Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Letter

I found a letter in the printer tray that I was sure I had sent. It was a letter to Don, a letter of thank you and goodbye. It was dated 8/10 and contrary to my usual habits there was no envelope. I print up envelopes when I finish writing letters so they are ready to put together and send.

Anyway, I read thru the letter and was conceitedly proud of my writing, but the tears were gone, dried up and taken by the winds because my heart was healed.

I have been re-evaluating my life and choices, getting perspective on my past so I can move into the future without all the baggage that has weighed me down for so many years. Reading the letter now I know I don't need to send it. Don won't read it because it's from me and it was really for me and not for him. He gave me so much and I wanted to let him know how much and to thank him for his gifts and apologize for my blindness and insecurities. I will always be grateful to him for showing me that I am worth loving and that I don't have to settle for being used or allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I will always be grateful for showing me what love really is and how it is supposed to feel because he paved the way for happiness and opened the gate to the cage I built around my heart and myself.

A friend recently gave me a book about writing letters as a way to make peace with the past. I haven't read it, but I am pretty sure I know what is in the book because I have been doing that for the past year. I have looked at my life and the beliefs I held as true, turned them around in the light to see there was so much more there than I knew. It's not that my memories of events are false, but that there is another side to the story, a side I couldn't or wouldn't see.

I sent a letter to my mother a few months back and showed her what I had hidden inside me so that I could also show her that I understand what happened and why and that she didn't really mean to push me away. My enemy has become my friend, and a very close friend at that. I have put the pieces of my past into order and the picture I see emerging has very little of the darkness left in it. The shadows are no longer nebulous and frightening and forms have emerged.

So many times I have said that I wouldn't change my past because if I take away one moment, one experience, good or bad, it alters who I am at this moment. There are much straighter and quicker paths to enlightenment, but the path I chose was dark and full of detours and difficult stretches. It has been a long and arduous road at times, but it has always been an adventure and I am glad to have traveled it all the same. I am lucky. I know more about myself than most people ever discover and I know that I am only limited by my fears.

There may be one more letter for me to write, a letter that will be difficult, not because I am holding a grudge but because I doubt that she will understand or accept what I have to say. She has never looked past the surface at anything and she is not likely to in this life. But I will write the letter all the same. I may find it in my printer a month later or I may send it. Whether I send it or not is not the issue. Getting rid of that last frayed and battered bit of baggage is the issue because until I unload all the old baggage I cannot replace it and move on...and I want to move on.

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living and on some levels he was right. The one thing he left out is that you have to live life before you can examine it and that means taking chances and being willing to make that leap of faith even when you land in the dirt or slide into a mud hole. Endlessly examining every moment as it's lived leaves little time to live and grow and change. Socrates also forgot that once you examine life you still have to keep living and moving forward or you will get lost, paralyzed like Narcissus who became lost in his own reflection and died.

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