Believe it or not, there was a time in my life where I was dumb enough to believe that the more times that I said I Love You to someone, the less of an impact it would have on them. I was silly enough to think that being told that you are loved somehow loses it’s effectiveness if you are routinely reminded of it.
I was an idiot, and I was dead wrong.
The subtle part of saying “I Love You” is that it often appears as a punctuation mark of a conversation. The last words you say to someone you care for as you depart for work, go to sleep, leave for vacation, get off the phone, and so on. I’d get little resistance in stating ending a conversation with that simple phrase is perfectly acceptable if those were the last words we were lucky enough to say to them. Surely the most important thing that you’d want them to remember is that you loved them.
Suppose I challenged you to be more cognitive of what your parting words are to all those you interact with, not just loved ones. If we expand to co-workers, teammates, retail and restaurant workers, people whose names aren’t known; What is their last impression of you based verbally on how you spoke to them? What good comes from you taking on a negative connotation with them in any way? Is it too much to ask that your possible last words to them be entrenched in positivity leading to the accomplishment of a task at hand?
There will be times when being positive and encouraging will be the last thing on your mind as you interact with them. Those words could mean everything to the one receiving them, however. Did your words help to create a solution, bring resolution to the conversation? Or did your words cause a divide in accomplishing the reason for the conversation? How could speaking in a respectful, positive way have lead to a better result? Is what you last said to them what you want to be remembered for if you never got the chance to follow up?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the hard way that holding back just holds you down. Inevitably we will all leave this world and our time on earth can be shockingly short. Not only does our chance to tell people how we feel about them dry up, but those we meet on a daily basis may never get a chance to talk with us again. Live your life with the thought that every communication you have will be your last with whomever you speak to. If you never got the chance to say I love you, or to apologize, or tell them how important they are to you again, would that change how you spoke to them going forward? For those that can do nothing for you, what’s the harm in being kind, speaking to and of people in a respectful, positive way? As you go about your day today, be careful of what your last words are, you may not get a second chance to make it right.