• Toni Maddi

I Love You

We all long to hear that we're, if not perfect, than at least good enough as we are.

I usually close my sessions with my clients by telling them to remember that they are so loved. Even if their husbands are jerks or their parents abused them or they can't think of anyone who thinks they're perfect, Spirit does. And I do because Spirit does and I'm not about to second guess the Source of All.

But hearing someone say “You be you, I won't run” is more meaningful and concrete. Source is love, loves every thing equally; that's its job, so to speak. Hearing that even in your uniqueness, even because of that uniqueness, you are worthy of love from someone whose job it isn't, opens the (small-s) spirit, lifts it up, allows it to blossom again. Hearing that is something that we can carry with us throughout the day, or longer.

I don’t discount the importance of the words “I love you”. Why do we hesitate to tell people we love them? We may show them every day in different ways—making a cup of tea, picking up a stone or flower from a walk, squeezing their hand, eating a meal together--but using the words “I love you” can stick in our throats.

I’m not talking about the people who say “I love you” each time they say goodbye, in person and on the phone. I think these rote words become diluted, if not meaningless over time. I’m talking about family members, siblings and parents, who have annoyed us for decades. They have also amused us, taught us, probably been there once or twice when we needed them.

And friends. How often do we take time out to tell them we love them? I try to every year at Christmas. Is that enough? What about friends of the opposite gender? The ones we worry will think we’re saying something more? If we dare, we make sure we clarify by saying, “Not in a Let’s Change the Course of Our Lives way, but in an I Appreciate Who You Are way.“

We can be hurt when they are also reluctant to reply in kind, forgetting that they may also worry about being misunderstood or feeling exposed.

Is our saying those words dependent on it being reciprocated? Are we brave enough to put ourselves out there? Is it easier to tell someone that we like who they are, as they are, or easier to say “I love you”?

I challenge you this season to tell three people you love them—one family member, one close friend, and someone you’ve never told before. Make them all people you wouldn’t normally express love to even though you do indeed love them. I’ll do the same.

Let me know how it went in the comments section. I’m interested to hear how they reacted and how you felt.

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