“Love” (the “L” word) by definition states, ” a variety of different feelings, states and attitudes that range from interpersonal affection to pleasure. It can refer to an emotion of strong attraction and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion and affection; “the unselfish and benevolent concern for the good of another”, as well as compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, animals or self. Wow! Sounds pretty technical to me. What is the “L” word to you?
If you’re wondering why I refer to love as the “L” word, it’s because I take it very seriously. As a child I grew up in a very violent environment. I learned that the people who say they love you, are the ones that frequently hurt you. Makes sense in a way, right? If you didn’t care so much about someone, it wouldn’t hurt at all. That’s why as I became an adult, I used the “L” word in a very reserve manner. I often wondered why I could write it or text it, but when it came down to it I just couldn’t spit the words out, except of course to my children. Loving a child is completely different than being in a relationship, loving your friends or even loving your relatives. So many people have dysfunctional relationships with their parents or with their spouse, the love word becomes a robotic spoken verb instead of a true ‘feeling’ of emotion. That’s why personally, if I say “I love you”, I mean it.
Whether it’s as a friend, spouse, child, co-worker, if the words come out of my mouth, you will know I’m seriously putting my heart out there. There have definitely been times in my life when I felt “overwhelming feelings of concern” towards someone, or felt a connection, yet I hesitated to say the “L” word, because I knew it was not a word to be tossed around lightly. I had to check myself and be absolutely sure of what I was really feeling.
To love someone is a responsibility encompassed by trust, loyalty, friendship and even some fear. The fear stems from the knowledge that you may end up being hurt, and realistically you might. However, if you look at loving and being loved as a gift, as well as a lesson, then you might say, “better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all.” When you truly love yourself and you learn to embrace the idea of love, as well as being loved by someone else, then relish the time it’s there for you. True love will never die, even if you part. If someone in your life means that much to you, you will never forget them and always keep them in a corner of your heart. Don’t be afraid to really love, just make sure you understand what love means to you. Every day our heart beats is a day we can be thankful for. A day we can love ourselves and love others.
If you grew up in dysfunction, if you’ve been in a dysfunctional relationship, think about the lesson you learned from that experience. Each day we awaken is a new chance at life. Embrace life in a positive way, embrace love and don’t let yourself be afraid of the (as I use to call it) ‘yucky L word’. There is already too much hate in the world, why not break the cycle? Put a little love in your life. Everyone deserves it!