Shout it at the top of your lungs. Say it like it’s your last day on Earth.

When I was a child, I used to say I love you a lot. To a lot of people. Family and friends. Acquaintances of my parents who gave me candies or chocolates. I just said it. I love you I love you I love you.

I can’t remember when it started to stop. Not completely stopped but slowed down. I no longer say it as often and as to many people.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment but I remember when I was in my early twenties, I overheard a teenage couple standing in front of me on the escalator being all lovey dovey and the girl whispered in the boy’s ears those 3 words.

I love you.

And I remember thinking, is it really that simple? Is love really that simple and that easy that these couple of kids (I was once a teenager too and to this day, teenagers are considered kids in my eyes) who barely knew anything about the world can utter the words so casually?

The answer wasno.

Back then, I thought these kids have taken it way too easily. They knew nothing about love. I was in a relationship at the time and I knew how difficult it could be.

I’ve changed my mind. Yes, we’re allowed to change our minds about love and life.

Those kids might know nothing about love but we were born with love in our core. It is natural for us to love. We were born full of love. We are made of it. There’s so much love in us. We only need to learn how to tap into it. There’s so much that yes, we can just simply love.

It was so easy for us to love when we were children. So easy for us to say those 3 words, making people feel warm, happy, loved and cherished.

What happened?

For me, I think it was the media. Certain movies, love songs, TV series. God knows some of the TV series in my countries are full of crap. Just recently I caught a few scenes of the TV series my housemaid was watching. I thought, “What the hell? And the young generation of this country are watching this?” I couldn’t stand even 5 minutes of it.

I remember watching some western movies and reading some magazine articles or fiction where the men or women were put off because the other person said, “I love you”. They really made a big deal out of this. Who said it first. When it is said. What should be done when it is said.

You could have thought that they’re talking about a bomb!

You’ll realize it’s all bullshit when death touches you unexpectedly with its cold fingers.

You think it matters. Who said it first, when it’s being said, why the other person is not saying it, why the other person is not saying it back, why the other person is not saying it often enough. When you say it and it’s not being reciprocated, you stop. Because it feels like rejection and rejection feels awful, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter!

When death touches you, you realize it doesn’t matter at all! All these questions. You’ll realize how silly they actually are. You’ll start wondering if you’ve actually said enough.

When you lose someone, you don’t think, “How many times has he/she said, ‘I love you’ to me when he/she is still alive?” NO! You start thinking, “Have I said it enough times? Have I showed it enough? Did he/she know I loved him/her?

But these questions are of no use when you’ve lost the person you’re supposed to express your love to.

If you hold back saying these words, you need to ask yourself again the true reason why you say it in the first place. Are you saying it because you want to hear it back? Or are you saying it because you actually genuinely love the person you want to say it to? 

Because if you sincerely love someone, you’ll let that person know and it doesn’t matter how the other person will react.

Maybe you’ll feel rejected. Maybe you’ll feel hurt. But those are parts of life.

When I stood next to my mother’s opened coffin, looking at her peaceful face, crying uncontrollably, saying over and over again “I love you”, I’m sorry” and “Thank you”, what do you think I was thinking?

I thought of all the things she had done for me throughout my life. What followed this line of thought was the thought of had I done enough for her when she was alive?

I kept repeating — like a broken cassette record — the three things we love to hear the most in our lives.

I love you. I’m sorry. Thank you.

But it was too late. I could only hope that I had done my very best in loving her. I could only hope that she left knowing that I really cared about her and loved her with all my heart. I hope that I had said it enough.

Those three words.

I love you.

Forget all the things the popular media is teaching you about love. Trust yourself. Listen to your inner voice. Those who you have feeling of love for, no matter how small, they must have done something good and right to incite the feeling. Something that is worth those 3 words. (You probably wouldn’t want to say those 3 words to someone who backstab you, for example).

So, say it. Just utter it. Form it in your head and let it out through your mouth, with your breath — one of the most powerful things in the world.

Say it like there’s no tomorrow. Say it like your life depends on it. Say it like there’s nothing in this world more important that saying it.

I LOVE YOU.

Photo by Suresh Kumar on Unsplash

Whatever happens after, you have no control over.

But you might have just made someone’s day. You might just have saved someone’s life. You might just have made someone felt like he/she matters. You might have just become someone’s torch in the dark.

Say it. It really matters.

Writer by heart, teacher by trade. Nomad living across the globe. Avid reader and traveller.
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Writer by heart, teacher by trade. Nomad living across the globe. Avid reader and traveller.
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