By Elizabeth Gray
To this day I can still remember – very vividly – contorting my mouth and reciting quote after quote from the movies, making my family endlessly laugh and beg for more…or maybe they were just patronizing me. I had one act and one act only – Ace Venture. I was a BIG fan, to put it lightly! I still am…
It is only recently that I’ve discovered Jim Carrey actually has a serious side outside of comedy. Shocking – I know! In the spirit of us entering May and knowing that graduations will be happening soon, I came across a commencement speech by Jim Carrey that is worth sharing as it applies to not only those beginning their lives and careers but those of us who sometimes get too caught up in it all.
After opening with a few ‘zingers’ (duh!) Jim Carrey continues…
“…Because life doesn’t happen to you. It happens for you. How do I know this? I don’t, but I’m making sound and that’s the important thing. That’s what I’m here to do. Sometimes I think that’s the only thing that’s important really, is just letting each other know we’re here. Reminding each other that we’re part of a larger self. I used to think Jim Carrey is all that I was. Just a flickering light, a dancing shadow. The great nothing masquerading as something you can name, seeking shelter in caves and foxholes dug out hastily. An archer searching for his target in the mirror, wounded only by my own arrows. Begging to be enslaved, leading for my chains. Blinded by longing and tripping over paradise. Can I get an amen? You didn’t think I could be serious, did you? I don’t think you understand who you’re dealing with. I have no limits. I cannot be contained because I’m the container. You can’t contain the container, man. You can’t contain the container…” [Picture ‘the claw’ scene from Liar Liar]
“…On the other side of that door [he points to the auditorium exit], there’s a world starving for new ideas, new leadership. I’ve been out there for 30 years. She’s a wild cat. She’ll rub up against your leg and purr until you pick her up and start petting her. And then out of nowhere, she’ll swat you in the face. It can be rough out there, but that’s okay because there’s soft serve ice cream with sprinkles. I guess that’s what I’m really trying to say here today. Sometimes it’s okay to eat your feelings. Now fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect. So we never dare to ask the universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the universe for it. Please. And if it doesn’t happen for you right away, it’s only because the universe is so busy fulfilling my order. Party size.”
“…As someone who’s done what you’re about to go and do, I can tell you from experience the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is…Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head. And when the door opens in real life, just walk through it. And don’t worry if you miss your cue because there’s always doors opening. They keep opening. And when I say, “Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” I really don’t know if that’s true. I’m just making a conscious choice to perceive challenges as something beneficial so that I can deal with them in the most productive way. You’ll come up with your own style. That’s part of the fun…”
Excerpts from Jim Carrey’s commencement speech to the 2014 graduating class of Maharishi International University of Management.