Have you ever wondered why someone who has it all; fame and fortune and even a family that loves them, would take their own lives? Have you ever wondered how you can have so many friends and fans and yet feel so alone, that you have no one to talk to? Can you even imagine commanding so much power and respect with your words and actions, that even just a small mistake on your part becomes a major catastrophe and news for the whole world?
The problem for celebrities is that nothing they ever do is regarded as small! Depending on their line of duty, even their private thoughts count, and having a larger audience doesn’t give them a greater liberty to speak their minds – truth or not. It comes with great responsibility to process, analyse and selectively and responsibly proclaim every word. Jesus even warned against speaking idle words…how much so when you have a million followers ready to run with your words and amplify it to the world – whether because they support you or disagree with you?
Isn’t it then understandable that those in the limelight would suffer from a crippling anxiety and depression? Surely, some are better at managing this than others. It depends on their genuine support network. Unfortunately, many celebrities can’t trust their friends not to sell them out. And most certainly, they can’t trust their fans either! Because though they will sing your praises and hail you when they are happy with you, they become rabid wolves when they are not!
How can I even have an insight into this? I am not a celebrity. Far from it. But, in a way, I’m suffering from small-scale celebrity syndrome. I think we all are in this modern world of social media.
If you have thousands of followers on Facebook or Instagram, you will develop some sort of celebrity syndrome. As your influence grows, your liberty to be YOU shrinks in comparison. For one, your fans also contribute to your public image by the things they like and approve of, and the things they oppose. No matter how you try to stay true to yourself, they will either punish you with their outcries and condemnation or they will celebrate you with their acceptance and praise. It takes a very strong soul who knows their worth; values their individuality and message, to triumph over the opinions of the masses.
Unfortunately, part of being successful as a celebrity is having good PR – PUBLIC RELATIONS. You often need to pander to the public and your fans. And if you make such compromises enough, you begin to lose yourself and your backbone to defend your message and truth – if you still remember it!
Personally, this blog has been my outlet… Not a diary where I make my private thoughts public, but something even more. My therapy. I’ve felt at liberty to analyse everything I believe and put it out here on this blog, to help myself and others. Through this, I’ve learnt about myself and my message too. Ultimately, I discovered my calling.
But now, with a growing ministry and following, I no longer have the liberty I did at the beginning to be wrong! I don’t have the liberty to have my own opinions about things, when people are relying on me to give them the unadulterated word of God – and ONLY in the way they already know it. They don’t want to be taught so much as to have their beliefs CONFIRMED and approved.
But in this journey with God, you really have to be ready to speak CONTRARY. Not because you want to, but because you are SURRENDERED and following God and know that God is not limited or caged by anything! He is fluid. He is Spirit. And the word for yesterday may not be the word for today.
And yes, sometimes, because I AM HUMAN, my will and opinions get in the way of hearing God and even speaking the truth. And so, it is essential for all my followers to learn to DISCERN God for themselves… Because I also need you to correct me. To challenge me, but not to condemn me and write me off. We need to give grace to one another.
So, with this change in my liberty to speak my mind, since my words have such impact, I feel silenced – SHUT DOWN. I feel stunned, like the breath has been sucked out of me. I feel anxious about the things I am feeling and going through. My usual outlet for processing these feelings – my blog – has become something that can no longer accommodate my complete honesty! And so my therapy is failing…
I have to find another means to process my thoughts and feelings before I share them with the world. I have to find a stronger support network, so that I can continue to grow in this ministry and not lose myself in it. And I need to change my expectations on everyone, whether they are friends, family, fans or acquaintances. Because disappointment, borne from unmet expectations, is a great catalyst to hopelessness and despair.
If you love me, please pray for me. And pray for everyone in the limelight and in power. They too are human. Thank you and God bless you too.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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