Steve in Milwaukee writes:
For the last two years, I have gone through much loss – my father, my partner, a job and a good friend and business partner. While I’ve come to terms with my dad’s passing, the loss of my love, and recently I got a new job, I am currently in a legal battle with my ex-bandmate over intellectual property. While she and I have both been actively seeking our spiritual paths before this rift, it still seems like she will not be equitable under any circumstances. She praises me in public, and derides me behind my back. Can there be peace? Will she realize that we could both benefit from our music? Will she stop claiming it as hers?
It looks as if the legal battle will end in a partial victory for you in early 2009, but the personal battle is likely to continue. Sometimes there is no going back.
Your ex-bandmate honestly believes she has every right to claim the music as hers, and legal judgments aside, will continue to hold strong to that belief. She also feels that as long as she doesn’t publicly slander you, you have no recourse to the gossip. In many ways, she is right. When it comes to business, she is more cunning and cut-throat than you are. While it may not be honorable, she knows how to play the game. She doesn’t really care that both of you can benefit from your music, she only cares that she can.
While none of this is pleasant, it is what it is. You wanted a partnership, she wanted a stepping stone. Even though you wish for peace, the best you can have with her is the illusion of peace. Learn what you can from this experience, and don’t let it happen again. There is more than one masterpiece in you.
Harden your heart towards her, my friend. In the future she will try and ride on the coattails of your success. Don’t let her, because she will again damage your reputation. While forgiveness may be divine, trust is always a personal choice. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Sometimes justice isn’t a decision that is handed down, it comes in the form of the victories we have yet to create. In time, your ex-bandmate will be thwarted by the consequences of her selfishly instigated war. Let go of the illusions of who she was, and how things should have been. The reality of the situation may be distasteful, but you need to accept things as they are, so you can move forward freely and passionately once again.