Bravery is an island in an ocean of fear. To be brave, is not to be without fear. Bravery implies that there is a great deal of fear resident in your being, but that the fear does not dominate your heart. Last night on my way to the bathroom, I peered into Blake’s room and noticed that he looked incredibly distressed. I asked him what happened and he explained that a blogger named LaVaughn (Celestial Reflections) had dedicated a ten page itemized article slamming me for every aspect of my career and personal life that she could get her hands on. He also explained that he was receiving e-mails from people asking me to refute her outrageous claims because they “no longer knew what to think”. It was by far and away the most “anti-Teal” material we’ve encountered to date. Blake was livid. He wanted me to write an entire counter article to put people’s minds and hearts at rest. But it didn’t feel good to me. On top of the fact that many of her claims were too off base to even be worthy of address, I could not get my energy behind the idea of dedicating time to defending myself against a random person who crawled out of the woodwork to gain popularity and attention by slandering me. It is profoundly out of alignment to design an entire piece of writing around resisting someone or something, which is what this woman did. She does so from a place of bitterness and fear and therefore pain. I would not seek to increase her pain by attacking back to defend myself. It seems that what people wanted from me was proof that she is wrong about what she said about me. Proof is a difficult thing because there is ultimately no way to create solid proof that could not be refuted. I could refute each piece of her evidence, the same way that she is refuting mine, but what would be gained? I will not convince her that I am good. I would not be doing so for any other reason than my own need to be approved of by everyone. And I do not distrust the discrimination of the people who enjoy my material. People do not need my proof to know what is good for them or right for them personally. What they need to do is trust themselves. And whatever answer they receive about me, is right for them at that time. I do not wish to prove skeptics wrong. I gain nothing by resisting skeptics. As my fame increases, there will be more and more skeptics. I gain only by continuing to do what makes me happy and hoping that what brings me happiness, brings other people happiness. I understand how hard it is when you distrust yourself, to navigate a world full of opposing perspectives. When you live without self-trust, the world seems to be full of people who are out to get you. And so, you don't know who to trust. But you can trust yourself. And by not refuting every skeptic that comes up against me, I am in essence giving people the opportunity to consult their own feelings and their own personal truth, and thus learn to trust themselves. It would be a great world though if the people, who were inspired to write ten pages on one person, did so from a place of loving that person. All too often, the only people full of enough bottled up energy to write ten pages on one person, do so from a space of hating them.
It is REALLY hard to be in the public eye. Difficult to put yourself out into the world because so many people in the world do not cradle your expression, instead they take your expression and use it as an excuse to rip you to pieces. It is almost like becoming fodder to a waiting collection of starved lions. It takes immense bravery. You have to be willing to be ripped to pieces for the sake of the inherent freedom of self-expression. The secret is, it’s always worth it. It is worth the scrapes and bruises to the ego to set your soul free.
Famous people are known for their post-fame insights about the danger of going public. Many of them will tell you that the pay off of going public wasn’t worth the drawbacks that ensued. They will tell you to be careful what you wish for. In truth, some of these people even die at the hands of paparazzi and supposed fans. They will tell you that being in the public eye is what taught them the value of privacy. But I will never issue such warnings to you. Instead, I will tell you the opposite. That no matter how you’re considering coming out of your shell, whether it is posting an article on line, or starting that business, or selling your art, or coming out that you’re gay, DO IT! The freedom of no longer containing yourself is worth any amount of pain you may experience. It is worth rejection, it is worth skeptics, it is worth outright haters and it is even worth the risk of death. The amount of energy that you expend on a daily basis by trying to conceal yourself is inhibiting your life. It is exhausting. It is killing you before you’re really dead because you are preventing yourself from living the life you came here to live. Put yourself out there. Become an island in a sea of fear. Do not let fear dominate your heart.