Friday, January 13, 2012

The first love language: affirmations

During wedding counseling, Teri's cousin, Delbert, our minister, introduced us to a book that spelled out the five love languages. The first of these was affirmations. I'm a strong believer in affirmations. In fact, I began reciting a list of positive statements each morning after having been assigned, in my job as an editor in a daily newspaper, to check over the comic page. OK, so the page contained more than just "Family Circus" and "Doonesbury." The page also contained the "Dear Abby" column, which one day recommended a series of Just for Today affirmations. I started out with theirs. But being a contrarian, soon I had crafted my own. The Just for Todays proved invaluable as I went through my first wife, Tina's final illness and untimely death at age 48 in 2007. When times got rough, I had an inner strength to draw on.

Today, with the Living Apart Together arrangement Teri and I find ourselves in, she in Walla Walla during the work week and me in La Grande, I find affirmations to be one of the best things I have going. I remind her she's beautiful, inside and out, whether that is in our nightly phone calls or in the early morning email or through a text message.

Teri being the Wonder Woman, it's easy to find things to praise. I also like to do a takeoff on her initials, T.D., and give her a Ta-Dah! or a Ta-Ta-Ta-Dah!!! when appropriate.

It's great to live in the 21st century when there are so many ways to communicate, a multimedia three-ring circus. You still have to be mindful. But sending out affirmations has never been easier.

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