Home > Art, Entertainment, Life, Really? > Thank you for cracking up a little, Susan Boyle..

Thank you for cracking up a little, Susan Boyle..


I just went online to find a picture of Susan Boyle, the semi-finalist of Britain’s Got Talent and was shocked to find 4,440,000 results. Crikey….

susan-boyleAs it turns out, my hero lost in the final round. She subsequently had to spend a little time decompressing in a hospital after a whirlwind rise to worldwide fame. For that, she is even more heroic to me….

I maintain only a cursory awareness of the various “reality” competitions that have so crapped up the TV airwaves in the past few years. People with an unquenchable thirst for fame, or more often for notoriety, have become the bellwethers to follow in our society and I find myself either feeling very old and out of touch or very wise and completely connected to the understanding that THIS IS NOT REALITY!!!! 

When I first saw and heard the video of Susan Boyle’s audition with BGT, I was thrilled. This frumpy recluse from Scotland had taken a GIANT leap of faith and landed squarely in the place she’d fantasized about. Her prayers were answered but as so often happens with such well-intended invocations, the actual outcome was more than she’d expected. 

I once heard Caroline Myss say that when we are ready, our prayers are answered instantaneously — at the speed of light. But often the particularity of the answer can come as a huge shock. This is what I think happened to poor Susan. 

These days, nothing moves slowly. We want what we want NOW, whether we’re ready for it or not. There is no such thing as a gradual ascension when it comes to fame. We can remain below the surface, contentedly swimming along in relative safety, imagining the lives of those who have risen above it. Or we can snap at the line that is trolling along in front of us, happy to have captured the quarry but surprised as hell to suddenly be yanked, gasping, from the comfortable dark waters of obscurity onto the life-sucking deck of fame and fortune. At very least, we end up with a wicked case of the bends…

We’ve all had the dream. We’ve all imagined ourselves on some pedestal where people who don’t even know us worship our greatness. But do any of us even realize that the pedestal is actually a giant hook and we are simply a prize fish that someone is going to have stuffed and hung on their wall as a trophy?

susan-boyle-candid-1I am relieved by Susan Boyle’s failure to win the contest that swept her out of her living room and into the hot spotlight. She gives me permission to try and “fail” — knowing that the actual goal is achieved in the trying rather than the attaining. Success is not the prize. She already had that, right there in her little town. The real prize is knowing that you have a wonderful gift and sharing it with those who truly matter. 

Thanks for the lesson, Susan. Elaine Page, eat your heart out!

  1. June 9, 2009 at 12:24 am

    I don’t even know why they’re called reality shows. There isn’t anything real about any of them. Bring back the sitcoms, I say. As for Susan, she reaffirmed what Obama’s election proved… anyone can be anything they want. But as they say, be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

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