This is a conversation that I had with the angels about fame.   Wanting to be famous.  Being jealous of my famous friends.  Disapproving of the way celebrity is revered in our culture, even though I crave the kind of approval celebrities get.  That kind of thing. Me

Johnny Depp has invited us to his new movie premiere.  I don’t  want to go.  I do want to go for some reasons and I don’t want to go for other reasons, and it confuses me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Johnny, he is a really funny, interesting person and great company, but I prefer to see him when he is not surrounded by people, because he is ridiculously famous and everyone always wants to talk to him all at the same time.

The whole business of fame and famous people bothers me a great deal.  I have a famous partner, but in general I hate the way famous people make me feel.

Famous people make me nervous.  I feel inadequate when I am with them, even though I really don’t want to.  I really want to see myself as equal to them, but I just cant seem to convince myself that they are not better than me.

I have some famous friends who I have known for more than twenty years, people like Johnny Depp and Kate Moss and Bono, and they are all lovely people.  But I would prefer them not to be famous.  I TRY VERY HARD NOT TO FEEL IT, but I feel that their fame makes them more important than me, and it changes the way I relate to them.  I am attracted to their fame and repelled by it at the same time.  I am jealous of it.  Maybe I want to be the one that is famous.  Fame also interferes with my relationships with people because I find it impossible to believe that they could think I am good enough to be their friend, because the whole world wants to be their friend, and they can choose all kinds of exciting people, so I avoid getting too close to them, in case they see how dull and boring I am compared to all those people!  But in spite of all this, I also get an ego boost from knowing famous people!  This is a very complicated problem!  Can you help me?

A

This is an interesting subject, this question of fame and how it affects people!  May we assure you that you are not alone in being influenced by the thought of people being ‘famous’ or not famous.  Fame is quite widely used as a measure of worth in your society, would you not agree?

Me

I would agree, yes.  Even if you don’t personally agree with it, or believe in it as a measure of worth, it is definitely considered that way by the majority of people, and more so by the media.  I think that in the world I live in, fame or celebrity ranks a person highest of all, it is more powerful than good looks or wealth or social class and it is definitely more powerful than being a nice person!  People go completely crazy for celebrity.  I find it infuriating!

A

Indeed.  Infuriating, why?

Me

Because I would prefer if we didn’t value each other based on how famous we are!  Just because you are a famous actor or singer or model does not make you a good person!   Why should you be constantly affirmed and rewarded for being famous when there are people who work really hard doing things that genuinely help other people, and they are ignored?  I mean why should Madonna get more attention and approval than a nurse in a children’s hospital who undoubtedly gets paid less than Madonna’s personal trainer?  It is so unfair!

And what annoys me most is that I buy into it too!  I cannot control the way that I am affected by famous people, so I cant expect anyone else to!

A

Most interesting!  It seems that you have several concerns about fame.  Might we address them in turn?

Me

Fire ahead!

A

To begin with, there is a sense that fame is a reward, which is being dispensed in a manner which is not fair or just.  Fame is not given in accordance with true merit, as you see it?

Me

Yes.  People can become famous for marrying a footballer, while other people are making far more valuable contributions to society and they are ignored because they are not famous!  If you are a glamorous movie star and you go to Africa and get photographed with AIDS orphans, your picture goes all over the world and everyone wants to interview you and ask your opinion.  But if you are just one of the people working in the orphanage nobody wants to take your picture and nobody cares what you think.  I understand that there are some famous people like George Clooney and Bob Geldof and Angelina Jolie who understand this and use their fame constructively, to draw attention to social injustice, but that doesn’t make it right!

A

You have strong feelings about this!

Me

Yes, I suppose I do.

A

Might we ask a question?

Me

Yes.

A

If we were to be in a position to offer you an opportunity tomorrow to become a world famous celebrity, would you reject the opportunity?  Or would you accept our offer?

Me

Bugger!  I suppose you want the truth?

A

It is always more useful to be truthful.

Me

Truthfully, I might object in principle, but I would most probably accept your offer.  I do crave fame, even though I hate myself for it!

A

Might we ask what it is about fame that attracts you?  And also why it is that you hate yourself for craving it, if it makes you happy to have it?

Me

Two questions!

I crave it because even if I disapprove of the reasons people respond so enthusiastically to famous people, I still like the feeling of people responding enthusiastically to me.  I much prefer it to the feeling of being ignored, while another person who is famous is getting all the attention!  To be truthful, part of the reason I hate going to Johnny Depp’s movie premieres is because when I do go, unless I am with Shane, everybody except Johnny ignores me.  On the red carpet they only photograph the famous people and everyone else gets shoved out of the picture.  And at the parties, you can plainly see people’s faces light up when a famous person walks in, especially when Johnny walks in.  If Shane is with me, people want to talk to him.  But I might as well be invisible!  It makes me want to scream.  It is not a nice feeling.  I would like to be the one they all want to photograph and smile at, even if that meant I could ignore them!

