I am going to share a little secret with you.
When I was much younger, just a girl, I never whispered the words, “I love you” to anyone. It was such a hard thing for me to say. It’s not that I didn’t love anyone. It’s not that I never felt the feelings of love. I did. All the time. Maybe just too much.
But to say those words, especially to my parents – I just couldn’t get the words to form on my tongue to push them out of my mouth. It was painful in my heart. Every time I thought about how much love I had for them, I would cry.
Have YOU ever felt that way about saying, “I love you” to anyone?
My entire family knew that I loved them because when it was their birthday or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or a holiday, I wrote a card expressing my love for them. They knew. But none of them ever heard those words roll off of my lips.
I tell my children how much I love them without hesitation, no problem. Saying “I love you” to your children is quite easy.
But say it to my brother or sister, mother or father – it was just not going to happen.
When my mom was dying nearly 11-years ago, I had a battle inside my head and my heart – I knew I NEEDED to say those words to her before she died. I wanted her to know without uncertainty that I loved her, dearly, forever. From my lips. Even while she was in Hospice, I couldn’t bring myself to say them.
Such a selfish little girl. Shame on me. Trust me, I yelled at myself for weeks.
She outlasted Hospice, she was supposed to die within a week, but not mom. She was a tough woman from the day she was born (she was put into a shoe box because they thought she was dying quickly after birth).
Mom finally returned home from Hospice where she passed away four days later. Do you know that I couldn’t even say goodbye to her, let-alone tell her that I loved her? Major war between my head and my heart.
How could something so easy as saying, “I love you” be so difficult for me to say? I type these words now with tears in my eyes – no lie.
I finally figured out that saying, “I love you” was far easier than saying goodbye. I whispered in her ear that I loved her, always.
It was like the flood gates had opened, tears ran down my cheeks.
I have since told everyone I know how much I love them, every time I see them and every time we say goodbye, I make it a point to tell them I love them. You know, just in case…
I guess the point to all of this is that love and relationship is what life is really all about, in my opinion… life is a love story. I asked this question on Facebook because I wanted to see what all of your opinions were.
Definition of Love
There are so many definitions of love, all very similar. This is how Merriam Webster defines love:
- strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
- attraction based on sexual desire
- affection based on admiration, benevolence or common interests
- an assurance of affection
- warm attachment, enthusiasm or devotion
- the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
- unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another
- the fatherly concern of God for humankind
- brotherly concern for others
Do you see what I’m saying about love AND relationship?
The Other Love
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always think about myself in regards to loving. I like myself sometimes. But if I repeated out loud what I said in my head all day about myself, you would think I was a crazy woman. Heck, some nights I lie in bed thinking about all the things I did wrong, or thought if I hurt someone or what I should’ve done or re-thought my reaction. I second-guess myself always. PsychologyToday writes, “practice loving self-talk. Sometimes the things we say to ourselves are the most awful, demeaning things anyone could ever say. Instead of drilling into yourself how terrible you are or using self-defeating language, reframe—and use language that builds you up, not tears you down.” Self-love… it’s all about relationship.
“Reminder, you are worthy of all the love that you’ve been given.” -Wren Wilds
The Secret Ingredient
At first, I thought love was warm and fuzzy feelings. As I got older, I thought it was about missing someone. As I became more mature, I thought love was unconditional, without expectations. For a long time, I thought that life was about acceptance – and it is. I then thought life was about compassion – and it is that as well. But if you put all of these things together: warm and fuzzy, absence, unconditional, without expectations, acceptance, and compassion– these make up love.
We feel this way and we show our love through our actions with the relationships we have and those that we make.
As daughters and sons, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, family, and best friends – we are held together by one ingredient: LOVE.