Funny How We Listen

"We spend our time listening to politicians, and preachers, believing they have the answers. No one has all of the answers. We should be listening to artists. Politicians, and preachers have an agenda. Artists have a dream."

-- Me.

A friend of mine posted the above video, about Jim Carrey on his Facebook. As a friend, knowing he is going through some rough times, some depression, seeing him post something like this is a positive. People have fretted that Jim Carrey is losing his mind, gone crazy, no longer who he has been... but that's completely untrue. He is exactly who he has always been, and he is someone that we can learn from.

I've struggled writing this blog for a few days. It's a tough topic to tackle. In my own journey, my self-discovery, trying to shake my depression, the overwhelming feelings of worthlessness that envelope me at times, and put everything together to find those answers; that isn't a small mountain to climb as an individual.

Those answers might not even exist. Or, they might be so close to us, and so much more simple than what our over-thinking minds assume that they are, we just don't don't recognize them for their simplicity.

Jim Carrey has known this. He's known this, and lived it. What you see now is just his maturity about it. His path. We just haven't been able to witness it so clearly until now. But if you look at his path, and the movies he has starred in, you might see the deliberate selection of roles along the way, and the messages they convey.

Ace Ventura
The Mask
Dumb and Dumber
- as the Riddler
Liar, Liar
The Truman Show
Me, Myself and Irene
Man on the Moon
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Majestic
Bruce Almighty
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Yes Man

Take a minute to examine the roles he played, the messages in these movies, even the abstract ones. Sure, movies like Ace Ventura, and Dumb and Dumber were goofy, but there is still something to be learned. Perhaps as simple as, be kind to all living things, and be good hearted, and don't worry so much. Take off the mask, you ARE enough.

What you're now experiencing while watching, and listening to Jim Carrey is a culmination of his life, his path, his knowledge, his learning, and his expression of all of it.

So what I'm saying is, listen. Don't judge. Don't assume that people who express different thoughts that go against our preconceived notions of what life is are crazy, or losing it. As I commented back to my friend, Jim Carrey is following a similar path to Robin Williams. A similar path to John Lennon. Everyone who finds it, finds it in their own way. Everyone who expresses it, expresses it in their own way. But you don't find it until open your heart, and open your mind, and allow your energy to guide you without allowing those social expectations, and preconceived notions of what life is, and what life should be, get in the way.

As my favorite comedian Bill Hicks once mused, “The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey — don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…”

And we… kill those people.

“Shut him up.”

“We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.”

But it's just a ride.

But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one."

Just a ride.

Bill said this in the early '90s. Is Jim saying anything that much different now? Was Robin Williams saying anything different when he told us to make our lives spectacular? Examine the roles Williams took on as well. Compare those characters with Carrey's. Compare the messages those characters relayed to us. Compare what Lennon wrote in "Imagine," or "Watching The Wheels."

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

It's just a ride.

Other people remember, and they come back to us, they say, "Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride."

We see them as crazy. We see them as different. And humans have far too much history of destroying what they can't understand. We kill the monsters. We find escapes from our feelings. We turn off, and try to not turn on. We try to escape our vulnerability, and put up walls. We replace those strange desires with social expectations, and our energy calling with what religions, and politicians tell us we should do. We let them divide us. We let them tell us what we should be doing, and what we should focus on. And we're not happy. We keep trying to fill the void with things, instead of just letting ourselves be, and feel, and love.

Jim Carrey has a documentary on Netflix about making the movie Man on the Moon. In this, he described what creates us as people as being similar to the process that makes a pearl. We coat ourselves in a hard shell to protect ourselves from life. To protect us from pain. To protect our vulnerability, instead of allowing it to be exposed, and felt, but in doing so it keeps us from living. It stops us from following our hearts. It stops us from opening up to others, and truly experiencing everything life can offer. Our job is to get to that dirt; the piece of dirt that the pearl forms around. That deep pain within us that makes us build those walls.

We are beautiful pearls, but that piece of dirt is in there. We have to let ourselves feel it. And it doesn't make us ugly, it makes up more beautiful. It is beautiful to feel. Beautiful to be who we are. It is beautiful to allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

I'm learning more about my depression, and I have to learn how to differentiate between depression, sadness, and disappointment.

Jim Carrey said, sadness is from happenstance; Depression is your body saying, "Fuck you. I don't want to be this character anymore. You should think of the word depressed as deep rest. Your body needs rest from the character you're trying to play."

Depression: Deep Rest.

So perhaps my depression, all my life, has simply just been me trying to be the best person I can be. Perhaps even more, about trying to be everything to someone else, and when I grow weary of it, and the resulting disappointments, my body tells me so.

That character, is perhaps one I should leave behind. Maybe it's time to just focus on me, my happiness, and be carefree so others can see what carefree is like.

Maybe it's time to just be me, and accept who I am without always trying to be a better person, as my long stated path has been.

Maybe it's time to watch the wheels go round, and round, and time to just let it all go.

Things that I've known, but it is much harder to practice. There's always expectations, bills to be paid, people to come through for, support to be given. But in the end, if all of that went away, you would still be left with you to deal with.

Here's my positive: in terms of my relationship within myself, my pearl is pretty much just a speck of dirt at this point. I've focused on me, and understanding my true nature, and trying to fix everything I see as a problem so much that I have almost concluded that I am my own source of depression, or that speck of dirt is the cause of my depression. My goal was to get past it, not to cover it in a hard shell. But what I have ended up doing is polishing it, and saying, "Look at this speck of dirt. It's my speck of dirt, and it is part of who I am, and even though it causes me pain, and anxiety, I can still be a good person." And I think this is part of the letting go. It's the knowing you'll be judged, and accepting yourself anyway.

So in terms of finding that balance, I think I'm doing ok, occasional bouts of depression be damned. But that's ok, too.

Someday, I'll learn to listen when my body says it needs a deep rest.

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