Monday, February 1, 2010

In Love's Embrace

Happy February, Everyone! This morning I was treated to my typically dark morning drive being unexpectedly graced by increasing daylight! I smiled all the way to the office. And upon entering my door this evening, I was welcomed home by daylight still streaming through my windows! This pleases me to no end, since for the past few months many of us, I included, haven’t seen much of the light of day during our workweeks.

You may think this odd to hear, but there are a variety of reasons why February is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s the month of Love, for instance, as we celebrate romance on Valentine’s Day with our beloveds. It’s also the month that I share my birthday with many of my quirky Aquarian brothers and sisters. Another lovely reason for celebrating this month is that February, with all its harsh, unpredictable weather patterns, ice and bitter cold, also brings us the very first harbinger of spring. It is the coming of the light after months of early dusk and late dawn. So perhaps during your morning commute this month, as you’re waiting for your car’s heater to finally kick in and thaw out your fingers and toes, you’ll remember to witness the sunrise and let your hearts take wing!

Since we’re on the subject of love, appreciation and happy occasions, I’d like to take this opportunity point out something that I’ve been pondering for awhile. It has to do with one of the most crucial forms of love that we all have access to, and yet don’t often practice with an open heart; I’m speaking of self-love. One of the key components of generating a love of self is to embrace self-acceptance as a daily practice. Of course, along this path of self-love and acceptance lies the gift of self-knowledge.

When applied in an astrological sense, we have at our disposal a wealth of knowledge that we can utilize to illuminate truth and understanding of ourselves and others, while keeping common misconceptions and fallacies at bay. For instance, I know a lovely Leo with Virgo rising who for many, many years has fully embraced her Virgo qualities, while dismissing any attempts to point out her Leo traits. She’s gone so far as to call herself a Virgo so often, that I finally felt compelled to question her about this. She explained to me that everything she’s ever read about Leos has been negative, and she’s become completely turned off by her own Sun sign, and refuses to acknowledge it as an integral element of her true nature! I found this disturbing, because by her non-acceptance of a very large part of her own makeup, she has been holding herself back from attaining her full potential, and from achieving authentic self-love and acceptance.

I’ve experienced this myself for a large part of my life as I struggled with sporting Cancer for a rising sign. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the sign of Cancer, but try wearing it as an outward projection when everything in your being sings Aquarius! You see, emotional, self-conscious Cancer requires security, stability, and being cared-for, while intellectual, self-expressive Aquarius is independent, self-driven, and unpredictable. Since our rising signs are indicative of our personalities; i.e. how others see us, and how we see the world, while our Sun signs signify our core essence, one can see how having these two signs vying for equal airtime can be a bit of a challenge for a girl like me!

For years I lamented the “burden” of having Cancer rising. I was uncomfortable with my sensitive, emotional nature, and grappled with my compulsion toward security versus my uncompromising need for freedom and autonomy. I felt like oil and water; an inharmonious living, breathing challenge. It’s taken some work, and I’ve finally learned how to effectively integrate these two seemingly opposing energies, along with all the other astrological dynamics that compose the Carole Unit, into a joyful, harmonious expression of self.

I’ve done this by understanding the characteristics of each sign, embracing them and finding a practical way to express them naturally and comfortably. I still have a ways to go, and there are, of course, times when the scales tip a little and balance needs to be regained, but I am enjoying a much happier, healthier experience as a result of my efforts.

I share this with you because I suspect there are many of us who have experienced this or similar challenges within their own astrological composition. Is there a part of your being-ness that you have closed your mind and your heart to as a result of some negative press, feedback from others, or personal feelings of discomfort? If so, rather than denying that part of you, why not dig it out, examine it and work toward gaining an understanding of why your Higher Self has chosen to throw it into the mixing bowl of what has become your experience in this lifetime?

For how can we practice self-love, achieving our fullest expression of self, while denying an essential part of ourselves?

It’s important to remember that self-acceptance does not mean complacency. There are those who exemplify a few negative behavioral traits of their astrological structure and shrug them off with an “Oh well, I’m a(n) ___, and I’m supposed to be this way.”

Au contraire, mon ami.

We are here to take what we brought with us into this lifetime (our natal charts indicate these characteristics) and rise above our origins, utilizing the gifts of each element and evolving beyond the challenges; ever striving toward our full potential.

Doesn’t this sound like fun?

I can say quite honestly that it’s been quite a romp…a continuous, ever-shifting adventure that I wouldn’t have missed for all the gadgets in the world!

In other words: Come on in, the water’s great!

Namaste.