The Option To Press Send Or Delete

What We Learn About Ourselves From What We Don’t Say

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I don’t know about you, but there are times when I write an email, reply to a post on social media or even post something myself on social media - except I don’t. 

Yes, I write the email. Yes, I compose the status. Yes, I respond to the post. 

Then I press delete. 

Why? 

I can’t say for definite and I can’t speak for anyone else but I think it is an interesting pattern, and one I used to feel a bit silly about, because really what a waste of time! What is the point of spending precious time doing this stuff only to delete it anyway? 

One of the main things I teach is self discovery. I believe we can become very disconnected from ourselves and I help you to take steps towards that reconnection through creativity. Whether it is drawing, painting, colouring or writing, creativity has an ability to repair the damaged threads. 

Deep down, our internal compasses long to be connected and sometimes we automatically do things that serve this purpose without realising. For example when you are doodling whilst on hold on the phone and you draw a swirling ribbon that suddenly reminds you of an upcoming birthday. Or when the song that comes on the radio takes you back 20 years and you remember an incident that explains the origin of why you don’t like celery - for example. 

So a practice I could choose to feel slightly embarrassed about, like writing things online and then deleting them, actually has immense value. 

I’ve spoken before about experiencing disconnection and, as I only have my own experience, I can’t measure it to anybody else’s. But when I type a rant on Facebook in response to something I disagree with, it feels good, I get it out of my system. Importantly though, when I read it back it tells me who I am. I recognise my own opinions and can make out that my values are mine and not those imposed on me by someone else. 

By writing an email to a family member I validate myself in vocalising the discomfort their actions have caused me, I know when I read it back I will never send it, because I know three things; 

  1. They would be hurt to know how much their actions hurt me. 
  2. The actions came from a place of their own discomfort. 
  3. I don’t actually want to have a conversation about it, I just needed to vent. 

Choosing to hit send, or ‘post now’ facilitates an energy of blame. Writing, reading, accepting and deleting facilitates an energy of understanding, acceptance and forgiveness. 

So next time you write reams of disagreement with someone or something and then choose not to send it, consider that what could be construed as a waste of time, can actually be viewed as an extremely valuable way to understand, accept, validate and move on from an idea, opinion or situation that you feel strongly about. That it is an act of love for both you and the (non) recipient. That by doing so, you have reconnected with a part of yourself. 

You have become more opaque. 

Feel free to share any stories around this, I’m sure I’m not the only person who does it! You can email me at

sophie@theattentiveartist.com

Or fill in my contact form

Other ways to stay in touch are:

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Have a wonderful week

Sophie X

Sophie Walker

Mindful Creativity Practitioner, Artist and Writer., Attentive Art

I'm an Artist who studied psychology and mindfulness to help myself overcome some of life's challenges. Now I help others to do the same using creativity and psychology. I believe creativity holds the key to the enjoyment of life and I want to help everyone to feel good about yourself and your life.