For All The Things I Didn't Say
Love. We've all heard it blissfully defined in 1 Corinthians — love is patient, love is kind…and so on and so forth. These passages are beautiful. But they are also a guide. A guide for how we are supposed to love. Meaning you have to work at it.
Love is often romanticized in popular culture as something that is effortless — something that just happens. And a lot of times that's how it feels in the beginning. But true, lasting love takes constant work.
Over time, as our relationships become comfortable, it's easy to start making less of an effort. It's not necessarily intentional, we just sort of fall into "autopilot" mode. Oftentimes we don't even realize it.
But apparently Marc Graham did realize it. And so, being a writer, he wove all of his unspoken sentiments into a beautiful letter to his wife titled "Dear She, Love He." I came across the letter on the blog, Lore And Little Things, and it blew me away.
Read on to hear what Marc had to say:
Men are strange creatures. Frankly, I don't know what you people see in us, or why you put up with our shenanigans, but I'm grateful you do. Much of what we truly feel goes unsaid, and what we try to say comes out wrong most of the time. So, for the times I've misspoken, when he said the wrong thing, when we completely biffed a conversation because our tiny brains were trying to process a message from our big hearts, here's this.
Among the many things I forget to say, this is right up there. You do so much every day, every moment. Things that aren't necessarily your responsibility, but that need to be done and if you don't do them, who will? So (1) please know that you don't have to do it all and it's okay to ask for help. And (2) I recognize all you do, and I'm so thankful.
Two words don't adequately cover it, but there it is. I'm sorry for the times I judged you, rather than trying to understand you. I'm sorry for the times I made you feel less than, rather than celebrating all that you are. I'm sorry for just hearing you instead of listening to you, looking at you instead of seeing you, touching you instead of feeling you. Mostly, I'm sorry for when I acted like a boy instead of a man.
You balance me.
It's become a lovely and sentimental notion to say, "You complete me." It's also unfair to you. Boys, those needy, selfish creatures naturally look to woman as a source of nourishment. That's straight biology. But if I'm the man you deserve, whether my role is brother or partner, friend or lover, I'm complete already. Still growing, still learning, still changing, but complete. What I need is balance, and you do it perfectly. You counter my weaknesses with your strength. You temper my arrogance with your sound judgment. You smooth my rough edges with your gentle touch. You make me better, and you make me want to be better.
I'm proud of you.
Let's face it, I'm awfully proud as it is, so I hesitate to use this phrase. Male pride is too often focused on self rather than others. But this is all you. You awe me. You've accomplished so much, in the face of challenges that would have had me cowering in a corner, tucked into a fetal position. The world puts so much on your plate, and you handle it with grace, which amazes me. And where you really shine, what makes my heart burst with admiration, is when you gently and courageously say, No. When you set your needs and higher goals above the expectations of others. When you recognize that, astounding as you are, even you can only do so much, and your energies are best spent on those things that matter and that feed your soul. You are a rock star.
I mean it. You have a gorgeous soul, and when you let that shine through, when you're being authentically Who You Are, you take my breath away. That way you smile and your eyes light up, because there's so much Light inside you that has to come out. That way you laugh too loud, because your joy must be expressed. Even when you ugly-cry, because you're capable of feeling so much and so deeply that your body can't contain it, that's beauty. Oh, and those little things you try to cover up, those blemishes you try to hide? Don't. Not for me. Those scars, those wrinkles, those stretch marks, all those so called imperfections tell the story of you, and are part of how you came to be who you are. Who you are is beautiful, and they are all part of that.
I love you.
Nothing more, no elaboration or justification. I just, plain love you.
It's probably safe to say that Marc's letter is one we'd all love to receive. Which is exactly why we're sharing it. Distraction is a powerful tool the devil uses to get in between our relationships — with God and with each other. We all fall into "autopilot" mode, and important things go unsaid.
Perhaps Marc's letter inspired you to write a Love Letter of your own — to a valued friend, a loved one who has passed away, or maybe even your furbaby. Or perhaps you'd like to take some time to write a heartfelt message to your Heavenly Father. If so, check out this link to the Love Letter section of the Lore And Little Things.
It's really just about creating a little love surge and making sure special messages like Marc's have a place to be shared. Because the world could certainly use more love, right? And we hope to see some of your letters next time we're on the Lore And Little Things site.
If you liked this story, you should read what one man emailed to the photographer who took pictures of his wife!
Credit: Lore And Little Things