The Ten Love Tanks
Birth Thru Age 14 and Love Tanks There are ten love tanks that we need to refill often to keep ourselves healthy and happy in life. I highly recommend a book called, “How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have” by John Gray, the author of the Mars-Venus books that teach us relationship skills. How we act as adults depends on how much love we felt we received as children. We can give this love we might not have got then to ourselves now by simply filling those tanks that have never received that love.
From conception to birth, the child is connected to God‘s energy inside the womb. This energy does everything for us and is our first relationship with God. By age two we become disconnected from this energy and tend to forget that God is always there to take care of us and help us. All healing takes place from this divine energy.
From birth to age seven begins the birth crisis. This is a dreamy state of development in which we have no ability to know who we are or what we deserve except from the way our parents treat us. We grow as babies through our parent’s loving support.
Children learn one of two basic attitudes: “I have needs and I have the power to get them met.” or “I have needs and I am powerless to get them met.”
We then move through our life feeling powerful or powerless. If a child grows up too fast they miss important stages of development. When we feel powerless to get what we need to know, we also do not have the ability to even know what we need or want.
It is hard to define what our needs are or to feel worthy or entitled to receive those needs being met. Yet the more we receive what we need, the more we feel we are entitled to receive. Without a clear sense of what we do need, we sometimes try so hard to receive love that we give up our ourselves We become overly dependent on others.
We become needy and this drives others away. This tends to make us overly dependent upon ourselves. There needs to be a healthy balance of dependence upon God first of all, then some dependence upon ourselves and others in life. It is not necessary to push away valuable support offered by others. We can form close relationships in which we can feel comfortable by simply learning to fill our ten love tanks.
From age seven to fourteen is the silent crisis. If during our first 14 years, we do not feel safe to resist changes and work through our feelings, we do not form a clear sense of who we are or what we like. Emotional outbursts are common in this stage and are healthy for emotional growth. Parents should not punish children for these but use time outs, one minute per year age of the child, where they are sent to a room to vent their anger and frustration where they cannot upset others with their tantrum. When a parent does not lose control in response to a child’s tantrum, the child will learn how to have strong feelings while staying in control. Healthy adults can also have tantrums but they also have learned how to nurture themselves without dumping their negativity on others.
When we blame others for our problems and our unhappiness, we need to fill love tank #1. To break free of blame we must understand our feelings the way a parent would do for a child. We have to keep the first 3 tanks full without having to regress and behave like two year olds.
Keeping the first 3 love tanks full is our basis for feeling secure and safe. If we have been neglected in these areas, we won’t feel worthy of support and may not even know what we deserve. On some level we feel it might all be taken away. We think we have to be good or act in a certain way to deserve love. This is too much pressure for a little child. Children need to be loved unconditionally.
When our love needs are met in this stage of life, we are able to touch and taste the joy of being connected to our true selves. If we felt loved and nurtured in childhood, we automatically are able to love ourselves as adults. Without it, we never tend to measure up to our standards.
Children’s greatest needs up to age 14 is to feel safe and to feel unconditional love. They need to have permission to make lots of mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. A parent’s job is to manage the child’s life and protect them from negative influences as this learning process occurs. This should be a time of fun and free expression.
Too much emphasis on perfection can interfere with a child’s natural development. When we are too serious and work oriented as adults it is because those expectations of us began at such an early age. Too much emphasis on doing family chores, working hard, and making sacrifices for the family. Ideally, it would be a time of joining with others who care about you, a time of innocence and unconditional forgiveness. A child will conclude, “If what I did was bad, then I am bad.” “If bad things happen to me, then I must be bad.” Most adults still have not learned this distinction because as children they did not have parents who knew the difference.
When correcting children, it is better to use the term, “out of control” instead of “bad” behavior wise, because there is no negative association with who the child is. By using time outs the child has time to regain his control. Regular time outs will allow a child to stay connected to their feelings but realize they must also be able to control those feelings. Punishment never works. 90% of male prisoners are men, 90% of clients in counseling are women.
Men who are punished as children and do not develop healthy love tanks act out that mistreatment on others.
Women tend to act it out on themselves. Punishment causes us to gradually desensitize our feelings and lose our desire to please our parents.
Adults who are people-pleasers were never successful in pleasing their parents or family members. When parents make it easy for their children to please them, the child’s self-esteem can be healthy and grow. They need you to listen and understand them. They need unconditional caring. Help them form friendships with other children and give them opportunities to be with other children. If a parent gives too much support a child will push them away because they must do certain things for themselves. A big part of growing up in the 7-14 stage is working with them through social issues and challenges that come up in life.
