On 9/9/09 I had agreed to go on a date. Did I really want to go on the date? No.
A friend had set me up and as soon as I saw the guy’s picture, I thought, “Not interested.” But then she explained: he was successful, creative, kind, not a player, and he practiced yoga. I decided I “should” go on this date and so told him yes.
The night before, I couldn’t sleep. I really didn’t want to go. Nothing felt “bad” about him, I just don’t like going against my truth and I didn’t want to waste his time and let him down later. So at about 2 am, I sent him an email and cancelled the date.
Immediately, I felt a rush of energy. It felt powerful, exciting and at the same time light and happy. I looked over at the funky stone wall of my Topanga canyon apartment and saw something black crawling out of a hole.
At first glance I thought it was a spider, but it kept getting longer, and longer… until I saw the scorpion tail. I ran to get the almond butter jar I had set aside (labeled: “spider relocation project”) and tried to trap it so I could take it outside, but I accidentally killed it. Once I caught my breath I realized that was probably for the best.
I knew this Scorpion was a powerful omen about claiming my power and not settling. So I put it on my altar with the Buddha and angel.
I felt amazing and stayed up til 4 am, bagging up things to take to Goodwill. I slept until noon and was in a sort of altered-bliss state all the next day, too.
When I told my friend the story, she said immediately “Well that means a Scorpio is coming for you!”
Great, I thought! But where is he? Months went by and no sign of the promised Scorpion.
Nearly a year later, I met a new man and found out his sign. I tried not to jump to conclusions when he said, “Scorpio.” But when our 2nd date was on 9-9-10, I took note.
That night, he took me to Zozobra, an annual Santa Fe ritual where they burn a gigantic puppet representing “old man gloom and doom”. People send in divorce documents, family belongings, and other possessions symbolizing things they want to release to make room for the new– and these are burned as part of the puppet while the crowd screams and cheers.
The date, his sign, and the theme of cleansing and renewal was all just too synchronistic! So when I saw he was obviously really excited to get to know me, I said, “I don’t want to freak you out, but can I tell you a story?” And so I told him about the scorpion.
We shared a wonderful 9 months together, during which we both grew and expanded in such beautiful ways. I am very grateful.
So many times I have settled. Not only in relationships, but throughout my life.
And I’m told I am very committed to my path and my truth, but I feel in my heart the pain of having settled. I feel the pain for me and for those involved. Because I know now that settling doesn’t just hurt me, it hurts other people too.
One thing that pushes my buttons the most is an energy that says “Who do you think you are?” The fear that if I live my truth and own my power and value, that I’ll be punished and alone.
It’s been a wound since before this lifetime, and so at times when given the opportunity to stretch I’ve hung back, because it seemed like no one else was stretching and so I had to stop if I wanted love.
What I’ve realized is that serves no one. Not me, because I’ve felt stifled, not those I could serve by shining bright, not those I’ve tried to love or make comfortable– because that love and comfort was based on a lie.
And saying yes to a lie then saying no later can pose more problems than just saying no in the first place. Imagine saying yes to a job then realizing only after people were counting on you that the pay is not enough and you can’t do it. Or saying yes to a marriage then everyone going through the pain of divorce.
I have seen this in many, many people, especially women. I have seen it make their partners crazy when they know something is off, but because the women don’t think it’s ok to share “negative” emotions they torture them with their withholding. All the while thinking they’re being “nice.”
One of my clients had been ambivalent about her relationship for years, but didn’t want to leave because she didn’t want to hurt him. Now, he’s the one pulling away and she’s shocked. I pointed out how all these years she’s been half-out have hurt him. People feel our truth whether we’re willing to voice it or not.
I have seen this in some parents, thinking they need to sacrifice everything for their families, then have nothing left to give. Parents who are unable to model healthy self-care actually HURT their children, and make more stress for themselves when the children develop health (physical, mental or emotional) issues. Often, these children end up taking on adult responsibilities– and suffer for it for years– when their parents fearfully choose not to be responsible.
So an easier way, perhaps, is to just love ourselves from the beginning, all the time. To breathe deep, find our courage and trust that this is best for everyone.
I have seen that when we are really at peace with this, no one says “Who do you think you are?” Partners actually PREFER hearing what’s wrong in the moment; it builds trust and is much easier to fix.
Calm, happy and healthy parents naturally have calm, happy and healthy children.
And when we truly love ourselves, we aren’t greedy, so there’s no need to worry that we’re asking too much. I find that people who desire things they’ll never use, fixate on looking “perfect,” or need constant love and reassurance are actually trying to make up for deep insecurities.
But living an abundant life, being radiant, and sharing love are our birthrights. If you are not enjoying these things, what are you settling for and why? Let me know if I can help.
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copyright 2011 Ann O’Brien- All Rights Reserved.