Once Upon a time a King and Queen gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter, a sister to their wonderful son; (in fact the Queen had two wonderful sons but the King liked to ignore that). They named this new baby Katherine, but everyone who loved her called her Katie or Kate. Kate knew they loved her, and she in turn loved them right back.
When Kate was three years old the Queen died and suddenly everything in Kateís life changed.
The king did his best to make things good with what he had, but he was lost in a maze of his own making. The only way he knew how to help was to pull his children into his maze because it was the only place he knew that was safe. And so the King grabbed the hands of both his children and fled deep into the maze until he came to a far away place called Cymru.
What the King needed to help him feel safe was to get away from everything that reminded him of the past. What he didnít realise was that what his children needed to feel safe and secure were the people that loved them; and those people were now left far behind.
The King however did his best to make a new life and loved his children the best way he knew how.
One day the King brought home a new Queen and introduced her to his children. The new Queen appeared to be very beautiful and Kate believed she was; she had no reason not to.
One day the King asked Kate if she would like this new Queen to be her new mother. Kate jumped at the chance and was very excited. She expected that the new Queen would be just like the old one, she had no reason not to.
Someone who would wrap loving arms around her once again, who would hold her when she was tired or scared, and someone who would make her feel safe and secure again as only a mother could. And so yes, Kate was very excited at the prospect of this new Queen being her new mother.
At first the new Queen tried very hard to fit in with this new family she had chosen to join, but she was stuck in old ways she had learned from raising a different family, and although the old ways hadnít worked in her old family either they were the only ways the new Queen knew.
So the new Queen set about changing everyone in her new family to fit in with her old ways, to make herself feel safe and secure.
The King happily went along with this because he was so lost in his maze that he couldnít see the wood for the trees.
The little Prince was feeling so lost in his grief, with no one to talk to him about it, that he didnít notice.
Kate however, wanted so much to feel safe and loved by this new Queen that she eagerly began to change to fit in with what the new Queen was demanding.
A wise man once said, ďIf you know a catís true name then you can control them, and that is why cats never tell you their true name. Humans are stupid because they tell you their true name.Ē
Now the new Queen knew of this wisdom and to make Kate truly hers she took away the identity she had grown into for 6 whole years and began to call her by her true name, Katherine.
Although Kate knew that everyone who had ever truly loved her had only ever called her Katie or Kate, she was so desperate to feel safe & loved again by this new mother that she was willing to be whatever the new Queen wanted her to be in return for love; and so Kate let go of who she was and started a new life as Katherine.
Soon Katherine became a totally different person to Kate, and Kate became a distant memory and everything that related to that name was forgotten.
The new Queen worked really hard to change Katherine into what she thought she wanted her to be. Sometimes Katherine would find the changes so hard to make that she would spend hours in her room trying to get her heart to accept them, but something inside told her that the new ways were wrong. However, Kate wanted so desperately to be loved by this woman, to at least get a hug; that she worked really hard to make the changes.
As Katherine became what the Queen forced her to be, the Queen realised that she disliked this child more and more. So she began to devise harder and crueller ways to get Katherine to change into who she wanted her to be.
What the Queen didnít realise was that on some level she was trying to turn Katherine into herself. The Queen was blind to the fact that Katherine was in fact doing everything to be just as the Queen wanted, but all the Queen saw was that Katherine was weak and Katherine was scared and Katherine was stupid.
The Queen was confused, how come the more she changed this child into the way she wanted her to be, the more she disliked her.
And therein lies the rub, my friends. For the sad fact was, that the Queen did not in fact love herself, and the new behaviours that Katherine now displayed to appease the Queen were the very behaviours the Queen had despised in herself as a child.
But the Queen unfortunately, was blind to this and so just kept trying to make Katherine into what she thought she would love. You see she too wanted to love Katherine and receive love in return but itís really hard to love someone when you donít love yourself. And after all you do get what you focus on.
