Recently, I wrote a post titled, If I Should Go Before My Time. It was a letter written to my children, if something should happen to me. Words I wanted to say to them, in a formal manner, in case I wasn’t here to tell them certain things.
Lessons I want them to always remember.
This resonated with many people. Over the past two weeks, it’s been read over 130,000 times and shared all over social media. I’ve heard from people who live all over the world, in every stage of life. Some people are healthy, some are sick, some are dealing with an extremely serious problem. I’m glad I could help so many people think about what they want their loved ones to know, if something should happen to them.
I wrote the original article for my children, but also for everyone’s kids. While I plan on dancing at my daughter’s weddings and holding my grandchildren, I understand there aren’t any guarantees. For me. For you. For any of us. Going through a cancer diagnosis over 3.5 years ago made me fully aware that bad things can happen to good people.
It’s important for us to let the people we love know how we feel. To not hold back. I’ve been thinking about this lately, after talking with so many people about the above article. I decided I would pick my 5 favorites, listed in the original article, and elaborate on them. I hope it helps you think about what you would want to say to your loved ones.
1. Relationships Aren’t Perfect
No relationship is perfect and if you’re expecting perfection, you will always be disappointed. Give yourself grace, and while you’re at it, give the people you love a little grace as well. Be willing to forgive and forget. Holding grudges is exhausting and will hurt you. We’ve had amazing fun moments. Times when we laughed so hard we cried. Remember the good times and don’t focus on the bad moments. When I yelled at you, it was because you deserved it and needed to hear what I had to say. One day, you’ll be a parent and then you’ll understand. Guilt can follow you around like your shadow when you’re a parent. Don’t let it. Remember, I did the best I could and so will you. It’s enough.
2. Value The People In Your Life
Treat the people you love the most, the best, and don’t take them for granted. Ever. If you have people who love and accept you for who you are, you are truly blessed. Spend money on items that speak to your heart but remember life is about the people in your life, not the things your have. It’s fun to have nice stuff, but it’s even better to have people to share your life with. Never judge other people by what they do or don’t have. You are who you spend your time with. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, who build you up instead of tear you down and who treat you with kindness. This is especially important when choosing a life partner.
3. Notice The Beauty In The World
The world is an amazing place. Make sure you aren’t too busy to see all the glorious exquisiteness that is all around you. Pay attention. Recognize and admire it. Never be too tied up to take the time to watch a sunset, sit by the ocean and listen to the sound of the water or enjoy playing with your children. There’s beauty all around. Take the time time to savor it, each day, wherever you are and whatever season of life you find yourself in.
4. Life Isn’t Always Easy
You will have hard times. We all do. Challenges that might cause you to question everything. Times when you’re scared and afraid. Believe in yourself and be resilient. Be your best friend instead of your worst enemy. Build yourself up and cheer yourself on. Lean on the people you trust. Don’t be afraid to cry or let other people see your vulnerability. It’s OK to fall down and even fail. When you do, remember how much I believe in you, even if I’m not around to tell you.
5. Focus On What You Have And Be Thankful For It
Life isn’t always going to go your way. Don’t spend your energy thinking about what you don’t have or what isn’t working. Instead, focus on the positive parts. Live with gratitude and deep appreciation for all the good in your life. Live a life of thanks. If you don’t like something about your life, do what you can to make it better. Stand up for what you believe in. Help other people when you can and try to make the world a little better because you were in it. Count your blessings, even when life feels hard.
No matter what happens or life tosses your way, always remember how much you are loved.
All my love,