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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Say What You Need to Say

     So for the past week or so, I've had  David Cassidy singing over and over again in my head, "Hey, I think I love you. So what am I so afraid of? I'm afraid that I'm not sure of, a love there is no cure for...." (Hoping this blog post will stifle him....not that I have anything against The Partridge Family.....but, come on, it's been like a week already!) There's a certain tragedy to this song. Aside from it's happy upbeat tempo, think about what he's saying. I really love you, but I can't tell you because I'm afraid of getting hurt. How often does this happen? That we have something we really want to say to someone, but we are so afraid of the consequences of our words that we suffer in silence by saying nothing. Unfortunately, this usually just makes the situation worse. I'm not just talking about proclaiming your love for someone, I'm talking about everything in life. We are so good at talking, but terrible at communicating.
     There's a difference, you know. Between talking and communicating. I'll spare you the Webster's definitions (that's so 11th grade English class).  I think you know what I mean when I say that someone can talk for hours, and never actually SAY anything.  And likewise, someone else can communicate so much without ever saying a word. These are two extremes. Most of the time we are somewhere between the two. We want to say something important, but only get some of it out because some things are just too hard to say out loud. And so we say nothing. Or we just try to hint at something. And we get nowhere.

     Most of the time we are too worried about the consequences of our words. I know I've put my foot in my mouth too many times to mention. If I had a dime for every time my sister has said to me, "I can't believe you said.... to..." Or how many times Mr. Jones gave me that look while listening to my conversation with someone else. The look that silently communicates, "Stop talking now.... do you even you hear the words coming out of your mouth?"  Then there's the looks of shock I gotten from certain other people in my life. The ones that say, "I can't believe you just said that out loud." I'm used to it now. I know how my feet taste. And I have spent more times apologizing for speaking the truth, or exposing the elephant in the room, or for just saying out loud what everyone else is afraid to, than you can possibly imagine. And while my intent is never to be hurtful. I have to say, after the immediate embarrassment, and subsequent apologies, I usually don't regret saying it in the end. I hate secrets. I hate euphemisms. I hate pretending that everything is fine when it isn't. I'm not good at pretending when it comes to feelings. An old friend once said to me, (when I was insisting that I was happy while involved in an emotionally abusive relationship) "Your eyes betray you. You can say one thing, but your eyes always tell the truth." So since I can't pretend, I don't.  I'd rather be familiar with the taste of my toes than waste time and energy lying to myself or anyone else.
   Life is short. We only have so much time to spend with the ones we love. Why spend that time in awkward silence or resentment? That's the consequence of NOT saying what you feel. The resentment builds inside. It wears on you and eventually bleeds into other areas of your life. Sometimes it even causes physical pain.  Just say it. Whatever it is. Tell her you love her and can't live without her. Tell he needs help. Explain to them why their actions (or non actions) hurt you so deeply. Why spend another minute of what's left of this life suffering? Once the words are spoken, then you can move on. Then you can heal. Then you can be happy. Don't let fear stand in the way of your happiness. You deserve more than that.

Hoping you will spread the love, as always. Be well, be happy and be honest.....with yourself and with everyone else. 

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