Letter from a Participant with the Ridge Project

OFA - The Ridge Project - OH ImageI’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