A Carefully Thought-Out Letter of Encouragement

Authoress Note: My update on my private lesson is going to be on Thursday because I feel compelled to write this.  The following is an attempt at encouragement without going into judgment.  I’ve always lived by this mantra: Don’t judge people’s crap and how they deal with their crap until you’ve walked in it for a while.  I know for a fact that I have never dealt with the issues that this person is dealing with, and I won’t be so foolish as to pretend I do.  But, I do seek to bolster and give…advice?  No, perhaps advice is the wrong word here.  Advice isn’t needed.  I’m sure this person gets plenty of that.  I think suggestion is the best word.  May my tongue be guarded, a giver of blessings.


Dear _______,

We share common ground, a life’s passion.  I feel connected to you, even if it’s through the faulty and often untrustworthy environment of the Internet.  I loved how our lifestyle helped medicate both our daily aches and gave us one more reason to get up in the morning.  It was—and still is—a feeling of warm contentment to know that someone else out there wanted to share that lifestyle through writing.  When I read your most recent post, my initial reaction was shock.  It scared me to hear you say such things.  Perhaps it was so frightening because I saw a side of myself that I haven’t seen for years.  Yet, once upon a time, it was a side that reared its hideous head way too often.  I felt this overwhelming want to help, but how much of a help can someone be when the Internet is my only connection to you?  Furthermore, I have no right to dispense any sort of advice, and I have less of a right to judge.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that this letter from me to you is the best help I can give.  I’ve thought carefully about this, and read others’ thoughts in response to your latest post.  I may seem to try to play devil’s advocate at times, and I might be.  However, please know that I am choosing my words with the utmost care.

I am not going to pretend to know the issues you are dealing with, but there is something in your post that I know all too intimately: anger.  Was your anger justified?  Like hell, it was.  I believe every human being on this planet understands in some shape or form that the body is weak and fickle.  It seems to act like a double agent, aiding us and our perceived enemy.  I’ve come to understand this.  I’ve also come to understand that it is a cathartic experience to metaphorically scream.  I am a firm believer in a good cry, a good crumble.  And I agree with the others’ thoughts that it was very brave and real of you to express this all to us.  But, I sense a sword with two edges.  Yes, one can use anger to motivate, but like a small spark, it’s very dangerous.  I know from first-hand experience.  I told you previously that reading your post reminded my darker side, a side that used to appear very often.  Without going too much into the “why”, I will say that I was extremely angry as a young child.  I struggled with issues of abandonment, trust, depression, and anxiety.  I was a terror to my parents and was constantly disciplined.  My father’s half-joking, but half-serious nickname for me was “The Demon Imp”.  My early school years became difficult because of these issues, too.  In middle school, I had the nasty tendency to make friends and play nice.  That is, until I felt that they were getting too close.  Then, I would socially burn them and drive them from my company.  In the end, I learned that anger gave me plenty of energy to get through the daily grind, but I think it was more of a poison than an antidote.

Now, you are not an angry person.  At least that is the impression I get from your writing.  You are understandably at the end of your rope and angry about it.  I think any sane person in your position would be, too.  But, and I ask this in all carefulness, to what end will it help you, even if it is only a one-time outburst?  As a dancer, it hurts me to hear you say such things to your physical being.  We are both artists, and our bodies are like a block of sculpting marble.  We envision what we want the final product to be, and with painstaking effort, we begin to sculpt.  Sometimes that block of marble is not beautiful to the eye.  “Where in the world is that figure I was creating?”  Well, my art teacher once told me that the figure was in the marble, all the artist had to do was chip away at the edges.  Reading your posts has made it clear to me that you are dutifully and passionately chipping away.  You’re only human, just like the rest of us, so lethargy and anger can happen.  But, raging against something that is unfinished, well, it hurts.  It hurt me, and perhaps it hurt you, too.  While your body isn’t who you are (i.e. is not the essential part of your existence) it is part of who you are.  You’ve made great strides in taking care of it physically, but what about emotionally?  Is there something you can do to take care of that aspect when it starts to crumble?  More precisely, is there a way to rejuvenate the heart, and give you a break from the battle?  I don’t know what those might be.

If I may, I would like to delicately make a suggestion: positive mental reinforcement.  How cliché does that sound?  I know it sounds like a bad “Dr. Phil” talk show, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to try.  Even when your body is at its worst, try to envision the final result.  How happy you’ll be when you finally get there and the realization that you’re there.  If that’s too hard at the moment, please, try to give yourself a break.  All of your readers, myself included, admire your tenacity and sincere dedication.  Keep fighting, but do not let anger get you down because I firmly believe that whatever secondary benefits it may give, it is ultimately a hindrance.  Finally, know that you have my prayers and as much moral support as I can muster.




The Crown

Words bejeweled upon a crown find their rest when set down.  There they lay upon the brow, a constant presence here and now.

Be crowned, my sister, with love and light, a well-earned rest from life’s brutal fight.  Let jewels shine with joyous things, may they be a shield from venomous slings.

Seek refuge in the Cleft when there is little of you left.  He that wrought you, sacred duty, also knows of your beauty.

May my words and heartful meditations bring life.  May they not increase poisonous strife.

May many blessings rain upon you.  May your depleted energies renew.


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