September 8, 2019

“Next time someone comes into your life…try accepting them unconditionally, with absolutely no judgment.  Expect nothing from them.  Take 100% responsibility for the relationship.  Act as if your life depends on it.  You’ll give them the gift of acceptance and who knows what you’ll receive in return.” – Found in The 100/0 Principle: The Secrete of Great Relationships

Today’s is not the topic I was planning to write about. This blog is raw and straight from the heart.

It may make you uncomfortable.  I don’t know how you will react.  But it’s been on my mind for a while now, and the message keeps coming up over and over from my clients and friends: PLEASE don’t wait another day to reconnect, to forgive or clear the air and be forgiven by someone you care about.  Say what you need to say to them.  Make amends if it is called for.  Ask them to forgive some transgression of yours or tell them why you need to forgive them and work it out with them until the air is clear.

Do not believe they could never exit your life forever, leaving you with a heavy burden of guilt and sadness. Don’t think you have plenty of time ahead of you to put off the uncomfortable or awkward conversation until tomorrow.  Tomorrow may not be there for them.

Here’s what precipitated this urgent message from me to you: Two people I know recently passed away unexpectedly, leaving some who were once close to them feeling shattered by remorse, regret or the emotional pain of knowing they didn’t reach out to the deceased to have a final reconciliation with them before it was too late.

One of the two who passed away was someone I haven’t seen in probably 15 years.  At one time, he was my brother-in-law.  I had known him as a friend since college. He was cute, smart and funny and I liked him a lot.  When I divorced his brother, I lost touch with him.  We simply became geographically distant and busy with very different lifestyles and there was no reason to stay in touch.

I recently got the word through my ex-husband that his brother passed away after a fairly prolonged illness.  I was shocked and sad, of course.  I remembered a lot of laughter and good times with my former brother-in-law over the years.  But I don’t have any regrets.  There was nothing unsaid between us that keeps me from being at peace.

But the story is much different for another friend from our youth who had been close friends with my former BIL.  He had lost touch with him too, but the fallout from that was much different for him.  He was apparently hurt that my former BIL wasn’t making more of an effort to keep their friendship alive after they moved apart geographically and created much different lifestyles, and so he basically (purposely) gave my former BIL the cold shoulder.

When he heard the shocking news, and realized he hadn’t even known of his friend’s illness, he was filled with guilt and remorse.    He knows that he could have been kinder, more gracious, more understanding and forgiving of any shortcomings his friend had.  Now it’s too late to reconcile and tell him how much he loved him.  He is almost inconsolable about it, even though the two of them hadn’t spoken in a decade.

I also attended a funeral today for a woman who passed very suddenly.  I didn’t know her well personally, but she was the sister of our good friends and we had socialized with her a bit at family gatherings.  Most of what I knew about her was through what they told us about her lifestyle.  It wasn’t usually very complimentary.  In the past decade or so, she led a troubled life in many respects, and her family was often exasperated with her behavior and regular need for their help. They couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just be a functioning adult like them.

But today at the funeral, they were all crying and clearly missing her very much.  With her remains in front of them in an urn, they focused solely on the many good things about her life. They reminisced about the adventurous, talented and amazing things she had accomplished in her youth and how giving and responsible she had been toward them as their older sister.  They were remembering a different person than the one they had been judging harshly in the last years of her life.

I know they would give anything to have her back for just one more day, to kiss and hug her and tell her how much they love her.  I couldn’t help but wish they could have done more of that when she was alive.

I am not trying to judge them either. I know it can feel frustrating when someone just can’t seem to live up to our minimal standards and expectations.  But that’s the problem – they are OUR expectations.

Wouldn’t it be a different, better world if we could ALL love each other for exactly who we ARE (and who we’re NOT)?  Wouldn’t we all be happier if we could strive to accept each other unconditionally and do our best to be kind and compassionate toward each other… and especially to listen, really LISTEN to each other and get to know the REAL souls inside us?

Each and every one of us is talented, amazing, giving and responsible.  And we are also selfish and immature, thoughtless and petty.  If we acknowledge that about ourselves, then we can acknowledge it about others, too.  And maybe, just maybe, we can relate to them and treat them the way we would like to be seen and treated – as PRICELESS.

And if we did, I bet we would feel a lot less regret when we get the shocking news that someone we knew (and probably loved) is suddenly gone, and there’s no second chance to put things right between us.

I say, DON’T WAIT for that sad day.  Reach out to them NOW.  I promise that they miss you as much as you miss them.  They’re just waiting to hear your voice.

If you would like your own F.R.E.E. subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

****************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

To schedule a no-obligation F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get into ACTION on making them a reality, email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.