Once again OWN took us on a tour of Shania’s past, beginning with her first gig that really pushed her out into the world and into high heel shoes! Footage ran of her performance at Deerhurst in 1989 and trust me….the hair and outfits screamed 1989! Shania reminisced about how unstable and scary her life was back then. A feeling that once again enveloped her.
Deerhurst wasn’t all bad for Shania though. Within a few years of working there, she got her big break. In 1991 a Nashville entertainment attorney heard her sing ultimately leading to her first recording contract. Feeling as if life has come full-circle, Shania struggled to battle her insecurities. Watching her sing on camera it is clear she feels the self-conscious…I’m beginning to think it is the silence of a camera watching. Something tells me if the cameras weren’t rolling and she wasn’t trying to rebuild her career, that she could have let go. Her sister joined in and helped to comfort her, but Shania remained inside her head. Making excuses all the way to the bus, she smiled and moved on. Everyone knows Shania is a great singer and every note won’t be on key- that happens, but she needs to find comfort in allowing herself to be imperfect.
Still taking us back, Shania shared a place she cherished when she was younger. Traveling back and forth to Nashville, no longer having to care for her siblings (since they were all grown up), Shania headed out to a cabin to find peace. With no where else to go, she worked on her songs and focused on trying to make it…which to her meant “eating well”. She didn’t mind the smaller, simpler life. “My life is always too big for me. It’s been too big for me for a very, very long time”. Going back to the cabin was a good reminder of where she had come from and who she truly is.
By 1993, Shania released her self-titled debut album, which caught the attention of Robert “Mutt” Lange, a well-known rock producer. Their creative relationship began immediately and their romance began through song writing. They were married later that same year. Collaborating together over 7 years and were able to release 3 albums for Shania which sold over 75 million copies….crossing country and rock barriers. During her Up! Tour alone, she performed 113 dates in 104 cities….exhausting both personally and professionally. While her marriage was slowly breaking down, Shania started losing her voice. After the 2004 tour, she took a break and returned home to Switzerland (which happens to be where that photo of her on the dock was taken). Marie-Anne Thiebaud had worked for Shania and had become a very close friend. Her husband, Fred, and Mutt became friends as well. Shania shared all the details with Marie-Anne and truly believed she cared. However, the whole time Marie-Anne was sleeping with her husband. Not only was her marriage over, but she had lost her best friend. “How could I be so stupid? I really didn’t see that coming” has been uttered by many women…and now by Shania. Trusting and believing in someone isn’t a weakness and betrayal is rarely foreseen. Go easy on yourself, Shania.
In order to cope with the pain, Shania threw herself in to reading. Dr. Gordon Livingston, author and psychiatrist who deals in grief, became her therapist. Feeling inspired by his sharing of his grief, Shania decided she too could share in hopes of helping others heal. OWN then took us to meet the famous doctor.
As Shania invited him onto the bus, she pulled out his book where she read “Life’s two most important questions are ‘Why?’ and ‘Why not?’ The trick is knowing which one to ask.” She had specifically circled the words ‘Why’ and ‘Why not?’. Dr. Livingston then gently poked at Shania to open her up. Asking her why she would adopt this objective. Shania admitted she was afraid to make a fool of herself. She then pulled the band-aid back for us to see part of her wound. She was still unable to get over that a friend had betrayed her and hurt her family. Dr. Livingston reminded her that with mistake of misjudging her friendship needed to be accepted so that Shania could move forward. “Accepting responsibility is a step on a path toward forgiveness. Not just forgiveness of the other person, but forgiveness of yourself as well for having made this mistake”. As Shania goes on to admit to misjudging her friend, Dr. Livingston reminded her that she also misjudged her ex-husband. This is when a few sirens went off for me…Shania quickly came back with “My ex-husband is a wonderful person”. Hummmm. Really? So he cheated on you with your best friend. Lied about it and left you. Not sounding so wonderful. I don’t care how bad the marriage was, he had other ways he could have handled that. Not saying he is a monster, but he definitely ISN’T a “beautiful person” as you claim. Shania, let me tell you…you deserved better and should be mad at the lack of respect he showed you. Maybe then you will find your voice! As Dr. Livingston mentioned Mutt had hurt her, she continued to defend him with a shower of kind words. The good doctor posed the thought that she was trying to protect their relationship since they have a son together and that she hadn’t allowed herself to experience it fully. He reminded her that the event should be grieved and acknowledged. With a constant knot in her throat, Shania knew she needed to heal. In the end, he advised her to get therapy on a regular basis…good advice.
As she relayed the experience and conversation to her family, she questioned whether people could just work through problems alone. My answer to that is yes, but not if the problem is so bad that it affects their daily life. Shania has choked on these emotions so long that she can’t find her voice….it is time!
Shania’s journey then introduced her to Marie, a friend of her sister, who shared a similar story but actually worse. Marie’s husband cheated on her and their marriage ended after 21 years. On top of that they had lost 2 of their 4 children. Surrounded in grief, her best friend and her husband ended up together. Marie’s suggestion…counseling. Seeing a theme here, Shania!
Deciding to push her comfort zone, Shania asked Marie to jump out of a plane with her…skydiving of course! This is where I started to have a bit of anxiety in the show. I would totally become OCD if I was made to jump out of a plane. I’d pack and re-pack my chute a thousand times until I either tired or surrendered. But Marie and Shania decided to share the experience and threw caution to the wind. As they soared, I had a brief moment where I thought maybe…just maybe and then…BAM! Marie hit so hard that I was totally convinced she had broken her legs. With a thumbs up and a smile she reassured us all that she was all good. OK, back to never jumping again. I’m out!
Next week’s teaser….Vegas Baby!