I'm not trying to be mushy or sentimental here. just read this...
"I love you."
It's a complete sentence. It's a statement.
I'm not a pro with linguistics. I can't really label words or dissect a sentence. but I do know this. Love is a verb (as I typed that, it called to mind a song that says exactly that... maybe this post wont be very original at all).
Think about it. Hopefully, we say those words all the time. Hopefully we hear them all the time. but do we really take it to heart? do we really say those words from the heart? Are they like a vain repetition? something we feel obligated to say? Are they, in our minds, simply a good conversation closer? A polite outro?
You may expect, in a dime-a-dozen dissertation such as this, to hear that "we don't say 'I love you' enough". While this is probably true, I'm more concerned with quality than quantity. If we could be certain that each 'I love you' was sincere, we may find that we have been saying "I love you" too much.
A story comes to mind --I'm unable to recall all the particulars-- of a parent who, in exercising either a strong will or (simply) good discipline, sensed some resentment from their child. "do you love me?" they asked, soliciting affection. After some deliberation, the response came: "I love you, I just don't like you right now."
That is not an example of an insincere 'I love you'. I think it is perfectly natural--the temporary inability to see past your own desires or emotions, and sense and embrace a connection with another. In fact, I think this child's statement is more than adorable, it's admirable...I don't want to get derailed here (I'm sure I've already been on more than one hypocritical rant about the invaluable benefits of open and honest communication).
Getting back to the thought that inspired this post.... It donned on me today, when reading the word in all it's typed, and simple glory (complete with quotation marks), that this sentence serves simply as a reminder. Actually, I was kinda blown away by the fact that it isn't "I love you _____(sometimes, right now, when you...)". I like to think of the words as a terrible understatement. I don't think that hearing "I love you" should garner an emotion in anyone (though I believe it does) without ample evidence of the truthfulness of the statement. Words do nothing in and of themselves. They are a sign for something real and evident. We don't need words to witness something. Words come after the fact, or in reference to the facts.
While showing love is probably more natural for some than for others, this is true for everybody: it has almost nothing to do with expressing it in words.
So why are these words so powerful?
Because they affirm something we already know. These words are meant to remind us of a truth, a fact. They could be the "big picture" when our minds and emotions are constricted by tunnel vision, as when we have been hurt and fail to comprehend why. Any reminder is just this: when we think we are considering the big picture, reminders show us that we aren't. Interesting, because truth can be overlooked in two polar extremes. One way, is that we are so focused on finding meaning in a swirl of confusion that we forget that it is nothing more than a brushstroke in the expansive mural of our lives. The other, is that we are attempting to focus on the overwhelmingly vast canvas of our lives that we fail to appreciate the details, the shading and shadows that give depth to big picture, and reminds us that we could never see the big picture if it weren't for a light source.
Hope this hasn't been a bore.. this is just what is on my mind right now... thought I'd document it.
Thanks for reading,