What Astrology Can Teach Us about Self-Acceptance

January 14, 2022, 0 Comments

What Astrology Can Teach Us about Self-Acceptance

It’s a testament to the power of astrology that even the biggest cynics probably know their sign. But it’s not until you go a little deeper into the stars and their power that things really start to get interesting. We are much more than our sign (in astrological parlance, that’s known as our sun sign). In fact, says psychological astrologer Jennifer Freed, we all have the traits—behaviours, feelings, thoughts—of all the signs of the zodiac in our birth charts. Which ones we act on is dynamic and always changing.

As a psychotherapist, Freed uses relational astrology career counselling to unlock how we interact with one another and the world around us. Ultimately, this can also show us how we can navigate ups and downs. It’s a hard line of reasoning to argue with: If you know your place in the cosmos, day-to-day life feels more understandable, more manageable. According to Freed, enlightenment begins by recognising all of our personality traits (the good and the bad), and then taking a sober, potentially difficult inventory of which ones serve us and which ones are working against us. But as difficult or painful as it is, on the other side of that self-reflection, says Freed, is true self-acceptance and belonging.

This is not to say we should surrender to being less excellent than we know we can be. Besides knowing that perfection is an impossibility and practicing mercy and forgiveness for our missteps, self-acceptance also means an ongoing practice of rigorous self-inventory. It means cultivating the tenacity to make your pain count in terms of self-correction and resilience. Self-acceptance also involves a conscious practice of having empathy for others in their missteps.

At the same time, our most extraordinary aspects are not fixed, either. When we are soaring and at our best, we are there only temporarily—clinging to those states actually diminishes them.

Our flaws and our gifts will always present themselves as parts of a grand cycle. We host them as temporary guests and should not depend on them to stay or expect them to permanently define us. If we can acknowledge our character traits as visitors with equal amounts of curiosity and graciousness, they will serve our growth.

Self-acceptance, beyond ego identification, is an ongoing practice of rigorous inventory and accountability, mercy and forgiveness for missteps, humility in our moments of exaltation, and the tenacity to make the pain count in terms of behaviour correction, resiliency, and empathy for others.

When we fail to reach our own expectations, no matter how frequently, it gives us instant access to compassion for others who suffer, and it gives us a new horizon to reach for.

The fastest way up from our lows is to love ourselves and honestly attend to those hurting parts that created the temporary downfall. Unattended and unloved parts of ourselves act out until they get the healing and nurturing attention they require. Inflated, grandiose parts will attempt to hijack our attention until they, too, are met with a steady container of loving attention that confers “just-enoughness” to our ordinary being.

We build our self-esteem by keeping our word to ourselves and others. Self-acceptance comes from the slow and steady realization that we are lovable and complete in every moment, regardless of our ego’s desire to be fixed on success at all times.

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