I am going through my drafts as this is the last day of 2015 and posting some incomplete blogs I found there. This is the first:
This is a bit of a stream of consciousness inspired by a couple of blogs posted on An Upturned Soul’s site over the past week on attraction. The astrologically minded may be aware that we are in the midst of a retrograde transit of the planet Mercury in the sign ruled by Venus, Libra which deals with aspects of relationship and attractions, the opposing of different qualities which seem opposed but often have shadow associations to each other such as dark/light, extravert/introvert, happy/sad, positive/negative.
My attention was drawn to the fact that at an astrological tutorial I attended on Venus retrograde given by the astrologer Melaine Reinhardt in London in 2002 she called attention to the fact that the symbol for Venus is like a hand mirror. Venus relates to relationships but also to the idea of relationship as a mirror in which we are reflected or our image is refracted by the projections of the other holding it.
While writing that last line I had a image of a hand mirror with two faces superimposed on each other. They may have been my face and the face of ex partner with whom I had all kinds of experiences and conflicts and who still haunts me (but not as negatively as he did when we first broke up).
What he saw when he saw me, was at first someone admirable in that I had been in recovery for addiction. That later became a source of conflict and angst while around his drinking buddies who thought getting trashed and hurting oneself was a source of great amusement. Sorry to seem like a wet blanket but that idea horrified me, having lived the all too painful reality of it first hand and I was honest about my feelings which I was then told were wrong and just a source of difficulty for him as so many of my feelings and thoughts were.
Where am I going with this? Well I guess its about how quickly that which was initially viewed as positive could become so negative for him and how the image in the mirror over time could morph from one of attraction to one of repulsion, had I changed? No. The image projected on me had changed.
Love and hate. Two sides of one coin? Some people cant see it. Carl Jung once wrote the opposite of love is not hate it is indifference. The hatred and antipathy we feel towards something has to come out a feeling of desire to it be a certain way, to be in relationship with it in a particular way which is then frustrated and we have a hard time loving that thing or person once it seems to change and no longer fulfil our need.
I’m thinking about this a bit at the moment as I am writing a little about adequate holding environments in childhood and later in life, those relationships in which it is safe to experience a myriad of reactions and emotions both so called “positive” and “negative”. It seems how we react to a particularly strong emotion has less to say about that emotion and the other person expressing it as it does about us and vice versa.
For a long time my family would never fail to upset me by reacting to my sadness or anger with fear and revulsion. I have written many blogs about it over the past two or so years most especially while the planet Saturn was moving through the Pluto ruled sign Scorpio (which has to do with powerful emotions and resentment). It took me some time to realise how they reacted was less about me that it was about them. I did not realise that they were actually scared by my emotions, in just the same way their own emotions scared them.
Once I understood I was dealing with fear it was easier for me to accept their reactions. This occurred in the process of Saturn squaring my natal Uranus in the first house and I have another blog to write about this which highlights how my expectations of them were unrealistic and I had much to resolve about how emotions, needs, confrontations, emotionally honesty and feelings were dealt with in my family. Note that Saturn was also at the time square to my natal Chiron in the seventh house which has to do with difficulties in expressing and dealing with conflict.
What I have learned as a result of this is about the importance of protest and its expression in the early childhood years in helping us to develop a better relationship with more primal emotions of frustration, disappointment and anger. An adequate holding environment enables us to express what may be painful for others to hear without being shut down or judged for being bad which lead to a binding of all too human emotions in shame. In his book Healing the Shame That Binds You, recovering alcoholic John Bradshaw shows the critical role shame bound emotions play in addiction and how important healing our shame is in healing from addiction.
Often the shame we feel about our emotions isn’t really ours in the first place. It never was. On some level we know this but its a truth we hold deep inside that many of us can’t know we know until a long way down the track. Learning about fear and shame especially when it is projected upon us seems to me a most essential lesson as we go along the path of healing especially for those of us who were raised in low nurturance and low empathetic house holds.
How could parents who could not understand or express their own repressed emotions understand our or help us to express them? In the end the work is ours and the relationships we meet and the reactions too can teach us a lot about our past, about where we are and are not seen, where we trapped in old patterns that we need to heal and let go of.