December 29, 2022

Falling In Love

Enjoy another excerpt from my book-in-progress,   The Spritual Mission of a Princess....

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Much has been written about how Diana Spencer fell in love with an “image” of Prince Charles and not with the man. But she would not be the first person to objectify another, falling in love with a concept, a persona, an impression “instead of discovering who is really there,” as spiritual teacher Patricia Albere shared. In her book, Evolutionary Relationships, Albere wrote about the principles (including engagement, commitment, truth, trust, openness, intimacy, sensitivity, influence, and true autonomy) required to deepen any relationship—whether friend, family member, or lover—into a mutual awakening of beloved souls…into an “evolutionary relationship.” Then, ‘falling in love’ becomes something else altogether. “When you enter into an Evolutionary Relationship with a sexual partner,” explained Albere, “you have the opportunity to discover who your partner really is and what is possible between you…and what is needed to turn your relationship into a sacred marriage, a spiritual union.” 

Perhaps Diana had some intuitive, old-soul knowing of this kind of sacred union, but like most people, she didn’t know what it would take to have it—and especially, how to prepare for it. It takes emotional maturity, the courage to be transparent, a heightened level of spiritual awakening, patience—“a sacred connection cannot be forced,” as Albere wrote. 

I was reminded of what Meghan Markle said about the day she married Diana’s son Prince Harry—her wedding a global spectacle—with millions of people watching, appreciating, judging. “H and I are really, really good at finding each other in the chaos. When we find each other, we reconnect to, like, ‘Oh it’s you. It’s you.’” She added that it wasn’t as though the rest of it didn’t matter—the royal setting, the elegantly appointed trappings of the wedding—but “it feels temporary.” In such a spiritual union as they appear to have, it’s the connection, the love that feels real, feels eternal. (And those of us watching that lovely celebration of marriage could feel it as well.) Meghan’s friend Vicky Tsai, after attending the wedding ceremony, confirmed: “It felt like a moment where the world paused and celebrated love.”

Although Diana might have yearned for this level of intimate connection with a partner, in the pretense-riddled ‘arranged marriage’ framework of her Windsor world, such depth and harmony and spiritual bonding was not possible. Even with her heart-centered sensibility, all Diana had to go on when she married was her teenage romance-novel imagination, a wounded child’s neediness, and society’s outdated notion of the ‘institution’ of marriage. Her frustration and deep disappointment lashed out toward her husband with anger and blame, privately and, stunningly (given the ‘never complain, never explain’ mantra of the royal family), publicly.

        In Diana: The Voice of Change, Stewart Pearce wrote how Princess Diana’s spot-lit marriage to the heir to the British throne put a spotlight on the archaic customs associated with marriage as well as on a woman’s autonomy—or lack of it. “Diana’s feminine force had disowned the negative masculine when she ‘outed’ Charles, calling for a new level of maturity and truth.” Feminist writers believed that when Diana found a way to speak out about the inauthentic aspects of their marriage—her bold actions condemned at the time by some as outrageous, even scandalous—other women were emboldened to find their voice. “This released the voice of millions of women, who felt that Diana had given them the right to speak,” Pearce added. He believed you could follow the thread that got unraveled in her public revelations about ‘men behaving badly’ directly to the Time’s Up and MeToo movements over two decades later.

        As human consciousness was expanding in the last two decades of the twentieth century, parallel to Diana’s time in the spotlight, the nature of relationships and structure of marriage was transforming. In The Seat of Soul, Gary Zukav saw a more enlightened future when intimate relationships would be “spiritual partnerships” where both people thrive and the focus is on each other’s spiritual growth—evolving from the old, less empowering “five-sensory relationships.”  The more consciously aware “multisensory humans,” in Zukav’s words, naturally gravitate toward “spiritual partnerships.” (Maybe Diana sought guidance here since this culture-changing book was published in the late 1980s when her marriage was a gloomy mess.) Zukav explained that “spiritual partners help one another recognize parts of their personalities that come from love—such as gratitude, patience, and caring—and cultivate them by acting on them consciously.” Being conscious, awake to the subtleties of life, and emotionally courageous were key here. Zukav continued: “Spiritual partners also help one another recognize parts of their personalities that come from fear—such as anger, jealousy, and righteousness—and challenge them by acting from loving parts of their personalities (such as patience) when frightened parts (such as impatience) are active.” (Perhaps Diana wasn’t emotionally grounded enough, especially in those early years of marriage, to practice these principles, but this language, I believe, would have resonated with her.)

In addition to the cultural shifts in relationships and marriage at the time, the hard edge of masculine/feminine identity was also changing as many women were recognizing their “masculine” traits (speaking up for themselves, becoming leaders) and some men were acknowledging their “feminine” nature (being more compassionate and nurturing), shaking up an old societal template for gender. As human beings were evolving, long-accepted yet limiting ways of being and relating were dissolving—new guidelines were required for fully satisfying relationships. “The ‘Till death do us part’ paradigm within marriage,” Pearce wrote, “no longer could remain a meaningful construct for the bonds of deep relationship.”

        Looking back over the more than two decades since Diana’s death, Stewart Pearce was seeing how marriages that had been “sustained by the old ways of co-dependency” were ending and how both women and men were “releasing the obsolete stereotypes” of marriage so they could have relationships of deep connection of the heart. “At core, the patriarchy, which had flourished through a malformation of the masculine, was being transformed on the altar of the newly sacralized feminine,” Pearce continued with his usual passion. “Love, compassion, inclusivity, nurturing, and peaceful co-existence are what we yearn for, are what we seek out in our intimate relationships….” This sounds most ‘natural’ for us now, but at the time and in the environment in which Diana lived, when she declared these loving aspects missing in her marriage—indeed, in most marriages she saw in her aristocratic world—it was revolutionary. ~

[Part Two of this section from the chapter "A Woman's Inheritance" will be posted next month.]

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