So I had this dream last night, perhaps provoked by the fact that Kate and William have just brought beautiful baby Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge into the world and are occupying many minds, hearts and newspaper columns. In this vivid dream Eric, my husband, and William were sort of smushed into a singular person, their energies and appearance as One (gosh, I know, but it’s a dream after all, anything goes). I had been with (Prince) Eric for a while and loved him dearly, as in real life. We were having this poignant chat on the last day of our holiday together, before he went back to his wife, Kate Middleton.
He didn’t have a bad word about his wife (nor had I for that matter). Kate had this energy that felt very Queenly and appropriate, as she does in physical reality. But we both knew that my colorful past discounted me from ever being an admissible or at least a welcome royal family member. He had to think of his duty, his reputation. It didn’t feel like an affair we were having, more of an arrangement between consenting concerned parties. Although I adored him, I didn’t feel jealously, more sadness that I wasn’t good enough to fulfill the role of lover and Queen.
I woke up still steeped in the residual emotions of the dream and squeezed myself into Eric’s sleeping back, relieved that in real life I can be his everything, despite my sketchy, questionable past.
Now, a half hour of wakefulness away from that dream, I’m left feeling muddied, as if my subconscious gate opened last night and has dragged me through old hurts and feelings of not being good enough. I’d hoped that had been dealt with.
But I can hear and feel my friendly inner resident voice catching up with the drama, as if running through the fields of consciousness to retrieve me, ‘what’d I miss?’
With this voice comes reassurance that despite anything that I may or may not have done in the past yes I am enough; more than.
It reminds me of the importance to find the right environment for you to Be You in. I’ll never be a Princess, and even now I would find the rigors and expectations and gold fish bowl living of a royal life relentlessly stifling. But that’s ok.
Sometimes it’s not what you’re doing or being in itself that’s unpopular, it’s where you’re showcasing it that’s the issue: Much like trying to sell ice-cream on a wintry, wind-whipped day at the British seaside to stiffly chilled, wrapped up walkers. Bemusedly spying your proud ice-cream sandwich board they tut and briskly carry on walking past your kiosk. You, my friend, have delicious, homemade, creamy ice-cream to sell. It’s not your product that that’s the issue; it’s the environment you’re trying to sell it that’s not befitting.
For another regal example; Princess Diana was a divine misfit. Her heart on her sleeve, compassionate and down-to-earth approach to her adopted, cold royal life rubbed up very uncomfortable with the rest of the monarchy. According to them the way she acted was inappropriate and at moments downright embarrassing too; what she said, did, wore, how she parented, flouting what she saw as silly and outmoded customs. Diana, to my mind, was a classic living example of my dream; a wonderful being, but not in an environment that supported her soul’s longings and ideologies. Of course the royal family gave her an incredible platform to reach and help millions in her dedicated passion for charity work. But on a personal level she was straitjacketed and compromised.
It can be very hard when who we are is a mismatch for where we are. Is there something wrong with me? If this is you then I hold out my arms in empathy. I know how it feels, and my dream reminded me of this emotion of being a square peg in a round hole and resenting yourself for it.
Oftentimes when you’re in an unsupportive environment, a sphere that discourages you from being the You your heart whispers you to be, you try to find any open window of opportunity to gasp out of, showing the outer world, this is me! As a child, I always felt different, although I couldn’t articulate this. Why did I always have these big questions about life when everyone else could apparently just get on with it? I had a map of America spanning one side of my bedroom wall, knowing intuitively that this country would ‘get’ me.
But unfortunately, the need to feel a part of something got me first. The easy way out of my feelings of not being good enough was to rebel.
Happily under the umbrella of love my husband provided, and white-horsed away from the scene of my inner discontentment, I felt able to peek out again. The sun was beaming down on me. Who I was ok. More than ok. I started to explore spirituality, philosophy and could even begin to see sparks of how I might be able to help others. There were seemingly potential answers around me in the form of eye-catching books, deep conversations and teachers that weren’t there before.
On a tide of delight at finding a place in the world that celebrated who I really was, I naturally wanted to share the good news. My poor family…I must have appeared like a indoctrinated cult member at first, sending them books that had altered my life; Eckhart Tolle, Lorna Byrne, sharing great teachers of wisdom and splashing links to them and lengthy messages on my Facebook status. I was finding the answer to many held in lifelong questions and wanted others to feel as relieved and pacified as I did.
But, after a few chats at home in the UK with family, and spiritually maturing somewhat, I realized that this was not their answer, only mine. I now see that there is a place for all of us to best showcase exactly who we are and what we want to be about, and sometimes that is not approved of for various reasons where you come from. Does it make me a little sad that I can’t talk about the things that make my heart soar to my family back home? Yes, a little. But I understand. My family are just lovely-all of them. They have their beliefs, and are really at home in them. And I can express who I am here in pillow talk with Eric and with likeminded friends, equally as enthused to expand, evolve and discover their inner, as well as outer, world. America seems to fit me, a land where there are yoga studios on every city corner, a plethora of self improvement workshops and retreats and self help is as routine as doing the grocery shopping.
You are not a mistake, my friend, and your passions are gifted and wrapped into your heart for a particular reason. Embracing who you really are is not always easy, nor acceptable, to those around you. But embrace you all the same. You are the only person you’ll ever have to live with.
In my experience I have found the wisdom in Dr. Martin Luther Kings, Jr.’s advise “Just take the first step in faith, you don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” Start somewhere in the direction of your hearts dictation. The Universe/God/Allah/Jesus/angels/dearly departed Granny or whatever palpable yet invisible system of support suits you best, will grab that clammy, hesitant hand and guide you on your intended path.
I love transformational teacher Dr Barbara De Angelis’* analogy. She says we all come to life with a package to deliver. Do we want to get to the end of our days-panicked- and regret not having delivered the world of our gift, haunted by a feeling that we haven’t completed the task we came here to do? It takes courage to be who you are, but I think living a lifetime in the shadows of who you might have been takes even more.
Shine your Light your way, my friend. The world needs you to.
* Taken from Dr. Barbara Le Angelis’s new book, ‘Soul Shifts: Transformative Wisdom for Creating a Life of Authentic Awakening, Emotional Freedom and Practical Spirituality.’ http://barbaradeangelis.com/