Dear Ellen — I just left you, and you are driving home to Plattsburg. Your parting words to me were more or less that I am a better person than you are, because I try not to judge people harshly. I called to you across the parking lot that you should let go of anger — or something like that, something close to that. I think I told you to pray for the person who had irked you, and for yourself, too.
Dear Ellen. A mama bear who bares her claws when someone she loves is hurting. Thank you for being protective of me.
The last thing I need to learn in this long quest of mine is how to let go of my judgment of myself. I wish I had the capacity for anger and hatred; I might be able to burn the rotten pieces of me left over from the blows that sixty years of living has dealt me. But the only disappointment I feel is towards myself. I have no capacity for anger. If I ever did, I’ve long since let it go. But your eyes flashed tonight when you saw that I was hurting, and for that, I love you all the more, my friend.
Dear Ellen: Don’t you know that you have shown us all about love and loyalty? Do you understand the example that your kind soul has set?
For anyone here who does not know my friend Ellen Carnie, my bet is that you have an Ellen in your life. Someone who will fiercely protect you, who will wrap her arms around you, and open her life to you. Look around your world and see if you can figure out who that person is, and go right over to them — right now — without delay — and thank them.
One of the things I like most about Ellen Carnie is that she voices her opinion or her viewpoint without expecting people to take her word as gospel. She recognizes that we all have our unique points of view, and sometimes what we think is the truth is just one angle of a prism that has many facets. She does not lash out if you don’t respond by saying that of course she’s right. And she also listens to your point of view, and takes what you see when you look at the prism as a valid viewpoint. I admire that about her; I strive to be like that.
Today she listened to me blow off steam — dare i say, “complain” — all of which related to my negative view of myself. And her words brought me to understand that in judging myself, in perpetuating condemnation of myself as being a failure, I am holding myself back from blossoming. Now, it must be said, she also hazarded the opinion that maybe I should get a little mad, but she understands that it is not in my nature to be angry. It’s in my nature to forgive, but also to automatically believe that anything which goes wrong must be my fault — to assume that if someone is angry with me, then I must have done something wrong. And to further assume that if I have done something wrong, that I am inferior. A vicious cycle, which dear Ellen encouraged me to forsake.
Dear Ellen: Thank you for being my friend; for loving me; and for wanting me to love myself.
It’s night-time, and tomorrow I will go to Columbia for “the sisters lunch”. So I might not write but know that I am striving forward, taking baby-steps perhaps though turned to face true north and stepping out. Today I don’t think I’m good enough; but thanks to dear Ellen, I’ve seen another point of view.