It’s Not About Me

Family

Words can carry so much emotion and meaning behind them. They lose their value when the actions do not follow. These are hard for me to write, but every part of my heart is in them.

“I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be.” And I’ll never be as good as you deserve.

I love you so very much. But it’s not about me.

I have hurt you. And when you needed me most I didn’t show up.

I don’t want to hurt you anymore. And as hard as it is going to be on me, I know that I have to let you go.

Too much of our life has been about me, and it can’t be that way any longer.

I’m never going to stop fighting for you. And I’m never going to stop loving you.

I am always going to be here for you. I hope our paths meet again someday and I can make you fall in love with this person I am going to be.

It hurts me to know that I am hurting you by being this version of myself that you have always wanted me to be. But it’s not about me anymore. It’s about correcting the things that have been brought to my attention. So I can be a better father. So I can be a better friend…

You deserve the world. You don’t believe it, but you do. And all I can give you is my heart.

This song has been playing on repeat, but it’s true. I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be. Because the best part of me has always been you.

We will all be okay in the end. You. The kids. Me.

I will never stop loving you, but I have to accept that I will have to love you from a distance.

I can’t wait to see the beautiful life you are going to build for yourself with me no longer holding you back.

It’s not about me. It’s about you, and you putting yourself first. It’s a bittersweet dream come true. My biggest dream has always been that you would see yourself the way that I see you. And now you have, but it’s not with me. And it hurts, but that’s okay. Sometimes good things come from bad situations.

Pain is inevitable. It means that it mattered. It means that there was so much love. It means that there was kindness, and care, and empathy.

I’m proud of you. And I love you. And I hope that we can meet again someday and start over. I’m not giving up, but I love you so much to know that this is what needs to happen for your happiness. And it’s not about me. Your happiness has to come first.

I am a better person for knowing you, and for the love you have given me all this time. And for that, I will be okay. Because you have always shown me that I am worth loving, and you have always shown me what true love is.

So thank you. For being you.

I will always be here for you. Always.

For My Kids

Family

Since my children have now found my blog and have asked me to continue using it I will be putting in more time to put my thoughts to paper (metaphorically of course).

I’m processing a lot of emotions right now, but one that I’m not experiencing is anger towards anyone but myself. How can I be angry for something that made me wake up and realize I am wasting the precious time I have with my 3 amazing children?

I hope that I have been a good father to my children. I know there are areas where I have failed, but I think I’ve done okay. I know I have been overly critical to my oldest daughter. I see so much potential and want to give you the world, but you frustrate me sometimes with some of the choices you make. And in the past I have lashed out at you verbally and put you down, or even silencing your voice. I should have just sat down with you, one-on-one, to understand what is going on with your life.

You don’t need me to fix anything. You just want your dad. You want to feel loved. You want to know that you are wanted.

And my heart aches so much knowing I have hurt you.

I’m sorry it took this to finally be better.

I’m not going anywhere. And we will be close again. You need your dad, and I need my daughter.

And my youngest daughter who feels like she is invisible and not seen. I see you. I know you love me so incredibly much that you physically get sick when I’m not around. I see the pressure you are putting on yourself because you think that is what I want. But for all of you, your health and your happiness are the most important things to me. Give yourself some grace. You don’t need to carry the world on your shoulders. I’m your dad and I will be better about taking these burdens off of your shoulders. Be a kid. Enjoy life. Follow your passions. And I will support you in anything you want to do.

I see you. I need to say it again. I see you. You are standing in front of me and you need your dad. I will always be here for you.

My dear boy. My sweet sweet boy. You already struggle with processing things and you are going through so much right now. Daddy is going to be okay. We are all going to be okay through this. I’m going to be such a better father to you because of this. We will work through your feelings together. It’s okay to be sad, but know that no one is intentionally trying to hurt another person. Sometimes decisions you make in life will cause pain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice.

I’m going to get better about understanding how you are processing things with your autism. I’m going to take a step back and communicate with you better to get things figured out. You are learning so much right now and I know you see a lot of the world in black or white, right or wrong, but things are a lot more complicated than that. Just always know that as long as you are making decisions from a place of love in your heart, then you’re headed in the right direction.

