Welcome to February everybody. During the first few weeks of the month, we have the Sun and Mercury (Retrograde) moving through Aquarius. Full moon is in Leo on the 4th (which puts the focus on self love) and New moon is in Aquarius (for the second time in a row) on the 19th, (which is about detachment, higher perspectives and freedom). Last, but certainly not least, we have a whole school of planets swimming through Pisces, adding compassion, connection and flow to the mix, as well as the chance to unveil unconscious patterns of self destruction and victim-hood.
So if we put all this together, we are being presented with another opportunity to compassionately love ourselves and others, by detaching from our stories and seeing things from a higher, broader perspective.
With this being Valentine’s Month, what if, in addition to lavishing love, attention and gratitude on others, we gave ourselves roses, took ourselves on a date, assured ourselves of love and acceptance, exactly as we are? What if we treated ourselves in the way that we’d like our lovers or perfect parents to treat us?
I deeply resonated with a beautiful talk by Matt Kahn, called Emotional Oneness, where he says that our dark side appears from the shadows, when we ignore our inner child. He urges us to engage with the innocence of our hearts, saying “The real spiritual journey is the transforming of inferiority into the autonomy of the Infinite one that you are. From inferior to infinite, one “I love you” at a time”.
Listening to Matt and looking at the planetary activity of the month, I was presented with the image of a fish (Pisces) being unhooked (Aquarius) and freed to be the full expression of itself (Leo).
So how do we let ourselves off the hook and get that love flowing?
The first and probably most important and practical way that I have found to do this is moment-by -moment re-parenting. This means being compassionate with ourselves when we “mess up”? We all know what it’s like to spiral down into a place of judgement and self sabotage, but this month, we have the opportunity of practicing the art of unhooking ourselves before we slither down the slippery slope. And we do this by loving ourselves through it.
Here’s a real life personal example of how I am practicing doing this. It’s your normal garden variety Monday morning. I’m going about my day, feeling full of the joys of spring, when… I fumble, drop and shatter a porcelain cup (substitute this with any situation where you feel that you let yourself down” or mess up)
A dialogue ensues that goes something like this. “Well there you go again… If you were more careful, more conscious, more perfect, this wouldn’t have happened… Look at the mess you’ve made…. Now you’re going to have to spend a whole lot of time and energy cleaning it up… By this time, I’ve already started to make my descent down the slope, at which point its quite tricky to get off. Gathering momentum, the dialogue quickly starts to get more and more personal. The cup is forgotten, as I enter into a full blown diatribe with myself. I may start calling myself some names that I wouldn’t dream of calling anybody else and very easily end up concluding that I’m just a big old failure, that nobody will ever love me and that I should go into the garden and eat worms…. all because of a damn cup.
Whats happened here is that I’ve been well and truly caught by my old unconscious conditioning. My inner child is in agony, my shadow self is running the show and my pain body has taken me down – hook, line and sinker.
Same cup… smashed on the floor. I immediately change my perspective to that of a gentle parent and say to myself “It’s ok sweetie. It’s only a cup. What can we do to make you feel better before we clean it up… how about we go outside for a breather or have a cup of tea?”
In that moment, I’m letting myself off the hook, loving myself and accepting that it’s ok and I’m ok. Moments later, the cup is forgotten, I feel fine about myself and I can get on with the day.
The cup still got broken, but my “story” about it has changed. In other words, when I’m able to compassionately detach in the moment, I shift into a higher state, unhook myself and I’m free.
For me, I need to be ever vigilant of the slippery slope and my gentle inner parent has to be standing very close by, to love me unconditionally. But, the more I do it, the easier it gets and these days I can often catch myself before I start the downward slide.
I do believe that only when we’re able to love ourselves unconditionally, can we extend the same to other people in our lives.
I think one of the biggest hooks that take us down is our expectations. As soon as we expect something to be the way we think it should be, or expect somebody to behave in a way we think they should behave, there’s a good chance we’re going to be disappointed,which then leads to suffering. Take the expectation away and we take the suffering away.
Carolyn Myss advises “Have no judgements about your life, no expectations and give up the need to know what happens tomorrow. Be fully present and appreciate all that is in your life right now” … and that includes the seemingly “bad things” in our lives. We really have no idea, in the broader scheme of things, what is good or bad.
I know this seems impossible sometimes, but I believe we can achieve this kind of liberation if we practice, with infinite patience, one step at a time.
One of the greatest liberations in my life came about when I was able to accept that a member of my family could not, for their own reasons, give me the love I thought I deserved. I remember the moment that I finally decided to let the person off the hook and stop expecting their love, like it was yesterday. The energetic and emotional release was palpable and really did feel as if a hook was being removed from me. By letting this person off the hook I was setting myself free as well.
What really helps me from getting hooked into the should haves and shouldn’t haves of victim-hood, is to see life as an ongoing stage show, with every person and every situation being perfectly choreographed to present me with the opportunity to learn and love. I often forget this and get the mutters, but it quickly comes back into focus when I do an Astrology session for somebody. Every time I do a chart, I’m shown that there is an exquisitely perfect, beautiful order in the Universe. There are no accidents and everything is unfolding exactly as its meant to unfold, as part of a big and intricately designed plan. We are exactly where we are meant to be… no mistakes.
So with all this in mind, what if we stopped worrying so much, accepted our lives as they are and cut ourselves and others a little slack?
Maybe we’d be free?