are you ready for the good?

opening to love SOM

Sometimes, I feel like an alien species, here to learn some things about the human condition. There are some heartaches that I’ve collected that many people won’t go through. But then there are others that others go through that I haven’t been through yet.

Friday night, I learned how people can want and need good things and people in their lives, but may not be ready to receive it because they don’t feel worthy. It baffles my mind, but this happens so often–often on a subconscious level.

I’ve been writing about this more in detail for my $10+/month patrons. It’s been an exciting and excruciating month, of goodbyes that don’t seem to stick.

Friday night’s kiss off is probably going to stick.

It wasn’t gracious. It wasn’t kind. It was brutal. And it hurts more on a philosophical level now.

My sojourn here in Florida, which this blog chronicles, has been exciting but mostly excruciating. This journey has been about following my dreams, but also how I’ve grown as an adult and a spiritual being. Most of that experience has been unglamourous and gut-wrenching.

So when something or someone seemingly good comes along, I pounce on it like a kitten playing with a toy mouse. I’m not going to let go easily.

I understand and yet I don’t fully understand when people reject the good that serendipitously comes into their lives.

Friday went from a tenuous reconciliation to laughter that made my stomach hurt to being rudely and forcefully shoved out of someone’s life.

And because I’ve been through so much, I can see through feeble attempts to let things and people go, self-sabotaging behavior. And I withstood it for a while, earlier…but Friday was so full of desperation and pain, the hatchet job that was done to sever ties was complete.

Unless there’s some (miraculous?) transformation, this door will remain closed, by me.

It’s something I had never gone through before, irrational arguments with someone I cared about. But I have gone through the self-sabotaging behavior by someone who was afraid by what they were feeling about me, because of me.

I know I elicit some pretty strong reactions from people, and most people can’t seem to handle it. And this may sound haughty, but most people are not ready for me, for the level of honesty and integrity I demand and require.

A lot of people want to hide in the shadows of illusions of their own making. But I have the knack of seeing people as they are, where they are–and accepting them.

And that feel like blessed relief…or it can create a growing sense of self-loathing.

So the attacks definitely hurt. I’m human–I’m tough, but I’m tender, too.

But since they were so out of character and so ludicrous, I just wanted to know where they were coming from. When the attacks got more intense and focused on me as a person, it was easier to let go–of course, that was by design.

As a double Capricorn with a tender Cancer moon heart, there’s only so much understanding and patience I can have for someone wilding out in pain. You wound my pride and honor, on purpose, then your wish can be granted: I will let you go.

And what I discovered from a restless night of sleep talking to my guides and angels was that this person resented that I didn’t really have much wrong with me. I was a little too perfect in their eyes. So they invented a dealbreaker that we both couldn’t abide by. Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t separate.

I demanded that this person be accountable for their words and actions, which they would twist and turn in at their convenience–probably as a defense mechanism.

I’m still in shock that someone would go to such lengths to push out of the good that was happening in their lives.

And, as a woman, I have to say here–this isn’t me looking at someone’s potential and living in the future. This is me, seeing someone in the now, with what they were offering now, with what we were now…

It’s like looking at a puzzle, with all the pieces there, laid out, some parts already put together. Not many pieces were left to put it all together. You can see the picture forming. You know what it’s going to look like. It looks like the picture on the box. There’s no reason not to finish the puzzle.

That’s how good and easy it was and felt. All that had to be done was keep going.

So this was no project. That’s what kills me the most. And that I’ve been here before, where everything is laid out and it only takes a little bit of effort to make things really real, whole, and complete.

But this good…it was a good that required them to change, to make space, to grow.

And, they didn’t want to–not now, not like this.

But that’s what love does. That’s what love requires. That’s what love demands.

I get it, though: change is scary, and so is truly being vulnerable, letting someone else in to see who you really are. Will you be embraced or will you be rejected?

There’s something about being close to people, where you start to see how your actions affect others–many times for the worse. Will you choose to change your behaviors or will you “stay true to who you are” and remain frozen?

But because of this terribly painful journey of failure and loss I’ve been on while living in Florida, I don’t have the luxury of cowering, of pushing the good away because it’s too scary, because it demands too much.

