The expression “I love you” has always meant a lot to me. I heard it a lot in my childhood, my adolescence and my youth. My family never thinks it can wears off, and for us it is always necessary to repeat it with the rising sun.
But I never paid so much attention to this phrase as now that I have come to live in a new country, with a different language; Germany.
In fact the first time I met a German in person was in Michigan. She was a friend and colleague from work and my first question to her about the German language was; How do you say “I love you” in German?
On an ordinary day I told it to her because I felt it in my heart, she was amazing, she was sweet, smart and friendly. She looked like a German doll and her white skin quickly blushed as she slowly explained to me that “Ich liebe dich” can not be said so casually. I had to really now the person intimately, and a long time had to pass to be able to say it. I did not believe it until I got to Germany. She was right!
However for me the “I love you” represents the certainty that there is a connection of the heart, the soul, a special affection for the receiving party that will not wear off with the passing of time.
Truth be told, when you are a foreigner like me, love is one of the things that your heart misses the most and longs to hear. It has been my experience that when you move, all your emotional support system is cut off instantly, suddenly you feel isolated, incapable, immature, fragile, lost, and lonely. It does not matter you can read it in all the messages of what’up, or skype. Nothing can be comparable when somebody says it to you looking straight into your eyes and breathing the same air with you, beneath the sky.
I also have to admit that I have the advantage that I am married and I have two beautiful children and a loving husband who tells me the “I love you” that I long for in my day. But I always had the question; When would I find it here?
About a month ago I heard it in church. My friend Claudia, a Brazilian, came to me with a bag full of clothes; it was not the first time she did it and although I considered her gift valuable, the truth was that what I really enjoyed was talking to her and looking at the loved her face irradiated.
My friend Claudia is a wonderful pianist, an artist who is able to reflect a million feelings in her beautiful face and music. I have discovered through out my life a simple truth about the world of art. Artists often have the ability to express their feelings more easily than other human beings, they often do it through their art and if they had a strong family system as children they can also do it with words. Claudia had that gift.
When we finish our conversation Claudia said goodbye to me, and with a great expression of joy she stopped to say something important. It seemed as if she had discovered something beautiful in her heart that was exciting and could not be contained inside anymore;
“I love you”
It took me by surprise, but it sounded very sincere and I believed it and embraced it, and smile. We hugged and kiss and she ran off to play the piano in church. Her heart was beautiful. I slowly returned to the Polish nursery school room where my children were and discovered that without me wanting to, tears flowed down my eyes. I suddenly realized It was my first “I love you” in Germany.The sky of that day was cloudy and dark but the sun had come out for me.
Through out that month something beautiful started to happen all around me and as if in a domino effect, the other “I love you” came to me through the people who had become my friends. Fadia a Muslim from German curse, said with a smile, my friend Monica a dear polish friend said it in a letter, Daniella my Bulgarian friend hugged me and said it in my ear and the last came by my German friend Christiane who told it to me in Spanish, because the “Ich liebe dich” is just to deep yet. Every time I listened to it I shared it with my husband Andrzej and best friend full of joy, with a big smile on my face telling him the stories of my life. Love makes life intensely more beautiful.
I do not know where in the world you are reading this now and maybe the people you love is all around you, or maybe your circle of friends is very small, or maybe you feel very alone in a corner of the world, nevertheless God is always there. He is a God who loves us and wants a personal relationship with you and I like to think He also enjoys hearing it from us. He has the magnificent heart to say it every day, even if we don’t believe it, or are incapable to see it. But just open the eyes of your heart and look around you, look at nature, you will see it painted in the sky, in the trees, in the rivers, the waterfalls, or in the infinite blue of the sea.
Today I ask you my dear friend and reader; When was the last time you said it? To your parents, your children, your partner, your friends, to God himself.
My hope is that you will make the effort to say it today, with your whole heart with sincerity, with a smile, with your soul. Maybe that “I love you” can be the glass of cold water in the summer heat to someone who is weary, or like the fresh breeze of rain that waters the earth and makes our food grow for a lonely soul.
It may be that it will become as important to someone’s life as the “I love you” from my friend Claudia a month ago in this country that is so cold and in a second she filled it with warmth.
Finally, if you are not yet subscribed to my blog and like to read about interpersonal relationships and the stories of a foreigner in Germany, I invite you to do it at the bottom of my main page. Just add your email address. Your subscription will be greatly appreciated. I also want to share that I just published a book that talks about the love I felt in my life in the middle of a personal crisis. It’s called “Loved” and you can find it on Amazon at the following link.