untrue loveThere is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved. ~ George Sand

Love is a word seen and heard everywhere. Freely used to describe emotions and feelings, it conjures up romantic notions and lusts. Yet there is so much more to love than just a sentiment which makes you feel good.

Of course it’s wonderful to help people believe they are wanted and needed through words that are encouraging or compassionate. But when you say ‘I love you’, it can take the relationship to a completely different level. Those three little words aren’t just a statement of affection or admiration, they can be the ultimate declaration of attachment and loyalty.

When you tell someone you love them you are investing your heart, mind and soul. ‘I love you’ should never be spoken lightly. ~ The Hurt Healer

At times I have found it difficult to express my love as well as to receive it. Abandoned by my mother who appeared never to have loved me at all,combined with abuse by a father who confused love with hate created a lack of trust in anyone who wanted to get close to me. Emotional detachment was my armour to protect myself from the risk of further pain.

I thought that by not allowing anyone to love me and not allowing myself to love anyone in return I would be safeguarded from hurt. I was wrong. My response was to self-medicate with drink. Yet the more I used my ‘hurt healer alcohol’ to numb the pain, the more I distanced myself from ever being able to love not just others, but myself.

And so too will you be distanced  further from what you truly desire if you try to avoid loving or being loved.  Believe me, a loveless life is merely an existence void of real joy or happiness.

Eventually depression and addiction brought me to the point that ‘existing’ was no longer an option for me.  I could no longer carry on without love in my life. Through faith I experienced a love that forgave everything I had been, accepted me for who I was, and helped me believe that I could live a life of value and worth. Most importantly it taught me that I needed to love myself because it was only through self-love that I could truly extend that love to others.

As I journeyed on the path to discover and embrace the love I never had, I met many others who had been hurt too. Like me they had valid reasons for wanting to stay away from or being reluctant to commit to relationships. But like me they were depriving themselves of the passion, joy and wholeness that comes from true, meaningful love.

The love you seek is seeking you at this moment. ~ Deepak Chopra

It wasn’t easy but I had to learn to look at myself and say ‘I love you’, before I could declare it to anyone else. Even now I have to admit that I am much more at ease at telling those I care for deeply that I love them than reassuring myself. But the reality is that you can’t give away what you don’t have, and that includes love.

illusionAs well as needing to be loved, we need to love others. For me this means not just speaking of the words, but showing it. Gifts, tokens of generosity or sensual actions are all ways to demonstrate how much you care, but just as important are respect, loyalty and authenticity. ‘I love you’ can then have huge impact and meaning.

I am so grateful that today my life is filled with friends and family that I have genuine love for and who reciprocate that affection time and time again.

My message to you is as always, ‘I love you.’

Love one another. ~ John 13:34

Untrue love’ and ‘Illusion‘ images thanks to the fabulous talent of Boryana Gold   http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BoryanaGold

If you have enjoyed reading this, let me invite you to read more in ‘How to Heal a Broken Heart – Let go of pain and learn to love again. Available on Amazon