I've been so moved and inspired to see Harry and Meghan step down as senior members of the Royal Family.
How brave is it to remove yourself from obligations that were thrust on you from birth. Obligations that aren't yours to carry. How incredibly brave to go against the status quo, to carve out a life for yourself that is different from the one that is expected of you.
I think about this in terms of mothering and the role of mothering in society. I think about the societal conditioning that expects mothers to be all nurturing and self sacrificing.To be, do and have it all. Give us a break! We are human and we are tired.
We are born into the world with no conditioning. We have no prejudice or expectations on ourselves. We don't carry shame. As little children we begin to pick up messages about how we are expected to behave. Social conditioning makes us believe to be accepted we have to behave and act a certain way. Not to mention the conditioning we receive in our family environment albeit often meaning parents.
My friend had a very different childhood experience from mine. I grew up in foster homes. She lived with a very hands on mother. An image perfect family. On the outside it looked like a happy family. When she was in her forties, she told me that she was struggling to deal with the expectations she had to always look presentable, to be liked, to always look amazing. She loved her mother but she realised that her mother could not see her in her own right.
My friend was just seen as an extension of her mother. She was there to make her mother look good. She could not be anything other than happy all of the time.
This decision that Harry and Meghan have made is a lesson to us all. It's a lesson to choose a life for ourselves that feels honest and true, because when we go against that we suffer, we become ill. Perhaps not on a conscious level but our spirits suffer and often our bodies do too. We become physically sick.
So many of us are people pleasing. We focus on making others happy as opposed to ourselves.
It saddens me to see comments made regarding Harry that are bigoted.A good aul 'sure you're privileged' response and it makes me wonder how we define privilege. Surely privilege isn't losing your mother at 12-years-old. Privilege isn't publicly hiding your grief within a tight upper lip environment that has conditioned you to behave differently from other boys your age. The heaviness of grief and expectation to conform to a role that you never asked for. A role you were born into, a role that might look good on the outside, but carries huge loss within.
I am inspired by anyone who is brave enough to upset the status quo. To choose autonomy over conformity. In the words of Oriah Mountain Dreamer: "I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul."