I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a group that got to interview the actor, Charlie Sheen in California.
I confess that for the last five years I have had not cared that much for Charlie Sheen, even though for the previous decade I’d been a huge fan.
What then caused this change that saw me want to be on stage with him?
The truth? My dislike for Charlie.
So, I dared myself to find love for Charlie and even I was surprised at the outcome.
I used to love watching Two and a Half Men. My then husband and I faithfully watched every weekly episode. This saw us in fits of laughter, as we fell in love with the characters; Charlie Harper (played by Charlie Sheen), Alan and Jake. Admittedly, if I’d met a man like the crude, womanizing, alcohol-swirling Charlie Harper in real life I’d have disliked him on the spot.
But I believed Charlie Harper was just a screen character and as far as I knew, nothing like the real-life Charlie Sheen, so I confess I felt love and respect for the actors behind each of these characters too.
Then to my dismay, the character of Charlie Harper and Charlie Sheen began to increasingly merge into each other as the media revealed Charlie Sheen’s real-life less-than-admirable behavior. Slowly but surely, the show lost its appeal for me, I no longer found it humorous, I became disenchanted with the characters and eventually, I stopped watching it altogether.
Fast forward 7 years and I am at an International Speaking Conference. Part of the product offering of this conference is being given the opportunity to interview a number of celebrities in California. Big names included Mark Wahlberg, John Travolta, Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, Christie Brinkley, Bethenny Frankel, Gene Simmons, Hugh Hilton, Steve Wozniak.
The conference host asks me what I do and who I would most like to interview. I tell him I write the Dare to Be Love blog and that I want to interview Steve Wozniak. He however suggests Charlie Sheen.
I immediately say, ‘No, I don’t think so.’
‘Oh, why is that?’ he asks.
Without thinking I respond, ‘Because I don’t like him.’
Having heard the judgmental words fall out of my own mouth, I realize I am triggered by my dislike. I realize am not feeling or speaking from the Spirit of who I am, Love.
Over the next few months I research each celebrity on the list, I dither and debate with myself and finally I decide that I will interview Charlie Sheen and self-help author Bethenny Frankel.
On the night of the interview I am grateful to be at the end of the queue, as I want to listen and see what I haven’t yet been able to see in Charlie. In the morning briefing, we had been given a message from Charlie’s PR person saying we didn’t need to hold back with our questions. We could ask anything. While this impressed me, I noticed my inner voice say, ‘Oh boy this could get uncomfortable’.
I had over an hour to watch Charlie Sheen on stage and his way of being with the questions that other interviewers put to him. I noticed when he was open and responsive and I noticed when he seemed to hold back a little. Then I realized with a sinking heart that the questions that saw him hold back were similar to the question I had prepared for him. Backstage, I panicked. I asked myself if I should change my question. I quickly sent a text to a friend in the audience who shared that she had the same concern. We both felt that he would attempt to side step my question. With just moments before going on stage, I considered changing course.
And then I stopped and asked myself, ‘Jacqui, how do you feel about Charlie in this moment?’
In bringing myself back to the moment I realized I had not given Charlie the respect of seeing him beyond the projections of my own stories, fueled by negative stories in the media. Charlie had done things in the past that were unloving but this was not who he was in this moment. I felt the need to go deeper and ask myself, ‘Who was Charlie right NOW?’ All the time Charlie had been on stage he was clear that others were not to blame for the things he had done.
After ninety minutes of listening to Charlie, I realized, I had been witnessing a man on stage being courageous by being vulnerable, aware of his guilt and shame stories, never blaming anyone. His Spirit of Love for his personal stories open for the world to see.
In that moment of honoring our shared humanity I could Be Love for Charlie, and myself. I knew I didn’t need to change my question. All I needed to do was acknowledge his courage beforehand, through our shared humanity.
I closed my eyes and gave thanks for daring myself all those months ago. Moments later I walked on stage and spoke to Charlie; but not before letting him know that I cared for him.
Here’s how things unfolded, as I asked Charlie what strategies he has in place to deal with shame.
