I grew up in a house that was rather reserved with emotions. I can count the number of times my father told me he was proud of me on one hand. The “L” word came up a little more often but not as much as one would hope in a “loving” supportive household. As a result I grew up thinking the word was reserved for special occasions. Saying “I love you” almost had magical properties and expressing it to the wrong person not only diminished it but could have profoundly negative effects.
As you can imagine it took me quite a long time to get the courage up to say it to my significant other. I remember feeling it and thinking it for quite sometime and resisting the urge to share it for fear I was “jumping the gun”. Once that happened though I never failed to say it but still felt strangely careful to resist saying it to anyone else. My kids were easy inclusions but the word “love” was only reserved for the most inner circle in my life.
My personal faith will be a topic in a future entry but years of private schools and church throughout the first few decades of my life should have taught me that love is not something to keep in. With time, maturity and the help of Jackie DeShannon I came to the conclusion that love was in fact something to be shared and expressed widely. I still feel a tinge of awkwardness saying it to an adult male friend but once out there I am happy I shared. Yes, I love my friends. I love my fellow volunteers. I love (most of) my co-workers. And of course I love my family. Are they different types? Sure, but there is no reason to be so withholding. Now if I feel it I let it out and I hope others do too.
Love, it's the only thing that there's just too little of.