Recently, my wife and I saw "The King's Speech." We were both moved by the true story of a British royal with a stutter who was suddenly thrust into the role of king at the start of World War II. His perseverance in fighting to find his voice and commitment to lead a nation is beautifully portrayed in the movie.
Chances are high you won't be called on to become king of a nation, but you are called to be the king or queen of your own life. Kabbalah's Tree of Life associates kingship with speech and standing up for what you believe in. According to Kabbalah, kingship (or queenship) is the culmination of everything swirling around inside of us. We demonstrate our royalty through what we say and how we act. Let's look at some of the qualities that allow our royalty to shine.
Deficiencies Can Be Turned Into Strengths
King George VI succeeded in finding his voice with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. His burning desire to overcome his stuttering was not enough. After trying conventional doctors, George VI, known as Bertie to his family, was guided by his wife to Logue. After initial resistance, Bertie found the courage to work with and befriend a man far outside of his comfort zone.
Another famous stutterer was Moses. When asked by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery at the burning bush, Moses told the Creator he couldn't take the job because of his speech impediment. God said (I am paraphrasing), "Don't worry; I will provide a helper for you, your brother Aaron."
Bertie and Moses could not fulfill their royalty on their own. They both understood the need for outside help to get there. Lionel and Aaron became trusted confidants who were invaluable in helping create the success of the chosen leaders they assisted. Are you willing to seek and embrace support, even if it is unorthodox or outside of your comfort zone, to manifest your royalty?
Learn How To Serve Others, and Don't Give Up!
Moses spent 40 years as a shepherd before he was called upon to lead a nation. That phase of his life was devoted to caring for others. In Bertie's case, it is not hard to imagine that his stuttering opened his heart to the suffering and difficulties of everyday people. An aspect of being a great king or queen is the ability to care deeply about those around you. In a real sense, being royalty means you have a responsibility to serve those in your domain, whether it is a nation, family, friends or strangers.
George VI spent many years, and according to the movie, many embarrassing moments, living with his speech impediment. Moses, having grown up as a prince in Pharaoh's palace, was forced to flee Egypt resulting in decades living as a simple shepherd away from his people. During his challenging times George VI, with vital support from his wife, kept the faith that he could find his voice. Moses kept his faith in God and a good result for the Israelites.
Who knows the timing of when we will be called to be our best? During the days, months or years when we know we are not living up to our potential, it is crucial not to give up, to keep the faith, and do our best to move forward, even if it feels like we are not getting very far.
Dignity, Integrity and Honest Speech
A characteristic of dignity is standing firm in what you believe in when you are attacked for it or for who you are. Rather than bending to the will of another or a group, a royal takes strength in representing what is deeply held in the core of his being.
The Archbishop of Canterbury confronted George VI because he was working with Logue, a commoner who had no formal credentials in his field. The archbishop, representing a long line of tradition, did his best to convince George VI to fire Logue and return to using knighted doctors to solve his problem. George VI refused to abandon his friend. His stance in support of Logue in the face of the strong pull to return to a well-trod path models the kind of kingship anyone can emulate.
To be true to others, you first need to be true to yourself. Denying your truth and not standing in it leads to a loss of power, lies, and self-disgust. There is nobility in someone who speaks his truth regardless of circumstances when that truth serves life. Projecting integrity through living in truth and honest speech is walking your talk as royalty.
Moses did not compromise in speaking truth. His ability to do it (with the help of his brother) was rooted in his love and commitment to the Divine. In the face of revolt by some priestly elites in the desert, or murmuring among the people to return to the "good" life they had in Egypt (pretty much due to not liking the desert-based menu), he stayed true to God's vision and tirelessly worked to manifest it.
We are at our best when living noble lives. I find it inspiring and empowering to see anyone -- a hereditary king or queen, a politician, a mother, a firefighter, or a street sweeper -- living from the deep place described above. It is also noble to strive to be an inner king or queen. When I think about it, in our efforts to be the best we can be irrespective of deficiencies and obstacles, our nobility is already shining through.
If you like, take a moment to reflect on your own nobility. You might be surprised to find how royal you already are!