At the beginning of this New Year, I made the decision that one of my primary resolutions was going to be NOT to let the negative behavior of other people bother me. My dearly beloved father use to always tell me, "Baby, don't be a reactionary. You know," he would go on, "out there in Hollywood, you're dealing with snakes". My father had a thing about Tinseltown. He certainly enjoyed his daughter's success in the business and was so proud that I had reached my goal of being on a national entertainment show. However, he always wanted me to stay grounded and not be sucked in by the superficial nature of this business. He'd much rather listen to NPR than to hear what everyone was wearing on the red carpet. Whenever, I would tell him that I ran into someone who was a real jerk, he would tell me, "Get use to it. That is the town you live in. It's ALL fake", he would sternly say. I would tell my father about all the wonderful people that do live in this town and that many are fine, upstanding folks who have good morals and values but, Dad, being the Southern-boy who was a Mid-western transplant, he would look at me with a very skeptical eye.
I was reminded of my father's judgmental view of Hollywood yesterday during a conversation with someone in the business. The conversation could have gone well if this person wasn't hiding their true intentions and very BADLY hiding them. I knew, from the beginning of the conversation, that it was not going to go well because they were not being truthful about the first FOUR points they made. I kept giving them a very logical counterpoint and every time I did, they would say something to totally contradict what they had just told me. I hate to call them "lies" because Grandma (God rest her saintly soul) would not like me using that term but...). It was very frustrating. When we concluded the conversation and got off the phone, I was just fuming. "How could they say those things??" I kept asking myself. "I thought they had more character than that!" I was disappointed in this person and in myself for trusting them and holding them to a higher standard in the first place. I had a panel discussion later that night, for which I really needed to be at the top of my game. But, this conversation and the untruths that were made were hanging over me, dampening my spirit and I hated the control it had over me.
After a few HOURS of feeling so frustrated, I started looking at some of the pictures on my phone and came upon a screenshot I had taken of a quote I found on Instagram. It said, "God can STILL make a way." I instantly felt CALM. I began to see things in a more objective manner. Many things started coming to me: "I am upset now, but this moment will pass like they always do." "This person doesn't have control over my life." "There are other people who will be supportive of me." "This person will have to deal with their own karma and it's not for me to judge them, just to send prayers their way". "As long as I act with intergrity, I can look at myself in the mirror and love the reflection that I see." Positive thought after positive thought just kept flowing into my mind. I realized, as my father told me, I had a CHOICE to either let other people's bad behavior affect me in a negative way or to not let them infect my spirit and to keep on pushing forward. Trust me, it wasn't easy and I still have moments of struggling with what this person did. However, I can still see the light through those moments and know that, if I choose to live with integrity, I will always find success.