A Letter to Friends Who Challenge Me – That I’ll Never Write
Dear Friends Who Challenge Me,
I’m writing to you on this fine September day because we need to talk. Please understand writing this letter was not easy for me. I can already hear some of your responses and I have only completed three sentences. I simply wanted to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
You see, you have all–unintentionally I hope–ruined my life. Up until I met you, I was happy-go-lucky and really thought I knew which way was up. I went about my days with little or no concern for…anything, really. The people I surrounded myself with would empathize with my every feeling. If I was sad, they would shower me with sympathy cards. If I was happy, they would throw me a party. If I was mad, they would come rushing to my defense. It was really quite wonderful.
Then you guys entered my life. I can’t even remember which of you I met first, or how we met. What I do remember is how I felt as you didn’t empathize. At first, I can’t deny that you had appeal simply because you were different–as if a lightening bolt. But over time, I learned to love you guys. You provided a balancing perspective that I nearly forgot existed. I treasured the perspective. I finally felt grown up.
Living with you in my life taught me to really evaluate the situation. Should I be sad? Should I be happy? Was anger really the appropriate response? And no matter where we disagreed, you always let me make up my own mind and go my own way. Your authenticity tore-down the shelter that my fear and laziness constructed.
Just the same, I think the time has come for us to part ways. I know. I know this is difficult and confusing for you to hear. Believe me when I tell you I haven’t come to this decision lightly. My problem is I just can’t relate to ‘normal’ people anymore. When they live and talk, I want to be authentic with them, as you have been authentic with me. It doesn’t work. These new friends go silent. They have no response. Some of them become visibly agitated. I have been called “mean.” Their shelter is too strong. More than that, they don’t even want to believe they have one.
You and I know that they’ll be happier without it, but I am still mad at you. I feel so lost in these new situations that I really do think the best thing is for me to rebuild my own shelter. I think it will be nice to take a break for a while. I hope you can understand this decision, though I know you never will. Maybe we’ll meet again someday.
Once Your Friend,
Pray – Work – Love. All else is decoration.