Category Archives: I love you

Labels, Limits, and Love – part 2

Last week I told you about my experience saying “I love you” to someone who isn’t categorized as lover, family or friend. I likened Love to a pasta sauce (yes, I did!), and shared that we would explore the idea of expectations and Love this week. So, let’s do it!

Here’s the thing: when I said “I love you” to that person, I had no expectation of a return. If we go back to the pasta sauce for a moment, ask yourself these questions:

Do you expect anything in return from your pasta sauce? Do you expect it to do something for you, validating you in some way? Or do you simply enjoy it for all it is in the moment?

That’s what happens when we love openly and honestly from our heart: we enjoy it for all it is in the moment. Some call it “being in the flow” others refer to it as “being in the now” – more labels. It simply is.

When we hold expectations for a return of our sentiments – our love – we are actually in a space of not-loving. We are in fear, or lack. Our energies are tied up in wanting. We are offering our love from a place of need, rather than a place of integrity, and that’s never good. It’s a false love, a caged love, a love that is bound and tied before it ever has a chance to be felt and shared.

There are many examples of this, but one I saw recently was a mother talking to her child. I was in a store and she put parameters on her love, saying something like, “How will I know that you love me, if you don’t do this for me?”

A quid pro quo for love is not Love. It’s enslavement to someone else’s needs, fears, and insecurities. It’s love as a possession, which isn’t love.

Expecting an “I love you, too” in return for your “I love you” is no different. Hollywood has hit on this as it’s a common theme among rom-coms. We’ve all done it – I’ve done it! (Many times.) So, this post is not about being perfect, but about raising awareness. Awareness invites change.

I experienced this myself most recently with the story I’ve shared. I said “I love you” because I did. I do. There is nothing more to it than that. Being able to convey my Love without strings, expectations or attachments was a gift I gave to the other person, but more so it was a gift I gave myself. It was liberating and empowering… and fully aligned with who I am.

It was the BEST pasta sauce I’ve ever had. 🙂

P.S. For more on how to communicate love effectively in existing relationships, I highly recommend the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (

Love to You

“Love to you.” My Teacher taught me this phrase. Initially, it kind of hurt me when he said it (seriously). I felt lesser-than, as if I wasn’t worthy of the “real” phrase, or, indeed, love itself. He has said, “I love you,” before, but most of the time, instead of saying that, he would say, “Love to you.” Now, I know he loves me, because he embodies Love; but I’ve been so conditioned to expect love in a specific package that I was unable to receive it wrapped in a different presentation. I couldn’t see the gift staring me in the face!

I now know, however, that “Love to you” says so much more than I originally thought. When we say, “I love you,” it is an “I” statement – it’s about me loving you. It’s not necessarily about the other person. For much of my life I rarely said, “I love you” to anyone, including my family. Sure, I signed my emails and letters: “with love,” or “xoxo,” or “love,” – because I genuinely cared for and loved the people to whom I was writing. But verbally I withheld the phrase, “I love you,” so many more times than not. It felt somehow “wrong” to me to say so easily. I used to think that it was because it was such a serious thing to say – but I realize it’s because it simply was wrong, for me.

Telling somebody that I love him or her isn’t necessarily giving them my love – it’s simply telling them that I feel a certain way towards them in that specific moment in time, which is fine. It’s great actually to be able to share your feelings with another person. But saying “Love to you” – now that’s different. It’s an offering of Love; love from me, from the earth, from the Universe — to you. The all-encompassing Love that is in everything all around us is offered to someone when we say, “Love to you.” (It’s almost like placing an order with the Universe – “Umm, yes, I’ll have one order of Love for this person, please. Hold the fries.”) No longer do I see it as a “lesser-than” expression. Instead it’s a blessing. A gift. I receive the love with open arms, open eyes and an open heart. I feel the love expressed in those three simple words, and I more easily can offer love to those around me using the same three words.

Do I still say, “I love you?” Of course! I do love people, and I’m happy to let them know how I am feeling towards them. But when I truly want to offer my love to someone, and the Love of the Universe, I choose, instead, to say. “Love to you.” Because after all – offering Love as a gift is the most precious thing we can share. Wouldn’t we all say, “Love to you,” more often if we could? Can we?

THree Things

Body – Love to your Body
Mind – Love to your Mind
Spirit – Love to your Spirit

Love to you,
In Light,