One nagging thought followed by a heartfelt email saved the life of a loved one. If you have ever questioned the importance of letting your friends and family know how much you love them, I suggest you learn from my lesson. It all started from a serious hunger.
Over ten years ago I embarked on a trip to Koh Samui, Thailand, to undertake a ten day fast. Some might say that was a long way to travel to eat nothing however this particular spa was renowned all around the world for its detox programs.
It was the first time I would experience fasting for such a long period and several friends warned me it could end up being quite an emotional experience. Not emotional because you are crying on the inside from hunger, emotional because when you detox your physical body, you also detox your emotional body.
I was prepared for the worst and explained to my close friends and family that I would not be contactable over the 10-day period. I wanted to purely focus on myself and become acutely aware of everything I was thinking and feeling. I armed myself with a journal, a pen and really not much else. There would be no television and definitely no cell phones.
The spa was situated in the mountains of Koh Samui and as soon as I arrived I loved everything about it. It was not luxurious or pretentious, in fact the accommodation was very basic but the surroundings were exotic. I had a private cabin at the top of a hill (not great on day 4 of the fast) and I felt as though I was a world away from everything (especially food!).
My friends were right my emotions ran wild. Up until day 3 or 4, I found myself thinking about things in my past I had not remembered until then. While the setting I was in was the epitome of peace and quiet, my mind was anything but that. On day 5 my mind seemed to calm down and a certain sense of serenity washed over me.
That is when it happened. All of a sudden I got a nagging feeling to contact a particular loved one. I could not shake it. It felt as though it came from a deep place within me. I kept trying to convince myself I was just missing home but that did not stop the sense of urgency. Every time I thought of this particular person I felt heavy and all I could see was the colour black.
Resigned to the fact I would not stop thinking about this until I did something about it, I made the long journey to the Spa’s reception area and decided to send an email. Since my intuition had got me this far, I decided to leave it up to my intuition as to what I would write.
My email went on to tell this person how much I loved them, that I could not see my life without them in it and that I was always there for them whenever they needed me. I reminded them that being grateful for what you have and focusing on the good, is one way to get through a challenging moment and that it was important never to lose hope.
I want to add here that I had not had contact with this person for a while, I just went with my gut (extremely empty at that point) and wrote what I felt needed to be said.
A few days later I received a response that I will never forget.
My loved one explained things had become so bad and they were feeling so down that they had considered taking their own life. The very same day they contemplated taking action on that fatal idea was the day they received my email. It changed the course of their life as much as their response changed my life forever.
I learnt two lessons that day. First, never ignore your intuition. It sounds dramatic but sometimes it may be a case of life or death. Learning to sense the difference between your mindless chatter and intuition is definitely an art and there are some wonderful resources on how to refine that skill. The more you listen to your intuition, the stronger it becomes.
Secondly, never withhold feelings of love, appreciation and gratitude from your friends, family and even acquaintances. Let them know how you feel and offer your compliments generously. I recently read a quote that encapsulates the sentiment perfectly- “Always tell someone how you feel, because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regrets can last a lifetime”. How true that is.
Of course I will never know what would of happened if I decided against my better judgment and not sent that email. I can only learn from the outcome I experienced.
It is not always easy to tell someone you love them, I suspect the fear of rejection might get in the way. We might assume they know we love them and that our actions speak louder than words. While that may be the case, I know myself how special I feel when my Husband, Children, Mum, Dad, Brother and close friends tell me they love me. It is the greatest gift they can give me and it never gets old.
If someone does reject your genuine attempt to show your love, it is more than likely they find it challenging to love their self. Keep telling them you love them anyway, sooner or later it will get through and in the meantime you will feel better for letting it be known.
Life is short and life is fragile, we do not always know how each day will end which is why we need to make the most of every moment. Imagine if we were to treat every encounter with our loved ones as though it was the last time we would see them. The world would be a very different place that I know for sure.
Say it out loud, make the call, send the text or compose the email, it doesn’t matter how you do it, all that matters is that you do.
Love and Magic