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You and Your Relationships: How Much Is Seen? 

click to enlarge AMANDA PAINTER
  • Amanda Painter

We rarely let the people we are in relationships with know our full selves; there are always things about us that we prefer not to show others. Sometimes, we barely acknowledge these facets of ourselves to ourselves.

Have you ever told yourself that you are “sparing” your partner from your rough edges, your dark secrets and your “unacceptable” desires? Along those lines, do you carry around the belief that you are wholly unselfish toward the person with whom you’re in a relationship (or that you’ve been “the generous one” in the past)? If so, do you base that belief partly on the fact that you have not “imposed” the seemingly unpleasant or needy parts of yourself onto them?

Friday’s astrology features a pair of oppositions that are combining to bring your awareness to these dynamics and questions. The first is the Sun in Libra opposite Eris in Aries, exact at 9:13 am EDT. The second is Venus in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces, exact at 10:53 pm EDT.

In Sun-Eris, we get an image of your “relationship self” being confronted with some fragments of yourself that you have perhaps cast off, hiding them in the shadows. The things is, even the parts of ourselves that we try to hide or deny are still, in the end, part of what makes us who we are. If we do not consciously choose to acknowledge and integrate these identity fragments, sometimes they get our attention in less-than-healthy ways that stir up inner chaos.

So here’s another question: how can you bring these fragments of you to the table, in a way that lets you feel whole—rather than assigning these pieces of yourself onto a partner, or blaming them on your relationships? Or put another way, what are you afraid might happen if you let your partner see all of you? If roles were reversed, could you see and accept a lover or spouse in their full light and shadow?

Now let’s take a look at Venus opposite Neptune. According to astrologer Robert Hand, when transiting Venus opposes Neptune, it’s a good time to “make an effort to understand and accept the reality of your relationships.”

In other words, it is tempting right now to put on the rose-colored glasses about a love interest. In particular, Hand notes that a typical Neptunian illusion with this aspect is to imagine you are “the unselfish, giving one, who sacrifices everything for the other.” That is a game of ego and control, and has no constructive purpose in a healthy relationship.

Hand continues, “Even if you were that unselfish, it would not do anything positive to build up the relationship. You have real needs that must be met by any relationship, and if they are not met, the relationship will not work out.”

In other words, failure to acknowledge your needs and desires is just as incomplete, just as much a denial, as is hiding the parts of yourself that you do not like. In both cases, you rob yourself of an opportunity to stand whole in relationship to another person—and, perhaps even more importantly, you rob yourself of the opportunity to see yourself clearly as whole and worthy of being seen.

Now, I’m not pretending this is easy. It’s not—and I think we make it even harder through the increasing distance we’re putting between ourselves and the people we’d like to be close to, thanks to electronic devices. The more we shape our public image through social media, and the more we communicate via email and texting rather that in person (or even by phone), the more opportunities we have to hide the parts of ourselves we fear from those who might love us.

Sadly, that makes it easier to hide from ourselves, too.

The signs Aries and Libra bring together concepts of initiative and balance. So you have some extra push from the universe to take some initiative and bring some balance to how much of your full self you bring into your relationships.

Virgo and Pisces bring together concepts of service and belief. It may not be entirely clear right now whether you are genuinely serving love or serving your beliefs about love. One possible litmus test: ask yourself which way of being feels more vulnerable. Without vulnerability, there can be no true intimacy, honesty and healing.

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