“Love you, bye”
My partner, for years, has been saying “Love you, bye” to just about everyone. He says it in person, on the phone, to me, our kids; he says it to coworkers; he says it to telemarketers (at least to the ones he listens to — the others often get something like: “Domino’s Pizza, would you like to place an order?”)
The great thing about this (besides the obvious) is that he doesn’t care how they react, if they get offended or inspired by his profession of love. It’s all the same to him.
I aspire to this neutrality but don’t feel it in me, not yet anyway. But I do say I Love You to the trees just about every day. Yesterday I shared my coffee with many trees and it felt really special. Today I did the same and kind of felt like they were happy to receive my little offer — in the way stories are told about the Buddha smiling with his whole body, receiving gifts of food by people honoring him at his feet.
A few years ago I went on a retreat and learned how to talk (mostly listen) to water. It is not dissimilar from listening to one’s heart, or perhaps trees. It involves love, a state of openness to the love potential that is in every living being — and water and air and earth and fire are living beings (though I don’t know this about fire as a personal experience, I just trust it to be so).
Lately I have been telling water “I Love You” at least once a day. I aspire to do this with every sip. I just facilitated a meeting and to start the meeting I asked everyone to get a glass of water and say thank you before taking a sip. Next week I’ll suggest we all say I Love You.
Saying I Love You matters.
I love the fact that my children have never struggled to hear or say I Love You to me or their father. We all naturally love our children as we have given them life. Water and Air and Earth (our precious trees) give us life. We would all be forever changed by no longer struggling to hear this love, this undying generosity, from Water and Trees. We would all be forever changed by a daily practice of remembering to tell them we love them too.
One day also a few years ago I was driving down a fairly busy road, one that still has a gorgeous stand of trees on both sides of the road — trees that weren’t planted for aesthetics, trees that had been there a very long time and had not been compromised by “development.” I felt so grateful for these trees that I yelled out “I Love You!” to them. Then, I was completely startled to hear a response: “We love you too!”
Whoa, right? It was entirely Life Changing.
Try it for yourself.