Wednesday, 24 April 2013

On seeing the human in us all.

photo8

Hello, my name is Tam. I'm a girl with feelings, happies, sads, annoyances just like you and generally, I'm fumbling through life just as you are. :) Why am I telling you this? 

The other day I had a spare moment and absent-mindedly started browsing the intarwebs and I stumbled upon a public chat room on a ning site in which a few people were chatting. I think the people did not realise that the chat room was public and that anyone browsing (like me) could read their conversations because they were writing some things about other people ("high profile" online people in my circle of peers) that I assume most people wouldn't simply share so blatantly if they knew anyone could read it. They were so blasé about it, as if talking about which shoes they did or did not like, rather than people. This was pretty shocking to me. 

Then another thing happened just a couple of days ago. A Facebook acquaintance got the wrong end of the stick and thought I deleted a comment of hers (I hadn't), she seemed upset in general. A lot of comments on my posts come through while I'm asleep (as I'm UK based), so I wasn't able to attend to her being upset straight away (I usually do if someone is upset on a thread of mine; I care). 

So when I woke up in the morning and looked at the thread I noticed she was upset and checked out her profile page to see if she was ok. Then, I was about to send her a personal message when I scrolled down her page and noticed she had written an angry post about me with stuff in there that would make most people hide in a corner and cry for a week; according to her I was narcissistic, constantly shared videos of myself singing, over-shared my 'nauseating life', loved being 'fawned over my groupies', produced crap art and a whole bunch of other quite horrible accusations and judgements I won't elaborate on. So that was super fun. 

While I was fairly able to look underneath all the judgments and see her pain and how this was *her* stuff, (when someone really goes overboard on judging you, it's actually easier to see that it's 'their stuff', lol, if the accusations are more subtle you can make it all about yourself more easily, so I have to thank her for that, ha), I was still blown away by how some people just seem to forget that 'people you know online' are people with feelings too. (I'm sure she didn't mean for me to read it, she must've thought the post was protected, but even still, I wouldn't ever dream of writing something similar to what she wrote about me anywhere about anyone, protected, public or private).

I know I live my life quite publicly and have acquired a fairly large "following" over time. (I put 'following' in inverted commas because to me each and every person who reads my stuff, or is part of my ning network, is an FB friend/ acquaintance, takes my classes, watches me on youtube etc etc is a beautiful, flesh and blood, alive with feelings and needs human being to me. No, I'm not always able to connect with each and every person personally, but I respect and love them all the same.)

Sometimes when you're seen to become more 'high profile' (whatever that is!) or more successful, and have a larger network of people 'following' you, it triggers stuff in people. Sometimes it's jealousy, sometimes it's admiration, sometimes it's celebration and sometimes it means that people forget that a 'successful person' is just like you; a person with feelings and needs who can hurt just like you. 

It's almost as if becoming more successful makes people feel that they have permission to bash you around more than they would with someone who is less in the public eye. It's like that with celebrities. When you see what people write in the newspapers or online about celebrities it can be so mean and judgemental, like they're not people anymore, but just some sort of public property that can be bashed about and judged. 

And I'm not putting my success/ growth/ "fame" on the same level as celebrities (lol, I'm glad it's not like that, I'm scared to imagine the 'shit' I'd have to deal with!), but Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Obama, Angelina Jolie, Eddie Izzard, Tony Blair, Me, You, The Homeless Person on Your Street and your Neighbour: all the same. All flesh, blood, human, with feelings, needs, sads, happies and ambition and dreams and hopes and inspiration and insomnia and whatever. We're all just people, people. No better, no worse than anyone else. Human. And need to be treated as human, not as shoes. 

The other thing I want to bring up is this. When you 'follow' someone online, however way you do it: FB/ their blog/ youtube, whatever. The only thing you glean from their lives is a mere snippet. Some people share more, some people share less. Even the person who shares deeply in depth stuff about their lives is still someone whose story is incomplete: you do not know them fully. There is so much more to a person than their online output. Notice how your own brain tries to fill in the blanks. The assumptions we make about others based on snapshots and snippets of that which they do share. And notice how those filled-in blanks are highly influenced by your own story, your own baggage, your own life choices. It's what some people call 'projection'. When we know only some stuff about others we project the rest and 'the rest' is very biased by you.

When someone triggers you, online or elsewhere, it's a good idea to dig deep inside and look at what it is about you that is triggering you so much. I do it. Whenever I'm browsing online and someone or something somewhere triggers me, I don't go to the next chat room bashing this person or thing about, instead, I look inward and I own my shit. Then, when I've identified what is up for me around that person or that post or that image, I empathise with myself and then, I actively send love to that person/ post or image that triggered me in the first place. This is how I like to make the world a more peaceful and non-violent place: by owning my shit and working it out. Sure, at times I go off on one and judge and blame internally, and still: I always come back to owning it. Why was this so painful for me? Why did that person trigger me so. What inside of me needs love and attention? 

