There are times when we are timid and shy about expressing the love we feel. For fear of embarrassing the other person, or ourselves, we hesitate to say the actual words “I love you.” So we try to communicate the idea in other words.
We say ‘take care’ or ‘don’t drive too fast’ or ‘be good.’ But really, these are just other ways of saying ‘I love you,’ ‘you are important to me,’ ‘I care what happens to you,’ ‘I don’t want you to get hurt.’
We are sometimes very strange people. The only thing we want to say, and the one thing that we should say, is the one thing we don’t say. And yet, because the feeling is so real, and the need to say it is so strong, we are driven to use other words and signs to say what we really mean. And many times the meaning never gets communicated at all and the other person is left feeling unloved and unwanted.
Therefore, we have to LISTEN FOR LOVE in the words that people are saying to us. Sometimes the explicit words are necessary, but more often, the manner of saying things is even more important. A joyous insult carries more affection and love within the sentiments which are expressed insincerely.
An impulsive hug says I LOVE YOU even though the words might be saying very different.
Any expression of a person’s concern for another says I love you. Sometimes the expression is clumsy, sometimes even cruel. Sometimes we must look and listen very intently for the love that contains. But it is often there, beneath the surface.
A mother may nag her son constantly about his grades or cleaning his room. The son may hear only the nagging, but if he listens carefully, he will hear the love underneath the nagging. His mother wants him to do well, to be successful. Her concern and love for her son unfortunately emerge in her nagging. But it is love all the same.
A daughter comes home way past her curfew, and her father confronts her with angry words. The daughter may hear only the anger, but if she listen carefully, she will hear the love under the anger. “I was worried about you,” the father is saying. ‘Because I care about you and I love you. You are important to me.’
We say I love you in many ways – with birthday gifts, and little notes, with smiles and sometimes with tears. Sometimes we show our love by just keeping quiet and not saying a word, at other times by speaking out, even brusquely. We show our love sometimes by impulsiveness. Many times we have to show our love by forgiving someone who has not listened to the love we have tried to express.
The problem in listening for love is that we don’t always understand the language of love which the other person is using. A girl may use tears or emotions to say what she wants to say, and her boyfriend may not understand her because he expects her to be talking his language. Thus, we have to force ourselves to really listen for love.
The problem with our world is that people rarely listen to each other. They hear the words, but they don’t listen to the actions that accompany the words or the expression on the face. Or people listen only for rejection or misunderstanding. They do not see the love that is there just beneath the surface, even if the words are angry. We have to listen for love in those around us.
If we listen intently we will discover that we are a lot more loved than we realize. Listen for love and we will find that the world is a very loving place, after all.
LOVE is a happy thing.
It makes us laugh.
It makes us sing.
It makes us sad.
It makes us cry.
It makes us seek the reason why.
It makes us take.
It makes us give.
Above all else it makes us LIVE.
It is not the presence or absence of people that makes the difference because a person need not be lonely even if he is alone. Sometimes it is good to be alone. But that does not make us lonely. It is not a matter of being present WITH someone. It is a matter of being present TO someone.
So remember…If you love someone, tell them. Remember always to say what you mean. Never be afraid to express yourself. Take this opportunity to tell someone what they mean to you. Seize the day and have no regrets.
Most importantly, stay close to your friends and family, for they have helped make you the person that you are today and are what it’s all about anyway.