I have to leap forward and embrace the good or…? I don’t want to say “die,” but it feels that desperate, that crucial, that detrimental.

There is no room for fear to rule me here.

So now, as my own paper cuts on my heart recover and scab over, I am just sad that anyone is in so much pain, they have to pick fights to cause drama, and then tire of the drama they created and blame the other person for creating it or being a co-conspirator.

Love can do so many things, but it can’t untangle webs of self-deception like that.

And even as I write this, I don’t think of this person as a villain. I don’t hate them at all. And that, in it of itself, is a miracle, because grudges can come easily in my territory.

Instead, most likely…there will always be a part of me that will love them and hope they find the peace that they keep pushing away.

But that hope and love will be beamed from a safe distance.

They said, over and over, that I deserve better. And I agree. I just wish they saw the better in themselves, fully embraced it, and lived it out. It was a cognitive dissonance they couldn’t really reconcile within themselves. At least not yet.

But whether they ever realize it, or never realize it–that’s not my job to do. It’s theirs.

So, I hope through this unnecessary disaster, they can walk out of the ruins of this thing we were trying to build and find the courage to do the work–to start sealing up those broken places and spaces, to become a living kintsugi.

The Universe has been calling out to them, too. Transformation is coming, even as they resist it. And I just hope that eventually, they’ll heed her calls and accept the spiritual gifts they have.

What do I want and need, though? I need someone who is brave, someone who is ready to be seen and loved for who they are, someone who isn’t going to harpoon their own good chances…someone who isn’t blinded by their pain.

Sometimes love can be so hard. But sometimes, we make it harder than it needs to be.

But to me, love is worth the risk, every fucking time. What else are we here to do?

And I don’t want to sound like some cliched love song in this post, but I also understand them more every time love gets thwarted like this. It’s a part of the human condition that I had been preventing myself to feel.

It sucks to feel like you can’t do anything, that you can’t fix what’s irreparably broken.

And like I said in my last post, I’m beyond wanting to get some lessons out of this. I already have them. I will probably get more. That’s the beauty and glory of hindsight.

I don’t care about that anymore.

What I cared about was that a person who made me happy wanted out. What I care about is how I handled myself as I knew this person–I’m really proud of myself, even if I may have been a little too permissive. What I care about is that I know that I am not some broken person, attracting emotionally unavailable people.

What I know is that there’s a lot of brokenness in the world, and a lot of it is unavoidable. But to get the love that I need, I have to be even more brave while reminding myself that I can’t take on other people’s burdens as if they are my own.

Last night, in my journal, I yelled at the Universe in 48pt font about what I wanted, after years of languishing and “hanging in there.”

After Friday night’s melodramatics, I was done. I’m done being shit on by life in general. I put that all on the Universe, asking her to stop treating me terribly.

And Friday night, I yelled back at them, about how the names I was being called were bullshit, about how obstacles were being created for no reason, about how this was being broken when there were no cracks in the first place.

I never yell, but my patience and grace broke open into fiery, righteous anger and frustration…when I finally realized what was happening and why…and how I couldn’t stop it from happening.

I know I was being provoked to anger, and I hated that I couldn’t be cool, calm, and collected anymore. Things were becoming absurd–and I wanted to scream some sense into the conversation.

But my yells and screams fell on a deaf heart.

Something that came to me after journaling and talking about this with a couple of friends about free will choices…and how I may be trusting the Universe too much in certain ways and not enough in other ways.

We may try to do root work and other things to influence each other, but eventually–a lot of what’s happened here on earth is about what people have chosen to do. It’s not even about the Universe allowing it to happen. But it is about the Universe being there to provide support–especially when there are choices other people make that adversely affect us.

But I had to say the impolite thing, that the Universe needed to apologize for this mess (and she did, even though this is probably not her fault). I needed to lose my fucking cool about the way my life was going. I felt like I didn’t look like I was giving a shit about how disappointing things had been, especially this summer.

Even though I’ve been exhausted emotionally, I certainly do give a shit. And I know the Universe knows–but it was important to say what I really felt, not giving the spiritual pat answers about why bad things happen to good people.

