Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ignore the messenger, hear the message.



I'm truly glad I'm an old woman. Really I am. Gone is the angst of yesteryear. The worries. The see-sawing of relationships. The mindless griefs over the might have beens and why didn't I's. You know.

I caught one of those little gems on the interwebz. An insight by Phyllis Diller (yeah, I know, I know!) but even the most unlikeable people sometimes offer you little nuggets of wisdom as they sit upon their aging bony duffs and pontificate about their lives. And what she said about belief in one's self was so powerful, it snagged my attention.

We're (well some of my readers) at an age when we know ourselves really well. And hopefully, we like ourselves. But do we truly believe in ourselves? Down to the very core? She talked about this. How the only reason she kept climbing up on stage was her unshakeable belief in herself. This after losing three of her children and a couple of husbands. Once you believe in yourself, she said, you don't give a rat's arse what anyone else thinks. You are joyously you and I am joyfully me. So get out there and just believe. Only I have to believe. No one else.

As I am me, judgemental, dismissive over-analytical, etc., etc., in the past I've viewed this woman as a travesty a la Joan Rivers. 560 surgical procedures of every stripe, loud, unfunny for the most part, crude, etc., etc., but the impact of what she said had me revisiting anew that old canard of paying attention to the message and never to the messenger.

And what a powerful message. And, to my mind, from such an unlikely source.

PS - And did you know she was a classically trained concert pianist and harpsichordist? Me neither.
PPS - And also that she was an extremely talented artist with her own studio and gallery? Me neither.


12 comments:

  1. We're experts at pigeonholing people based on the flimsiest of information... Makes me shudder to think of being judged on as little as I routinely judge others! Imagine too what we could all achieve with more confidence in our abilities. I know it was beaten out of us, any hint of getting too big for our britches! Glad it didn't take with you....

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  2. Oh, I've always loved Phyllis Diller. I heard her on the radio in the 50's when she was on local radio in the San Francisco area, before she went national. I loved how she evoked her husband, Fang, and how she said she always cleaned her oven when there wasn't any more room to put the food in.
    Women were not supposed to have drives at that time, of any sort, but were supposed to be "supportive" of everyone else. And laughing at men and children: absolutely verboten!
    As to the plastic surgery: she wanted things badly enough (fame, men) to go through that. Not my choice. Older women still don't dare show their natural aging faces in the media.
    But she was a good woman and a funny woman.
    And she is so right that you get to the point where you can go your own way, no matter what anyone thinks of you.

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  3. Oh Molly it took with me for a very long time even though I was on stage in Ireland I would be shaking in my shoes all the time. Don't how I got through it but I had such a strong desire. And then living took it out of me and my demons. I feel it is only now I am coming into myself. Truly.
    XO
    WWW

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  4. Hattie:

    A fan - that is wonderful. It was her raucous laugh that terrified me and put me off her. Yes I remember Fang and her mother in law and her unapologetic lack of housekeeping skills I enjoyed so much. I must say the interview I saw of her threw her into a different light for me. Reflective and inspiring.
    XO
    WWW

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  5. Because I was not really an American, and of the wrong generation, I never paid much attention to Phyllis Diller, but I did think she had balls, although I thought she was a bit vulgar. But anybody can be a teacher and I am sure she had many lessons to bring across and inspired thousands of women. I hope she helped them be more assertive and liberated. If she did that, she deserves her place in history.

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  6. Sometimes we need to close our eyes from the external distractions and just listen.

    I didn't know about her being a a classically trained concert pianist and harpsichordist.

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  7. Not surprisingly, I have never heard of the messenger but the message is loud and clear. Synchronicity is very much part of my life and just earlier today, I sent a gift to a lady friend, to down load on to her kindle cloud. This book was recommended to me by another lady friend not exactly a spring chicken and I loved every page of it though it is all interviews with ladies older than 60. More and more of them give the same message in different ways that is all. If I sent you a gift of the same book, will you be able to download on to a kindle device or a kindle cloud in your computer?

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  8. interesting facts about Phyllis.Sometimes in her act she would have some hilarious zingers like the oven one. I don't know if it was her or Joan Rivers that cracked that Mick Jagger with his lips could french kiss a moose.

    I wonder if he ever visited the Rock.

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  9. Great message! I am also looking forward to turning into a first rate battleaxe! : - )

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  10. Do I believe in myself right down to the very core? I don't know, I've never reached the core, I'm still digging through the outer layers. I'm still a bit of mystery to myself.

    I admire people who know themselves so well.

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  11. I guess I didn't even know what the younger Phyllis Diller looked like. I wasn't keen on her either, but she does make a very good point about being joyfully yourself.

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  12. I am with you - never investigated P.D. and wouldn't have guessed she would say -
    "Once you believe in yourself you don't give a rat's arse what anyone else thinks. You are joyously you and I am joyfully me. So get out there and just believe. Only I have to believe. No one else."
    Can't say I am "joyously" me but I am me and not afraid to be me. Quite often Joyous too! Life for me has gotten better with each added year. Hope for you all too.
    Betty

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