When I was fifteen or so, I was introduced to the world of Astrology by one I considered both mentor and friend. Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs was the first book I read and I devoured it, grateful for the opportunity to find out why some people behave in such odd and hurtful ways. I imagine, other than the required Sociology course in high school, it was really my first introduction to any form of Psychology or Philosophy.
I learned I was a Leo and that I must guard against my natural leadership abilities turning into bossiness and arrogance. That my loyalty and fierce desire to protect others could easily turn to “enabling” and “jealousy”, if I didn’t watch my step. And that my inclination to magnanimously shower my time and money on anyone I considered in need would ultimately land me in the poor house if I didn’t watch it.
My daddy didn’t raise no fool – – here, in black and white, was The Rules and Regulations for becoming a person that could avoid the pitfalls of their own personality. I was ecstatic. I also experienced a surge in forgiveness for others around me – –
“Oh, don’t mind his temper – He’s an Aries – – you watch, he’ll be fine if you just let him blow and then stay around for the apology portion of the show.”
“She can’t help it – she’s a Capricorn and tradition is important to her. Just let her do the party the way she wants and I assure you, it will be a night to remember and cherish through the ages.”
“Yes, I know he’s stubborn, but aren’t you glad he stayed up all night to figure out where the short in your car headlight was occurring?”
I figured I was set for life….
Over the years, I kept my nose in the books – Numerology, Myers-Briggs, Enneagrams, “Who Stole My Cheese?”, Spirit Animals, Archetypes, Angels, What Color is your Parachute – – if I thought it would help me to grow as a person, better understand and be more forgiving of the Yah-hoos around me – I was in.
My motto was, “Hey, I appreciate your personality and the benefits I get from it – – which means, when the negative side of the coin shows up, I realize it’s part and parcel of who you are….and I roll with it to the best of my ability. If I cannot find a way to deal with the less than stellar side of you, then I will retire from taking advantage of the benefits.”
But at some point, I wore out. I simply couldn’t try one more approach to creating more balanced relationships in my life – – I was tired of supporting others and walking my own road alone…
I grew to hate the line from St. Francis of Assisi, “Let me seek to understand, rather than to be understood.”
I was tired of finding reasons and excusing the behaviors of those who found no problem telling me all my shortcomings… and never examining their own.
Those who thought it was great that I stuck around during their crisis, but didn’t want to be around me unless I had put on my “happy” face – –
A wonderful morning spent with a gal who really does know her Psychology stuff and has an honors degree to prove it, found me examining my recent “I’d like to be a hermit” choice.
She’s found a way to reconcile her priority of self-improvement and personal responsibility with acknowledgement that there are those in her circle who don’t consider it a priority. Who will always wish for her to be different, and to interact with them in a way that is beneficial to them, regardless of how she comes out of it.
She continues to join them in their journey even though she still gets injured by arrows loosed by those who refuse to see they are holding a bow and are unaware the thing was loaded.
I admire her – – I haven’t reconciled with that yet – –
Leo is ruler of the Heart – – and I’m a Heart-lead person.
I’m either All In, or I choose not to play at all – –
You either get all the benefits and forgive me my follies or you receive nada- –
Perhaps someday, I will learn how to walk the middle of that path – – I will learn to accept ALL the shortcomings of my fellow man – most notably the one that includes reminding me of my shortcomings every chance they get while expecting me to understand and/or ignore theirs…
But for now, if you don’t like the two sides of my coin, well, to each their own – but you don’t get one, without the other.