If you are about to become famous, I’m sure you’re busy, but there’s something no one has told you yet.
You need to take care of your heart before you step into that starlight.
Don’t worry, even if you skyrocket into the ethers of stardom one hour from now, you’ve got time. Just read this.
Have you seen Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born? It doesn’t matter that only one of these is a biopic. The real-life warning embedded in both films is that childhood wounds can rear their heads in spite of the love of millions coming your direction. In fact, fame can make the pokes and prods of those wounds even more painful.
For us mere mortals, we already have enough of a hard time with our hearts bumping up against each other, being regularly triggered by our largely innocent friends and family. We all have wounds from our childhood that have gone unattended. Some of us don’t even get a chance at rock star fame because those pieces of our hearts end up becoming saboteurs.
Freddie Mercury’s problematic relationship with his dad was a deep cut but it didn’t stop him from reaching his highest heights. He was lucky. But he tripped on that – and other unhealed wounds — later when he found himself lurching into an abyss of addiction to try to ease that old pain. Fame didn’t fix that wound, it just pushed it down until it popped up like a beach ball being held under water.
I have a friend who has Freddie Mercury level talent who hasn’t reached her highest heights because she can’t let go of the ball she’s holding just under the surface. It contains the many wounds from her childhood abuse. It’s a hard stop in her life. But you, Nearly Famous One, you have been lucky like Freddie. You have been riding high on the seas to get to where you are – on the precipice of fame.
So, just before you blast off from seas to starry sky, I’m here to say: Stop, Look and Listen to your heart, so it won’t stop you when you least expect it, demanding that you attend to its hurt places when you are in the middle of what could be a glorious and joyful moment for you and those touched by you.
STOP: Talk to Your Heart — Acknowledge the old wounds are there now. It doesn’t serve you to pretend they don’t exist. Talk to that sweet heart of yours: “Hey, heart, I know you’ve got some wounds in there and I want you to know I’m not going to forget you. I’m going to pay attention to your pain even though I’m going to be pretty damn distracted by the shiny sparkly stardom stuff. I’ve got you.“
LOOK: Find Your Heart Posse — Keep them close. In my Superhero of Love book, I call them your Love League, the people who will tell you the truth, who will be a stand for you looking at those heart wounds, healing them instead of medicating them, and who will be there to tell you when you are veering away from love.
LISTEN: Heed the Cries of those Wounds — If you find yourself being triggered into anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, listen for the voice of the little one inside you who was wounded long ago. Ask that little one “What do you need to feel safe and powerful? What do you need to feel grounded in love no matter what is happening around you? What support, assistance, love do you need right now?”
You need to take care of your heart as much as you would if you were battling cancer, or if you were the sole caretaker of a compromised elderly parent, or the parent of a severely ill child. You will get triggered by fame, no matter how glorious it looks as you stand just on the other side of it.
Fame is distracting. Fame can become an unquenchable thirst, making you think you need to be high all the time. Fame can drown you in the illusion that love is outside of you.
But love is a pure and mighty flame burning inside you right now — yes you, the Not Quite Yet Famous One — and it will continue to burn forever, no matter how much it dims from time to time. Tend to it and it will burn bright and spark the hearts of millions.
And for the rest of us mere mortals, same thing. The more we take care of those old tender wounds, the more we will be able to bounce up against each other’s hearts, able to love and be loved and make a difference in the world. You definitely don’t need fame to make a loving mark on this world.
If you’ve been blessed with rock star fame, hallelujah! Now go off and have it be a beautiful thing for your heart and all the hearts you touch.