I know I’m really good with words when I write. Not that great when I need to speak them, but I acknowledge that to all of you my words have lost a lot of meaning throughout your lives. All I can do now is be intentional and show you how much I love you all. We will play games together. We will sit and have conversations. I will listen when you need to talk and not try to fix things. I will support you. We will go on regular date nights and have one-on-one time.

When you are older I want you to know what love is. I want you to look back and say love is what my dad gave me. He made me feel appreciated. He made me feel seen. He let my voice be heard. He gave me a safe space to be myself without fear of judgement.

And that’s what I’m going to do for you.

So I will never have anger in my heart for what is happening, and neither should you. Good things come from bad situations. The rainbows follow the rain. Know that I have so much love in my heart. I have been so incredibly loved, even when I didn’t deserve it. To know that feeling so intimately has been one of the greatest joys in my life.

I will be okay. I’m not doing any of this because I have to, but because my heart is so full of love that I need to be okay so I can give that love to you all.

Your dad is here and I’m not going anywhere.

I love you!

The Pain That You Deserve

Family, Life

I can not sleep. The medication is supposed to help, but I lie here at night and the loneliness stands over me, keeping me in place with a mirror pointing at my face reminding me that I am to blame.

I am to blame. This is all my fault. It’s always been my fault.

Today is a day that I wish I would have followed through on ideals that ran through my mind when the darkness took hold.

You wouldn’t hurt if I weren’t here to cause the pain.

I wouldn’t hurt if I weren’t here.

I can not eat. I will work through my meals because you ask me to, because despite everything you still care. But it doesn’t stay down.

I deserve this pain.

I can officially say that I have damaged all of the most important relationships in my life. When I am a grenade that demolishes everything when I go off, why continue to even go out?

I tried to be a good husband and father. And I failed.

I just want to love fully.

As of today I can not see a future for myself. When I try to look ahead all I see is a world drowning in my tears, the people begging me to go away.

I shouldn’t be here. I don’t deserve the love I have been given.

I don’t deserve the patience and acceptance they was given to me by my wife.

I do deserve the pain. It is mine to bear. It is mine to carry while I have the strength to carry it.

It’s never been my intention to hurt anyone else.

I’m so sorry…

It’s Not About “Happiness”

Family, friends, God, Healing, Jesus, Life, love

I’m come to realize that I have been self-sabotaging my life for years now. I’ve been a person who dreams big and never feels satisfaction in the victories. And I’ve struggled with understanding why that is.

And after coming out of this last season of depression I think I’ve finally realized what it is.

I’ve been chasing happiness.

Well that’s not so bad, right? Happiness is the key to a successful life, or so I’ve been told.

But it’s not. It’s a lie.

Now before you start thinking I’m crazy, let me explain. It’s another example of expectation versus reality.

I’ve been trying so hard in my life to grab hold of happiness and to never let it go. But you can not live in happiness. You can live in MOMENTS of happiness, but not a constant state of it. If your life was constantly happy it would undervalue the truly special moments.

So what should you be living your life for?

Contentment.

Now, I grew up believing that contentment was a bad word. I don’t think I was raised this way, but I’ve seen and heard others talk about how contentment was settling. That successful people are never content and always strive to be the best. Innovation and advancements come from always doing more. Wanting more. Being more.

That’s… exhausting.

And it only sets you up for a life of failure and disappointment. Because always looking for happiness makes the fall to sadness so much harder than it should be.

If I were to stare up at the night sky and only dream of reaching the stars, I would lose sight of the fact that in that moment I get to be present and enjoy the beauty that comes from them. I will never reach the stars, because it’s unobtainable. But I can be present every single evening and look at those stars and be reminded of where I am. And who I am.

Let me put it another way. Say you were really struggling financially your whole life and your goal was to someday have $1,000,000 in your bank account, even though you’ve never been able to even save $1,000. So you have this big dream. And you work incredibly hard every day. And you change your life and start saving like you’ve never saved before. And let’s say after the first 6 months you finally save $1,000.

You should be ecstatic, right? You’ve never had $1,000 before so that’s a really big deal! You should be so incredibly proud!

But you’re not. You don’t even acknowledge it because you set a goal of $1,000,000. So $1,000 doesn’t even matter.

So you blow right past that and 2 years later you have $10,000. HUGE DEAL!

Right?

It’s not $1,000,000. So who cares?

