With my natal Sun in opposition to Saturn, I am fully aware of my cautious and fearful disposition. Every time when this axis is activated by transits, something is sure to occur which will lead me to question myself (my natal Saturn in 2nd house). I'm likely to feel depressed and bereft of self-confidence. I then seek ways to boost my self-esteem. This is achieved by either sharing my feelings with a trusted friend, or, depending on the actual situation, I may attempt to prove my self-worth my gaining external recognition (i.e. studying for a certificate). Whatever I choose to do, it often involves seeking approval elsewhere. I've always attributed this tendency to the fact that I'm a perfectionist so when I am told I'm not up to par, I will find ways to rectify that. My natal Saturn is in Virgo.
I honestly cannot recall being a perfectionist as a child. It was not until transiting Saturn entered my first house when I finally met my 'Perfectionist' in the form of a work colleague. I didn't have much contact with her initially, but as transiting Saturn was slowly approaching my natal Saturn in my 2nd house (i.e. my first Saturn return), we became friends and I began to entrust her with my woes at work. However, gradually, I noticed how she would criticise and undermine me indirectly, so I was never sure if she was being malicious or I was being paranoid about it all. To cut a long story short, I ended up joining forces with other like-minded 'victims' of hers and moved on professionally by the time my first Saturn return came round.
In my next place of work, I found myself having judgmental thoughts on my new colleagues - just like the 'Perfectionist' I had met previously. I was forced to accept that, in me, there also lies a Perfectionist.
I have met many more Perfectionists since then. At least now, I'm recognising them as part of me. Every time when one appears, I will fervently try to do some inner work to make myself feel better. Every time, I thought I had 'sussed it out', but on encountering the next Perfectionist, I find myself thinking 'Oh no! Why do I feel so crap again? I thought I was over that!'
Today, I was rather inspired by a radio show, titled 'Creating a true emancipation from your past', hosted by Robert Ohotto, an American intuitive astrologer. (http://www.ohotto.com/radio/soul_connexions/# available until Monday 9th July 2012). Ohotto mentions the 'rubber band effect', where we might think we have conquered our problems, only to find ourselves getting annoyed when we land in yet another similar situation. The root of this tendency can be traced back to being a perfectionist. Ohotto suggests that it is the culture we are in that is wounding us (even our parents and their parents were under cultural influence, who then passed on their 'culturally-tainted wisdom' to us). Ohotto urges us to ask ourselves if we are 'shame-based driven' or 'self-love driven.' Are you losing weight following society's beauty guidelines or because you love yourself enough to work towards a healthier body? Every time when you say to yourself:
'I am not good enough because _________, therefore I must get rid of/heal from ___________,'
you are shaming yourself and attempting to 'fix' the problem, Perfectionist-style. Ohotto sums up the whole idea by saying that 'Emancipation from the past is about loving yourself forward instead of demanding perfectionism.'
In essence, it is OK to be less than perfect.
It is acceptable to give yourself a rest.
It is fine to give yourself a break and room to breath.
It is not sinful to 'tread water'.
Be kind to yourself. Be forgiving to yourself.
'You should lose weight.' Really? But I'm clinically healthy.
'You should be married by now.' Why? Just because it is culturally expected of me?
'You should find yourself a higher paid job.' But I'm happy where I am.
Whatever the claim, it has its roots culturally. Unfortunately, almost everyone on this planet is under the cultural spell. Many of us allow external criticisms and judgments to get the better of us and unleash the Perfectionist within. Being motivated to go after our goals has its advantages, but when it is having a debilitating effect on us physically and psychologically, we need to understand that those hurtful words were uttered due to our cultural upbringing. So instead of getting defensive, ask yourself what do YOU really want out of life? I wonder if the period when Venus was in retrograde (15th May to 26th June 2012) had brought you any insights on this matter?
What do you truly value?