"be yourself". It's a common maxim. However, the Princess's first reaction was to feel angry and frustrated which leads her to suspect it might be more accurately described as a simplistic platitude.
For which self should she be?
Should she be her best self: full of optimism and wisdom and faith? This is the self she normally brings to the blogging world. But what of the other selves that she has? Her worst self is full of self-loathing, self-neglect and wallowing in self-pity - she doubts that many people want to see that self. Having been relatively disengaged from community life in the last couple of years, Princess Morag has become far more acquainted with that worst-self, and led her to the conclusion that she can't even trust herself anymore.
Looking back, she can see how she developed a false-self while growing up. There were seeds of her true self there, but they were connected by a web of confusion. When she expressed negative feelings, they were corrected for her and renamed as less offensive conditions such as "tiredness", or "grumpiness". Anger and frustration were not allowed and tears were "being silly". Being highly sensitive she quickly learned to cover up those emotions and hide her own feelings behind concern for others.
When she tried to voice her interests they were quickly dismissed and she had to make do with the activities that had been prescribed for her. Despite successful surgery, she remained "the sick one", "the one to worry about". At the same time, she was to be the listener, the soother, the helper. She was good at those roles, and still is, but fulfilling a role is not the same as being yourself. In 'helper mode' the princess is charming, and flexible, capable, easy to be around. Slipping into character comes naturally, but at a price. Her real self is forced into retreat and observes this 'other person' that she has become and feels small, squelched and helpless. For the princess at heart is still a child, maybe even a baby. But babies can't look after other people, run the show, and make sure everyone else is ok in order to be deemed acceptable.
Even in friendships it was difficult to bring out the real self. When Princess Morag was at school, she would watch as other girls somehow knew how to have fun, and wondered why she didn't know how to do that. She sadly accepted that being the serious, sensible one was her lot. In later teenage years, she observed her best friend taking advantage of a freedom she had that the princess would not attain for a long, long time. Not only was the princess trapped within a family environment that did not allow her to rebel, she was emotionally regressed by her parents divorce and did not have any desire to do teenagery things.
College allowed the real self to be born through freedom of choice and real friendships. Unfortunately, she was not matured by graduation and the real world outside of the protective college bubble blew in a cloud of depression and storm of anxiety to plague the following years and the real self was buried once again.
The neglected real self has been trying to get attention for quite some time, often using dirty tactics after so many years of being ignored. The real self loves music and dancing and singing. The real self is able to be happy, but also has a lot of grief. She cried for hours in counseling, without any words really to explain why. She is determined. She is intelligent. She keeps looking for a safe place to come out.
The real self want to know who she belongs to, where does she fit in to life here on earth in the body of Princess Morag? Recently, the real self has been reverberating during bible study, as Princess Morag discovered that in the eyes of God she is a precious child, indeed she is a princess, and she is a bride not just in the eyes of Sir Rianus in the year 2005AD. To revel in those roles as her real self, not just as a momentary private fantasy is a challenge, but one that brings a smile to Princess Morag's face and a stirring of dignity in her soul. The false self is always anxiously searching the faces of those around to check she is performing adequately; she is never satisfied because she is never perfect. The princess wants to be the self that is loved to the marrow of her bones, deemed beautiful in the eyes of the only one that matters, beheld and beloved for all of her heart, body, mind and soul. She wants to don the cloak of grace, the gorgeous tiara that was exchanged for the ashes of her previous existence and enter into the kingdom of real life.