Oprah interviewed Beyonce hours before she revealed her documentary to the world. Life is But a Dream is a fabulous film piecing together intimate moments with performance clips as she experienced a huge transformation: releasing her father's management both personally and professionally in her life. Needing desperately to focus her life more on enjoying and growing than continuing the commercial success that was keeping her trapped.
I loved when Beyonce talked about the pressures of commercial success preventing her authenticity and growth. This built up in Beyonce until she couldn't ignore it any longer. Absolutely busy on her schedule of song writing, performing, being married, and becoming a mogul herself, her laptop was her private diary. It was her friend. To that screen she revealed the depths of her discomfort. Most people would wonder what someone with that status could be upset about, but Beyonce is a true artist. Artists need to grow, to delve deeper, to stoke the fires of their souls in order to create art, manifest voice and produce original product.
I loved this part of Beyonce's documentary because it reminded me how I felt when I was younger, winning awards, wearing many hats, and successful in anybody's eyes. I had to wear the hats at certain times; my responsibilities demanded discipline and rigidity of playing the roles others had come to expect from me. I couldn't be what was available in the moment to be expressed. In those moments, it was the poet; the busy writer's head burgeoning with stories needing time and energy to be set down on to paper. But there was no time. I went from student, to president, to first student representative on the Board of Education and back again into the classroom. There was not enough time to catch the poems building and this loss of capturing the mood in the moment stymied my satisfaction during those days.
I struggled with that for many years. Being this vulnerable won't backfire on Beyonce. She feared sharing these realizations, doubts, her miscarriage, subsequent pregnancy and delivery would cause her to be over exposed. Her depth and honesty, in my eyes, has made her ever so much more potently precious to those who already respected her capacity as she climbed to the top of her field.
Her leap of trust has been rewarded. She revealed her truth and the most intimate details of her growth and through this process she healed many parts of her psyche. It almost doesn't matter what the world thinks, because she got so clear with herself. Yet labeled Mistress of the Universe, Goddess of Everything, she's now on the cover of Vogue. Surely these titles given to someone who has weighed out the pros and cons of premiering her imperfection, in order to move forward with greater authenticity has built this soul's confidence level. Her humanity is accentuated and applauded.
Is she exposing too much? No. She is being honest. I think for those who don't have success and for those who do have success, that level of honesty is intoxicating. Most people don't feel they can be honest. Why would someone who has all that success risk the possibility of losing accolades? In our greedy, gluttonous world, we think success is what it's all about. Jamie Lee Curtis knows it's not. Jamie Foxx does as well, as does 50 Cents, Jerry Seinfeld, and Louis C.K. External success is not what it's all about. Somebody that has universal success knows that. For people who don't have grand scale success, to realize they have freedom and opportunity sometimes more than the people with success, to do the work, gives them incentive to do that which aligns them with their spirit, which will automatically result in greater authenticity and interaction with the world, giving the gifts they came to give. That is the deepest success, giving freely of one's gifts. Beyonce nailed this concept.
Beyonce so capable of being fierce, strong, in control and directed was delicate as she showed us the other side of her. She was human; she gives us the permission to be human as well. For that I praise her willingness and bravery to do what in so many people's minds is unthinkable: to rock the boat, to make waves, to tell the truth.