Last night I met Elizabeth Gilbert, the author. This was something I had planned for over a month, putting it in my calendar immediately when the announcement appeared on Facebook. I created an event and invited others to join me. One friend came and we braved rain and traffic to get there. As I entered the room, I wanted to feel something special. I wanted to feel a vibration or something to let me know that I was in the presence of magnificence, but I didn’t really. I told myself I did, but it simply wasn’t there. Why? I was truly excited to be meeting the woman who had penned, indeed lived, Eat, Pray, Love and now this lusciously written epic story that would allow me and other readers to immerse ourselves in her characters and settings. So why no fireworks, clanging bells, or vibrations from above? I think it was the grounded authenticity with which she carries herself. She was, quite simply, a lovely, friendly person, just what a reader might wish for in a favorite author.
I so wanted to be special, significant to this legend and when it was my turn to approach the sacred space of her lectern for my personalized signing and private moment with her, I grabbed my chance. I told her that I did not expect her to remember since I knew thousands of people are corresponding with her weekly, but that I am the person who posted the picture of the UK version of her book from Texas. She remembered immediately and told me that she was so glad she had received the picture and posted it because she loved the UK cover as well. I was thrilled. I was special in some small way to Elizabeth Gilbert, the famous writer. Like a little girl, I told her that I was wearing my green moss agate earrings and that I would get my niece to make her a pair and send them. This morning my question to myself is, “Why didn’t I just enjoy that brief moment experiencing her as a human being?” I could have sent the earrings later and not brought it up at all. She was gracious, warm and real. It was as if I was disappointed in meeting a human being in place of a legend when the very thing that drew me to her previous work was how real she is.
Was I afraid that since she was a mere human being, meeting her would not be able to afford me new status in the world? This made me think about how we create celebrities and use them to distract us from our own lives. We support their ascendance to demi-gods and later crucify them in the media and in our own minds when they fall from the pedestals upon which we place them. Our responsibility is to our own Spirits, the divine spark that is within us. Rather than nurturing that spark, we often delegate greatness to others and then use them to achieve absolution for allowing our gifts to lie dormant out of the fear of our own potential greatness.
And so,my challenge for all of us today is that we claim our own worth as sparks of the Divine and connect authentically to others from a place of personal power. Let’s not pass off the responsibility of greatness. As Cynthia Occelli says: The world is full of people imagining that everyone besides them is a regalia adorned emperor. In truth we’re all naked.
Blessings & Light, Sherry