self-compassion

Self-Esteem

May apply to Ascendant or sun as well. Aspects to the sun & Venus matter.


ARIES VENUS

Self-esteem is generally fragile. They seem confident and self-assured, but on the inside, their opinion of themselves fluctuates wildly, ranging from sheer conceit to self-loathing. They need validation from others, and if they’re deprived of that, there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding their value. They judge themselves harshly and it’s difficult to recover from embarrassment.

Self-esteem is increased by victory; coming in first place or being the best; encouragement; feelings of strength, bravery, and capability; independence; proving themselves (especially to themselves); learning from mistakes/defeat.


TAURUS VENUS

Self-esteem is generally steady. They’re humble and down-to-earth about themselves, with a very realistic opinion of their worth. They can have difficulty with feeling secure inside in the beginning of their lives, but once they have a solid grasp on what makes them unique and valuable, nothing can shake their confidence, and they’ll seldom depend on others to define them.

Self-esteem is increased by self-acceptance; surrounding themselves with pleasant possessions & people; being spoiled/pampered; taking time to relax & replenish their energy; low stress; aesthetic beauty; feeling natural/elegant.


GEMINI VENUS

Self-esteem is generally erratic. Their opinion of themselves fluctuates with their mood & the context. They easily become dissatisfied with the state of themselves due to their many various interests, which leads to inconsistent admiration and consequentially inconsistent aspirations. Their confidence relies on the “facts” about their beauty, accomplishments, etc.

Self-esteem is increased by satisfying details; being able to keep up with themselves; freedom to develop & change; variety & constant stimulation; having options; engaging people; being able to express their thoughts.


CANCER VENUS

Self-esteem is generally introspective. Their confidence can be unstable and inhibited, particularly when they’re young, but they tend to be more secure in themselves once they have a good awareness of their nature/identity. Their value must be discovered before they can feel or appreciate it, and it may take a long time for them to do so if they’re on their own in that endeavor.

Self-esteem is increased by support; sympathetic people; reassurance; emotional openness, catharsis; close loved ones, people who are interested in being intimate with them; positive reactions; healthy expression of self.


LEO VENUS

Self-esteem is generally glowy. They radiate confidence and pride; they’re typically secure within themselves, knowing their value & easily sharing it with others. If they doubt themselves, it’s because something external is obscuring their inner light – true self-value shines boundlessly from inside them and it’s invincible once they claim it and learn how to own it intrinsically.

Self-esteem is increased by validation; praise; attention; compliments; popularity; affection; positive, enjoyable experiences; creativity; inspiration; being received well; self-expression; grand gestures of love & adoration.


VIRGO VENUS

Self-esteem is generally weary. They can be extremely insecure, lacking confidence due to trying too hard to be worthy of it. They’re harshly critical of themselves and constantly strive to be beautiful and valuable, which takes its toll on their very essence – they tend to shrink further into themselves the more distance they feel stands in the way of what they intend to be.

Self-esteem is increased by making progress, noticing positive results of their efforts; good health & hygiene; appreciation; acknowledgement; feeling able, organized, and useful; being thanked; admiration; being understood.


LIBRA VENUS

Self-esteem is generally buoyant. Their confidence fluctuates erratically, yet gracefully; the lows are taken in stride and the highs are positively elating. They reflect the opinions of others and tend to take things very personally but they typically convince themselves that their insecurities are silly, and return to airy self-acceptance, which can easily turn into oblivious vanity.

Self-esteem is increased by acceptance; integration; inclusion; positive social interaction; peaceful bonds; being well-liked; having fashionable interests & friends; being talked about; attracting & being interesting to others; romance.


SCORPIO VENUS

Self-esteem is generally all or nothing. They’re very cutthroat in the inner competition to be better than they used to be and they can sink into terrifying depths of self-hatred if they fail themselves. If they achieve what they aspire for, they can become obnoxiously conceited. There is rarely a balance – it goes from one extreme to the other very easily (but it’s not exactly unstable).

Self-esteem is increased by distance or extreme closeness; knowing other people intimately; being mysterious; having an impact on others; loyalty; deep connections; intensity; becoming stronger after being hurt; being guarded.


