Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Letter to Patrick

I write this to you here because I don’t think you’ll be reasonable if I address you directly. You feel that we’re responsible for what’s happened to you recently and you’re committed to “causing us hell”. I must admit, I initially felt stress and frustration in dealing with your efforts to be disruptive. My emotions have changed as your efforts have persisted and what they’ve settled on is sadness.

I’d like to share this sadness with you with the hopes that you’ll see your situation from a different perspective. I used to be very angry at the world around me. I was angry about how I felt, the position I was in, and the fact that despite my greatest hopes, nothing was coming along to change that. This sense of being “stuck” compounded the anger further. I was on a path that wasn’t changing and no one was going to change it for me.

I wanted to change but I didn’t realize that it wasn’t going to just happen. Luckily, my best friend showed me the path I was on and convinced me that the source of the problem was my anger, looping back on itself. When I took responsibility for my situation I was able to start the long and arduous process of becoming free.

With this in mind I’m sad in a broad sense to see you in a similar situation, alienating those who might help you find a better path. I’m sad because I was lucky enough that I didn’t sabotage my means to breaking free and I fear that you are not so lucky.

At a more granular level, I’m saddened that we couldn’t work out our differences as mature, enlightened people. I do not, however, react positively to aggression. At best I just become dismissive but remain polite. If you had been willing to communicate we might have become friends and maybe I could help you find a better way. If the opportunity arose I don’t know that I could. That kind of insight is not my forte. But I stick by my friends and do the best I can. I’m sad that I can’t see you amongst my friends.

I’m sad that you chose to deal with your problem by attempting to bend others to your will rather than compromising. You were so blinded by anger and desire for revenge that could only thrash about and like being in quicksand only sank deeper. I’m sad because your anger controls you and keeps you from being free.

I’m sad because you’re a slave. You are a slave to your anger so you yank on your chains. Your efforts to break the chains only make you tired and make the chains heavier. I’m sad because you don’t see that your chains have no locks and its your force that keeps the retaining pin in place. Maybe one day you’ll find this sadness in yourself. Maybe you’ll let this sadness overwhelm you and quench your anger. Maybe this sadness will let you rest in the chains and with the tension relieved, they’ll simply fall off.

I don’t know if you’ll read this. I don’t think we’ll ever speak again. I would like you to know that I know what deep, ceaseless anger feels like. I sincerely hope that you can find a way out.