[An excerpt from my book-in-progress, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride: How Princess Diana Rescued the Damsel in Distress.]
As a bride-to-be, most modern women may not have to deal with the complicated dynamics of a duty-bound, rather emotionally suppressed, life-in-a-fish-bowl royal family for their inherited in-laws when considering marriage like Diana did. But everyone—commoner and prince—has baggage: habits, personality traits, patterns, preferences. So it’s important to be rigorously honest with ourselves about what attracts us to another: “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are,” writer Anaїs Nin reminded us. So who is making your choices; who is paying attention today? Is it your “small self” or your “big Self”? Are you speaking and listening from your fears or from your heart and soul? Are you willing to look a little deeper than the surface, a little wider and broader, even when the superficial is so dazzlingly enticing?
I remember reading long ago something like: What you find charming about someone in courtship may drive you crazy when married to them! (It only took reaching the honeymoon for Charles and Diana.) So remove your rose-colored glasses; take a deep, slow breath—then another and another—and listen closely for that wise voice within. The wisdom of our inner spirit waiting for us there knows the difference in romance and love; love and infatuation; fantasy and what the heart truly desires. However, if we live as though we don’t, then we end up choosing either the wrong man or wrong woman, or the wrong reason—or some combination of “wrong.” (And not wrong as in they’re “wrong” and you’re “right”; but they’re not the choice that your “big Self” would make.)
“If you’re open to be guided by Spirit,” author Kathy Freston writes in TheOne: Discovering the Secrets of Soul Mate Love, “sometimes awareness comes through gentle recognition, and sometimes it storms into our world through pain. The ‘bad news’ is that the pain will keep coming back in somewhat the same form until we learn the lesson it is trying to bring; but the good news is that once we get it, that kind of dysfunction won’t show up again.”
Diana’s “old unfulfilled dream haunted her,” Tina Brown declared about the unhappy princess in The Diana Chronicles. Do you have an unfulfilled dream that you need to let go of, that doesn’t serve your “big Self” anymore? Maybe it’s a dream that has become an old tired story, a recurring pattern that actually takes you away from your deeper, down in your soul dream. Relook. Perhaps it’s a dream that just needs a little dusting off and tweaking or maybe it’s time to allow a whole new dream rise up.
“Dreams get you into the future and add excitement to the present,” self-help guru Robert Conklin said. And from Conversationswith God author Neale Donald Walsch who declared that “dreams are the container of the soul.” Then he asks: “Is your dream today vast enough, bold enough, to hold your soul? They are the Holding Place of God. So dream big, yes, because the bigger you dream the more of God you let in.” These and other successful and accomplished dreamers encourage us to “dream often and big” and to follow the one that really connects with our spirit. I say that if you have a dream that connects you deeply with kindness and love, then follow that one. □