June 7, 2017 § 2 Comments
I remember how I cringed the first time I overheard my one of my teenage daughters and her boyfriend saying “I love you” to each other.
I cringed because I grew up in an era where you didn’t tell a significant other that you loved them until you were sure. Very sure. You had to know that this person was The One before you used the L word. And you could be almost guaranteed that the expression of love would be followed by a proposal.
This idea was so well entrenched that I remember whole story arcs in books and movies where characters agonised about whether or not this was the right time to say, “I love you.” Those three little words weren’t just sprinkled around indiscriminately. The right to say them had to be earned.
In the last year or two, however, I have revised my opinion. Because I don’t know where this idea of holding back came from. Perhaps it’s the fear that the person wouldn’t say it back – or that they would, but only because they felt they should.
And actually, that’s all balderdash. Because the person’s feelings about you are none of your business. How they feel about you shouldn’t change whether or not you love the person – that’s expedience, not love.
Love is a one way street. “I love you” is a straight line of love from my heart to yours. No detours, no hairpin bends, no potholes or speed bumps. Just love, flowing from me to you.
So I think we need to tell people more often that we love them, not less. And I’m not just referring to romantic love – we should be telling everybody! Our family, our friends, the cat, the dog, the hamster – if you love someone, just tell them already, dammit.
And stop feeling uncomfortable about saying it, or having it said to you – what is that about?! I think all of us could do with hearing more often that we are loved; the world in its current state of crisis could certainly do with a whole lot more love.
Because here’s the beautiful thing about love – it’s not depleted by being shared. Give it away, and it grows and overflows.
And why wouldn’t you want a little more of that in your life?
PS. I love you guys.