As we transition from Virgo to Libra season, I’ve started to notice the different ways Virgo's meticulous attention to detail has held a flashlight to the patterns and stories playing out within my relationships. I often grapple with my Venus (planet of connection, love, and pleasure) in Virgo (thoughtful & discerning) in the 8th house (of mental health, death and shared resources) placement, especially as I consider how unromantic it feels to be so keenly attuned to the transactional nature of relationships. So with the entrance of Libra season and the fall equinox, I’m on a mission to continue unlearning the narratives that have shaped how I approach all the different relationships in my life.
If I tell you the number of mermaid and pirate analogies that almost made the cut as a title for this letter, I’m afraid you’d stop reading. But more on that later because I guarantee this is not the last time you’ll hear about mermaids from me. However, in the complex world of relationships, there truly are treasures waiting to be uncovered and not always in the ways you might expect. There are profound insights and opportunities for personal growth as a result of our connections. As we dive (wink) into the concept of triggers as buried treasure (wink-wink), I want to highlight the importance of relationships as mirrors for healing and transformation, and how the right relationships can help us to release the stories and beliefs that were never ours to carry in the first place.
Have you ever gotten a whiff of fragrance, say the synthetic iris of grandma’s old lipstick and instantly you’re transported back in time, to all the emotions and memories associated with that smell? Have you ever been revisited by painful past memories or physical symptoms as a result of a sensory experience? That’s what triggers can feel like. And when the root cause of that hurt is unresolved, it can cause anxiety, fear, even panic. So, when I say “triggers are buried treasure” it’s because they can serve as clues that will lead you to unexplored emotions that may be keeping you from experiencing the richness of life.
I also want to emphasize the importance of the environments and people that nurture your ability to safely explore your emotional triggers. Regardless of the pirate puns, traumatic events and the lasting pain - though approached with some lightness - are not something I take lightly.
Whether we acknowledge or not, our close relationships can activate our triggers and when we don’t feel comfortable addressing it, they can fester into narratives that pull us further from the truth - and each other.
My good friend Ally and I send voice notes that border on full blown podcast episodes but through that experience, we’ve learned to consciously communicate with one another. Sometimes it’s by giving ourselves permission to “say the thing," trusting that we won’t be judged or given unsolicited advice but simply heard. Other times it’s plain out telling each other when something is said or our mere approach to a project is activating feelings of “not enough-ness” or whatever other ugly thought bubbles up. We’ve cultivated a truly safe space to uncover our triggers, verbally process, and support one another without letting our own shit get in the way.
To say I’m fortunate to have friends who are committed to doing their own “work” is an understatement. It doesn’t however change the fact that all relationships have the potential to mirror back to us the parts of ourselves we may not be able to or ready to see. For example, witnessing my husband make creating businesses look like an art, tends to reflect back to me my own feelings of inadequacy, yet at the same time illuminates the version of me that’s totally capable of being a badass entrepreneur. Now consider the world of possibilities that realization can open up, like the potential to be vulnerable and connect, as well as an invitation to reflect back his own unique brilliance, not to mention the very practical opportunity to share his expertise in a way that I can be open to.
However, not everyone has the privilege of a supportive friend, and not everyone is inclined or in a position to seek professional assistance. Moreover, bridging the gap between acknowledging unresolved issues and taking proactive steps toward healing can be a daunting leap. Self-compassion and grace are essential to this ever-evolving process, for your well-being and to create a shared space of understanding and patience for yourself and others.
In this journey through life, relationships are the mirrors that reveal the hidden gems of our inner world. And as we self-reflect on our experiences and the lessons they provide us, healing becomes possible, and we can release the stories we’ve picked up along the way.
The following words have served as a guiding affirmation as I navigate self-acceptance and compassion through the lens of relationships, but most importantly the one I nourish with myself:
All that I am, I seek. I am the love I seek. I am the forgiveness I seek. I am the mystery I seek. I am the liberation I seek. I am the love I seek. I am the god I seek. I am all that I seek.
For Your Journal…
I passionately subscribe to the practice of journaling, believing that, much like the impact of the right question at the perfect moment in a coaching conversation, has the potential to serve as a potent catalyst for profound personal transformation. I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the following prompts:
Think about a recent situation that triggered strong emotions. What specifically caused these emotions? What could they be revealing about your values and past experiences?
What is a recurring emotional pattern in your relationships? Reflect on the triggers behind those patterns and consider how your past may influence how you react.
Take inventory of experiences from your upbringing. Are there any significant events or family dynamics that might still impact your emotional triggers today?
For Your Expansion…
Feeling the urge to dive deeper into what’s surfacing for you?
Gain clarity, confidence, and actionable steps towards all you hope to achieve. Lean into the fresh beginning of the fall equinox with a Coaching Discovery Call with me! My coaching style is uniquely tailored to your needs with personalized strategies and practices to support you every step of the way.