The Importance of Expressing One’s Self

Most of the time, we hold back on things we always want to do because of our fears of rejection and failure. However, it is better to find the courage to do things that are meaningful to us rather than live a life full of regrets. Examine yourselves: what are the things that you want to do? What are the things that you want to say to your loved ones?

Nick Kemp shares how he was able to express himself to the people dearly special to him.

Nick: You have this great phrase of: live with outstretched arms. I love this idea. But I also like the idea that we can do things like legacy letters. As you said, we often take care of the legal things, we'll make sure our wills are in order. 

And we will do all these things because I guess we realise we have to. But we can do these other things where you could certainly write letters to the people that matter to you when you express things that are important. 

That's something I actually did. This is sort of the opposite way. But when my father was sick, and I mean, he had cancer for about a year. But at his age and with his health, he had other health issues, I knew. 

I knew there was a good chance he wouldn't be around for long. And we had a sort of a complicated past with divorce in which my mom left him and took us when I was eight. And I only saw so much a handful of times after that until we reconnected. 

But I wrote him a letter thanking him for everything he did on his 80th birthday, and communicated in a way to him that I knew he would be comfortable. Writing – that’s better, and just saying all the things I wanted to say. 

This is sort of before he got really sick. But yeah, it was really important for me to say those things. And you know, I would have been filled with much regret if I hadn't expressed everything in that letter. 

And I think that's really important that whether you're the one with the illness, or you're a family member or a friend of someone who has the illness that you say everything you want to say or express it.

I wouldn't have been able to say to him directly, he probably would have struggled to handle that sort of direct intimacy but through a letter It was very meaningful.

Trudy: That's such a wonderful, wonderful story, and so vitally important that you know, so often we wait till someone dies. Then we speak publicly about all the nice things we liked about them. 

I did a little webinar, I called it splurge with words, because I really like to encourage people: if you love someone, if you admire them, if you're grateful to someone for something, tell them now while they're alive. Even if you think it makes you look a little bit silly, who cares? 

Really just do it. Just jump in there and do it. So that letter that you wrote, this is the greatest gift you could give somebody that they got to read the letter.

Nick: Yeah. This is something, I guess, the one thing I would encourage people to do is communicate something. I mean, for me, as you know, both my parents died, and I was very active in my mom's illness, and she loved being with people. She loves music. 

She used to take me to concerts, and Opera and all these things. And so I just had this idea, we would have a party, and we would hire a string quartet and have them play in the garden and just have her friends casually pop in and sort of did that.

Maybe a couple of months before she died. And she was quite sick. But it was a beautiful day. And her friends sort of popped in and she was able to sort of be up and about, for most of it – it was just a way to thank her. 

So I think there are ways you can find to thank people, and you find a way that's comfortable to that person. So it might be the case, when my father was a letter, if I said, Let's have a party or something he wouldn't have liked that. 

For my mom, getting her friends together and having music and good food was one way to do that. So yeah, I think it's important we express ourselves.