The young teen threw her arms around her mother as she sang her greeting, “Mom! I love you”.
Her mother and I were in the midst of working out a schedule. She asked her daughter, “Aren’t you supposed to be helping your dad?”
“Remember I said I love you!” The mother had put in enough teen year time to spot a trap.
Obviously the discussion between mother and daughter did not need an audience. I decided to do a wrap, “Let’s go with Wednesday.”
As I walked away, I was struck by the manner in which love was used to allay an anticipated blast of negativity. It wasn’t the first time this crept into my consciousness. Families use this phrase liberally with each other on phone calls and other departures. Many speak with seeming sincerity while others appear to throw it out like the irritating “Have a good day” phrase.
Is “I love you” becoming the same convenient closure as that banal, inane and lame sentiment? Are we bereft of ways to leave gracefully?
When I say “I love you” to friends or loved ones, I usually take a moment to gather my feelings so I can wrap the words with intent. When I screw up and only blurt the words out, I add, “Do you know that I really do love you?” With a note of surprise, they answer, “Yes.” What else are they going to say?
During my adolescent years, when someone used those three words, it usually meant marriage was wafting into the picture or someone was facing some terrible demise. So how do I know when a person is sincere when they say “I love you”?
It comes down to time. When a person is willing to offer their time, there’s a bushel of love in that package. When someone listens, walks with me, shares a meal or just sits over a cup of tea, they are sharing their time and, therefore, themselves. That’s when I know love is present.
My friend Susan picks intimately appropriate cards that tell me she’s been paying attention to my heart’s pain or joy. She decorates the envelopes with secret messages and symbols that say, “I love you.”
Another example of knowing, Karen gave me a basket of goodies containing massage oil that she mixed herself, along with epson salts and other delicacies for bathing. The preparation took a healthy chunk of time – a rare commodity for a business person. Her love resides in every drop of well-measured essential oil.
So, how do I say “I love you”? How do I show it? I do share time, but I also deeply appreciate being able to leave someone feeling better than when we got together. I see the virtues in others and enjoy pointing them out. It doesn’t matter if the content is 5 percent or 95. If it’s there, it’s there.
As one of my Teachers explained, “The bud feels the sun and explodes into bloom. It doesn’t say, ‘Well I know the sun is up there, but it’s March 4th and it’s not terribly warm! I’m not really supposed to bloom before March 21st.'” The bud simply lets go in that moment and displays its glory so we can revel in its magnificence.
Same with people I love. I want to watch them burst into bloom regardless of life’s gloomy issues or setbacks.
My guides provide constant reminders of Love throughout connections with their power and insights. Today was no exception. They were signing off with their usual, “We love you.”
I couldn’t resist. “Could you use some other words today? I’m having a little trouble. The phrase is sounding bland. What else could be said?”
Instantly, I could feel the energy gear down, meaning the response carried great weight. They said, “We keep you. We are keeping you. We hold you home.”