God speaks my love language

A couple weeks ago the question crossed my mind, "is there such a thing as spiritual love languages?"  An hour of Googling revealed a handful of posts on the topic in addition to a mention of Gary Chapman's book "The Love Languages of God."  I was intrigued.

I have taken the love language test multiple times and Words of Affirmation always comes up #1 for me.  This is no surprise.  I have hoarded "words of affirmation" since I was young - report cards with nice comments from my teachers, thank you notes with compliments from people I admired, letters of recommendation from high school teachers, emails/instant messages/texts that make me feel loved and special, important letters from friends, yearbook messages, birthday cards with nice messages hand-written inside... you name it, if it has writing on it and it makes me feel loved, I've probably kept it.  (Thankfully I'm not quite such a hoarder these days.  Mostly I keep cards and digital things.)

However - I had never thought to attribute my feeling unloved by God due to a lack of "words of affirmation" from Him.  I realized that I do have some - my patriarchal blessing as well as notes from and transcripts of blessings I've received - and that I reread them often because they help me feel loved!  This was a huge realization for me!  The three ways I was looking to experience love from God were:
  1. literal words (a Words of Affirmation expression)
  2. feeling His presence (a Physical Touch expression - which is my tertiary love language)
  3. a literal feeling of love (possibly also counts as Physical Touch?)
Since I wasn't having those experiences, I felt unloved.  The light bulb came on.

I made this realization at an opportune time - earlier this month I finally started having dialogs during prayer.  I've written down and typed up those answers, and when I reread them, I see a lot of words of affirmation!  The thoughts in my head as I receive them have no emotion associated with them, but the more I read them, the more they elicit a feeling of love anyway - they are God's words telling me I am His daughter, He loves me, He could never reject me, and He's always been there in my darkest hours, even if I couldn't feel Him.  I cherish those words, and can't wait for my dialogs to resume so I can receive even more!

A few nights ago, I put together a playlist I call "Love Songs From God" that has a number of my favorite songs that are either completely sung from His perspective or have a chorus sung from His perspective.  I had noticed in the past that some of those songs affected me emotionally - now I know why.

I am so grateful to have finally made these connections.  This part of my life has confused and upset me for so long, but now things are finally making sense and are improving!

The silence is broken

I alluded to this in my last post.  I am finally starting to get feedback during prayer.  It's not consistent, unfortunately; I've now gone two weeks with nothing.  But just having some dialogs with God has been incredibly motivating to me.

Earlier this year I experimented with praying and then clearing my mind and waiting afterward, with the intent of writing down any thoughts that came to mind.  I was never successful.  A clear mind meant no thoughts, period.  I eventually gave up since it didn't seem to "work" for me the way it did for others.

In the past I have (inconsistently) kept a prayer journal, where I type up my prayers instead of just saying them vocally. Sometimes it's easier for me to pour out my thoughts in writing instead of through speech.  I haven't done that for many years, but at the end of April I saw someone online saying she writes "love letters" to God, and after she finishes her letter, she writes, "Dear <her name here>," and waits and writes down the response.  This appealed to me since the concept was similar to my prayer journal.

So May 1st I tried it out for the first time, writing my letter and then clearing my mind and waiting for a response.  And I was surprised to find thoughts coming to mind!  I wasn't sure if I was really getting answers or if I was making things up, but I persisted.  Twice a day during my prayer time I wrote and then listened.  And after almost every prayer, I got at least one or two sentences back.  I even had a whole Q&A session with God during my Sunday prayer.  I still wasn't 100% sold on these thoughts being real revelation, but the answers I got said to keep practicing and to notice my heart, which definitely felt differently than usual, so I kept at it, figuring if it was real revelation, it would probably get easier with practice.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, the heavens are silent once again, but I continue to try three times a day, figuring at some point the silence will break again, and I will once again be blessed with a real dialog during prayer!

Feeling spiritually inferior

I have had a bit of a spiritual inferiority complex since waking up last year.  I have a lot of acquaintances who are far more spiritually advanced than I am.  It is very easy for me to compare my progress to theirs - an unfair comparison because they most likely have been awake and working to progress years longer than I have been.  That hasn't been much of a deterrent for me though.

My prayers have recently started becoming dialogues sometimes instead of just monologues. Last week I got this back:

Stop comparing your progress to others. You are an individual with your own plan and path. All experiences are open to all people. Instead of being jealous, you should rejoice, for those experiences are in your future too.  They’re something to look forward to.

That was an idea I hadn't thought of before - to rejoice to hear other people's spiritual experiences because it's a taste of what could be in my future.  Hearing that ordinary rank-and-file members of the church are having amazing spiritual experiences should be a testimony of the truth that every experience is open to everyone, not just GAs or spiritual giants.  Every experience someone else has is one that I (and YOU) could have.  And certainly every spiritual experience I have is one that you could have too.