I’m re-reading Alison Armstrong’s books, specifically the Queen’s Code and I had an ‘aha’ moment that I’d like to share with you in the hopes that it serves you.
In her book Keys to the Kingdom, Armstrong argues that men go through 4 stages of development: the Page (boys who want to be Knights), the Knight (adventurers), Prince (empire builders), and King (sovereign ruler of the empire he’s built). What I realized is this: I think women go through similar stages: Maiden/Princess, Mother, Queen, and Crone/Wise Woman, although I think there may be overlap in some of these stages.
When I was a little girl, I loved to dress up as a Fairy Princess. In an era where all Disney movies portrayed women as either Fairy Princesses or Evil Queens, who didn’t want to be the Princess? She got all the good stuff and didn’t really have to do anything to get there. That’s not to say that the Princesses didn’t struggle (ala Cinderella) before getting their due, but Disney really portrayed life as: Put Up with the Evil Queen until you Find Your Prince and then Live Happily Ever After.
Only real life never works that way. At least, it didn’t for me. Which gets me back to my ‘aha’ moment.
At 41, I am getting past my Mother stage in terms of reproductive years (although I still tend to play that role to a large extent in my academic job where my students come to me for guidance – more on that later). But what I realized is that at 41, when it comes to romantic relationships I’ve been stuck in the Princess stage my entire life. Although I know there is no such thing as Prince Charming, I’ve been waiting for him. Thus, I enter romantic relationships under the misguided assumption that my “Prince” will save me and provide for my every wish. But he can’t; for two reasons: 1) Men aren’t mind readers, so the notion that your Prince will know exactly what you want and provide for your every need is ridiculous. (And good luck trying to demand what you need from him.) 2) “Princes” – that is men in Armstrong’s Prince stage – aren’t at the point where they can provide you what you need anyway because they are still too busy trying to figure out what they need and building their empires.
In Fairy Tales when a Princess meets her Prince, her life becomes everything she always wanted and more. In reality when a ‘Princess’ meets her ‘Prince’, she more than likely turns him into a frog (what Alison Armstrong calls Frog Farming). Why? Because she has unrealistic expectations of him and he’s so caught up in building his empire that he can barely see the forest for the trees let alone anticipate and take care of his Princess’ needs.
So this weekend I made a decision: I no longer want to be a Princess waiting for her Prince to save her/fix her/make her happy. It’s time to become a Queen – in all areas of my life. It’s time to be sovereign of my own life, both at work (the Mother energy that I have been using to mentor students actually hinders them because it ends up being more of me do-ing it for them than teaching them how to do it themselves and challenging them to rise to the occasion) and in my relationships with friends (no more trying to ‘help’ my friends fix their lives; again that’s Mother energy and my friends are not children and don’t usually ask for my help or advice – they want to vent not help ‘fixing’ their lives) and romantic partners (I’m done Frog Farming, thank you very much!).
I’ve been exploring Queen energy for several months now, but only in the past month have I really begun to figure out what that means/looks like/etc. I’d love it if you’d take the journey with me. Are you ready to become Queen of Your Life? Ready to Design and Create your Ideal Life rather than waiting for it to be delivered to you all wrapped up with a shiny bow? Me too.
If you’re ready, I invite you to download and take the Life-Satisfaction-Worksheet. In my next post, we'll talk about what to do with the information you gathered on your worksheet.
I look forward to becoming Queens together!
Goddess (and Queen of Her Own Life) Mary