JOLENE

“Some women are, beautiful. Hair like a thick forest of ethereal grasses. Skin glistening like Aphrodite herself created the serum from her own blood. Dipped in honey, buffed to perfection. A smile that can turn a dark day to rainbows and sunshine so very fast. She directs her spreading cheekbones your way and you automatically feel like everything will be alright. Her eyes have kindness in them, not swag, not sass, just sweetness and compassion. She’s the socially acceptable prototype, perky boobs, perfect arch in her back, her hips not big enough to be distracting, just about enough to assist when she swaddles her baby on her back. Legs, long. Thighs, thick. Feet slender, slapping the ground like breeze. This is not written by her lover. Her beauty is not in the eye of beholders. Everyone that sees her is struck, and wish they could articulate her beauty like this. And it is not just external. She’s a very kind soul. Raised to see everyone as equals. Taught to help the downtrodden. She’s involved in different humanitarian causes and she’s not doing any of it for social validation. She’s not featured on Forbes, she’s just a steady, calm, stream. Her voice is never raised in anger, only in admiration and extolment. She’s, beautiful”.

On a new playlist came Jolene by Dolly Patorn, and I was listening intently. I listen to the voice, the plea in the voice, in the song. She’s begging Sister Jolene not to take her man. She’s not saying, “If he wants to leave he can leave”. She’s not trying to “up her game”. She’s not angry. She knows, Jolene can actually take her man if Jolene wants her man. She knows, she doesn’t stand a chance. She knows her man doesn’t stand a chance. She knows she’s a beautiful woman, she doesn’t need self-love reminder, but Jolene is that Aphrodite angel, she can’t compete. She sees Jolene with her own eyes and Jolene is one of those rare beauties. She knows Jolene can find another man, on the other hand, she can never. She’s not angry, she didn’t go meet her in Shoprite, she didn’t tear her clothes or shout her down in public or pour acid on her. She’s not fighting her own man. She’s just having a conversation.

I get it. I get what jealousy and insecurity means to people. There is no one size fits all for reactions to insecurity. No matter how much money you have, you can get that pang that a male Jolene with deeper pockets can take your woman, when he turns on the charm, she will move. You know it doesn’t even make her a bad person. Maybe you’re hardly ever jealous but it just hits you that day, your partner brings it up and you jump to denial and anger. Jealousy is beneath you eh? I get what it does. But do you understand that, feelings of jealousy and insecurity are as normal as hunger pangs?

There are a hundred emotions that exist that have been labelled negative, and when you feel any of it you judge yourself harshly. People will judge our reactions to feelings. We don’t articulate our feelings as often, so we can think people are judging the feelings. Anger, jealousy, insecurity, sadness, anxiety, fear, disgust, the list goes on. We don’t want these feelings, they just come. But disgust helps you reject what is unhealthy for your own good. Fear activates your adrenaline, helps you run from danger, and keeps you alive. Insecurity is fear. Gripping fear that someone is better than you, true or false, always false, that you will lose someone or something you have because you’re not enough. Insecurity is self-doubt, uncertainty, anxiety.There is space for a healthy amount of insecurity. Job insecurity is plaguing you almost everyday at work, but you don’t get mad at yourself for it, do you? So what is this unhealthy scale you are using to judge yourself?

Letting negative emotions run your life is a pathway to debilitation, but you can’t angry or deny it away. The first step to getting over negative emotions is accepting that it is there, that it comes from you, and accepting the mere, simple fact of its existence. You can’t be mad at yourself and think that will make it stop. It’s logical, you can’t let go of something you’re refusing to acknowledge its presence. You have to accept those feelings, welcome those feelings, tell yourself it’s okay to feel those feelings, before you take active steps to let go of the feelings.

We are all fundamentally good people. Any “bad” in you is very important to spur on the good. Discipline goes a long way to dispel many of the bad habits we have, but we can only do so much. Be kind to yourself, after all, you’re only human. Xx.

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