And I know those are my evangelical roots showing–God as a psychotic, untrustworthy, capricious deity.

Why would the Universe allow me to meet this person and then go through all this heartache? Is this for some greater purpose, for my spiritual growth?

Life is probably a lot more neutral than that, though.

But what if I’m more of the lead author of my story, even with all these uncontrollable consequences and circumstances?

What if this is really about just doing the best you can and infusing meaning when you can, however you can?

Life may not be that deep.

There can be signs and synchronicities (and we’ve had a plethora of them), but we still have to acknowledge and incorporate them. We still have to say yes. And yet, we can still choose to say no. And sometimes, we’ll disagree about these choices, and then we’ll part ways.

But then there’s also fate. How much do we have control over that? It’s hard to say from here except to say life is a lot like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. You are presented with choices, and those choices have set consequences.

And maybe, this is where spirituality comes in. We can give and receive guidance to make better choices, and thus, create better outcomes…

So now, I have a choice that I need to make. What narrative am I ascribing to the last month? That the Universe is a sadist? That I’m a masochist? That this person/relationship was some test or lesson?

What’s harder to accept, but what is more likely to be true is that the Universe gave us a nudge to come together, but it was up to us to determine what would happen.

And what happened, after that divine nudge, was a rollercoaster ride of emotions which is now over. And I have no regrets about it. It definitely inspired me to look at my life with more purpose and scrutiny–because someone was possibly going to be a part of it for a while. And that’s important.

And of course, in all kinds of relationships, we learn about ourselves the most. I learned that I was tougher and yet kinder than I thought. I learned that I wasn’t identified to the struggles that I’m still entangled in.

And that means I’m not as doomed as I thought.

But even still, sometimes we can get adrift in the questions about meaning when there should be more questions and statements about acceptance.

What’s in front of you right now and what are you doing with it?

One thing I know and about the state of my heart: so many people have left this year, people I wouldn’t ever think would leave; but my heart is resilient, strong, and open. And I refuse to keep my heart shut just because there have been issues with alignment and timing.

Eventually, those puzzle pieces will fit with ease. The timing will be perfect. And there won’t be anything, or anyone, in the way.

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what we’ve got here is failure to communicate

listening SOMThis week, I wanted to share a deep, personal lesson that I’m in the middle of learning. It may be an obvious one to you. It’s even obvious to me, but I’m seeing it from a different angle.

Sometimes people just want to talk and to be heard.

I’m used to understanding this as the person who just wants to be heard, not fixed. Now I’m looking at it as the fixer.

Lately, I’ve had some ongoing instances where my communication style–of being curious, engaging, and seeking the truth–doesn’t really mesh well with others who take it as questioning their authority.

(I believe I’ve spoken about this before, or I may have written about this in a blog post I decided to jettison because it felt too close to home.)

I haven’t gone through this communication jam before in a long time. But at this point, I’ve come to loggerheads with at least a couple of people. And, at the time of this writing, silence seems to be the only way out. I’m not sure what the outcome will be, but the immediate outcome seems to be peace.

The typical conversation where this communication logjam occurs goes something like this:

  1. Someone says something pretty definitive and absolute for them, but I find factually wrong.
  2. I, not really believing in absolutes anymore, counters with some questions or with a statement that actually summarizes what they’re saying, but may have skipped a step or two.
  3. Defensiveness rises on their side, with a reassertion of facts, and I think I’m trying to get to a place of clarity or greater understanding.
  4. A polite, but not very useful, argument ensues. We’re talking past each other and not to each other. Condescension rears its ugly head because now, it’s about defending a position, or trying make a point, or trying to win.
  5. And because I hate arguing when there’s no purpose, I usually call it quits.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 if you’re a masochist.

Many times, my intention is to get people to clarify what they’re saying, to be even more true. It may be an editor’s default position, or just a well-worn character trait.

And I know it’s not easy to have someone challenge parts of who you are, especially as they are forming. It can be kind of obnoxious, I get it. It’s not fun to be interrogated, to be in my hot seat.

Where I End and You Begin

Here’s the real kicker: in my older age, I’m realizing how overly emotionally involved I am in so many things that really shouldn’t personally matter to me. It’s a little alarming as I start retracting and retreating from people’s lives and agendas.

