you that you wouldn’t want to do yourself, and doing special things for people is how you show them you love them.

4. Quality Time
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you just love spending time with your loved ones, and you love when they make time to spend with you.

5. Physical Touch
Time spent physically near your loved ones and sharing close moments like hugs are the ways you like to feel and show love.

These are the main different ways that people show and feel love among the people in their lives. There are other kinds of love too, though, that don’t involve another person at all. There is love for the things in life that we enjoy, like certain places, foods, animals, activities, anything! A love for nature, or your dog, or painting, or your career is just as valid as love for another person. There is no limit on the “kind” of love that can be celebrated. Although Valentine’s Day has passed, remember to show your love ones, no matter who they are, that they are special to you.

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Allison ErvinAllison Ervin, granddaughter of company founder Jay Lehman, is passionate about the powerless – children, animals and anyone in need. A freshman at Kent State majoring in international business with a minor in non-profit management, she has served in Indonesia and Central America, teaching English in daycare centers and orphanages. A committed vegetarian, when not studying or cat-cuddling, Allison enjoys painting, listening to the latest music, and thrifting (shopping at thrift and vintage stores).