To quote Miki Kashtan:
One of the core milestones on the path of consciousness transformation is the moment when we can fully integrate the radical awareness that our emotional responses to the world and to things that happen to us are never caused by another person. This awareness stands in stark contrast to our habitual speech, which states that we feel what we feel because of what someone else did. Instead, we learn, if we apply ourselves deeply to this practice, that our emotions are only caused by the meaning we assign to what someone did, and that meaning is generated from within us, not by the actions.
But mostly, I just wish that people remember that whoever you're dealing with, online, offline, 'famous', local, whoever; we are all people that need to be treated with care, respect, love and understanding. And I want people to know that I'm just a girl with all the usual problems that girls have and I have ups and downs and lefts and rights and yays and omgs and glitter and broccoli in my life; just like you, just. like. you. :) I often don't shower, have bed hair, wear dirty socks, drink too much carbonated soft drinks and can be a beautiful mess. And sometimes I shine and love my life and have epiphanies with rainbows and moonbeams and happy stuff. Me, you, them; we're all connected and the same. 

And sometimes, seeing how people treat people online makes me want to hide away, skulk, dim my light, just live quietly, diminish, grow quiet, be afraid. And then something inside me roars and says: No. No matter how much someone else is triggered and is incapable of owning their own shit: I will not hide my voice. I am here. I am here to stay. I will shine, share, be who I am and how I need to be, want to be. And I will continue to try and connect, even with those who attack. And I will retreat or disconnect in peace from those who insist on not connecting. And I will continue to offer what I have to offer to those who want it and I will encourage others to shine their light and share their voice as well. I'm not going to censor who I am. Hi! I am Tam. I'm here to stay. :) 


Thank you for listening and being here. I appreciate you. <3>

30 comments:

  1. Negativity :Ain't nobody got time for that
    -and if u have not seen this u-tube vdo, check it out! its awesome..

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  2. I read most of your post,and want you to jump on over to my post.Be uplifted maybe just a little. Your a DEAR and I can tell someone was very rude and unfair to you sweet girl. Grandma Denise

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  3. Holy shit I hate that kind of stuff, it makes me properly freak out and be all hermity!!!
    Love and hugs for you my sweet, don't stop sharing, for one bad comment there I'm sure are a gazillion good ones x

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  4. Your song is beautiful Tam! Good for you for being strong enough to let the hate just run off! There are so many that are not strong enough on their own so maybe your words have helped someone in need of support! Thank you!

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  5. I appreciate you to. And love your work and you tube channel a lot. You inspire a lot of people and that's so sweet of you.
    Hugs from holland...
    Liefs, Melanie

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  6. I couldn't have said that better myself if I had tried. When I think of you I see a very sweet and upbeat, strong and talented woman with a tremendous amount of positivity to share with the world. Keep going and never mind what other people think of you. Whoever this was going off obviously has some personal issues of her own. Water off a duck's back :) Hugs Tam.

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  7. you are such a beautiful person your voice is one of an angel and your art also...do not change your world your world is a beautiful one and makes mine pretty nice too.
    hugs
    susan salyer

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  8. I love it Tam. You inspired me to draw and love my art and just grow, please don't let the haters stop you. I thank you for sharing your struggles with kids, word, etc....because I have the same struggles, and its nice to know that I'm not the only one,....its normal to struggle :)
    God Bless you,
    Kazumi Edwards

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  9. You go, girl! Totally agree with you. Don't let the negative people dim your light. :) :)

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  10. Thank you for sharing this story Tam. My favorite book is "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. The 3rd agreement, "Don't take anything personally", is by far the hardest for me to live by. I enjoyed reading about your thought process after reading the toxic blogging. Thanks again. Deborah I am so excited about Radical Wellness!!

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  11. HOW beautiful you sing!! =) I enjoyed your video and believe you me, I got tears in my eyes..

    This post is the best I ever have read in the blogger land, I think. You are such wise and lovely.
    Yhank you! :)

    Peace & love :)

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  12. Thank you, it should be ;)

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  13. Don,t let anyone take away your JOY! You remind me to keep a perspective,so keep going girl! I appreciate your talent and positive outlook!

