Have you ever been the victim of a character assassination? Have you ever had someone attack you in an unjust manner, in such a cruel fashion that you are rendered completely flabbergasted and speechless? Have you found yourself thrown into the midst of an unexpected storm? I have. Yesterday. To my absolutely shock and dismay, one of my readers (whom I have tried very sincerely to help) sent me an email viciously attacking my integrity and my character. Because I have been busy with family visiting for the holidays, and because I receive hundreds of emails from my fans, it took me a couple of weeks to respond to this person’s latest email. Because of this completely unintentional delay on my part, this person told me that I am someone with no conscience, that I am only out for my own interests, and that I am an insensitive person who does not care about other people. Now anyone who has read any of my brutally honest writing, and certainly anyone who knows me personally, will be just as shocked by this assault as I was.
So why am I telling you this? This seems like the sort of thing that I’m better off keeping to myself, right? Why would I want to air this dirty laundry? Well normally I would agree with that, but as I pondered the situation all evening long, it occurred to me that there is a powerful lesson in all of this, a lesson that I think is valuable to share.
As many of you know from my stories, I have lived through what I can only describe as a “dark night of the soul” in recent years. These were the absolute darkest, most painful years of my life. For most of those years I struggled to find any possible reason why I was being put through this trial, this horrific fire. It was only when I became an “accidental” writer and began sharing my stories from the heart, that I began to see the meaning of it all. All of us on this Earth have lived through our times of pain and suffering, and many of us share the very same stories. As I began sharing my stories of pain and the stories of healing that followed them, I began to see very quickly that people were relating to and connecting with these stories. My pain was their pain. My healing was their healing. And I realized that my having become a writer was not “accidental” at all. I truly believe that I have found my calling. I truly believe that I lived through my own profound time of pain and healing, so that I can help others through theirs. And this is something by which I have been immensely humbled and proud.
One of the accusations from this person was that I only care about publishing my book. It is true that I am working on publishing a book, in fact several books. But my motivation is not at all the dark and selfish reasons that this person has assumed. It is exactly for the reasons that I have shared above. I feel that I have a powerful message of love and healing to share with the world, and in my heart of hearts I truly believe that I can use my healing journey to help and inspire others. That is my intention. I hope to publish my books so that I can continue to spread a message of positivity, of healing, light and love.
Do I hope to be able to feed myself as a result of these books? Yes. And I’ll let you judge that for yourselves. We all have bills to pay and I am a single person who has to support myself. I too have to put food on the table. So do I hope that this calling can also turn into a career path and a way to live fully? Absolutely yes. Yes, because I hope to do something in which I truly believe, something that fulfills and inspires me, something that can make a difference in people’s lives. And this is it.
I’ve often heard a similar criticism of yoga teachers, that they should not be making money to teach yoga. I vehemently disagree with this premise. My yoga teachers are all beautiful people who spread light and love and bring profound healing to others on a daily basis. The only way that they are able to do what they do is because they are able to make a living at doing it. Sure, they could do it as a side job while they work another 9-5 job. But the rest of the world would really be missing out if that were the case. These teachers have a gift, a gift of teaching and sharing and helping others. I know that many of my fellow yoga practitioners will agree with me when I say that I wish for all of my yoga teachers to have the means to be able to teach more and spread their message of light further. They are a gift to humanity. And because they are doing good for the world, the Universe is supporting them by allowing them to support themselves with a career that they love and in which they believe. This is not wrong. This is good. I hope to be able to do the same with my writing.
When I received this email yesterday I was initially taken aback. And in the past I would have internalized this and really been upset about it. I would have spent the evening pacing back and forth, full of anxiety over such an attack. But this time I did not. I did not because I know who I am. I know that my intentions are pure. And I know that I live and act from the heart, always striving to be the best person that I can be. And I have been given an opportunity to help others. That is my wish. I will let the Universe be the judge of that.
As I was contemplating the situation, the following quote came into my head:
“People will doubt you. People will judge you. People will try to undermine you. Stay true to your own virtues, live with the highest intention, follow your heart and you will navigate your way through the choppy waters.”
And the reason I wanted to share all of this with you is to highlight exactly that lesson. Life is not easy. It is hard enough to find what is our true “calling.” Many people struggle for their entire lives to figure out what it is they wish to do with their lives. And even when you do, it is not always going to be smooth sailing. There will be gale force winds. There will be obstacles that are put in your path. There will be forces that try to blow you off your path, that will try to stall or even halt your journey. There will be times when your ship becomes completely stuck in a blockade of thick ice. When this happens, pull out the ice-cutters and start chopping. Keep forging forward. Be true to yourself and your journey. Live from the highest and be the best person that you can be and you will navigate your way through the storm.