This is going to be a most unusual blog. I usually write about acting, but life and acting are all mixed up, so today, I am writing about love — Specifically loving yourself, and even more specifically, loving that part of yourself that MESSES. YOU. UP.
A separate part of my teaching, which not everybody in acting class takes, is the meditation. It is powerful and direct and puts you in touch with the Divine within you — The Divine that is within your very cells — The Divine that is between the cells — The Divine that we FORGET ALL ABOUT when the drama begins. When all hell breaks loose, it takes a big commitment to remember the Divine within, dare I say it (I am an acting teacher in Hollywood, not a preacher) our True Source.
The way to remember is through LOVE. Your heart has a connection to your True Source, an invisible umbilical cord if you will –but we forget it. If you are in emotional pain, you have forgotten it. If you are angry, you’ve forgotten it. If you are crying uncontrollably, you’ve forgotten it. All those emotions are very valuable! — particularly for an actor, so it’s important to love them too! They are your guidance system, calling to you, sometimes screaming at you, like a good GPS saying, “Hey, sweetheart, you’re going the wrong way”. So, appreciate the guidance, say, “Thank you. I hear you.” Give your heart a big hug and ask through the tears or gritted teeth, “– What do I do, to get back on the higher road?”
Do you want the answer?
Do you really want it?
I don’t know if I should give it. You’ll probably think, “OH. MY. GOD! — That’s the absolute truth — Why haven’t I been living that my whole life!–I wouldn’t have contemplated suicide so many times!” – Then you’ll forget it two hours later. So, perhaps I should save it for my next blog …
All right. Here it is. The way out, when you are that far down is, – drum roll, please — You have to love ALL OF YOURSELF. You have to love that part of yourself that you can’t stand, that part of yourself that is sabotaging you and getting you hurt. You have to love that part of yourself that is UNACCEPTABLE TO SOCIETY. And not only will this heal you – BUT IT WILL MAKE YOU A GREAT ACTOR. Is it hard? F-ck, yes! (I’m not supposed to swear on these.)
“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” ~Helen Keller
And you think you’re really challenged? Maybe you probably think that that part of YOUR particular self, that I just told you to love, is too unlovable–How can you love that part of yourself that sabotages you on auditions?–Or that part of yourself that overreacts and kills all your relationships? Or that part of you gets fired from every job? How? You just do it — and s/he calms down, and – THIS IS REALLY BIG — stops sabotaging you.
All the greatest treasures are hidden behind that which we wouldn’t want to be with. (Pamela Wilson)
I have a friend who has to love a part of herself that consistently attracts men who really love her, but suddenly, leave anyway. This has happened many times and she gets devastated because being in relationship is the most important thing to her. HOW DOES SHE LOVE THAT?! She can’t force it; she just gives love to THAT PART of herself because THAT’S THE PART that had the guts to take the risk and love — and once she does that she feels so much better. I have a really strong feeling that now that she can do that, the pattern will be broken.
When that feels impossible, look for the gift in it. Whatever it is that you’re doing and hating, it’s serving you in some way. Ask that part of you how it’s serving you. That part will be happy to tell you. Also, you can look for the good in it — I know that’s ridiculous, right?—I’m screwing up my life with this thing and I’m looking at the good in it??? Absolutely. My friend admits that she grows like crazy because she’s not intimately connected to someone who isn’t. She goes out and does things that may seem weird to others, but that really interest, nurture, and expand her.
Feeling better, she laughs and tells me serial monogamy is not that bad, you’re always on a honeymoon, and even if it’s not a honeymoon, it’s an attentive new friend and you never have the boredom of being with someone who has grown in a different direction, like grown roots into the couch in front of the TV. And she says, “Every single relationship has gotten better, so the next one is going to be out of this world wonderful.” It’s not easy to look at things this way when you really want something else, but it’s important to see the GOOD, because that gets your heart connected up again, calms you and gets you at home in your being.
It’s caring for and loving on THAT part (the mistake) of you that’s the key. Not hating it, not fighting it, loving it, loving all of you. For the actors who are reading this – I know you are KNOWING the magic in this. Wow! What you can play now, if you embrace that part of you that you reject, that you resist, that you hide?! How much more alive and expressive will you be? — And for those of us who aren’t actors (me included) the relief of this is better than any shot of booze or any drug you can take. Try it, you’ll like it.