At 15 years old, I was living out my rebellious years. I had push and pull arguments with my parents. I’d slam doors occasionally in frustration. I felt like I had all the answers, when in reality I had very few.
One day, in remorse for a door-slamming confrontation, I found myself standing in the living room behind my father’s newspaper, which he was reading at the time. I was determined to say “I love you” to my father. I felt compelled to do it. I wanted him to hear it. I wanted to say it out loud.
I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and my cheeks getting flushed. I had to leave the room and return twice just to to get my courage up enough to say 4 little words. ‘Dad, I love you’. The sentiment was true but saying them out loud felt terrifying to me. I wanted to break free from my comfort zone.
At 15 I was afraid to be vulnerable. I was afraid that I would make my Dad uncomfortable. I was afraid that I might feel embarrassed or worse, start to cry. Even though I was with my father, whose love for me was shown in so many ways, the words I love you were not easily expressed.
I wasn’t going to let my fear hold me back. I wanted to take the leap and make a deeper connection. I wanted to bridge the gap we were both feeling in that moment, and be the one to take the first step.
I finally did it. As he was holding his newspaper up to his face, I said, “Dad”? “Yes, he said, not moving the newspaper, “I love you” I said, loud enough so he wouldn’t have to ask me to repeat it. There was a pause. He lowered his newspaper and looked over at me standing there, waiting for his response.
Even from 10 ft. away I could see his eyes begin to slowly well up. I could feel the power of my words, and the effect they were having on my father. He looked at me, and with the softest look in his eyes, he said, “I love you too, honey”.
I felt our love extend out from our mouths through our words and flow across the room and into each other’s heart like warm liquid. It felt so good, and it was easier than I thought it was going to be.
I felt proud of myself. I made that moment happen. I opened a door that before I spoke was not open. I felt the power of speaking words of love in that moment and the power words had to touch someone. I experienced how words heal and open the heart.
The rewards of reaching out with words of love were so worth stepping outside of my comfort zone.
The next sentence was easier. “I just wanted to tell you that and, I’m sorry I slammed the door.”
I felt my comfort zone expand to include intimate words of love. All the fear of being vulnerable, or feeling afraid of embarrassment, vanished. I felt liberated and loved the response I got in return.
I started adding a hug to those words and pretty soon my push and pull adolescent relationship with my parents shifted to a more mature free-flowing expression of love and care. I never again hesitated to say “Dad, I love you”, and he never got tired of hearing it.
Overcoming my discomfort with saying I love you to my Dad, empowered me to speak up and express my feelings in all my relationships in life.
We all want to be comfortable, but if we live our relationships from a comfort zone that doesn’t stretch our capacity to love, that doesn’t push us to speak vulnerably from the heart, then we’re missing out on some of the sweetest moments relationships offer us. Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. ☺
The next time you hug your partner, or smile at them from across the dinner table, or take their hand when you’re walking together, speak your love out loud so they can hear it. Don’t assume they know you love them, or assume they don’t need to hear what’s obvious. Feel your love, find the words to express it and let them flow.
This daily practice grows you as a lover. As you find your voice in non-sexual moments of intimacy, you’ll find more ease in using your voice in moments of seduction. Bring words of love into the bedroom and let them fuel your partner’s desire.
The next time you find yourself wanting to speak words of love and you’re feeling self-conscious or nervous about how they will land, breath deeply and take the leap anyway.
Wear your heart on your sleeve with those you love, and enjoy the rewards of stepping out of your intimacy comfort zone.
Stay well and love deeply,
Sometimes we all need a little help with love, sex, and desire…
I work with clients online or by phone from all over the world.
If you’d like to speak for 15 mins to say hello and discuss the details of working together to give you the love, sex and desire you long for, set up your call here:
You may not identify with having sexual shame. You may be quite liberal when it comes to the sex you see on screen and in advertising. You may support honest and truthful sex education, and have a tolerant, accepting attitude toward less conventional sexual expressions. The shame I’m talking about is found less in spoken opinions and more in unspoken feelings and beliefs. Not wanting to talk about sex in our relationships is how we carry forth our ancestor’s sexual doctrine, and I see it in many of my clients.
Teri and John (we’ll call them) came to see me a few months ago. They described their 15 year relationship as compatible and loving, except when it came to sex and intimacy, neither of which they were able to figure out how to change for the better. They reached a point where they could see three roads ahead of them...
You may think that having a threesome would be exciting, but the truth is, you’re already in a threesome. There’s you, your partner, and your relationship.
When we begin to view our relationship as the 3rd in our threesome, it’s easier to see how we are either feeding it with attention and nurturing care, or we’re literally ignoring it to death.
Savoring is more than mindfulness. Mindfulness brings us to a razor’s edge of awareness that has qualities of neutrality and acceptance. Mindfulness teaches us to
be with what ‘is’.
Savoring brings an additional layer of experience with it. It brings a depth of noticing that is filled with feelings of gratitude and appreciation, and even a sense of preciousness.