Saturday, 24 October 2020

Knowing what you want

I would like you to come home earlier on weeknights, and I see how that might be difficult to schedule, but I have some ideas about how to help. The request I would like you to come home earlier is easier to swallow when it's sandwiched between understanding and an offer to help, as the first part lowers resistance, and the last part lets the person consider the tougher middle part with a sweet taste in his mouth. Use I Statements. Beginning statements with I (rather than you) is a hallmark, not to say cliche, of therapy-speak, but we suggest you don't knock it until you try it and see how effectively it can decrease defensiveness in others. How different would you feel if someone said to you, I get so frightened when you come home late. I can't stop all these terrible scenarios from running through my head, as opposed to, You are so inconsiderate coming home this late. Do you have any idea what you're putting me through? This idea of forging ties that go beyond one's borders has always been connected to Jupiter. Jupiter is often described as the planet of expansion in astrology. Astrologers say he makes things bigger--whether it's your fortunes, your expectations, your ego, or your thighs. But Jupiter doesn't expand just to expend, Jupiter expands in order to incorporate--like an empire. Empires have a nasty reputation nowadays because of their bloody history of military conquest and colonization, but they weren't all bad. Instead of razing the societies they conquered, they took them under their wing and incorporated them into a wider network of kingdoms and territories. Trade routes allowed for the intermixing of cultures, exposure to foreign ways of life, and the adoption of exotic beliefs that produced new religions, new ways of learning, and new ways of being. In many ways, your Jupiter encourages you to do the same thing. By getting you to embrace the world rather than judge it, Jupiter expands your horizons, diversifies your community, and broadens your outlook so that you become a more humane human being. Jupiter isn't always by your side. There are a number of key themes or emotional meanings in depression. Try to discover which of these emotional meanings apply to you. They aren't mutually exclusive, and there is some overlap between them.

As you read these, see what resonates internally with your own experience. Even if nothing does, remember it usually takes some time to discover the deeper meaning of depression since the causes are often unconscious. That's why it's very difficult to explore these on your own. It's far easier to do this with a guide--a depth psychotherapist who is well trained in working with the unconscious and can point out areas where your awareness is blocked. Let's discuss each in turn. Depression as a result of an inauthentic existence From the perspective of humanistic-existential psychology, depression results from an inauthentic life: not following your true calling, not actualizing your potential. Even You make me so frightened, while not explicitly insulting, is more accusatory than I feel frightened when . When you speak from your own experience, you can take responsibility for your own feelings and show your loved one how to do the same. I statements also help avoid name calling on both sides. You're a jerk for getting drunk at that party is more likely met with You're such a bummer that I can't help myself, and so goes the conversation down a painful and well-grooved path of insults and misunderstandings. Instead, I feel lonely when we're at a party and you drink that much might get a softer response and allow the conversation to continue in a positive direction. Use your awareness. Monitor yourself and give yourself permission to start over if you sense the conversation going off-track. Maintain awareness as you speak and listen, and observe your tone. It's okay to catch it slipping, apologize, and try to get it back. Communication with your loved one is not a test with a panel of judges about to hold up cards on your performance. That's because the planet travels outside the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which means that it can appear anywhere in your astrological chart. It might be in the same sign as yours or a sign that's completely opposite. Jupiter in the same sign as your Sun enriches.

Gifts and blessings are showered on you as long as you are true to yourself. Jupiter in the sign before or after your Sun sign misses the boat. This is the area of life where you have good fortune but may be slow to recognize it. Jupiter in the sign two signs before or after your Sun sign benefits. This Jupiter wants to see you succeed and has a lot of ideas about how to make that happen. Jupiter in the sign three signs before or after your Sun sign is your conscience. Sometimes goading, sometimes shaming, this Jupiter struggles to make you do the right thing. The existentialists emphasize how difficult it is to confront the basic issues of life: the existential anxiety of being alive, the freedom to choose and the fear of choosing the wrong things in life, the fact of our existential aloneness and how to create real intimacy with others, the inevitability of death. Rather than face these issues directly and fashion an authentic life that expresses the deeper self, most people escape into an inauthentic, off-the-shelf life of consumerism, mass entertainment, drugs and other addictions, workaholism, compulsive internet distraction, superficial relationships--in short, much of regular life for many people. Sooner or later this inauthentic escape stops working. The person feels an existential void and inner emptiness. The deeper levels of the self are not engaged with the world, and the result is anomie, listlessness, and depression. The solution is to deal with life head-on, for example, to accept and feel the anxiety that comes with needing to make choices and the fear of making wrong choices. To choose one thing means not choosing other things, which creates fear. In facing life's challenges directly, a person takes risks by making life choices that could fail and result in disappointment. But such failures do not collapse the self, they strengthen the self when dealt with and then let go of. Finding your true calling and true vocation is a key existential task necessary for a fulfilling life. If you lose track, get flustered, or misspeak, pause and try again. You might say, I'm struggling a bit here to be clear, and it's important to me. Let me start over.

If the conversation breaks down beyond your ability to turn it around, stop. You can say, This doesn't seem to be going in the helpful direction I was hoping to go, so I'm going to stop for now. Try to let go of any attachment to the outcome. Of course you care how the conversation goes, but remember NATO--Not Attached to The Outcome? In every communication, you can increase the likelihood of a positive interaction by doing your part. However, the outcome depends equally on the other person's part, which you cannot control. Positive communication skills will improve your odds of being heard and your loved one feeling understood, but for any given conversation, the outcome is not guaranteed. Jupiter in the sign four signs before or after your Sun sign blesses. This Jupiter provides the opportunities you need to go further than you would on your own. Jupiter in the sign five signs before or after your Sun sign is anyone's guess. Good fortune hurts as much as it helps and it's hard to tell if it makes things better or worse. Jupiter in the sign six signs away from your Sun sign is a total disconnect. You don't identify with this Jupiter in any way, so that what happens is it gets projected onto others--particularly in relationships or with close business associates. You may feel like it's the other person who's lucky, gets all the breaks, or steals your thunder. What if you have Jupiter retrograde? Jupiter retrogrades are famous for pulling the plug right when you're ready to make that big leap. It's not unlike the Millennium Falcon busting a gasket when trying to make its escape into light speed. Finding authentic relationships with others is another. Discovering your genuine interests and values and developing these is another. By pursuing your passions, life becomes intrinsically interesting, exciting, joyous, and meaningful.

Sadness at times is inevitable but depression is not. The psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. I have worked with many, many clients in this boat. An early coping strategy led them to choose what was safe rather than what they truly wanted. Often their fear is, If I really go for what I want and I don't get it, I'll be devastated. I can't handle that, so I'll play it safe and settle for what I can get. This strategy of settling for second or third best leads to diminished energy, whether it's in the choice of friends, a lover, a school, or a profession. Communication Traps As we saw in article 2, research has demonstrated that there are ways to interact with people that increase motivation and engagement . CRAFT research in particular has demonstrated that the following communication strategies don't work: nagging, pleading, accusing, threatening, yelling, and lecturing; From our own experience, though we don't know of any research evidence on this, we would add cursing and name-calling. Some of these forms of negative communication may have happened in your family countless times. And it's okay. With the stress and worry you're under, you have probably not felt very in control yourself. Again, it's okay. People mean well when they do these things, and not doing them is counterintuitive until you learn why and how not to. And still, positive communication probably won't come easily. You may not have Imperial fighters on your tail, but reversals in fortune are nothing new and often leave you scrambling for last-minute solutions to salvage the situation. You've gotten quite good at pulling rabbits out of a hat. Fortune is fickle, but you're not ready to forswear it.

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