I love you.

untrue love“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” George Sand

Love is a word that is seen and heard everywhere. It is used freely to describe emotions and feelings. It conjures up romantic notions and lusts. Yet there is so much more to love than just a sentiment which makes you feel good.

Of course it’s wonderful to make people feel wanted and needed through words that are encouraging or compassionate. But when you use the words ‘I love you’, it can take the relationship to a completely different level. Those three little words aren’t just a statement of affection or admiration, they can be the ultimate declaration of attachment and loyalty.

When you tell someone you love them you are investing your heart, mind and soul. ‘I love you’ should never be spoken lightly. In my own life I have found it very difficult at times to express my love or receive it. Because I never wanted to feel so desperate, lonely and unloved as I did when I realised my mother had abandoned me forever.

“The love you seek is seeking you at this moment.”                                                              ~ Deepak Chopra

My thinking was that if I didn’t allow anyone to love me and if in turn, I didn’t love anyone then I couldn’t be hurt again. But I did hurt. And the more I used alcohol to numb the pain, the more I distanced myself from ever being able to love not just others, but myself. And so too will you be distanced  further from what you truly desire if you try to avoid loving or being loved. A loveless life is merely an existence void of real joy or happiness.

So when I reached the point that existing was no longer an option for me, I started on my journey of recovery. If you have ever been on that journey you will know how vulnerable and raw it can be. Not to mention terrifying. But it is worth it. You are worth it.

Through faith I experienced a love that forgave everything I had been, accepted me for who I was, and helped me believe that I could live a life of value and worth. Most importantly it taught me that I needed to love myself because it was only through self-love that I could truly extend that love to others.

“Love one another.” ~ John 13:34

It wasn’t easy but I had to learn to look at myself and say ‘I love you’, before I could declare it to anyone else. Even now I have to admit that I am much more at ease at telling those I care for deeply that I love them than reassuring myself. But the reality is that you can’t give away what you don’t have, and that includes love.

illusionAs well as needing to be loved, we need to love others. For me this means not just speaking of love, but showing it. Gifts, tokens of generosity or sensual actions are all ways to demonstrate love, but just as important are respect, empathy, commitment and authenticity. ‘I love you’ can then have huge impact and meaning.

I am so grateful that today my life is filled with friends and family that I have genuine love for and who reciprocate that love time and time again.

My message to you is as always, ‘I love you.’

Untrue love’ and ‘Illusion‘ images thanks to the fabulous talent of Boryana Gold   http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/BoryanaGold


76 thoughts on “I love you.

  1. I came across your site last night when I googled “sometimes a broken heart does not heal”. I googled that because I believe that to be true for me. I also believe a soul can be damaged beyond repair and one has to go go about living with that as best as they can. I am open to being incorrect about that, however at this point in my life this is how I truly feel deep inside of me. I have enjoyed reading your post titled I love you. Powerful statement to make and not one I make or take lightly myself. Sadly many people are flippant with this statement, it is lip service backed up with no actions of of actually showing that statement to be true.

    Forgive me for seeming so negative, however my life experience ahs been ever so painful to say the least and to describe the pain, well I don’t think there are any words. I read ina very good book once that words are the elast reliable purveyor of truth. A profound statement, yet I am a writer and words is what I use and they do not lack power. A favorite quote of mine from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Words are alive, cut them and they bleed”.

    I have lost my faith in love, I never thought I would ever say that and I have lost my faith in humanity. Sometimes I even think I have lost my faith In God, I dont think I have though, maybe I just think I want to so then I will not be angry with God anymore, I am not angry with God all the time just on the odd occassion.

    I have had a lot of loss in my life and like you similar life experiences. I am 34 years of age now and when I look at my life, I wonder how I am still going, let alone still functioning. That is becoming increasingly harder I will admit. I do fight for my life every day.

    A short synopsis of my life does not make for light reading. I was abandoned and abused by both parents throughout my life, I was never “good enough” to be loved. I loved both my parents a great deal, made a lot of sacrifices for them both in different ways. I gave both my parents a lot of love in my way and I dont think without me their loves would have been made just that little bit more wonderful among their own misery, pain and unhappiness that unfortunately got pushed onto me as a child. I still loved them anyway. I was only a child. In my adult years there treatment of me continued. It no longer does I out a stop to it once and for all but I am left with emotional wounds and scars to deal with and I resent them for that. My sister whom has an intellectual disability I also cared for a great deal and made many sacrifices for too. Family was everything to me. I don’t believe in it anymore but maybe if I live on then I will have my own little family of my own. I dont need anyone to have my own children and just be content with that.

