We don’t utilize the US Postal Service like we used to. After my fifth grade boyfriend moved away, I spent many an afternoon eagerly opening my mailbox. Will there be a letter in there for me? Does he still love me? Are we still getting married someday and honeymooning in Hawaii? (Yes, I was serious!) At first, I got a letter every few weeks, and then months, and then, sadly, I had to admit it was over. I had given that eleven-year-old boy some of the best months of my life. ~sigh…~
But, while it lasted, I got an incredible high from those letters. In fact, I think I still have them! One phrase he wrote in the first letter he ever sent me sticks out in my mind. It went something like this, “I love you. Please destroy this letter after you are done with it.” Have you ever been madly in love and yet terrified that someone may find out about it? ~smile~
The Power of Words
What kept me going back to that mailbox day after day was my desire to read something that would reassure me that somewhere out in this great big world, an eleven-year-old boy I would never see again still cared for me. It seems funny now, but it was a very serious matter twenty years ago; and, I don’t think the grownups understood.
Fast forward a few years…. Boyfriend drama – oh what fun! There were letters expressing undying love, there were apology letters, and there was even a letter of rage sent by a scorned suitor. Something about those written words excited me, no matter what the content. Getting a letter from a boy was simply exhilarating.
Guess what??? It still is! Though it would be weird to get random love letters now, I still love a good love note from Eric. Words are powerful and the written word can be relived for years to come. We can build someone up with our words and we can tear someone down; and, it is a lot easier to pull someone down than build someone up.
When I was a teenager, I knew a guy with great charisma. He had a way of drawing people in and entertaining them. Sadly, he also had a way of hurling insults at people and disguising them as humor. Of course, the recipients of his cruel jokes were not fooled. Not a bit. As one of the blessed ones that got to be on the receiving end of his endless “fun,” I remember how much I grasped his insults, how deeply they wounded me, and how difficult it was to believe all of the good other people would say about me after he tore me down.
Unkind, cruel words stick with us. It takes many more kind, uplifting words to even begin to repair the damage done by a sharp, shameless tongue. Remember that. Always remember that. When you feel the urge to pierce your sweetie with a clever, but hurtful remark, consider the cost. Would you stab him or her with a dagger? If not, then keep your sharp, hateful words inside too. Go into a room alone, cry out to God, and then approach your loved one firmly, but gently after you have had some time to settle down.
A Few Ways to Connect Through Words
Showing love verbally comes more easily to some than others. It is not difficult for me to walk up to someone and give a compliment; however, it takes a lot for me to say, “I love you.” Maybe you are the same way. If so, never fear. With practice, you can warm up to the idea. And since you will only have one spouse, you will not have to spread yourself too thin in the process. ~smile~
Here are a few ideas for sharing your feelings with your significant other through words:
- Spoken Compliment. Letting your honey know you admire something specific about him or her is a sweet gesture. Even if it does not make them jump for joy, sincere compliments are appreciated. Even if your sweetie downplays the compliment and tries to convince you he or she is nothing special, continue to do it. Assure him or her that you would not lie – and mean it! ~smile~
- Love notes in Random Places. Get in the habit of leaving love notes in fun places. Her makeup case. The cup holder in his car. Places you know he or she will find them. These notes do not have to be super mushy. They just need to be sincere.
- A Mailed Letter. Yes! What has happened to the lost art of sitting down and writing a letter? Email is easier and far more convenient, but there is something special about receiving a letter in the mail. Why? For today’s culture of quick electronic communication, it demonstrates the time taken for, and thoughts toward, his or her beloved.
- Facebook Comments. When I deeply appreciate something about Eric, sometimes I brag about him on Facebook. My point is not to make other people think we have the perfect relationship, but to show him how much I appreciate him. It is one matter to say, “You’re Great!” to your sweetie’s face, but it takes on a different meaning when you say it so the world can hear it. (And it’s also even more affirming when other people click ‘Like’ on what I’ve said.)
- Song or Poem. This may be out of your comfort zone, but I would still encourage you to try it. It does not have to rhyme. You do not have to have a world-class singing voice. It can even be funny. All it has to be is from the heart. You may even get into it and turn it into a masterpiece!
In honor of Send a Friend a Card Day, write out a sweet card to a friend and a sweet card to your significant other. And, just for kicks, mail them! ~smile~ You may never know how much good your encouragement will do for them! Start a tradition of uplifting others with your words; and, be especially vigilant to shower your future spouse with loving words in many forms. It will make a big difference in the overall tone and emotional aroma of your home. And, be sure to back up your words with your actions. ~smile~
When is the last time you wrote your sweetie a special note?