Queen of Hearts
Round these Cosmic Cowgirl parts, one is encouraged to speak one’s truth, to tell one’s story, to transform one’s story into form, be it a painting, a dance, a song, a poem, or a novel.
But what if you have a story that is not safe to tell, that is taboo?
What if you have a truth, that if you spoke it aloud,
could have negative consequences?
One could certainly keep it private in a journal or on a canvas that won’t see the light of day. One could create, transform and set it aflame. You could also write it, read it to the starry sky, and they bury it under a tree. There is also always the option of talking it through with a trusted confidante or a therapist. Yet sometimes those methods just don’t exorcise the issue and it becomes more about being stifled and silenced than anything else.
In contemplating this scenario I thought back to the role of the court jesters and fools. They were not only the comics of the king and queens, they were sometimes the only one that could be counted on, and get away with, telling the truth to the royalty. If we look back in time we also find how storytellers and playwrights revealed truths and pointed out observations of their particular era.
Today we have comedians, with some of the most well-known being the political commentators of our time, like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert, who openly, and with great fanfare, criticize and spread light on the political issues of our time. There are also the American political cartoonists like Gary Larson of The Far Side and Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, who have critiqued politics and society. Sometimes there is backlash at those who dare to lampoon and provoke. The most recent example would be the attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris, France in January. Twelve died at the hands of the gunmen who stormed their office. So I return to the question,
What if you have a story that must be told, but you can’t tell it?
Perhaps your creativity must be called upon in order to find your voice and remove the gag? Let me share with you the tale of Milly, a lady-in-waiting at Mirabelle Manor, and how she faced a difficult ordeal in which she was silenced and faced banishment.
Once Upon A Time there was a not-so-young woman named Milly. She was a loyal and dedicated lady-in-waiting at the Mirabelle Manor. She had been at the manor for a decade and was skilled in her position. She took pride in her labors and for years had received compliments and appreciation from the Lady and the other workers at the manor.
For years all was peaceful at the manor and the staff worked in relative happiness and peace with one another. Yet, in more recent times the Lady of the Manor had been having conflicts and disagreements with the Royal Court. Her discord began to affect her own staff and it became a less agreeable abode for all who lived and worked there. Some of the newer staff, not without reason, departed from Mirabelle Manor. News of these departures, and of the Lady’s issues with the Royal Court, eventually came to the attention of the Queen’s advisors. They sent a delegation of Cards who met with the Lady and her help.
During this tense visit, Milly found herself being interviewed by the Card Delegation. Milly knew the Lady had not been at her best for the past couple of years, and had been especially difficult to work for, yet she also knew the heart of her Lady was a very good one. Milly chose her words carefully, for she did not wish for any harm to come to her Lady, yet, she also hoped life and work would improve and becoming more joyous for all at Mirabelle Manor. The Card Delegation concluded their visit and in the aftermath, while subtle improvements were forthcoming, more workers departed the premises looking for opportunities elsewhere.
The Queen then paid Manor Mirabelle a visit herself. Tense closed door visits with the Lady took place leaving the staff unsettled and afraid for their future. Milly was very nervous when she was called upon to have a private appointment with the Queen herself. Milly prepared herself with positive conversational ideas.
The Queen had her own agenda however and brought up more sensitive topics. She wanted to know what Milly thought was working well in the kingdom and those things that needed improvement. The Queen was pleasant and smoothly encouraging, but Milly treaded carefully. The Queen was very clever however and Millie shared from the heart some honest views. The Queen at first showed sincere concern, but by the end of their time together informed Milly she did not know her place, that she was but a mere servant, and if she had higher aspirations she was gravely mistaken and dismissed her as a lady-in-waiting.
Milly initially didn’t know what to make of all the emotions and thoughts swirling through her mind and heart. She was in that state for quite some time. What finally came to rest heavily upon her soul was that she was heartbroken. She had been a loyal, dedicated and hardworking lady-in-waiting. She had believed in the kingdom and the Queen. She felt crushed that the Queen appeared to have so little regard for her.
Milly continued on with her work at Manor Mirabelle and took comfort in the good she could accomplish in that sphere. When it came time for her yearly meeting with the Lady of the Manor to review her performance Milly had no concerns, for she had always received glowing accolades. The morning of her review Milly learned she had again received many positive accounts of her accomplishments from the Manor staff.
When she arrived for the meeting she was greeted unexpectedly by two Cards from the Queen’s Royal Court. Milly still had no concerns for she was confident in her performance. However upon sitting, the Red Card addressed her forthrightly and explained they would not be conducting her review that day because they wanted to give her an opportunity to improve. Milly was confused and initially thought the Red Card was jesting with her. Then she realized to her great dismay the Cards were not ones to joke.
Milly initially felt a flash of indignation rise and she spoke with contained agitation about how she knew her performance was exemplary for the Manor Mirabelle, and in turn for the royal court. She pointed out there were more than a dozen positive reports from her peers and the Lady of the Manor. The Red and Black Cards then began their counter arguments.
They spoke of a report regarding Milly’s weeping while working, and harshly told her that such behavior could not continue. They stated Milly had spoken out of turn and disrespectfully to her superiors. They reported others had been shocked at such outbursts. They told her she had spoken of things that were none of her business, and it needed to stop immediately. They explained they knew things had not been ideal at Mirabelle Manor and based on her past record she was being given an opportunity to redeem herself. She was cautioned she would need to sign an official royal document outlining her transgressions, and if things did not improve to the Queen’s satisfaction, she would be banished from the Manor.
As the debasement wore on, Milly found herself shrinking emotionally and physically, but she smiled and shook her head affirmatively to show positive regard and acquiescence to the requirements the Red and Black Cards laid forth. When they dismissed her, Milly went back to work, diligently applying herself to her duties, but when the day was over and she returned to her private quarters she threw herself down on her bed and sobbed.
Every day following her dressing down, she went to work and continued to apply herself to her duties. When some of her peers would grumble or appear unhappy about issues at the Manor, Milly would abstain and remove herself from such situations. Her confidence was severely shaken and she felt unsafe at Manor Mirabelle. She began to quietly seek out information about other opportunities. Each time she learned of one that sounded fruitful it would lead no where. She grew despondent over time, and then depressed, for she had no hopes that her life would ever change.
Milly was strong and resilient though. While her trust and confidence in the royal court was diminished, she held on to those things she could still believe in. She knew she could not control the actions or intentions of others, but she did have a say in the meaning she found in her work. Milly aimed to find the positive in her life. She knew her work made a difference at Mirabelle Manor and those who worked with her benefited from her efforts. She knew the villagers that relied on the Manor for security and stability were also counting on her, and all the staff, to do their part.
She worked at healing her own broken heart and realized she did not have to allow others to define her, for it had always been within her power to determine her own worth. Lastly, while Milly questioned believing in any form of royalty ever again, she absolutely believed in being the Queen of her own Heart.
Have you ever been in situation where you felt silenced?
How did you deal with it?
Was there any resolution?
Do you have a story that you want to tell, need to tell,
but are fearful of sharing?
Have you journaled privately about it
or reached out to a safe confidant or counselor perhaps?
If you have managed to open the pathway to transform a painful or taboo story,
whether through painting it, singing it, dancing it, sculpting it, or writing it,
how did it finally feel to get it out?