When your heart pounds and you’re nervous

During a cryogenics test, a pilot frozen in the thirties awakes in the nineties, but time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly.

Tell me that logline doesn’t sound intriguing.

It comes from an underrated movie that came out during my teenage years, Forever Young.

Mel Gibson romantically portrays the anguish of not being able to share his life with the one he loves. In one memorable scene, he gives dating advice to his young friend who’s smitten by a girl in his class. His speech has always stuck with me:

I was wrong when I told you to forget about that girl. You know what you should do? You must tell her. The next time you see her, the very next time, when your heart pounds and you’re nervous, just let go. Tell her how you feel. It’s hard, but you got to do it! Open your heart. Sing to her! Tell her everything. Sing to her. The sooner the better. Because you might not get another chance.

Then the kid sings:

It taps into a very real fear of mine. Something that scares the holy hell out of me.

Waking up one day and realizing that I have too much love left in my arsenal that I never got to spend.

That’s why saying those three words, I love you, at least once a day, to another human being in my life, is deeply important to me. I simply have to say it.

Even if someone is uncomfortable hearing it, even if someone doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to be said, too bad. Those words are going to come through my heart and out of my mouth, goddamn it.

Life’s too short to leave any more love on the table.

Besides, it’s not like it’s one of those behaviors people talk about behind your back. You rarely hear complaints that go like this.

Marty is a great friend and everything, but the guy is just too loving. Better stay away.

Nobody says that. And if they do, then those are exactly the people who need to hear those three words the most.

Remember, love doesn’t have to conquer all to be good. In fact, it doesn’t have to conquer anybody to be good.

There’s even a study about this in a communication journal. Turns out, those three words, I love you, are expressed at least once a day by seventy five percent of people in this country.

How many times did you say those three words yesterday?

If the number is zero, and has been zero for a while, here’s my recommendation.

Just say it. Feel the relief of letting your guard down and expressing love fully.

It’s later than you think. 

Camus said it best:

If your heart remembers nothing but the love it has for me, this would be the salvation in death that I could no have in life. 

Whom in your life needs to know you love them?

Mysteriously falling into the same situation repeatedly

There’s a classic scene from an old cop movie where the detective discovers that his wife is having an affair with his best friend and business partner.

Trying to make excuses for his behavior, the cheater uses that tired old movie trope:

It just happened.

The detective replies.

It just happened? Sure, it just happened. It could happen to anybody. It was an accident. You tripped and fell and accidentally had sex with my wife.

This scene always made me laugh as a kid, but as an adult, it kind of makes me sad.

Because many people live their lives that way. With no responsibility. Everything just happens to them. They’re not masterful creators, but victims of overwhelming circumstances with no inclination to create their own change initiatives.

And the worst part is, they want the rest of us to agree with them so they can feel justified in their victimized state.

Now, nobody is saying the world isn’t a hard and complicated where things go wrong. We’re all human and none of us is exempt from the ordinary misery of existence.

But the only way to move from a state of victimization to a state of power is to get very honest with ourselves. Here is an inventory of questions to help you. Whatever circumstances are most pressing in your life right now, use each one to cut to the core of the problem and move towards a solution:

*Are you really mysteriously falling into the same situation repeatedly, or is this a just pattern you’re choosing over and over?

*Are you actually a victim of circumstance, or are you a victim of your own actions?

*Was this another case of one thing leading to another, or could you have nipped this problem in the bud with greater proactivity?

*Were you hopeless entrapped by your environment, or did you fail to make positive change for yourself early on?

*Were you honestly scarred irrevocably, or is that just a convenient excuse not to change, grow and mature?

As you might have noticed, they’re all the same question written in different ways.

Are you afraid to admit that you’re the author of your own misery?

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