Swallow Your Pride: Why You Need To Express Yourself Before It's Too Late

As I write this, my community is mourning. An airman, a beloved young man and a friend of mine passed away this morning.

My biggest fear in life is suddenly never having another chance to tell someone how I feel about him or her, or vice versa. I, along with many young people like me, have been taught that we should hide our emotions — that opening up and exposing ourselves to the chance of rejection is something to avoid. I have mastered both of these. But when something truly awful happens, it hurts more than I imagine showing emotion or rejection ever could.

Look out in front of you. How many people deserve to know how you feel about them and how many people don’t? Why don’t they? Understandably, it could be intimidating, embarrassing or something else negative to tell someone how much they mean to you. But, you can never take back words you’ve never said.

Regardless of your religion (if you’re religious at all), nobody knows what happens when you die. Growing up in a Christian family, I always found comfort in believing that you would one day get to see your loved ones again who have passed. I got a little older, opened my mind to other views of thinking and I started to form my own opinions. I’ve come to terms with the idea that the last time I saw some people could in fact be the last time ever.

Nothing is promised.

“Next time” is a gamble.

Most people live their lives with an embraced sense of invincibility. With this, it’s easier to tell yourself that you’ll do something next time. I don’t believe our society is as cold as it is depicted to be. Instead, I believe that we are all products of being told that a broken heart is something you should avoid at all costs, rejection is frowned upon and opening yourself up to people is opening the door to both of the former "don’ts."

Truly, we should believe the contrary. A broken heart is something we should all experience and rejection is an emotion everyone should know. How is it possible to appreciate the good without the bad?

Imagine what people around you wish they could tell you. What should you tell them? I know what I wish I had told my friend the last time I saw him — now those words are nothing more than a fantasy. Picture a world in which nobody is fearful of expressing love for others. A world in which people were willing to forgive others before it was too late. Do you think we’d handle death a little better?

I know, I know, that probably sounds crazy… I should keep that to myself.

Photo via Blue Devil Tumblr