Sometimes, we can’t really say what we want to say to a person, and invariably, that’s when things tend to get a little complicated.
The more I look at the way we talk to each other, the more I notice that being honest about what we feel – good, bad, ugly, and everything in between – is not an easy thing to do. While I make it a habit of speaking bluntly about certain things, admitting certain other things, especially if more than one person will be affected by it, comes at a difficulty. And, for a given fact, I’m hardly alone in that regard.
That’s when I write, and that’s when I also weigh as to whether or not I actually want to put what I have said out there.
I’m nowhere near religious, but I believe in the saying, “From your lips to God’s ears.” Similar can be said in the modern day and age of, “From your fingers to God’s eyesight.” Words are powerful. The wrong words, it seems, have more power than the right ones. Every time we write an email, or think about telling a friend something that they don’t want to hear, we always ask ourselves the question of, “What am I risking in this?”
I firmly avoid sending certain letters because I know of the widespread repercussions that my words may have. That’s the thing about consequences: always there. Either you think about them and weigh the risk and reward, or you risk losing not just the effect that you were hoping to have, but whomever you were thinking of writing to.
Today, I found myself on Notepad, writing a strongly-worded letter to someone who’s been a longtime friend, because I felt that my own thoughts had gotten rather jumbled, and I needed the perspective of a written word to see what I was really thinking. It was actually rather interesting, because I failed to consider that the answer to why I was so miffed about the situation was because I had overlooked the bluntly obvious, and the result is a letter that will never be sent, and will likely get deleted. While it gave me the much-needed change of perspective, it got me thinking: what if, eventually, I’ll write a letter that I want to send, regardless of how personal or inflammatory?
The answer remains the same: I’d still keep it under wraps.
The reason is simple: there’s no way to predict the outcome of your words. There’s no way to predict how the other person in the equation will react. You can always contemplate, you can attempt to map out a possible outcome, but in all reality, there’s no telling whether or not your words will have the desired effect or its exact opposite.
It’s a good reason that my cache of unsent letters remains as such, and eventually sees the ether that is the Recycle Bin. I don’t like leaving things unpredictable, or to chance.
So, my readers, let me pose a challenge to you. If you could write a letter to anyone in your life, what would you say? Reply in comments. Keep the recipient’s identity anonymous. I won’t say a word.