I woke-up the other day with the phrase everyone says I love you in my head. It took me down the memory lane and further reflection:
It was summer of 1996 in downtown Santa Monica on 3rd street, for the showing of Woody Allen’s “Everyone says I love you.” The movie had recently come out, it was my first few days ever in Southern California, and at the moment I was in love with everything I was seeing and experiencing.
I liked the movie but it took me a few years to realize why that title was so representative of the American culture, and why Woody Allen had used it so wonderfully.
Coming from the Mediterranean mentality where one thinks long and hard before exclaiming I love you, the abundant use of the words made an impression on me in the sense that wherever I would go (in the following years), I’d hear people say (or shout) I love you all the time.
I thought, if everyone loved everyone else so much as it is here (US) the case, how come there is so much disparity, mis-communication, dysfunctional relationships, ephemeral and superficial connections? Is it because it’s one of these words-phrases we have been using so much so that has lost its essence, its true significance?
There is a reason why in other cultures you save something like this for a special occasion, and I think that here by using it so often and so generously we have come to bypass the responsibility that comes with expressing it.
Words have power, what we say has power, especially when it is infused with the appropriate vibration. One may very well argue that by saying it to everyone and under all circumstances, the world may become a better place. Sure, it is a possibility, though it doesn’t seem so yet.
It is also a possibility that one does not pay attention to it anymore, does not notice because s/he hears it a lot (or says it a lot), and regards it by now as another conversational filer.
It is like saying to someone bless you when s/he sneezes. We just say it automatically without pausing for a moment to reflect on the word’s meaning.
I know this reflection may become quite mental but with how human relations are currently expressed and lived, including dis-respect of human rights, it may be the time we become more consciously aware of how and why we say what we do.
What I want to propose is not that we stop saying it, which in many cases may be impossible anyway because it is so automatic, but that we pay attention as to when and why we say it.
It is time to change what we say if it is not authentic, i.e. saying something because of what we think the other person wants to hear versus what we truly feel in our heart. Being truthful doesn’t mean being rude or disrespectful. On the contrary, it means that we mean what we say and we say what we mean.
The societal transformation has to start from somewhere and this somewhere is through you and me. We have to honor our words, our thoughts, our feelings. We have to stay true to our priorities, our values, and our vision for how we want to connect with others and how we want to be in intimate and personal relations.
For many of us it may be a new language we have to invent, a new way of saying or conjuring phrases. That’s fine, I am all up for it. But let there be a shift in some way so that when we say I love you, the entire earth can feel that love.
Have a lovely week!