Love You More
BY PAT BURNS
Living geographically close to all but one of my children and grandchildren, I am thrilled with their planned and spontaneous visits. Upon their departure, we exchange expressions that have become a ritual.
As they shout from the front yard, I hear “Goodbye! Love you!” Immediately, I respond with, “Love you more!”
No matter how old they are, (from 50 to 5 years old) when hearing those three little words, “love you more” there is always a quick turn of their heads, a little giggle, and a smile as they walk away. That giggle means the world to me. It creates enduring warmth in my heart. Moreover, it is my intention that it creates joy in their souls. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Kory Floyd, a professor at Arizona State University, has studied the results of expressing love and its benefits to one’s health. He has found that communicating positive feelings for others can lower stress hormones, lower cholesterol, and support a stronger immune system.
Although the knowledge of science brings awareness, understanding, and insight, it isn’t necessary for my own validation that our children and grandchildren need to hear expressions and reminders of our love. Whether you say the familiar, “I love you to the moon and back”, which is thought to have originated from a children’s book, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, or my personal favorite “I love you more”, humans flourish on love.
When our children and grandchildren hear us say how much we love them, they also hear that they are valued — not only now, but forever.
Poet and yoga master Erin Nicole expanded on the “I love you more” and gave it substance and a deeper meaning to the simple four words.
“When I say I love you more, I don’t mean I love you more than you love me. I mean I love you more than the bad days ahead of us. I love you more than any fight we will ever have. I love you more than the distance between us. I love you more than any obstacle that could ever try and come between us. I love you the most.” Erin Nicole
Having a special message of love, repeated over and over to our loved ones, helps them to see themselves as a meaningful part of our lives and something beyond themselves.
Acknowledging to our children and grandchildren that they are loved, at any age, yields the exact same results: a positive force for good and a loving family member meant to be loved forever.
And, for those of you reading this right now, thank you and I love you more.