It’s been fifteen years since I left your school and to put it plain and simple… I miss seeing you everyday and learning the lessons that you taught in the classroom and field. Your courses were so involved, challenging, and intriguing! I know we’ve spoke consistently since I left but I never told you how much being your pupil has had an impact my life. You always make time for me when I have a question about our profession and for that I’m truly grateful.
I’m writing you today because my heart is too heavy for a phone conversation. It was very important to me that I would not be interrupted as I get all of these thoughts and concerns out. It’s equally important to me that you sit with this for a week or so before responding.
I could be absolutely wrong about this…I hope I’m wrong about this…but after fifteen years of experience in the field, I’m no longer certain that the curriculum you taught me is applicable in this new world. I want you to think about all of the conversations we’ve had over the last decade…most of them were based on the conflict that arrives when I apply the principles you taught me. Interesting enough what I’ve learned from you is a beautiful gift coupled with a curse.
The GIFT is your installment of confidence in me that helped me discover myself and become unapologetic about who I’ve become. You challenge me whenever you see an unhealthy characteristic attempting to leech onto my personality. You said if I’m not self- aware then I’ll not only put lovers in danger but I’m endangering myself. If I’m not growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically then I’m in regression. It’s my responsibility to grow in these areas daily! I’m accountable for my mind and thoughts…I’m accountable for my heart and any heart I capture. Having this mentality is the reason I’m often labeled as “different.” I’m no longer sure if “different” is a good thing. I’m often received well and “stand out” based on the words and actions you taught me…which I thought was the standard until I left your school...it’s not…and that in itself is the CURSE…
You taught me that honesty is the best policy in this profession but I’ve learned first hand that it comes with many consequences. When the truth cuts like a knife and you’re holding the knife…you’re the assaulter and they’re the victims. I’ve been on trial often over the last fifteen years because of my truthful assaults and in this world full of lies that people buy into because the truth is too much for them to bare…I’ll always be guilty. I remember you telling me it takes time for people to step into the truth and bare the pain to grow. In our profession we have to have patience but I’m seeing a pattern now. You’re absolutely right…they do come around…
They come around for someone else after realizing that we really did love them and our actions were genuine. Challenging them to grow and be better wasn’t an attack…it was the realest form of love we could ever offer them. They have this revelation a little after we bow out because we can no longer afford the high fees our hearts pay in having patience. It’s amazing how we love and invest so much of ourselves and someone else receives our return on investment. Is that part of our profession?
Let’s shift gears…
One of my favorite classes under your leadership was “The Dangerous Elephant In The Room” course. It was you who said:
“The elephant is a very kind animal but very dangerous when it eyes a stranger after it’s child…and you are the child of your elephant! It’s your job to kill the elephant in your room before it kills whomever you choose to bring into your life! Both beings can’t occupy the same place at the same time without major conflict. The closer you get to someone else…the more envious the elephant will become and it will continuously attack and try to kill both of you!”
You taught me to kill my elephants in their infant stages because it’s harder to put them down once they grow and become a part of you. You'll make excuses for the elephant every year it grows with you. You taught me to take this principle seriously and apply it because it would be pivotal in my leadership role in love. Well what if I told you that my leadership isn’t welcomed. What If I told you I have consistently been invited into rooms with fully developed elephants and the owners of these rooms are so comfortable living with their elephants that they don't want to get rid of them. What if I told you that elephants are occupying rooms at alarming rates and I can’t lead because I spend so much time explaining that the elephant in the room isn’t healthy and is causing dysfunction in their personal life that leads to dysfunction in our love life? What if I told you that the mature man and woman seeking to grow in love through honesty and a realistic outlook on life together is an endangered species?
You taught me to be a man…
You said that in the profession of manhood you have to be the right person to find the right person. You said it's the same for womanhood. I never thought that we would be out numbered by people obsessed with the fantasy of love and not the work and responsibility required to achieve and maintain a real type of love that was more prominent in the past. I never knew I would consistently have to deal with the wounds caused by relationships that weren’t love at all. A majority of these poor relationships birth the elephants that cause the dysfunctional love many are accustom to today. I never knew I would be at the war against other people’s elephants!
And now in this very moment…I realize that this entire letter has led me to ask you this question…
How do I go about killing someone else’s elephant before it kills me?