“You’re doing WHAT?” her eyebrows crinkled in confusion.
“I’m starting a blog to help celebrities heal from the wounds of fame.”
“What? Celebrities? Why??” I might as well have said I was moving to Africa to start a new life, like my artist friend Jessie did at the age of 41, after her fiance died in a car crash in North Dakota.
“Because there’s a need for it. And I can see beneath the surface.”
I wasn’t going to tell her that before I was called to minister to thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, before I was called to experience the devastation of the ruins of war by living in post-war Bosnia, I had found myself a guest at Sony Studios, sequestered away in a hotel on Rodeo Drive. This was in 1999. NATO was bombing Yugoslavia (now Serbia). I stared out the window at a perfect sunlit day. Watched impeccably dressed people shop for more impeccable clothes. Saw the veneer and glean and shimmer of conformity. The determination and hard work of people willing to suffer for their hope of “making it big.” And the tension on the faces of those who already had.
More than anything though, I sensed hidden pain and quiet anguish that ran deep. I knew, right then, despite my six-year-long calling to Bosnia that was finally culminating in my move there in just a few months, that I had been entrusted with something sacred, here, in Beverly Hills. Fame didn’t impress me. Fortune didn’t either. There were people in desperate need of being given a voice in war-torn Bosnia. But, my intuition knew…there were people in desperate need of being truly seen and heard here in Hollywood, too. And I could see beneath the surface.
It would be 17 years — three years full time in Bosnia, a marriage to a Bosnian, moving back to my native Minnesota, three kids, the ending of the marriage, a calling to minister to warfighters, a successful career as a writer — before that intuition would be ready to manifest (well, more accurately, before I would be ready). But, I wasn’t going to tell my friend any of this. I looked at her:
“Who else is going to do it?”
She shook her head in dismay, as if I was a lost cause. I knew that she, like most people, assumed highly visible creatives to be far removed from real life, seemingly other entities who live lives of luxury and ease and vie for things like Sexiest Person of the Year awards. I wasn’t even going to attempt to change her mind.
But I am going to attempt to help you find a better way to live with these illusions that the public has about you. To give you a place where you can set aside your brand name, and show up as You. You know, the You that you were born to be. The one that you may hardly recognize today.
I’m going to speak about the hard things that no one ever wants to speak about, things that impact you deeply. We’re going to talk about the side of fame that hurts and maims and tears the hearts of high performing artists and creative professionals to shreds. The shit you have to hide and put up with, and the way it feels to become invisible the more that you are seen.
No, this isn’t a pity party. We can agree that there are people much worse off than you, and you have been blessed with the opportunity to build a highly visible brand based on your creative talent. But one of the reasons we lose amazingly talented people to suicide and the clutch of addiction is because the wounds of fame get brushed aside, because well, celebrities don’t have a right to complain about anything, now do they? No. They’re not like other people, they don’t have real hearts, they don’t feel real pain. Lies made up about them don’t cause them heartache (if they really are lies, who knows, that shit is probably true!). They’re used to it! After all, they’re meant to read about and gossip and hunt and photograph and gawk at. It’s all in good fun, right? Harmless.
Dead wrong. Not harmless.
Being blessed does not make your wounds less valid. And certainly does not make your pain hurt less.
Your ability to make an impact in this world from a place of influence only grows greater when your heart finds ways to heal and become whole (all of who you are).
So let this be a place you come, anonymously, to receive words written for your heart, for your life, for your soul. You are safe here. No one knows you’re here. Your life just might become more peaceful because of the insights you find here. Let this be your refuge.
This site is your private space to explore issues that you must navigate in order to be who you are in this world. You are welcome to connect with me confidentially if you wish and please know that I do not accept payment in any form. This is a gift, part of the healing work I am called to do in my life and it is voluntary. (You can read more about me here.)
I want you to know that the lies, the veneer, the illusions, the persona — I see through it. To who you are. Maybe you are struggling to remember who You are… and that’s okay. It’s part of why I’ve been entrusted with this calling.
To lead you back to your Self.
May you know that you are held in a spirit of love and acceptance.
And may all that you find here be nourishing to your soul.