It’s occurred to me that in my “Live.Love.Yoga” blog, I rarely write about love up until the last post on our anniversary. I write about how much I love yoga and how much I love my kale juice and the love of other things, but “love” is a sensitive subject. I don’t randomly say “I love you” to people anymore. In my culture we don’t say these 3 words very much. In fact, it feels uncomfortable to say these three words to my parents and brother. It doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but it sounds weird. If I were to blurt these words out, they’d probably think I was on drugs or something. Expressing emotions was not a norm growing up in my family. So naturally I am not one to blurt these words out until I met my hubby. When I experienced the feeling of “love,” I wanted to express it and wanted to express it as much and often as I could.
Only a few years ago when I began this journey of self discovery did I find the reasons behind the vast difference from not feeling comfortable saying these 3 words and wanting to say it as often as I could. I wanted validation. It’s expected that when you say these 3 magic words the other person would say it back to you. In fact it’s a guarantee that the other person will say it back especially if this mutual feeling has been established otherwise it makes the situation awkward. It feels warm to know that someone else loves you.
This journey of self discovery has given me more confidence to stand in my own skin and with that I don’t have the craving or need to hear these 3 words as often as I wanted before. I also am more authentic and less automatic when I say these 3 words. I only say it if I feel the emotion behind it. I love it when it’s random…. those moments when it’s least expected just like how my son likes to surprise me. One time while on the toilet he calls me, “Mommy.” “Yes?” I say. “I love you,” he says.
Just for one day notice how easily and automatic “I love you” slips in when you see someone, leave their presence, end a telephone conversation, etc. Did you really mean it?
Here’s a love poem that one of the groomsmen read for us at our wedding:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
-Sonnet XLII, From The Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning