I've been feeling very inspired lately. I read something in O Magazine (I don't normally read that, but I was strangely compelled to this time. Plus: everything Oprah says is gospel and if you disagree with that - well, who cares? Certainly not Oprah, I can tell you that). At any rate. There was a very interesting piece in there by Martha Beck about how people we despise and people we admire are like mirrors held up to us. When we obsess over somebody that we really can't stand, it's because we recognize parts of ourselves in them (I think I knew this before) and when we admire or envy someone, it's also because we recognize parts of ourselves in those people as well. So the article suggested we write a letter to a person we have all kinds of nasty to talk about, and give them the hell you've always wanted to. And then cross out their name at the top and write your own, and be open to receiving the criticism and work towards bettering yourself. And also write a letter to someone you greatly admire and - same thing - cross their name out and write your own. So I did this, and I changed the names of the people I had originally written the letters to so for all you know, I could be writing about you. mwahahaha... but not really because in the end they are intended for myself.
I have always known that you are entirely self-involved and phony, but it came as a great surprise to me when I found out that you are vindictive and hateful as well as selfish and materialistic. You pretend to be nice to everyone but have nothing nice to say about anyone in your life when they are not in the room. You are a gossip. You are a fraud. You think that relationships can be sustained through intimidation and the occasional gift of some monetary value. I think you need a reality check. I think you are - in the kindest terms I can muster - mentally ill, as well as physically ill. I could go into the horrible things that you have done to me, but because this is actually an exercise in self-development, it would hardly do any good to do so. Suffice it to say that I see right through you, and I always have. It infuriates me that you have no sense of obligation to any sort of truth or honesty about the way you treat people, and I think you may actually believe the bullshit that flies from your face endlessly. I think it would be best if you spoke as little as possible - that way, you may be able to keep some love in your very wasted life.
[ouch, right? I know. And after I changed the name at the top and read it as if it were written by someone else to me, I realized that I have a lot of hatred in my heart. I take the relationships in my life for granted. I am a gossip (this blog proves that). I have struggled with mental illness. I can be a fraud. I am a lot of the things that I hate so much in somebody else. I lack a capacity for forgiveness. Again, ouch. But now for the more pleasant letter....]
Ever since the day I met you I wanted to be just like you. There is something in your personality that suggests a vacation from the mundane, that suggests anyone can live whatever sort of life they please. And you inspired me. You don't think anything is impossible. You're incredibly brave. Where lesser beings would wallow in loneliness and boredom, you have always pulled your boots on and sought adventure in everything. You are incapable of being bored. You pull everyone into your gravitational pull and make complete strangers fall in love with you because you make them want to become more creative and brave themselves. While your capacity for love is endless, you are also wise enough and courageous enough to accept that not everyone can be the same as you. Thank you for slipping away from big cities to teach yourself (and me) that no journey is wasted if it brought you closer to who you want to be, and that no one can be angry if you check out of life for a while to remember what it is about it that you love in the first place. Your fierce uniqueness and never-ending desire to cultivate your ever-hippie soul have always made me model myself on your example. I will always love you, even if we get into another fight that lasts another year and a half - or however long it was.
[I don't have a whole lot of commentary on that one, but it did make me cry, and I hope that the person I originally wrote it for is able to recognize herself in those words, because they are all true.]
I recommend you all try this.