My last week has been so chaotic in the best possible way, so I’m going to do something a little different this week and give you the ramblings of the mind instead of tips and life hacks.
I was listening to a discussion on talk radio the other day about telling people you love them before it’s too late. I didn’t catch the beginning of the on air conversation and I don’t recall who the host was but he was discussing Gord Downie’s absolute outward displays of affection toward band mates and people he loved before he passed on. It make sense to me that the discussion stemmed from the new Tragically Hip Documentary “Long Time Running” which I watched shortly after listening to the show. Gord believed in openly appreciating and showing love for those in his life including his fans. He would lip kiss his band mates, crew and family in his displays of affection. Now, what isn’t clear to me is wether or not this was a habit he picked up when he found out about his terminal illness, but the sentimental nature in me likes to believe that he always showed love and appreciation in such a manner.
This radio discussion got me thinking though. I grew up with two very different family influences. My Mother’s family is very affectionate, and while we never lip kissed, random hugs, cheek kisses and “I love you” were very common. On the other hand though my Father’s family was uncomfortable with displays of affection. Quick hugs with a back slap was the most you’d get out of his relatives. Even the words “I love you” are hard to come by, but there was an underlying feeling of love and acceptance and I never doubted the love that my family had for each other.
I realize though that I behave entirely differently with both sets of relatives and I’ve become accustomed to seeing acts of love in a different ways. We just knew that as a family we would always be there for each other and would do anything for each other. What comes so easily and instinctually, declarations of love and affection, with my mother’s family is very hard for me to express to my Dad’s relatives. Over the past couple of years however I started to experiment a little with my paternal relatives. I started telling my Dad I love him more frequently, I started lingering into hugs a little longer. What I noticed is that my Dad’s comfort level never really changed, but mine did. I was completely fine with his unique expressions and I enjoyed being more open with him. So, I tried it with a couple cousins, and we became closer. I started to see that there is absolutely no deterrent for loving the people in my life and letting them know, without doubt, what I feel for them. There is so much to be gained by ensuring your people know how much you care about them.
I’m so blessed to have more amazing people in my life than I can count, old friends who after 35 years without connection really feels like not a minute of time has passed, family whom I see once a year and love to death and people I see every day who I simply can’t wait to see again. When I think of success and abundance it’s the people in my life that make me feel like I am rich beyond belief. Money and possessions come and go, you can’t count on things to be there for you when the going gets tough, but people, people are the most precious and valuable addition to your life.
I challenge you to take stock of your life and the people that are in it, find ways to love better, show appreciation and embrace every experience that you have with them. It will enrich their lives and it will enrich yours too. If you are challenged by any relationship in your life, let go of who is right and who is wrong. Find a way to appreciate and care for that person. You’ll be surprised at what you get out of it. Make people more valuable than any possession, and don’t forget about yourself. Make your relationship with yourself as valuable as any other.
For all my people reading this, I love you.