Loving Ourselves, Loving Others

The theme of this month is Love which, in true tribute to its complexity, isn't really what you think it is. Or, more precisely, "The Lovers," whereby the focus is put on the people rather than the act, because this is not that kind of self-help blog. And by "lovers," this is not going to be like a Cosmo "15 Orgasmo-tronic Sex tips from Hyper-erotic Penguins" type of thing--more like the totally unhot Jesus kind of love.

But what is that? And why are we talking about that now?

The Fool's Journey of the Tarot, and life in general, is a progression. We started out innocent, found our intuition and our power, and learned about the different energies of nurture and structure. We spent some time partaking of the wisdom of others, and by now, we've come to a point where we've finished the basic user's manual of ourselves. Almost. What we still have left to do is to integrate all of these energies, particular the different aspects of the masculine and feminine.

This, of course, is way harder than it sounds.

Love is a complicated thing. It's  both about resolving duality--taking two and making one, as well as enjoying duality--experiencing yourself and not-self. Sometimes even at the same time.

Working just on ourselves, in addition to integrating the masculine and feminine sides of ourselves, we are also marrying the aspects of the self and the other. It's easy to say that "opposites attract" when it comes to falling in love with someone else, but how easy is it to shine a light into our own dark places and love what we see there?

The term "shadow self," or "shadow aspect," as I may have mentioned before, refers to the parts of ourselves that we've either deliberately hidden or just forgotten about in order to have a personality that is acceptable to others. This shadow can be something we think is petty and unlovable, or it could be the shiny jewel of our essential self.

Whatever it is, we've kept it hidden away for so long that we can barely recognize it--even if it looks just like us.

Loving someone else can be hard work, but loving ourselves is harder. At least you can dump someone else, right? A lot of us spend a lot of energy avoiding ourselves, either by keeping busy, drinking, watching TV, or engaging in other discussing and self-soothing activities.

But this month, try and take a moment to sit with the entirety of yourself. Shine a light into your own depths, and see if you can find something that needs love. And love it.