Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Truth Behind Confessions

This week I discovered a great story in the form of a randomly chosen Lifetime movie.  Completely chick like I realize, but sometimes I find it amazing how our intuition can reveal the answers to our inner struggles through artistic expressions.  On the surface, Confessions of a Go Go Girl doesn't seem like a film with a viable message.  The title can give the impression that it's just another producer's chance to make a quick name (and buck) by highlighting the economy's best self-selling money maker: sex, or at least the promise of it.

Confessions is a meaningful surprise however, much in the same way that Jerry Bruckheimer's Coyote Ugly was.  The heroines are remarkably similar in some ways-both artists with a dream who become someone they're not in order to pay the bills while they pursue it.  In the process of becoming someone they're not they discover their true selves and grow an innate skill that they need to help them accomplish their dreams.  Violet is from a blue collar background who uses her sense of self-sufficiency and ambitious drive to take a leap of faith, eventually winning the support of her father.  Jane is from a background of privilege, who suddenly finds herself without the support of her family once she decides to pursue a career that they feel is impractical.

Both of these characters soon find themselves in worlds beyond their previous comfort zones.  They begin to hide the new persona they're becoming from those individuals in their lives who would find it shocking and unimaginable.  But more importantly they begin to use those new personas as an excuse to hide the truth from themselves, as those alternate identities become crutches that prevent them from becoming who they really want to be.  Violet and Jane could be any one of us.  We all use something to hide from ourselves.  We take on a new identity that is the complete opposite of the script that we've followed for so long in order to free a piece of our soul that can't seem to speak the lines.

Sometimes we end up losing ourselves in that "pretend" persona.  We forget why we tried it on for size in the first place.  We're no longer just pretending.  We are that image because it gives us a sense of something that we somehow couldn't give our former self.  That's when we're forced to be honest.  We have to sit down, look ourselves in the mirror, and ask why we created that persona in the first place.

For me the truth behind that confession isn't that hard to discover.  It probably isn't for many of us, once we take the time to take a look at the reflection we've been ignoring for so long.  I chose not to believe in myself because I placed more value in the opinion of someone else who said I shouldn't.  I created my persona and then became it in order to have a surefire means of achieving "success" so that I wouldn't have to face the possibility of failure.

But the person I failed was my true self.  Belief in who you are doesn't come from what others think you should be or the kind of life they think you should be living.  You'll be chasing after the wind forever if you think that's where your answers are going to come from.  You'll continue to sacrifice your potential in exchange for placing more value on what you'll never grasp.  Success by anyone's definition but your own feels exactly like failure.  It's empty and meaningless-a downward spiral that turns you into a dishonest performer.

Becoming who you should be starts with one decision and only one decision.  The decision that says I believe in the inner reflection that someday others will get to see. 



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