So maybe I should give less of a fuck about what others believe, especially if it’s not harming me. And this has been part of a lifelong lesson for me–maintaining healthy boundaries.

And this lesson definitely gets back to my #CapricornProblems🐐 post. I may be completely right in how I see a certain situation or life event, but we’re all on our own journeys, learning things at our own speeds.

It is not my job to illuminate that path for everyone. And to even think that is beyond arrogant. I could stand to be a little more humble and focus that energy on helping myself!

And this is where my own Capricorn stubbornness can get in the way. It can be a little (OK, VERY) paternalistic. I want this person to see things the right way so that their lives can be better! But then they just sound wrong all the the time! 

It can honestly be deeply infuriating.

Also, it can be quite hurtful, especially if you get in a merry-go-round of arguments, and you never seem to get through to each other.

Maybe sometimes, it’s just best to not only end the argument, but end the relationship–or at least take a long pause.

It could be that this unique interpersonal dynamic has turned terminally toxic.

One reason could be is maybe the other person just doesn’t want to hear from you, and all you’ve done is try to hammer home your points to an uninterested party.

And that’s their choice, one I can honor and respect.

I may have control issues as a Capricorn, but the flipside is that I can’t be utterly detached from people either.

We do speak into each other’s lives. We need to.

There just needs to be some balance about my level of involvement.

Straining to Hear

Even without my being a perpetually strident know-it-all: if someone doesn’t want to hear what I have to say, then I can stop speaking.

I can listen more and get curious in other ways.

What is this person really trying to say? Maybe the execution wasn’t to my liking, but what’s the bottom line here for them? And even if they’re wrong, do I need to correct them?

As I learn and continue to extract myself from being overly concerned about other people’s lives, I know I can still be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

I can give more latitude and breathing room for people to just be–to be “wrong,” to be “right,” to be misguided, to be on the right track.

Bearing witness can be so much more powerful than giving (unsolicited) advice or input.

This lesson has been really acute on social media. I feel like a kid with what I’m about to say, because it seems really obvious, but I am clearly getting a late lesson.

A lot of people don’t actually want to engage. They may not even want to be heard. They just want to speak.

And this is where I’ve started to really disentangle myself. It seems rude, to ignore someone who is talking. But people do this to me all the time–I’m sure on social media and I’m definitely sure offline as well.

And, well–I could just be not someone’s audience, even if I’m viewing or hearing their words, even if we’re friends.

Even more–they may want the audience and advice of someone else. And that’s definitely not worth fighting over.

This has been a really strange and rough journey, to choose different ways to express myself and to show my care for others. And I don’t have this issue with everyone–actually, I have it with very few people.

But again, the lesson is that sometimes, before I get caught up in some neverending conflict, I have to remember that don’t have to give my two cents on everything.

Sometimes, people need to vent. They need to express themselves, to declare things about themselves.

Every word spoken or written doesn’t need my engagement.

Sometimes, people just want to talk and to be heard. 

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astrology & superstition

astrology SOM

As Mercury Retrograde’s shadow period continues to loom long, I have been thinking about the collective pop culture freakout that will happen next weekend when Mercury’s retrograde transit begins in earnest. It’s a little bit annoying since it seems to be the only time that people care about astrology. But my annoyance isn’t because I’m some rabid evangelist for astrology (although my close friends may disagree). Astrology is a paradigm that seems to work for me…for now.

Mercury Retrograde nowadays can feel like a silly superstition, like not walking under a ladder or owning a black cat. Superstitions have a way of becoming the scapegoat for all that goes wrong (or even right) in a person’s life.

I wonder where I start to feel like astrology is merely more information that I can use to lead my life in a better, more informed way instead of just an excuse for why things don’t go the way I want (or vice versa).

Currently, I’m having some problems in my bathroom. The toilet isn’t filling its tank very well. Usually, a toilet’s tank takes about a minute or less to fill. It’s taking 15 minutes now. And recently, there are some pipes screeching and banging behind my toilet when no one is using it.

My computer has given me a blue screen of death twice. It’s not old.

