Over the weekend, I attended a birthday party for a friend. The evening began like most do. People chatting about their everyday lives. They talked about how work is so busy or the kids homework is too much or that life, well, is just exhausting some days. These are natural conversations that happen in so many crevices and corners in living rooms, restaurants, and in the car. So much of what we talk about revolves around what ails us or our grievances about what is not going right about our life.
We tend to wait on talking about goodness. I reflected on this thought in particular because at the end of the evening, we were asked to reveal what the birthday person meant to us. We all stood in a circle and each person said something uplifting. Some of what was said was funny, kind, sentimental, and warm. The texture of listening to these affirming thoughts felt as if we were doing something revolutionary.
In a way, it was. I could not help but think, Why do we wait? Why do we wait to tell the people that we love what they really mean to us? Why do we need an event or birthday or some life circumstance that brings us to our knees to announce how much someone means to us? I do not know why we wait. Is it because we feel so vulnerable by doing so? Or do we think others would not take us seriously? But most of us seek that affirmation. We all need it. Oprah Winfrey has said that “every single person shares this common desire. They want to know: Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?” There is an abundance of truth in those words because most of the time I am berating myself for not being enough or complaining that someone in my life is not enough.
Ask yourself this question: When is the last time you told a family member or friend what they mean to you or add to your life?
Tell them. Do not wait.