SAGITTARIUS VENUS

Self-esteem is generally carefree. They always try to let go of their insecurities. This often leads to arrogance and vanity, since they sometimes their desperate aversion to being weighed down by negative feelings can result in being carried away by positive ones. They tell themselves a lot of things “don’t matter” because they don’t want to face the discomfort of low self-value.

Self-esteem is increased by enjoyable distractions; trying new things; adventure; discovery; realizations; feeling wise and untamed; being free to do what they wish & make their own decisions; getting away with bad behavior.


CAPRICORN VENUS

Self-esteem is generally brutal. They lack self-compassion and they’re critical of themselves, but they’re also down-to-earth and pragmatic about their value. Self-hatred motivates them. They use their insecurities to their own advantage, to improve themselves, even if it’s unhealthy or painful. Sometimes it works too well & they become conceited. Other times, they end up hurting themselves.

Self-esteem is increased by success; accomplishments; respect; having influence and authority; being self-sufficient; solving their own problems; having answers; leading; control; wealth; being considered important.


AQUARIUS VENUS

Self-esteem is generally contrary. They’re very concerned with what they’re not and this is how they discover their value – by resisting insecurity & criticism of all kinds and trying to prove the opposite. They do this to positive things too sometimes; they’re essentially playing devil’s advocate when it comes to their value, and that’s where they find equilibrium between the inner & the outer.

Self-esteem is increased by breaking rules; being unpredictable; challenging standards & assumptions; being given the space to openly express & define themselves; changing the minds of others; inspiring others; being a role model.


PISCES VENUS

Self-esteem is generally amorphous. They vaguely absorb both positive and negative perspectives on who they are, and the result is fluid confidence that relies on their emotional state (and the emotional states of those who surround them). They’re typically unaware of the “truth” about themselves so they never feel secure in any opinion they form about their worth/beauty/etc.

Self-esteem is increased by fantasy; absorbing positivity; devotion; sacrifice; powerful emotional experiences & connections; artistic expression; mutual reflection of beauty; being explained; poetic love, “magical” relationships.

Kiss your own fingertips, and hug your own curves. You are made of waves and honey and spicy pepper when it’s necessary. You ARE a goddess, I hope you haven’t forgotten.
—  Emery Allen
Ways to Self-Soothe

In addition to the traditional ways to self-soothe, such as taking a bath, reading a book, aromatherapy, and etc, here are some other tips to build your self-soothing skills:

1. Create a calm, loving voice inside of you that is unconditionally accepting. It may help to think of a best friend, a co-worker, your therapist, or even someone you met in passing. Imagine their energy and presence, take it into yourself, and think of what they would say about the situation.

2. Physically hug, rub, or wrap yourself with something comfortable (i.e., a soft blanket).

3. Tell yourself, over and over, “You’re going to be okay,” “You’ve been through worse and survived. You’re living proof you’ll get through this,” or “This too shall pass.” 

4. In response to criticism, you can tell yourself, “It’s okay to not be perfect,” “I am good just the way I am,” or “We are all imperfect, and so am I.”

5. Once you feel a little more calm, begin asking yourself what it is you need at this moment. Your needs are important, especially in times of distress. It may be that the little voice inside you says you need to go for a walk, or to hug yourself a little longer, or for you to continue saying comforting words. Whatever it is you need, give yourself that. And if you have trouble hearing your needs, continue to soothe or hug yourself in the midst of your emotions.

6. Remind yourself that everything in life is impermanent. No exceptions. So what you’re going through now will eventually shift and change. Allow yourself to go through the emotions, surfing the waves with the board of your self-compassion. And soon you’ll find yourself somewhere new.

12 Steps For Self Care

1. If it feels wrong, don’t do it
2. Say exactly what you mean
3. Don’t be a people pleaser
4. Trust your instincts
5. Never speak bad about yourself
6. Never give up on your dreams
7. Don’t be afraid to say “no”
8. Don’t be afraid to say “yes”
9. Be KIND to yourself
10. Let go of what you can’t control
11. Stay away from drama & negativity
12. LOVE

If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.
—  Buddha
Beating yourself up

A counselor who doesn’t know my past very well said to me yesterday, “You’re human. You make mistakes. Nobody’s going to slap you upside the head if you mess up,” and the bluntness of those words made me realize that I’ve been doing that. In the absence of parents who physically hurt me when I did something “wrong,” I’ve been beating myself up emotionally, telling myself I’m a “bad person” or other such rubbish.

