Sinead O’Connor On The Beauty Of Imperfection

Ever made a bad choice and had a lousy day because of it? Well, good news: maybe your crap is really rooted in some deep stuff, and – despite all of the trauma and pain you’re going through right after bombing out, there could be a silver lining on the other side, and it just might change your life for the better.

Sinead O’Connor lived it. Probably more deeply than most of us can even imagine. She tells the story – the whole story – of her infamous shredding of the Pope’s picture on SNL, why she symbolically chose to do it, and how it ultimately saved her in her new book, Rememberings.

Via NYT (this stopped me dead in my tracks when I read it):

O’CONNOR’S STATEMENT ON “S.N.L.” was more personal than most knew. In the book, she details how her mother physically abused her throughout her childhood. “I won the prize in kindergarten for being able to curl up into the smallest ball, but my teacher never knew why I could do it so well,” she writes. There is a reason, in the “Nothing Compares 2 U” video, she begins to cry when she hits the line about her mama’s flowers. O’Connor was 18 when her mother died, and on that day, she took down the one photograph on her mom’s bedroom wall: the image of the pope. O’Connor carefully saved the photo, waiting for the right moment to destroy it.

“Child abuse is an identity crisis and fame is an identity crisis, so I went straight from one identity crisis into another,” she said. And when she tried to call attention to child abuse through her fame, she was vilified. “People would say that she’s fragile,” Geldof said. “No, no, no. Many people would have collapsed under the weight of being Sinead O’Connor, had it not been Sinead.”

Instead, O’Connor felt freed. “I could just be me. Do what I love. Be imperfect. Be mad, even,” she writes in the book. “I’m not a pop star. I’m just a troubled soul who needs to scream into mikes now and then.” She sees the backlash as having pushed her away from the wrong life, in mainstream pop, and forced her to make a living performing live, which is where she feels most comfortable as an artist.

If you’re going through something, remember it will have clearer context with time. If someone else is going through something, remember there’s way more you’re not seeing behind what’s presenting. What counts is that we don’t get knocked down for good. What counts is that we figure out where we actually are. What counts is that we make peace with ourselves. Thanks Sinead.

Read the full article here, “Sinead O’Connor Remembers Things Differently,” and for good measure: