Columnist Opeyemi Parham, MD
How to Respond to a Poison Pen Letter, and Awaken the Global heart
Spirit moves in mysterious ways. I am trying to ramp up my computer literacy and set an intention of focusing more on blogging. So I began by going to my wordpress blog site, and trying to really understand it’s potential. That meant checking into features that I had previously ignored, like the comments section.
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog titled, “I Hate Money”. This week, I found a comment/response to that blog from back in April. It reads as follows:
“Speaking as one of your former friends, I know from personal experience why you didn’t receive much money: you’re a user. I paid you once to assist me for a project, and you shorted me on your time. In my generosity, I paid you in advance, and yet you never reimbursed me for the extra money. I’ve also witnessed you borrowing money from other friends, and also not paying them back.
All of your misinformed and magical mumbojumbo, doesn’t detract from the reality of your life: you’re poor because you fucked up your potentially lucrative career. It’s not anyone’s responsibility but yours, to straighten your life out.
It’s all finally caught up with you, Camilla. Eventually, you’ll run out of friends, family, and lovers to filch off of. I’ll bet that you lack the courage to print this, too.”
Wow, pretty nasty. And the thing that really got to me (besides the anonymous nature of the message) was that it really addresses some of my shadows. I feel terribly incompetent financially, and I am still running like a hamster in a cage to “get back on top” with respect to my relationship with money. The part about using folks and borrowing from friends without repaying them really hit home. The part about “fucking up my lucrative career” was like salt in a wound, as I move from three years working as a clerk to a new, part time job as a receptionist, grateful that I have money to pay my rent.
And as I said, Spirit moves in mysterious ways. The morning I found the comment, my daily meditation using tarot cards had revealed “guilt” from the Osho deck and “crossroads” from the goddess oracle deck. My “magical mumbojumbo” had left me ready for something to happen that day that would be about a crossroads with respect to guilt issues. I was ready for that attack. It helped me clarify my priorities. I will be working with Jean Gran, who is a financial recovery counselor (see http://www.jeangran.com/) really taking the bull by the horns.
For about a day, I really couldn’t imagine who disliked me enough to send a comment like that. I tried to respond to the e-mail address listed
My e-mail was returned, with the address no longer in existence.
And all this happened this week, during The Days of Awe, culminating this morning with . Once again, that magical mumbojumbo has deep meaning and significance.
I woke up this morning and knew exactly who had sent me the poison pen letter.
What an epiphany.
I have no need to name this person; let it suffice that it is a Jewish man. I found myself rapidly moving from anger and hurt over the words of that comment to a deep understanding for how injured this former friend really is. I am not faking it; I actually respond to stress more and more with a “tend and befriend” response, rather than the taker culture’s “fight/fly/ or freeze” patterning.
How appropriate that this entire incident resolves itself on a high holy day in Judaism, when forgiveness and atonement are central.
I forgive myself my clumsiness and inadequate focus on money, and I set my intention to right it.
I forgive my name caller and attacker. I deeply understand and acknowledge the wounding done to this man by his own family, and his religion. I hold compassion and understanding, having witnessed him make poor choices in personal relationships and witnessed him suffer the consequences. I will send him love and light…from the appropriate distance. I am pagan; no Christian martyrdom, here.
This is how we really do it—heal the world. Awaken the Global Heart. Tikkun Olam.