Friday, 30 March 2012

Happiness is filling your own love tank

Think of yourself as having a “Love Tank”, much like the fuel tank in your car. This tank is a reservoir of love inside yourself for you to use. A happy 'place' that thrives on 'feeling' you are appreciated, cared for, loved and valuable to the community and family.

While we can wait to others to fill our tank ; to meet our need for love, happiness and to feel fulfilled - sometimes it just doesn't happen , so we run on empty !

As mothers it is important we make a deposit in our own love tank, to give ourselves emotional and even physical strength to fuel us through the arsenic hour day and those sleepless nights.


Often we are so busy filling the love tanks of our children and partners we neglect our own. Ever noticed the little needle on the fuel gauge pointing at   E as in EMPTY!

Especially, right before you have somewhere important to be , or you are en-route or when the car starts chugging and you actually run out of petrol > it is always at worse possible time , you can't believe you forgot to do it (or you blame the hubby).

So we melt break down - we get tired, we get emotional or become depressed and feel unappreciated unfulfilled - we’re sad that life has to be this hard. We are sick of juggling all the balls or dropping them.

As legitimate is the need to eat, to sleep, to drink, to put the brakes on breathe - is the need to fill an empty love tank.

When your tank is empty it is hard going. Ultimately we make our own choices about happiness so in choosing to be happier we must start the ball rolling ourselves.

We have to stop running around at full speed, life in the fast lane , barely slowing for air chocolate coffee a proper re-fuel ; yes we skip meals or compensate by eating the wrong foods.

Though my husband was very hands on I had little me time when my twins were infants. I thought I had very little time for me - in between breastfeeding one twin, expressing BM for his brother and helping my 13yr in his first yr of high-school plus keeping house - I was often at the end of my rope.

We are so busy we don't know what to do and say to ourselves "I have no time on my hands" (check this post for some tips on how to give yourself me time) .

One day someone told me to just do it  ! Don't wait till you have everything under control for the day. It might never happen.

Find even 5 mins to fill up your love tank, take 5-20  mins at a time or longer if you have it available. Ask for it , if you have a supportive partner or friend or children who are old enough...ask !

Last night , I returned from my 36hr , 800+ km trip to Sydney. I got to top up my love tank ~ mixing with fellow bloggers , visiting a dear friend overnight , visiting my Aunty and 4hrs SOME  retail therapy at IKEA Tempe.(I could gush all day about that place - how I adore it.That is a post and giveaway for another day.)

We need

ways to help us feel happier.

I did it by doing things that made me happy or brought a little joy when I wasn't feeling it. Simple things I didn't need to go far from home for or I could do maybe with the kids.

(this I did go far from home to see)
  1. Go for a walk to look around at nature, sometimes taking my camera and others times just going for walk at a favourite place ot take in a sunset A brisk walk with the pram often put my cherubs to sleep.At night I would sit on my favourite bench seat and look at the stars for 5 mins think or pray.
    My favourite garden seat -we took it.
  2. Call a friend I hadn't spoken to in a while or use Internet chat with a virtual cup of tea ...
  3. Buy (or cook) - a piece of cake or a 3 min Mug cake !
  4. Download some favourite songs or buy a CD of songs I liked and then crank up the stereo.
  5. Take a long bath , with a book and even the rose petals and a candle ...bath salts and even a little wine.
  6. Pop on a funny DVD - even if I had to rent one. Even just lying on floor or couch while the twins watched a children's DVD gave me a little me time...sometimes I could sneak away.
  7. Start a blog - I did when the twins were 9 months old.
  8. Lie down with them while they napped , and read or NAP or pretend too !
  9. Stay up late or get up early to enjoy the silence with a quiet cup of tea , read blogs or just be inspired by photography & 365 projects . 
  10. RE - Reading my Chicken Soup for the Soul books would give me the release to cry tears of joy & gratitude or sometimes very sad ones. The positive attitude and hope in these stories helped me focus on the good things in my life.Even reading Reader's Digest from cover to cover was enough to remind myself that my life was blessed and happy.
There were many more things - blogging was a little like journaling it stopped me bottling up things that aggravated me. I'd also paint my nails, get on the treadmill or read food magazines  (yes quite contradictory) or really go and visit a friend in real life !

How do you fill your love tank ?
I'd love to know...

When I speak of Love tank ,my experiences are based on Gary Chapman contribution to the definition of love and love tanks in his book "The Five Love Languages". Gary, explores the meaning of love and the ways in which people express and receive love to have happier more fulfilled relationships and lives.