Things I’m learning from Miley Cyrus and about myself.
No one would debate the fact that there has been more than a hurricane of hub-bub over Miley Cyrus during the last several weeks. Her appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards catapulted her to more than water cooler conversation in a matter of minutes! Since then, her newest release Wrecking Ball (viewer discretion advised) has garnered more than 95 million views on VEVO, earning her the top spot for the week of September 8.
As I’ve been listening to and reading through more than a few articles about Miley, I thought I’d take some time and see what could possibly benefit us all from her recent activities and direction in life. As I did I looked at her songs as windows into culture as well as her soul. They are her way (as for all artists) to bear her soul, philosophy and belief system to a world that is groping for the next new thing. As you read, you may be surprised by what you hear and see not just about Miley but yourself…just like I did.
She did it. She made history! That’s not an easy thing for anyone to do! Miley admits that her main objective for her actions on the night of the VMAs was to do just that; to make history. What Miley’s performance shows us is that society is almost ok with doing anything you have to do to be memorable. Whatever it takes to outdo your predecessor is worth the risk. It doesn’t take much thought, does it? Is there much room left when you are trying to one-up Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Britney Spears? Yet imagine what kind of pressure that could be.
Even though I have never had the opportunity to “twerk” on stage (nor do I plan to), the desire to do almost anything to make history is not hard for me to buy. Yet, I have to admit, there is a part of me that lives with that inclination. I want my life to count for something. I want to make a difference and to contribute to society. This is normal. This is part of being human.
Think about yourself…how far do you go to be memorable? How far do you go to outdo those around you? How far do you push the limits or boundaries to make history?
I believe in making history. But I believe there are healthier ways to make history than jumping around half-naked twerking. Maybe Miley didn’t know? Maybe she didn’t care? Maybe her view of history is so short-lived that for us to still be writing and blogging about it really does blow her mind? Miley said so herself:
“What’s amazing is I think now, we’re three days later and people are still talking about it,” Cyrus said. “They’re over thinking it. You’re thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it. Like, I didn’t even think about it, because that’s just me.”
I’m still talking about it because Miley did what so many of us want to do and that’s make history! In the Bible we are challenged to live in such a way that we understand every moment is potentially a history-making life-defining moment:
15 So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely.16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times. 17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. Ephesians 5
What I feel Miley has taught me about making history is that history cannot be undone. History lives on beyond us, therefore live each moment in a way that you won’t regret the past in the future.
It would be very difficult for any of us to imagine the amount of stress, pressure and expectation placed on someone in the limelight all the time, not to mention a child actor. Miley Cyrus had the whole brand of Hannah Montana on her shoulders for years. She had to make adult decisions as a child. She had to lay aside some of her childhood to make herself and others rich. And now she’s ready to make up for lost time. Miley said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar: “I was an adult when I was supposed to be a kid. So now I’m an adult and I’m acting like a kid.”
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Miley has shown that she is more than ready to shed her other persona and embrace being a grown woman…to some degree. To her own admission, she acts like a child sometimes. But who doesn’t?
Is this surprising? I’ve certainly done it and wouldn’t put being “childish” at times completely in the toybox yet. I’ve been known to whimper and whine. I have secretly pouted about not getting my way. I’ve thrown temper tantrums over selfish things. I have chosen less than wisely and lived to regret it. I have been childish and have been learning that there is a kid that lives in me more than I want to admit.
The apostle Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians 13: 11
Maybe I need to look at myself as ask how I’m being childish and selfish? How am I acting out from whatever was lost or “stolen” when I was a child? And maybe I need to see where I need to grow up and realize the past is behind me? I cannot regain my childhood but I can live with childlike faith. There’s a big difference between being childish and childlike. Maybe Miley just doesn’t know that difference yet? Do I?
I have seen through all this stuff with Miley that it’s human for us to be childish at times but maturity is important at all stages of life.
We are all broken inside.
In a radio interview on September 11 to New York’s Z100, Miley spoke about her new song and video “Wrecking Ball”:
Now, one doesn’t have to be a counselor to realize a lot is going on with a quote like that! Miley is saying: “Stop looking at the obvious”! She’s saying she’s broken…messed up! In dire need! She goes on in the interview to say:
“If people can take their minds out of the obvious and go into their imagination a little bit and see kind of what the video really means and the way it’s so vulnerable and actually if you look in my eyes I look more sad then my voice sounds on the record it was a lot harder to do the video then it was to record the songs…”
Miley has admitted straight out that she is a wreck. In an interview with Sunday People, she said:
Now that’s open and honest! Miley’s videos, VMA appearance and other recent activities, along with her self-admission all point to the fact that she is a human being who is messed up inside and out. But who isn’t? The fact is that many of us would never admit to it. Yet here is Miley admitting she’s in need. She’s saying what Paul says in Romans 3:10 and 23:
“10 There is no one who always does what is right, not even one.”
“23 Everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.”
Miley has reminded me that I am messed up. We all are, aren’t we? We are all a wreck and have the potential to be a wrecking ball. In this I’ve come to trust that God is a God who can handle my past, present and future. He can handle my life that is messed up and riddled with pain. He is able to handle my humanness and brokenness. The question is will I pretend to be someone who doesn’t exist?
Miley has over 95 million views signifying that many resonate with exactly where she is: a dreamer at times, a child at times, messed up at times…human at all times. Yeah, Hannah Montana was never real. It just so happens that Miley is.