So what’s going on? It seems like things are just falling apart all at once.

With the toilet, this house is old. I have Uranus in my 4th house, which has to do with home life. Uranus is a bit of a wild card. It’s hard to know what will happen. It’s like a scary jack-in-the-box. I’m not a fan. I had my room flood during this Uranus transit, so the pipes are brand new.

But, again: this house is old. I’m also getting a new toilet seat because I bet that toilet seat has never been replaced. It’s wooden and painted. The paint is chipped and stained. The seat itself is broken underneath. The seat will be replaced and the hissing fill will get fixed soon.

As for the computer, although it’s pretty speedy, it needs more RAM mainly because Google Chrome is a greedy little application. But, I’m not purchasing any new RAM until Mercury Retrograde is really over, meaning we’ve cleared the shadow period where Mercury makes it way back to the degree where it started its seemingly wayward course.

That’s the conventional wisdom of dealing with the trickster planet’s moonwalk in the stars: don’t buy any new technology. The reasoning is that if I buy something now, it may not work correctly and I will have to return it later, wasting both my time and my money.

Is that wisdom or superstition? Are these planetary and lunar transits more like weather reports? For example, it would be foolish to go out without an umbrella in Florida, especially in rainy. I’ve done it and it’s horrible–soaked to the bone, in denim.

There are other do’s and don’ts which all have to do with travel, communication, and technology:

  • If you have to travel, prepare for delays.
  • Back up your documents (to the cloud!).
  • Re-read your emails before your send them.
  • Make sure your car is running well.
  • Think twice if an old friend or ex re-enters your life.

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to buttress all this advice. It’s good advice no matter the transit or season. It just takes extra time. But then I also think about confirmation bias and the power of suggestion. Am I just more sensitive to these transits because I know about them, or do they explain phenomena that otherwise would have made no sense otherwise?

The way I see Mercury Retrograde, as well as all retrograde transits, is that they are times for review. We are eternal beings that live in a temporal world. Things break, fail, or become ruined. There’s not much in the world that will last–even relationships; even our bodies. We need to have time to repair and to release.

Mercury Retrograde can also be an invitation to rest, to slow down. Maybe in our fast-paced modern world, that invitation is more salient now that even 100 years ago. But in our speeding around to get things done, things get overlooked.

Mercury Retrograde can be a time of review. Are we being good stewards of the things we own? Are these things owning us? Maybe these exes or former friends that come out of the woodwork are a test to see if these relationships have really ended. Have we really moved on?

Sidenote: It seems a little unfair that Mercury Retrograde happens at key times during the academic year. Right now, many families are preparing for their children to return back to school and to college. Today is the last day of a tax-free weekend in Florida, so the stores may be crammed with people buying computers and other technological gadgets (as well as clothing and shoes). Other school preparations involve just getting there (with all the things that have been bought): traveling across the state or the country. The shadow period for Mercury Retrograde won’t end until most people are back in school, around mid-September.

The next Mercury Retrograde this year will happen in early December, with the shadow period beginning in mid-November and ending in mid-January 2018. What a crummy time to travel. That’s during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s also a crummy time to study and possibly have your computer’s hard drive fail as you are writing a final paper. That happened to me five years ago, during the final retrograde shadow period. I had an extended warranty and was able to get it replaced for free, but it was scary and inconvenient when it happened.

So what are you to do? You can’t just sit at home and avoid everything. That’s what I believe superstition does–imprisons and limits people. I believe astrology really tries not to do that, even if it there is discussion about seemingly limiting transits, like a Mercury Retrograde. It seems like astrology tries to empower and illuminate.

I’ve come to some rueful acceptance that I can’t catch all the “good” transits in the way that I want, especially the Venusian ones. But then again, all the “bad” ones don’t catch me, either. And that’s part of the mystery, of life. There’s so much interplay between the potential of the stars, my own free will, the Universe itself, and what others’ free wills…and maybe Fate with a capital F.

So with this Mercury Retrograde coming up, and with life–do the best you can in light of that old adage: “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” This transit isn’t a black cat crossing your path. It’s just a season of a different kind of awareness. There are plenty of astrologers who can help you out, too.

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