by Alan Levin
Dear George W. Bush,
I am writing to you with little hope you will ever read this letter.
So, I am sending this out as an open letter to the George W. Bush inside
myself and most other Americans, if not most people in the world. You
see, because of the position you occupy, you are in all of us. There
is a man inside our minds that is you. I am trying to reach that man.
I'm doing this, because the other day, on T.V., I finally saw you.
I mean that I finally allowed myself to see you. You made it a little
easier. You were talking to reporters in the Oval Office, and for a
moment seemed to slip out of role. The Presidential mask came off and
you said "Look, I'm a loving guy". Your voice quivered a bit
and your face muscles strained to hold back emotion as you slid back
into stern face and said, "But, I have a job to do.... and I'm
going to do it." Once again, you were the man in charge, but still
visibly holding back emotion. So, I saw the little boy that you are,
and the ordinary man. An ordinary man caught in an impossibly complex
This is a big shift for me. Up until now, I must confess, I have been
mostly angry at you, holding you with contempt, disrespect and even
hatred. Being a "political progressive", my ideas and agendas
strongly conflict with your actions and policies.
You have the right to remain silent. You have a right to walk into
the woods, or into your room, turn off all phones, t.v.s, and other
communication devices, place guardians at all the doors, and go inside
your self. You may release all thoughts of terrorism, counter-terrorism,
CIA, FBI, Taliban, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Republicans,
Democrats, opinion polls, and even your role as President, and just
experience what is going on in your heart and body.
You have the right to whatever feelings you are having. It's hard to
imagine being in your place and not being somewhat afraid. I'm out here
and I'm scared. Afraid of what will happen next. Afraid of what you
must do. Afraid of not knowing what to do, of doing the wrong thing,
of being judged by your Father, Mother, Wife, associates, the masses
of people watching your every move. Also, if you are indeed opening
your heart to the people and families directly hurt by the terror, the
grief is profoundly heavy to bear. And of course, you are entitled to
feel frustration, rage, and the urge for revenge.
You have the right to feel the pain in your body. The position you
are in must be absolutely gut wrenching. Having to pose as strong and
determined, confident in the face of what you yourself believe is EVIL.
It's hard to imagine facing evil without trembling, without tremendous
tension in the neck and shoulders, a tight knot in the belly. You have
a right to just feel your own pain in the midst of this.
You have the right to not know what to do. Even with your advisors
and associates and media pundits strong proclamations of what must be
done, you are the one who must choose, and you may not really know what
is right. This is an immensely difficult situation! to put it mildly.
Your slightest gestures and utterances ripple across the globe. You
are the Commander in Chief of the most powerful humanly driven forces
on this planet (second only to the powers of Mother Nature herself).
How can you possibly KNOW what to do? What will serve the greatest good?
(and I trust that this is the intention of your deepest self). It's
ok if you don't know, if your not sure.
You have the right to ask for help. This is critical. In the sanctity
of your silent place, in touch with your pain and not knowing, you may
ask with your most authentic voice for help from that which brings life
and peace to this world. It will be a balm for your hurt, fear and anger.
You may also be given guidance on what to do. For you, it may come from
Jesus, truly a Light unto us all. No matter that for others it will
have different names and forms. In this presence you are indeed an ordinary
man, and I'm sure you will be grateful for that.
You have the right to choose PEACE. With all the pressures for hate
and rage and vengeance, pressures to try to control the situation, you
have a choice in this moment. You can choose to breath. And when you
exhale, exhale peace and justice; to make your next words, your next
step, your next actions supportive of peace and the justice that sustains
peace. And to continue that with each breath. And when you forget, go
back to the beginning, find the quiet place, and remember your rights.
A couple of further thoughts: Please do not try to "rid the world
of evil". I know you said that in a moment of trying to appear
strong and on top of things, but I just want to remind you that that
is not your job. You have a very big job, but not that big.
Second, in case you didn't receive it, I am sending below the message
the Dalai sent you. He is a very wise man, with great humility, and
loves you in a way that few living beings are capable of. (editor's
note: see link to letter below)
With great respect for the divine presence manifesting as you, President
George W. Bush, and all the rest of us. May we find the wisdom, courage
and will to do the right thing.