This episode of Correlations is unique in that it is a real life example of the journey we go on when being with our difficult feelings toward an event and person, in light of reading their birth chart. We begin the episode with Matthew’s complex and difficult feelings toward Melania Trump recently wearing the jacket “I don’t really care do U?“ to the southern border of Texas to visit the children being detained by the US government.
As we explore these complex feelings we use the tool of nonviolent communication to begin to understand how we can read birth charts in an empowering and non-shaming way, using the chart and transits of Melania as our focus. We also have a healing experience discussing the grief process, the path of forgiveness, and the balance of feeling our raw and powerful feelings while also practicing nonviolence. Our hope is there is something in here for you in the process, as much as, or more than the content.
After recording this episode, I keep coming back to the proverbial question: How do we best take care of ourselves while taking care of others?
Compassion at our borders. Boundaries as compassionate. What can this look like? I know that in order for me to have compassion I have to be resourced. When I am under resourced in my life whether physically, spiritually, or emotionally I have a very hard time accessing my compassion. One way I get more resourced is to have better boundaries as a form of self-care. I simply cannot take care of others if I cannot take care of myself. I see a lot of Americans around me under resourced and struggling with boundaries and self-care. This is at first confusing and then very sad for me. We are the richest most powerful country in the world and yet so many Americans are sick, tired, depressed, and anxious. We have become a top-heavy empire where the majority of our resources goes to fighting all kinds of fights at home and abroad instead of caring for our people. No wonder we cannot have compassion at our borders. We do not have enough compassion within our borders.
These days, I am most interested in meeting in the middle. Liberalism and conservatism are beginning to feel like racism and sexism. Polarization and discrimination that is hurting every one. As someone who used to identify as a “liberal” I see my liberal brothers and sisters participating in acts of unkindness while pointing the finger at the conservatives and saying they are evil and need to be saved. Saved from what? Once we begin to think we have the power and duty to save someone else I find we get into a whole lot of trouble. When is wanting to save someone else or an idea of the way the world should be a form of not taking responsibility for our own lives and a form of spiritual bypass? Ideologies have become strait jackets of armor we wear to make ourselves feel better about our position while often hurting people along the way. It is not being a liberal or a conservative that makes one kind or unkind. It is one’s human heart, acts of compassion, and the way one treats all of life. I know plenty of “liberal” Trumps in this world. I also know it is really uncomfortable to admit we are all implicated. There is no such thing as a pure life anymore. Maybe there never was. Because no matter how much I care and do my best someone is suffering for the things I have. We cannot currently escape this and there is no one party that is responsible for this. I believe we are all responsible for this system we have inherited.
I do not want to fight wars abroad and I do not want to fight wars at home. It is far too easy to get caught in the drama of there is not enough and lose kindness and respect for one another. Yes, I care a whole lot and my best guess is so do you. Because that is what human beings do — care. It is one of our greatest human features. And the one that most easily gets tangled up in pain, confusion, and despair when we need something we do not have: shelter, food, water, love, attention, and understanding. I do not think it is right to separate children from their parents. It is a very unskilled way of communicating a message. We can say no and still be kind. Even better, we can give other options of how to move forward while still honoring our necessary rules and boundaries. I will always stand up and protect those in need. Parenting for peace in our homes allows us to parent for peace everywhere else in our lives. Peace in my home means no more Trump or Republican bashing. It’s a sick little game that I do not want to play anymore. I believe there are more skilled and resourced ways for me to care. To show up and love the people in my life, to speak out when I do not agree, and to take really good care of myself.
In my experience, we have to police our borders when we feel there is a lack or we are in fear that something important will be taken away. A watch dog to protect borderlines. So much energy goes into the policing that could otherwise go into the resourcing, if we actually trusted we are going to be okay — truly feeling and experiencing there is more than enough right here, right now.
As a psychotherapist, I support people in their deepest pain, confusion, and despair. I see more than ever, every person is sensitive, compassionate, and wants to be loved and understood. I am here to offer care and support. I, however, do not want to use my energy to attack any more. Feeling anger, rage, hatred = all good and necessary. But I do not want to shame, blame, or attack from this place. It is SO hard. Probably one of the hardest things for me not to do in life, and I certainly do not always get it right the first time around. I find the best way to feed our demons is to give them lots of light (attention) and love (care). The demons move from ugly and scary monsters to wise and compassionate beings — from distorted to clear. I need help loving my monsters and I imagine that means you do too.
We are all finding our way through right now. These are undoubtedly challenging times to be alive for a lot of people. I am doing my best to share my real experiences. I see all of you amazing people out there doing your best to show up with so much love, creativity, care, and kindness. You absolutely do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. THANK YOU!