It’s really easy to throw that out here on my Facebook wall to everyone on valentines day. But what does that really mean to just casually say that to a nebulous group of folks, many of whom I hardly communicate with at all on a one on one basis, let alone face to face.
I’ll be honest. I struggle internally to say these words, even to my closest friends on any kind of regular basis straight to their face. There are a few occasions, where in a moment of rare courage, I throw my heart out there and tell my friends that I love them. But then I bottle the words back up for a few years before I dare speak the words to them again. I mean, they got the message right? They know that I love them right?
I think there was a time in my early twenties where I felt like the words had started coming out of me as some sort of habit my family had programmed into me. Every time we would hang up the phone, the words were there, on the tip of my tongue ready to be spoken. Of course it was true that I loved my family, and the words were not a lie. But I questioned the need to say them every single time I hung up the phone with them. Was it really necessary? I just told them two days ago when I hung up the phone with them. And my childish reaction to this thought was to rebel and not be the first to ever say the words to my family unless they said it first, at least for a while. For conversations with my dad, this meant we almost never said those words to each other. And my heart seriously aches when I think about that. I love you dad. I really really love you. And I want to say that to you every time I hang up the phone with you, even if I said it just 10 minutes ago.
I’m not at all certain why I’ve never been comfortable telling my friends that I love them to their face. Is it fear of rejection? Is it that I don’t know how often or infrequent to say it and not make my friends uncomfortable? Will my friends think I’m an emotional sap or something if I started saying I love you after every phone conversation? What if i said it as I was walking away from them after a visit? I don’t know exactly where the hesitation comes from. All I know is this truth. I love my friends and family very much, and on this valentines day I’m feeling that I haven’t told them nearly frequently enough how much I love them. I haven’t told them nearly enough times how important they are to me. I haven’t expressed how much their friendship means to me.
And so, I’m going to tag a few of those friends and family who have touched my life in immeasurable ways. People who I often think about but don’t always make them aware of how important they are to me.
I won’t tag every single person I’m connected to on Facebook, because it becomes that nebulous thing again if I do that. And I’m holding myself accountable to not just send the nebulous I love you to the world. Please understand that it doesn’t mean I love you any less if I haven’t tagged you. 😉
Happy Valentine’s Day my loves.