When who you are and what you need clash – how do you deal?

Perhaps one of our biggest struggles as human beings is that we coexist with others who are so different from ourselves, making each and every dynamic a unique one. Sometimes it works seamlessly, when traits that make us intrinsically who we are fit perfectly with those of another. But when we have to co-exist with those whose traits – not only differ from our own, but clash – how do we deal?

I am so desperately searching for answers, especially now that mercury is in retrograde and I am already beginning to feel the effects of miscommunication, high stress, and the emotional toll of it all.

I remember having attended an overnight retreat on self-love and healing a few months back. It was a wonderful experience, headed by Dr, Lia Bernardo. There, we were taught how to love ourselves enough to know when to put ourselves first – this is something that is quite difficult for women, especially mothers – to practice. The experience opened my eyes to the fact that self-care doesn’t necessarily mean weekly massages, or treating yourself once in a while. True self-care means protecting your heart and taking care of your soul.

After that weekend of insights, I tried to do little things, make small changes that could keep that continuous flow of peace within me. But I soon came to the realization that in order to truly reach this level of quite frankly, not giving a f*#ck, I would have to give up pieces of myself that made me me.

I write this piece having just celebrated my birthday, and I can’t help but reassess where I am and how I am doing as I turn a year older. Being born late in the month of June, I fall under the water sign ‘cancer,’ and anyone who follows astrology knows that we are one of the most sensitive signs. Because of this, I live by the motto “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I am quite sympathetic, and very forgiving. I am not perfect though, and many times, these emotions get the best of me, making me impatient, moody and even unnecessarily angry.

But perhaps the biggest downfall of being so in touch with my emotions, as well as the emotions of others is that I go above and beyond to make sure I wouldn’t do things that would hurt me to those around me, and when the same courtesy isn’t shown to me, I take it very personally and feel betrayed. In the end, this is hurting no one more than me.

So here is where my struggle lies – How do I continue to be myself and treat my relationships in the way that comes naturally to me, yet not get affected when those that don’t have the same traits can’t reciprocate my actions?

The one solution I found that helps me be more tolerant is to remember that you never give with the expectation of receiving something in return. I have to remind myself of this regularly because I tend to think about it in a more literal sense – It has always been easy to practice this when it comes to giving material things like gifts or tokens, and to a degree, even time and effort. It is much more difficult to practice when you are giving your patience, your selflessness, and essentially your love. And yes, it may be difficult, but not impossible.

You hear and read about cutting toxic people from your life, and though I 100% agree that this is necessary, it is not my go-to solution for dealing with conflict or hurt.

As I get older, I notice that it is easier for me alter my perspective, and I try to do this even when emotions are running high. Nobody is perfect, and in life, it is only the people that you love the most that have the ability to cause the most pain. Rather than look at a loved one and see only the hurt or the negativity that they may bring, I make sure to counter that by reminding myself of the goodness inside them and the positive when conflict arises.

In conclusion, I know that being extra sensitive to the feelings of others is a side to myself that I won’t be able to change or let go of. I am choosing to embrace it rather than find a solution to it. That being said, I will also give myself leeway to be more selective of whom I let in and keep close. Cutting the toxicity is necessary, especially if there is no love or deep connection to build on from both ends. This will be my way of protecting my heart. And to take care of my soul, I will continue working on myself to be fully accepting of those I feel are worth all the emotions they bring to my life, whether good or bad.

For you who are worth it – I will never stop giving a f*#ck.

P.S. I recently read an article advising cancers to ‘not feel imprisoned by who we think we’re supposed to be,’ and that we ‘may have a difficult time seeing ourselves clearly or expressing ourselves the way we would like,’ during this period of retrograde. Moreover, it is suggested that we will “feel at odds with our external selves.” From now until the 31st, try and remember this when you feel down or when things get hard. And remember, this too shall pass. Love and light my fellow crabs.