January is a seriously heavy month. Obligations loom larger, and resources fewer. In some area of each of our lives the pressure is on: to be better prepared, have a plan, create more structure, or change something that isn’t working. The good news is, the same energies urging us to buckle down and get serious also supply us with the ability to clearly, realistically see and name some cold hard truths. With the ruling planet of Capricorn, Saturn, transiting Libra, we’re more clearly able to see the truth of our relationships, and perhaps most importantly, realize that changing old patterns of heart also means being insanely practical about the whole matter.
The other night I was talking with a girlfriend when she told me she had recently experienced a real sweet heartfelt connection with a guy. Yay! Yet, when she expressed interest in quickly moving forward romantically- he went into some kind of commitment phobic traumatic response. The details of it really don’t matter, but his response, and how she would respond him. He let her know that he was unable to respond to her in the way she wanted him to. Boom, there it was. Because she really felt something was there, she attempted to be 'friends' and with the mutual sexual energy running between them, it was quickly clear that wouldn't work. What to do?
Many of us are programmed to believe that when we express a vital need or desire, our romantic partner is supposed to provide it for us. But often, and most especially when we’re trying to establish grounds for a relationship, we find out they are simply unable to meet our needs. Guess what? That doesn’t mean we should try to ‘get’ what we desire by attempting to be who they want us to be (like have an ‘open relationship’, ugh) or pressure them. What it means is they’re unable to respond to our request - for whatever reason. They may be busy, or have their own stuff to take care of. They may not know how to meet us, or care to. They may simply not be capable of responding in that way. Responsibility = the ability to respond.
People often say ‘it’s complicated’ when talking about their relationships. Relationships aren’t complicated -they’re just difficult! It’s difficult to see other’s limits, acknowledge they're unable to respond in the way we want. It’s hard to recognize they're not capable of meeting our heart’s decent and good request, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon our request, for if we don't honor our heart's desire, why would we expect to find someone who magically will? Sometimes this means being alone until we find someone who can respond -which is hard (note: researching this article, I e-searched my LAN manuscript with the search term 'hard' and got a gazillion references)!
And, if we’re in a relationship, we must ask our partner to respond to our need to the best of their ability - but they can always say ‘no’. It's always only our responsibility to attempt to respond to our self-requests. We may even be surprised to discover that what we've been asking from them, we need to learn how to do for our self.
January is the month we all more clearly see our limits; then to follow a practical strategy for changing old patterns of heart-wrenching pain. For my friend this meant that instead of calling him, ie staying in contact in hopes of changing his mind, she would 'sit on my hands' and hold out for someone who is capable of meeting her halfway. That could be him. Or not. It's really not up to us, is it? Granted, it may be painful to do these old patterns differently, but in the long run it’s far less painful than cleaning up the mess of a broken heart because we refused to see what is.