And you keep doing this for years and years and year. And you’re never satisfied. And then one day you find out you’re dying. And you look back on your life and all you can see is that you never reached your goal.

And you lost sight of all the beauty in the world around you. And all the recognition for the amazing achievements you made along the way.

You were working towards something that was unobtainable. $1,000,000 is a dream for a day that may never come. You decided to work towards something that couldn’t be guaranteed.

You undervalued every other moment in your life for something that you were never going to get.

That’s the thing about happiness. We often think that happiness is that $1,000,000. But it’s not. Happiness was in that $1,000 achievement. It was a moment. And it deserved to be recognized. It deserved to be treated for what it was.

Now take this example and apply it to your own life. Are you happy? As in truly happy.

I hope the answer is no. Unless this a moment that brings you such joy and elation that it is something you will forever cherish.

This is a happy moment for me because I’ve realized that I can start giving value to the moments in my life that truly deserve them.

I want to live a life of contentment with moments of happiness and joy.

Contentment is “a state of satisfaction”. How beautiful is that? To live in a constant state of satisfaction in what you have, who you are and what you do.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t work towards more? Absolutely not. Have dreams and have goals but don’t lose sight of the here and now. Acknowledge the little moments.

Stop stealing value from the things that matter.

Seeing my loved ones are moments of happiness. And if I lived in that moment I would accept it for the special opportunity to be with people that it is.

I get to have this beautiful family. If my goal is just to think about raising them well and to get into a good college and to have a great life I will lose sight of the little moments that matter.

Like my son being sick and coming to me in the middle of the night to make him feel better. Seems silly, right? But it’s not. If I didn’t stop and be in that moment I wouldn’t have realized that it’s an acknowledgement of the changes I’ve made to be more present in my children’s life. He’s finally feeling comfortable to come to me for support and not just to be the parent who works to make the money.

It’s the little moments that matter. Happiness is in the moments, not a constant state. Recognize them.

Are you happy? Or are you a happy person? A good response would be “I am an optimistic person who looks for the moments of happiness.” It grounds me. It pulls me back into this moment. It lets me be present for the ones in my life that need me the most. My “I love you” means more. The hug is special. Your time becomes valuable. Doing life together matters more.

People’s words are taken for face value. And you can accept them and believe them.

And you can start seeing yourself the way other people see you.

If I am honest with myself, if I take the goal of happiness out of the equation then I have lived a content adult life.

And that’s success.

A constant state of happiness is a dream that can only be achieved when we get to leave this world to be with Jesus.

I will be happy one day, but for now I will take pride in the contentment and recognize the moments of happiness that come along.

And I will start seeing myself the way that others see me. And for some of you, that’s a really big deal. Some of you are so special to my life and have changed me and you will never understand the impact you have had. And I’m starting to realize that to some of you I am someone special to you. And that I have changed your life, too. And that is a big deal.

When I stop looking for happiness and start realizing contentment is key the moments of love are truly going to shine bright.

I love you. Please take that for the value I put into it. Let it sit with you a moment.

And I hope reading that was a moment of happiness for you, for letting you know was one for me.

I’m looking forward to this new lens on life. Healing is beautiful.

I want to lie on the the ground with my loved ones – my wife, my children, my best friends, my family – and enjoy the beauty of the night sky together. Not reaching out to try and grab them for myself, but being present with those around me, feeling God’s love and theirs, and storing the moment of happiness in my heart.

Kyle

I Failed You

anger, death, depression, Family, Forgiveness, God, Jesus, Life, love, pain, sadness

*Current song to listen to while you read this… Toby Mac – 21 Years*

Today marks 3 months since you left us. While I know you are in a much better place and are no longer in so much pain it doesn’t make it any easier. Especially around this time of year.

I was supposed to protect you. I’m your big brother. That was my job. To make sure you were safe.

But I failed you. And I failed your son. And I stole the little moments of joy from your life that you held onto so dearly.

I kept my children from you when they were such a bright spot in your life. Why? Because you did things away from them that I didn’t agree with? Yeah you were addicted, but you didn’t bring it around my kids. So why did I always make sure you were at an arms length away from us?

