Today I heard that Jeff Bezos is getting a divorce and my mind began to wander. When a celebrity announces they’re getting a divorce, there are a myriad of feelings to experience on the other side of the press release. We question why. We jump to conclusions. But yet we never really know what’s going on. The worst part is we forget that soul growth forces many of us to grow whether we want to or not.
I met Jeff Bezos at an Amazon Prime TV Show Premiere. A seat away, he was kind, flirtatious and just this side of inappropriate. I met Mrs. B as well though she was more interested in the woman next to her than the show producer’s date. Which I thought, unfortunate. Couldn’t she see what was up?
I picked up on the flirtation, the opportunity, and her seeming disregard or at least boredom with all the sucking up going on. How many times has she seen this behavior and thought nothing of it? How many affairs has she had to contend with or, equally, how often has she participated in her own dalliances? I have no idea and my musing that evening had little to do with the reality of being next to these high powered people at an exciting event.
In truth, we have no idea what goes on in other people’s beds.
In the voyeurism, we forget there are real people involved with troubled hearts to deal with. We overlook the shame, the breakdown in who they set out to be. And we overlook the ripple effect – the people who depend upon a celebrity couple in order to stay stable themselves.
Those people could be us on the outside looking up to their ideal lives or their employees, colleagues, and children. Those who intimately depend upon them for their livelihood, safety, and love.
Ripple effects affect us all. Especially those of celebrity divorces.
Each of us makes the choice to stay in a relationship or not. Flirtation aside, I know many married celebrities who don’t flirt. Recently I met a US Senator in a crowded but unremarkable food court. He belonged to another state so he was inconspicuous, appropriate, despite my excitement and eager expression of recognition and support.
I like flirtation. I like to smile and to make someone else feel good. I have never had an affair and don’t condone the behavior. (There are so many other ways to overcome boredom.) Nor do I have an inside scoop on what is breaking up the wealthy Bezos team. But I do know from my own two divorces and numerous clients that there is healing and growth ahead if they choose to do it.
When we witness the breakdown of a celebrity marriage, we often jump to judgment and speculation. Our curiosity gets the better of us and tabloids seduce with their name dropping headlines. We get immersed in their lives instead of our own.
Marriages can survive a lot of things. Including personal growth. You can have the kind of soul growth that will either push and push and push a person to implode their marriage and grow. Or the kind of soul growth where two people work independently and simultaneously for the greater good of the relationship. None of us are immune to soul growth. Celebrity or not.
On the outside looking in, I know no one steps into a divorce lightly.
No one decides one day that they’ve had it without many hours and days of deliberate thought and personal angst. Flirtation aside, these two human beings, despite all the wealth and success, must face the same growth as my single friend down the street.
The Bezos do have the means to short change the growth process. But the experience of divorce demands respect. It will humble the most tenacious among us. It changes lives. The ripple effect is profound. There’s healing work to be done in every separation and I hope Mr. and Mrs. B. decide to take on the inherent growth in front of them so they can continue to inspire and intrigue us on the other side of their lives.