I recently started a project; a social experiment, if you will. I had been reading such wonderfully inspirational things lately and had an idea. I have this tendency to be really honest. I like people to know exactly where they stand with me. I reblogged a post about this very issue this month. The truth can result in people running away, going silent, or being grateful. It is a very odd thing. It is a symptom of a larger problem: this culture abhors the truth oftentimes.
Think about it, every day the media glorifies lying, deceit, and subterfuge. Many popular shows revolve around showing the worst traits humanity has. When it comes to emotions, many people have the awareness of a child. Somehow, though we move forward in many other categories, we have not gotten much better at telling the truth or expressing our deeper emotions. It is not taught in schools and many people end up having to go through therapy to learn how to healthily deal with their emotions.
I don’t like this and partially for this reason and partially because of a wonderful meme I saw (shown below) I decided to try something. Why wait until someone is dying, gravely ill, moving away, dealing with an addiction, or suffering a tragedy to tell them what they mean and what we wish for them? This year, I have seen so many people pass away and I often never got to tell them. I never want it to be too late again, so I developed a template and started going through my friends list alphabetically.
One by one, I am letting the people in my life know how they are seen through my eyes, letting them know how much they mean to me or inspired me, letting them know my deepest wishes for them. I was nervous about starting it but I knew I had to do it for my own sake. I stated my intention in a post on facebook and let them know that I wasn’t expecting any replies unless they wanted to do that. I set up my template and began sending out messages. The first day I sent out five messages. I got a response from two people and experienced such overwhelming pure emotion I had to take a break.
I didn’t expect something so simple could have such a powerful impact. But so many of us are hurting, so many of us go around every day wondering what people think of us, and I wanted to change that, at least in my life. So many people have emotional issues and feel unloved and alone. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, sometimes you just need a reminder that someone actually cares about you. Our emotions affect our health, our intelligence, and our relationships. I wanted to just do one thing to make it slightly better and attend to my own health.
I uncovered healing and a whole new realm of emotions that I’d have never known otherwise. I used to have a really bad habit of bottling up my emotions. This isn’t just curbing an emotion to avoid damaging myself or someone else; I wouldn’t even let out positive emotions because I never felt safe enough to. I never trusted that I would still be accepted or that I loved myself enough to put that out into the world. I am uncorking the bottle and discovering that spiritual thrum that precedes new terrain. By doing this, I am being honest with myself, honest with my loved ones, and making it apparent. It is an exercise that I want to repeat regularly, for my emotional and mental health. If nothing else, it just might make somebody’s day. Some will run away, some won’t say anything, but a few will respond just as strongly, opening up new paths on which to connect.
Due to the influx of tears on both sides and the opening of that spiritual door, I decided to only write three to five messages per day. This way I could pace myself and not become lost dealing with emotions I had kept under lock and key for so long. The truth is the truth, but it must be made apparent, it must be spoken and recognized. I do not want anyone taking me for granted so why would I expect them to feel as if they were? I am taking nothing for granted anymore, especially the people important to me.
P.S. If you would like to try this for yourself, copy, paste, and personalize the template below:
I recently posted a status outlining my plan to let each person I know what they mean to me. Our time on Earth is so special and at times, so short. I want to take the time to tell people the things that really matter, because I don’t think we do it often enough. I’ve always enjoyed being honest and up-front, and this is just a natural extension of that. So I hope that you can accept this in the best light, and maybe it will even brighten your life just that little bit.
Please feel free to repeat this exercise for yourself, and if you like what I have to say, share it with whoever you wish. I don’t expect a reply if you have none to give. This is simply me taking account of all of the wonderful and influential people I have in my life at this moment.