Charlie Sheen didn’t side step my question. He thanked me and then went straight into both courageously and vulnerably sharing his truth.
Bravo Charlie and thank you.
There wasn’t a person I spoke to after the event who wasn’t deeply moved by Charlie Sheen’s courage as he shared himself and his stories with us by being vulnerable.
As I continue to grow from my deepest triggers (dislikes), I remain grateful that each trigger or pain story that we have is ours to own, ours to grow from, ours to openly share with the world without shame, guilt or blame as we open to being love for all that we are. While each of our stories is unique, we share our common human emotions, our humanity, our ability to find love for ourselves and each other. Herein lies the mystery and the magic of the Universe / God / Love.
Until next time, stay daring and courageous as you continually open your Spirit (Self) to finding and Being Love for all those ‘Shame Shivers’ – yours and everyone else’s.
What a great story. Jacqui, you are still and always will be my inspiration. I feel honoured to call you my friend. Much love always.
Ah Yvette you beautiful, kind, loving human being. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing Jacqui. It was an insightful choice of interview question. And a thoughtful response from Charlie. Good learning overall.
The journey as student in this life is indeed magnificent.
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and support.
Warm love and regards
Thanks for being the great Spirit you are Jacqui! We can learn from your example. The world will be a better place with more conscious people
Thank you for your loving words and support.
In every moment of life we are all teacher and student to each other.
We only need to open to knowing it is right in front of us.
Have a wonderful day.
I am grateful to your blogs and the spirit of sharing and daring us. Also a fan of 2 n a half men. Thanks for the courage and for every word of encouragement. Wishing you the very best in your life.
Wow, thanks for the amazing support.
I sense I will soon be watching the episodes of 2 n a half men that I missed out on back then.
Warm wishes to you as well. Stay connected.
Awesome post Jacqui! Great interview and loved the article
Thanks a mil Jean Michel, so lovely hearing from you.
Thanks for the kind words and support.
Love and regards Jacqui
Hi Jacqueline, wow that was so amazing how you came to be love before your interview. You are so built on a rock and not sand which I , well leaves me speechless. You have this love which always challenges me or just takes me to a new higher level. Thankful you for being part of my life. I always work or honor where I want to be after your stories. What happened to me in the past was I loved the show and laughed a lot. About a season and 1/2 before Charlie started having so called issues off stage God ask me why are you laughing at this show and how his character is portrayed. I could not give an answer and at that point never watched or had a desire to watch again. Then shortly a lot of media stuff started coming out. I prayed for Charlie and loved him, then forgot like all of it. When I read your story and interview it, well was wonderful!
Always amazing to hear from you. I trust that you are well.
In my Blog, I shift from sand to rock. I continue to practice and open to bringing consciousness to the moments when I am back on sand, and in that precious moment of knowing I work towards softening my heart and opening to Love/God. For love is as strong as rock, and in this strength, it is as fluid as sand and water. I had a wise teacher who reminded me that ‘life is like walking on fishes’. This is true for all of us.
Thank you for being a part of my life as well, as this is what brings me back to my desk to write.
Warm love and regards,
With so much validation for your “Life Character” it is unlikely that you will ever expierence the truth that lies in the ashes of your characters’ destruction.
A light bulb ? is living a lie if it thinks that glass and copper produce light. The more one is complemented on their brilliance, the less likely they are to shatter themselves BUT it is in the shattering of glass and copper that the light bulb realizes the true essence of light. It was never glass and copper, it was the electricity flowing through it.
Thank you for sharing.
Do we ever experience all that lies in the ashes of ourselves, let alone any other?
We have but the now, the moment we live in, and in that moment we can Be Love for whole others and whatever is.
Wow Jacqui what a selfless act to let the authentic Charlie Sheen prevail. You did not think of the persona you and your brand but allowed a vulnerable man share the self by not circumventing the questions to ignite a desired outcome. Objective you became. From Malebogo Mahape-Marimo, in South Africa. Inspiring stuff!
Thank you for your kind words.
Stay connected and have a wonderful day.