Letter from a Participant with the Ridge Project
I’ve spent most of my life expecting things from others. Every relationship that I’ve ever been in had to be my way. If it didn’t happen my way then I would give up on the relationship or hold back. This has kept me from having any significant relationships.
During the first phase of Ridge programming, I realized my errors in thinking. I saw how selfishly I had lived my entire life. I began to want the ‘unconditional’ love I was hearing about. So I did as Ron said and I began to give it, without expecting it in return. In doing this, my family began to see that I truly meant what I was saying.
I’ve heard Ron speak several times on his relationship with his son and how he wrote him faithfully. I heard him speak about his love for his family and it resembled the love I felt for mine.
I began writing my step-daughter faithfully. I expressed my love for her, and I began to be a real dad. In the past, I’d always wondered why she never called me Dad. Now that I’m being one, she lets me know.
I received a letter a few days ago, addressed to Dad. I don’t know if I could find the words to express what I felt that day. Living as a TYRO (a respectful title, meaning warrior, which participants earn after completing the program) gave me this experience. And even though it’s only one good thing among the bad, I now look forward to creating many, many more.
Ron and Cathy have given me the opportunity to be a Dad and husband. They’ve shown me how to build two of my relationships; with time and living a TYRO’s way of life, I know that there’s more to come.
I don’t have to ask myself anymore if I will come back to prison. My family and I know that I will never jeopardize them and our future together.
-Letter from Dustin Cable, PCI