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I always wanted a star on my window at Christmas, now I got one and I love it!!

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” – Rudyard Kipling

I have a small immediate family. It is mom, dad, an older brother and my identical twin sister.  Even though I have been living in the US for the past 33 years I am still extremely close to them.   I talk to them at least once a day, some days multiple times.

Still, for the longest time I couldn’t say I love you to my parents.  I am not sure the reason.  I love them that is for sure.

Perhaps it is the culture.  I grew being taught to respect my parents.  Respect was not only required, it was demanded.  Love was a given, not needing to say it or demonstrate it.

“I believe in the magic and authority of words.” – Rene Char

Not that I didn’t feel loved, I did and a lot.  We just didn’t throw the word and affection around.  At that time fathers would never hug their children, only on birthdays perhaps.  That was a mother’s job.

I was surprised to arrive in the US and see a father saying I love you to his son.  I always equated the word “love” with romantic.

I was only able to say I love you to my mother a couple of years ago.  In the beginning it didn’t feel natural.  It felt forced.  Now it just rolls off my tongue.

It took until last week to say to it to my father.   I called  him on Sunday.  I spoke to him about his favorite topic, soccer, and then I said good bye and hung up.

“All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.” – Ernest Hemingway

After hanging up I felt I should have said I love you.  So I called back and I did.  I said: I know I never say it but you mean a lot to me and I love you.  I think he was a bit taken aback and didn’t know what to say.  He said: thank you.

I didn’t expect “I love you” back.  To me saying it to him meant the world.

Will I say it again?  I hope so!

I don’t really know what the problem is or was.  Why the barrier?  Why the uneasiness?

There is an easiness in the US about saying I love you.  Here we say “love” to anyone and anything.  Here we love our parents and we also love chocolate chip cookies.  In Brazil eu amo (I love) people and eu adoro (I adore) cookies.

“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Are we saying too much “love” in the US?  Are we saying love when we just mean like?  Are we cheapening the word “love”? Is it becoming meaningless?

Perhaps, and that is how I used to think not too long ago.  But I have changed my mind.  I rather have an overdose of “love” going around.  Perhaps the more we say it, the more people will feel loved and valued.  Cookies need love too!

“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart. ”  – John Bunyan

On the other hand, a date pointed out to me that I say “hate” a lot.  I had never noticed that before, but I think he is probably right.  I do say hate when I only mean dislike.

Words are powerful, so I will watch myself: More love, less hate!  But actions are even more powerful, so I choose to go around loving. I hope it shows.  Loving always! Loving specially when it is difficult! Loving even the unlovable!

Going forward, I will try to align my words to my inner being and my true feelings!

“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”  – Rumi