Teacher Tales: Tell Them You Love Them
Regrets are terrible things. They color our memories in an off-shade, sickly color.
They make us feel guilty for not taking a course of action when we clearly should have taken one. I think, though, the worst part of having regrets is the constant reminder that we failed in some aspect of our lives. We’ve all seen people who hold onto regrets. Every aspect of their lives becomes negatively affected. They never seem happy enough in any moment. Maybe their relationships at work or home fail because they don’t allow themselves to feel the vulnerability and emotions which cement human interactions.
Most people, when asked, will state that the one thing they “regret the most” is not telling someone that they love them. Sure, there are some people who will have regrets for not taking a particular position, making a move to a different city, making (or not making) a purchase, or any of a thousand other reasons. While it’s a clichéd thought created in hindsight, it’s a valid feeling. Too often, we let petty jealousies, arguments and hurt feelings distract us from the love we feel for someone who is important to us.
It is nearly impossible to go through life without having at least one regret. What differentiates a wise person from a fool is the way in which the wise person deals with regrets. Wise people work to rectify negative situations, prepare for adversity, and acknowledge their mistakes. Fools will loudly and vehemently defend their choices and actions, despite incontrovertible evidence of their “wrong-headedness”. Wise people will try to stay bold and courageous by taking calculated risks, accepting new ideas and cultures, authentically and honestly sharing themselves, and communicating their feelings. Fools will do just the opposite of the wiser folks, and then bemoan their failures.
Now, let me amend the last paragraph with this: living a rich, regret-free life doesn’t mean we should all go free-climbing a sheer rock face without a rope. There doesn’t need to be an element of danger for us to feel fulfilled . Maybe the “right” attitude to keep is one of daring, cautiousness, spontaneity, thoughtful planning, and execution in equal parts. On the other hand, living timidly is a certain recipe for creating regrets. Wouldn’t life be boring without a chance encounter that turned into love? How about friendships, opportunities, and experiences we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered without taking a chance? Fortunately, people have complete control over those things they choose to regret, and those they have reconciled themselves with.
Please take this one thought away with you today, as you go about your busy schedule- tell someone you love them. It doesn’t have to be a flowery, sentimental pile of mush- but you don’t need to shout it, either. Or, do shout it. In German, so it can be both tender and terrifying at the same time. No matter how you choose to tell that special someone, the simple act of telling them will ensure that you won’t ever regret not telling them.