It’s easy to praise his love. But if we only acknowledge Michael Jackson’s powerful heart, we miss something essential: the King of Pop was also a warrior.
A warrior can be gentle, and Michael was both gentle and astonishingly humble at times. But a warrior fiercely defends what he loves. So while Michael had a heart as big as the sky (Wayne Dyer’s beautiful description) he was also intensely protective of Black people and Black culture, the Earth, his children, all children, humanity, and himself.
Michael acknowledged this aspect of himself. When asked how he was dealing with the allegations, he said, “… I gain strength from the fact that I know that I am innocent… I pray a lot and that’s how I deal with it … I’m a warrior and I know what is inside me. I’m a fighter, but it’s very painful … I’m still a human being so it does hurt very, very, very much.”
We also know Michael was a warrior because he had a bond with the military and police forces, and featured them in many of his videos. In doing so, he showed them a different way of being a warrior.
What is a Warrior?
This is a warrior:
To defend what he loves, a warrior will stand up and say “NO”.
Even when her life is at risk, a warrior will say, “Do It NOW”.
Before this role was stolen and warped into spewing death and destruction, warriors protected life. They protected the people.
Michael wanted the warriors to once again serve life! Here’s how he said NO and NOW:
Earth Song: As the first major artist to address the environment, Michael told the horrifying truth about what was happening to the Earth (NO!), and demanded (in a totally inspiring way) care for it NOW!
Protecting children: When Michael visited orphanages that were particularly horrendous, he refused to go on stage the next day unless the children had new beds, new sheets, enough people to care for them, and anything else they needed. (NOW!)
The HIStory Tour: On stage, Michael put his body between a tank and the audience, blocking its path, and demonstrating how to resist tyranny. This tour visited many countries which had recently witnessed tanks on their city streets. It was a powerful way to urge people to say NO! to injustice.
You get the idea on the Nos and Nows…
They Don’t Care About Us: The first video celebrates and defends Black Brazilian people and culture in a favela and also in a square that had once held slaves. The second version of that video protests the attempts to imprison Michael, and protests the barbaric treatment of people in prison. In the third version, rehearsal snippets of which appear in This Is It, he told soldiers they were being used, and invited them—in compelling terms—to mutiny. To dance with him instead.
Jam: This is a celebration of humanity’s outcasts living in a ghetto. Through powerfully moving images, Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan said “THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE. THEY MATTER.” (a.k.a. Black Lives Matter). In other videos like Scream, he commented on police brutality against Black people.
Bodyguards: His bodyguards report that the car traveling behind Michael’s vehicle was packed with an arsenal of weapons which they were prepared to use in order to defend him and his kids.
(This was a shocking revelation to me, but his life was on the line every single day. He had to survive if he was to continue “speaking truth to power” and spreading love. I am so thankful for the bodyguards who protected him, and grateful they never needed to use that force.)
Lover and Warrior Role Model
Why does this all matter? Why should we celebrate, study and emulate the warrior aspect of Michael, as well as his lover aspect?
NO! and NOW! are essential to our survival.
Huge hearts alone cannot accomplish what Michael accomplished. Hearts love to “be”, while Warriors love to “do”. Warriors care more about telling the truth than they do about being gentle, kind, or nice. Possessing a vast and fiery determination to protect life, they function best when guided by wide-open hearts like Michael’s. This is a spiritual warrior, and we will need millions of them if we are to save ourselves, and save the planet.
Author and filmmaker Jeff Brown has this to say about spiritual warriors:
“The path of the spiritual warrior is not soft and sweet. It is not artificially blissful and pretend forgiving. It is not fearful of divisiveness. It is not afraid of its own shadow. It is not afraid of losing popularity when it speaks its truth. It will not beat around the bush where directness is essential. It has no regard for vested interests that cause suffering. It is benevolent and it is fiery and it is cuttingly honest in its efforts to liberate itself and humanity from the egoic ties that bind. Shunning strong opinions in the name of spirituality is anti-spiritual. Spirituality that is only floaty soft is a recipe for disaster, allowing all manner of manipulation to run amok. Real spirituality is a quest for truth, in all its forms. Sometimes we find the truth on the meditation cushion, and sometimes we find it in the heart of conflict. May all spiritual warriors rise into fullness. This planet is lost without them.”
Michael did his part as a lover and a warrior, wielding a huge open heart and light saber. And I am thrilled to witness the many Michael supporters who are now discovering, accepting and honing their own inner warriors.
My teachers tell me this archetypal energy is available to all who choose it and nurture it. It doesn’t matter if you are an accountant, an entertainer, a healer, a lover, a writer, a holy fool or a sales clerk, you can also be a warrior.
Just days ago, my own inner warrior surfaced and demanded acceptance. Shaking like a leaf, I picked up that inner light saber. And you know what? It feels right. It balances out the swishy love, and makes it more focused. I feel stronger, less vulnerable, and able to love more deeply because of it.
Is your inner warrior dying to come out? Call on Michael if you need help … he’ll be there, ready to cheer you on in spirit.
Let’s give his “army of love”* a whole new twist!
by Keely Meagan
Happy Birthday Michael!
*Army of Love: on his 45th birthday, Michael said to his fans, “It was you who put your heart on the line. It was you who stepped forward to defend someone you love. It was you on a worldwide basis who supported me as my army, my soldiers of love. You were always there. You were always loyal. I love you forever.”