I’m not often one to draw from celebrity news when I write, especially the unfortunate or heartbreaking scenarios of a-list celebrities that often play out in the public arena. But I recently found myself reading an article on the painful and unhappy split of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
The article announced that Katie had rejoined the Catholic church of her youth. It spurred a flurry of piggyback posts (hereto notwithstanding), many of which were quick to point out the elephant in the room: the fact that Scientology played a key role in the couple’s split.
I won’t pretend to know the real reasons behind the split. Hell, Tom’s antics on the Oprah Winfrey show alone (back when he and Katie first started their romance) could have sent packing just about any intelligent gal, with a clear grasp of reality.
If we rewind to a mere few years ago, it was in an interview in 2005 with W Magazine where Katie talked about her intrigue with Scientology.
"You know, it's really exciting," Holmes, now 33, said at the time. "I just started auditing. . . and I'm taking some courses, and I really like it. I feel it's really helping. What I like about it is that, you know, I was raised Catholic, and you can be a Catholic and a Scientologist, Jewish and a Scientologist."
Three days later, she announced her conversion to the faith.
Whether Katie did indeed rejoin St. Francis Xavier, the Catholic church of her youth is still uncertain (the pastor, Father Joe Costantino knew nothing of the matter, reportedly stating, “It’s news to me.”), but that’s not the point.
The real issue here is a classic one. It’s the fact of what many have thought all along, and are now saying: that Katie Holmes only converted to Scientology to solidify her relationship with Tom. For the sake of argument, let’s just assume this is true, though we may never really know for sure.
The fact is, “adjusting” personal standards, interests, even religions for the sake of a relationship is nothing new, especially for women. If Katie Holmes did indeed convert to Scientology to nab herself a super star, and the marriage ended as a result of Scientology (as it’s been deduced in the public arena), well, it only serves to illuminate just how vital it is to be passionate about who we truly are. It sounds simplistic, but it is one thing to know and accept ourselves, and quite another to be strong and assured about it, even to the point of letting go of those who cannot accept us as is. This is the pinnacle of authenticity.
It’s also important to understand how a lack of authenticity eventually brings pain to all involved. In the TomKat scenario, it’s too easy from the outside looking in to think of Katie as a victim here. But anytime a person puts up a façade they are not only betraying themselves, but those they are changing for. Sadly, in this case, little Suri has been victimized as well. I’m sure most will agree that Tom will bounce back, but let’s not glaze over the very real truth that he has every right to cry foul here too. Of course, that’s assuming he truly believed Katie had “seen the light” about Scientology and made an authentic, heart-felt conversion.
To surmise what could have happened if Katie had been true to herself from the beginning, is pointless, but we can’t help but wonder. Would the love-crossed, couch-bouncing Tom have left Katie for Scientology? Would he have been strong and secure enough in who he was at the time, to let go of her? Perhaps Katie’s strength, had she been authentic, would have inspired and converted Tom. We’ll simply never know.
We are on the outside watching this display from a distance, but we have a golden opportunity as witnesses, to learn a valuable life lesson: loving ourselves and living authentically, though not as easy as it sounds, is the only way to live.
Lisa Jey Davis is an award-winning writer for her book, “Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood – Adventures & Mishaps of an Accidental Hot Mamma." The book is due this year through Author House Publishing. Find her on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and watch her "Thought for the Day" segments on YouTube. You may also want to follow her fun and flirty alter-ego: Ms. Cheevious on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Tumblr, and follow Ms. Cheevious’ comedic videos on YouTube.