For me, Mercury retrograde is a time of turning inward, a time of reflection. This time, Mercury has caused me to think about how we communicate (well, why not, since Mercury has to do with communication).
We always seem to be so focused on communicating with the outside world – being understood, getting the answers we need, being “politically” correct. How often do we really stop to think how we communicate with ourselves or even if we do? Most of us are so focused outward that we aren’t even consciously aware of the thoughts that stream across our minds on a daily basis, let alone a moment by moment basis.
We’re told people who talk to themselves are “troubled” if not downright crazy. So why would you want to do that? More importantly, why would you ever admit it, if you did? Nope. Don’t want to go there. People will think I’m crazy. So we pay even less attention to our own thoughts and feelings.
Truth be told, unless you have some good, clear communication and understanding going on with yourself, there’s slim chance that you’re communicating well with the outside world. So, why do we take great pains to avoid paying attention to our thoughts and feelings? Why do we seldom, if ever, sit down and get to know ourselves through conscious conversation and awareness of what we do truly think and feel about us and the lives we are living?
Perhaps the discovery of our own personal truth versus the “truth” we are programmed to live in the outside world is the reason. Facing how we really think and feel about life, what our real hopes and dreams are, can cause great conflict with what we have been taught about what is expected of us and what is “acceptable.”
I’ve known people, and even been one of those people, who will have the TV on, a radio or other music playing while talking on the phone just to avoid hearing their own thoughts. There are others, of which I was also one of these at one time, who refuse to spend any time alone. Being with people they don’t know or don’t like is better than being alone with themselves and their thoughts. What could possibly be so scary about being alone in a quiet place that we avoid it like the plague?
The answer…self-discovery. The prospect of finding out who you really are, what you really think, how you truly feel scares the crap out of some of us. What’s really sad is that’s exactly what we need to do. Each and everyone of us needs to take that journey within, meeting and getting to know the resident of the physical body we’re walking around in, in this sojourn. That includes dialogue…LOTS of dialogue…asking yourself how you feel, what you think and then getting down to the details about your life – past, present and future.
I’ve always found it interesting that even our emotions are all spent in outward motion. People make us happy, make us sad, make us feel loved, even hurt us. What about us? What do we do for ourselves emotionally? How do we make us feel? Why do we rely on the external world and those who populate it for our happiness and to blame when we aren’t happy?
Truthfully, it’s because we’ve been told that’s the way it is. Even more truthfully, how can you count on someone else to make you happy if you haven’t taken the time to find out what really makes you happy? How can you blame someone for making you sad, angry or hurting you if you haven’t taken the time to discover what is really behind those feelings? It just seems easier to hand the responsibility for our emotional welfare over to others than to take the responsibility ourselves by really getting to know ourselves.
Talking to and with yourself isn’t crazy. Far from it. It’s probably the sanest thing you can do for yourself. Opening up a dialog with yourself can be an amazing revelation that both enlightens and empowers you. Since so many of us have avoided it for so long, there’s lots and lots of room for growth, for discovery, for healing, and for awakening.
When you begin to understand and realize what your personal truths are, there also eventually comes a better understanding of the outside world , especially the people that you interact with on a regular basis and even those who have little or no contact with at all. The horrendous “fog” you feel you’ve been living in begins to lift. Things become much clearer.
I’m not saying this happens overnight. After all, you’ve probably spent a lot of years in that “fog”. It will happen though, trust me. As the old, worn-out saying goes, “Been there, done that.” I’m still working on it, but life is truly clearer, more understandable and I have more understanding and compassion for my fellow travelers – some of whom are coming out of that “fog” and others who have no idea the “fog” engulfs them.
One other side benefit of this also has to do with communication. There comes a point when you begin to realize that the times you have felt, and may still feel, people don’t understand you, isn’t really about you. Because of the difference we have in our life experiences, the words we speak to others may have one meaning for us and another to whom we are speaking them. Huh? Words are words, right? As logical as that sounds, the answer is “no”. Words and phrases that we have lived with all our lives, and whose meaning is perfectly clear to us, can mean something totally different to someone else, thus creating a gap in communication resulting in misunderstanding.
It took me years to realize this. What was obvious to me would get me the strangest looks from people. At times, it was almost like I was speaking a foreign language. It was only through my journeys inward and the accompanying dialog with myself, that I realized there was miscommunication going on. It wasn’t that people were purposely ignoring me, blowing me off, or discounting what I was saying. They didn’t get what I was saying! I would have continued to take offense, think myself dumb or unworthy if I hadn’t started checking into my own internal thoughts and feelings. It gave me a better perspective of communication in the outside world and better tools to communicate there.
It is so true that if we want to change our world we must change ourselves. Start today. Have that beginning conversation with yourself. Get to know the person within and your world outside will change in so many wonderful ways!