The statement “I love you” usually initiates strong emotions to both the giver and receiver. They can lift us in ways no other words probably can. These three powerful words can also initiate tremendous fear to those that have been distanced, isolated, or hurt from their association with its meaning. The true essence of these words requires us to be vulnerable, and our ego simply can NOT share space with the word love.
If you think about it, everyone you’ve loved has evoked the same heartfelt response you would associate with gratitude. When you say “I love you” to someone, what you’re saying is “Thank you”. To love someone is to have a deep appreciation for who they are. “I love you” means “Thank you for existing.” It says, I feel lucky and blessed to know you.” “I love you” means “Thank you for being who you are.” And “I feel better about the world now that I know you are in it.” Love expresses itself as gratitude, and as we keep expressing our gratitude, love keeps expanding.
Love is a grateful heart. When you say “I love you” to someone, you are saying, “I’m grateful for you” and “I’m grateful to you.” This gratitude is recognition for all this person gives to you by his or her presence in your life. You are saying, “Thank you for loving me,” and “Thank you for accepting me as myself.” Gratitude recognizes that none of us can discover who we really are by ourselves. It’s by our undivided relatedness (or “Oneness”) with each other that we experience our ability to love and be loved.
If someone is in your life it is because they have a gift for you and you have a gift for them. “I love you” is a spontaneous song we sing when we want to tell someone “Your presence is a gift in my life.” “I love you” means “Thank you for helping me to love and be loved” and “Thank you for helping me to heal” and “Thank you for helping me to grow.” The people we love are our family, friends, teachers, and our healers. They are the essential life support we need to travel along our journey.
“Your soul expresses itself as infinite love and gratitude.”
Wade W. Bergner