My new job is right by the funeral home where your body last was. And every time I drive by it I get angry at the bs and lies that came out of people’s mouths as they told stories of you. “She was the annoying little sister.” No, she really wasn’t. What was annoying about you? That you just wanted to love so deeply that you wanted to be around your friends and family all the time? Out of all the memories I have of you not one of them were ever of you being annoying. It was never you. You were the sweetest child I had ever met. You just wanted to spend time with us.

People gave up on you. They stopped making you a priority. Everyone went on with their lives but you were still a child who needed to be raised and taught right from wrong. And who was there to do that? I stole your sister away from you. She wasn’t there to teach you all the things she had learned.

You were always placed in peoples shadows. So of course you did things to try and make your voice be heard.

But I didn’t hear you. No one did. While you were screaming for help we were all distracted by the other noises around us. Granted, ours happened to be raising 3 kids but that shouldn’t have stopped us from letting you be a part of it.

I take solace in knowing that not once did we ever tell you that you were a screw up. Yes, we pulled away, but when we saw you we showed you love. I know it’s a horrible thing to say, but the people who are struggling with themselves now because of the way they treated you while you were still here, they should be feeling guilty.

You were such a beautiful soul that had so much to offer this world. You had a beautiful voice that deserved to be heard. You loved my children so much and I never realized it until I had to go through all the pictures for your funeral. So many pictures with you and them. One of my biggest regrets is that while we have so many pictures of you from photo shoots I’ve done, I was always behind the camera and I don’t have a single picture of us together. Not one. My baby sister and I have no pictures of us.

It shouldn’t have been you. You made bad choices, but they were never to hurt other people. Yes, others were hurt because of them but your heart has always been so good. Why were you taken from us and not someone who intentionally causes pain and lies to others?

I struggle with you passing, even more than when my grandfather passed away. Because I now live every day wondering if I could have saved your life. I wonder if I would have pulled that car over and come over to you and asked you to come see the new house if you would still be here today. I wonder if we would have written you letters and explained to you how our lives have changed and how much we were looking forward to you being a part of it if you would still be here. I wonder if we would have let you see the kids more often if you would still be here.

I carry a lot of weight from you being gone. I find some peace in knowing that you committed your life to Jesus before you met Him, and that you now get to spend your time with your precious baby boy. But I so wish you were here. These holidays are going to be rough without you.

We plan on making sure that our kids never forget who you were. You were more than your demons. But you owned those demons and you never blamed others for them.

You should still be here.

I should have protected you.

I failed you.

And now I have to live with that failure for the rest of my life until I get the blessing of seeing you again.

I love you. You were so precious to us and I’m so sorry that we didn’t make it known more often.

I hope you left this world knowing you were wanted and you were loved.

May you rest easy, beautiful girl.

Love,

Your Big Brother

Just A Bit Longer

Family, Life, love, Prayer

It’s a sad realization that while we often remember many of our “firsts” in life we tend to not even realize that our “lasts” have come and gone. We take life for granted and assume that we are promised a tomorrow. Sometimes tomorrow simply doesn’t arrive. Sometimes it’s in the literal sense and your physical life will come to an end. But many times it will be in the things you prioritize today that lose their importance. Your relationships are good so you stop trying. Your life gets too busy so you don’t want to sacrifice the little time you do have to something that doesn’t matter as much.

To you.

I’ve had a lot of lasts in my life that I didn’t even realize had occurred. The last time I spoke to a family member that is no longer a part of my life. The last time I attended a church I never returned to. The last time I played a game that I once really enjoyed. The last time I watched a movie or read a book that really made me think.

The last time my siblings came over just because they wanted to spend time with me.

The last time my children came to me for comfort, or to play with their hair while they fell asleep.

The last time I hugged my grandfather.

These moments come and go and we never acknowledge them or appreciate them for what they are. Because we assume these things will always come again.

So I will continue to be intentional. I will hug you just a bit tighter. I will hold your hand just a bit longer. I will tell you I love you one more time even if it annoys you. I will write you one more letter. I will buy you one more gift. I will surprise you with texts and phone calls.

I will love you just a bit longer.

I can hope and pray that tomorrow will be waiting for me, but I can not live assuming that it will be. I know all too well the heartbreak and regret that can come from making that assumption. And I live with it every day.

If anyone comes to mind when you’re reading this, make an effort to reach out to them and just tell them what’s on your mind. Remind them how you feel about them. Because if their tomorrow doesn’t come, shouldn’t they live their last day with the joy that comes from being loved?

