Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Revisiting "Tackling Fear"

Victorian Era Cocktail Ring
I promised you some conclusions based on the evidence, and I'm ready to share my thoughts. Before I go there, though, I remind you that Queen Victoria is a deep and vast well to plumb. Her complicated history and the tragedies that impacted her life are not trite to me, and I in no way mean to diminish her pain and suffering. Nor do I fault her for the decisions she made. I am simply attempting to mine the gold for those of us who still have an opportunity to change the course of our lives. If we are to learn every lesson we can from her life, we must go down this dark path and find the treasure buried beneath the rubble.

Victoria came to a crossroads in her life, a moment where she had a definitive opportunity to choose between life or death. She chose death, and it affected everything. Not just her family, but a nation and the world. Who was Queen Victoria before this moment? She was vibrant, sassy, determined to be the best queen in history. She was romantic, idealistic, and fresh. She brought new ideas, new hopes, and new vision; feminine ideas, feminine hopes, and feminine vision to an institution that had long been held in the vice grip of male traditions. She was the bright shining star of England. This is what she is remembered for, but this isn't the whole story. I will be covering the whole story in my future book on this topic.

On December 14, 1861, the tragic loss of her husband presented her with the choice to forge a new path or walk down the old path. She succumbed to the old and fell hard and fast back into her old ways. Fear and control came crashing back into her world with the force of a tsunami.

Where Albert had drawn her out of her own private inner world, his death plummeted her back into it with a fierceness that nearly brought down an empire. It certainly shook the foundations of the jewelry and fashion industries, and I know there was unrest in other areas for years following her fateful decision to remain in reclusive mourning for so long.

Would I do it differently? A few years ago, I might not have. I probably would have chosen death. But today I choose life. How do we choose life in the face of tragedy? One day at a time, feeling our feelings, facing our fears, looking to those who would empathize but not enable us to remain stuck in self-pity or fear. Fear and self-pity leads to control. And we see this evidenced in Queen Victoria's life in spades.

For more of my personal thoughts on love & fear, click here and here.

Victorian Era Ornate Diamond Ring

1 comment:

  1. Illuminating! I like this approach to understanding her as a woman and her long-reaching influence on a nation.