    I became an alcoholic and drug addict at a young age and I went on like this for many many years. I am free of those addictions now, I healed myself and fixed myself up. I changed my life in many ways but it was not easy and I had no support from family or friends. I was sexually promiscuous, I slept with anyone (women only) because I thought them taking an interest in me meant love, I know that is not true nor right anymore. I dont drink, I dont take drugs and I dont sleep around anymore. Learning to love myself and what that even meant took me a long time to grasp and I am still getting an understanding around it. I am still learning to love myself. I spent my life locing everyone else because I was genuinely that girl, gave everyone love and thought that they would love me in return. How naive I was. I never had anyone to gudie me or teach me, let alone good role models as parents. Everything I know today, I have had to learn through incredibly challenging, painful, hard life experiences.

    I have not long come out of a very disturbing relationship of two years with a narcissist which is completely soul destroying. I was engaged to be married to this person. The level of abuse I went through is not something a lot of people come out of alive. I dont know hwo to even talk about it, things that happened are so unimaginable because it was inhumane yet narcissists are very sick people. they know what they are doing and excatly how to do their evil deeds and make it all seem totally normal, in other words yes I was brainwashed. While all this was happening my best friend that I live dwith died unexpectedly and tradgically at home where we lived together. The day before my best friend died, I got officially diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that is different from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the difference between the two is that The Complex part is from a cluster of traumatic events happening through ones life, rather than just one isolated trauamatic event. During my relationship and after I came out of it, and then my friends death, there was barely anyone there for me, it was not through lack of trying to get some support and care, just no one knew how to help me and I dont think anyone really cared deeply. For them life went on while. The grief and loss was tremendous and again neither parent was really there for me in the way I needed them to be and neither was my sister. Even the church I was going to at that time to try make some friends abandoned me in my darkest hour when I rang them to tell them my best friend died. No one came and no one cared. This changed me and changed my life and something inside me broke for good. There are some things about me that will never come back.

    And if that is not enough due to having a complete mental break down, probaly the worst I ever had in my life, I became homeless. Literally without a home and ended up living on the streets for an extended period of time. That changed my life too. I completly shut everyone out because for one last time I tried to reaxh out for help and share my pain and no one loved me enough to come when I told them I needed them and I was not coping with the huge amount of strain I was under. No one came and people accused me of it being all about me. After that I decidied never to ask anyone for anything ever again.

    I realise this is not a good nro ehalthy attitude to have and how I wish it could be different, however understand that my whole life every need I have ever had has gone unmet and it started with the people who were supposed to cater to my needs as a child and from there it all just snowballed. I understand why I am like this. I am not perfect but I am a good person with a good heart and I am intelligent, funny and wise, unfortunately no one sees me. I have become a ghost. I recently met someone whom I fell in love with, it never lasted, why because I learnt to love myself and realised that this person was saying they loved me and were in love with me but were not treating me right and playing a lot of games with my own head. So I ended it and I will never look back.

    Today, I find it hard to say I love you to people. As I said I gave up on love and I gave up on my dreams. The truth is I dont think anyone would want to love me, no matter what I do to work on me or my life or try my best to provide joy and happiness in someone’s life, something is always wrong with me. I do ask myself if someone has good morals. principles, and does their best in life, treats people properly and with respect, kindness and love, then why do people leave me? No every stays long enough. I never intended for this to be such a long post, but I at least wanted to share it with someone. I have nil expectations of anyone, nor do I need rescuing or fixing. This is what people like to do, bless them but it is not what I need or want. I am simply sharing some of my life and my truth.

    In saying all of this though, for your personally I am glad you learnt to love yourself and only in loving yourself then you became able to love others. I never ahd a problem loving anyone, people had a problem with loving me.

    I am grateful for your site though and perhaps it gives me a very small glimmer of hope that maybe some things in me can be healed, I just know that not everything will be healed, too much damage and too much soul breaks not just heart breaks.Thank you for all you do in the world.



