Expressing Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, perhaps this would be a good time to address “love.” There are those who have difficulty with the whole concept, but love in all its many forms really does make the world go ‘round.

How do you say, “I love you” to someone you care about? How do you express your feelings of love and affection to your spouse and other family members? Florists would like us to believe that we should “say it with flowers,” but there might be better ways.

For instance: If you love someone, compliment them often for jobs well done and refrain from downgrading them. Rather, reassure that person when they don’t go right. Most of us could use a little support now and then. We are made of flesh and bone, after all, and not stone.

If you love someone, listen to what they have to say without judgment or feeling like you have to solve all of their problems. Active listening builds the self-esteem of the talker, while it builds your quality of empathy.

If you love someone, let them know when you feel low or lonely or misunderstood. It will make them stronger to know they have the power to comfort you.

If you love someone, respect their silences. As alternatives for problems or challenges, creativity and spirituality often come in times of quiet.

And, finally, if you love someone, tell them often, through your talk, your actions and your gestures. It is a mistake to assume that they know how you feel. Even if they act embarrassed or deny that they need it, don’t believe them. Do it anyway. And they can promise to do the same for you.

It is these things done consistently and consciously over the years that help build a loving relationship and keep it growing. And, it is the absence of these things that rob life of its joy.