Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hate Mail

Being such a public figure, I occasionally receive bonafide hate-mail. Ironically, it has always been from someone I know and respect - so I don't just blow it off as a fluke.

The first time it happened I was amazed and confused. A longtime acquaintance responded to one of my mass emails telling me he thought my positivity was a sham, that I must be off in la-la land... I think he was as shocked and amazed when I wrote back, actually initiating a dialogue. After my response, he acknowledged that he was actually jealous that I'm finding success as an artist (hahaha, that remains to be seen). I loved that he was able to admit his projection, and we ended up spending the day emailing, updating each other on our lives at the time. He had been stuck in a corporate job and neglecting his art - and through our dialogue he turned his initial anger and jealousy into inspiration. I have one of his art pieces in my home, which I love dearly, and every time I see it I hope that he is still feeling inspired by that interaction to continue his beautiful art.

Only recently, I received my second full-blown piece of hate-mail. Another acquaintance wrote, telling me my sense of humor was pretentious, and my recordings all amateur "pieces of shit." I had heard, through the loop, that he was going through hard times (especially financially), so I responded to his message. It told him it hurt to receive his non-constructive criticism, and that even if the recordings weren't 'professionally' done, they were an offering from my heart. I also shared that like him, I have often been set on hard financial times (part of why I don't have a 'pro' recording yet - hahaha). I wrote...

"As for humor - I live a pretty challenged life, continually living on the edge. I come from poverty (both parents still live far below the poverty line, which means I have no "safety net"). Was even homeless once (spanning the cold of two winters) for 1.5 years. I know suffering, and sometimes I do choose to enjoy a sense of sick humor about it. Helps me remember it's always changing, and I'm just growing crusty and gonna die eventually, so may as well try to enjoy this moment - even as I'm suffering thru it. "

And I blessed him: "I wish you a sweet gentle heart of acceptance, and perhaps inspiration or creativity, within your situation - and I'm happy to be here if you need to share."

Once again, this initiated an email dialogue where he opened up and shared more of the difficulty he's going through - grateful for my listening ear which was ironically pried open by his initial insult.

Sigh, it's not easy being a human projector screen. I recognize that there's a beauty in being able to meet my public figure-hood with this sort of down-to-earth humanness. I don't have a team who reads and filters my hate-mail before it gets to me. I am accessible, if tenderly, vulnerably so. And it is challenging and painful at times to hold this role. Part of why I write in this journal is to reveal a bit of my humanness, my inner workings. I'm not all glam and success, but rather, my art is fueled by a passion for healing and awakening consciousness. To this end, I will still read all my mail, and always respond to the depth I can at any given time.

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