Love… Why Don’t We Express it?

I had a great conversation with my grown son Joshua (Yoshie) this weekend. We talked about how people, especially people that are close to one another have such a hard time expressing their love, or for that matter expressing all types of good things they probably should be saying. What is about being kind and tenderhearted that causes us to take pause instead of moving forward? Why would we wait until people are sick or dying before we endeavor to communicate years of wonderful feelings we haven’t ever shared, or at least haven’t shared with any meaningful consistency? Why would your love for someone be left unspoken?

I remember some years ago adapting a Dale Carnegie principle regarding building people up, to my immediate family. I called it, “I love you because…” The object of my little experiment was to make an opportunity for our family to say things to one another we may have never said before. Basically, each of us wrote on a 3 x 5 card the family member’s name with the phrase, “I love you because…” to be filled in with some meaningful reason we loved that particular person. We chose one person to be the receiver of our words and went around the table expressing why we loved that specific family member. Then, each person expressed verbally why they loved their sister or mother etc. Once each person had shared to the family member, we moved on to the next receiver. Little did I know at the time, there would be such heartfelt emotion behind those words. Between the wine and the words there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We didn’t just shed a teardrop here and there, but took part in some full on crying in our deeply felt love for one another. In that moment, between tears, I realized something profound. We all loved each other so much, but rarely felt permission to openly share those feelings. The love was always there and the tears weren’t sad tears at all, but we simply rarely said things like that to each other. Thank God we did it! (And for being the biggest part behind that little idea.)

So, if we feel it so strongly, why won’t we say it? Is it because it makes us feel vulnerable? Do we fear it won’t be reciprocated, ridiculed or made fun of in some fashion? All of us had a different upbringing. All of our parents had their own upbringing as well. In some homes, expressions of love flowed freely like water. In other homes those words were hard to come by. But, if those words were rare, it’s hardly fair to blame your parents. Chances are those words were scarce in their homes as well. Imagine trying to feel comfortable expressing your love for someone if hardly anyone ever expressed those words to you. It’s such a conundrum because though not expressed, we know that the love is there. So, we wait for some dire situation to force us into saying the things we haven’t said before. It’s like there is no time left to wait. But, here’s a thought. The people you love so much need to hear those words now, and later, and often in-between. You cannot really lose by saying those things. Even if the person you love makes fun of your heartfelt notion, inside in their heart, underneath all of that cover and pretend toughness, they needed to hear it from you, right when you said it! Just say it!

It’s so odd that in the world today, feelings of tenderness and kindness and love are shunned as if they represent weakness or perhaps aren’t manly or appropriate. It’s like to be a man you need to withhold your love in favor of toughness as a sort of preparation for the things your offspring (namely boys) might experience in the world. I can assure you, the best way to build someone up to face the challenges of life is with your love. You want your son to be strong? Shower him with love and acceptance. Ironically, few people have any trouble expressing their love to young children. Young children are safe recipients of our love. But, what about being a teenager or young adult negates that principle? Your 30 year old daughter needs that expression of love as much, if not more now, than when she was 5. We all need it desperately. Your brother you grew up with, who drove you absolutely nuts, needs your expressions of love. Your father who didn’t treat you right (God bless him as he was trying to figure it out also) needs your heartfelt expressions of love. Don’t wait until they deserve it, do it while they don’t deserve it. Do it now.

The only way to break the negative cycle is for you to break it. It really doesn’t matter if you receive it first. You be the first to break the cycle. Shower people with your love and kindness of heart. Have you ever ran into a truly kind person and left the better for it? You know what it did for you, right? So, you do it. Tell your wife you have being quietly residing beside for 30 years, how you feel. Tell her she is beautiful. Tell her what living with her has done for you over the years and the better person you are as a result of it. Tell her! Yes, I know she knows, but you tell her anyway! Your friend who always has your back and stands with you despite all your bullshit, tell them as well. It’s not weird or out of place. It’s weird not to tell them. You see, you and I have to be the initiators of the love. Take the first step. Don’t make it odd or difficult or risky. There is no risk in loving someone. The risk is found by not saying what you feel when you feel it. That’s the real tragedy.

