As one who is *ruled* by the relationship planet, Venus, I can admit that when in relationship or partnership is when I tend to do some of my best heart work.
I am giddy and spontaneous. I am domestic.
I am way more into being social and participating in creative endeavors due to the ongoing stories that emerge from the dynamic.
And, I am certainly one who enjoys exploring more of my own sexual nature and desires, more so in middle age. I am practically daring myself to unearth what’s around the next corner.
If there is any little kink or pain or mistake along the way, my mind is fraught with “what is that about?” I will dig deep until I figure out what is bothering me and why, and in relationship, I will dig even deeper.
But I didn’t start out this way. I have fallen and undoubtedly made numerous errors with every interaction or dynamic I was involved in.
I am a late bloomer, without question, yet what is so striking and keeps my curiosity at an all-time high is this relationship I have with me, my very own humanness.
I was always one to look for love in a codependent toxic kind of way. I was always one to determine who would best compliment my nature and risky and adventurous ways. I was always one to look more at the outside of a man than what was deep on the inside.
I was always one to stay in a relationship until the drama and conflict hit the fan, then I would figure out where to run and hide. When I wrote my first book in 2012, it was all about my journey into karmic situations and how they played out in my life, from the soul sisters I came to know and love, to the places I traveled to in trying to figure out what it was (and who it was) that I needed at the time.
I had my work cut out for me since my late 30’s. Now that I am in my mid 50’s, the work of relationships and love seem to be more with myself and what type of energy I tend to attract.
I have been through the ringer on many different types of relationships and it was through my very personal “law of attraction” that these men came into my life and taught me more than I would have dreamed of, or could have read about it any romance novel or self-help book.
I had to experience it. I had to live it. I had to sink to depths before I could rise above it. I had to repress, emerge, and conquer all of my fears and emotions about how to love in a relationship.
The intimacy never came easy, as the trusting of my partner had more to do with a lack of trusting and loving myself.
But I grew up and became more accepting of who I am and the happiness I have inside. I had to be vulnerable enough to recognize when my soul achieved its limit on people and places. The karma was front and center and deserved attention. This alone was my biggest step; to put my heart out there and allow the pieces to fall where they may.
Even as woman approaching 55 years old, the nature of love with another is still in an evolutionary stage. Not love as a whole in my heart, but full-on, balls to the wall juicy love with another.
I can’t be afraid of it despite old family patterns ringing in my ears and mind for practically my entire life. Was I able to completely give my whole self to a man, or did I need to reserve a special place of that beating beauty for me? These were always questions posed in journal upon journal entries.
Growing up without a father perpetuated that feeling, but I can’t blame my family of origin or DNA, although role models for me on how to love a man were so unheard of back in my formative years. I wrote a piece recently that stated “I did my best,” as it was totally relating to my latest love, a man who was the essence of a karmic relationship.
He embodies everything about the heart, my soul, his past, our lifetimes together, our intense dynamic, and my need to let go.
As I embrace the surrender of this relationship, it occurs to me that the one relationship that needed nourishing over the years was the one with me. I needed to take good care of me first, so I am fully able to be present with another and be more of service in this world. What a glorious concept!
When I spent over 20 years as a personal trainer and consultant, I was taking care of others needs and goals and health, and it defined me. It was who I was at the time, and I loved every minute of it. But by the time I retired and returned to my own cocoon of reinvention and getting more in touch with my true essence, there was nothing left for me.
Libras have a tendency to over-compromise, over-give, and otherwise, do anything we can to maintain peace and harmony. It is almost written in some kind of astrological law book. It wasn’t until I began to write my second novel that I determined the importance of self-love, and this realization happened in my second half of life. The synchronicity of it all has been uncanny and awesome.
Loving myself and who I was (and am) enables me to come from an embodied place of authentic and honest intentions. I can help, care, and empathize with others when my own cup is full.
If I spend my cherished hours doing what nourishes me and gives me a sense of worth, I am then able to spread that feeling around more compassionately and true. Yoga, meditation, animals, walks in nature-it all feeds my soul first thing in the morning, and fires up my desires to throw it around to the world and my soulful connections. Trusting who I am has allowed me the sense of continued purpose of just that-being the best me I know how.
Any relationship will prosper and be completely fulfilling if we first get to know ourselves and what helps us do what we do, be who we are, and be the ultimate appraiser of our own inner guide. As much as I have learned over the years, a few thoughts always stick out in my mind and heart as the litmus test to how my immune system is functioning and whether or not I can be the best giver in any moment; my energy is zapped, my face and eyes appear weakened and sallow, my heart aches, my desire to help others is at an all-time low, and my dietary habits aren’t that hot.
Even with the wellness knowledge that I have, I can still succumb to unhealthy ways of eating and indulging when I’m stretched to the max with people-pleasing. Once I have the recognition that all is not well with my own personal energy, I go into overdrive with self-care. It might be baby steps, or it might be one gigantic leap, but it most often means I retreat and replenish.
Now, after so many years of understanding more about the mystery of relationships, I have realized that I won’t settle for less than what I need or deserve. I ask myself every single day “have I loved enough today?”
Not a person per se, but every little thing about life, especially myself. It feels like a weighty statement coming from my Libra self, but after years of trying to stuff all of me into an illusion-that perfect package—I am aware that the only relationship needing attention in times of strife and dysfunction and imperfection is the one staring back at me in the mirror.
Only love can come from that one person: me.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: christinielsen at Flickr