Things that I never said

‘Things that are not said are usually the most important’, says one of Isabel Coixet’s characters in her film Things I never told you.

It is really sad to think that we keep for ourselves those feelings or thoughts that truly mean the world to us just because we might let ourselves be driven by fears, then maybe lack of confidence, embarrassment, pride…

The things that are not said then become shadows that can grow darker inside and slowly begin taking over, until one day we might realise that the unsaid took place and became the host within ourselves.

A very dear friend & colleague that I love & admire once told meabout a very powerful tool called ‘letters of anger’. They become useful when we have a ‘ghost’ or fear, something or someone that makes our life hard, difficult or painful somehow, something that you cannot manage in the way you would like to. It could be an illness; a very difficult subject or exam that seems impossible to pass; a work colleague who makes things very tough for you; an apology that you could not express or that you deserved to receive but was not delivered; a relationship that finished and you never got to tell your truth...

The exercise is very simple: you write a letter to that person/illness/subject, your recipient, expressing through your writing all your feelings and ideas, releasing all that stuck energy that you were carrying around. Finally you close the ritual by burning those letters so the fire acts as a purifying element for those angry & frustrated feelings, disintegrating them forever within its flames (Pilar, my friend, I’ve shortened the ending to get to the point here).

I’ve not tried this tool myself but I can see the point of it. However, I can think of an exercise running parallel to this one but in the opposite direction: instead (or on top) of a letter of anger we can also write a ‘gratitude letter’. The purpose of this letter is to release & let go positive ‘luggage’ this time, and even make the recipient feel good about it. You can maybe explain how this person/thing makes a difference in your life, or what things you admire about them, or why you are so thankful to this person or thing, what their greatest qualities are or what makes you feel proud of them, for example.

The list can go on forever as the whole idea is to express how you love and appreciate them and how your life is better because they are or were in it.

You can write this type of letter at any time or for a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, recovery…). You can choose to keep it for yourself and you will benefit from the positive effect that it will have on you for sure. But if your gratitude letter is dedicated to a person you can also deliver it and enjoy not just your own satisfaction but also the huge positive impact on the recipient, especially if your letter comes at a time when this person needs it the most.

We should always say & share those very important things, even if we do it afterwards, maybe when we think it is already too late. It is never too late to get rid of a burden or to share the energy of a beautiful feeling. Who knows? You might end up writing a wonderful song or poem that will inspire and move people forever. It is worth trying, don’t you think so?


And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver


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