I wrote this to encourage a lady artist who wrote about being dissed by an anonymous coward with online comments about how her "egoistic creative ambition for celebrity" was a false cover and reason for "a domestic life in shambles".
The commentator above spewed venom under the cover of anonymity, but how many of us spew even more venom on ourselves in the privacy of our thoughts, on a daily basis? As I wrote it, I realized that it could apply to any of the many talented people I know who play the game of balancing family and career. I've played that game myself. I still do. I've tasted that venom.
But today I wanted to offer a different , more kind, more gentler story to tell ourselves. An anti-venom, if you will. To myself and to others who feel the sting of conflict.
How about this perspective...being immensely creative and massively successful and in the demand, the heroic young female (you could be male as well, the message is the same) artist / career-woman/ entrepreneur valiantly tried to manage it all in addition to the demands of being a 'good' wife/ mother/ sister/ daughter. It was a new frontier fraught with opportunities, but littered with frustrating obstacles that singles or married men didn't have to think about. But she was determined. She would do it. She had help. She was brave.
There were times she felt overwhelmed and discouraged when she found herself torn between work and family...being ambitious seemed the antithesis of being domestic, yet both sides of these precious areas conflicted within her. In the end she was criticized in both arenas, and even more cruelly she criticized herself for not 'performing up to her own standards'...this ate away at her precious self-confidence, her own harshest critic. It was a vicious cycle.
Finally, she slowly realized that who she was was not her job, her talent, what society expected of her, what her gender was programmed to be. She didn't have to be any of those things. She was somewhat known for her work, but she was only beginning to know herself. At her core, she was already perfect, already loved, already powerful, already whole. She was all those things before she ever became famous.
She was perfect in her passion for doing what she loved, firstly as a way to love herself, then to share and offer that others. She had compassion for the world, now, finally, it was time for her to learn to have some compassion for herself too.She would no longer be her own harshest critic, but her own most devout protector, nurturer, lover, healer. She would learn to be crazy and playful again, and laugh. She would be , in spirit, as a child again.
She grew stronger, and this time, her power burned from a place much more deeper and eternal, than fame status or money. She found her core. She had to be burnt through many layers for the light to find her, but it did. And it was Her Light.
And now She shines ever more brightly than she ever did before, day by day and continues to be, as she always has been, a light for others and a light of her own.
Her story is the story of us all.
Be gentle to ourselves, and to others!
Let the haters roll in the mud and hurl rocks at the stars.
They don't know (or perhaps fear) what it takes to get up there and shine.
Maybe if they are lucky they will, one day.