The Words We Don’t Speak

When it comes to voicing our love and appreciation for the people in our lives, how much goes unsaid?  Why is it that we go years without telling people how we genuinely feel about them and how much light they bring to our lives? I’ve experienced some heartbreaking losses in my relatively short time on earth….an uncle to stomach cancer, a good friend to suicide, a grandfather to a stroke, and the list goes on. But the one regret I had across all of them, was that I didn’t get to tell them just how much they genuinely gave me strength, support, and love in my life.

Why do we wait until it’s too late before we give voice to the love stirring in our hearts? Is it laziness? Do we just assume they already know? Do we think it’s not worth our breath?  I suppose it’s human nature to always think “there will be a next time”….until there isn’t. The philosopher Seneca said,

“You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”

We are not immortal, and there’s no guarantee you nor your loved ones will be around to hear the words “YOU ARE LOVED.”

I intimately know how short and unpredictable life can be, and probably a big reason I live the way I do. However, there is one practice I’ve started to integrate into my life that has changed how I connect with people – friends and strangers alike – and that’s to always take a moment to directly tell them how much I appreciate them. It takes such little effort on our part but could mean so much to the other person. Speaking your truth and spreading love directly into the hearts of the people we care about has an immediate and lasting effect.

Here’s an easy way you can integrate this practice in your life: When something triggers a thought about a loved one (no matter how random), call/text them to say that you’re thinking of them and share specifically why you appreciate the friendship/relationship. I believe these random thoughts are not random at all, but the universe or our subconscious nudging us to connect. Everyone is living their own struggle, and your words could be the light that gives them strength in a moment of need.

Your words are powerful, use it to cultivate love and connection to those around you.

Don’t be Thankful, Do This Instead

Before you think I’ve gone completely insane by asking you not to be thankful (it is Thanksgiving after all), hear me out. It’s so easy to feel thankful when you’re surrounded by friends and family, on holiday, or when all is going great in your life. According to the definition of “thankful”, the word means “pleased and relieved”, which in my interpretation means a word associated with a reactionary feeling. It’s a passive thing to feel “thankful”, and doesn’t demand much effort on your end to feel thankfulness, especially on a day that almost requires you to feel this emotion.

On the flip side, “gratefulness” is defined as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” It’s not just a reaction, but an active response to an act of kindness that requires more than just a knee-jerk reaction of “thankfulness”.

My wish for all you today is to actively carry the act of gratefulness in your heart rather than blindly celebrating “thankfulness”. Be actively grateful for all the kindness you’ve been shown in your life to allow you to live the way you do today. Be actively grateful for the kindness of friends, strangers, and family members who have paved the way for your life. Do not passively show “thankfulness” and merely be “pleased and relieved” for this one wonderous life you’ve been given. Hold gratefulness in your heart today. Hug your family members, tell your friends you love them, and be grateful for each and every amazing soul you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, as they are the ones who shape and influence your life. Today is just one day, but gratefulness can last the other 364 days of the year.

Who or what are you grateful for today?

Be Happier By Letting Go

 

Have you ever noticed how we are all in a perpetual state of chasing? Chasing after the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect apartment. Sometimes the chase is what motivates us, and sometimes the chase is what wears us down. The idea of “having it all” and striving for our definition of a perfect situation is not only unrealistic, it can be quite detrimental to our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

If there are key pillars in any job/situation (Job, relationships, apartment/home, family) there will always be something NOT ideal. You could have your dream job, a fantastic apartment with great friends, but no boyfriend to speak of. Or it’s having that amazing significant other and friends but stuck in a job you hate. When one aspect of your life seems to fall into place, another one seems to slip away. It’s maddening! If you also find yourself frustrated by this, here are some things to keep in mind:

Let Go of Disappointment.

Whenever we want everything in our life to be awesome, we inevitably feel disappointed when one part of our lives isn’t working out. Instead, pick something you CAN let go of. What is the one missing link you’re ok to do without? Or at least, ok with it not being 100% ideal. Accepting this will inevitably lead to a healthier perspective and possibly keep us from chasing our own shadow. Remember that disappointment is a self-inflicted wound.

Let Go of Perfection.

There’s no such thing as the “perfect life”, so we need to let go of this idea. Sure your job may not be saving lives, but does it afford you the opportunity to travel and spend time with friends and family? Perhaps not having a significant other could be frustrating, but at least you have the opportunity to deepen your relationships with your friends and enjoy your freedom. It’s more about focusing on what you do have and accepting that it’s ok not to have everything all at once. Life is a constant ebb and flow, and things will always find a way to balance out.

Let Go of Judgement.

Trying to seem like you “have everything together” isn’t about what you think of yourself. It’s a reaction to how you think others may perceive or judge you. You worry that others will think less of you, that you’re not smart/pretty/successful/rich enough. Here’s the brutal truth, nobody cares. Everyone else is so concerned about their own lives that the people that actually matter to your life WILL NOT JUDGE you. It doesn’t matter to them what car you drive, what your business card says, or what you look like — if you live genuinely and try your best to be a good person to the people around you — they don’t care your life isn’t “perfect”.

 

Next time you find yourself in an endless pursuit of the “perfect” anything, stop and take stock of what you can let go of for the sake of your sanity and happiness. Is this something you also struggle with? Any other perfectionists out there?