The much-hyped interview with hip-hop star Chris Brown on CNN's "Larry King Live" doesn't reveal all that much, that is, if you want details about what he did to his one-time girlfriend Rihanna, a pop star.
What it does reveal is that he's not telling the whole truth to himself.
_It doesn't matter much if he says he remembers (or doesn't remember) what happened the night he knocked the crap out of his girlfriend. That he won't use exact language? Now that could matter.
_It doesn't matter that he ran home afterward to confess to his mother what he did. Perhaps he did that out of fear; he wanted her to protect him from what he'd done.
_And it doesn't matter that he thinks he's not as bad as his stepfather was (a man who continuously beat up Brown's mother) because he says, after all, "I feel like he enjoyed it."
So what? None of that matters.
What matters now is what he does next.
Will he get the therapy he needs? Will he serve his community service without reservation? Will he relinquish himself of the shame and look, instead, for responsibility? That fact that he pled not guilty speaks to how he really feels about what happened. But that doesn't have to be the end of it.
What Chris Brown needs to do now is what all people who grow up in a house where violence, substance abuse (?) and dysfunction reign--he needs to take a moral inventory. He needs to write out who he thinks he really is, where he's having trouble connecting with who he thinks he really is, and what he might be able to do about it. He needs admit the truth to himself before he can admit it to others. Otherwise, he's just playing games. He needs to learn how to be the person he thinks he is, and not pretend anymore.
It seems like he might have started the process, as he admits the Chris Brown that beat up the girlfriend is not the Chris Brown he wants to be. I think I heard him say "want" on the show. But inventory doesn't stop there. You don't assess who you are just so you can be interviewed on national television, hopefully, so the public will think you're on the right track. You have to keep doing it so you can heal the wounds. Clearly, the boy is wounded from his own childhood.
I hope someone tells him that no matter how much he may think he still loves Rihanna, he has no room in his life for women right now. He needs to first make sure he can love himself. A man who abuses others abuses himself first. There's no way around that. You cannot hurt someone else and think you're untouched by that. Impossible!
Chris Brown needs to make room for finding out who the real Chris Brown is and making sure it's a Chris Brown he can love and who won't hurt again.
If he's on television saying things just to make himself look good, or if he's convinced himself that he's okay now, he's not telling the truth. He's not there yet, and he can expect himself to find more trouble waiting for him just around the corner. If he's kidding himself, it won't be long before he gets angry at something, or at someone, and lashes out. If he's kidding himself and if others are enabling him to do so, he'll more than likely hurt again.
Oh, maybe he won't "enjoy" it, as he says his stepfather did, but that's such an irrelevant statement. Pain is still pain, no matter the motivation that causes it. That's a lie he's picked up along the way, and the fact that he believes it tells me he has much more work ahead.
So let's pray that he will surround himself with people who will help him move in the right direction, with people who will stand up and step up. Let's pray for peace and compassion: peace that Chris Brown is and will continue to work hard to overcome his past hurts so he won't hurt others in the future; compassion, because if you understand dysfunction, you understand that it runs deep. You still have a choice to live your life differently, but dysfunction grabs the soul and holds on tight. It won't let go unless you keep telling it to let go. And that takes practice. Chris Brown has to learn how to live the life that illustrates who he wants to be. He can't just say it to be it. He has to act.
And that takes time.
For his sake, let's pray Chris Brown gets it.
What do you think? Do you think the hip hop star is headed in the right direction? What do you think he needs most?