The thing about living in Hawaii is… everyone wants to visit. Your brother from another mother. Your fifth cousin three times removed who just found you on Ancestry.com. Everyone. All this visiting has lit up my Aries-Libra-Cancer chart like a pinball machine. In my family, I was taught to play by the rules, to not honor what I need. You can imagine how easy it is to wind up feeling like everyday is “groundhog day”: you’re sitting there, and, bam! here we go again. The energetic field surrounding family – with all its invisible rules and dynamics- is so strong. It takes supreme consciousness to do differently.

For instance, I’m at the dinner table. The energy field starts to feel very dis-resonant (not feeling good). No one shows any sign of moving. That’s when the voices start… You can’t leave. They will think you’re selfish. They traveled all this way to see you. You can hold on for a few more minutes, five, okay ten minutes (Alarm bells!! By the time I’m bargaining with myself I’m wayyyy past the point of being able to bargain).

If people are unconscious or pushing past their limits (which frequently happens in social and family dynamics) I feel it. They may be able to ignore those signals. I cannot, not any longer. The more connected I’ve become, the more I can feel what’s truly going on.

What I want to do: get up, leave, to take care of myself… deeply challenges the family programming that says I cannot. Big pushback.

Deep breath: I am allowed to take care of myself.

I have permission to take care of myself. Permission. This has been big work.

Not “F*** you, I’m going to do what I want…” because that never feels good. I’m a Cancer, I’m a healer, so I’m oriented to help the good of All. If taking care of myself means truly hurting another, I won’t do it. But when I investigate that thought, 99{edc87575597f4f3ad5e35fd7f36c45c2e827b7d30afc5bd9b12c8599e57b4ed7} of the time it’s a lie. Because: When I take care of myself, I am also taking care of others.

How can this be true?

Reframing What It Means to Be Loving

Here is a conundrum all people with a sensitive and kind heart will understand: it’s too easy to confuse kindness and compassion with self-sacrifice, love with enabling others.

I am a healer. My childhood was my first training ground. I felt my family’s stress, and so did my best to ease their burdens by being caring, loving and essentially self-denying. As a healer, I brought healing by sponging up their negativity, donating my energy, and lightening the load of all.

That approach worked in my career of helping others, too. Until it didn’t any longer. I felt physically crappy, a lot. Eventually I realized I didn’t like donating my light to unconscious people. It was a joyless task. It brought me down. It took a ton of my energy to transmute theirs, became a full time job, and, as to whether it actually helped them to heal, often my energy didn’t make a visible ounce of long-term difference. Plus, there was no room for ME, for what I wanted, in that equation. It was time to think about me.

Slowly, I have begun to understand that while being loving and healing once meant indiscriminately giving my energy to those in need, now the opposite is true. Now… 

When I take care of myself, I am also taking care of others.

Often the most loving things I can do in a dis-resonant energy field, or unconscious dynamics, is to leave it. In offering my light, I’m allowing the dynamic or person to continue at its/their present state. Like buying an alcoholic another drink at the bar, my presence, even “my desire to help” enables them… to continue. In removing my energy from an unconscious situation/person, I am one less energy supporting it. Even if they don’t choose to wake up, I’m helping by not contributing my energy to the situation.

How uncaring, how cold, how unloving…I should be more compassionate…

How many times have I heard myself think this? How many times have my truly caring, sensitive, clients said this to me about their own relationships? Countless. We misunderstand love. Love is not self-sacrifice. Love is not turning a blind eye to the truth, and hanging around for more of the lie. Love is not giving our life blood and light indiscriminately. Love is what feels good to us. Love is truth. Love is joy. Only then are we truly able to offer something of value to another.

Besides, we can never truly give love to another; we can only embody it by standing in truth and light. Think about this deeply, feel its truth. Those who have “loved” you gave you the gift of showing you how to love. It is impossible to give another what you do not have.

By widening our capacity to love our self, to honor what feels right, true, good in any situation for us, we lead by example, saying: See, THIS is love. This is how we do it. 

Because, if it’s not feeling good for me it can’t possibly be feeling good for you. We are far too connected to have anything other than this to be true.

That’s leadership. That’s healing. That’s LOVE.

How different this is from what I was taught, or even the paradigm that existed just a few years ago– one which allowed me to support others by sacrificing my self.

Cancer New Moon Eclipse

This Solar Eclipse in Cancer highlights self-defeating patterns of care-taking and self-sacrifice for the sake of “love”, belonging, family, support, nurturing, healing. Have you been confusing self-sacrifice with “being loving”? Honoring your self with being selfish? Are you engaged in patterns that leave you feeling depleted, invisible, used?

Take it from a Cancer South Node: the classic Cancer shadow is making one’s own needs so secondary to others that you literally become a ghost in your own life. Invisible.

It is time to change all of that. Eclipses are the hour hand of the cosmic clock. They accelerate change. They say: “you’ve been doing this pattern your whole life, and time’s up!!!”. Eclipses do bring a level of emotional chaos and drama, hence, the Ego’s dread about them, but always in the service of changing entrenched, habituated, patterns so that we can take our self-empowerment to the next level. And you can multiply this last statement times one-hundred — since this eclipse opposes Pluto, planet of wounding. Pluto says, “You’ve been hurt, here, many times before. You don’t have to keep hurting.”

And you know what’s empowering? Changing a pattern without needing anyone to be different than who they are. Even if the people we love choose to do otherwise, WE do not have to keep perpetuating unconscious wounding with our energy; we do not have to deny our connection to Divinity. Standing in Light and Truth, we can see that love has absolutely nothing to do with playing by “the rules”, being “supportive”, “compassionate” or “kind”. Love has no shoulds, no requirements. Love never asks you to cut off your corners to fit into a round hole. Love has everything to do with the love we feel, on the inside.

That’s when we know that we are Love. We feel it.