If I said I love you

Valentine’s Day. Sorry to all the hopeless romantics out there but this, for me, is commercial nonsense at its highest point. If you need a particular day to declare your love perhaps you shouldn’t be saying it at all. Is this because I haven’t anyone who loves me? Is this because I don’t love? Is this because I was hurt and have history to this date? No. I’m simply someone who loves love and doesn’t desire or need a day in a year to tell someone. I say it as it is whenever the words rise from my heart. I love you.

What is love? I think it’s only now that I truly value what love actually is. I have thought that through the last four decades I have met it but I think maybe no. I do not believe that love can be put into words as its that space that you hold inside that is for no one else. It is a feeling you get when you look them in the eye. It is a tingle, a spark, a desire to touch, a desire to protect, a need to hold them when they hurt, it’s a need to stand by them every day no matter what they say or do or how they behave, because you get them. It’s sharing, enjoying the same things, it’s talking, it is silence that no one needs to explain. It’s an emptiness when they are gone, it’s a fulfilment when they are by your side. It’s unconditional, needs no explanation and is what makes you complete and feel whole. It’s rarer than you think.

There are so many sides to love and for the various people in your life it means different things and feels different. Not because you love anyone any less necessarily but you love them differently. I love my children above any other love I can describe and no one in the universe will ever get more love than they do. I love my family. I love my friends. The one person I had to learn to love was me. She was the hardest person in the world to love as she didn’t want loving. She was tough and strong without love. She was capable of getting by without love. She was unemotional, scared of being hurt, indifferent, scared of giving herself to anyone in case she actually enjoyed it. She was one tough egg to break. 

Now? She loves love. She realised that to be capable of loving you have to be capable of being loved and to do that you have to love who you are, warts and all. Love your good points, accept the bad, love those little imperfections, your physicality, your heart, your emotions, your opinions, your talents and your dreams. To love anyone you must first be in love with you. The more you have, the more love you create and have to give away.

I love you. Don’t use these words lightly. Do not give them like a red rose that will wither and die by the weekend. Take these words and really understand what they mean to you, ensure you can look in the mirror and say them to yourself first and foremost.  If you feel ready to give them to another like the most precious gift they are, be prepared for the consequences …. You may just get them back and if you do you have created something you should nurture, take care of, water daily like a small defenceless seed and treasure for a lifetime. It’s a gift to be given and received with thought and care and joy and with your heart, not simply because it’s the 14th February and you feel you should.

I love you. Three little words. Never said lightly but said from that space inside I keep for those I hold most dear. I love you.

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