So it has been a tough couple of weeks for me which culminated in a bit of a disaster yesterday. Here is how it unfolds…
As a person I tend to be a pretty private person, but when I find I like someone I will open up pretty quickly, and hey I think we are all like that to a degree. You have to let the people you want to become close too, to see the real you. Sometimes slowly, but once in a while you do it a little faster than at other times.
Well, time and life has taught me that this is not always the best thing to do, coz once you start to let those walls down, you expose yourself to hurt, and people are fickle. They build impressions, make assumptions and guess an awful lot, and when things don’t pan out quite to what their expectations were, you find yourself carrying the can. Yep, you may assume from this that I’ve been disappointed, and the answer to that would be yes, but then haven’t we all at some point in our lives? So pick myself up, quit moaning and move on. Fair enough.
Now this is where I open myself up to share a little piece of me with those of you that bother to read. I could easily allow such an experience to sour my perception of the world. In 38 years of living it has happened enough times to make me fed up of having my feelings trashed at the feet of people that couldn’t care less, and yeah at times I just wanna scream. I wanna smash something, lash out and be nasty. What would I gain though?
We cannot change who we are! This is a fundamental fact of life. You may be able to alter little things, you might be able to harden your heart, but you are who you are, and you have to find a way to be happy living in your own skin. I can honestly say that this is not as easy as it may seem. Some people have a marvellous ability to appear happy all the time. Some of them really are happy, but for the vast majority of us we are smiling to the world to hide our scars, laughing with friends to fit in, and giving the impression of happiness to fool ourselves into believing that life isn’t so hard.
This is the thing. Life is tough, for me, for you, for any one of us. We look at the rich and famous and think they have it all, but reality knocks and truth is happiness isn’t found in wealth and fast cars, trendy clothes and expensive gifts. Sure money might make things a little more fun, but money can’t buy you the one thing that you really need to be happy.
Wanna know what I honestly believe that is?
Simple. People around you that honestly, truly, and without compromise love you. Happiness lies in the people that are there to pick you up when the chips are down. Happiness is being able to share with someone that listens as much as they speak. Happiness is knowing that you have someone that you can call any time you need them, be it 4am in the morning or 8pm at night.
They will cry with you, laugh with you, go shopping with you. They have the courage to tell you when you are being an idiot, they will tell you when you are heading for disaster and they will always be there to help you pick up the pieces. These are the things, no, hell no, these are the PEOPLE that you must learn to treasure, and if there is one thing that you have to do in life…. Tell them you love them. Tell it to them each and every day if you feel you must. Tell them how important they are, how special and unique they are, and how much they make your life worth living. Don’t assume these things are known! Tomorrow will come and it is always too late when the chance is stolen.
See this is the stark realisation that I came to this week. You may or may not know that I care full time for my mom who as an elderly woman has a fair few things wrong with her, so it is little wonder that at some time in the near future she will pass on to that special place where she will be happy and free from our worldly woes. But I shudder to think how I will deal with that day when it comes, and on Friday afternoon, I almost thought the day had come. My mom collapsed in my arms and lost consciousness for a period of time. My initial thoughts when she went down was that she had died in my arms, and while that may sound awfully dramatic and maybe a little over the top, when it happens to you one day, you will appreciate the fear, horror and alarm that suddenly courses through your veins and races through your mind.
I was sitting there on the floor, with her head on my lap on the phone to the ambulance people begging her not to die because I hadn’t told her how much I love her. Now in my case, I am a mummies boy. Probably why looking after my mom is actually quite a pleasure for me, and while it depresses the hell out of me to watch her slowly deteriorate, and I feel so useless sometimes to stop it, I do get an element of satisfaction out of being there for her just as she was for me once.
Now please, I know that every one of us has different circumstances, and some of us have had wonderful home lives and others have not. Some of us are close as families and others not, so please don’t feel that this post is trying to tell you to bridge gaps with your family or something. Your circumstances are your own, and you know them better than anyone, so will know what is right and what is wrong for you. But….. we all have someone special to us. A friend, a relative, a pastor, a partner. Who ever it is, don’t be stupid like me. Don’t just assume that they will know.
Heck obviously my mom knows that I love her right? She is my mom for crying out loud, it is fairly natural to expect that despite our differences and arguments and fall outs over the years, to expect that she knows I love her, but the truth is, when I was sat there with tears running down my cheeks looking at her pale body on the ground, all I wanted to do was tell her how much I loved her.
And this is the point I try to make today. People in life will let you down. People will hurt you, abuse you, tear you apart emotionally, but a small handful of very special people will be there for you every step of the way, and it is only right to let them know how much they really mean to you. It doesn’t have to be some big display of affection or a statement of intent. Simple words like, ‘Hey you are a really special person to me, and I love you.’ This is only my own humble opinion, but we need to let those special people know how important and loved they really are. It is for your own good as much as theirs, and heck it really ain’t that hard.
Hope that these words will encourage you to go away from here today and tell someone close that you care enough to tell them they are loved.
Thought for today “When you are up, your friends know who you are. When you are down, you know who your friends are!” – Brian Marijeni
Song for today – From a Distance by Bette Midler