It has been said that we live in moments, not in days and I believe that is true. Actually I believe we live in even shorter spans of times…in breaths and heartbeats. Each one is a gift we can never get back. The same is true for the ones we love. Most of us know we are not promised another moment in life but we often forget that those we love are not promised another moment either. If we could remember that fact, we might find ourselves more willing to tell others we love them. For some, perhaps they would learn to accept love and care without being so uncomfortable.
There are some people in my world who mean more to me than they can possibly understand. Oh, I try to tell/show them (quite often…much to the dismay of some of them) how much I love and care about them but they only see the tip of the iceberg. It’s always been this way, and I guess I’ve always been a little overly expressive, but the truth is I have always been keenly aware that our next breath is not promised to us. As a result, I usually honor the internal drive to express to those around me just how much they mean to me. Sometimes it comes through a deep and meaningful discussion and sometimes it is just a really sappy (but sincere) comment out of nowhere. Yes, I am compelled to say or do what I say or do…and I do not say or do anything I do not mean from the depths of my soul.
I have found that most people are uncomfortable with true expressions of the heart. The most common reaction I have seen to an open and honest expression of love is to laugh or become dismissive. I realize it is not directed at me (or whoever happened to express something to someone), but it comes from a place of either not knowing how to respond or a place of feeling unworthy of that expression.
Some people have been so criticized over the course of their lives that they refuse to believe someone could see their gifts or their beauty. They even doubt the sincerity of someone who tells them they are gifted or beautiful because they just can’t see themselves that way. They develop a way of living that even keeps them shielded from the truth…especially when it is positive. Most people (with the exception of the selfish or narcissistic) are not comfortable with being told how much they are loved or gifted because they have been taught that it is arrogant to believe it. Even saying “thank you” becomes an arrogant act in that mindset. After all, if you say “thank you,” then you are agreeing with whatever was said…and that isn’t polite. How terrible it is that we have warped something as pure as the expression of the heart and turned it into something to be laughed at, dismissed or even feared.
It is a fact that loss is an inevitable part of life. There is going to come a time for all of us when we are separated from someone we love. It is too late, after someone is gone, to tell them how much they mean to you. It’s too late to hug them. It’s too late to see them smile when you open your heart to them. But what if you DO open yourself up to others and express yourself honestly and openly? Will you be laughed at and dismissed for doing so? From my experience, I will tell you it is a probability, but don’t let it stop you. Be fearless! Love genuinely from the depths of your heart and soul and don’t be afraid to express it.
In my life, I have been hurt and burned by more people than I can count. I have been laughed at and teased for being so expressive. I have been looked at strangely because I refuse to give up on people even when they have walked away. I have been ridiculed for being too vulnerable with those I love. I have been rejected by some because I refuse to reserve my love and care for only those who were deemed “acceptable.” I have been punished for reaching out to those who were perceived as stealing my time or energy. Believe me, I have been wounded by every negative arrow that can be hurled at someone for loving deeply and expressing that love…and do you know what it taught me? It taught me that the love we give can also heal us. Otherwise, I would have been dead from those wounds long ago.
The truth is I will never be able to fully express to those I love just how much they mean to me. There are no words that truly convey my gratitude for those who have loved and accepted me without condition. So forgive me if I am unable to keep myself from trying to find the words to express the depth of love, care and connection I feel for those around me. Forgive me for struggling to keep it locked inside when I feel compelled to tell you that you are beautiful, intelligent, talented, kind, compassionate, loving or any one of a thousand other things that YOU don’t believe about yourself. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t make it untrue. Maybe you need to see yourself through my eyes for a moment.