Three Dot, LLC
We hear the word “love” everywhere.
It is overused and used carelessly. It is used without reverence.
That is why I need you to know something clear and true.
I want you to know when I say, “ I love you” it means loyalty.
It means respect. It means devotion.
It means caring. It means acceptance. It means admiration.
It means longing and desire. It means gentle. It means strong.
It means friendship. It means companionship. It means partners.
It means trust. It means alive. It means nonjudgmental.
It means soul mate. It means cherished.
It means assuring. It means solid.
It means unending, without reservation.
It means completely.
So when I say, “I love you,” even in one of our hurried moments,
Know, while only a word, it comes from the deepest part of my heart,
A heart full to the brim with reverence, with meaning,
With my belief in you and what we share together.
“It is not only necessary to love, it is necessary to say so.” FRENCH PROVERB
We are born into this world seeking love and acceptance. From the moment we take our first breath we cry out for someone to acknowledge our presence, to accept us as we are, to be sensitive to our needs, and care for us. We are dependent and, for most of us, remain so through our youth. We count on someone to love us, to feed and clothe us, to give us direction and to cheer us on.
Then comes the teenage years. It is a time of confusion and uncertainty. Why? It is, because we begin to move toward our independence. We are encouraged to “grow up.” We want to grow up and we want to grow up fast. At the same time we are comfortable with being dependent. After all, dependence is what we know. It’s safe, warm and comfortable.
Our parents want us to “grow up” too, or so they say. Intellectually they know we need to grow up. God knows, when they look at our messy rooms and pay the bills for clothes and school and books and sports and band they want us to grow up, and they want us to grow up fast. Yet, a dependent relationship with us is what they know too. It’s safe, warm and comfortable. When we bring home that first girlfriend or boyfriend, parents aren’t all that sure they are ready for our independence. No wonder the transition from dependency to independence is such a struggle!
Little by little we move into independence. We get our degrees. We get our first real jobs. We buy our own cars. We have our own place. We start building a career and an expanded social life. We are climbing and moving and accumulating and networking. We are in charge, making decisions, taking big steps and on the fast track. Yet, with everything so "positive" going on, what do we long for and share in common? We still find ourselves needing and looking for love.
Yes, most of us are blessed to have the love of family and good friends, and many of us “fall in love” with a special someone. For all our independence, for all our efforts to be on our own, to prove we can make it on our own, we still crave love and acceptance. Like the time of transition from dependency to independence, whether willing to admit it or not, confusion and uncertainty can continue to hover in the background. It can leave us feeling empty, even at a time when our cup looks full to the world around us.
That’s what we want the world to believe. The cup is full. See? It’s full up to overflowing, and I’m getting an even bigger cup and filling it some more. Will that finally bring us to the safe, warm place of comfort and contentment we long to be? That depends on whether or not we are willing enough and brave enough to move on to interdependence.
Another stage? Yes, another stage. These stages of development are not a new discovery, but a reality well documented and explored by sociologists and philosophers and psychologists and religions. What is amazing is that it remains so foreign to many of us. When we finally arrive at our independence it is hard to even think about making another major shift, but without growing further we will never know the level of fulfillment, satisfaction and completion that is possible in our relationships.
That is what this book of simple writings is about. It’s about learning how to love and be loved. It’s about finding ways to say what you feel. It’s about the willingness and courage to move beyond independence and into interdependence. It’s about surrendering your heart and becoming vulnerable to the one you love. It is about making a decision to accept and embrace someone completely. That is a decision and a change that can happen in an instant but requires a lifetime of dedication and commitment to sustain.
If you make the decision to know true love, choose to nurture the relationship each and every day. There are many ways to do so, but you will find one of the simplest and most rewarding for both of you will be with words. Tell him or her how you feel. Talk to them. Write to them. Be sincere and honest, but don’t be afraid to be romantic. Speak in words that might make you feel weak…that show you are surrendering control and trusting in the love of your partner. Reminisce about the relationship you have shared. Claim what it can be by describing your vision of the future as if it were real today.
Are there risks with this approach? Yes, as with most things in life, there is risk, but without some risk, is there reward? Is there a chance your words will not be embraced, or appreciated or returned? Perhaps, but the thing to remember is the very real possibility you will connect with your mate in a way the two of you have never known before.
Life is too short to live a lie and too long to live alone. Move from independence to the fulfillment of interdependence. Know the shared private world that can only be discovered by surrendering to the one you love.
Tell them of your love now. Tell them often. Tell them again.
I Need You To Know: Words from the Heart for the One I Love By H. Thomas Saylor
Copyright 2004 ISBN 0976201208
Published by: Three Dot, L.L.C.
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.