I Love You... and You... All of you

I love you.

And you.

All of you.

That wasn’t so hard was it.  It wasn’t hard for me to say – was it easy for you to receive?

I’ve noticed that we have come to have an aversion to these words – saving them for only those who are the very closest to who we are – lovers, family (or perhaps just our parents, sisters, brothers).

About a year ago I accidentally sent a text to my best friend that was intended for my future husband, a simple reply of “I love you” and it wasn’t until I got her reply teasing me and indicating that she knew I’d mistakenly sent it to her did I both realize and in an instant (and only for that instant) feel slightly mortified that I’d said such a thing to my girlfriend, my best friend.

But why should it matter. 

Those words are the most powerful ones that I know.

For years, those words paralyzed me.  I couldn’t utter them to anyone. 

It was midnight – a late night phone call to my mother half a world away – midday her time.  As the safety of the night enveloped me, I told my mother I loved her.  I loved her.  Three simple words.

It was the first time I had uttered them in my adult life.  The first time I had the courage to do so.  I’ve always felt love in my heart but exposing it to the world seemed like it’d take too much from me.  There were a million ended phone calls where I wanted to say those words but they just stalled on my lips, unable to come to life until that night.

I was 36 that night.  A lifetime spent hiding from those words.  A moment to bring tears to my mothers eyes at her joy of finally hearing them said – though she had never doubted my love.

I love you.

I had learned the lessons, trusted myself enough to say those words.  To trust that they couldn’t hurt me anymore, that what I had believed for so long was just a bunch of lies propogated by fear.

Those words strengthened me, the extraordinary weight that I didn’t even realize I was carrying lifted off me in that instant.  It was freeing, exhilarating.

What I realized as well is that those words are a gift – a gift to give.  Without expectation.  If they are returned then worlds are opened up, connections deepened.  If they are not, that is okay too.  The power is in the feelings, in being brave to love wholeheartedly regardless of the circumstances.   Being vulnerable to love is our greatest strength because it is who we are at our core.  Living out loud, sharing our world and gratitude with those around us.

Love is uplifting.  It’s inspiring and motivating, gentle and kind.  Love is the warmth of a hug on a bad day to those far in the distance.  It is a smile on a persons face knowing that someone out there has their back unconditionally.  Love is what makes the world a better place.

I love you.  All of you in my life.

Let’s pass this feeling around, share it openly when it crosses our heart instead of trying to save it for only a select few.

Love is not sacred and secret.  Let us stop fearing the words for there is strength in their powerfulness.

I love you.