    • I’m so sorry Lee that you have had to experience so much tragedy and heartbreak in your life. Your pain and your grief are clear. So it’s understandable that you should write;
      ‘I have lost my faith in love, I never thought I would ever say that and I have lost my faith in humanity. Sometimes I even think I have lost my faith In God’. Having faith in love, humanity or God involves trust, and I know that it is very hard to trust when you have been hurt and let down.

      When I hit rockbottom I was completely broken physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s where you are at today. It’s tough. It’s not fair. And I don’t know why some people appear to sail through life when others are bombarded with one challenge after another. But actually it isn’t why these things happen that matters, what matters is how you move through them.

      Despite all the despair you do have an inner strength that has helped you to overcome the addictions. You also have much love to share (with the right person who is going to reciprocate that love). You have a good heart and are intelligent, funny and wise – those are great qualities. You have a lot to offer and I know how hard it is when your physical circumstances are challenging too, but keep reminding yourself of how far you have come.

      Take that speck of faith and whisper of hope and let it lead you out of the darkness. Keep on learning to love yourself and be gentle on yourself. Bear in mind that the wall you have built up around you to protect yourself emotionally will also keep you isolated. So when you are ready try to reach out.

      You are worth so much more than living each day in pain. You are precious. You are loved.
      Take care. xx

      • Hi Carolyn,

        Thank you for your beautiful reply. I would like to ask when you hit your rock bottom, how did you manage life? How did you come out of the darkness that seemed to surround your every move? It’s so hard to fight sometimes, one gets very tired of the fight.

        I am getting better, I know I am, still much more to go but there have been improvements. I really appreciate all your compliments of me as a person, thank you very much. You made a good point about the isolation, I isolated myself fro a long time, and still sometimes I isolate myself for a few days. I have started socialising more and have joined a couple of social groups and am getting out and about a bit more and seeing the brighter side of life once again. I have told God though, NO MORE GOD. I mean it and I have had enough. NO MORE horrible stuff for my life, I am done. I still have a lot to work through but I am doing that and loving myself more, thanks for reminding me to keep going with that, I need reminding sometimes. I guess I am learning to leave others to deal with the consequences of them hurting me so badly and no longer having an empathy nor sympathy for them. That’s their own demons to deal with and I will not rescue nor comfort them anymore. I have my own life to live now.

        I now do more things I have loved and wanted to do for a long time and am seeing more and learning more. I am slowly discarding what no longer serves me. Thanks for your advice, care and concern. It is much appreciated and well done for coming out of your own darkness. That takes courage and bravery.

        Bless you.


      • You are very welcome Lee and I am so glad that you are socialising more. I know it can be tempting to simply keep yourself to yourself when you feel the world is against you but keep taking the risk to be around others and let them see the beautiful person you are. I too went through a phase of doubting God, questioning why I had been through so much and rejecting Him the way I felt He had rejected me. But God waited until I was ready to go back. He will wait for you too, and when you are ready He will meet you with open arms and never you let go. But only when you are ready. Give it time. Be kind to yourself.

        You ask how I managed life when I hit rock bottom and the simple answer is that I didn’t. I ended up in hospital because I was so physically and emotionally unwell that I didn’t want to live any more. Yet somehow I survived and I realised that I had a chance to start again. When you’re at rock bottom the only way is up. So I took it a day at a time and very slowly started to reclaim my faith and love myself to get well again. Some days were definitely harder than others. Some days had to be broken down into hours or sometimes even minutes. It took courage and strength but eventually it started to get easier too.

        And the reason I’m sharing this with you is because I know that you too have the courage and strength to come out of your own darkness. You can do it 🙂

      • Thank You Carolyn for sharing so openly and honestly. I appreciate that.In a world where many have forgotten morals, principles, kindness and just common decency for their fellow men and women it is refreshing to say the least. I know that I should never lose my faith and trust in God, but I am sure god understands after everything I have personally been through. We are looking for answers and whom is at fault for what we have been through so when they are not forthcoming we turn to God in search for truth and answers. I have been mightly angry with God, screamed at God and felt bad while doing it because I knew in my heart God was not to blame.

        Anyhow one day at a time, thank you for creating your blog, I know it is helping many more people including me.

        I will keep reading more of your blog and following you. Bless you.

  2. I am not yet at that place where I can say ‘I love you’ to everyone
    But I can respect and act right towards you.
    That’s all for now

    I do have my ‘special people’ whom I love with all of me and I am
    grateful for that. God has sent special people my way.

