On Monday 16 November 2017 a new documentary will be presented about the life of George Michael. There is one quote on this documentary which shocked me and even depressed me a bit:
‘my life was a waste of time’
Whaaat!?! How could his life be a waste of time? He was extremely privileged with talent and money. He gave the world great music in which he touched our hearts and liberated us. I had difficulty to accept that he came to this dark conclusion of his life. Because if his life was a waste of time…. What does this say about our own normal lives?
The question puzzled me for a couple of days until I had a discussion with a friend about faith and leaps of faith.
Faith is a bit of an old-fashioned thing, but actually it is a great technique. You believe in something what you cannot touch nor see, but by believing in something greater you get the energy and dedication to work towards a higher goal. As such you are able to achieve things beyond your comprehension.
Take for example an athlete: he believes that he can be the best in the world at something. He will work and dedicate his life for hours, days, weeks, months and years. Until he eventually reaches his goal. Or not… Mundane goals are tricky: there can only be one the best at something. Does this mean that the other athletes did not believe enough? Perhaps they were simply not talented enough?
Religious faith does not have this problem: there is an heavenly reward waiting for those who believe (as long as you are not a sinner!). If you have a strong belief, you can enjoy the warm embracing glow of heaven here on earth as long as you live! Even if in reality there is no heaven at all!
The belief in something immaterial in the future can give you great benefits. Many artists get there inspiration from a place where they do not know where it comes from. It is like a bridge from the here and now to something higher. It is there as long as you don’t look down.
As people in time change, by choice (self-development) or fate (tragic circumstances), also their core beliefs can change. All of a sudden what you believed in no longer holds true and you are left empty handed. The challenge then is to be flexible and discover a new leap of faith.
So how would I explain George saying: ‘my life was a waste of time’?
George Michael was extremely sensitive, and talented (and thus lonely) and got tons of attention. However the attention that he got was apparently superficial and not fulfilling. He led a life with an open heart and as a result was often hurt. Giving his life to love and music, without finding true fulfillment he gradually became more and more empty.
Based on his music I think that the core beliefs of George were to love and be free as much as you can. He spread his love in music, in charity and also sexually. With that last item he got in trouble, when he had been publicly caught in sexual innuendos badly harming his image along the way.
Less and less believing in freedom and free love, his bridge to inspiration dried up and he was no longer able to make the leap of faith. Despite of all his efforts he was not being able to fulfill his mission of love and freedom for himself. Did this made him say: ‘my life was a waste of time’?
However, when one bridge dies, it does not mean that the end of the world has been reached. It means that it is time to expand your world with a new bridge.
For George it might have resulted in him, instead of giving all his love to the world, giving his love also to himself. Instead of sexual adventures with other people, he might have learned to explore self-love by means of tantric techniques. Then he might have become truly free from the outside world and he have discovered a deeper layer of sensuality. This self-love might have healed the wounds created by living the intense and open life that he had lived.
Reality is obviously much more difficult and demanding than that I state here. I did not know George at bit although it feels like that because his music touched me. These are my assumptions which I present here. But what I do try to state is that faith is a magical devise which can have a dark side as well. When faith is lost for one reason or the other, a writer’s block, depression or even suicide can be the result. Being able to see what your core beliefs are and being able to reinterpret them in different circumstances, might help in recapturing the faith. That one of the greatest popular promoters of faith has lost his own faith, is a tragic conclusion to his rich and full life. And it does not mean that his message in his song ‘Faith’ is void.
Thank you for all you have given us, George.