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I Hit Backspace

How I replaced negativity with positivity with a simple backspace.

Last week, I texted my husband that another article of mine got published. This is part of my job, but seeing my name in print is always exciting for me – it feels like the first time every time. Thus, we always celebrate, even if it’s only a text with too many exclamation points to count.

After my check-up at the eye doctor later that day, I texted him that I have 20/20 vision – yay!

Most of the day went this way – publication, excellent vision, tasty lunch, good hair day, that kind of thing.

When the end of the work day came along, my husband texted me: Sounds like you’ve had a good day!

Without even thinking, I started typing out all the ways it was not a good day.

I hit a wall with a scene in the novel I’ve been writing for a year.

My pants were too tight.

There was a large pimple on my nose.

But instead of pressing Send, I looked up and reconsidered my message. I’ve been reading many positive, motivational books and blogs lately, and I’ve been trying to pay more attention to my mental habits.

In that moment last week, phone in hand in my office, I realized how easily I put myself down. How easily I negate all the happy things going on in my life. It had in fact been a good day, but as soon as it was acknowledged, it was like a natural instinct to replace it with all the ways it was a bad day as though I wasn’t allowed to be happy. As though I felt guilty for being happy when I didn’t deserve it.

This wasn’t the first time I’d done this, either. So many times I’d hit Send without a second thought.

And I know a lot of others who do this, too, but this was the first moment I stopped myself with my thumb hovering over my phone.

Here’s the thing: I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be happy, and so do you.

I hit backspace.

I deleted everything I typed out with all the things I thought had gone wrong that day. Instead, I texted back that it sure had been a good day, and it wasn’t not over yet.

Because the truth was, that yes I was struggling with that particular scene in my work in progress, but it had happened before and it’ll happen again. Some days will be harder than others. The words will flow more easily one day but more strenuously the next. That’s just the way writing works.

Yes my pants were too tight, but everyone’s weight fluctuates at times. This is nothing new. In my case, I’ve also been increasing weights during my workouts, so this was to be expected.

Also, I’ll be wearing jeggings from now on!

Yes there was in fact a large pimple on my nose, but it would eventually go away. That’s what every other pimple I’ve ever had has done – they all healed, and so would that one.

It’s so easy to spiral out of control, down a black hole of negativity that can ruin our day, week, and even month. But it’s also just as easy to push the backspace button and replace those negative thoughts with positive ones – to switch our mood and enjoy our happiness.

We all deserve to be happy, even – and especially – with the little things like a good cup of coffee or a piece of cake – or better yet, BOTH.

It’s possible to flip the switch from dark to light with a simple backspace. A pause to re-evaluate what you’re thinking and/or about to say.

I know it’s possible because I’ve done it. And so can you.

Originally published on the-restless-writer.com on October 8, 2018.

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