I read an article today entitled: An Open Letter To My Ex-Best Friend
It made me think of how I want to live my life, how I don’t want to leave chapters unfinished if I can help it, how I don’t like to let doors of communication close with those I love; how precious I know time is and how I want to say the words now and never regret that I didn’t say them when I had the chance.
I honestly believe that one of the keys to living a successful life “with no regrets” is remembering to be mindful about what time and life are pulling you away from and evaluating if that’s okay or not. Even when life moves us away from other people, it doesn’t have to be a dangling ending that leaves us feeling as if we’ve left something unsaid or undone. It’s okay to acknowledge that our worlds and priorities change, but if in those changes we communicate and honor those things that have been so important to us, we can save the regret down the road of having let them slip away without validating how important they were to who we are, to who we’ve grown to be.
I’ve watched so many people at end-of-life grapple with the bridges they’ve burned, but more often than not, their biggest regrets aren’t the ones they burned, but the ones they simply let slip away. The beautiful thing is though, we can change that now. We live in an incredibly connected and yet disconnected world, but it doesn’t have to be like that.
So write that letter to your ex-best friend now, forgive easily, say I love you. Honor what you have had and honor what you have now. Don’t wait for another day to reach out. Phones and emails, Skype and Facebook, a simple card in the mail, there are so many ways to extend a hand, to heal the wounds of the past, to say thank you and I love you to the people that have been part of you. You never know, you may change a life in doing so, perhaps someone else’s, perhaps your own.
Last year I was struggling in many ways with what direction I wanted to go with my life and my career. In the thoughts that brought out, I was reminded of someone from my distant past who had done a great deal for me, though it’s possible he was never really aware of the impact he had on me. I wrote him a letter, I thanked him for the impact he had made. Several months later I received a reply, I will tell you that just thinking of this exchange makes me tear up. In reaching out something was healed and validated in both of us, a chapter felt finished, it felt amazing.
You never know what the power of a few words can do, they can heal the hurts of the past, create smiles and maybe even drive amazing change.