The following article by Dr. Mark McCullough was featured in Senior Times in October of 2011. We wanted to share it with you again. Please enjoy!
Going into the last quarter of yet another year brings on a whole set of emotions in many of our lives….school starting, seasons changing, Thanksgiving, Christmas, another new year begininning? The list goes on and on and so does the time and with all of this, we all need to all have as few shoulda coulda woulda’s as we possible as we age gracefully through this thing we call LIFE.
In my experiences throughout my life many incidents, accidents, and other particulars have shaped a lot of the directions and decisions in my life and therefore, I believe, they were not by mistake. Life is a series of these situations and relationships that put you in a position to have to make a choice in order for you to move forward. And like I’ve told my kids as well as patients many times that there is always a choice….a right one and a wrong one but with the right heart, the wrong one can be used as a great learning tool given the right circumstances.
I mentioned relationships earlier because this may hit home for a lot of you readers out there. My mother passed away a year and a half ago. And for the last 20 years we never saw eye-to-eye. So, instead of putting my family as well as myself through the anguish of visiting, I sent sporadic cards and occasional phone calls in hopes that it would suffice. After about a month of her passing, I felt the need to ask my dad some questions that pertained to my mom because I really needed to know how she really felt about me. My dad went on to say that my mom had been sick for over thirty years prior to her passing and she did not want anyone to know including us kids. I let that sink in for a minute while he also went on to say that she was psychologically and emotionally effected by this sickness and he knew she was not in her rational mind especially in the last 20 years. I did the math and figured that timeframe dated back to when I was in high school. He also concluded that instead of confronting an issue so as to stay transparent in any relationships, she chose because of how stressed it made her to withdraw from almost every relationship that she had ever known. And all of this time I thought that I may have done something that she never forgave me for.
Understand that I am not trying to figure this out, but being transparent in the relationships with the ones you love is an absolute. Being unconditional is also an absolute. Live your whole life with passion and hold nothing back. Love hard, play hard, work hard, and have relationships with people and tell them how you feel and they make you feel. Authenticity and transparency are ways to never build up a case in your mind that creates resentment which breeds bitterness that ultimately takes years off your life as well as others….don’t do it! You and the ones you love are way too valuable.