I am ‘Words of Affirmations’ all the way to the core of my soul. (Take the General test right here to see what you are.) It is how I both best receive and show love. However, knowing that does not make it easier to do so. I have always had trouble receiving love from people, but I crave their attention through their Words. I am a very anxious, shy person generally, yet I have a constant rush of Words in my mind at all times. So much so that I have a difficult time falling asleep at night and staying asleep. I am constantly having to write things down in order to attempt to clear my thoughts.
With the state of our world right now, I have thoughts that I can no longer keep to myself. If there is anything I have learned from the experiences of life thus far, that lesson would be to love the people in your life and let them know that you love them. Whatever your language is, spread it like wildfire. What is holding you back? For me the answer is fear. Fear of unrequited attention, fear of acceptance, and awkwardness. It can be downright uncomfortable at times, but if there is another thing I have learned, it is that none of that matters when it’s all said and done.
If we want to be morose about life, let us reflect on the fragility of it. None of us know how much longer we will be alive. Even worse, none of us know how much longer our loved ones will be in our life. When I was younger I thought the term loved one could only refer to someone’s family member, but it is not limited to family. A loved one is simply that, someone whom you love. It can mean a family member, a friend, significant other, mentor, etc. Whoever it is, let them know that you care. Let them know that you love the way that they laugh, that their smile lights up a room, that they tell the funniest jokes, cook the best spaghetti, or paint the prettiest flowers. Say whatever it is while you can, however it is that you know how.
Be sure to take a few seconds and take pictures. I am not saying that we should not live in and enjoy the moments as they come, but make sure you take pictures of your favorite people, take pictures doing your favorite things. Trust me on this. I have only one photograph of me with an old friend. She has been gone seven years this past fall and while I do have wonderful memories of her, that picture is all I have left to look at when my heart is missing her so bad that it literally hurts. Take the time to laugh together. Yes, we all live fast-paced, rushed lives. We are all busy far more often than not, but slow down and laugh with people you love. People will remember the laughter above all.
I have been to enough funerals in my young life to gather that many people come to the ceremony filled with regrets. I have never heard someone say, “man I wish I did not spend so much time with him,” “I wish she did not laugh with me all the time,” or “we took too many pictures together.” Most funerals have people standing up at the front of the chapel talking about how much they loved the person resting in front of the flowers. I have heard many people say, “I wish I would have told him…” or “I should have said…” What is it about a funeral, an ending, that allows us to speak freely about someone; do we have to wait until someone is dead to tell them how we feel?
Be intentional and tell people how you feel while you still can. It may be just the thing they need to hear and you never know when you will have another chance.