To Know You Is
To Love You
by: Skye Thomas
How do you show someone you love
them? Do you buy them expensive gifts? Spend quality time together? Make
personal sacrifices just to see them smile? Dedicate a song to them? Write a
love letter or note of encouragement? Become their cheerleader? Those are
wonderful things to do but my question goes deeper then those types of
activities, even beyond your romantic partner. Think about your parents, your
children, your best friend, your sister, or your brother... anyone you love.
How do you really show them that you love them? Reverse the question if you
like - how do you really know if someone loves you?
The answer lies in getting to
know them. To truly love someone is to care about them to the very depth of who
and what they are, what they believe, what they like, what they dislike, how
they respond under pressure. It's so much more than what's their favorite
color? Who's their favorite musician? All time favorite movie? It's knowing
that they don't like fruit flavors in their colas, no cherry or lemon cokes.
It's knowing just what temperature she likes her bubble bath. It's knowing that
he prefers wearing cotton and why. It's knowing the perfect birthday present
when they didn't even know what to ask for. It's looking at each other across a
room and sharing a private joke without saying a word. Loving someone is the
ability to see past the polite response to "How's it going?" and
knowing that they really aren't "Fine, thanks."
How do you get to that point?
You watch them. You observe them. You ask them questions. You really listen to
their answers. You figure it out. Why do you put so much time and energy into
it? Because you love them. Because they fascinate you. Because you really don't
have anything more important to do with your time. You are really truly
present. You don't ever stop. How many relationships fizzle because we simply
grow apart? We grow apart because we aren't paying attention to each other
anymore. We are no longer connected.
Maybe you're bitter because your
own needs aren't being met. Fair enough. It sucks to be in a one sided
relationship. No argument there. Tell them. Tell them you feel ignored,
unimportant, distant, like it just isn't special anymore. Tell your mother you
miss being really connected and close. Tell your lover you feel like the two of
you are running on autopilot and it just isn't that incredible close
relationship that you once had. Tell your teenager that you hate the distance
that's growing between you. Reach out afterwards and ask them to share their
heart's secrets with you. "Tell me who you are. Tell me what you dream of.
Tell me, do you still love chocolate ice cream with Oreos on the side for
breakfast? Tell me what your soul's made of, and I'll tell you about mine."
Then listen, really listen. Hear their answers.
Nobody can truly be close to me
and not know that Melissa Etheridge sings to my soul. You can't listen to her
song Talking to my Angels and not think of me. If you really loved me enough to
know me personally, you'd know that they'll be playing her song, This War Is
Over at my funeral some day. You'd know that I long to visit Ireland and that I
love fairies because I think they're our guardian angels. You'd know about
"those two people" that I write these articles and stories for. You'd
know what "the Winnebago Years" are all about. You'd know that when
I'm really angry and losing control that you need to distract me with something
logical to wrap my brain around and I'll suddenly start pulling myself back
together. You'd know that lying is my biggest pet peeve.
What do I know about the people
I love? I know that she doesn't drink caffeine anymore and always orders
strawberry lemonades when we go to lunch. I know when he lies to protect me and
when he lies to protect himself. I know by the look in their eyes, when my
children are starting to get sick. I know why she keeps trying to become a
vegetarian and why she fails at it. I know that music haunts his soul even
though he's stuck working as a salesman. What would I know about you if I loved
you enough to really get to know you?
Are we so wrapped up in
ourselves, our careers, our own personal schedules and goals that we forget to
really connect with our loved ones? When was the last time you really checked
into the hearts and minds of those you profess to love? We all change, grow,
evolve. Are they still the same people you fell in love with? How would you
know? I'm not who I was fifteen or twenty years ago, or even the same person I
was five years ago. Are you? Are they?
What's the greatest gift you can
give someone? Your full attention and focus. Take the time to really get to
know them after all these years. Fall in love with them all over again. Get to
know them as if you've just met. Of course you have to honor their secrets, be
loyal, don't use the information to play power games or to ever belittle them.
That destroys trust. Use the information to pick out the perfect Valentine's
gift, to plan the perfect vacation, to surprise them with a movie they've never
seen but will love, or to simply bring them their coffee with the perfect
amount of cream and sugar before they even realized that they wanted some.
It can be as simple as asking
them, "Tell me about yourself. Tell me what the world looks like through
your eyes." Create the little moments that say 'I love you' by knowing
what 'I love you' looks like to them.
Copyright 2004, Skye Thomas,
About The Author
Skye Thomas began writing
books and articles with an everyday practical approach to life in 1999 after
twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, astrology, personal
growth, motivation, and parenting. After years of high heels and business
clothes, she is currently enjoying working from home in her pajamas. Go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net to read more of her articles and to
get a free preview of one of her books.
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