“Alas, there’s the sound. The queen requests her tea.”
I watched as my friend Ray poured hot water into a tall white mug over a bag of Earl Grey tea. He smiled at me then padded softly into the bedroom where his wife Bonnie lay rousing from sleep. It’s a ritual they do every morning — Ray being an early riser and Bonnie needing a nudge to greet the day. She gently calls and he answers by bringing her a cup of hot tea.
There’s nothing quite like witnessing another couple’s marriage than living with them for a few days. I’d come to visit Bonnie and Ray at their new home in Arizona. Their marriage felt like a royal union — with Bonnie being Ray’s queen and Ray being her king. It’s a partnership where the two of them rule their kingdom together. The morning tea delivery was just one of many kind gestures I saw them do for each other during my stay.
I’ve seen this type of relationship many times before in marriages I’d call successful. There’s a dynamic of mutual support, honor, and respect. Mutual kindness and generosity. It’s a beautiful, royal dance that successful couples seem to do.
As I flew back home after my visit, I thought about the structure of their marriage and how different it felt from my now-ended one. Mine never resembled a royal partnership but rather a hierarchy of power .
Since I’m a curious person I tried to determine how we ever ended up that way. Was it something about him? Was it something about me? I tried hard to think back to the beginning of my marriage. Was this dynamic there from the start or was it built over time? I don’t know for sure. All I know is that somewhere along the path of a 27-year marriage a shared royal partnership never formed.
In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter how my former husband and I ended up where we did. What matters is how I get to where I want to be. I admire these queenly women I know and the marriages they’ve built. I want to be like them.
So what is it about these women that makes them queenly? From what I see, it’s due in part to the way they carry themselves — almost as if they’re wearing an imaginary crown. They stand tall and confident. The crown they wear isn’t one of arrogance or snobbery. Instead, it’s one of knowing their worth. A radiance of self-worth and knowing their value glows from within them.
As I think back to myself I realize that my self-worth became buried under the rubble of a crumbling marriage. I also see that for years I’d been relying on my ex to feed my self-worth. I counted on him to boost my self-confidence and affirm my value.
But as these queenly women demonstrate, our self-worth isn’t something to be found outside ourselves. It dwells within us. It’s inherent in all of us — a seed planted by our Divine Creator. It’s not someone else’s job to care for that seed. It’s our job. It’s our job to provide it with the rich soil of self-care and to tend to its growth. If we don’t, it becomes neglected. It wilts.
Tending to and growing this seed of self-worth is what gives rise to a queenly nature and in turn, creates the building blocks for a royal partnership.
A few months ago I felt that spark of knowing my worth shimmer within me. As I stood in the shower and the warm water from the spout sprayed on my body, a wave of knowing flooded my being. A knowing of my worth awakened from a place deep inside me.
But the inner knowing I felt that morning seems to wax and wane with time and situations. I see now that I must remind myself each day of its presence. So I’m beginning a ritual of connecting to that knowing by imaging myself donning a self-worth crown as I enter the world. I’ve never been one for gemstones, so instead, my crown will be covered in sea glass and flowers.
If I want to embody a queenly nature, I must remind myself to put on that crown every day until it becomes my natural way of being.
acuriousfirefly, © 2022