With Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, three words are suddenly (extra) visible all around: I love you. They are three easy words, used all over the world (and I am guessing they are easy in all languages). Yet these three words seem to so easily lose the big meaning they hold. The words are not only said to people, but also directed towards objects, animals and nature.
When I look around, it seems like it has become easier for people to say they love a phone or a brand or their pet instead of really loving a person. How can we say “I love you” and really have the words touch a heart and make a difference? How can we say “I love you” when we live in a world where relationships crumble, people think they are showing love by choosing for their own needs and independence and where hate has apparently become a more obviously expressed emotion?
How do you say “I love you”? Is it the saying of three simple words that makes the difference? Does it start with yourself or does it start with someone else? Does it require an action or a re-action?
“The greatest of these is love…”
“Love your neighbor as yourself…”
Love. It is not just an emotion. It is an action. An action that starts with yourself only to end with someone else. The three words, when used in their most honest meaning, have the power to change hearts, which will change people and can evetually change nations.
So, here are my DIY steps for saying “I love you”:
Starting with yourself…
1) On one side of a piece of paper, write down things you love about yourself.
2) On the other side, write a couple of things you may not particularly like about yourself.
3) Now, go to a mirror and read the list out loud to yourself. Say to yourself “I love you”, for all the things I like but also for the things I dislike.
And on to someone else…
4) Find small ways to show two or three people close to you that you love them. For example, make someone’s favorite homemade cookies, give someone a homemade card or simple give an extra long hug.
5) Give, even if at that moment they may not respond the way you want them to. Remember, that is what love is. Loving even when not returned.
6) And think of someone who may have done you wrong or who could use a friend. Find a way to show them love by reaching out.
Finally, start each day by telling yourself that you love yourself. For remember, you were fearfully and wonderfully made.