This blog is dedicated primarily to women who have overcome life-affirming obstacles to eventually soar to their greatest heights. As we all know, challenges are not specific to gender, race, culture or creed. Today, as I was reading an article by Dr. Phil McGraw on the Oprah Magazine Facebook page it brought to mind an entry from the manuscript of my "Oh Dear!" book of essays.
One of the key sentences in the article that struck me was, "I know exactly who I am, so why would I give my power away by putting my self-worth in anyone else's hands?" This one line is critical in overcoming the judgment of others while dealing with the consequences of disempowering choices - choices that we all make from time to time because we are human.
Hopefully, we all learn from our mistakes and when we can either make different and better choices or, where possible, make amends.
In the interest of the latter, I offer my lighthearted apology to Dr. Phil.
(See link to the O Magazine article below.)
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[Original letter penned 11/24]
"Dear Dr. Phil:
My sincerest apologies to you. I apologize for thinking of you as a lumbering troglodyte each time your figure appeared on my screen. Of course, it was lovingly directed as it was the only time I would ever have occasion to use the word troglodyte. It is as much a nod to the 70’s Jimmy Castor Bunch as it is to your take-no-prisoners imposing frame. Not much of a television watcher, I never understood the appeal of a TV psychologist who constantly yelled obscenities at his guests AND got paid quite handsomely for doing so.
As someone with a flavorful background, hailing from the Caribbean, I found some humor in your folksy deliveries even if I didn’t quite get them all. Through the yelling, the sayings and the often teary confession from a guest or two, I occasionally made it through an entire episode of your show.
One day, that all changed. The details of the particular show escape me now. However, I heard or probably overheard you say, “no matter how flat a pancake is, it always has two sides.” No, I didn’t run to my pantry to whip up a quick batch of Bisquick mix to test your hypothesis. Maybe it was true. Maybe it wasn’t. Instead, I chuckled, then I pondered and while still laughing, I pondered some more, then realized how true the statement was. I thought to myself: That Dr. Phil . . .
I have since applied your culinary litmus test to situations I find myself having to adjudicate. Whaddayoukno’? It’s true. I eventually discovered that what I termed yelling on your part was merely passion and as for the obscenities, well I guess that’s just Texas speak.
Kudos, congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to you for hosting the Dr. Phil show for 11 years displaying your brand of wisdom. It’s obvious that that’s 'workin’ ' out for ya.' "
Jennifer Lavern is a keen observer of the issues that affect how women view themselves and how they interact with their world.