The relationships in your life will come and go. As much as we hope that things will last forever, it’s honestly rare that they ever actually do. Sometimes people just stop trying. And people grow apart. It’s okay for that to happen. We are all unique individuals who have their own things going on. But just remember that there will come a day when you have your last meal together. Your last holiday. Your last laughs. Your last hugs. Your last goodbye.

Your last I love you.

It’s an honest reality. Yes, it can be sad, but it can also be beautiful. Live your life with this mentality and show your love as much as you can.

When my tomorrow, inevitably, doesn’t come I fear that those most important in my life won’t truly know how I feel about them. So let me hold your hand just a bit longer. Let me hug you just a bit tighter. Let me love you just a bit longer.

I love you. I promise you it is way more than you think I already show or tell you.

Kyle

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay… Until It’s No Longer Okay

Family

I have come to realize that writing is the one place where I can quickly process my thoughts and get an answer to what’s going on in my head. Sometimes I just need to sit down, get it all out there and then go back through and address what comes up.

I have depression. Which is okay. It’s something that a lot of people have. What’s not okay is when I let it be carried by those I love.

I had a moment earlier this week. A pretty bad moment, if I’m being honest. And I need to walk through what happened so those of you who were there and were completely dumbfounded by what was occurring before their eyes can get a little understanding.

My moment happened like most of them do. The day was very normal. Nothing stressful going on, no crazy activities or events. Just sitting around having conversations with those closest to me. When life is normal I can be a pretty active speaker and contribute a lot to a conversation.

But then it happened. Someone made a comment that I didn’t really process at first. It was a simple remark that any other person would have completely overlooked.

Here’s kind of what goes on in those moments. Something will happen that will “trigger” an emotional reaction. My body will immediately react to it and go into self-defense mode, cutting off all communication to keep anything else from getting in. My mind still hasn’t processed what it was exactly that caused it, but the rest of me is still in that “protection” mode. Gradually I will start to realize what it was that caused me to feel the way I do.

Everyone could tell something shifted in me pretty quickly (let me interject by stating that this alone proves how much these people love me as most people do not realize something changed). I was asked if something was bothering me and I responded yes, I just didn’t know what it was. And in that moment, that was 100% true. I didn’t. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t pinpoint the source. I got there not soon after, but didn’t want to address it.

Anyways. I shut down. As in hardcore I will put up huge walls and not hear the things you are saying to me. I also avoid looking at the person that caused it. It’s hard to look at someone that you love so much but feel that they have hurt you so deeply.

My immediate reaction is to run. And cry. But in this moment I couldn’t do either, so I sit there, hand over my mouth to keep myself from crying, not looking at the people who love me most knowing they could immediately address the irrational feelings I was having if I only were honest with them and spoke up.

Nope.

I sit there like a moron as they hold me and pray over me for about 5 minutes. And I completely dismiss it all and make them feel like they screwed up. And I completely ignore the amazing things that others have said to me about the way I make them feel and the difference I have made in their life.

I thought I could deal with my depression. I’ve had it for a long time and typically choose to not speak about it much. I generally just distract myself from it.

What I can’t do, however, is let my depression carry over to my loved ones. It’s hard enough having it myself, so the thought of those around me being burdened by me is overwhelming and just makes things 1000 times worse.

But I’m acknowledging it. I didn’t talk to my wife about it at first. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was completely embarrassed by my behavior because I’ve never done that around people before (shows how much I let my guard down around you guys, just an fyi). I think she knew what was going on and she tried to take responsibility for it and not let them think it was something they did. And I know she was completely hurt by it, too, because I took something that was such a great moment for her and manipulated it into something negative about me.

What an amazing person she is. What a terrible one I can be.

But I did talk to her about it the next day. In fact, I made her late to work because I broke down in tears and let it all out. How exhausted I am of feeling the way I do about myself. I don’t think people truly understand the extent of the negative feelings I have about myself.

And I did something else I don’t know that I have ever done before. I talked to the person who I was hurting from. And I opened myself up to them and was honest about why I was in a dark place. I wasn’t angry, I was just sad. But I couldn’t be when I saw them the next day and they immediately hugged me and started crying, pouring their heart out to me about the heaviness they are carrying.

I can’t add to that. I want to be a person who helps others and brings joy and love to their lives.