After many years of persistently trying to be loved by the new Queen, Katherine began to give up. Changing, and changing and changing into what others wanted her to be was exhausting and she only succeeded in her losing herself in the Queens maze and now she was just as lost as the King. And she felt like she was in this maze on her own and she was completely terrified from the loneliness.
Everyday Katherine would sit in the middle of the maze terrified because she didnít have any love. For you see Kate was the one who had always been loved and Katherine had only received snippets here and there.
One day Katherine decided to venture a look around her maze, and whilst doing so she came across a sword. The sword was blocking her pathway out of the centre of the maze and the only way she could see to get out was to pick up the sword. Katherine didnít want to pick up the sword because she knew it would mean war. So for a long time she refused and just stared at it and fantasised about how she could use it.
One day the Queen pushed her too far and in a rage Katherine grabbed the sword and there ensued a long battle between her and the Queen. And Katherine hated herself more for fighting because somewhere inside her she knew it just wasnít the right way. But the battle continued, with both Katherine and the Queen getting hurt.
One day a Prince came riding by and made a beeline for Katherine. He was funny and he made her laugh, she wasnít used to laughing. After a while the Prince became annoyed at the way his beloved was being treated so he stole her away and took her to his castle. He introduced her to his parents and although they thought Katherine was strange, they welcomed her with open arms, and suddenly Katherine began to learn what love was.
But she was greedy. She wanted love all the time; she needed it, for she had no store of love inside her like the prince did. But as time went on the Prince began to feel drained by her insatiable demands and not really knowing what Katherine needed he began to withdraw his love back because he needed it himself.
Katherine left the Princes castle and sought the help of the Princes mother and father, for they had given her so much love and support in the past. Their castle was full of love, and the Queen there had arms that held, and lips that smiled and a heart that gave and gave and gave. The Queen in this castle took time to look into Katherineís heart and saw that there was goodness there and loved her. And eventually that love found a chink in Katherineís armour and reached into her with a strong hand and found that truly there was love in her heart. Love that was Katherineís own, love of herself. For you see Katherine was always able to offer love to anyone and always had but had never quite given it to herself.
The Queen, that was the Princes mother, reached into Katherineís heart and lit the spark into a flame that began to spread slowly throughout her body. It took about four more years after this though, for Katherine to realise that she was in fact worth loving.
In time Katherine met a new Prince. He was very level headed and patient and kind and he listened to Katherine pour out her heart. And he stood by her as she healed, never mending her himself, but giving her the space to mend herself. And for that she loved him more and more each day. Soon they married and became a King and Queen themselves and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Eventually when Katherine had been happy for more that a year without interruption she decided she would like to go out and help other Princes and Princesses and other Kings and Queens find that true love within themselves.
So she travelled to a land called ICU, to meet with a very special King who loved golf and hated politics and a very special Queen who shone like the sun. They were teaching others Kings and Queens to fly. And as they spoke Katherine realised she was in fact, still in the maze and she began to realise that the only way out was to break its pattern. So although Katherine was afraid she began to break through the patterns and soon caught her first glimpse of the real sun and she found she liked it.
Very soon Katherine learned to break the silence pattern and learned to speak! And she was really surprised that the other Kings and Queens listened intently to something that she had to say, and that they felt it was worthwhile.
And the special King and Queen spoke to her and said that she too had the potential to teach others how to fly.
And then the Queen who shone like the sun said something wonderful and looking Katherine straight in the eye, she acknowledged her as Kate.
Suddenly Kate came out and shone like the sun too and embraced Katherine. Kate, who has always been loved, Kate, who has always known how to love, Kate, who has always known how to fly.
And suddenly realisation dawned and she thanked the Queen with all her heart.
For you see I am neither Katherine nor Kate, I am ME. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, yes? The child Kate was always loved and the child Katherine was always hurting.
When I think of ME as Katherine I often see a lonely hurt child lost in a maze.
Yet when I think of ME as Kate, I see a smiling person who was loved all her life.
And thatís whatís in a name.