Tuesday, February 11, 2014

My dear friend

I don't know where we went wrong. I don't know how we got off on the wrong foot again. In retrospect it seems like we hadn't been on the right foot, in such a long time, that maybe we were just carefully balancing on the edge of the wrong one, and thinking that we were doing okay. I found some old papers the other night. Papers detailing for my past intern supervisor what I filled my time with during that most difficult and unhappy chapter of my life. To my amazement, my schedule was more filled with your name than I thought it had been. Because in my memory it seems like I never saw you. In my memory it seems like that time was the beginning of the end. Which leads me to a terrible conclusion:

That I wasn't fully there with you in those times. That I was so wrapped up in my own struggles, and my new friends, that I wasn't really your friend, anymore. That I was too afraid of losing you during your struggles, that I didn't love you very well.

And I'm so sorry.

To be quite honest I have no idea what I expected when I wrote to you the last time. I can't say that I expected things to get better. But I also can't say that I expected it to be the end either. Your reply of "I don't know what to tell you", was all the answer I needed. In not knowing what to tell me, you told me everything I thought I needed to know. In not knowing what to say to me, I didn't know what else to say to you. There was nothing left that could be said it seemed. But maybe I was wrong. The funny thing about time and separation, is that the two always seem to come hand in hand with doubt and uncertainty.

I read an interesting definition of the word "Ego" today. A man wrote his son a letter, and in it he describes what an ego is to him. He says, "Your ego is the part of you that protects your heart." He then goes on to say that over time your ego grows stronger because of the hurt that other people around you inflict upon your heart. "..You're mind begins to build a wall around your heart - it keeps us safe from invaders who might want to get in and attack it...At first, we only use the ego-wall to keep people out. But eventually, as we grow up, we get tired of hiding fearfully and we decide the best defense is a good offense. We put cannons on our ego-wall and we start firing. For some people that looks like anger. For other people, it looks like gossip and judgment and divisiveness. One of my favorite ego-cannons is to pretend everyone on the outside of my wall is wrong. It makes me feel right and righteous, but really it just keeps me safe inside of my ideas." *

I used to drive by your parents house on my way to work every morning. At first when I drove by I'd try not to think about everything that happened between us. Then after a while I would scoff, and try to convince myself that I had been right and you were wrong. That I was the one who had the right to be angry with you, not the other way around. And then I began to feel compelled to drive by there. But this time I didn't try to hide behind my "Ego Wall", or scoff and be angry. No, this time I began to pray that I hadn't hurt you too deeply (But this is assuming I had way more of an effect on your life than I probably actually did). That you were doing good. That you were living well, and that hopefully you were getting some of the questions concerning God that we'd spoken about, answered.

I don't drive by there much anymore. Not because I choose not to, just because I don't have much need to go that direction these days. But the interesting thing is, now that I don't drive by very much, I have dreams all the time where we end up seeing each other in random places, and sorting out our past and kind of picking up right where we left off so long ago.

I wish we could finally go get that beer we always talked about when we were 17 year old kids who could hardly afford to buy $5 dollar pizzas. I wish we could sit at the pub and I could tell you all about this last year. About it's ups and downs. About how much it taught me. How much it hurt. How it brought so many of the flaws that were deep inside of me, right to the surface for so many to see. I think you would get a really good laugh out of some of it honestly.
I wish I could have the privilege of hearing about your life once again. About how you're doing. Where you're at with God, with your boyfriend, with your family.
I wish I could get to know you again, and you me.

My old friend (if you'll let me still call you that), I'm deeply sorry that I didn't love you well. If love really does do everything Paul said it does, then indeed I failed to really show you genuine love. I've come to understand that love doesn't hide behind the fear of "what if they get mad at me", it confronts, and lays it's pride down for those whom it has deep affection for. It takes the risk, because they're worth it. I should have taken that risk a lot sooner than I did. But instead I was scared, and I hid behind my fear. I let things get to a point between us that I never should have. I hope you'll be able to forgive me for this, even if that doesn't look like everything being all bright and sunshiny between us in the end.

I won't be that preachy advice giving person (since I really don't have any room to talk, this is an apology letter after all). I'll simply say that I really do hope that you're doing well. I think of you often, and miss being able to spend time with you.

Please know that I still love you to death.

*Taken from this blog post.