It is never easy to truly write about feelings. Expressing powerful emotions has to be one of the most difficult things to write about. If you say too much everyone will know your secrets, if you say too little you might seem shallow. So, what’s the best way to approach this sensitive subject?
Well, there’s no easy way around it, so: just do it!
People never seem to find the right moment in time to say what they truly feel. Time doesn’t seem to be our best friend when we want to express certain feelings. As soon as that “perfect timing” passes the impact of our emotions and expressions doesn’t have the same effect.
I personally have let major moments in my life pass by because I didn’t have the courage to express my feelings towards certain moments, people or actions. It is not that I don’t care, I was just afraid that what I had to say would leave a bigger imprint that it was necessary. So I kept my feelings to myself. I am now learning to express exactly what I feel and how I feel, exactly when it happens, because I feel like I have raised boundaries that are not exactly helpful.
For instance, I have recently found out that one of my best friends is having another child. I am happy for her, I told her that, but I didn’t go beyond that, I was scared that my reaction to this subject would make it all weird, so I didn’t tell her what I truly feel.
So, instead of: I am so happy for you!
I wanted to say: I love you for being so brave and for having the courage to go through another pregnancy so soon. I am proud of your devotion and love for your husband and child and for the fact that you want to grow your beautiful family by bringing another child to this world.
That sounds close to what I had in mind that day, but I didn’t say it. I know she knows what I feel, but I wish I would have told her then, it would’ve made everything far more special than it was.
On the less happy note, this year, one of my childhood friends has lost his father. All of us in the neighbourhood got together and went to be there for him on the hardest day. It was a day full of emotions, tears and sadness. Of course, I talked to him and I wanted to show him how much I care, but words didn’t help me (again). I didn’t want to go overboard.
So, instead of: I feel so sorry for your loss, I am here if you need help and support.
I wanted to say: I love you and although I don’t know exactly the pain you are going through, you are keeping strong for your remaining family and you are such a brave soul for being a support for everyone. You are amazing for keeping your strength and for being able to control your tears and sadness.
I know it might seem shallow, but in writing, feelings don’t always sound as powerful as they are felt in real life. And, as I said, certain words lose their mark once their are said later than they should have.
Of course, at a wedding, we wish the bride and groom all the best, but when they are like family and they sit you at a table with family, it means there is more to it. Love is always strong in these circumstances, but words don’t always come out as they should.
So, instead of: Hope you have a wonderful marriage, I am so happy to be here with you.
I wanted to say: I love you both so much, I wish you all the best in your life as husband and wife and I am so happy that after more than 15 years we are still like family. I am happy we’ve met and kept each other close, no matter how many changes there have been in our lives.
As you might have noticed, I have written about personal, intimate moments in life. There are also professional parts, when we have to keep it “cool” and as business-like as possible.
I had a work-colleague who was recently promoted to a position that has been a life goal since day one. Of course, all the happiness and excitement had to be shared with everyone and spending more than 8 hours a day with someone creates friendships that keeps everyone close.
So, instead of: I am so happy for you and your new job! Good luck with everything!
I wanted to say: I am proud of you for working so hard and for being so devoted to your job and work all the time. I really hope this promotion brings out the best of you and makes you even happier than you were before.
This might sound weird and not very professional to say to a colleague, but when they become more than just work-colleagues people become friends, and certain feelings emerge that have to be spoken sooner rather than later.
I don’t know if I will ever have the courage to actually say the proper “I love you”-s but I will definitely try more.
I just hope people know how I feel about them…