Ages 14-21 The Hormones Crisis Around puberty boys and girls get large doses of hormones that create many new changes in their bodies. Girls’ self-esteem changes, and boys’ behavior changes. It is during this cycle of life that love tank four comes into being, Peer support.
If the 3 earlier tanks have been filled properly it will be easier to adjust to this new cycle, but these years are still hard to get through. They make a shift from their parents to their peers. Having fun is no longer a priority. They want to do things their way. School work and group activities takes on more appeal now. They can be swayed by wanting to join gangs now. Mentors of groups are appealing now to this age group, especially if strong role models are not available at home. It is normal for teenagers to look outside their home to find out who they are and what they can do. They learn from others and then come back to the family and show them what they can do. This is a time when self-confidence is building. They need to discover what they are good at and excel in that field. It is very important that parents do not alienate their teens during this time. Where we were managers during the birth to 14 years, we now have to become consultants.
Managers can control but consultants can only give advice when asked and then the clients can choose to do what they want to do. You are still needed as a loving understanding parent but they just don’t need you as much as before. If you give up telling your children what to do then they will learn to come to you and ask. Instead of telling them what to do, ask them, “What do you think?” They will stay connected to you more if you listen to them and continue to ask them questions.
Be careful not to tell them what to do or to give out too much advice though. The proper growth will take place just by sharing with other peers who have similar interests and goals. Just be there to guide them now gently.
What are the ten love tanks and how can we fill them?
The Ten Love Tanks
For more information on this, please buy John Gray’s book, “How to Get What You Want and Want What You Have.”
1. Love and support of God – To fill this tank you need to have regular contact with God in prayer, or meditation, or by reading His Word.
2. Love and support from parents – Adults do not need parents to give them this love – seeing a counselor is like hiring a parent – You must learn how to listen to your inner needs, understand your inner child, and give yourself the unconditional love your inner child needs. When we are not managing our emotional experiences in life in a loving, peaceful manner this is the tank that we need to fill.
3. Love and support from family, friends, and having fun – When your life is too serious and you are not having fun this is the tank that needs filling – Fill it by developing and enjoying friendships and by just having a good time. Watch a funny movie and laugh. Do something you enjoy doing. Have fun. These first three love tanks are necessary for the birth to age 14 years. If your love tanks from these years went lacking then your life will be messed up now. Learn how to give yourself the love your inner child needs and fill these tanks yourself and become healthy and happy forever. The next two love tanks appear during the age 14-21 years.
4. Peer Support – To fill this tank you need to be in a club or support group of some kind. Have a favorite sports team. Participate in activities at church. By awakening this energy you will have renewed energy and vitality.
5. Self-Love – To fill up this tank you have to make sure that you come first in your life. Be true to yourself. Know yourself. Be in charge of your life. Say no to things that do not make you happy. Experiment with life. Behave differently. Give yourself freedom to do things you normally would not do. Go someplace you will never go again and enjoy yourself even if people think you are acting foolishly, they will not know you. Stay in touch with what you want out of life and go for it. Take a few minutes out of every day to fill this love tank. Plan your day to do the things you enjoy doing. The remaining love tanks are filled as adults.
6. Relationships, partnerships, and romance – To fill up this love tank, you need to make sure you are sharing yourself with someone – you depend on that person and they depend on you – This can be done in a loving, committed, sexual relationship if you are an adult. To share intimacy you grow together in love over time that will only grow deeper with the years. There needs to be loving give and take. Relationships cannot be healthy if there is only one person giving and the other is taking. Soul mates are not perfect but they are perfect for you as partners.
7. Giving unconditional love to someone who is depending on you – To continue to develop past the age of 35 we must create opportunities to give unconditionally. We need to take care of our children, a pet, or a plant but the key word here is to be responsible.
8. Giving back to your community – Do volunteer work. To fill this tank look for ways to give back some of the things you have received in life—time and money. But do not neglect your own family while doing this.
9. Giving back to the world – Broaden your horizons. Volunteer to help a political candidate you endorse. Run for office yourself. Get involved in a world cause to fill this tank.
10. Serving God – As we fill this last tank, we are in tune to God’s will for us. Seek out His will for your life. Surrender your will to His will to fill this tank.
Most of my life I resented and envied Confident Women. I wanted to be a woman with Confidence. Instead I was a little girl, that was afraid of everything and everybody. I was a skinny, flat, and insecure little girl.
