Day 60: Don't Hit Send Just Yet.

Part of the beauty and complication of modern technology is the rapidity and ease with which we can communicate with one another. If a parent or colleague sends us an email that requires our immediate attention, we can respond right away. If a parent or colleague sends us an email that doesn’t land well, we may be tempted to respond immediately.

A gift from my father was a fiery temper, which I have largely learned to accept and find healthy ways of being with that do not harm others. Email can become an evil temptress for this part of self, where I may start typing out my anger on the keyboard before I even realize it. But as long as I don’t hit send, it’s okay. Even useful.

I have adopted these firebrand draft emails as part of my practice, allowing whatever is true for me to pour forth, uncensored, onto the page. I don’t try to craft it so someone else can hear it, or to make me look good and calm. I just write it out. And then I let it sit in my email draft box. And then I delete it. (It’s best not to put the person’s name in the inbox to avoid accidents, and enable the “undo” function on your email as an extra precaution.)

I find anger to be one of the most difficult emotions to sit with. It asks for reaction and release. Finding a way to hit the release valve first can help us get more clear on what’s really going on. What are we hurt about? What are we trying to protect? What do we really need to ask for/communicate to this other person? Having that initial release allows me to sift through and respond more skillfully. When I am ready.