Since we were little, many of us listened and read stories of how to find our “true love,” princess, or prince charming. This was only the beginning of our minds being programmed to crave a romanticized, sexual love. “The End” came after the first kiss, the wedding day, the boy or girl winning the love of their life. All problems in life seemed to vanish once this love was attained. *POOF*
Rarely were we shown the reality of life in these stories: the messy house, financial burden, or the mistakes couples make in a relationship.
Rarely were we shown what unconditional love is.
Rarely were we shown the value of love outside of a romanticized, sexualized lens.
Many of us get uncomfortable when our friends look us in the eyes and say sincerely, “I love you.” We often say “love ya,” “love you,” or some other phrase that sounds like a more casual message. Why do we get such a weird feeling when someone outside of a family or romantic relationship says those three words so directly?
I have a theory. This theory involves the idea that we have trained our hearts and minds to only accept those words when it comes from our family or a partner, a result of the movies, books, and culture we have grown up in. We have a hard time grasping the idea that we are worthy of love outside of those parameters. We crave to be loved, but can’t accept it in its truest, deepest form.
What if true love was unconditional, full of grace, relentless, outrageous, illogical, and humble?
Could we allow ourselves to be loved in such a way?
Maybe this is why many people struggle to have a relationship with, or even believe in, God. If we can’t be loved deeply by imperfect people, how can we be loved by a perfect God? How could Someone create me with intentionality and purpose? How could someone love me while knowing the deepest, darkest parts of my heart?
How can we love others in such a beautiful way if we can’t accept it for ourselves? The honest answer is: we can’t.
Many of us tell the world to love everyone and be kind to each person we meet, all the while we are trying fill this void in us that craves to be loved, to be understood, to be accepted for all that we are. Depression is often rooted in an alternate reality where you can’t accept the thoughts that you are truly loved unconditionally by the people in our lives. As friendships, relationships, and people come and go in our lives, we often get caught up in the conclusion that maybe we are the reason those people leave us. We make social media posts declaring that we are independent, we don’t need them, and that our lives are better without the people who left us feeling worthless. Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that your life is better without all of the people who made you feel abandoned?
Yeah, maybe your life is healthier without those relationships, but maybe you have moments where you still blame yourself for what happened. You replay moments, memories and wonder if maybe you did something differently, if they would still be there.
Love can be so complicated. It can feel painful. It can feel magical. It can feel invincible.
The reality is guys, love is so much more than we have been programmed to think it is. Love IS relentless, full of grace, and humble. It does not boast. It is not greedy. It is patient.
Do you tell everyone in your life that you love them? Can you look them in the eye and sincerely say the words, “I love YOU?” Can you let people look YOU in the eye and say those words so directly?
I used to think that it would be cheesy as a writer and speaker for my message to simply be, “I love you,” but now I finally see that it is the most profound, meaningful message I could ever give. We try to get creative and create a message that stands out and sounds catchy and metaphorical all the time. I am guilty of this. I am learning, like you, how to love people deeper, more sincerely, and outrageously. I am learning how to open my heart and allow God to fill me with His perfect love, because without it, the love I give is dry and often limited.
When God told me that my goal as a speaker and author was to just tell people, “I love you,” I honestly thought He was crazy. How would people believe me? Who would read my writing or listen to my voice?
I have finally accepted this theme, this message, and this challenge to do say the one phrase every human craves in the world: I love you.
I challenge you to join me in a movement to break down walls in this world, in people, and in yourself as we rid ourselves of timid phrases like “love ya” and we come running with passion and life as we declare the words, “I LOVE YOU!!!!”
We will change the world. So surrender your opinions, insecurities, and craving for a romanticized, sexualized love, and let’s go love the world outrageously. Hand in hand, heads lifted high, and unshaken voices as we deliver the most profound phrase.
I love you.