jewel-never broken: songs are only half the story

by Jewel, 2015

Danette asked me to look for this as a used book. I checked Bizarre Bazaar but no luck. However, our library had it, so I checked it out and read it. It’s very interesting. I had no idea Jewel was like this! I thought that her name was a made-up name but that is her real name – Jewel Kilcher. She was born and raised in Alaska. Lived in Homer and then Anchorage. Her parents were awful. Her Mom left when she was about 10. She and her two brothers lived with their father. He was an abusive drunk. He did teach her to sing – that is how he made a living – singing with her in bars. She first learned to yodel at a very young age, because he told her it wasn’t possible. She practiced and practiced until she got it. 

She got into a prestigious high school in Traverse City, Michigan. After she graduated, she made her way to San Diego and lived on and off with her crazy mother who hung around with people who channeled spirits. She was homeless for awhile and lived in her van. Finally, she got discovered in a coffee shop and made an album and toured. Her Mom took over as her manager, made her fire her current manager. Her Mom spent all of her money – Jewel had no idea she was flat broke. She had to fire her mother and she hasn’t seen her since 2003. She got married to a rodeo guy, Ty Murray (I think that is his last name). She had a hard time getting pregnant – living with stress her whole life – and they took a motorcycle trip for 3 months and she finally got pregnant. Had her baby boy, Kase. She is able to love him dearly even though she never knew love growing up. Her Mom was a narcissistic witch. Her dad only passed on what he grew up with, but has since come to terms and they are very close now. She divorced her husband but they are both committed to their son.

She wrote a lot growing up – it was her therapy. She put her heart and soul into her words. She was dyslexic.

There is lots of human wisdom in the book – being true to yourself, feeling the pain, working through it. She never drank or did drugs – she didn’t want to numb herself because she would lose herself and not be safe. She had her Mom on a pedestal thinking she was the most wonderful, loving mom and letting her take all of her money and spend it on herself and her luxuries. When Jewel found out she was not only broke, but actually in debt, she was heartbroken and devastated and it took a long time for her to recover. Her Mom was just using her.

She has been through so much! At the end of the book, in the Afterword, she summarizes what she has learned about life into 22 statements. The ones that stand out to me are:

You can’t outrun your pain…Medicating your pain will only bring more pain.”

Spend time in silence.”

Establish a gratitude practice.

“Flip the switch and retrain your brain. Identify negative thought patterns and learn to starve them. Don’t indulge in fear, worry, jealousy, anger, resentment, lies or inferiority. I have found it best to start with just one idea you want to replace at a time. Establish and feed positive thought patterns. Joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth. Create a light switch in your mind. When you have a disruptive or damaging thought intervene by flipping the switch and replace it with a thought that is in line with your true goals and values. Repeat the thoughts you wish to have often enough until the habit creates its own momentum, forming new neural pathways. With time the habitual effect becomes second nature, and you become a much more positive person who is able to create change in the moment.”

Practice being present. “Being here now” is the only chance we have to make new choices. Fear-based thoughts cause us to live in a past that we project onto the future, robbing us of being awake in the only moment that exists for us to create change within. Observation causes us to suspend judgment so we can use our senses fully. It forces us to be present. Begin with small steps, like noticing each time your feet hit the ground in the morning…”

Believe in the law of enough. Don’t accept the fear that scarcity exists in any corner of your life. There is enough love, enough time, enough healing to go around. Give what you wish to receive.”

Stay sensitive. By numbing pain you also numb your ability to experience joy.”

Let go of shame. … Communication is the antithesis of shame. Give your worst fears a voice–speak out loud your deepest, most shameful thoughts….We cannot change what we are unwilling to bring into the light of day.

What’s simple is true. We are so busy looking for and working toward the things that will make us happy that we blow right by our actual happiness, thinking surely it must be more complicated. But often the things that make us truly happy are much simpler: sitting quietly under a tree. Being present with your child while you read a book to them. Living in a smaller home, perhaps, so you can work less and have more quality time with our family…”

Good advice, all of this. Wayne and I are working on changing our negative thought patterns so I like the light switch analogy.

She made her first album, Pieces of You, in 1994. It took a couple of years for it to get popular. In 1998, she did her 2nd album, Spirit. That was when she was under the spell of her evil mother, big-time. She dedicates the album to her mom. In 1999, she got a starring role in Ang Lee’s film, Ride with the Devil. In 2008, she changed to Country and did Perfectly Clear.

Her parents, especially her Mom, really hurt her. She and her Dad’s relationship is fine, now. They have communicated and worked through the hurt and she has forgiven him. She sees him a lot now. Her Mom’s hurt was deeper and harder to forgive – Her mom was very deceitful and evil.

There was a lot of pain and suffering in her childhood and she has worked very hard to overcome it. Her advice is good, solid. It can only be achieved, though, with the help of the Holy Spirit inside of us. Her last point is “Choose love.” So hard to do when you’ve been hurt so deeply, but think of what our Lord Jesus did for us when He died for our sins: He chose love – He who knew no sin, became sin for us, who spit upon Him, cursed Him, mocked Him, rejected Him. Yet, He bore the unbearable to bring us to Him. God be praised! He alone can work the miracle inside of us to change us to be more and more like Him.

Her first album, Pieces of You, I like the songs that made her a hit: Who Will Save Your Soul and You Were Meant For Me. She was only 20 years old, she wrote all of the songs, and they are deep. Some of them are really dark. Little Sister, is about an addict: Hey little sister I heard you went to Mr. So and So, knocking on his door again last night, said you needed it bad-you know that ain’t right ‘Cause so many times you’ve come to me crying trying to stop, you said it hurts so bad But please don’t let you go back for more My little sister is a Zombie in a body with no soul a role she has learned to play in a world today where nothing else matters but it matters, we gotta start feeding our souls Not our addictions or afflictions of pain to avoid the same questions we must ask ourselves to get any answers…”

Morning Song is sweet. Her voice is beautiful.

Her second album, Spirit, released in 1998, is when she was being deeply influenced by her Mom and her Mom’s friends who channeled spirits. I like “What’s simple is true,” which was the song during the credits of Ride with the Devil. She dedicates the album to her mother: “To my mom and manager, Nedra Carroll, who is also my mentor and best friend. Thank you for your mastery; your vision drives it all.”

Perfectly Clear is her first country album, released in 2008, and it is good. I especially like Two Become One, but really, all of the songs on this album are good. Her song, I Do, was written to her husband, Ty. In the Thank You, she writes: “To those fans who have known me since the beginning, this country album is no surprise…

“-For my Dad, Atz Kilcher, I dedicate the Cowboy Waltz- for writing the songs that inspired this one, and for teaching me to love music and the outdoors…(and yodeling!)

“-And last I’d like to thank Ty. Your magic love has erased each tear and bruise. Every hard mile has been worth it, simply because it brought me to you. I love you.

“Oh, Stooges: Whats mine would decline while yours increased…?”

I watched Ride with the Devil, the movie she starred in, in 1999. She is an excellent actress. She said one of her co-stars didn’t like her at all and thought she couldn’t ride horses, but she proved him wrong. She didn’t name him in the book, but Tobey Maguire was her co-star and I learned he’s a difficult person with whom to work. I wonder if it was him. You’d not be able to tell watching the movie- their acting is fantastic in this movie. She is really, really talented – she can write, she can sing, she can act.

Listened to Sweet and Wild, country album from 2010 – ugh – way too country.

Listened to Picking Up the Pieces, more like folk, from 2015 – ugh – very dark and depressing lyrics.