I love you!

I just thought I would start off with that. These three little words when tied together can be the most precious of beautiful things to say or the most vile of mockeries.

When I say I love you to my most cherished human on this little planet, the one I recently experienced falling in love with. I try to make it special, I think about all the implications all the nuances to the words.

This my definition of the words in this most divine of statements, and what they mean to me:

I; meaning myself, my whole self, through and through, in absolutly every way I know how.
Love; meaning absolute devotion. The selfless need for you to be happy for the somewhat selfish fact that it will make me happier than anything else. Meaning that you are always in my thoughts, and you'll always be important to me.
You; meaning everything you are, every little detail, every little happy or sad detail and quirk. Not excluding anything, not holding any thing back, the whole you.

So when I say it, I try to be honest, and remember all that it means. That I am absolutly devoted to your happiness, that I want for you to be happy at all times no matter what. Now, this doesn't only pertain to romantic relationships, but I'm starting to apply it to all relationships. I am going to start telling my mother that I love her, and tell her why. It can become reflex after a while to just say it without thought. I think it should be too strong to be a reflex.

Also, I don't feel this statement should be used to manipulate people. It's a horrible thing, in my opinion, to say I love you to get sex, or to get something you want. I say I love you, and I mean I love everything about you, even through your troubles, even if you started hating me, I would still have to accept that love, because it's still you.

This is just my little thought because I was talking it over with my loved one. I think that it'd be cool for everyone to look at what they think of when they say I love you, because it can be so beautiful and pure.

Update time, I hope the people that enjoyed this read this because I have some new thoughts.

I love you, as a statement can be stated in many ways. With as powerful as this statement is, sometimes repetition causes for it to have less impact.

As hard as I try, it can't be as powerful if it doesn't take time to gather the right words. Try saying it in a new way, a way that means I love you, but isn't necessarily in that form.

You are a beautiful person.

I love your eyes. This one is very special to me I take it's meaning so differently, the eye's being the window of the soul, and their soul being part of the object of my love.

Be creative, if words fail you, then show it. It's powerful and gives you all the room in the world to come up with something new.

I've come up with countless other ways of saying it, I just wanted to share my favorites.

"I love you."

Some people say those are the three most beautiful words in the whole universe, and I partially agree.

"Now kids, there are three kinds of love. First, there's the love between children and parents, and I think you're already familiar with it. Second, there's the love between men and women, and it's too early to tell to you about it. And third, there's the People's love of The Communist Party, and that's what I'm about to tell to you now..." - a Soviet Union sex education brochure (according to a joke, of course *g* - this one appeared in Finland)

"I love you" has so many different meanings in different situations. Maybe this is because love is such a relative term. For example, I can tell you I love you; I like Everything a lot, it's a wonderful place and there are a lot of wonderful noders in here. Yes, I like this place, even with the tr0llz. I love the Usenet, even when some might say it's just a hideous hellhole of flamers and spam. I love my country too, at least the best parts of it. I love this whole world.

And I have known people to whom I could have said these words without any doubt. And even then I've had to say that in different meanings; I have said it to Cool Persons I Really Really Respect; and (often as followup to the previous one) I've said it because of true emotional love. (No, I haven't said that to anyone to get them to bed. Honest. I usually mean what I say, these kind of things I cannot afford to toy with. =)

All I can say is that if you feel that way, that someone or something messes your thoughts positively, don't be afraid to say it! Love has many manifestations (and I'm not referring to Marxism here, no pun intended =) and admitting it to the loved one is always a step to the right direction.

You said, 'I love you and my love for you makes any other life a lie.' Can this be true, this simple obvious message, or am I like those shipwrecked mariners who seize an empty bottle and eagerly read out what isn't there? And yet you are there, here, sprung like a genie to ten times your natural size, towering over me, holding me in your arms like mountain sides. Your hair is blazing and you are saying, 'Make three wishes and they shall all come true. Make three hundred and I will honour every one.'

- Jeanette Winterson

There is

only one person

that I have said "I love you" to, and meant it. In fact, I feel like saying it to him, shouting it out rather loudly, so that he can hear me right now.

I find it hard to believe that after months of separation, I can still hardly hold back the tears at the thought of his name....

And how something as simple as a song on the radio, or a drawing / web page from him, or an old letter or article of clothing gets me teary-eyed (instantly).

I want to write him a letter, paint him a mural, sculpt him a statue... to form something of significance. And yet everything that is going on in my life makes it look like I don't care... like I am cheating on him. I am actually only cheating myself out of spending time with him, since I already pay attention to him in my thoughts at least once a day.

I desperately yearn for some sort of conclusion to this never-ending torment and questioning... I hope it will come to me soon.

