I was feeling very vulnerable last week, struggling with feeling too open and too emotionally raw. You know those times when you feel too tender, too fragile, when just about anything can set you over the edge? I was on that edge.
Then I watched Lady Gaga’s new documentary 5’2”. I was immediately struck by her rare vulnerability. When she hurt, she openly wept; when she felt raw and messy, she let everyone know; when she accidentally hit her producer’s car on the day she was recording with Florence (of Florence + the Machine), she shared how upset she was about that, how exhausted she was, apologized profusely. She cried with her fans, cried when her manager called her with news about her cancer. She fell apart while receiving myriad treatments for a debilitating chronic pain condition (while a make-up artist tried to pull her face together for an interview happening minutes later). She allowed others to witness what she was feeling. No matter what was going on around her.
I walked away with a new heroine, vowing to be even more real than I already am, more vulnerable, expressive, more truthful – no matter how messy that looks. Because, frankly, our deepest source of strength is being true to our self-experience – in entirety.
We’re used to thinking that being a rock star is about projecting a perfected, controlled image (think: Beyonce. In the documentary Gaga makes a joke that every time she sees Beyonce and Jay-Z out she’s doing something unlady-like; she imagines Beyonce’s wondering how Gaga’s pulling this rock star thing off). I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone, rock star or no, more authentic than Gaga.
And this fear of being perceived as too messy, imperfect or emotionally vulnerable struck me as a woman’s issue: All this focus on who we are to others (Libra) versus who we are (Aries).
How often we censor our true, raw experience because we think it makes us weak, crazy, too emotional, when it’s actually refusing the whole truth of our real experience that weakens us. When we’re communicating our needs and feelings, when we’re in our raw honest truth it’s: diva behavior, or “that time of the month”, “bitchiness” “selfish”. So we don’t show up fully. We gloss over our feelings, or intellectualize them, instead of really feeling them.
Or do we go with feeling and sharing what we feel, trusting that those around us can take it?
We aren’t born afraid to be our selves. We aren’t born fearing what other people will do or say in response to us, what their reaction will be. It is learned behavior. It can be scary to be ourselves–so real, so aligned, so honest–because it pushes other people’s buttons.
Because real-ness is scary to those who can’t be real in their own lives.
Authenticity is something to reject for those repressing the their truth.
Honesty is threatening to those who are unwilling to honestly look at their self.
I’ve seen this over and over. The more authentic and aligned I get, the more my alignment pushes buttons of those who are not. It’s like a freaky circus machine; I show up and like clockwork, I get the experience of learning exactly where another is out of alignment in their self. I used to let what they couldn’t handle give me pause about sharing my self. Until I learned that is not feedback about what I should or shouldn’t share– it’s feedback on who and where they are.
It is never wrong to stand in truth, to show up as how and who you are, to fall apart, if needed. Unlike rock stars, we don’t have people who are paid to stroke our Ego, pet our head soothingly and tell us what we want to hear when we want it. They will have their own reactions, and sometimes that hurts in the exact place we’re endeavoring to be so open – our raw, real, vulnerable heart.
The truth is: some people can’t handle the truth. That’s their problem, not yours. But it’s okay to protect your self if you’re feeling too open. Sometimes that means giving others the “what I tell my mom” version of your emotional well-being. Or texting news that you know someone will have a reaction around, giving them a chance to process their own feelings about it, first, instead of projecting those onto you, initially. This is the right use of Libra’s sensitive empathic energies (versus being non-responsive, non-confrontational, passive or avoidant).
As the Libra Sun opposes the Aries Moon, your authenticity, honesty and real-ness is bound to meet a reaction from others. Now is not the time for gilding the truth, or avoiding it, but for strategizing the best, most compassionate, way for you to stay aligned. Every warrior needs a strategy. Try: looking out for you. Take care of what you need. Put your self first.
In ancient Astrology, Aries is the God-head, holding our Divine nature. In this age of constant distraction, divisiveness, when people feel entitled to share their opinion over just about everything, it’s a good thing to keep bringing your energy and focus back to you — what you want, need, feel, like — and what you do not (just as important). More fully inhabiting the central I AM (God/Goddess) space, is the best defense we have against swirling energies, being thrown off center.
And there may be plenty we do not like. Saturn is square Venus and Mars in Virgo at this lunation. Princess and the Pea, much? We might find our selves feeling ultra sensitive and passionate about issues that, to others, may not seem like a big deal. But it is to us. And that’s ripe for exploration.
Lady Gaga is an Aries with ruling planet Mars joined Neptune. I’d say she knows a bit about holding center during chaotic, big energies. One of my favorite lines in the movie occurs when she’s giving instructions to her dancers, before her big Super Bowl performance. She says, “This is the stamina run. This is when you think you can’t, and you think you need to take an extra breath here or there. You don’t. You push through it, right? You’ve got to maintain your own sense of your Spirit. So when you’re out there, focus on you. Keep the focus on you. It can get very distracting out there with everything going on. This one is about staying grounded and biting it hard.”
This strikes me as sage advice for Aries Full Moon, when emotions and temperatures run hot and high. Things… other people, media noise, little emergencies, world events… can get distracting out there. Keep the focus on you. This one is about staying grounded -and biting it hard.
<3<3<3 Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you!
It’s interesting that a woman of color seems to be the consistent image used for Aries (Moon) posts. I am seeing this consistency with other Caucasian female astrologers during this transit, but somehow I am getting this sense that it’s not just this time. . It’s funny how it’s come to my conscious awareness, n-o-w. (Perhaps my progressed Aries Moon & I am a woman of color). What’s your thoughts on that Jessica? Why or what led you to choose a Black woman as the image for this post. Was it unconscious or a blend of both? I am curious and eager to explore what seems like an unconscious gesture or act. Aries (Moon) can conjure many other symbols. But why a melaninated woman? I look forward to your response.
Jessica Shepherd says
I cannot comment for other astrologers, only for myself. It was not an unconscious choice, Surya. For several months now I have intentionally sought out images of women who are non-white, mature, or somehow divergent from mainstream stock photo images. It’s hard! When I saw this picture, I connected with it, it made me smile, it spoke to the theme and I went with it. I’m becoming more intentional around diversity in imagery -finding non-white, mature women in stock photography has been notoriously difficult. I hope this changes.
Interestingly, I was initially reproached by another commenter for being for (negatively) comparing Beyonce to Gaga in this article. The implication was that I wasn’t valuing the strong, black woman. I wasn’t, I was comparing archetypal styles, not performers (I love Beyonce). This is the first time I’ve ever been accused of such and it struck me as timely, too.
I think racial awareness and equity is up for all of us.
I just have to say that an hour before I saw this featured on “mystic mamma”, I journaled one poem about authenticity and one about honesty. It was very synchronous with this insight which featured those 2 themes quite prominently. Thank you for reminding me that I am connected deeply to this earth and the moon <3
love the photograph! I really feel that way a lot – I work with younger people, and while I feel sensitive to their situations, I don’t feel they care in the slightest about my experience, my past, or how I see things (“you don’t know how to use Facebook?”) But this lady says it all – from her experience, but she also speaks for mine. Thank you!
I really needed to read this article. Thank you so much for writing it.