Arise: Earlier, you called performance your therapy. Is performance how you deal with pain?
Erykah Badu: I accept pain as part of growing. Everyone goes through it. And in the process of it, it’s unpleasant, but I’m still peaceful and happy.
A: Does pain ever blind you?
EB: Not at this point. Joy blinds me. Joy, happiness, sadness – they are all blinding, if you lose yourself in any of those things. I feel that I have to stay very accepting and in the moment and not get to a point where I am complacent. I am continually evolving.
A: Do you practice meditation?
EB: Yes. It’s at a point where I walk in meditation. I practise being here, being present, and not being consumed with the chatter of my mind. Being aware of my experiences and the people that I meet. Truly giving them my full attention. I am practising it now.
A: Do you feel fear?
EB: I don’t know if it’s fear I feel. Sometimes, I have caution. And it’s based on fears I’ve had in the past. Neurologically, sometimes I see something that reminds me of something I’ve feared before. I caution myself. But I don’t think there are very many things that scare me right now. Especially human beings.
A: Have you ever experienced betrayal?
EB: [Long pause] What I perceived as betrayal. But it wasn’t really betrayal. Each person has his own path. I mean I don’t blame people for the things they do. That is not for me to judge. I can’t believe I am saying all these things to you because I generally don’t get into conversations like this. Because sometimes, when it’s written, it’s not written in the spirit that I’m saying it. So it becomes confusing. I’m cautious of that. But I don’t believe in betrayal. People follow their own minds and hearts. I guess that’s a part of what detachment is about.
A: How can you be present and detached at the same time?
EB: Well, being present means you are aware of everything around you. When I say detachment, it means that you don’t connect with the emotion that others have for you. The fear or envy someone has for you, the need to leave you, or leave the situation. That’s their stuff. What they feel or think about you is really none of your business. Your business is to be aware and always know that you are synonymous with what is going on around you. And that way, your feelings don’t get hurt when they make a decision that doesn’t agree with you.
A: Which brings us to love. What is love?
EB: Love is the opposite of fear.
From “The Naked Truth,” published in Arise, Issue 11
This! Everything she saids. So important for me right now.