"I love you." These three powerful words are often left unspoken. But, when they are spoken, something happens to both the sender and the receiver. I notice that, whether I'm saying them or hearing them, these words said aloud make me happy.
Recently, I hugged a relatively new friend goodbye as we departed a meeting and heard myself say, "I love you." The words had just come out spontaneously. Then I thought about it. I love her spirit, dedication, and sense of life; these are part of who she is. So, yes, I do love her. Saying the words brought it into focus.
Why are we reluctant to say "I love you"? Maybe it's fear of being misunderstood, vulnerable, or rejected. Maybe it's that we're unaccustomed to expressing our feelings. Those of us who grew up in the mid-20th century knew that we were loved, but we rarely heard the words. Today, many of us feel it's important to use them as a verbal confirmation of our feelings.
We may wonder whether "I love you" will lose its meaning since it's spoken so casually and frequently these days. Often at the end of a phone conversation with the children: "I love you." Then the seemingly automatic response: "I love you, too." I think the feeling and meaning will stand, especially if the phrase is also said with sincerity, face-to-face at other times.
When I'm gone, I don't want to have any "I Love You's" left unsaid, none languishing inside when they could be out in the universe warming hearts and bringing smiles. I want to be sure that the folks whom I love know it, hear it, feel it. I want my children, partner, friends, and relatives to know they are loved and cherished. That way, all of us win -- all of the time.
So, who have you told lately that you love them?
~ xoA ~