Friday, May 15, 2009

American Idol, Wishing, and Life Lessons 

As I write this, the contestants in season eight of American Idol have been whittled down to the final two: Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.  Now, both are very sweet and talented fellows, and by the time Danny Gokey (#3) was gone, I was ready to be done with seeing and hearing him, although he is also a talented fellow.  I wish Danny well but did have an aversion to something about him, for which I don’t quite have proper words that would also be ladylike.

I would like to see Adam win.  Not as much as I wanted to see Barack Obama win, but with the same sense of rightness.  Adam’s rendition of Mad World was soul stirring for me, and I love that he is gay and confident and relishes his own flamboyant, lovely, wild self, not to mention his amazing vocals that range from explosive to tender, with a theatrical actor’s ability to play many roles with sincerity.  Adam Lambert reminds me of one of my childhood favorites, David Bowie, who also pushed past many limits but still remained somehow relatable, relevant, and musically great.  At age 15, I even cut my hair similar to Bowie’s and dyed it bright red.

My wanting Adam to win American Idol brings up an analogous life lesson.  Sometimes we want something in life – whether to get the guy or girl, or the job, house, have the child, win the award, and so on.  That want for an outer circumstance is like wanting Adam (or Kris) to win – focusing on a specific desire you would like to have fulfilled in a specific way.  

But if you go deeper, beneath the obvious news headline surface, what is it that you really want?  Do you want Adam or Kris to win and then make a bad CD? No, of course not.  What is it that we really want when hoping for a specific outcome in American Idol, or within any arena of life?  We may be praying, affirming, and using various laws of attraction to move the universe into giving us an apparent desired outcome, but really, what we want is deeper than that specific outcome.  

What we really want if we’re an Adam Lambert fan is for him to be successful, making great music that we’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.  If for whatever reason – karmic or contractual – Adam would make better music as the runner up rather than the crowned idol, well then that is probably what we would more deeply want.  Look at the publicity the runner up to Miss America 2009 received in contrast to the winner due to the controversy of her response to Perez Hilton’s question – hers may not necessarily be the kind of publicity those who support Adam Lambert might want, but it is publicity nonetheless, and Carrie Prejean has certainly taken full advantage of the spotlight, while very few people remember who won the Miss America contest this year.

In life also, what we really want is often different from the outer potential symptoms of that deeper want.  Let’s say you want to get a specific person to fall in love with you, but what you really are looking for is the powerful love that comes from being with the right person.  If that specific person is also the right person, well then you’re in luck.  But if they’re not, then you may spend all your effort, intention, and energy to create the outer circumstance you want but without the inner happiness you thought would accompany it.  

You want to get that apartment or house, but what you really want is to be in a place that will give you peace, beauty, safety, and happiness.  You pray clear to the bones to get that job, but really, you would be happy to not get it if only you knew of the even greater opportunities waiting beyond that disappointment. 

So as we watch the upcoming finale, regardless of who we hope will be the American Idol 2009, let’s also use this opportunity to practice keeping a deeper vision as Ryan Seacrest takes us from dramatic commercial break to dramatic announcement music.  Then we can also use the same deeper view to focus on the more essential qualities behind our intentions, wishes, and desires – qualities like happiness, peacefulness, wisdom, service, and love.

Labels: , , ,