I love you.
It’s true. Though I may not have met you or connected with you, in a universal sense, I love you.
I love you because you are part of the intricate web that makes up the Universe.
Just thinking and writing those words makes me smile. I feel a sense of calm and joy – the power of those words.
Actions speak louder than words but words have their own special power and lasting effect. And ‘I love you’ are possibly the three most important words in the English language.
When you speak those words, with sincerity, you feel a great sense of freedom and you can actually feel love bubbling up inside of you.
Studies have shown saying the words can be good for your health.
When you hear an authentic “I love you”, you feel comfort and calm. Inside those three little words lies a treasure trove of information that reveals your importance to another.
SOME PEOPLE CAN’T SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’
Yet, so many people have difficulty saying the phrase.
Sometimes this is caused by fear that they will sound foolish or be rejected. Maybe they have had a bad experience with the phrase that has left them heartbroken.
For some, it has more to do with not having been taught how to express their feelings openly.
For others, it is simply because they don’t feel that way.
True, saying those words can make you vulnerable, but it can also make you powerful.
If you say the phrase because you actually mean it, not because you want to hear the words echoed back, you feel the love almost as if you were giving it to yourself.
Those words are not just reserved for romance. They recognise beautiful friendships, describe the glue that bonds families and are often used almost as a mantra for parents.
I was lucky to have parents who used “I love you” repeatedly.
My mother, in particular, never let a day go by without reminding me of my importance to her with those words.
To this day, all of our meetups start and finish with the words “I love you”. All of our phone conversations end with the phrase.
It’s no surprise then that, once we got past the initial fear of uttering those words to each other during the early stages of our romance, Hubby and I adopted the same tradition.
Our greetings begin with the words and phone conversations end with them.
It happened without us even realising it.
THE REWARD OF SAYING ‘I LOVE YOU’
Then Hubby started to end his phone conversations with his mother the same way. With those magic words.
Before she realised it, she was joining in and ending conversations with her loved ones using that affirmation.
One day a few years ago my mother-in-law rang Hubby to tell him ‘thank you’. She said that his use of the phrase to end conversations with her had prompted her to do the same with others she cared about. This was not her habit previously. What it meant was that the very last words she spoke to her sister before she died were, “I love you”. Something my mother-in-law will always be grateful for.
We tend to assume the people we care about will know we love them by the way we treat them. This is not always true and people need to hear the words, which should then be backed up by action.
This is especially true for children. The words help them understand they are important and valued.
Even though all our actions as parents may be demonstrating those words, every minute of every day, the words themselves have power. They tell the child that, even when they have behaved badly, they will not be abandoned and rejected. That they are an important part of our lives.
Saying the words to children also gives the example of expressing feelings, which will help them in relationships later in life.
WHEN THE WORDS ARE SAID TOO OFTEN
Can you overuse the phrase?
If the words are heartfelt when they said, then the simple answer is no.
If they are said as a formality or, worse, as a manipulation, then they are mean and hurtful and better left unsaid.
Saying the words ignites a gift of joy for the speaker and the receiver when they are true. When uttered without sincerity, they have the power to destroy lives.
I LOVE YOU – THE ULTIMATE SHORTHAND FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD
I think the phrase “I love you” is a little like shorthand for so many other things you want to say.
Consider the good friend who has patiently listened to your tale of woe, offered their shoulder, mopped your tears and gave a comforting hug. You could speak for ages about your gratitude for the friendship. How it comforts you and lifts you up. How you could not imagine life without sharing smiles, tears, joys and fears with them. Or you could simply say, “Thank you. I love you”.
Sometimes it’s nice to say it all – the shorthand “I love you” with the longhand that tells them all the reasons why.
There are friends who I love that I don’t share these words with. Almost always, the reason is that I know it will make them feel uncomfortable. It’s a phrase they use only for romance or children.
In the English language ‘love’ has a lot of meanings.
Instead, we speak the words in longhand and write about the treasure of our friendship in greeting cards, kind of skipping around those three magic words.
There are a million ways to say “I love you”, but that one little phrase encompasses them all.
Wishing you many opportunities to say and hear the words, “I love you”. Have a gleeful week, Tamuria.