Is love a state of mind? I have always questioned how it is that we come to know that we love someone. Is it out of obligation, routine, or is is actually something larger than we could ever understand and we just succumb to this gripping idea of LOVE and loving someone else and even letting them love us in return?
Love was never a word that was often spoken in my household growing up, but it was at the same time, something that was always felt. I don't ever recall my mother or father expressing the actual world "love" to me until after I had already moved out of the house at age 17 and started college; even then, I do believe that I said it first. I could tell that the word coming out of my mouth was shocking and maybe a little uncomfortable for my mother and father and very suprising to me. I never realized that saying the word would be so trivial and tremendous all at one moment. One moment that I think has defined me ever since.
To this day, I have a very difficult time expressing the words vocally towards people I "care" about. I feel overhwelming discomfort and anxiety at the thought of knowing that I will need to reciprocate such expressive vocabulary. I have always had friends that felt it was normal and a part of everyday life to say "I love you" whether they are getting off the telephone, saying goodbye after lunch, or even writing it in an e-mail...all just to say "I love you." I believe I have said it more to friends in habit of reciprocation than I have said it to my own parents in my lifetime out of genuine gratefullness. But, I know with them, that they know I do love them.
How can we expect people to always know that we do love them? How do we know it is the right time and right person to express such a small yet incredibly powerful word? I have heard over and over again that "you just know." So, I am teaching and encouraging myself to trust in my own instincts in the matters of my feelings, even though I am probably the worst at expressing what I know is filling my heart. I have so much love inside of me to give out to all those that I know love me, but I hope my actions filled with love are enough until I figure out how to say "love" without someone saying it to me first.