"I love you." It's used in all kinds of settings.
We say it to family members.
We use it as a humorous thanks.
We use it in mocking.
And we even seek it to gain validation and sense of self value.
We have the "I love you" from a child, simple and pure.. and sometimes a little fleeting.
There's the drunk "I love you," which doesn't mean little more than any other pickup line.
The "Well, I love you, too!" shot off at someone who has been rude or harsh.
And then there's the romantic "I love you," that singles seek, crave...
But if we crave it, why fear it?
Here's the thing- we all have history. Some histories are full of wonder and adventure. Other histories are peppered with hurts and struggles and brokenness.
That wonder and adventure can imbue a heart with joy and trust and joy.
And that brokenness can make a heart a little skittish and skeptical, fearful.
I've recently said, "I love you," to someone. And it scared me. While the sentiment is reciprocal, it still scares me. When I think about my feelings, I feel such a mix of emotions.
But the one feeling that seems overarching is fear. Because it has been so powerful, I've analyzed it:
What am I afraid of?
What do I fear?
Love is scary because it's a risk. You put your heart out there. It may get picked up and handled with care and tenderness.. or neglected and ignored.. or pricked and poked and beaten and crushed.
And that's the scary part. Fear of hurt. That fear comes from that history I mentioned earlier. If others have hurt me, what's to stop this new person from hurting me? That's scary. Terrifying.
As I've thought about my situation, I've come to realize that for me, it's a fear of loss:
What if I lose him somehow?
What if I tell him something about myself that scares him off?
What if he gets bored with me?
What if he meets someone who grabs his attention?
He's the best thing to happen to me in a very long time. Years, at least. Smart, funny, kind, good... And likes me! Loves me!
So I risk it. I choose to be brave and tell him how I feel.
I don't know what the future holds for us, for me. But I'm working like crazy to not free or freak pit about those things. I'm choosing to enjoy what we have right now.