Don’t love in silence even though you both know the feelings are there. Love outloud! Say it, express it, do it. I love you because…

Just some good thoughts…


Broken Hearts and Broken Dreams…

635848573565830810-1507894444_o-BROKEN-HEART-facebook0-680x340Anyone who has aged a little in life can attest to the fact that you don’t always end up where you thought you might end up. You may not have become the rock star or famous actress you once entertained. Or, even if your dreams weren’t as lofty, sometimes you just find yourself living life a little different than you’d imagined or wanted. You definitely have a few scars and maybe even a wound or two that isn’t quite healed yet. Some parts of you no longer function at the optimum level, most assuredly including your mind and thoughts. You may suffer from a broken heart, not injured in one fell swoop, but hurt imperceptibly over time by unmet longings and failure to appropriately acknowledge yourself. Sometimes you are just sick of your own shit and desperately need some repairs or maybe a complete overhaul. No matter what your current need is or how deeply things have gone astray, the reality is that whatever you are going through is just a part of a universal human experience affecting all mankind, sooner or later. It was never intended; it doesn’t make you feel any better; but it damn sure has a remedy!

The problem with problems is that in order to become a problem, the problem has to have some problematic element attached to it that you perceive as unrepairable or unfixable. For you and me, while living out our individual human experiences, some problems or difficulties are beyond our own limited problem solving ability. Shoot! – sometimes we cannot even identify what our problem is exactly. This may surprise you or buck up against your current philosophy, but part of your problem is your determined insistence that by thinking or considering or brooding or dwelling within or worrying or chewing it all over, you will eventually be able to solve your problem. And, accordingly, some folks spend their entire existence neatly stuck within a problem that not only could have been solved, but should have been solved long ago! Welcome to people. Welcome to the human experience. Welcome to broken hearts and broken dreams!

God’s intention for our lives, despite us being loathe to admit it, is for us to cast all of our cares upon Him and allow Him to help us receive assistance, healing and repair at the heart level. God works at the heart level. God is well aware of your inability to register or recognize all of the tricks of your spiritual opponent! He is abundantly clear that the same opponent you cannot discern is also the one encouraging you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and figure it out all by yourself! God knows already people. He can see through all of our fake behaviors and foolish, misguided attempts to coerce Him into helping us and He loves us anyway! He sees all of our true motives and desires as well as our deceived intentions and plans and still loves us anyway. In short, He knows you intimately; your good and all of your bad, your falsehoods, your deceptions, your wrongs, your mistakes and all of that crap you have been hoping He won’t find out about, and He still LOVES you anyway! Somehow, someway you have to break free from that worldly, exaggerated, totally false notion, that your help from God is somehow dependent upon how good you are! Nothing could be further from the truth! Believing that man-made garbage is the number one hinderance stopping us from getting the help we need!

Our hearts form the basis of the life we are experiencing presently. When your current situation sucks it is because your heart sucks (right now). Our hearts, that we were supposed to be guarding, become damaged by our failure to protect them and then lead us to suffering and pain. Broken hearts don’t just show up over jilted relationships, they get broken by wrong thinking and doing things contrary to our own best interest. They get damaged from neglect and our failure to speak up or change appropriately. They get battered and abused by hurtful people, situations and events. They are spurned by insensitivity and callous attitudes, beginning with our own. We should have cared for our hearts in the beginning and taken the necessary steps. But sadly, by the time we realize something is amiss, usually the damage has already been done. Now here we are, full circle, living with broken hearts and the resultant broken dreams. So what should we do?

The simple solution; the only real solution, is to give all of your issues and dilemmas to God directly. Briefly apologize for being such a hard head and trying to figure it all out yourself. Don’t linger on all of your pain as He already knows! Just, for God’s sake, lay it all out to Him (every bit) and tell Him you need His help. Don’t foolishly try to figure out what He can and cannot help with or further limit what He can and will do! Just give it all to Him like He said and keep on living your life! But, while you are living and handling your business, keep your eyes open as you will be hearing from heaven in ways you may have never imagined. Don’t discount that thought that lodges in your mind or that idea that appealed to you recently. Pursue it. Pursue it. You will get your answer and you can get your heart repaired and even your dreams restored. You can. You should. You frikkin oughta!

You got one skinny, lean go round on this planet people. Just because you started good and then twisted bad doesn’t mean you can’t finish up good! Your life is worth that good; God’s goodness! Get all that God wants you to have! Get the very best!

I love you…

Just some good thoughts…