Every second is of infinite value. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
What Are You Waiting For?
We wait because we’re busy. We wait because we can’t be bothered. We wait for a more opportune time. We wait because we’re scared.
Thinking We Have All The Time In The World
We take time for granted, especially when we’re young. Unfortunately, time will run out for all of us, and there is no expiration date stamped on our arm. When we let things go unsaid, we cheat ourselves, and the ones we love, out of love. Sometimes, we fail to speak up for fear of rejection. Other times, it’s because expressing emotions make some people uncomfortable. It’s easier to keep things light and superficial than open our hearts. Opening our hearts is risky. We worry that feelings may not be reciprocated and that would hurt. So, to avoid pain, we remain silent and say nothing at all. We quietly reassure ourselves, ”Of course, they know how we feel.”
Suggested Read: Life Is Too Short: Go After The Things That Matter Most
Saying “I Love You” Is A Gift
Then, the unimaginable happens. We never see it coming–we lose a parent, a sibling, a friend, a child, or a partner. Sadness and regret settle in like a bad cold, and we wonder why we failed to tell them how much we love them. Our thoughts taunt us as we question, “What if they didn’t know?”
I used to be afraid of those three words. I used them sparingly and never said them first. I think it stemmed from my first heartbreak. The pain of that loss felt so intense that I vowed to protect myself from feeling that hurt again. What my young, naïve self failed to realize was that expressing one’s love for another is beautiful, whether or not it is reciprocated. To express love is freeing and provides great relief. Our loved ones know exactly how we feel, and that can help us breathe a little easier as we navigate our way through an uncertain world. The more we say, “I love you”, the more comfortable we become with the words. Before we know it, those three little words become a part of who we are, and receiving validation in exchange for them becomes unnecessary.
We cause much more self-harm by putting up walls than by expressing how we feel. Saying I love you is a gift–a gift to yourself and a gift to your loved one. There is no better feeling than knowing we are loved. It means that we are accepted, valued, and supported. It is hard to imagine that there are people in this world who have never heard those words, and that is a tragedy. In the end, it is not about the job, the stuff, the “important” names we can drop, or how many friends we have on Instagram or Facebook. In the end, it is about who we loved and who loved us. I believe that is our purpose for walking this earth–to love. It’s so simple, isn’t it?
Tell those who matter how much you love them. Don’t wait.