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The things we don’t say

The things we don’t say

I was told that I can’t take back the things I say so choose my words carefully, however, I never knew how much the things we don’t say would haunt me. The world is a very scary place and life is unpredictable. One of the hardest parts about it is we don’t know what the future holds. This also means we have no idea how much time we have left or how much time the people we love and care about have. After I wrote “Living with What Ifs and Regret” I got a lot of feedback from family, friends, and even readers about how they often struggle with what they don’t say. Personally after the last few weeks those conversations with family and friends about what we wish we said or even what we could have said always came up; and stuck with me.

It is a bit morbid, scary, and depressing but the things we say could change our path, a relationship, create closure, develop relationships, resolve fights and so much more. We all know this as we all have seen it or even experienced it ourselves. Yet, we don’t always say what we want to say. How many nights have you sat up thinking I wish I spoke my mind? I wish she/he knew I missed her/him? I tend to find the only thing that haunts me is the things we don’t say. As someone who has experienced a lot of loss at a young age, I made some rules for myself that always help me have little to no words left unsaid. 

Don’t every diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs.

-Hamza Yusuf

My rules/Advice: 

  1. Always say I love you. 
    • Whenever I talk to my family and it’s time to go or end the conversation (leaving the house, ending a phone call/FaceTime, and even an email) I always make sure I say “I love you”. Even when I’m screaming at my sister for taking something without asking I make sure I always sneak in I love you. 
  2. I speak my truth 
    • I made a rule that if something bothers me longer than 3 hours; I have to bring it up. I have to mention it and I will not make it a point to do my best to be an adult and try to talk through what bothered me and why. 
      • This isn’t just “hey you ate my ice cream” It’s more of “Hey at the party you kept cracking jokes about how messy my apartment was, and I really didn’t know it others you like that; however I also didn’t enjoy being the target of all your jokes” (This is an example, not a real-life experience)
  3. 5-day rule 
    • When it comes to reaching out to people no longer in my life I write out what I want to say in my notes section. And I leave it there for 5 days; if after 5 days I forget about it. I just delete it, but if I keep going back to that note (be it physically or in my mind) on the fifth day I send it. Even if I am blocked, even if I swore I would never talk to them ever again I send the text. 
      • I know five days sounds crazy but I do this in case one day I feel lonely, drink too much, or have other situations. It is like my check system to make sure my emotions are sincere and not just an in-the-moment situation. 
  4. Check In’s 
    • I try to make a conscious effort to reach out to my siblings and friends once a week. Especially if they are going through new changes; new job, sick, loss of a family member, new relationship, or any other major changes. 
      • I’ll be honest I definitely struggle with this a lot in the past  (outside of big changes) mainly because I was so self-consumed in my own life and work drama. But every time I have reached out I have never regretted it. 
  5. Keep em’ in the Loop 
    • No longer living at home and away from where I grew up away from my parents and my hometown friends, I always make a conscious effort to keep them all in the loop on what is happening in my life. My friends and family don’t need to find out about my life through my social media. 
      • By this I mean I make sure they know what going on. “Hey I broke my wrist the other day slipping on ice” or “Hey I have a work trip to North Carolina for three days” or even “hey I’m planning on coming home in two weeks” It sounds crazy but the times I can’t or do not do check in’s it is my way of saying “hey I care I’m busy just want you to hear it from me”
  6. Capitalize a moment 
    • It is very rare where you are going to be ina. A situation where you can repeat a conversation and not say what is on your mind, how you feel, or even how someone’s actions affected you. We tend to tiptoe around topics or situations to avoid a conflict; when in reality we do ourselves and other a disservice 
      • In these moments it’s a lot easier said than done; I know I see them happen often and am a part of it. However, someone who respects you and your opinion; can lead to an amazing deep conversation about Ideas and opinions. (But I also know it can turn really ugly) 
      • In these situations I use and I highly recommend using the phrase “When you said X I took/heard/interpreted it as Y. Do you mind expanding on that thought/comment/words?” You would be shocked how much it changes things. Often how we hear/ interpret things as opposed to what someone meant is very different.

Our words have the power to make or break any situation, relationship, and even moment in time. They can cause wars, heal broken hearts, and let people know they are not alone. Often in life when we look back at moments the things that haunt us are the things we did not say. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and the world we live in can be so cruel. Causing and making the words we did not say to haunt us forever; which is why everyone should seize the moment. 

I have said it before; I always try to live my life with no regrets. Growing up I struggled a lot with the things I never said, be it telling a bully to stop picking on someone, or even asking someone to clarify something in class. As a human being I know all of this is a lot easier said than done; trust me. However, I encourage you to reach out and speak out on the things you didn’t say but want to. So consider this one of the few times I’ll support texting your ex. Reach out by a text, email, letter, or even a phone call to clear your mind, your consciousness, and even close that chapter you keep revisiting. The opportunity may never present itself again. I know it is scary but I also know you can do it. Deep breathe you got this; I believe in you. You know I’m always here if you need to reach out -KMH

If it is still on your mind. It is worth taking the risk.


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