I love you.

If I tell you I love you, I mean it. All the way. No restrictions. No conditions. I know people use it wrong and say it when they don’t mean it and those experiences have caused you to question its validity each and every time.

Not me. I mean it.

I didn’t used to. I didn’t know what love was. I didn’t think I was loved. I didn’t know how to love. I thought love was fake if it existed at all. It was just something people talked about but didn’t actually believe in.

I was 23 before I knew love. Love that crashed over me like ocean waves, literally and figuratively. Love that passed all understanding, defied all odds, and exploded every expectation.

So hear me when I say I love you. I write it in birthday cards, speak it at the end of phone calls, whisper it in ears. I love you.

Because I do.

Because I am loved.

Because to not turn around and pour out what has filled me up would be to waste a good gift.

I am learning to say it more often now, despite a culture that declares it all a farce. We need more love. We need to stop assuming our loved ones know it and start living it and breathing it out day by day.

We only get a little time on this earth. I hope we fill it with love and fill one another with love while we’re here.

We need to start telling people we love them and mean it. Family. Friends. Lovers. Church. Enemies, even.

I love you. No restrictions. No conditions.

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