I Love You. This phrase is redundant in most novels and films, in most conversations of any relationships and in most songs, greeting cards and love letters. Among all familiar phrases in the English language, this phrase sparks our curiosity in finding out its equivalent in many languages we do not know. This phrase has the power to enthrall romances and break hearts. We cannot deny it, not even resist its power. Even for its banality, this phrase has not lost its intrinsic and ambiguous energy that beckons all our emotions, resurrect our old pains and revitalize our present joys. Are there some subliminal meanings in this phrase unknown to us? Or is it just a common expression?
In my adolescent years, I Love You was a learned incantation of most boys in my batch, as if they have a shared password to access the exclusive attention of the girls they like. The phrase peppered scented stationery wherein boys and girls write and exchange letters and poems. They are a rare practice nowadays since this digital age has changed the landscape of our communication and thereby the channels of this phrase – from written letters to electronic signals of text and e-mail messages, chats, wall posts and tweets. And after all those years, the phrase remains timeless. It is a sweet, eternal and ubiquitous organism inhabiting many forms of literature, expressions of arts, and deep thoughts of philosophical and religious tenets, all are convenient nests for this phrase to survive.
Once, I attempted to tell this phrase to someone. It seemed that the phrase was too sacred that my lips forbidden me to utter it. Instead, I replaced I with an inquiring phrase: is it right to Love you? – doubtfully asking her my intention to Love. I then got a smile as uneasy as my question. It followed a reply that broke me, a pivotal moment that drove me to investigate deeper to the the nature of Love. That memory did not become an emotional scar, but a living seed. Now, the inquiry has grown into a tree of wisdom, bearing fruits of inner answers.
In this space between I and you , we can only find Love.
The phrase, as I found it, was indeed a sacred mantra. We have misused and abused it when we tell this phrase to others only for physical and material gain or for emotional approval. Hence, my old memory of the phrase. It explains why I did not receive the Love I was seeking from the person I liked. It explains why at that time I felt I was not ready to utter it. This phrase is more than just to convince someone to Love us or that we Love them. We cannot just utter it empty of substance, for the repercussions of misusing and abusing the phrase are painful. All broken relationships and disenchanted romances are rooted to the misuse of this phrase. All the silent chaos between parents and their children, old friends and lovers are rooted to our inability and awkwardness to speak this phrase. We must return to its essence long before it became a phrase.
Eighty-eight year old Bermudian named Johnny Barnes is a soulful sight in a junction road in Bermuda. He stands up in an island on the road early in the morning and spends his whole day greeting everyone with his smiles and Love. Drivers, riders and pedestrians are amazed how he simply shares his joy of Loving. I Love you, I Love you, I Love you. He declares this phrase everyday, and it never ever gets redundant, for its energy is always renewed in his heart. He is the epitome of that phrase, and his presence was immortalized in a sculpture of him greeting everyone in open arms. He does not gain any material reward on what he does. But he is Loved, because he Loves through the joy of speaking the magic words. He gives us a perfect example of what I Love you really means.
We can decode the phrase I Love you and see it as a phenomenon, like DNA. It bears all the secrets of the universe. The pronouns I and You are two polarities, just as everything in the universe is govern by dualistic forces. There is the “I” or self, the person who differs from the “you” or other, the being outside of the self. Both words can stand alone. Neither of them makes a phrase. Love in the middle has two functions – to cut the space and separate the pronouns, or to bind them into a phrase that changes and charges its meaning. The word Love becomes either the center between I, the self and you, the other, or a barrier that separates them. We can always choose whichever way we want to experience.
Leonard Laskow, a physician who pioneered Holoenergetic Healing, uses Love as the core of his healing approach. In an excerpt of his audio lecture entitled The Gift of Love, he tells us a remarkable insight about the phrase: What would be left of I Love you, if at a deeper level there was no separate I or you? What would be left is Love. At this deeper level, Laskow and Barnes and all who learn, teach, share and live Love continue to invite us to see more of this phrase, and return to the center of our beingness, beyond our physical and mental divisiveness. In this space between I and you, we can only find Love.