August 3, 2013

{Vanity Fair Revisits Diana}

Looking toward the new movie this fall about the last two years of Princess Diana's life -- focusing on her two-year love affair with Dr. Hasnat Khan -- Vanity Fair magazine revisits that time in a cover article in their September 2013 issue by Sarah Ellison. The movie, Diana, starring Naomi Watts as the princess and directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, will be released this fall.

With that in mind, I selected this excerpt from my book-in-progress, The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride, as the first of several I'll post about these years in Diana's life ... until (and maybe beyond) the movie comes out! (This excerpt is from a section called "A Grateful Heart.")

Was it another one of those cosmic twists that this same woman known in many world circles as the princess with a big, open heart, died of a ruptured one? Or that the man Diana was said to truly love was a famous heart surgeon in London and his grief and remorse at her death was compounded because he believed, according to Paul Burrell’s second biography, that he could have saved her life? “Whatsoever ye mete, shall be meted unto you again.” Michael Anderton shared this quote from the Bible in his essay When a Princess Dies, then added: “Even our good deeds come back to us not only in reward but in judgment. An awareness can sometimes come, with overwhelming and blinding clarity, of a God who does not pussyfoot.”

July 1997 issue of VF
I believe that everything in life is an opportunity to learn something deeper about ourselves, a chance to explore never imagined possibilities. Or as A Course in Miracles expresses, everything that happens to us is a “forgiveness lesson”—thank you ‘for giving’ me another opportunity to let go and grow. The heartache Diana experienced after her divorce actually opened her spirit to something new: freedom. She may not have had the strong emotional grounding to take on her self-worth issues completely, but at last she felt she had the freedom to begin finding her voice, her center, her purpose in life. Amidst all the turmoil and intense scrutiny that continued, she now had the freedom to explore what was indeed possible; and it seems she was finding her footing on the right holistic path. “Whatever Diana’s inward state, outwardly, she appears to be approaching contentment,” observed an article titled “Diana Reborn” in Vanity Fair that hit the stands at the time of the New York charity auction in June of 1997.

As Diana was reframing her life during this time, one idea I’d like  us to reframe now is “regret.” With a short, complex life, especially with such a “fairy-tale” quality as Diana lived, it’s easy to get into the “if only” regret game. I have a request, especially of Diana fans and followers—and something to practice for all of us. My request is that we think of nothing of Diana’s life as a regret—not her childhood, her marriage, her affairs, her lost loves, her death. Whatever happens in life happens—whether part of some divine plan or whether it’s all a mush of convoluted random events. But everything that happened to Diana was an integral part of her legacy—otherwise we may never have heard about Diana Frances Spencer. And if we can let go of any regret, or blame, or judgment, or belief and simply be grateful for her life, then not only do we contribute to the power of Diana’s mission of opening hearts, but our heart opens as well. In the act of letting go of blame and regret, judgment and anger, and whatever else our fears cook up, hearts open. ~

[This is an excerpt from The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride ... my future book using the archetypal journey of Princess Diana to mirror our own self-discovery, showing what relationship lessons emerged from her spot-lit life. Other excerpts from the last two years of her life will be posted over the next couple of months.]

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