Recently I was thinking about an old friend. The memory of the times we spend together made me smile And yet I also felt sad because our friendship had to end. Somewhere along the path our lives diverged and at the time I didn’t know why.
Looking back on it now I understand some of the things that tore us apart and why I lost faith in him. So today I decided to write a litter to the younger him about how he could save our friendship and make his life as amazing as I always believed it could be. In reading it I hope that you can look at your own friendships in a new way and avoid the mistakes we both made.
Before saying anything to you I want you to know that I love you very dearly. You are a kind sensitive soul, a passionate person, and maybe one that wasn’t meant to handle all the things the world put on your shoulders. Having said that I have a few words of warning that I hope will help you as walk through life.
Repay Debts Before You Buy Yourself Treats
While I know life can be hard and it can feel like buying yourself a new toy or gadget will make your sadness easier to bear, it won’t work. Your new thing will lose it’s shine soon enough and you will be right back where you were before.
But worst of all everyone you have borrowed from will see your new acquisition as a subtle insult. They will wonder why you bought something new when you could have paid them back. I know that confronting your debts can cause your inner critic to flare up and make you feel like a jerk.
But any small act that shows that you want to repay your debts will do loads to help everyone including yourself see you as someone who can be trusted.
Your mountain of debt may seem insurmountable but trying to climb a mountain is almost always more inspiring than digging a hole at the base of it looking for false treasure.
Work For Yourself
I know that your parents can take care of you or help you out. But you shouldn’t let them do it too much. I know that it’s easier to accept their money and believe that someday you will find what you were created to do. But accepting their money will only make you feel more incapable.
There is nothing more valuable in life than the knowledge that if push comes to shove, you can make it on your own. The truth is that even if you stumble and fall there will many people who can help you stand back up. But if you never try to walk on your own, you’ll never learn to make your legs stronger.
So stop accepting gifts and instead buckle down and work for what you want. Hell even buckle down and work for what you don’t want. Because it’s in the working and striving that real knowledge of the self comes from.
Make Your Life About Others
I know you may not be aware of this, but you’ve made your life mostly about yourself.
In some ways it’s not your fault. We live in a self obsessed society and there are plenty of examples of self obsessed people for you to follow. It can feel like your pain is unique and that working on your own suffering is the most important thing to address in the triage of your life.
But unlike oxygen masks on planes, often your air won’t start flowing until you put the mask on someone else first. By putting yourself first, you’ve trapped yourself in a feedback loop of your own self doubt and suffering.
So instead of spending more time trying to solve the Rubiks cube of your heart, stop, and start by helping others. Volunteer to be there for friends first and make your life all about those who are in pain. Because when you heal others and see them become whole, you begin to realize that they were never broken and then you realize same is true about you.
TV is fun to watch and pot is fun to smoke, but when you turn your attention to these distractions, you turn away from the one thing you need to face, yourself.
I know you don’t want to face yourself because when you do all you see is a broken sad sack of a son of a bitch. But that’s not what I see and that’s not what the world sees. That sadness and weakness is only a mask you wear to protect yourself from the responsibility of your greatness.
The saddest thing I’ve ever seen is how you waste your greatness because you aren’t willing to look at it. I know it scares you and so you invest a lot of time in hiding. But you have to stop. You have to stop before it’s too late.
Your greatness is right there in front of you. Stop hiding your love behind fear. Turn and face yourself and see it all. Inside that mess is the peace you’ve been looking for.
Finally thanks for being my friend. Even though I know that years from now we will be miles apart, know that you touched my life.
I really wish I could back in time and give this letter to you. Not because I think I’m right or I think I’ve done things better, (God knows I’ve mad a ton of my own mistakes and you could probably write me a letter as well,) But because I think it could have saved you sometime and saved our friendship as well.
But no matter where things are now, know that you were, and are still important to me. I hope your life becomes everything I know it can be.