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  14. I just watched a interview/chat of Jada Smith, and she raised the same issue you talked about here, how people who have achieved success/fame etc. are still flesh and blood. And I feel really sorry for Justin Bieber although as some put it, he's got the whole world under his butt. He wasn't allowed to be a children when he was one, he had to be a bread winner for the family. What responsibility what burden to place on a child!
    Tam, I really admire you for being able to see through the unfair judgement . You're such a nice, kind and great person!

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  15. you are beautiful in all you do,I am so sorry something ugly has tried to attach it's self to you..stay beautiful just as you are..and your son has the greatest teacher ever he could have..you.
    hugs
    susan salyer
    you have a voice of a angel

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  16. You are nothing if not genuine, giving and a bright, shiny star! You are treasured, Dear Tam! Thank you for remaining true to your self....and letting your spirit cast its warm glow over us all :)

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  17. Very interesting post and so very true. It takes a lot of character building in all of us to ge wise, to grow adn to understand. Hard though it may be, learning to forgive is the best anyone can do.

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  18. Ugh I'm sorry for all the drama and bashing. We humans can get quite ugly to each other sometimes (myself including, unfortunately). Sending hugs, and enjoying your beautiful, beautiful voice (and art, of course! looking forward to hearing more about that amazing new piece you posted on FB).

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  19. Oh Tam! I was crying! I wish I could be as loving and understanding as you are! If we lived and perceived others like you do, this world would be closer to a paradise:)

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  20. Hi Tam, Im so sorry you had to go through that. But the old saying goes like this "what ever doesnt kill us only makes us stronger." You are such a beautiful light to the world and are changing my life everyday, one tear/smile at a time.
    Big hugs and God bless

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  21. Well said. Such a thoughtful post in response to unthoughtful comments. When I come upon negativity, folks quick to assume bad intentions, sometimes I do want to stop it all, quit, close up shop, put up a little sign that says "gone fishing" although in my case it would be "gone painting." But the next day I start again and try to spread mostly good vibes. Thank you for the good vibes.

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  22. I this heard in a lecture recently: What other people do to you is their karma; how you react to it is your karma. I wish we lived in a world where the first priority is kindness. I'm sorry that person felt the need to vomit their issues all over you instead of trying to find a way to dialog what was going on in their head. Just remember, you rock girl!

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  23. Tam, I am so thankful for you! I love that you share your heart and your life with us - both the ups and the downs. I love your videos and that you are completely yourself in them and you dance around and are silly - I just love that!!! :)I'm a bit of a silly one too and seeing you be so completely yourself helps me to store up courage to be my silly self too if I ever decide to create videos. Your art draws me in. I love your girls and your whimsical and playful style so much and *that* is what draws me in! I'm so happy that you share your beautiful singing voice with us also. You have many talents and I'm proud of you for sharing them with us. I *totally* hearing you sing The Universe! You have an *amazing* voice. It has a bit of a beautiful, celtic flair to it, which I LOVE so much!

    Please keep on sharing your beautiful self. I love your blog and check it weekly to see if there are any new posts. Your blog is in my Bookmarks Bar, which is right below my URL bar. I only keep my absolute favorites in my Bookmarks Bar. :)

    Bravo for you for handling all those ugly comments with such grace. It shows the person that you really are inside. I'm proud to be one of your "followers" because I only follow those who are real and inspiring, kind and encouraging, who's art makes me happy and who's beautiful soul shines through.

    Hugs and kisses and blessings for you and your family,

    Kim Smith

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  24. Wonderful post, Tam! An important reminder for all of us.

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  25. You're lovely! People suck! Hold your head up, brush the tears away, and keep on keep on!

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  26. Thank you! My life is better - finding You in it.
    love & love,
    -g-

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  27. At the risk of being categorized as just another groupie fawning over you... well what's wrong with that anyway?!?! :-) I just have to say that you are a beautiful person and it is obvious that you work very hard at putting together all of the resources that are available to us here. I find it quite appalling that someone would take take take from what you give give give and then complain about it. You bring joy into people's lives and I for one am proud to receive inspiration from you!

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  28. I really appreciate your heartfelt post. Being human sure isn't easy ... but it is so imperfectly beautiful. From what I glimpse from the part of you that you share with the world, you are an inspiration and lovely soul.

    http://artfulbitsandbytes.blogspot.com

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  29. Boy, I'm slow on the uptake, this blog was back in April. Time flies. Tam, don't dull your shining light, I can see it sparkling all the way in Australia. I love your open heart, and I truly FEEL your love and empathy towards the human race. Not to mention you have taught me to draw some really cute girlies.......sending you a virtual hug- do ya feel it lol.

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  30. Super inspiring Tam! I've read these words several time already and kept on inspiring me :) Hugs here! right now i especially love "disconnect in peace"! - POWERFUL!!!

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Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3

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