“I love you.” This sweet sentiment is often flippantly said to our loved ones: our spouses/partners, children, siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles. Although we may love our loved ones, but do we ask ourselves this pertinent question “Do they know that I love them and do I show them how much how I love them?” We toss around this heartwarming saying all the time because it is so easy to say, but oftentimes, we forget that words do not mean anything without backing it with action.
So how do I show love? Well it depends on what kind of love we are talking about and who is at the receiving end of this love. If it is agape or familial love, I strive to express such love to those in my life and the people that I encounter daily. This could be by paying them a compliment, listening actively to what they have to say, giving a hug when necessary, sending or having a meal together, sharing/buying a gift, sending an uplifting message, praying for them or with them, spending quality time with them, having a good time together, appreciating them etc.
The love that I feel for my children covers a large scope and encompasses things such as teaching them life skills, supporting their interests and aspirations, putting food on the table, providing a welcoming home and for their needs, giving them the enabling environment to grow and be themselves, protecting them from external dangers, counselling and handholding, making endless sacrifices, being interested in what they are doing, apologizing to them when I am wrong and being willing to change, being available 24/7 for them and much more..
For my husband and life partner, it is an all encompassing love and I endeavour to demonstrate the 5 languages of love to him on a regular basis- using words of affirmation, spending quality time together, serving each other, buying him gifts, physical touch and showing of affection (I am touchy-feely kind of person) and he reciprocates. Our union of 23 years has passed through several tests of time and like any other couple we do have our ups and downs. It is most certainly not always sunshine, kisses and rainbows, but those down moments have served in strengthening our understanding and love for each other.
On a final note, displaying your love for your family can provide an active meaning to those three words ‘ I love you.’ It is best to show your love to your family so they will not have to question if you love them or not.