(inspired by the Libra Sun of 2016)
Do you, like me, carry heavy armor of rigid self-protection, despite a desire for loving connection? Is your armor made of scar tissue - physical and emotional - layered over past hurts and deep wounds? Have you chosen harsh judgment over merciful compassion? Has your mind confused amour with armor? What would it be like to set it down? For just a moment. Close by. In case you need it again.
Set your armor down. Enter into a love affair with yourself. I’m not talking about the heated explicit affairs romanticized in movies, but rather a deep intimate connection with your soul as an Inner Beloved.
Too many of us have lost that connection. We’ve forgotten the true Quest, and are wandering around the world, looking for someone or something to fill us and to meet our longing. We look to spouses, partners, parents, children, and teachers for guidance…but we will inevitably be disappointed for only we can be that steady companion through thick and thin who we so deeply crave. And…
Set your armor down. Enter into a love affair with the other. We are relational beings on this Water planet. As far as we know, Earth is the only planet with water, and water is the element of emotion and connection. It takes us deep, submerging us in the full range of feelings. And when we come up for air, we open our eyes, looking for someone to share the experience with, to connect with in a deep level, to hold in a balanced loving way - this is what Libra ruled by Venus offers us - balanced, loving relationships.
There is a Gaelic term for this kind of relationship: Anam Cara. Your anam cara is a soul-friend or soul-love who knows your deepest secrets and longings. In this relationship, there is no need for chain metal armor or masks of pretension. It is in this sublime friendship and belonging that we are truly free.
Set your armor down. Enter into a love affair with the world. Breathe deeply. Let the world in. Through the breath, we are connected - atomically, elementally, intimately. A molecule of Argon, an inert gas making up about 1% of each breath you take, can be traced back and back and back to the great prophets, teachers, saints and sages, as well as to the perpetrators of terrorism and genocide, as well as to the dinosaurs and to all those who have come and gone.
So, set your armor down. Reveal yourself to yourself and to the world. Strip away reservations and resentments and resistance. Let yourself fall into amour. Don’t shy away. Don’t give up. Be brutally honest and sweetly vulnerable. Surrender ego’s ruses of self-protection and separation.
Join the tribe of Gaia, humans, animals, plants, and minerals. We are in this together - to love, to live, and to forgive. We are called to be in compassionate relationship with ourselves first and foremost. And though it starts with us, it does not end there. We are called to show up, even when we feel raw, naked, vulnerable and scared. This is where life gets interesting.
As within, so without. As above, so below. Remember, we are relational beings in a sentient world, mirrors for each other, as the Moon is a mirror for the Sun; and shining on each other, as the Sun shines on the Moon and all of us, not judging or choosing who deserves its life-giving warmth.
Shine on. Live on. Love on, warriors, lovers, mothers, fathers, children and soul-friends.
* The Guided Meditation this week offers a practice for meeting the anam cara (soul friend) within oneself in a clear way of Truth, Love and Compassion.
“A Friendship Blessing” (by John O’donahue)
May you be blessed with good friends.
May you learn to be a good friend to yourself.
May you be able to journey to that place in your soul where
there is great love, warmth, feeling, and forgiveness.
May this change you.
May it transfigure that which is negative, distant, or cold in you.
May you be brought in to the real passion, kinship, and affinity of belonging.
May you treasure your friends.
May you be good to them and may you be there for them;
may they bring you all the blessing, challenges, truth,
and light that you need for your journey.
May you never be isolated.
May you always be in the gentle nest of belonging with your anam cara.
“A Blessing”, from John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes
May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of you belonging be large enough for the dreams of our soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart that something good is going to happen to you.
May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing which lives at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May your angels free you from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.