Where did I get my confidence from?? My confidence comes from a Higher Power, that I call God. I had to first “hit my bottom”, and ask for help. God never forced Himself on me. I tried many things to help make me feel better about me, but none worked. I used people and things to try and fix me. None of it worked.
At the age of sixteen, I was so miserable, that I decided I was going to live my life the way that I wanted to. No longer living to try and please someone else. This was NOT my bottom. I spent the next seventeen years living, or really existing in a chaotic and crazy world. I hated me and I was miserable as hell. I had NO God in my life. I ran my life on self will. I thought that if I had the “right” body, the “right” husband, the “right” job, the “right” house, and “if only” people would just do what I wanted them to~~then I would be happy. Nothing worked. Until I hit my bottom and started searching for help~~nothing got better.
My bottom was when the alcohol and pills stopped working, and I was barely surviving in an abusive marriage, I had no job skills and a four year old. I wanted to die. By God’s grace, I had a family that I could turn to for help, but they could NOT fix me. They loved me and I will be forever grateful that they never gave up on me. I found my higher power in AA.
My journey began in 1987, and it has been a long, hard road, but today twenty six years later~~I am finally at peace and I have serenity. I have a God who loves me “unconditionally”, and a group of drunks = god~~who taught me how to live and be happy with myself and my life.
My maternal grandfather always used to say, “Always wanting what is not, when it is cold you want it hot, and when it is hot you want it cold”.
St. Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content“.
I thank God everyday for this gift of sobriety and serenity. No one else could do it for me. I had to want it more than anything else.
You Know You Have Grown Up When You Realize The Best Gifts For Christmas Are Found In The Heart and Not At The Shopping Mall
It is so wonderful, when you are finally happy with things just as they are, and you are happy to be just where your at, and you don’t need superficial and material things to be happy. When you don’t have to search for someone or something to make you happy, then you are truly at peace with yourself.
”My Child, I see you allow others to treat you like used goods. I have not given you a spirit of timidity. Respect yourself enough to walk away from things that don’t grow you or make you happy. To respect yourself is to respect Me and the perfect way I created you. If you aren’t being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Have you marked yourself down? I love you ‘AS IS’. It is YOU who tells people what your worth is. Why do you willingly put yourself on the Clearance rack? I have placed in your soul a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline. Love yourself and put yourself on the shelf of life with all of the other valuables. That is where you, My Child, belong.”
I don’t have to give up me, to be loved by you. I think we should celebrate being white or whatever race that we are. We should not allow others to play the race card with us. I am proud to be white, never wanted to be any other race. I am not ashamed of it, like some would like me to be. God made us all. We are each children of God. To deny what we are is Shaming and Wrong! God made me and I will be proud of how beautiful God made me. I wasted a lot of years trying to please others, and be something else than what I was, and I tried to fit in.
Years ago, God told me, “Why do you keep trying to fit in, when I made you to stand out?” One of the greatest blessings that recovery has given me, is to know that God loves me ‘JUST AS I AM’.
Wow, this little girl has a powerful message. Beautiful voice.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
|Jonathan Livingston Seagull|
Book cover for Jonathan Livingston Seagull
|Subject(s)||life of Jonathan Livingston Seagull|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Pages||127 (paperback edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-380-01286-3(paperback edition)|
Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach, is a fable in novella form about a seagull learning about life and flight, and a homily about self-perfection. It was first published in1970 as “Jonathan Livingston Seagull — a story.” By the end of 1972, over a million copies were in print, Reader’s Digest had published a condensed version, and the book reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list where it remained for 38 weeks. In 1972 and 1973 the book topped the Publishers Weekly list of bestselling novels in the United States.
The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.
One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a “higher plane of existence” in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him “pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.” In this new place, Jonathan befriends the wisest gull, Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to “begin by knowing that you have already arrived.” Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.
My Spiritual Awakening came gradually, not all of a sudden. Through God’s grace and the 12 Steps, God gave me a nudge toward sobriety and serenity. I received serenity and sobriety as a gift, not as something that I deserved but something that I have been eternally grateful for. I was so miserable, that I was willing to go to any lengths to feel better.
I had to be willing to work for it though. And it has not been easy “living life on life’s terms”.
At first I was angry at God, for giving me such an awful life, and making me unable to have a baby.
Through my work on myself and gradually learning to believe that God was not mad at me, and He did not make these bad things happen to me, but that I was suffering the consequences of my own bad decisions.
I was able to learn that I was not a bad person trying to get good, but a sick person trying to get well.
My Self Worth is NOT tied up in other people, or what they think of me. I am “God centered”, whereas I used to be “other centered”.
