Tuesday, February 2, 2010

saying it

I have a confession to make: I feel awkward, shy and just plain weird when I say, "I love you." I do my best to understand this, searching my history for clues. here's what I've discovered so far:
  • the expression of love in my childhood home was a mixed bag: a father who was emotionally distant but always kind, a mother who insisted on physical affection and felt that love was shown by spending every waking moment together, and a sibling who didn't really like me and told me so every day. that being said, we stuck together, which goes a long way for the value of commitment (and future therapy bills). while my parents certainly compensated for this in other areas of my growth, these tendencies left me confused about love.
  • you know the story line when one romantic partner whispers those three little words for the first time and the other responds with something like "thank you" or "how sweet"? that's happened to me. twice. to this day, I cringe with the memory.
  • I tend to move toward, then quickly away from people who are super emotional and dependent on others. I'm still trying to figure out this attraction/avoidant pattern.
  • sometimes I can't figure out why anyone would love me. I struggle with trusting the expression from another and can often feel like the punchline is coming and the joke's on me. this is scary, and I'm working on this.

back in october, I decided to take the risk with more emotional openness and expression. I've done okay and my actions have produced some sweet benefits and helped me overcome (one baby step at a time) some fears. but I still struggle with the expression of love. I could say it to people and about things they do much more in my life. maybe I won't use the three little words, but I vow to tell and show people in my life that I love them and love what they do and are. my goal is to express love openly and genuinely.

I need your help. what are some ideas or ways you express love other than saying the words?

{p.s. necklace is by my lavaliere.}