Recently, I stopped at a bookstore and checked out their books on sale. There, I found a gem of a book titled "The Dude and the Zen Master” by actor Jeff Bridges and Zen teacher Bernie Glassman. It is filled with such wonderful spiritual wisdom and knowledge! They talk about everything from going with the flow, finding enlightenment right where you are, finding peace within, and so much more. I was also surprised to learn that Jeff’s mother brought the kids up on ‘The Daily Word,’ which is a Unity publication!
Celebrities tend to get a bad rap in the media. You only hear about the ones who are acting up or dealing with really heavy life issues. You rarely, if ever, hear about the celebrities who are basically normal everyday people who are also doing a lot of good in the world. Most people have an idea that all celebrities drink a lot, use drugs, sleep around, are divorced, and party all the time. No so. I say come to small town USA and see how many people we have who do the exact same things. The only difference is that the celebrities end up in the press.
A few years out of high school, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming an actress and moved to Hollywood, California. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a place to live, and didn’t have a job once I got there. I had a dream and I was going to go after that dream. Naïve? Maybe. But only those who pursue their dreams have a chance of seeing them come true.
Before I left, numerous people, including the minister of my church, told me that if I went to Hollywood to become an actress, it was my instant ticket to hell. They told me that Hollywood was evil as well as everyone who lived there, especially if they worked in the entertainment business. But I had better faith in humanity and believed something better. What I found is that there are so many wonderful, kind-hearted, and loving people in and out of the business! I met so many amazing people in the industry, many who are/were big names that you would easily recognize. I found the same when I moved to Nashville years later to continue pursuing my dream.
What I learned is that you find what you’re looking for. Yes, if I had bought into the belief that everyone there was evil, then that’s exactly what I would have found. But I believed in the goodness of people and those are the people I met and got to know.
I also found a church that I attended regularly and met quite a few celebrities there. Since then and to this day, I’ve learned that there are countless celebrities who are on a serious spiritual path. Many of them are using their celebrity and money to make a wonderful difference in the world.
When we hear of troubled celebrities, especially younger ones, instead of judging and condemning them, how about if we pray for them instead? How about if we hold them in loving consciousness that they’ll soon find their way so that they can be the healthy, vibrant people they were meant to be?
We love watching our celebrities in the movies, TV, and sports, and yet so many people are quick to try to tear them down. Celebrities are doing a job even though those jobs may be outside our being able to relate to them. Yet they provide a lot of joy and happiness to so many. I’ve been blessed to see that side of the celebrity life and now I stand up for them whenever I hear someone trying to demonize them.
I would like to leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from two of my favorite people.
Jim Carrey said, "Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself. My soul is not contained within the limits of my body; my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.”
And Martin Sheen state, “We wind up in cells of our own making when we’re not generous, loving, compassionate, and forgiving. Without love, we build dungeons in our hearts and fill them with our perceived enemies. We believe they deserve to be there for the harm they caused us, but by imprisoning them we’re destroying our own spirits. When our dungeons are overflowing with these prisoners we refuse to set free, we become slaves to our self-righteousness, our anger, resentments, and self-loathing, which we let multiply until we wind up imprisoned on our own death row.”
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen June 27, 2014.