I had no Self Worth. I used to be “other centered”, and I lived my life to try and please everyone else. It never worked, invariably they would piss me off, or I would piss them off. People cannot be my “higher power”. People will always fail you, because they are human just like you are.
In my recovery, I had to learn to put God #1 and be “God centered”. I put God first, #2 myself, and #3 others. It may sound strange to some, but as long as I was living for everyone else-I was not happy. I had to learn to take care of me and be good to me, before I could help others.
I have been called “cold hearted” and “selfish”, when I stood up for my needs and stopped allowing others to hurt me or drag me down. I had to learn to set boundaries and not enable others. I was taught that I should not do something for someone else that they could do for themselves. Hence, not enable them to stay sick and selfish.
I have learned to steer clear of “toxic” people who are negative and angry, and would drag me down to their level.
I was told by my mentor, that I would be known by the company I keep. If I hang with angry, or hateful people, or women who were living immoral life’s, then that was who I would be judged to be. Right or wrong–it is reality.
When I put God #1 and worked on myself #2, then I had good things to teach to others. I learned to have self worth. I focus on the Solution instead of the Problem.
Day by day, my Self Worth has increased and I am healthier, the more serene and capable of helping others, I have become. It all boils down to the fact that God loves me, and therefore I am Worthy of good things.
This is one of my all time favorite songs. I have been singing it since it came out. My little boy even sang along with us. It helped lift my spirits, and helped me to “hang on for one more day”. My “New Life” began on Friday, March 28, 1986–26 years of growing up and being responsible for my own feeling, thinking, and acting. Never, never give up!
Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling & getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren’t that good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they’re amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree…♥ source: Anonymous
Be picky pick the apples at the top, they are the best and are special. Girls who are easy to get, may more trouble than they are worth. They may look nice on the outside, but they may be “rotten” inside. Looks may be deceiving and will fade with time. Pick a girl who has good character and is good inside.
And a tree may look good on the outside too, yet it may be rotten and dying on the inside.
“Confidence in herself and aware of her God-given strength…she enjoys an inner contentment that isn’t based on accomplishments, status, authority, power, or other people’s opinions. This woman of God has learned the value of being…as opposed to doing.” (Author Unknown)
“…in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)
Finding out that my Mother has Alzheimer’s Disease, my husband’s deteriorating health, and my lack of a job to pay bills or even buy groceries can be very depressing. Today, I watched several Christmas shows on Hallmark, and God reminded me that things could be worse, and to be grateful for what I do have, instead of always complaining about what I do not have.
I have a wonderful husband who loves me dearly, and shows me everyday. He puts up with my moods, and he helps me with Mother. We have a home, a car to drive, and we have all of our “needs” met for today. We have family that loves us.
We cannot pay our bills, and I have thousands in student loans to pay back, and no job! But…I have to keep the “faith”, and believe that when it is time for me to go back to work, that God will put the job that He wants me to have in my life. I just graduated with honors with my Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Security in September 2011. At first, I was just plain tired and enjoyed the time off, but now I have started feeling frantic and worrying about finding a job to pay the bills. I have had to step back and remind myself, that if God wanted me to have a job I would have one. Both my husband and my mother do not want me to work anyway, and I am heavily laden down with the responsibilities for everything. Talk about stress overload! I am grateful to have my loving family to go through life with!
But for the grace of God!!
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ~~~Richard Bach
Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. ~~~Nathaniel Hawthorne
There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~~~Richard Buckminster Fuller
The only One that really matters is God, and as long as He approves of me I am content. It is nice to have human family and friends, but God is the only One that will be with you up until the end. Steer clear of negative, and hateful people, they will steal your joy.
Through the years I have tried to help others, and I thought that I could help change people for the better. I have learned the hard way, that you cannot do it for someone else. They must be motivated to change, and be willing to do the “footwork” to change. God will help you to change if you ask him to, but He is a “gentleman” and will never push himself upon you.
I like what St. Paul said, “I have learned in whatsoever state that I am in, therewith to be content.” I have had little and I have had much, but as long as I have had God in my life, then things have always gotten better and I have HOPE.
HOPE = Helping Other People Everyday. Helping others keeps me out of me, but there is a fine BALANCE that has to be kept. I must take care of myself first, then others. If I don’t take care of my needs, and spend all my time helping others, then they will suck me dry if I allow them too.
My mentor told me years ago, “Sally, in this world there are GIVERS and TAKERS, and you are a GIVER. If you allow them to, they will SUCK you dry, and then they will just move on to the next VICTIM.” Today, I love me enough to take care of me first.