Somehow I don’t see what is there, but what is underneath. Only visible to those who open their minds and reach out to the invisible force behind your being. Everyone is exposed to it, but not all realize what they’re missing.

Fearsome exterior; piercings, superfluous facial growth, towering presence looming above their heads while they watch the feet passing beneath lowered eyes. The startling hair, spiked and gelled and matching the fierce goatee reaching towards the floor from a face most don’t care to look beyond.

Huge eyes, fringed by lashes dark enough to shame those who wear mascara and call themselves beautiful.

Large ears, all the better for listening to the endless stream of worries forced from between my lips, dragged from a usually silent mentality by the way you make me feel when I’ve emptied myself of all the horrible things built up in my soul during the years I never knew you. The smiles you dragged from me, the fears you made me forget, the soundless mirth you turned into laughter for all to hear.

The face I love, the face I can stare at for years and still see something new every second. Strong hands, just a larger version of my own, holding away the monsters of my past without blocking the memories necessary to move on. Wide shoulders, sturdy arms, easy to lose oneself within.

Size fifteen feet, the hours of shoe shopping together; a place to stand while dancing with arms wrapped around your waist.

Your skinny legs, exactly the same length as mine. The borderline lordosis I see in your spine, allowing for amazing flexibility. You can put your head between knobby knees while I struggle to touch my toes without breaking something.

Your little tummy, my perfect pillow after working all day and coming home to you. How many hours have we spent under layers of blankets on the couch playing Mario Party and watching Disney movies? Each one a treasured memory.

Driving to see you for the first time, through the snow at night, with someone I’ve only talked to once on the phone. Almost two years ago and a lifetime passed.

I love you.

You don't own my heart
You don't deserve my affections
I only choose to give them to you
not in hope that you will return them to me
when the time is right
but with the hope that you
will take them with you, and somehow,
they will make you smile.

I mentioned this story in the catbox the other day but it bears repeating.

There's a saying about charity that goes something like if you give food to a homeless man you are feeding the hungry, but if you do it and then post about it on social media all you are doing is feeding your ego.

But I feel okay talking about some of my experiences because I'm not doing it for praise - and even if I was I am anonymous here. My motivation is to share and possibly recruit. Not for them but also for you.

Mission work, or voluntourism in its secular version - is something that can and does generate criticism. Often for valid rrasons. I remember seeing on a trip to the Pacific North West a ministry that gave food to the homeless. But only after they had endured an hour of bible thumping Republican tirade about how they were all a bunch of lazy drunks.

And a lot of Joel Osteen type churches go somewhere sunny with nice shopping and great beaches and do prayer walks and all important work like handing out tracts and Bibles for a few hours before spending the rest of the day enjoying a place where  $20 will buy you a salon class full body massage.

But on the surface it is hard to ask people to actually sacrifice. Driving downtown and chopping vegetables for Food not Bombs is admirable and worthwile. But spending many hundreds of dollars and a week's vacation leave to drag 2000lb of sand up the side of a mountain for building homes or doing medical work in a place where HIV is common is another. Especially in places with war, unsafe drinking water, political instability - far fewer sign up for that.

A lot of the people we helped were unbelievably grateful. Time and time again tearfully saying "I have no way to repay you." They understood that we had taken time and money and travelled an incredible distance to help. In person. Those last two words are what I want to address.

One question I have been asked is - okay so I spent $x to travel there, be housed and fed. If I had instead written a CHECK for $x the travel food and housing portion could have built another house. Why not the check?

Valid question. Aside from the money that being there puts into the system I want to share this anecdote.

We helped a single mother with four little boys whose father was an abusive alcoholic. When he drank himself to death not only did he leave her to fend for herself (making about $40 a month washing clothes) but they were living in her mother in laws tool shed, grudgingly, for the sake of the boys and them alone.

By help: scholarships so the boys could stay in school beyond the Grade 6 the government pays for. A concrete house with water sanitation, a bathroom and stove. Being set up in a business of her own. In other words security and independence. Every material want paid for.

But here's the thing. Genuinely taken aback and grateful as she was, here's what made her break down. When we did the introductions and hugs my wife said to her, "Te amo". I love you.

She hugged my wife with real emotion and wouldn't let her go. Material goods are one thing. But what she was really thankful for was that someone told her, and genuinely, that she was loved.

And it's true. We did love them. They lioved us back. We played with her kids and she carried buckets of cement. We didnt throw money at her, we were there with her. I will remember her smile and lovely voice, they will remember the muscular luchador who helped out and whipped out a blue mask on Hallowe'en.

Being able to bring hope - never mind joy - is rewarding. If you are the kind of person who would be blessed and rewrded by helping others in this kind of manner please do so. And if not I will genuinely pray for you.

She was thankful to God. Who we had never mentioned once.

That, right there, is the power of I love you.

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