I struggle with talking in person, but they wouldn’t let me be alone that day. I processed internally. And they were just there for me. Not knowing what they could do to help, but just being present and available whenever I needed them. Crying with me, distracting me, bringing me into their lives and reminding me that they are always there. When I did get home I completely just poured my heart out to the person I thought hurt me in one of the longest texts ever (writing… go figure).

People know me a lot more than I thought. People care and love me so much more than I thought I deserved.

So enough is enough. Today is the day I go and get back on my medication. Do I think this is going to be a fix? No, but it will be a tool that I can use to keep the dark thoughts away.

And I’m going to finally do something that I never thought I would do. I’m going to seek help and go talk to someone about where the root of all these feelings come from. Because it’s not fair of my loved ones to have to manage that. They were not trained to do it, so I shouldn’t make it their responsibility to fix it. They are my problems and I need to fix them. I will need their love and support along the way, which I know will always be available to me.

Therapists scare me. Not because I don’t want to be better, but because I’m terrified that the root of my problems are going to run so much deeper than I imagined. Or that I am going to talk to someone and they are going to say I can’t be helped. I have nothing against therapists, I guess I’m just fearful of wandering into the unknown.

But I have to. Not only for myself (mostly for myself though because these feelings of self-hatred are getting really difficult to work through), but also so my loved ones can get 95% of the good side of me (as we still all need to have a really good cry every once in awhile). I want to be better for them. So that I have the capacity to be there for them on a much deeper level without taking the things they say so personally. I don’t want my wife to feel that she has to watch the things she says around me because I might take them the wrong way. I don’t want my kids to feel that I’m not strong enough for them to come to for emotional support.

I need to be better.

I will get better.

And I can’t do it alone.

And that’s okay, because I don’t need to. Help is available for a reason, and I have the incredible love and support from some amazing people.

It’s okay to not be okay… until it’s no longer okay.

Thank you for being the people you are, loving and supporting me despite my flaws. And fostering my growth, expanding my mind and for making me a better person. I love you so incredibly much, I could never fully express it.

Kyle

Why Do We Struggle With Love?

Family, friends, God, Jesus, Life, love

I’m going to be honest outright and admit that this subject is one I struggle with. I have such a desire to love others, but I still have moments where my heart loses out to my mind. But what is love? Sorry not sorry if that song gets stuck in your head.

Love can mean so many different things depending on who you ask. It can come with the simplest explanation, or become mystified with an abstract definition.

My definition of love is simple. It is one of the standard definitions – an intense feeling of deep affection. What is affection? A feeling of caring and fondness. Basically, I care about you on a personal and deep level. I prioritize your happiness and joy.

But why do we have to overcomplicate something that should be foundational to society? As a Jesus follower we have been given the best example. It is literally spelled out for us.

Seems pretty simple. Jesus told this to His followers shortly before the betrayal that would lead to His death. He knew what was about to happen, and yet He still walked into it openly with a heart filled with unconditional love.

So… it should be pretty easy to love someone else when they accidentally say the wrong thing that hurts your feelings.

And it should be pretty easy to forgive others for their past mishaps, understanding that people change and they shouldn’t be judged on their past.

And it should be easy to simply shrug off the things that others have done to you, or the way they treat you. That even if they make you feel so low on a daily basis you should still love them unconditionally. Right?!

Alright, alright. Put down the pitchforks and stop practicing for your dramatic solo as you pull others into your negative feelings for others.

I get it. It’s complicated!

But why do we struggle with this? In theory, by loving others we should be shaping and molding the world to fit the perfect image of how we want it to be. Imagine it with me. A place where there were no violence. A place where you could let your children out to play without fear. A place where no one has any internal struggles with their own self-image because others are constantly raising them up with praise.

It’s beautiful.

So why do we not embrace that and work towards that? Why do we have to get annoyed that someone is doing something selfishly? Or why do we have to judge others for doing things that they know are hurting others?

It’s complicated!

And it’s complicated because we make it complicated. We have assigned a stigma to the word and given it definitive connotations as a societal norm that people think can only mean one thing. It is either “over-used” (not possible), or it is used only on rare occasions.

Or we live in fear that others will perceive it as something else.


