I think I’ve talked about elemental make-up of personalities before here. In case not, in alignment with my spirituality, we’re all made up of different quantities of the 5 elements (air, earth, fire, water, spirit). A lot of us have more of one (or more) elements than the others and some of us have little to (virtually) none of a particular element. My strongest element (the one I have the most of) is water. The four basic elements have upright and contrary forms. One of the things I’ve been trying to work on recently is “getting my shit on straight”, as the Momma would say, about the different associations of these forms of the elements. My teacher and beloved gave me a technique to assist me with this by telling me that each element has a key word: air = think, earth = have, fire = do, water = feel (spirit = be). Upright water is emotionality, intuition, psychic abilities, sensitivity, empathy, sympathy, love, gentleness, sensuality, kindness, etc. Contrary water, on the other hand, is moodiness, over-emotionality, capriciousness, sentimentality (of the negative variety), depression, insensitivity or hypersensitivity, emotional illiteracy, etc. Whenever I get stressed or upset, my water usually initially manifests as contrary and, if I don’t tend to it, translates into contrary fire (selfishness, egocentricity, impulsivity, irritability, aggression, ruthlessness, stubbornness, inflexibility, compulsivity, frustration, etc.). You can imagine the mess I can create.
One of the things that I decided I needed to focus on is catching myself when I was still in water and articulate my feelings before they got out of hand. Or, recognize if I’ve already moved on to contrary fire, right it and right my water. Yesterday evening was one of my first tests at this since deciding to work on it, and although I thought I did a decent job in the moment initially of expressing my feelings from a place of upright water, after I spoke what I wanted to say and was listening to the response, I soon realized that I had a lot of work to do. It took a lot for me to even be able to calmly state what had been bothering me which I think I managed to do while owning that my experience was my perception and not reality. It was when it came time to listen that I began struggling. I had been focusing so much on what I wanted to say and trying to make my water upright in that regard that I neglected to 1) bring in some air to help me think more logically and clearly, and 2) right my contrary fire. After listening to the valid and logical response given to me offering another perspective, I felt that a part of me wasn’t ready to let go of my feelings of hurt. Though I recognized this, I didn’t have the presence to be able to do something about it. I’m not sure what I had been expecting (my ego is chiming in – applause, concession, etc. – gulp. Eek…Yup, I can own that), but it became clear to me that I hadn’t entered the conversation with my goal being to seek a resolution. I had still been all contrary fire and water no matter how clear I thought I was able to articulate my feelings – it was all about me.
I accept that I’m in a place right now where I have a good bit of work to do. I intend to not always be here. I intend to continue working on this. I intend to monitor my energy and discern whether I’m coming from a place of upright or contrary water or fire. I intend to have the presence of mind in the middle of these kind of situations to be able to see where I am, own it, and, if necessary, ask for help or postpone any discussions until I can get my shit on straight.