A

You would like to be the one who is photographed and smiled at?  You would like to be noticed and approved of and greeted with enthusiasm?

Me

Yes.  I would like that!

A

And yet, you say that you hate yourself for liking the idea of being approved of and greeted with enthusiasm?

Me

I suppose I do.  I think it is childish to want attention.  I should want to be equal to everyone else, not be special.  We are all one!

A

Do you notice what it is that you are doing to yourself ?  Do you notice how you are judging yourself?  How you are telling yourself how you should feel?

Me

Yes.  I do notice it.

A

Where did you get this idea that it is childish to want attention?  To want approval?

Me

I think we all know it is childish?  Only small children want all the attention.  Adults want things to be fair.

A

Do you truly believe that this is the truth?  Do you truly believe that only small children want all the attention?

Me

Well perhaps that is not true.  Perhaps adults want attention too, but because they are adults they realise that it is silly and they control themselves.

A

Indeed!  How does it feel, to control this desire of yours for attention and approval?  How does it feel when you see someone else getting the thing that you are trying not to want?

Me

It feels infuriating!  It makes me angry.  It makes me resent the person getting the attention and the people giving it!

A

And so, do you feel that this is proving to be an effective strategy?  This business of controlling yourself?

Me

I suppose not.  But I don’t know what you would suggest that I do instead?  I cant change the way other people are.  I cant change the fact that I am not famous.  All I can do is control the way that I react to it!

A

Might we try an experiment?

Me

I suppose you might.

A

Might we ask you to simply imagine for a moment that you accept Mr Depp’s invitation to his film premiere.  And if you would not mind obliging us with an extremely difficult exercise, might you also imagine that as you arrive at the premiere and you step onto the red carpet, all of the attention is immediately focussed on you?  If you could just imagine that everyone is most enthusiastic about your arrival, and all of the photographers are taking your picture?  That there is tremendous excitement about your presence at this event?

Me

You are asking me to imagine that I am Cinderella at the ball?!!!  Okay.  I will try to.  Just for you.

A

How does it feel, to imagine that happening?

Me

It feels very nice indeed.  It feels wonderful, actually.  It feels like being loved.  It feels like such a relief!  Like coming home.  It is weird.

A

Would it surprise you if we said that this feeling of being loved, this feeling of relief and this feeling of coming home, these feelings are all part of your true nature?  That this is actually home for you?

Me

I suppose it wouldn’t surprise me, because I do believe that we all come from love.  But I definitely don’t always feel it!

A

Might it also surprise you to know that the reason why you do not always feel loved is because you judge yourself so harshly for wanting to feel loved?

Me

That sort of surprises me.  But I can see that it is true.

A

Can you see that by judging yourself and denying yourself the love that you deserve, you create a strong feeling of not being worthy of love, as you move through your life?  Can you see how you might deliberately put yourself in situations where you are being denied love, while love is being given to other people, in order to prove to yourself over and over again that you are indeed unworthy of such love?

Me

Well I never did actually think of it like that.  I have never thought about it properly, I just did battle with it.

A

Can you see that by accepting and loving yourself wholeheartedly and unreservedly you can set up a new vibration for yourself?

A vibration which matches the feeling of being totally lovable?  Of approval for yourself?

Of enthusiasm for yourself?

Of being “celebrated’ for yourself?

Me

I am not entirely sure what you are suggesting.  Are you saying I just need to accept myself for wanting to be famous and then things will be different?

A

The concept of ‘fame’ may seem very real to you.  But it is really not as real as it seems!

And it is important to note that while the fame of which you speak may feel like coming home to love, when you imagine it, it does not necessarily feel that way to the people who are famous.  Fame can be experienced in all kinds of ways, and those ways depend upon the person doing the experiencing.  Some people experience fame as a very oppressive thing, as a nuisance or a burden.  If you cannot access unconditional love from within yourself, you will not be able to experience it as coming from others.  The outward experience is a reflection of the inner world.  Do you understand this?

Me

I am hearing you, but I don’t entirely believe you.  I suspect that I might have to actually experience it!

A

Indeed.  It is important to test everything for yourself, rather than accepting our word for it!  However, you may wish to continue to practice adopting an attitude of enthusiasm for your own presence, and noticing how that affects your experience.

Me

I promise to try that!

How Is This Advice Working Out?

Interesting!  I decided not to go to Johnny’s movie premiere.  Instead, I went to see a documentary about a man called the ‘Garbage Warrior’.  He builds incredible, sustainable and eco-friendly houses out of garbage in Taos New Mexico. He has also voluntarily built them for people who were made homeless after the hurricane  in New Orleans and after the Tsunami.  His houses are inspirational and so is he.  It was wonderful to take the focus entirely off fame and celebrity and to think about something really interesting and hopeful and exciting!

 

speaking suppers

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