“I love you” comes so easy for some…for others? Not so much. For me? It can.
Last night, one of my amazing friends asked me, “What does it mean when you say that?” after I said I love you to him. Be open to what I am saying. This particular friendship/relationship is quite complicated, multifaceted and certainly not cookie cutter. It has morphed and seen many different roles and grown exponentially.
This is where the conversation was interrupted. I never got to answer. Instead, I sat and began to contemplate the meaning behind my words.
Why do I say I love you? Why did I just say it to him and what did it really mean?
I have said it to him for probably 22 years. I thought back around when I would have first said it to him. Well, my reasons for saying it last night were certainly different than my reasons for saying it 22 years ago. Or even 2 years ago. 2 months ago. I mean, if you think about it, in any given moment, love can explode. So, what did it mean in that moment? What did it mean to me? What did it mean to him? What does it mean when I say it to anyone?
VIDEO: Brilliant version of a beautiful song…
Sometimes I have an instant connection with someone and feel an immediate sense of love towards them and my, “I love you” is a promise to care for them and love them in that very moment. Sometimes, my, “I love you” is a deep and spiritual prayer with or for someone. Sometimes, people just need to hear the words, “I love you” to renew their spirits. Sometimes my, “I love you” is just a silent presence.
When I first said it to each of my children, it meant, “my heart is yours and yours is mine forever and ever, Amen.” (Yes, I typed that just like Randy Travis would have!) This kind of ILY requires commitment. It is not just a feeling, it is a commitment. It is the rare and beautiful love that our souls all long for. It is the kind of love you have for a spouse, parent, child, best friend. Trust is also intertwined through the complexities of this love.
When I am holding the hand of an individual (even a stranger) in tears, whose life has overwhelmed them into submission, and whose soul is yearning for the light of hope…my ILY is the love of God shining through me and offering a part of my soul in that moment. A deep and immediate impact. Like using a small flame to light a candle bringing a small glimmer of hope and love. The world needs more of this kind of love!
Then I have an ILY that says, “I really care about you; I’ve connected with you at some point and I respect and love that moment.” I say this to a lot of people in my life. In fact, just this week, I began exchanging ILYs with a female coworker. She and I had a heart to heart conversation about something very difficult she is facing. She opened her heart and her life’s truths to me and I was present with and for her. The result, “I love you” on Friday afternoon as we are leaving for the weekend. A connection was made. I have mad respect for people who are able to trust their truth and I am humbled that they would trust me enough to share it with me and let me into their hearts and truths. There is always Gratitude lingering in this love.
Then there is me. Love is who I am. I can remember contemplating life at around age 11. I was wondering why we were here…what we were supposed to do with life…what was our purpose for surviving? Those types of questions. At that young age, I drew my conclusions to the end and came up with: LOVE. It was the only thing that made sense to me. We are here for love, because of love, and to love. That passion to love has only grown within me. I even have it tattooed on my wrist. Because it is who I am. I truly believe Love was the gift God gave me to share. So, you best believe that if I am telling you that “I” love you, it is really God saying that He loves you. It is His light and love shining through me.
That being said, I should probably answer his question…