You’re human. You make mistakes. That’s okay. Nobody ever should have beat you up for it. Don’t you beat yourself up for it, either, or you’re just saying that what they did to you was right. It wasn’t.

It wasn’t.

It really really wasn’t.

Work on believing that in your heart. That’s what I’m trying to do. And I’m trying to learn to be kinder to myself, just like they should have been.

Journal Prompts for Self-Compassion

From various internet sites

1.       Write about yourself as if you were describing a character in a book. Highlight sections that give negative descriptions and ask yourself whether this is how others see you or how you see yourself. Avoid incorporating personal information or anything that would not be evident to someone describing you from brief observation. Reflect on the differences between this description and the way you actually feel about yourself. 

2.      Think of someone you know and admire. Write down the things that make them less than perfect. Highlight their flaws and vices and reflect on why you are able to admire them despite these shortcomings. You may find that they are a lot more flawed than you expected, but for different reasons than yourself. You may also find that you succeed in many of the areas where they fail. Write a bit about why you forgive their flaws but have trouble forgiving your own. 

3.      Write double spaced and let it all out. Write about why you’re feeling sad, how it feels, when it started. Write about yourself and the things you’re struggling with. Challenge yourself to write the most personal things that are troubling you, dig deeply and don’t censor yourself. With a different coloured pen, write in the lines you skipped by double spacing. Answer the line above as though a friend had confessed it to you and asked for help. Give advice, regardless of how feeble. Be as kind in your responses as you would be to a friend going through trouble. Don’t criticize, console. Tell yourself it will be alright. You might find that it’s easier to forgive when it feels like you’re forgiving someone else. 

4.      Answer the following questions as objectively as possible: 

Why do you criticize yourself and your life more than you criticize other people?

What is the standard you’re holding yourself against? Would you hold anyone else up to that standard? If no, then why? Is it an impossible standard?

Does anyone have all the positive qualities that you have, as well as the ones you wish you had? 

How many of your own qualities might be envied by others?  

What would you tell someone who wishes they had your positive qualities instead of their own?

5.      List the things that make you happy. Don’t include people you can’t see, things you can’t have, or places you can’t go. Only list things that are conceivably available at any time. Look back on this list next time you’re bored, sad, or lonely and try to surround yourself with the things you have listed. Focus on how happy you are that you have these things in your life, and don’t let yourself stomp out the warm feeling.

6.      When I’m in pain — physical or emotional — the kindest thing I can do for myself is…

7.      Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust.

8.      What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? What would that look like? How can you act on these things whether you do or don’t?

9.      Name a compassionate way you’ve supported a friend recently. Then write down how you can do the same for yourself.

10.  Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to.

11.   Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to.

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small.  My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.
—  Kim McMilllen
The Sun, the Moon and the Planets: meaning

The Sun: represents the essence of your self, your will, your individuality, your vitality and your desire for power. More than any other planet, it represents who you are. It also symbolizes man in general.

The Moon: represents your emotions, your subconscious, your instincts, your habits and your memory. It also represents women in general.

Mercury: symbolizes your communication style, your reasoning skills, and the way you think.

Venus: represents the areas of your life concerned with love, seduction, beauty, material goods and the arts.

Mars: is the planet of desire and aggression. It represents your physical energy, your combativeness, your spirit of enterprise and your courage.

Jupiter: is the planet of expansion and good fortune. It represents growth, prosperity, abundance, wisdom, generosity and higher consciousness. Jupiter’s position in the sky map indicates where you are lucky.

Saturn: represents limitation, restriction, prudence, organization, endurance and discipline. It tells you where you have to deal with your fears - and also where you have ambition.

Uranus: represents originality, independence, spirit of rebellion, inventiveness, insight and all that is not foreseen.

Neptune: represents spirituality, dreams, psychic abilities, intuition, disintegration, compassion, self-sacrifice, deceit and illusion.

Pluto: represents elimination, destruction, regeneration, renewal and transformation.

The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.
—  Pema Chodron