An Awakening of Love with Maria Bello
By: Carletta Hurt
Wake Up! Wake Up! What wakes you up in the morning? What have you read that awakens your spirit? What does it mean to finally WAKE UP!
For actress and activist, Maria Bello, it’s a few things like hearing Dancing Queen by ABBA that helps get her out of bed after only three hours sleep. It’s also the idea that a piece of work she created is sparking conversations “about labels that we give ourselves and we give other people and how those traditional labels just don’t seem to be working for people anymore.”
In her first book, Whatever…Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, Bello takes you through the peaks and valleys of her life and everything in-between with essays and some photos. Her voice is strong in that she doesn’t have the answer, yet leaves space for the reader to question the labels they give themselves by reading her little thoughts.
“Most of my life I’ve walked around seeking someone outside of myself to complete me or to fix me, and in the end, I finally realized I don’t need fixing. I’m good the way I am. It’s only me and God…my partner is God,” she explains. Over her life, Bello’s many partners have included a 65-year-old Artesian priest, Father Ray Jackson, who gave her that open door to fully pursue what she was born to do – act.
Unlike acting, Bello found herself standing alone on the page – no co-stars or scripts to give her authentic self some shelter. “I think being an author for me is much more transparent. In a role I play, there are pieces of me in that I can relate to that character. I can also hide behind some or all these parts of myself. We have many pieces of ourselves. For some roles I take out those pieces, whether painful or joyful. In writing a book, it’s just me and it’s a vulnerability I’ve never felt before.”
Bello feels that women all over the world have a common theme. Her book is but one needled that connects them. “I would say that 99% of us [women] have the Prince Charming Syndrome. You can read about my walking down the path to Prince Charming and finding all these ridiculous people I thought were Prince Charming and who I thought would complete me. [I hope} you would find yourself in those pages and it’ll make you laugh.”
Laugh, cry, think, and wonder – yes, all of that from a place called love.
You can sit and talk with Maria Bello about her book, her life, and journey of self-discovery on Monday, May 4, 2015, at Sixth & I.
Maybe silence was the only way to survive. (page 35)
Forgiveness is said to be the only balm for old war wounds. (page 42)
*Photo credit: Amanda Demme