More on our Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. Bronnie Ware writes:
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.
We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win."
This one is complicated for me. In my life I feel I have expressed my feelings...a lot! It just seemed to fall on deaf ears. Why? Because I expressed my feelings, thinking it would cause someone else to change their behavior! That was my sole purpose for putting it out there. Of course it did not! It didn't change a thing!!
While I'm still codependent, and still hope people will react the way I want them to, I'm now so much better at expressing my feelings, then taking the measures I need to take to reinforce them. I distinctly remember the day I found the courage to start doing this. It was about a year and a half ago, and it was hard. BUT, not as hard as I feared it would be. I have felt much more free since that day.
When you express feelings, people may or may not react to them the way you hope. So then it's up to you to decide if that is good enough...or not.
Happy Sunday, everyone.