Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

How do you say "I love you" to someone you care deeply about?  Is it just in the words...or is there something more?  What allows those three little words to become a full-blown reality in the recipient's soul?  What allows them to believe the words?

I think in order to feel deeply loved, we all must also feel fully known.  As we disclose parts and pieces of ourselves, the "lover" picks them up like wildflowers - creating a fragrant bouquet in which they fully enjoy the color, smell and textures.  The "lover" scoops these up and treasures them, not allowing any to drop and be trampled under foot.

But then what does the one who wants to show love DO with these pieces of the "beloved's" heart and life?  (After all, love should show up as a verb quite often!)  How do we say back to someone..."I see you.  I remember what you said.  I know you and I like you?"

I think we need to learn to speak the words "I love you" back in the language the other person speaks best.  (This is not a new concept that I came up with...there are dozen of books written about the subject.)  And we do that by paying attention to what is important to the other person.

Case in point....for Mother's Day this year, my kids decided they wanted to make lunch for me (and the family) and they wanted to do it all by themselves.  They sent my husband and I out for a walk, on which I prayed they would not burn down the house. (The playing with fire actually came later on that day...but that is another story!)  When we returned, the table was set beautifully (something they know I love), classical music was playing (oh my gosh, they ARE paying attention!), my husband was presented with a nice big sandwich (his favorite), and a delicious, fresh salad was placed before me (who knew they were watching?).  I felt totally loved...because I felt totally known.

How we show "I love you" will always depend on how the person perceives it.  It is not about is about them.  It is not a rote activity in which we can be in auto-pilot....but takes much watching, listening, and intuiting.  

Our son would never feel loved by the above table setting, but he is fully filled up inside when he looks at me, head-down with a sheepish grin and says "I'm grumpy".  In our house, that is his code word (to me) for "I-want-to-wrestle-and-tickle-and-be-chased-around-the-house-for-a-good-chunk-of-time."  I know what he means; I hear the words he is saying; I do something about it....and he feels deeply loved because of it.

Deeply Loved/Fully Known....Fully Known/Deeply Loved.  You can not separate them.
Listening, watching, and speaking back in the language of the "beloved".  It is hard work, but it is also what we are made for.

May our desire to be fully known and deeply loved motivate us to cultivate those same things with those around us!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

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