“Nothing haunts us like the things we don’t say”
This quote reached out and grabbed me by the lapels – shaking me out of my revery of regret.
I pondered this awhile. How much of what I’ve said over the years – most likely in times of trauma, do I regret having said? In retrospect, not as many times as I would have thought. And then it hit me. In personal relationships, my regrets I have are for how often I stayed silent. I did not speak.
When didn’t I say anything?
- Once I start drinking I will not talk to someone about serious matters in case I’d regret what I say (or forget I said it!). This means I was always stuffing down my feelings, and never having an opportunity to discuss them when the time was right!
- Sitting silently and just taking it; being told ‘you do this’ or ‘you do that’, etc. In some of my relationships, most usually parental and significant-other situations, I was afraid to speak up. Or stand up to authority (parental) by speaking up.
- Letting my silence speak volumes – that’s probably a romantic notion. Expecting that the other can guess what I mean. But it’s often misinterpreted.
- Not speaking of the elephant in the room. Why on earth did I allow that to happen in this last relationship? How many times over the years in all sorts of situations has this happened?
And now I need to tackle this speaking up thing. I need to be much braver. I will embrace my elephants from this day forward.
*Mitch Albom’s ‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘ is a favorite book of mine. Magic. And spiritual. I highly recommend.