  3. In all the years of religious training, private Christian education, and years of inner healing and deliverance training, no one ever taught this simple truth… can you imagine?? The simple, powerful words “I love you” to our own selves. In Christianity, many times, it’s discouraged… that our focus should always be on God and others and not on ourselves. But to love ourselves first, is the key to loving others. This is such a powerful, powerful truth – thank you, Carolyn, for sharing it!!

    • It’s often the simple things that get overlooked Susan. But you’re right in that this concept isn’t always taught. Both my children are taught religion as part of the curriculum and much of it is very good but the concept of self-love is not mentioned. Without it, I do believe it is impossible to give ourselves to others or God.

  4. It took me enough time to love myself, and I must say that becoming a Born Again Believer so many years ago was the beginning of my real Love Story. Beautifully written.

  5. Respect, empathy, commitment and authenticity – these are what love really are about – stepping out of self and into the experience of another. Yes! Loving others to wholeness, to being better than they ever could have imagined – that is the power of love. It is an action and not just some free-wheeling happenstance emotion. It is, as you said, a real investment. Great post!

  6. My series of early hurts didn’t result in alcoholism, or any other “ism,” but did result in years of fear of intimacy. As you say, if you don’t open up to others, you cannot get hurt. (Until you realize that the lack of intimacy is hurting even more!) Fortunately, someone showed me the error of my ways! Thanks for sharing so brilliantly, as always, Carolyn!

  7. This is my favorite phrase…my friends are amazed that my son says it all the time…I know it is because I say it all the time to him…I hope some day (or he may even now, but he is only 5 and it it is hard to tell what he knows) what it means when I say it to him…

  8. The words, ‘I love you’ can bridge a gap between two people. My son and I have never said all that much to each other. This doesn’t mean that we are estranged though. Both of us are people of very few words when speaking is all that’s going on. However, when each of us say ‘I love you’, often it says it all for us.

  9. Pingback: Adrift at Sea » I Love You

  10. Such a beautiful post, Carolyn. This line really struck me – “I had to learn to look at myself and say ‘I love you’, before I could declare it to anyone else.” Thanks so much for sharing another of the incredible stories of courage, strength, hope and recovery from your journey!

  11. Well captured and presented, Carolyn. Beautiful words. It’s funny, as I read this, I had flashes of me telling women I barely knew that I loved them. I felt so unloved that I thought if I uttered those (at the time, hollow words) that somehow they would manifest into something real and great. And of course it never happened. i realized through my actions (as you mentioned – respect, etc) that I never really did love anyone. I pretended, or thought to act as I thought as I should act, to love when really I used. I didn’t love because I didn’t have any self-love, and that was the core issue. Things are different now – I have learned to love self, and my first action in that was in getting sober. That I can say was the beginning, and I have had demonstrations of self-love, which has gone outward and onward. Love is sacred, yet easy to give and receive. What a paradox!

    Thank you for your wonderful post here, Carolyn. You certainly inspire many of us, and carry a lovely message.


    • I think you have shared something here Paul that many of us have also experienced in expressing love for someone in the hope that it will fill a need. But you prove that it is possible to turn your life around from being a needy alcoholic into someone who is loving and giving. I admire your strength and your transparency..
      Blessings to you too.

  12. What a beautiful post. I’m always telling my children and husband I love you and they reciprocate and frequently say it first.I’m blessed.

  13. Oh, Carolyn, what a wonderful story about love. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your experience about your mother. I cannot image what you have gone through. You are an amazing woman and an incredible example of overcoming a seemingly desperate situation. You are an amazing example of love – a love from above that never fails. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  14. What a lovely way that you conceptualize love – it radiates the unconditional nature of love and how it is more than just a word. I too have difficulty fully embracing love of myself and yet find others easy to love. I also agree that love is a rich and many layered thing – more a verb than a noun, as I’ve heard it described. Love is simply beautiful. Not easy, but certainly simple.

  15. Absolutely beautiful, Carolyn! I have faced the “what does ‘I love you’ mean?” issue myself; and, like you, I’ve learned that it is important to love myself (completely). Doing so allows me to show my love for others without the burden of crippling fear and, just as importantly, to allow them to love me. Thank you for sharing another one of your insightful and always positive posts with all of us! Many Blessings, Love & Light, Sloan

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