The Power of "I Love You!"
Three little words.
I love you.
When spoken, they can bring happiness, joy, strength and sometimes pain. They have incredible power, whether they are used to express passion, fondness, lust, friendship, or understanding and respect. They can be hurtful when used to elicit false feelings, anger, and fear.
Some argue that this term of endearment is frequently misused, used without meaning, or claim that love should be expressed more with actions and less with words.
Sometimes, words are all that one has to offer. “I love you” triggers an emotional response and these days, people need to show more emotion. People need to make stronger connections across all the populations. We need to feel more compassion for one another.
These powerful words shouldn’t be used to attempt to cause pain, but sometimes they are all that one has when there are no other words or actions to express how one feels.
My father passed away five years ago after a decade-long battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis; his final battle was against cancer that developed because of the immune-suppressant medications he had to take after receiving a life-extending lung transplant.
Growing up, we didn’t express our emotions, which makes it ironic that I identify myself as an emotional person. We all knew that we loved one another, but we rarely used those words. We all just assumed that the other person knew how we felt.
My siblings and I certainly didn’t use such language with each other, and my dad didn’t use them very often with any of us, we just knew that he loved us. My mother and I, the most emotional of the five of us, telling each other “I love you” most frequently.
With my dad, I always felt awkward telling him that I loved him. Perhaps it was his rough exterior from his childhood, growing up as the only boy with four sisters. He had a lot of responsibility on his family’s farm, and it probably wasn’t something he heard a lot growing up.
Dad knew I loved him, and I knew he loved me. We just didn’t express it in words.
When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and told he would only last another two months, I realized I had wasted too many opportunities to express my love for him and time was running out to make sure he knew.
After that day, every time I saw my dad, I would hug him and tell him I loved him. I spent most of those last two months at my parent’s house because I didn’t want to miss any more time.
As he passed away, two months and one day after his diagnosis, I whispered those words one last time. Though he was gone, those words carried the pain and emotion that I couldn’t express any other way.
I love you: Don’t go!
I love you: I’m scared!
I love you: Are you scared?
I love you: Thank you!
I love you: I miss you!
I wish I expressed my love for him more and I’m sad that only when I knew the time was coming to an end, did I summon up the courage to tell him how much he meant to me.
When there are no words to express how you feel, those three words can carry a powerful message of hope, courage, strength, love.
The world needs more love, more passion, more empathy, more peace. If those three words can help spread the message, then let me tell you…
I LOVE YOU!