I recently read a story about a man who is very much in the public eye….a man who carries the weight of public scrutiny as he once carried the weight of adulation. The microphone caught him cursing himself. “You s**k, [T.W.] ” he said to himself.
Curses, kudos, projections. The voice that berates is the same one that justifies. At its root is a mistake: the notion that we are separate from our Source, impossibly flawed and in need of showing ourselves to be superior to others…or attaching ourselves by identification with the perfect-seeming “other.”
We hold complex and often contradictory emotions about fame. Its aquisition may simply be a necessary tool to success in a field of endeavor, spurring us to serve a larger community to our fullest potential. Or, it may be an unconscious strategy to fill a frozen need for love and approval. Or we may experience some of both versions, healthy and not so. We are, after all, human. And called to learn the main lesson of this earthly adventure: unconditional love. Compassion and self-acceptance.
We share oneness with our Source and we also share fear and doubt about this Divine connection. Each and every one of us has a part that holds our fear and its children, anger, judgment and self-judgement. Call this part the shadow, the ego, the “little me.”
Famous people can inspire us to greatness. By mental focus, diligent development natural talent, and by allowing the free-flowing creative expression of their gifts, they can trigger within us the spark of our own desire to express, extend and share.
And when they falter, or let slip carefully maintained masks, they can remind us of our own flaws…the ones we also pretended to ourselves and others not to have. And oh, how we can hate them for that, if we are using them as projector screens for our own self-hate!
When the famous become the notorious, they have a renewed opportunity to teach and inspire. The lesson plan takes on more meaning. It goes from modeling excellence in achievement to modeling love itself. Or more accuately, modeling the learning of how to love.
Learning is a messy business. At first and for a while, we’re clumsy at it. We have to be willing to keep practicing until we’re experts, a lifetime endeavor!
Recovery is not about admitting we’re powerless in the sense that we “s**k.” The perspective that one is a monster, the worst, the awfullest…is another way of being “special.” In true recovery, we replace the feeling that we need to be “special” (better or worse than everyone else) with the peace of our enoughness. We wake up to the awareness that we expressions of the One, each of us beautiful in our own way, flaws and all.
When a person models this (as we all do, sooner or later), s/he inspires at a higher level. And the modeling must, for us to really benefit from it, include the demonstration, slips and all, of step-by-step movement… from the painful constriction of egoic identification with self to the grace and freedom of identification with Self. To identify with Source is to recover the truth of who we really are, to leave behind forever the need for “specialness,” and to recognize the beauty of every human being.
Thanks to T.W. and to you, Dear Reader, for modeling your journey for all to see. What courage it takes to be a human being! How wonderful it can be to live without the burden of shame. How much more fun! Wishing you empathy, self-forgivness, peace…and the permission to admire your own gifts and those of others with a light heart.