Just how much love do you share with your loved ones?
A few years ago, after a personal development event, I called one of my nephews, Dipak, who was 12 at the time.
The idea was to call our loved ones and let them know that they were loved.
I told my nephew that I loved him and asked him if he knew that I did so. He replied – “Yes I know you do, but you never say it!”
That was a heart rending reply and just what I needed to hear to become more present to him and others around me.
Talk about mindfulness training from a child!
Learn more about mindfulness and how it can save your life
This is Day 20 of our “28 Day Relationships Adventure (DRA)” in February. You can read the previous 19 articles by following the links at the bottom of this post.
Today I want to highlight the importance and urgency of appreciating your time with your loved ones.
How often have we all missed someone when they are no longer around?
In recent years, I have experienced the loss of my father and also my best friend.
What can anyone learn from the death of a close one?
Firstly, I am aware more than ever before, of just how short and fragile our lives are. One day your loved one is here and then they are just gone.
I still remember my friend who passed away in tragic circumstances over three years ago and think of how much he helped me in my life.
I am living in the same home that he helped me move into, and where he put up all the pictures and the giant mirror in the lounge. The home where he stayed and slept on the floor so often.
I remember the many happy times when we visited Richoux together.
It is such passing moments, short but now special, that one recalls when that person is no longer around.
The biggest lesson is to appreciate each moment you share with a loved one.
The other lesson is to make the most of the time and opportunities you have with your loved ones.
Neither time lapsed nor these opportunities will ever come back. Life really is too short and you just don’t know what is around the corner.
At the same time, have no regrets about missed opportunities, or words not shared with loved ones. At any time, you are always doing the best you can.
Two days before he passed away, my friend even left me a voice message asking me to call him back. Instead of calling him back, I emailed him asking if we could speak after the weekend on the following Monday.
Sadly he died on the Sunday, and we never got to speak. If I could turn the clock back, I would call him back right away and tell him how much he meant to me.
So the lesson for you today is this – begin to truly appreciate the people in your life.
They are all so precious – and indeed it is the people in our life that make your life so special.
And the key is to tell them how much they mean to you.
A few years ago, when working on some relationship healing work in my own life, I came across a wonderful tape called “Healing Relationships” by Bernie Siegel, well known medical doctor and author.
In the tape he talks about how a daughter healed her relationship with her estranged mother. She telephoned her mother every day for three months and ended every call with probably the three most powerful words in the world – “I love you”.
Then one day, something shifted. The daughter was in a hurry and ended her call without those three words. Right away the mother called the daughter back and reminded her that she had forgotten to say something.
In that moment, the barriers came down, mother and daughter were reconciled, and the mother was finally able to put into words her own true feelings – “I love you too”.
When you suffer the loss of a loved one, you come to realise just how futile your daily strivings can be and also how petty your grievances really are.
It is not to say that you should not have any life goals nor allow others to simply push you around. But it is about getting a better perspective on what really matters in your life.
To end, here are some closing words, thanks to my nephew Dipak who sent me this wonderful poem a while ago, which is so apt for today’s relationship article:-
We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another.
Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and that all will be well when they are older.
Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely we’ll be happier when they grow out of the teen years.
We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire.
The truth is that there is no better time to be happy than right now.
If not now, then when?
Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.
For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life.
But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start.
I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.
That point of view helped me see that there isn’t any road to happiness.
Happiness IS the road.
So, enjoy every moment.
Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.
Happiness is a voyage, not a destination.
There is no better time to be happy than… NOW!
Live and enjoy the moment. – Author unknown
Life is not something in the future – it is here today. And the best thing you can do today for your relationships is to share your love and create more special moments with your loved ones.
Here’s the Daily Exercise for Today:-
Look at all the people in your life who are really close and important to you. Do they really know how much they mean to you?
When was the last time you truly spoke to them and shared deep appreciation from your heart?
In the next 3 days or sooner, I request you to have these heart to heart conversations with at least 3 people in your life. Then share below about your experience.
How can you use these insights to improve your future friendships?
image courtesy of <cleverCl@i®ê>