Western Astrology

Hard Love: Practical Strategies for Surviving Winter, Heart Intact

by Jessica Shepherd January 08, 2011 03:11 PM EST

Love is hard. January is hard -it’s a straight up difficult season. The wintry season can move what we experience outward, deep into our hearts with the effect of making us feel cold and alone and as frosty hearted as the ice on our morning windshields. 

Yet the stark winter environs also give us the ability to see things in black and white and thus apply practical strategies that will really stick with us in the coming months. Case in point, searching on the term ‘hard’ in my book, A Love Alchemist’s Notebook, I came up with like a gazillion references. So I’m presenting a few excerpts here while noting that a love alchemist will ably turn every ‘hard’ into a positive solution (and #4 is a bit long because I consider it so important!).

1.He’s Hardly a Hole in One. On attracting the wrong guy.

When it came to my search for soulful love, I wasn't desperate, but I was tired of believing that I was chronically broken in one particular spot – my heart. I remembered I'd had a similar feeling before concerning my relationship to money, which did have a tinge of desperation mixed in as landlords and eviction notices were imminently involved. In the beginning of my magical work to manifest a soul mate, the results were mixed. 

Yes, something was afoot in my love life – one shy guy approached me at the Laundromat with stars in his eyes, and no one had done that in years! Still, he was far from my "type." Soon after, another suitor asked for my number at a magic bookstore, which was less of a long shot than the lad in the Laundromat, although hardly a hole in one.

2. Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place. On man-i-festing miracles.

At this point in the game of love, I could have given up, but I didn't! Instead of becoming disheartened by off-target encounters, I became encouraged, bolstered by the profundity of my love life going from flatline to a heartbeat of activity. I decided that the Universe really was listening to my wishes, and I likened these mixed results to a cosmic fitting, whereby the Maker was looking for a closeness of fit – maybe even getting a little testy or mischievous with me! In this case, how would I kick-start my soul mate search?  I did the same thing I'd done before when reality had me between a rock and hard place: I assembled a metaphysical game plan by pulling on knowledge from mystics such as Ernest Holmes, Shakti Gawain, Catherine Ponder, and other historical metaphysicians who've advocated principles of "The Law of Attraction" long before The Secret phenomenon of the 21st Century.

3. The School of Hard Knocks.  On self esteem and self-congruence.

Many of us attend the School of Hard Knocks, enroll in Love Lessons 101 so that we can discover more about our self-esteem to learn to define our relationship values more clearly. Some of us keep faking it till we make it, but eventually we graduate with a degree in self-worth. We always make choices from our self-esteem, for good or ill.

Having a foundation of self-esteem goes a long way in helping you define your spiritual values. How? The most reliable values, ones you’ve learned those hard lessons through, are the same values you can count on for your continued happiness and self-worth. Take, kindness is my religion, for example (also the Dalai Lama’s value).  After being treated unkindly by a guy I was dating, I realized that while I intellectually possessed this spiritual value, I was out of spiritual congruence with my self. Self-esteem and self-regard changed all that. Making a decision out of self-esteem creates congruence with your spiritual values. ...In this way anyone becomes more attractive or receptive toward love.

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4. Strong Enough, Hard Enough, Rich Enough. On creating relationship karma.

No one comes into a relationship with a clean slate. Rest assured, everyone carries their own beast of burden. The beast of burden is universal - everyone wrestles with the seemingly immovable and relentless taskmaster, within. When we find our soul mate we must willingly take on their beast of burden, too. What a mission! After all, we already have our own, no? Yes. We really do have to love them enough to want to do it - wholeheartedly and without begrudging, regret, or any other negative emotion that silently chips away at love. Otherwise, instead of creating love and sending that into limitless time and space together; we're creating suffering and sending that into limitless time and space together. And that's just not good karma.

The buck stops here, with soul mate love.

When we move toward a soulful relationship, we're embracing their ambitions, talents and beauty into our world, also their personal history, addictions, and yes, their baggage. We must make room for their dreams too, which may or may not be our own. Are we willing to support their dreams, even though they're very different from our own? If we feel judgmental or dubious toward about those dreams now - how do we think we'll feel after we've been financing their dream of becoming a rock star, several years from now? Because, depending on your commitment level and desire for lifelong love, everything about your soul mate's world will eventually become yours. You can count on it.

If their beast of burden is quite heavy, we need to have all the strength we can muster to even attempt to carry their beast of burden. Because we will be asked to.

Hopefully we want to help them carry their weight. Maybe we are "strong enough, hard enough, rich enough" to carry their beast of burden for them - at least for awhile. This request takes place in every relationship. In some relationships, it’s the determining quality of it: I have friends who spend an inordinate amount of energy on being helpful and generous, which is its own kind of karma, too, if that’s what you’re looking for. This usually can't go on forever, though. Balance and reciprocity is a Universal Law.




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