by Kristen Sommer
This past week I was reminded by the oddity of meaningful ‘pull at your heart strings’ songs and the way that we live our life. These days the younger generations tease about having a soundtrack to their lives; dramatic music for soap opera times, hyperactive and bouncy music for suspenseful times, and the list goes on.
Yet how often do we truly use these ‘life soundtracks’ to live our life?
After speaking with a client about life and its mysteries, as well as what comes to us, I was struck by the simple fact that we as people rarely, if ever, say what we want to say.
Many times there is a good reason that we do not share how we feel, be it due to negative words, a need to be a certain way or a lack of vocabulary to adequately express said feeling. Yet, there are many times when we *should* say something and we remain silent.
Why is this such a difficult task to overcome?
Why are we so afraid of being judged - even if what we want to say is something so meaningful, so caring and so profound that it holds the potential to change lives?
By reading this alone, it may seem as if saying a phrase or two isn’t anything extraordinary or exceptional. It may even seem so easy to do! Yet in the heat of the moment do you truly say what you feel or do you hold back?
In the simplest of cases, one of the most difficult things in a person’s life is to admit that he or she loves another. Why is it difficult to admit love? As children we say it freely with no filter or care. As adolescents we shyly admit our feelings - fearing rejection, yet riding on adrenaline and hope. As adults it is a sign that we care. As elders it is a sign of wisdom and maturity.
Yet how is it that ‘I truly love you’ is something so difficult to say?
When we realize that true love is more than an emotional attachment, it becomes difficult to say.
Truly loving someone means accepting your faults, their faults and the general imperfection that we as humans have. It also means caring about someone for who they are, rather than what they have, how they look and what they ‘bring to the table.’
The conversation that I had was with an elder man who shared with me how proud he was of his grown son. He extolled his son’s virtues and said that he had grown into a good, responsible man.
This may not seem strange, but what happened next was moving. The gentleman I spoke with realized that he may not have been as nurturing as he would have liked when both he and his son were younger. He worried that his son may never know just how he was loved or how much he had impacted his father’s life.
Having gone through this process before with my mother, I realized what the natural next step was; Say what you mean to say. This isn’t just some pop song on the radio; it is a real life helpful tip! Say what you mean to say.
I shared my experience with this gentleman, about how my mother told me how she truly felt about me and I her. Living it was very moving and made us value the other more. When I suggested to the gentleman to say what he means to say, an epiphany rained down. Truly it is a beautiful thing to hear someone admit that he is not perfect and may not have taken the best courses of actions in life, but can still love another so strongly.
“I may not have been the most loving or nurturing parent when you were younger, but I am so very proud of you. I admire you. Seeing you even makes me smile. I truly, truly…love you.”
Say what you mean to say, before there is no time left to say it. This is what I learned from my elders.