I love you.
I LOVE you.
I Love YOU.
We just passed Valentine’s day. Which also happens to be the anniversary of my Love and I. Three years have passed. I think I’ve gotten younger. I laugh more, play more, live more, dance more, walk more, embrace the sun more, sleep more, hug more, kiss more…. Life itself has become moreish in it’s timeless quality.
I used to think that love meant compromise, sacrifice, that it was a bit of a toss up. The feeling is passing. There is no fear in Love, not if I am open to being loved. No loss in Love, only gain. Is there a balance one has to find? Absolutely. But that, I think, is the meaning of life. We worry about losing ourselves, until we find out who we actually are. We worry about losing our connection, until we find the Source of all connects us indelibly. We worry about having to give up a piece of ourselves we are attached to, until we find a person who is as attached to those parts as we are, and truly desires to see us thrive (well, two people, really, ourselves and those external someones).
True Love is both knowing and growing. If it chooses blindness and stagnancy, it looses it’s lustre quite quickly. It is not afraid of conflict… like a good stretch, it leans into the tension until it finds release. Not because it enjoys suffering, but because it seeks to relieve it. Land mines are only dangerous until they are diffused. So it is with our past experiences, and the rough bits we adopt to cope with the pain of them. I recently had a friend remind me that it wouldn’t matter who we chose to be with, those things would have to be dealt with. Pain is not equatable with being hurt. Does it hurt because of what they said, or because of what already believe about myself? Chances are, if we’ve reached adulthood, its the latter. Good relationships both expose our wounds and provide the safety to heal from them. If your Love behaves out of character, stay open, you may be surprised at what it does for your intimacy levels.
Anyone can say “I love you.” Words are easy.
Anyone can claim “I LOVE you.” It is easy to love to love and make it about yourself and what you can give without sacrifice.
But the one who declares “I love YOU,” is the one to stay with. They have seen you. They have chosen to know you. They have deliberately looked past the parts of your personality that are adaptations and learned behaviours which have bandaged the wounds of trauma. And when things get difficult as their love begins to make you feel safe enough to heal from those wounds, they stay.
I have the love of one who has said, “I love YOU.” I have returned this love in like kind. And together, we have created a home, not just for our bodies, but also for our deepest being. It is a place to unwrap our experiences and give them air, and time. We are both healing. Even our conflict, like that good stretch is useful. It is a deeper learning, and we come out stronger and more aware. The need we have to be alone from time to time is increasingly less offensive. Introspection is necessary when we unpredictably bubble into anger, because it is generally our past insecurities that need an internal conversation and a reminder that we are safe.
Love the YOU in your life. Know them well. Embrace them whole heartedly. By your presence in their space, help them desire more living. Happy tends to feed happy. Give your love a steady diet of a you who does the internal work of loving yourself so you can be the safe space for them. It’s a beautiful place to be in, is Love.
Let your “I love you,” be, an “I love YOU.”