In my last post, I wrote about Venus’ Retrograde. Venus is well into the thick of her descent into the underworld. As she descends, the Venus in each of us is also asked to descend into the underworld, to review the aspects of our lives that are housed in Aries in our charts so that we can be transformed and emerge anew. This Retrograde is spring cleaning and redecorating our lives. Better to let her do her thing. Trust her—she has impeccable taste! It’s time to release the baggage, garbage, and dust associated with what we love, how we love, our senses of self-worth, our attractiveness, that to which we are attracted, what we want, what we deserve, the resources that we receive–tangible and intangible–that are associated with particular aspects of our lives. Where you will feel this Retrograde most depends upon your individual chart. In my chart, this Retrograde runs deep. It is in my 4th House, the deepest house of a chart–roots, house, home, family, ancestry. This is the house from which we are born. This is the house that represents our childhood home. This is the house that represents how we need to feel in our living space in order to feel comfortable. As a result, this Retrograde is reviewing participation in, perpetuation of, and release from family and ancestral cycles, patterns, and constellations. I have felt that Astro constellations help to understand and navigate family constellations. Venus is asking me a lot of important questions—including what I want and need in my physical home and what I seek to build in my family of choice that is similar and different from my family of origin.
For a long time in my life, I walked around with a devastating narrative: “when I needed you most, you weren’t there. When I needed you most, you were never there.” I applied this to almost everyone in my life to whom I felt close and/or to whom I wanted to be close. I was attached to certain people providing me with certain types of support. I wanted to define who could support me and how—rather than creating or existing in spaces that allowed me to discern whether or not the people in my life had the capacity to support me in the ways that I needed. When certain individuals in my life couldn’t provide me with the exact form of support I desired from them, I became sad, angry, unhappy—and I blamed them (sometimes overtly and sometimes passively) for being unable to provide me with what I needed and wanted from other people in my life. Worse still, I did not ask other people what they needed or wanted from me. There was no opportunity for right relationship. There was no opportunity for reciprocal growth.
Luckily, the past several years have offered me numerous opportunities to accelerate my own growth and transformation. I have become much more conscious of my own journey. One such opportunity was a spiritual healing retreat that opened my mind and my spirit to seeing my life and myself differently than I ever had before. Among the changes that occurred as a result of that retreat, the narrative I mentioned above changed from, “When I needed you, you were never there” to “When I needed love, it was always there.” This is one of the most dramatic shifts of consciousness that I have ever experienced in my life. I realized that when I’ve needed love, it’s always been there. Maybe it didn’t always look how I wanted it to look. Maybe it didn’t always come from the people I wanted it to come from in the ways I’d hoped it would appear. But it was always there … in forms that were sometimes hard, sometimes strange, sometimes beautiful. Now, looking back, it was all beautiful.
When I let go of my expectations for how life is supposed to look, I realized that love comes in an infinite number of forms. It looks so many different ways that I couldn’t have anticipated until I saw them, but that I recognized clearly when I became open to the possibility that love is infinite in quantity and in form. When I became open to the infinite quantity, capacity, and forms of love, I was able to remain non-attached to the outcomes of my relationships with any particular people, places, and processes in my life. Non-attachment is not the same as detachment. Detachment is disconnection, isolation. Non-attachment, alternatively, creates the opportunity to feel connected to everything, to know that I am always supported—especially when I take responsibility for ensuring that I remain in physical and emotional spaces where I can receive the support that I need. When I detach, when I disconnect, when I separate myself or put myself on a different level as others (either as superior or inferior), when I judge myself, when I judge others with comments such as, “I wouldn’t do that,” I deny myself the opportunity to receive love from myself or anyone else.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t miss people—it means that I don’t expect anyone to give me more than they can. It means I know that I don’t get to choose where love comes from or in what forms it arrives, but that I’m responsible for receiving it when it does. I often wonder how many times love has been offered to me in forms that I needed it and I denied it because it didn’t come in the form I wanted or in the form with which I was familiar. Equally as much, I wonder how many times I have received something that appeared in the form that I expect love to appear, the shape or color I was taught love “should” arrive, and have actually received or taken in, attached myself to something or someone that caused me harm, that wasn’t love at all, that was not what I needed. I have learned that the secret of love is closing my eyes and allowing the feeling to carry me, not the person. If a person has to carry me or I have to carry them, love can’t possibly exist because there’s too much weight. Love is spacious. Love is infinite. No one person will ever be able to carry me – and that’s not their fault. It’s by design. I know that I am meant to walk my path, to run my track, to climb my mountains. That doesn’t mean I am meant to do it alone. On the contrary, it is only on these treks that are mine, uniquely, that I have ever or could ever encounter those who are meant to walk, run, and climb next to me.
My journey to this point has been foothills compared to the mountains in front of me. At this moment in my life, I am placing the extra baggage at the bottom of the mountain. I will only take the absolute necessities. I will travel lightly. I will not carry anyone else’s baggage. I will not give my baggage to anyone else to carry. Anything that weighs me down, slows me down—it must be released and I will watch it fall into the canyon and break into a million pieces. This is the agreement I am making with myself. This is the agreement I am making with those who are climbing this mountain with me because even though we are right next to each other, climbing the same mountain, we are all having completely different experiences, facing different challenges, owning different victories. I refuse to believe that I know another person’s experience and I refuse to allow another person to treat me as if they know mine. This is a requirement for holding space for one another, for loving, for all to accomplish and enjoy the climbs to which we have been called and which we have chosen to embark upon. We are here to support each other, to cheer each other along, to challenge each other to be better—not by exerting force or challenges, not by throwing rocks at one another to be dodged, but by continuing our own climbs alongside one another.