I've always found it much easier to understand other people than to really understand myself. Just when I think I understand myself, the knowing slips away.
I think that's the master design. It's easy to blame our partners, our kids, our bosses, our friends, our enemies, our others. However, the best insight we have into our own essence is what annoys us about other people. (For example, if you're annoyed by that comment, that would be worth looking into "the why" behind it.) Not that I think I have it all figured out now, because that's a lifelong process for sure, but in my mid-50s I certainly get it more than I did in my early 50s and earlier.
We come in alone and leave alone. It is each of our individual responsibility to understand ourselves as best we can. When we don't take the time to do this, we emotionally vomit our stuff all over those around us whether we mean to or not. When I went through spiritual practitioner training (a four year process) we did much depth work to understand ourselves with the goal being so we could help others without our own junk getting in the way. During that period, I gathered many tools, both
or personal growth and insight. Each tool brought something to the table. Born a seeker, with 7 planets in Pisces including my son and moon, astrology came easy to me on an intuitive level.
I'm not talking the type of astrology that you read in the newspaper on Sunday near the comics. What I found most useful was the information in a person's natal chart (which is the narration of your unique fingerprint in the world) and the synastry chart (how two signs compliment each other or don't.) When I was studying astrology, I was fascinated how this tool is used in countries which aren't as afraid of it as we are sometimes in the West. In some circles of the West, it is thought of as counter to religious thinking, and one could see why the church may take that stance. But if we can stay open at the top, and take a look at our own natal charts before we decide it's hooey, we can often glean much insight into both our light and our shadow, making us more integrated and easier to deal with those around us. I have never seen anybody walk away from a reading saying, "That sounds nothing like me." Never.
The theme for the week, then, is "Know Thyself." It's a perk we're giving away in our crowdfunding campaign that involves a personalized chart which will help the person (or the person's child or partner) to have better insight into their strengths and weaknesses. I regularly look at my children's charts when they are struggling with an issue for a new way to approach that struggle. Each year around my birthday, I do the same for myself, and ask myself these questions:
- At this time of my life, in this time in the world, how can I serve both myself and the others in the world in the best way?
- What is this time about? Gathering knowledge? Fun? Rest? Leaving gifts? Serving in which way?
- Am I living my purpose on purpose, or am I just taking up space on the planet?
- What am I not seeing in my shadow and how can I bring that into the light?
Questions like these are the ones I ask myself. For many years, I also asked my husband, my mom, my closest friends. Relationships are the greatest teachers! But we have to be a ready student and not get mad at them when they tell us the truth. We have to be willing to examine our behaviors objectively and not defensively. If we can approach this with an open heart we can dissolve the walls of inflexibility with which we surround ourselves. We can truly grow to understand ourselves so much better, and in turn, better serve others in the world.
I don't know that we're ever done. In fact, the more we know ourselves, the more we realize how little we know. But we must keep trying. It's something we signed up for before we came.