Y’all this week, Prince Harry spoke up about his 20 year struggle with processing the grief from his mother’s death. I am so very impressed with this man who, at 12, experienced a traumatic event that basically cut off his emotional response for 2 decades of his life. 2 decades is a very long time but it just goes to show that we humans are very capable of living half-lives and pretending to be fully developed.
Here is an article about his interview with The Daily Telegraph
I stood in awe as I read it. What strength does it take to survive an event as horrific as losing your mother in the middle of your childhood? It makes me appreciate the human mind’s ability to compartmentalize and build walls and bury emotional responses and numb out and keep getting up day in and day out and continue on some resemblance of a life with hopes and dreams and successes.
And at the same time I am in awe of the Prince’s ability to make up for 20 years of half-living in 2-3 years of intentional healing. Now, that is something to be proud of; opening up a wound that is 20 years old in order to put to use whatever is found there. I imagine this boy who is lost, hiding in plain sight in the very public eye, and deciding after 20 years that he has had enough of hiding out. I can imagine young Harry speaking in dreams to grown man Harry and telling him that, afraid or not, it’s time to bring emotions and his wounded child up to the surface to be seen in broad daylight. Y’all that’s some damn courage right there.
And the unbelievable irony is that these reckonings that make us face our darkest secrets are actually awakenings for other people’s wounded inner children, too.
We think to ourselves, “this is it. I can’t live like this anymore. I know I’m alone in it and I know people are going to reject me because they’ve known this other half version of myself. I know they’re going to leave me when they realize I’ve been lying this whole time. I know I’ll be isolated in society; but I can’t live surrounded in the world and isolated on the inside anymore. So I choose isolated out there. At least I’ll be whole in here.”
And we make the very courageous move to expose our true whole, wounded self to our community. The irony is that by making our wounds external, 3 things happen: 1. people who are wounded like us surround us and we are not abandoned like we thought, 2. people who were never rooting for us anyway slowly disappear and 3. that guilt and that penance we were afraid we’d have to face is actually easier to face because we realized that we’re not facing our penance with only half of our strength but with all of it. So we find that we can genuinely be apologetic to those we owe it to and we are genuinely willing and capable of whatever actions are required of us in response to this new information coming to light.
Basically, by bringing out our wounds, we can then use the strength it took to keep them inside to actually be helpful in the outside world. We were sending all of our energy deep into the wounded hole and now it’s available to send outward into the world to effect true healing for others. We become stewards to that particular wound in our community.
Prince Harry took his wound and turned it inside out, y’all. He’s working now to publicly share his story and help others with his fame by co-leading the Heads Together Organization, and making as much noise about mental health as he can. What a courageous and strong hero he has just become!
What do you guys think? Did his story resonate with you like it did me?