Do you naturally tell your friends that you love them? Or is there a little bit of awkwardness when you say it, or at least when you say it around certain people? Can you outright tell someone “I love you” or do you have to cut corners with things like “love you” or “love ya” or even lumping them in with a group of people? Or taking the pressure off yourself by saying “we all love you” and not making it personal?

Let’s all be honest for a minute. We all do it. My hand is raised high. Guilty! Confession and all!

But why?! Do you know how incredibly impactful it is to tell someone you love them? Three simple words is all it takes to actually change someone’s day from bad to good. In three words you can make someone feel so incredibly valued.

I… love… you. That’s it. Is it cheapening it by saying it any other way? Maybe not. But as a receiver I can tell you it means more to me personally being said so simply.


So why don’t we do it more often? Well, for one, when was the last time you walked up to a coworker and told them you loved them? Or walked up to your married friend and said it to them? When was the last time you said it to a relative who has never said it to you?

It’s a whole lot of things from intimidating, scary, awkward, uncomfortable or just plain weird.

It’s fear of people’s perception. Its worry that others will misconstrue your intentions. It’s also being unsure of other people’s boundaries.

And also I think a lot of people don’t know HOW to love another person. I mean, we aren’t exactly raised to be this way. But we can be better.

So I try to live this out in my own life, or at least I have been these last 6 months as I begin to live my life as a follower of Christ.

There are people in my life who have severely hurt me in the past, and there are others who have hurt those that are closest to me. Those wounds are difficult to heal, but I am trying to love them unconditionally.

And I actively tell those who I do love that I love them. Straight up, point blank, to their face, or written in ink and saved forever (unless they decide to burn them). Why? Because it’s important to me for others to know how I feel about them.

Romance does not get to steal this word and hoard it for itself. Love goes way beyond that. Love is appropriate for the way it is intended, NOT the way it is perceived. If I tell someone I love them and another person takes it in a way that it is not meant, that’s on them. I know what is in my heart, the person receiving it usually knows what is in my heart, and my God definitely knows what is in my heart.


Someone very dear to me recently gave me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received – “you’re always looking for ways to express your love.”

And in those few, simple words I instantly received confirmation that the changes I have been making in my life were real and that my actions were finally matching my desires. It was a moment that made me realize that, yeah, I can be a disciple.

And it’s all because of love.

I let more and more of it out everyday as it brings me so much joy to bring happiness to others. But I still keep a lot of it held back out of fear. I make sure to tell my wife several times a day. I try to tell my friends and family as often as I can, but I can assure you a lot of times it will be the worried, condensed version I mentioned above. I’m fearful of loving others too much that it scares them off. No joke. Even those I am closest with I will tell them “I love you” and then a few days later make comment that I hope I’m not being too much.

Stupid, right? It’s more that it’s a shame that we have to hide it.

And I think that is what we struggle with with love. It’s not the act of loving another, or the desire to love others unconditionally, it’s expressing that love.

So, I’m hear to tell you that if you are family or friends that have access to my blog, I LOVE YOU! Actually, I probably love you a whole lot more than you think and more than I ever tell you. For some that’s saying a lot.

And, unless you politely ask me otherwise, I’m going to continue to tell you. To your face, in our texts, in my letters, etc. I hope it brings you comfort, love, joy and happiness. That feeling you get when someone special gives you a hug. I may not mean much to this world, but I hope I mean something to your world.


What you do with this blog is on you. As for me, I’m going to continue seeking new ways to share my love. 🥰


Dear God,

Thank You for filling me with so much love from You that I want to share it with others. I want to cast a light on this world where darkness seems to often try and invade. I want to touch the lives of so many people, spreading joy and love to others that they want to share it as well.

To know that others have had moments of happiness and had a smile brought to their faces by my words or actions will allow me to one day pass from this world as a fulfilled Christ follower.

Today I pray that You help others in finding the courage to express their feelings in a safe and comfortable way. Please give them the peace to go out and share their love with others.

I pray that the awkwardness for “I love you” outside of the family goes away.

I pray that You continue to look after those who need Your warmth and love. I pray for those who turn their backs to You and that they will one day see that, despite that, You always stay with them.

Please continue to protect and heal those who need You. For those fighting battles physically, emotionally and mentally. Please let them feel Your presence so that they may have peace in their lives.

Amen


You are beautiful and I love you so very much!

Kyle