Do you secretly wish you were famous? Do you secretly wish everyone knew you and coveted the chance to hang out with you? I have this wish but I don’t talk about it much because it’s my deep, dark secret.
A lot of us girls want to be famous and fabulous and we are prepared to put ourselves in very compromising situations in order to be famous. Take Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian for example. They literally put themselves completely out there to become famous by literally taking their clothes off and doing what it takes to gain fame. Take the thousands of girls slumming it in LA or New York or even Mumbai for example, trying to make it in the entertainment industry and become famous. I never even knew I had this deep dark secret wish until I met Swami Parantapa, a monk and highly advanced Atma Kriya Yoga teacher about 2 years ago.
I got a chance to have a one-on-one interview with Swami Parantapa and during that he asked me a tough question.
Swami Parantapa: What do you want?
Me: Well… I want to be successful.
Swami Parantapa: Why do you want to be successful?
Me: So that I can be good at what I do. So I can be the best.
Swami Parantapa: Why do you need to be good at what you do? Why do you need to be the best?
Me: I… don’t really know.
Swami Parantapa: What do you really want?
Me: I just want to be famous.
Silence. After I said that, both him and I were completely silent. Then he let me off the hook by asking me about my boy troubles. He can be just as gentle as he is tough.
I was shocked that I wanted to be famous, that I shared a deep desire just like the Hollywood extra type of girls. Is that what had fueled the self-promotion on my fashion blog? Is that what my over the top Facebook updates were all about? Is that what my pimped out LinkedIn profile proved? I was ashamed.
But because I was meditating a lot at the time and because I was doing a LOT of self-help, I convinced myself that I had gotten over this lowly desire and that I had a lot higher ambitions in my life like helping young women like myself to survive their Quarter Life Crisis. Recently however, my journey has been diverted back on itself because it turns out I didn’t fully learn some of the hard lessons needed in my spiritual progress. I was pushed back and forced to turn around to face this “wanting to be famous” thing to understand what it was saying about me.
After meditating on it and asking myself point-blank, just like Swami Parantapa had asked me, I kept asking myself till I was forced to answer the question. “Why do I want to be famous?” The shocking answer was “…because I don’t want to be alone.”
“…because I don’t want to be alone.”
My fear of being alone was so deep and so hidden that I constructed a separate secret desire to be famous. Having this secret desire to be famous became a driver so I wouldn’t have to look at my fear of being alone. Where did that fear come from? Back in high school, when I got left out once or twice at group outings, this fear was born. I didn’t want to be left out ever again. I didn’t want to be alone and lonely. The opposite of that is to be famous and popular so that everyone else would want to include me, in fact they would fight amongst each other to spend time with me. Being famous would solve the problem.
Now I am aware of this deep, dark secret of mine – that I want to be famous. Awareness doesn’t mean this desire is now dissolved completely. It means that I now have the power to consciously catch myself chasing fame and doing things just to be famous rather than have a higher motive. Desire for fame is also the opposite of humility and that’s something else I desire.
So do you have a deep, dark secret of wanting to be famous? What does this say about you? Sit down in meditation and ask yourself why you want to be famous and wait for the answer to come up. When it does, ask again, “but why?” And ask again till you get to the raw and painful truth. There is no shame in seeing this desire in you, in fact once you see and accept it, you have infinitely more power to address it.
If anything come up for you, I challenge you to share it in the comments below. Even if it’s not easy to do so, share it because outing it will take power away from it and transfer it to you.