The Lens We Carry

I remember when I got my first piece of hate email. I had just started writing articles for my blog, but I was still running 3 other businesses, including an online magazine. A person who regularly wrote articles for my magazine sent me this email, “I can’t believe you are writing about the occult and the paranormal. My religion forbids me from interacting with anyone who dabbles in the occult in any way. In fact my religion tells me that you should burn for your crimes. Please remove every article I’ve ever written for your magazine. I can have nothing further to do with you.”

I was so shocked, and so taken aback. This was a woman I had a great relationship with, at least up until that moment.

I remember feeling so hurt, so judged. And I wrote back to her and tried to justify my blog, my articles, my personality, my character, my entire being.

I wanted her to like me. I didn’t want her to hate me for who I was. At the time, it really meant a lot to me that she understand I was a good person and not evil.

But no matter what I said to her, she continued to send me emails telling me I was doomed to hell, that I worked for the Devil, and that I should be stoned or burned for being a witch.

I was very hurt. I didn’t understand how I could be so misunderstood. I wondered if other people hated me too. In short order, I started getting more hate mail from people with similar viewpoints.

When I started doing psychic readings I got mail from people who said I was a criminal, a fraud, and preying on the gullible. That hurt too. I wasn’t doing anything like that, but I couldn’t make them believe me. I struggled with that injustice and judgment, and it made me sad.

Then I started coming out of that funk. I realized that people see things through their own lens. What looks “red” to one person is going to look “blue” to another. People pick up the lenses they want to see through. The lens you look through alters the reality of what you’re seeing. We all do it.

To those people, I really was a witch, a fraud, a criminal, a devil-worshipper.

To those people who held that lens, they were fully justified in their beliefs.

I realized that people are entitled to their beliefs, even if those beliefs do not coincide with mine.

I learned over the years that it’s not my job to explain myself. It’s my job to be myself.

Some people will hold a lens that makes me look wise, helpful, compassionate. Others carry a lens that makes me look evil, fraudulent, and dark.

It’s how we move through life. We carry the lenses that were built by our expectations, beliefs, and experiences.

When someone sends me hate email now, I can brush it off, because I know they’re looking through a lens of their own beliefs, their own reality. From that perspective, whatever they are saying about me is correct. I may not agree with it or share their viewpoint, but I can’t control what lens they look through.

Likewise, when someone sends me fan mail, telling me how great I am or how positively I’ve impacted their lives, I know that they too are looking through a lens. That lens might make me look even better than I really am.

But through the years I’ve learned that I just have to continue to speak my truth, to share my experiences, and to help people as best I can. I am pleased when a blog I’ve written or a reading I’ve done positively impacts someone, because that’s my goal, to help.

In the end, we all move through a world that is seen through these lenses. What you want to ask yourself is this: “Is my lens serving my highest good and helping me have a more fulfilling joyful life, or is my lens causing me to feel bad about the world and the people in it?”

You’re allowed to carry and look through any lens you want. And it’s important not to judge what other people see through their lenses, just as you don’t want them to judge you for what you see through your lens.

My work, my style, my energy is not for everyone. I know there will be a lot of people who hate my work and a lot of people who love my work. But in the end, that has nothing to do with who I really am. They see me through the lens they carry. And that’s okay.

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