Power in keeping your love tank filled

ReFRESH reads is reading and discussing the book – The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman a book that has been around for ages and one might question why read this book now? The reason is very simple, we still need the lessons.  Perhaps now more than ever we could all use a little ReFRESHER on how to love. Since Dr. Chapman’s first book dedicated to marriages and relationships, now he has The 5 Languages for children, singles, men, teenagers, work and others. The information has stood the test of time.  So, I encourage you to get out your copy, dust it off and see how relevant it is for you today. 

In the book The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Chapman spends time explaining the love tank and its relevance to relationships.  He shares that Dr. Ross Campbell a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents says, “inside every child is an “emotional tank” waiting to be filled with love.  When a child really feels loved, the child will develop normally but if the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave.  Much of the misbehavior of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty “love tank”. We all need love for our emotional health.”  We are just those children who have grown up to adults. We all need to have love before we fell in love with another.  So, I believe there is great power in our keeping our OWN love tank filled. 

Dr. Chapman alludes to an invisible love tank inside each one of us that may very well be on EMPTY. In the popular book, he writes that every person has a Love Tank.  “A couple’s Love Tank is filled by the frequency of emotional connections and is drained by the ways a couple disconnects.”

 I believe this state of emptiness results in distance, lack of joy, divorce, and disfunction. Therefore, the reverse of that would be happy fulfilled relationships and partnerships better able to love and resolve conflicts. Just like a car can’t run without fuel nor can your run without LOVE in your OWN tank.

So, let’s get started where Dr. Chapman leaves us!  I believe there is power in keeping your OWN love tank filled.  The more love you can give yourself, the more you will be able to give to others. Yes, I believe in the value of identifying YOUR love language and I recognize that as Dr. Chapman noted “at the heart of mankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another.”  I accept that premise and, in this account, I would offer for your consideration that giving that love to yourself is where to begin.  I believe there is power in keeping your OWN love tank filled.  If you had to mark on diagram where E represents empty all the way to the left and F represents full all the way to the right, where would you mark your tank?  Would it be empty, half full or full?  The closer to F/full we are with our self-love I believe it out pictures in full rich relationships, partnerships and engagements with others.  Our ability to proclaim and demonstrate our love of self is fundamental in sharing love for others.

The terms self-love and self-care are seen everywhere!  Yet I question if we really practice the actions and rituals of a full loving relationship with ourselves?  I believe there is power in keeping our OWN love tank on full.

What does full look like? Let’s begin the definition of love, according to the dictionary, love is an intense feeling of deep affection. Synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment; a great interest and pleasure in something. Synonyms: liking, weakness, partiality, bent, leaning, proclivity, inclination, disposition; feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).

“Love is an incredibly powerful word. When you’re in love, you always want to be together, and when you’re not, you’re thinking about being together because you need that person and without them your life is incomplete. This love is unconditional affection with no limits or conditions: completely loving someone.”  Anonymous

“Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over another’s sins but delights in the truth. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance. In a word, there are three things that last forever: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of them all is love.” (1 Corinthians 13) …  from the Bible

Is love that illusive that we can’t even find it for ourselves? Is the fact that we are not able to find and keep love for ourselves a driving force in loveless relationships and loveless us?  We are taught how to give love to all others, family, children, those in need, neighbors etc. Remember the commandment – “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  We are conditioned to share and bestow our love to all those outside ourselves.  I don’t recall until later in life when there was a realization for me that the self-love tanks were all empty and it was then that I began plugging into the theme of self- love. I Believe there is Power in Keeping Your Own Love Tank Filled.

In Tina’s Turner’s song she asks,

What’s love but a second-hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken!

I think we all can attest to the fact that if we have loved we have suffered a heart that was broken.  Have we experienced that same brokenness with ourselves?  Have we found ourselves empty, broken and not able to love ourselves?  Have we discovered that we never deposited love in our own invisible love tank?  Maybe we didn’t even realize it was even necessary.  Maybe, we gave most all the love we had to someone or something other than ourselves.  Is it possible that we gave and gave and now we have none to give not even to ourselves?  Thereby leaving us empty and unable to speak any love language to ourselves or to anyone.  I would love to ask Dr. Chapman this question, “would our love of self and recognizing our love language need to precede our love for others?

Regardless of what needs to come first, we can see that it must be important.  The 5 Love Languages and all that has evolved from its study are still with us since it was originally published in 1992.  Even today, we find it still relevant! Many years ago, I used it after a big break up, seeking to understand what happened back then. Maybe I needed it before the breakup and that is why it has resurfaced and was chosen by ReFRESH.  Today, I am again fascinated with the languages and wonder whether I am fluent in the languages as it pertains to my love for ME and others!  I want to be able to speak the languages with ease and fluency.  I want to recognize the 5 languages’ characteristics in others.  I want to speak clearly and with assuredness the language that my heart seeks. I want to live in joy and peace; showering myself with whatever I need.  I want to learn to speak the 5 languages to ME!  This is what I believe a full love tank looks like.

In doing my research on this topic I found tons, tons, and more on the self- love/self-care topic.  It seems that “we are seeking what is seeking us” – RUMI.   After reading and reviewing and combing thru much of the information it appears that from the 5 Love Languages stance, there are are action steps for self-love in each one of the 5 languages. So here they are:

I found this very handy graphic that identifies in the mind of the author what activities they would engage in for each of the 5 Love languages for themselves – self-love and self-care!  I love it!

… Soul Warriors

The list of choices is infinite, and it is all about discovering yourself and how to take care of and love you. I was just overwhelmed at the wealth of great resources and information on how to better care for self and as my dear friend Kaysaree says practice your “healthy selfish”.

So, I chose to begin with myself in exploring the 5 Love languages – I maintain that if I begin with me, I will be prepared to share the experience of speaking fluently the love languages in my relationships and partnerships.  I will be FLUENT in showing up for myself and for others.  I want to maintain a healthy marriage, great relationships with family, my children and friends.  The 5 Love Languages is just one tool and one path to maintaining those love connections. 

For Your Consideration:

  1. Read Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages with your eyes focused on you – better able to communicate what you need
  2. Determine the top two love languages you most resonate with
  3. Create YOUR Love Language chart and identify ways to use those self-care activities for YOU
  4. Create a self-care – self-love –tool kit- see what I have in mine at the next ReFRESH workshop – April 5, 2019
  5. Practice self-love – self-care for 28 days – calendar also a part of upcoming April workshop


This time Create the for Your Lover/Partner – If you plan to have one – what you would plan for a future partner.

  1. Read Dr. Chapman’s 5 Love Languages with eyes focused on you as a couple
  2. Determine the top two love languages that each of you most resonate with
  3. Create YOUR Love Couple Language chart and identify ways to use those self-care activities for YOU both
  4. Create a self-care – love tool kit- use YOUR imagination see what I have in mine at the next ReFRESH workshop – April 5, 2019
  5. Practice self-love – self-care together as a couple taking care of each other and speaking each other’s love language for 28 days – calendar also a part of upcoming workshop

YES, I believe there is great power in keeping your OWN love tank filled.  For each of you, I wish that you will experience an overflowing love tank.  From that overflow, I hope you will experience rich loving relationships, that you can share the love you have with your world.  I hope that your fluency in the love languages will bring you all your heartfelt desires in your partner, in your work, in your relationships, and in your Life.  Wishing you all the love you can stand!!!! 



Helen Mitchell, CMP, MA
ReFRESH Founder and Joy Expert