Have you ever regretted not telling someone you loved them? Ever had the thought “now I’ll never know.” How many times in life do we wait to mend fences? Hold grudges? Communicate with someone we love? Maybe you even wished you knew something about your childhood like my client Jana.
When Jana was little her mom had given her to her grandmother and Aunt to raise her for a few years. Because of this Jana always thought that her mom didn’t want her. One day I asked Jana “Did you ever ask your mother what she was thinking when she gave you up?”
Jana thought about it and said, “No. I was always afraid she would tell me she didn’t love me.”
I said “Well, maybe it’s time to ask. Don’t wait until she’s gone and it’s too late.”
The following week Jana had dinner with her mom with the intention of asking her, but her mom’s husband was there so she didn’t try. However, the following Saturday she got her mother alone and said “Mom, what happened when I was little? Why did you give me away to grandma to raise?”
Jana’s mom looked at her with tears in her eyes and said, “Your grandmother and your aunt told me that you were better off with them than me. I didn’t want to do it but they battered me until I finally believed them and gave in. I thought you’d be better off.” Jana was shocked.
The next day she received a call from her mom’s husband. He told her that her mother sat down in her favorite chair, closed her eyes and died.
Had Jana not asked her mother why she gave her away she would have never known. She would have spent her life believing that her mom didn’t want her.
Our beliefs. In Jana’s case she believed that her mother gave her away because she didn’t want her, so of course, she wouldn’t want to ask a question and confirm that belief. If we believe “I’m not lovable” that might keep us from telling someone we love them for fear of rejection. If we believe “I’m not important”, we might feel we have no right to ask a question that’s important to us.
However, as we’ve seen the cost of not asking can be huge.
And the benefits of expressing yourself to those you care about
can be equally huge
Morty was an amazing father. The relationship he had with our two girls was deep and intimate. They always felt like they could tell him anything good or bad. When Morty was dying he asked each of the girls to come into his bedroom. He asked them if there was anything they wanted to say to him that they hadn’t said. Each of the girls sat with the question. And each said there was nothing. They felt complete and knew that everything they wanted to say to him had already been said. He felt the same way.
He learned that they had nothing they were holding on to. If he didn’t ask, he might not have known that.
Ask the questions you have before your loved ones die. Forgive those you care about, while you still can. Communicate what you need to express now.
As my friend Stewart Emory says “If you knew how many breaths you had left in your body how would you use them and who would you use them on?” Our breaths are limited. Don’t waste them by keeping what you wish to share hidden.
When we put off expressing our deepest feelings to those we love, we miss out on the opportunity to have closer and more fulfilling relationships. We might tell ourselves that we can wait just a bit longer when we’ll feel more comfortable about communicating. And that day of comfort may never come. Fortunately, you can give yourself the strength to say what you need to say today. One way to do that is with our Natural Confidence program. It helps you get rid of 19 beliefs that can keep you from doing things that feel scary or difficult. To find out more go to www.NaturalConfidenceProgram.com