Many years ago I took someone I cared about for granted and, unsurprisingly, the relationship eventually unravelled. I’ve since learned to never again make the same mistake with the people I value enough to want to keep in my life.
It’s scary how easy it is to under-appreciate people, relationships, circumstances and even the gift of life itself. We can get so self-involved sometimes that we don’t (or choose not to) pay attention to what’s going on around us. I often wonder if it’s in our nature to want or need to cling to certain ‘givens’, so we can get on with things. You know, the comforting knowledge or reassurance that certain people will always be there for us – while pledging ourselves to always be there for them?
Yet, how committed are we to the latter? And is it even possible to be so many things to so many people? Because the more interpersonal connections we make, the more diluted the quality of our exchanges becomes. And for those of us who are uncomfortable with intimacy that can actually be quite convenient. I think that’s one of the reasons why social media is so popular. For many, it’s become a handy way of staying in touch without actually having to put in any face time or real effort with people they don’t really care that much about.
Of course, sometimes we’re in a sort of survival mode – and don’t necessarily have the mental and emotional energy to expend on anyone else but ourselves – and so we filter out stuff. Then there’s our tendency to talk and think in terms of “one of these days”: “One of these days I’m going to attend to this” or “One of these days I’m going to make this right.” But how many of us ever get around to that day? And even if we did, would we even know how or where to begin?
Because further down the line, after you’ve left it so long, you’ll discover that the opportunity may have passed and that elusive ‘right moment’ might have long since expired. You still want to make amends but that door now seems closed and you don’t quite know how to open it again (or whether you even should).
With so much left unsaid and unexpressed, I find that it’s sometimes best to begin by simply giving thanks. Interesting things happen when you volunteer unsolicited appreciation and gratitude. It has a funny way of bringing you back to what’s positive and beautiful. Because to those on the receiving end it can be disarming and incredibly uplifting. And you’ll find that there is so much pleasure and joy to be gotten from doing so.
P.S. Some of you might find this video to be a little on the cheesy and manipulative side, but it does convey my message…