I was checking out my Facebook page and this image of Robin Williams in my news feed caught my eye. The shocking news of Robin William’s suicide on August 12, 2014 and that he was suffering from depression has touched many hearts. Here is an actor who had everything you could imagine achieving: family, fame, money, loved by many and had the gifted ability to make everyone laugh and forget about their problems.
This is not the first time we hear a shocking story that happens to someone that seems so out of character. The news shocks us because the reality is ALL of US are like Robin and have two faces. We each have a public face known as our ‘self-image’ that we present or project outwardly to the world (like an actor on the stage). This public face can be understood to be all those qualities that we value about ourselves and feel define who we are. We project this self-image outwardly to others so we can receive validation for it. By getting that validation from other people, it gives the illusion that our projected self-image is a real self!
However, the acting role is not real and it is only a matter of time before the feelings we are suppressing by ‘playing our role’ will eventually surface. That is our private face, the one we don’t show to the public and often not even to ourselves. When we drop the role-playing, then the real feelings surface and because they are being suppressed it is not surprising that they are unpleasant, unwanted feelings. It is normal behavior that we do everything we can, not to touch this hidden part of ourselves and find endless distractions in life to avoid confrontation with our true reality.
The life threatening side of this acting game and avoiding confrontation with our true self (which most of us are doing), is tragically portrayed by Robin William’s suicide. I see Robin William’s untimely death as a gift to humanity with the clear message to: “WAKE UP AND FACE REALITY!” This acting game is going on here everyday in Facebook. Everyone is mainly using Facebook as a stage to project their self-image of themselves to others to get validation for their acting role. It is so RARE in Facebook that any person shows their private face, the real feelings they have inside and actually asks another person for help. It is no doubt that many people today are suffering from depression, but because they have themselves on a public platform, they can’t openly admit they have a problem and ask for help because that would damage their ‘fake self-image’. The higher the platform you achieve and the more followers you get, the less likely it is you will ask anyone for help because it becomes more dangerous that your truth will get leaked to the public and then your public image would get damaged (shattered). Protecting this fake persona is what is most important! Or not?
It sure would be great if we could all do “a small part” to honor Robin Williams gift of his life by GETTING REAL and using Facebook and social media in a way that can help ourselves and each other grow and heal versus just using it to distract ourselves and project our fake self-images. We can turn a new page by using Facebook responsibly by sharing our true feelings, asking questions and helping each other. I do understand that it takes quite a bit of courage to express something publicly that all your friends can see… and admit that one feels like something is missing and is looking for something more meaningful and essential in life . You see what Robin Williams is clearly showing us is that the acting game can never fulfill us, what is missing and that which we all are longing for is unconditional love and connection to the divine. And you can only encounter that PURE LOVE we are all ultimately seeking by dropping the act, looking inside and exploring your true thoughts and feelings and expressing yourself from *inside* — from what is real.
August 17, 2014