The ring

Today I was rummaging through my tiny jewelry box and found a little ring I’d nearly forgotten about. I’d dragged it back and forth between Brazil and the US many times without even being aware it.

It’s an ornate little silver ring with an oval-shaped blue stone in a raised setting. It’s quite a pretty ring, really, and as I looked at it—nearly black with tarnish—I wondered why I hadn’t worn it all these years.blue ring

Then I felt a little stab in my heart. And I remembered the day I got the ring. And then, at the same moment, I recalled an event many years before the ring, when I was playing piano in a trio at a fancy hotel in Boston. There were couples dancing on the floor, and I could hear a young woman, pretty and blonde, as she and her partner danced by me, saying to him: “Stop looking around. Look at me. Pay attention to me. Don’t look at the other women!” She seemed really distraught, but was obviously trying to control herself and “lay down the law” to the young man with her, who looked confused and slightly irritated.

I’d felt a stab in my heart that night, too.

Now I’ll tell you about the ring. I was in my fourth marriage, and not happy at all with myself, my husband, or my marriage. I felt overlooked, ignored, and worthless much of the time. I wanted so badly to have a good marriage, and I felt that this was my last chance after three previous failed attempts. In my desperation, I tried to force my husband to pay attention to me, just like the hapless blonde dancer. I made him go with me to an open jewelry stand in the train station and buy me an inexpensive ring. He went along reluctantly, his mind on other things. When we got to the stand, I couldn’t find any ring I really wanted—they didn’t have one with a green stone—so I settled. I settled for the little silver pinky ring with the blue stone, just as I’d settled for a marriage that wasn’t working and never would.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to the pretty blond girl and her partner, or husband. I can’t imagine that it could have turned out well, and my heart goes out to both of them. Her for her neediness, him for feeling cornered.

I forgive myself for being so needy back then, and I forgive my ex-husband for not understanding. I didn’t understand then that everything I really wanted and needed was in my own thoughts, dreams, and feelings, and not in other people’s actions.

So I polished the little ring with the blue stone, and now I’m happily wearing it on my pinky finger.

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6 Comments

Filed under individuality, my history, spiritual

6 responses to “The ring

  1. What a beautiful story! It’s so great that you were able to reflect back on the situation and determine the cause of your unhappiness. This is a good lesson for me about settling in other areas of my life. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great story. Always a blessing to recognize erroneous thoughts…and be able to heal them. Always a blessing to know we don’t have to “settle.” Always a blessing to not throw out the baby with the bath water…as in my friend had a little sapphire ring but her new soon to be husband couldn’t get over that another husband had given it to her. She couldn’t pawn it where she lived because it’s one of those small towns where every body knows every body’s business. So she sent it to me to pawn. We took it to our friend jeweler instead. He took out sapphire and paid for the gold. When we gave our friend the money she was excited at how much she got. She gave us the sapphire. Not what I would have done. To me she lost the joy of wearing the ring. But she was happy. New hubby was happy (not knowing what happened, only that the ring was gone). We were happy to give the stone to our daughter as she was a Sept baby. As usual things happen just as they are supposed to and we learn lessons along the way.

  3. Yes, I don’t think there’s necessarily a right or wrong way when it comes to sentimental objects…we’re just led to do what feels right to us.

  4. Gordon Myers

    FOUR marriages? With your usual anti-marriage aura, I had no idea! I think I really need to read your book…

    But I do feel like I can relate to you, and also to the guy in the story, too. Ever heard that saying, “you can’t force the petals of a flower open before it’s ready to bloom?” I think that’s related, and I know I am so guilty of this myself. It’s all about trust. But it’s hard to trust that the petals will really unfold on their own when it’s YOUR relationship, you know?

    I do believe that “wisdom will ultimately put asunder what she hath not joined together.” But I have also seen enough successful marriages to trust that it really is possible for men and women to marry each other, without having to “settle,” and without killing each other along the way.

  5. Haha…anti marriage, me? Where did you ever get that idea? :D
    The thing that really messes people up is “being in love” because it’s pretty much a hypnotic state–but it can be balanced by working to see through that to the true qualities…the being in love thing doesn’t last, in any case, and ideally it turns into real love. I also believe in good marriages and have seen quite a few, actually.
    Yes, you definitely need to read my book!!!! :D

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