It shouldn’t take a global crisis to make us realize that we should never wait to say, “I love you” to those who matter most to us. Here we are, though, learning the hardest way imaginable that “tomorrow” is never guaranteed. So today, I am urging you (begging you, really)- don’t wait to tell people you love them! Shout it from the rooftops today.
Please, Don’t Wait to Tell People You Love Them
I don’t think I need to tell you just how tragic and terrifying life is lately. We’ve suffered SO much loss and pain. I won’t add to that with heart-wrenching stories about people who didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones. I think (I hope) we all get it by now. If nothing else, these last few years taught us that. Besides, even in the best of times, tomorrow is never guaranteed.
So, no, I won’t bombard you with emotional pleas from those who lost their chance to say goodbye. Instead, we’re going to talk about regret, because it’s one of the very worst feelings in the world. And if there’s one thing that causes the most regret, it’s not having an opportunity to let someone know how much they mean to you.
Regret is one the worst feelings in the world
Regret truly is among the worst feelings, second only to loss. In fact, loss and regret often go hand-in-hand. When we lose a loved one, we grieve the loss of time with them. We mourn the fact that we’ll never hear sound of their voice, the warmth of their hug, and all the tomorrows that will never come. That grief and sense of loss is profound for everyone, regardless of whether you spent a lifetime making the most of every moment or not.
Here’s the thing, though, that grief does ease up. When it does, it’s replaced with one of two things- acceptance or regret. If you really savored every moment together and said “I love you” every chance you got, eventually you’ll be able to look back on those happy times with a sense of peace.
You’ll never stop being sad, never stop missing your lost loved one, but you’ll at least know that you truly did make every minute count with them.
Sadly, regret doesn’t work quite the same way. Ask anyone who ever lost a loved one after a big fight. Regret lingers and eats away at us. Studies show that it can even affect our physical health. According to researchers at Concordia University, “The emotional distress of regrets can trigger biological dysregulation of the hormone and immune systems that makes people more vulnerable to develop clinical health problems — whether a cold or other potentially longer-term health problems.”
Some regret is fixable. If we’re sad that we didn’t finish a college degree, we can always go back. If we regret losing touch with our high school friends, we can look them up on Facebook and reconnect. Voila, no more regret. But some regret can never, ever be fixed.
Some regret can never be erased
When that regret comes from not telling someone that you love them before it’s too late, it never goes away. There’s a quote that really says it all, “Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone how much you love, how much you care. Because when they’re gone, no matter how loud you shout and cry, they won’t hear you anymore.” In other words, you will never, ever, ever have the chance to say it to them again. Ever.
Really let that sink in. If your loved ones are still with you, what you do now will determine how you feel when they’re gone. Right now, you have an opportunity to make sure that everyone knows how much you care. So, call your mom, your dad, your siblings, and your best friend! Heck, call ALL of your friends! Tell them how much they mean to you.
Tell people you love them today, tomorrow, and every single day from now until the end of your time together. You will never regret saying “I love you.” You will, however, regret NOT saying it, and it will eat away at you.
Don’t just say you love someone, SHOW it
As important as it is to tell people you love them, it’s just as important to SHOW them. Remember, love is both a noun and a verb. To paraphrase the quote below, “I love you” are three beautiful words. But without action, that’s all they are. Words.
Love is a basic human need, right up there with food, water, and shelter. Every last one of us needs to actually FEEL like we matter to someone, and the only way that can happen is if someone out there SHOWS us that we do through their actions. If you’re just saying “I love you” to someone but your actions say something else, then you’ll regret it just as much as you would if you never bothered to say it at all. Does that make sense?
When you love someone, you never really lose them
I saw a quote recently that said, “Missing someone is the price you pay for love.” That’s absolutely true. Some days, it feels like an astronomical price that’s so painful we’re just not sure if we can continue paying it. We start to feel like if this is the cost- this agony, grief, and ongoing sense of loss- maybe it’s not worth it.
But there’s another quote that I love that reminds us exactly why it’s worth it. It’s by Rumi and it goes, “Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.” When you truly love someone- and when you show & tell them that every day- you’ll never truly lose them. So, the price becomes a bit more bearable.
If you wait until it’s too late to love them with your heart and soul, though, you’re adding a ton of regret to the “price,” and that’s almost more than any of us can afford. It becomes a soul-crushing debt that we can never repay.
You don’t need a reason to tell people you love them
Before we say goodbye for today, I just want to say one last thing. You don’t need a reason to tell someone you love them. The world is full of people who hate others for absolutely no reason, or at least no legit reason. So, why can’t it also be full of people who love others for absolutely no reason?
I LOVE YOU. You’re probably thinking- you don’t even know me. That’s true. But if people can hate for no reason, I can love.As I said in the beginning, tomorrow doesn’t ever come with a guarantee. We never know how much time we have left with the people who matter most to us. So, whether we’re in the middle of a crisis or experiencing a bounty of good fortune, you should never, ever wait to tell people you love them.