I watched a video that contained a segment that was intended to be encouraging. In it were the words “Know you are loved.”
And I just wanted to scream. She had no idea if the person watching this video was loved. If she wanted to suggest that she loves them it’s worse. Because she doesn’t, obviously. She doesn’t even know them.
Love is not the word. It’s an emotion. You don’t create it because you write or say it. You can express it through an action, but the action itself isn’t love either. It’s just a method of expressing the emotional connection you feel to someone. For example a hug isn’t love. A hug is a hug, but you can use a hug to express your love for someone. Just as you can use the word to express it. But using either hugs or words doesn’t make actual love happen.
I do not feel loved because someone says “You are loved.” or “I love you.” unless there is actual reason to think that.
Do you know what constitutes reasons to believe that? KNOWING ME. There needs to be some context of a relationship for me to recognize that you have said something that is true.
If you don’t know me , saying you love me creates a sense of imbalance and incongruity in conversations. It feels out of place, makes me question your integrity because it has no context. I no longer can trust what you say because you just said something that was obviously untrue about one of the deepest and more cherished emotions humans hold. The emotion of connectivity.
The person in the video had the best of intentions. She truly wanted to reassure the watcher, but ultimately she is breaking the good she is trying to do by fracturing the trust with the most important thing we all experience. Love.
Let’s stop demeaning love by using it as so much confetti to be thrown into conversations without context. It’s not a call sign, it’s not a salute, it’s not a joke. It’s the connective tissue of our relationships. It deserves more respect.
I get the impression sometimes that people find it easier to say to acquaintances and strangers and rarely say it to the people they truly care about. There is a reason for that. Love is a huge thing. It’s hard to say when you deeply mean it because it’s expands in quality when it uttered. The more you mean it the more it becomes your source of fragility to rejection and loss.
You diminish real love when you toss it into conversations until it litters the world like cigarette butts at highway exits. Let’s take a moment to consider who we really love and then take the hardest of steps and say it directly and personally to them. Without it being the substitute for good bye, or the sign off on a text, or a thank you. To give it the respect and power it fully deserves.