Earlier this year, my good friend Steve Seminaro wrote an original song entitled, “Just Don’t.” Part of the chorus goes like this: “Just don’t hurt me, and I won’t hurt you. One simple rule just to help us through, when our hearts are scared and don’t know what to do…”
I almost instantly loved this song because I think really what it’s really about is intentions in relationships and with connections – not just about falling in love. I thought about this concept a lot after I heard the song because it’s very simple to say “just don’t hurt me” or “just don’t…” ______ (whatever else it is). Some may think it’s naïve to think that putting those words out there means it will never happen. I completely see this point. At the same time though, I think it is this easy if we are being realistic and honest with ourselves. If you don’t want to hurt someone, don’t. If you feel like your heart is scared, as Steve’s song says, own it and talk through it – either with the person you hurt (or have the potential to hurt) or someone else you can trust. We all have times “when our hearts are scared and don’t know what to do,” I think the key is recognizing this, owning it, and moving through it, even though it feels difficult, scary and often puts us in such a vulnerable position to do. This is how we grow – and this is how we ensure that we “just don’t” hurt, disrespect or disregard people we care about.
When we know we have hurt someone or let someone down, that’s the time to keep talking, not to withdraw. When I have experienced friends who have disappeared (in terms of communication), I have always known that it is not about me, but it’s about them: something inside them is probably scared and likely their hearts do not know what to do. I did not have Steve’s eloquent words until recently, but I have always known this to be true. Instead of moving through the fear and unknown, they withdraw and disappear out of regular communication and habits with people they love – and I think that compounds the problem. It takes away their loved ones’ chances to help them, and it isolates them at a time when they definitely should not be isolated.
When my heart is scared – or stressed, anxious, disappointed – and I don’t know what to do, I reflect, and I talk it out. I talk about it with people I trust and with people who are close to me. And then I try to center back to my intentions. Oprah says, “Intention rules the world.” I believe this, and I work hard so that even when I am feeling scared, my intentions are still clear not only to me, but also to those around me. What do I care about? What matters to me? These things should still be clear in times of fear or anxiety, and if they are not, I need to do a better job of connecting to my feelings, working through them and moving forward. “Just don’t hurt me, and I won’t hurt you.” It’s simple but powerful – and it’s an intention we can all make in every relationship and connection we have.
My good friends Steve and Jessica Seminaro are award-winning multi-unit franchise owners of Tropical Smoothie Café, having received the prestigious corporate franchisee of the year award in 2011. Steve lives his passion every day in his music studio and through his writing, some of which can be seen on Facebook, YouTube or here. Steve and I encourage and inspire each other, and we’ve been collaborating on different projects and clarifying ideas for the past seven years. Our most recent initiative is The Do What You Love Every Day Challenge. #DreamsOverFears