January 28, 2015 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

Dear people who gossiped about me online five years ago,

If you are reading my blog, no doubt you’re surprised to see this entry, after all the time I spent pretending you didn’t exist. Rather than saying anything to you, I decided to treat you as far beneath my notice and deserving no attention whatsoever. I told myself that I wasn’t even going to think about you because, as the saying goes, brooding on a grudge is like letting a person one despises live rent-free in one’s head.

But the grudge never actually went away, even though I cultivated an attitude of being much too tough to care. As long as I despised you, I couldn’t evict you. That negativity got dumped like toxic waste into the depths of my psyche, bubbling and reeking as it slowly decomposed. So I came to the conclusion that the only sensible thing to do was to forgive you instead.

In every situation, there are useful lessons that can be taken away. Forgiveness has to do with appreciating them and moving on. So I asked myself: What insights did I gain five years ago? In what ways has my life changed for the better since then? Are there any parts of that experience for which I can honestly feel gratitude?

There’s no doubt I benefited from learning the value of personal branding. Because I wasn’t a business owner or a celebrity, it never had occurred to me that there might be something to gain from building a consistent “brand” online. I didn’t understand that without proactively defining myself, I was letting other people’s random remarks determine my public image.

When that lesson sank in, I registered my name as a domain and started using it for my email and for this blog. Most likely, some other Meg Evans would have taken the domain name if I had waited much longer; so the fact that I took timely action, which I probably wouldn’t have done absent the unpleasant wake-up call, is the second item on the gratitude list.

Although at present I am using this domain only for a personal blog, I’m also building a solid online foundation for potential future business activities. For example, if I began writing ebooks, I would already have a well-established website where readers easily could find me. I wouldn’t need to make major changes to my site, but could just add a page about the books—easy peasy! That’s item #3 on the gratitude list.

Another related lesson I took to heart is the value of authenticity. In the past, I had been overly cautious about keeping the details of my personal life out of other people’s view. I worried that if I said too much about my fears, weaknesses, or mistakes, then I would leave myself vulnerable to nasty remarks from bullies. So I avoided such topics, believing I was safer that way.

But in fact, hiding my true self didn’t make me any less vulnerable. On the contrary, because my acquaintances lacked a good sense of who I was on a personal level, they were more likely to be influenced by gossip than if they had known more about me. If I had allowed my confident, authentic self to come out and sparkle in all my social interactions, embracing candor instead of surrendering to fear, then everyone would have known better than to spread rumors that obviously didn’t match who I was.

And finally, I’ve developed a healthier sense of how to build and maintain nurturing relationships. When I was younger, I still had a lot to learn about setting boundaries. I put up with negative stuff that I never should have allowed in my life, mainly because I hadn’t yet realized the extent of my personal power. I didn’t fully understand that I could design my own life and contribute to a kinder culture through my intentional choices.

Now I focus on steering my life where I want it to go, rather than just drifting along with the current because I didn’t feel that I could expect better. I no longer waste my time and energy on other people’s melodrama. The world is so full—so wonderfully full—of better options to discover! And for that, also, I am grateful.




  1. I think this letter is wonderfully done. I am sorry about the rumors you had about you online. Why people have to be so mean, I will never understand! Especially adults! We are supposed to be more mature! You brought up a interesting thing that I was thinking about. Is it worth registering your domain. I keep seeing the site ask me if I want to register it. What benefits does it give ?

    Peace to you as you keep forgiving and moving on!

    • Thanks for the kind words Carolyn — much appreciated!

      As for whether it’s worth registering a domain, that depends on what you might want to do with it. Registering one’s real name as a domain is worthwhile because it can be used for future business ventures or for impressing potential employers. In general, the advantages of owning a domain are that you’re free to build a site with whatever you want on it, including email, and to move it to any hosting company. But if you’re happy with a free WordPress blog and wouldn’t want to do anything more with your blog than you’re doing now, then you probably don’t need to register a domain.

  2. Hi Meg, such true words! Isn’t it crazy how fixating on a negative person just keeps them and their energy firmly planted in our lives? I am really working right now on directing my thoughts, and, more importantly, my feelings and vibration, in the direction of what I actually want in my future. Those thoughts about negative experiences are persistent, but they can be beat and driven away forever far away from our happy existence. Good luck, and Namaste! (& yay :))

    • Yay right back atcha, Annie! 🙂 And yes, that’s the way to do it, looking toward good things in the future, so that there’s no energy feeding the old yucky stuff and it just quietly rots away into a pile of harmless compost.

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