What do you do when someone tends to judge you for having judgments? Put differently, how do you relate to someone if they withhold their love, respect, or affection if you share your true feelings, opinions, or responses to their behavior or choices?
What’s the difference between judging someone and having a natural response to their actions because you are in a relationship with them?
Here in the US we live in a Cancerian environment where everyone wants intimacy, warmth, privacy, and familiarity. We all want to feel safe with each other, and yet the environment of our culture (Moon in Aquarius) is often cold, distant, and prone to feeling judged or hyper protective of individual rights and personal freedom. This tends to make things sort of falsely warm. Our emotional sense of intimacy with one another is based on a kind of unspoken pact to not have actual, instinctual, biological responses to one another because of our tacit respect for detached individual freedom.
We all have a good reason for demanding this distance and respect. We all have a story about how we were wounded, how nobody really understands, or why it’s our goddamn rights at stake. And to a certain extent this story is true because this is a real story at the heart of our national, cultural, ethnic, familial, and religious histories.
It’s sometimes like we’re a nation with a borderline personality disorder. Is there any clinical/psychological metaphor more useful for understanding our intolerance of people having personal responses to us as individuals while simultaneously demanding warmth, intimacy, safety and security from one another? Is there a better metaphor for understanding the extremes in our political body or the literal problem so many people have with immigration and the borders of our country?
Maybe that’s too harsh…regardless, it’s difficult to have honest and authentic relationships with one another if our definition of friendship has more to do with the space and freedom we give one another, the absolute intolerance to judgment or value differences in relationships, than it does with real intimacy.
Real intimacy is forged in the dynamic interactions we have…the ones where our values or opinions or self images clash and yet we come through with a feeling…not an idea or an intellectual peace treaty…of safety.
Right now with the Sun and Mercury in Libra, and Venus, Jupiter, and Mars in Virgo, it’s quite possible that we’re learning how to share our most honest responses to one another, without as much defensiveness. But just because we share with others our “truth” doesn’t mean we should expect they will like, respect, or agree with us. We have to get over the idea that the real courage is to just “share your truth regardless of what others think.” Instead we should consider that the interaction that follows truth sharing does matter. In fact it matters a great deal more than the inflated ideas of rights and personal dignity. Unless we want to remain isolated in a fortress of values or personal rights.
What’s the worst that could happen, anyway? Our position is strengthened through positive challenges, or we drop our position because we’ve just learned something new..learned how to see or think differently because we’ve had the courage to involve others with “my truth.”
One of the worst forms of compassion is the one that exists because we think we ought to or should. The worst kind of coercion is the kind that exists in relationships where we know to show unconditional agreement because anything else creates more difficulty than is worth it. When we say “my friends are great because they never judge me,” is it possible we mean, “my friends know better than to judge me?” There is an icy, cold chasm we sometimes call compassion..but that doesn’t mean it’s actually compassion.
On the other hand, the tendency to judge one another too harshly is also very real and part of the reason we may tend to isolate or hide ourselves from others. So both sides of the equation, like both sides of the Libran scales, should be considered from one moment to the next. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that we are relational creatures…we belong to one another as much as we belong to ourselves. This is the definition of family and tribe, as well as ecology. I’m not sure how green or eco-friendly we’ll ever become on this planet unless we recognize this level of ecology as well.
So for today, just for today, let’s consider the idea that it’s sometimes braver to allow space for authentic responses to one another then it is to demand we all walk on egg shells while demonstrating compassion toward each other’s personal “truth.”
Prayer: Teach us how to be diplomats of our honest responses…not just diplomats of an idea about democracy