An Evening with the Queen

Last night, I and about fifteen other amazing women, gathered to share our experiences working with The Desire Map. It was my honor to lead one of the hundreds of book clubs that took place around the world. 

As a surprise–though one I expected thanks to a post on her social media–Danielle LaPorte, the Queen of Desire herself, was there. 

The first thing I noticed was her radiance. The second thing I noticed was my own jealousy. It’s not a feeling I experience very often. Unlike envy, which allows me to still feel happy for the other person and often inspires me, jealousy feels icky and comes with a slimy coating of shame for feeling it.

She couldn’t have been more lovely. She embraced everyone, thanking them for being there. Except me. I knew it wasn’t a conscious choice on her part, but I also knew I had some funky energy going on. I always thought that if I ever met Danielle in person, we’d hit it off, so I was carrying that weight of expectation into this circle of amazing women. No wonder she slid right by me! When she’d finished making the rounds, I stuck out my hand to introduce myself because I didn’t want to be left with that “left out” feeling. Instead of shaking my hand, she gathered me in a hug. 

We sat in a circle and talked about our Core Desired Feelings and life in general. My attention was bifurcated; I was focused not only on the group, but on my own reactions. 

Was I talking too much? The thought brought on more shame, because I hate it when there’s that one person who dominates a group, especially because Danielle was there, and she’s the one whose work we came to honor. But I wanted her to know what an impact her work has had on me, and there was the whole bit about how we were supposed to hit it off.

As the evening went on, I settled into myself and could experience the privilege of sitting in a circle with such amazing women. It’s both nourishing and healing to be in sacred communion with powerful women sharing stories. I found myself longing for more of it.

The circle came to a close, and some of us stayed to chat. Once again, my desire to connect personally with Danielle came up. (I’m deep! I’m fun! I’m vegan! If she knew me she’d like me!) I found myself resentful of that desire, because the more it was running the show, the more needy, awkward, and not my true self I felt. I was relying on my personality to show up because I couldn’t. 

I left the experience having no idea how Danielle LaPorte feels about me. (Which assumes she even formed an opinion.) But I know how I felt about me. 

My jealousy stems from her success, but more to the point, how she’s successful. She is unabashedly who she is. Meanwhile, I still struggle with the advice I keep getting about not alienating my fiction readers by posting anything controversial. (Side note: I’m getting over it.)

The jealousy is the false idea that I want more of what she has.

The reality is that I want to be more of who I am. And there’s no shame in that. 
image via Catherine Just