For some reason I have been thinking a lot lately about how we go through life trying to do so much and not ever really stopping or slowing down enough to develop our relationships with others. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel like I put off relationship work (and there is always work involved, don't kid yourself) thinking "oh, they will still be around when ___ happens and I have more time to think about it and pay attention to them". But we all know that the ____ never happens, or it gets filled by another ____ and then add on ___ and ____ and the next thing you know it's been 15 years and you haven't spoken to your best friend.
Ok so maybe I am exaggerating a little, but it can happen. I have a friend, who for the longest time, called me every day. We live in the same city and I don't think I've spoken to her in over a year. Actually, it may be more like 2 years. That time has just flown, and the comfort that she is so close is enough to make her no longer a priority for some reason. I have another friend that lives even closer, and we haven't seen each other in over 15 years. I discovered she lives right down the street almost a year ago - and you would think that discovery would have sent us flying together to reunite in person, but it hasn't. Our respective lives have been established and it's hard to work someone else in. Or maybe it's just not that important. I don't know. I want it to be important. It should be important; but we keep in touch on Facebook and sadly, Facebook seems to be the preferred form of communication for people.
That is a whole other topic. Some day I will share my thoughts on that with you too. ;-)
But anyway, I have been thinking about going through life and wondering what people think of me (something I wonder about a lot), what kind of legacy I am developing, and thinking that it's not really fair or right if someone doesn't know how you feel about them. Or how you once felt. Or something. Geeze I am not making any sense here. I guess my summary thought on this is - if that person were to pass away unexpectedly, would there be something left unsaid between you? Would there be something you would want them to know before they were gone?
And if you were to pass unexpectedly, what kind of legacy would you leave behind? What would people remember about you? Were you helpful? Kind? Articulate? A friend? Were you supportive and caring or were you not? Should you have set the record straight? Should you have expressed your feelings more? Should you have shown more love, more of your inner self, more of your thoughts and feelings? How would life be different if we all knew the score?
We can't predict life and we have no idea what the world or God has planned for us. And maybe there is someone you know that, while you may keep up with them in some small way, doesn't really know how you feel about them or how you felt about something that has happened between you. If you, or they, were to suddenly be taken from this life, what would you want them to know? Aren't these thoughts and feelings important in some way??
And how would you go about getting them the message?
Because the fact is, we can work and work to have things and stuff and fabulous, rich lifestyles (whatever your definition of rich may be) but if we don't make an impact on others, if we don't create meaningful bonds and rich relationships with the people around us, all that we leave behind are things. No one will remember you for your stuff, but they will remember you for the impact you have on their lives. And if you don't really, openly communicate with them, you won't leave the legacy you want. You won't have the same impact, if any.
And that is, for me, unacceptable.