I love you.
I don’t remember hearing these words growing up. I knew deep down my parents did love me but I don’t believe they, nor anyone else, actually told me. They were words I saw expressed by other people, for other people in film or on TV.
I don’t believe I said ‘I love you’ until I had a boyfriend. Due to my anxious attachment style, I would cling to a relationship that generally wasn’t very good for me and throw the words out in the hope they’d stay.
I was able to tell my husband I loved him. I knew it was true, but after the initial ‘chemistry’ of our relationship it was more difficult to connect to it. Especially when I became more secure in my attachment, as I wasn’t really sure how love should feel.
When I had children I could feel the expansion in my heart and began to recognise that as love. I tell them often. Although I say it, I’ll be honest and say it didn’t feel comfortable initially. My body felt awkward and the words seemed to stumble out of my mouth. Receiving it felt uncomfortable because in some way I felt I didn’t deserve it or I wasn’t worthy. Especially when I wasn’t being the parent I wanted to be.
I have begun to realise that one of the reasons I found it so difficult to say ‘I love you’ was because when you don’t have love for yourself, how are you able to express it for another person? There was also a fear of rejection. How will they react? What if they don’t say it back and how will that feel?
The more that I’ve grown to love and accept all parts of myself, even the shadow parts, the easier it’s been to say ‘I love you’. Learning to love myself meant it’s becoming easier to express it, for my nervous system to accept it and for me receive it.
I can feel it now in my body when I say it.
I can feel it in my heart space. A feeling of expansion and glow. It radiates and permeates throughout the body. Sometimes it feels like I can transmit the energy of it to another person.
So if you found this post then let this be your soul’s communication to you.
That you are loved.
That you are worthy of love.
That love is waiting for you.
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.