Thursday, January 1, 2009

To Be A Queen

In the past I have set New Years Resolutions and have been sorely disappointed in myself when I don't reach them. Likewise, I've felt something of sadness when reaching my goals doesn't have the glorious results that I think should come from such hard work and dedication. As the new year is upon us, I have a new approach: I am not going to set goals. Mind you, there are many, many things I want to improve on and focus on in the coming year, but I am not going to set any specific, measurable, or attainable goals. How's that for trying to reach my potential? In light of that, I want to post about things that will help me with the improving that I want to do.

I've been reading a great YA fiction book called The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I came across a paragraph about the heroine, Alyss, who was about to start her training to be the queen of Wonderland the queendom is attacked by her outcast aunt who has returned to regain the throne that she feels is rightfully hers. Alyss narrowly escapes death and learns that both of her parents have been killed. She travels through the looking glass and lands in the streets of London (through a puddle) and comes in contact with a street urchin who befriends her and helps her survive . The author explains that Alyss has had a first-hand, real life experience that taught a lesson which would have been in her curriculum for becoming a queen if she had proceeded with her training. It struck a chord for a couple of reasons. First, I believe that all women have the potential of becoming queens--in their own homes and in an eternal perspective (my previous post on being a queen was more comical than anything serious, but it's good to know that my kids think I'm a queen)... Second, the lesson is on something that most of us struggle with--judging others without having a full vision or understanding of their position and challenges. The lesson is:

"For most of the universe's inhabitants, life is not all gummy wads and tarty tarts; it is a struggle against hardship, unfairness, corruption, abuse, and adversity in all its guises, where even to survive--let alone survive with dignity--is heroic. To soldier through the days in the wake of failure is the courageous act of many. To rule benevolently, a queen should be able to enter into the feelings of those less fortunate than herself."--The Looking Glass Wars, page 102

So there is one of the things that I will work on this year... trying harder to walk in other people's shoes without passing judgment and also assuming (understanding) that most people are dealing with unknown challenges and trials, and therefore feeling more compassion for others. I know it will help me be a better "Queen of Everything."**Any thoughts?


Linn said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for those thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Lisa ... recibi la tarjeta con sus saludos de estas fiestas y nos alegro mucho sus palabras , que se hallan acordado de nosotros y que nos hallan enviado una tarjeta realmente HERMOSA . Recibe un abrazo muy fuerte de parte nuestra , tus hijos estan grandes y bellos , y como siempre Ryan y tu hacen una pareja perfecta . Deseo los mejores augurios de felicidad y armonia en este año 2009 , que tus hijos sigan creciendo llenos de amor y felicidad y muchas gracias por la amistad de ustedes que hacen sentir las distancias como pequeños detalles .
Quisiera leer mas tu blog pero yo tambien soy floja con el ingles jejeje ,y me gustaria que me buscaras en facebook asi puedes ver fotos tambien de mi familia y seguro puedes encontrar mucha gente de chile que esta en esa pagina social ..
Ahora si me despido .. con un gran cariño y amistad

lArZ said...

That is a great goal! I know it works...I just need to keep doing it. =) I find that it's always the case that someone is struggling with something hard in one form or another; and everyone copes with things very differently which makes them react in a way that makes us judge them...what a brat! jerk! selfish! etc.. There's been times in my life where I say or think such things then later find out what they were dealing with and I feel quite small. but there have also been times where I chose to not judge and try to see from their perspective and as a result I treat them good and I feel better myself.

Linn said...

Thanks for your comment friend! My parents will be out for another 18 months. They have not even been out six months. I am laughing about your dream. And maybe not fabulous to everyone, but our house is sure fabulous to us! And has plenty of room if you are headed this way. Thanks again.

And once more, I love this post. Love it, love it.

Sally said...

First of all, I loved hanging out at your house. Thanks so much for the invite. I felt like a grown up. Second, I also really liked this post. If I only knew that the things I went through were part of a training, it would help. I technically know this in general, but to have someone tell me "this is what you learned from this. Now you have charity." or something similar, I think I could cope with them better. I would appreciate them more, and I would be more confident that I actually did learn something. Now I feel like I have to search for a blessing, or wonder if it came, or if that was the skill acquired from that trial, etc. There's so much that's unknown.
Thirdly, I feel like I'm such a different person than the one who moved into this ward 9 years ago, and I cringe at both the way I saw/judged people then that I still know now, and how they probably saw me, when I'm much different. I hope they forget and forgive, and I keep striving to. It's not been one of my strong suits before, but I am much much better at it. As I grow up I slowly learn the exact lesson you posted about: everyone has something, and it's not my job, responsibility, nor privilege to figure out what's up with everyone. It doesn't matter. Everyone has the same emotions, and feels them all throughout their lives, just about different things. And often, about the opposite things that I do! It's so fascinating and puzzling.
Sorry for the epistle. It struck a chord, I guess! But a good, good chord. :) Happy New Year.

Yoga Girl said...

Loved your post Lisa. I need to read that book! I think when we step away from judging others we are then free to see the beauty within...something i continually work on. But so much more fun :)
Happy New Year!

Heather said...

You just plane out rock girl. I would consider you one of the most nonjudgemental people that I know. There's no rule against a little heckling every now and then. I heckle myself to keep myself in line. You have a big heart and I love you as a friend. Let's do lunch. I'll be in town this weekend. What's Lesli up to?

Heather said...

Okay so I am slightly tired but what I meant to write was "plain out rock". Darn English language.

Booklogged said...

Lisa, thanks for sharing your insights with us. I read and loved this book but did not pause long enough to consider that beautiful passage. I kept the book for my teenage daughter so I can put a book dart to mark this passage. Your thoughts about this passage made it even more meaningful.

I love Mary Englebriet, too. I'm glad you consider yourself Queen, I've always thought of myself as Princess of Everything That's Left. I need to work on that, don't I?

Janene said...

sounds like a very worthwhile, feel-good goal. And now you've written it down, to me that means it's measurable if you review it often. Best of luck!