When Rabbi Shmuley was a young boy, his father rarely said "I love you." After his parents divorced when he was 12 years old, Rabbi Shmuley says he practiced saying it with his father, who now tells him he loves him and his children all the time. "Most people think love is an emotion," Rabbi Shmuley says. "In truth, it is an activity." Rabbi Shmuley talks about why it's important to say "I love you" to the people you care about.
People have trouble saying "I love you" for many reasons—perhaps they were raised in homes with emotionally distant parents, they're unhappy or they've been hurt before and are afraid the feeling will not be reciprocated again, Rabbi Shmuley says. Even so, he says it's important to say it because the person you're saying it to—your spouse or child—needs to hear it. "You need to be the kind of person who not only feels love, but gives love," Rabbi Shmuley says. "If you're in love, then talk about it. The more you say it, the more you feel it." However uncomfortable, Rabbi Shmuley says to force yourself to say it, over and over, until the habit becomes second nature.
"No emotion is real unless it moves you. If it doesn't find expression in speech or action, it is unimportant, shallow and false. Therefore, don't just feel love, say it, show it, give it."
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013