A couple of weeks ago I made the conscious decision to start referring to myself privately as "Jewel." Kind of changing my name so to speak. This came about because of a situation I was having with a friend, said friend saying negative comments about the feelings I was having about certain things. It was also brought on by a couple books I've been reading by Claire Cook, who I just randomly discovered and is wonderful. Please check her out if you are not familiar with her. She wrote the book "Must Love Dogs," which was made into a movie. Her topics are about mid-life women empowering themselves and standing tall.
So after being bashed by this friend I just kind of had it. I thought about past relationships and patterns with them. I do have a history of being around people who don't treat me with respect. A number of romantic relationships have been with commitment fearing men. Well, no more I said. I deserve to be in healthy relationships where I'm treated respectfully and my opinion matters. In romantic relationships I do deserve to be courted (given small tokens, cards, flowers and so on).
I was lucky to have not had to deal with all of this stuff during my 12-year marriage. But now back out there as a single person it is a relevant aspect of my life. I have the choice to end relationships that aren't healthy or giving me what I want. I love a passage in Claire Cook's book "The Wildwater Walking Club," where the main character decides not to give men a second chance if they don't call here when they say they will. "Grow up" she tells them. That inspired me.
Only parenthood and widowhood is grueling. I really do the best I can. But it is hard. And I don't deserve to hear negativity about me for no reason other than the insecurities or immaturity of others. I don't have time for that anymore. I deserve better.
I can treat myself as a jewel and expect to be treated equally that way by others. And of course I need to look at other people as being their own jewels as well. Sunday night the boys and I watched Celebrity Apprentice, a family tradition. The Atlanta Housewife contestant bashed sweet Latoya Jackson by calling her a "ghost,' "old," and riding on the coattails of her family name. I was pretty shocked. It was very mean and immature. Who is this Atlanta housewife anyway? I've never even heard of her until this show. To resort to putting people down based on their appearance is so childish. Latoya was so gracious and dignified. I would not have been able to restrain myself and most likely would have hurled an insult back. But LaToya did not do so and believe me she just blew me away with her ability to stand up to such an attack on her person.
Ellen DeGeneres ends each of her shows with the words. "Be kind to one another." So here is a reminder for that and for all of us to look deeper within, especially when we're angry or upset with one another. A jewel wouldn't be insulting another jewel now would they - both are beautiful and precious!