In 2017, I have loved sharing Out of Bounds!
In January, I committed to exploring Hollywood for a year. But by this past August, I was saying to my hubby, “Hollywood is broken.” And this was before the Harvey Weinstein story came to light.
My journey to Hollywood is living proof that opposites attract. I love creative energy, forces, and people. I love storytelling, and so there are parts of Hollywood that I love. But I also recognize its broken places which are opposite of my life commitment.
25 years ago, I committed to being in tune with my heart and living from a centered, balanced place, filled with love. After lots of prayer, meditating, and studying, I decided that if an activity wasn’t filled with love that it wasn’t worthy of my time. Unless I was there to minister to or support hurting people, such as at a homeless shelter, or in a urban school, or at juvenile detention center, or at half-way house, I decided to stay clear of broken places and people whom lacked love.
In my broken column, I included spaces that weren’t inclusive and that didn’t offer a gracious method for ALL people to gain access. In my broken column, I included spaces where racism and sexism and bias against the LGBQT community are practiced because, to me, such practices are absurd.
Yet, I knew, when I started the journey that Hollywood had diversity issues. I knew that power could be misused. I knew that I would encounter those who would treat me in a dehumanizing way because I wasn’t wielding a powerful title and or riding a wave of riches and fame.
At the same time, I knew, firsthand, how much fun one could have once on the inside of Hollywood. My first novel was optioned by a Hollywood couple, who took me under their wings for two years. It was a great time and the money flowed. Trips were plentiful, and new cars, clothes, and houses were at our fingertips.
And they weren’t saints. (The husband was a Hollywood executive.) But they were people filled with love so I felt in the flow with them. While working with them, when I met individuals who were broken (There were quite a few in their mist.), I’d turn up the amount of love I shared. As Michelle Obama said, “When they went low, I went high.” Once, the couple’s son looked at me and asked, “Are you real?” By that time, I had encountered all sorts of un-loving people, requiring that I turn my love factor all the way up, as Kendrick Lamar sings.
So, in the end, my time in Hollywood was great, so much so that I actually encouraged my sons to work there. Because they’re outgoing guys who love people, I thought Hollywood would be a match for their personalities. And they’ve done well. I knew that their foundation was strong and that they could handle Hollywood.
Although my sons may refuse to publicly acknowledge this, they have not been shaken by Hollywood because they were raised on a foundation of love and God. They understand that God built this world, and that they should be filled with His love, no matter where they are and with whom they’re dealing. My sons have servant hearts, which I’m sure was beneficial for them when they started in the mail room of top Hollywood agencies. Although I’m sure others don’t understand what they’re experiencing when dealing with my sons, they’re experiencing the strength of men built on a foundation of God’s love, which prevents brokenness. God’s love erases and heals brokenness.
It’s hard to have malice in your heart for another when you have love in your heart. It’s hard to misuse your power, to look down on others, and to treat them with disdain, when you have love in your heart because you know the truth:
God’s love is greater than all the money in the world and greater than the most powerful man in Hollywood😊! I’d rather have it than silver and gold.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
And so my year of interacting with Hollywood executives has been interesting. I’ve met many whom I enjoyed being in their company. But it’s also revealed the broken parts of the industry, which has made me excited about producing my own stories. So I will endure and continue to write stories built on a foundation of love. I hope you come on Sunday to enjoy Out of Bounds, and I hope you will continue on the journey with me.