YOU KNOW the saying “You are a combination of the 5 people you spend the most time with?” That also means that many times, when our closest friends and loved ones get under our skin, it’s an indication of something deeper going on within ourselves. Astrologer (and major-league WANT Woman) Danielle Beinstein is the co-founder of the New Moon Circle in Venice Beach, CA, which gives women a sacred space to set intentions, form bonds, and heal their lives from the inside out. Today, I’ve asked Danielle to shed some wisdom on the power of female friendships, how to respond when you feel yourself being triggered, and why the people you surround yourself with are way more than just your “squad” – they’re your mirrors.
Growing up, I always had a best friend. I was the emotional caretaker, notoriously the less popular of the duo with a penchant for psychoanalyzing, babysitting and distributing candy from my locker (true story) to brighten people’s day (and, eek, to get people to like me). I supported my friends, while shunning the spotlight.
I was good at this – at least for a while. But something inside me (likely propelled by my Venus in Leo, which craves attention) felt unfulfilled and unseen. I became restless.
And so I did what I thought I had to do: I staged a break-up and left for greener pastures. This is the classic story, right? The sidekick emerges from the sidelines, set aglow.
Except not so much. At least not in my case. Because I came up against myself. And it wasn’t pretty.
We seem to be at a cultural peak of female friendships. Much has been touted about Taylor Swift’s parading her besties on stage, for her dreamlike posse. In this post-Sex and The City age, we’re championing friendship more than ever, advertising them like the latest lipstick on glossy, manicured pages. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a very good thing. Female friendships are getting their due.
And yet, sometimes it feels almost cartoonish. After all, women are emotional creatures. We rub off on one other. We wrestle with our accomplishments – or lack thereof. We experience envy, question ourselves and our choices. We can be catty and gossipy. We get triggered.
In short, we’re human.
And our humanness very often bleeds into and onto our friendships.
Female friendships are complex. In order to really work, they require a constant give and take. They require honest self-inquiry and self-assessment. They require us to grow up. Because the truth is that what annoys us or irritates us in another – even in our dearest relationships– is very often reflecting our own unconscious patterning back to us.
In astrology, the 7th house is associated with one-on-one partnerships, marriages and open enemies. So often clients will come to me asking about their romantic relationships – why they’re attracted to certain partners. And it’s always in there. But if we look closer, we often find the same characteristics will apply to our close friends (or open enemies) as well. We’re drawn to others for a reason – because they have something to teach us, to show us, regardless of whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, and whether the material is positive or negative.
After all, relationships are mirrors – and we may not always like what we see. -Dani Beinstein Click To Tweet
When I was younger, for example, I would complain that my friends were withholding, that they took, freely, without returning in kind. I felt bereft, convinced everyone was somehow better than me, my negative self-talk in full effect, subversively driving my every action. But as I matured, I realized that, in fact, I had been doing this to myself. I had been denying myself love, affection and attention. I had rejected myself. My friendships were simply showcasing my own self-worth, my own lack of self-esteem.
I had to own my projections and work, tirelessly, on filling my own cup. I stopped blaming others for my state. I practiced self care, set boundaries (even when it made me physically ill) and connected to my inner child inside, giving her stifled and contracted voice a safe and sacred outlet. I had to let her breathe.
And now, my life is, ironically, coming full circle. I am, of all things, making a career as the supportive champion of others (mostly women). I have come to own my inherent worth and thus can meet my friends from a place of wholeness and completeness. And when I am triggered, we talk about it – it’s out on the table and becomes an opportunity for intimacy and healing.
In other words, it’s real.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
DANIELLE’s 5 TIPS FOR WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF TRIGGERED:
Take a Breath. Observe the situation. Proceed.
Listen with your heart. We are quick to give advice, to fix. But pause. Really listen underneath the words. What are they trying to convey? What is that they’re really trying to say?
Why is this really bothering me? What is this revealing to me about me? Do I do this? Think this? Feel this?
Accept it – from a neutral place. Without judgment. This is key. When we judge something, we lock it into place. We all have flaws and imperfections. We’re all human.
Forgiveness. Of others. But more importantly, forgive yourself. We’re all here to grow and learn. What would be the point of being on earth if we were perfect?
What would be the point of being on earth if we were perfect? -Danielle Beinstein Click To Tweet
Loved this piece? Me, too. Tune in to the WANTcast next week to hear Dani and I talk beauty standards, pop culture, and the journey that lead her to the unconventional career path that turned out to be right where she belongs.
(…plus a giveaway!)
photo credit: kathryn page