It’s been A DAY. We’ve all been there. Maybe absolutely every interaction has left you feeling frustrated and wondering if either you’re crazy or perhaps the only sane person left on the planet. Perhaps every interaction has made you feel sadder and sadder as the day progresses. Or maybe instead of sad or frustrated, you have reacted with anger and find your fuse getting shorter and shorter. The common link in these examples is strong emotion, and in these specific situations, unpleasant emotions.
We’d all very much prefer to avoid unpleasantness but there is a reason for strong feeling beyond just being a reaction to circumstances. Our feelings are actually the most powerful tool we have for both understanding the nature of our own souls and for making positive changes in our lives. If used correctly, there is no force more powerful or more motivational in our lives than the force of our feelings, particularly the negative ones.
Thousands of years ago, the sages of Kabbalah understood the unique challenges and opportunities that each month provides us. Understanding the hidden forces that are at play during the month can help you use those forces positively toward your spiritual growth. For the month of Cancer, we get to go on an exploration of our emotions and learn how to use them, how to decipher what they are telling us, and how we can take empowering action from them.
For Cancer, let’s start by considering its symbol, the crab. Just like this little crustacean, Cancerians like to hide in their shell. It’s hard for them to show and express emotions not because they don’t have access to them; in fact it’s the opposite. It is because they feel them so strongly. It takes them time to feel safe enough to open up and share. However, once they do, they hold nothing back and wear their heart on their sleeve.
Every sign comes with its own unique set of strengths and challenges and Cancerians are no different. They can be perceived as being overly sensitive, easily offended, and are sometimes prone to self-pity. Because of their sentimentality, they can be considered weak. On the flipside, their full and deep emotional life allows them a deeper degree of empathy for others. When you are going through a hard time, a Cancer is the friend you want on your side. Their ability to be there for the people they love along with their strength and tenacity, make them fierce partners — no matter the dynamic.
Put simply: emotions are a very big aspect of what makes Cancers unique and thus what makes this month unique. For all of us, whether we are born in this month or not, we have the opportunity to see our emotions for the powerful tools that they are; signals from ourselves about when we are on track and when we need to course-correct.
Emotions can become our greatest asset in our spiritual growth and connection to the Creator when we know how to use them. They are like a giant feedback system; our body’s way of communicating with us. For example, unhappiness is often an indication of something needing to change, while happiness is an indication that we are on the right track. Analyzing our emotions from this point of view shifts us into a place where we can take action.
It works like this: throughout the day, notice when you’re feeling good. What thoughts or actions are behind your positive feelings? Conversely, notice when you are feeling negative emotions. What are the thoughts and actions behind them? If you can’t access them right away go back ten minutes. Was there a negative thought or experience that might have triggered the emotion? If you still can’t access it, go back two hours and so forth until you catch the thought. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer; it’s just an exploration. Just like a scientist collecting data. Once you have compiled the data, you can look for patterns, see where you are aligned, and also see where some changes need to be made.
This practice can be applied to any situation but is especially powerful in moments when we are feeling overwhelmed. An argument with a loved one or a difficult day at work can take us from joy to frustration in an instant. If and when this happens, bringing awareness to your emotions and collecting that data will help you to gain clarity, choose a new perspective, and make positive change.
When we are aware of our emotions and what they mean for us, we become co-pilots with them instead of being ruled by them, overwhelmed by them, or avoiding them altogether. Instead of seemingly random waves rolling in and out, they become the useful data that assists our growth and ultimately helps to strengthen our connection to the Creator. After all, it is our feelings of joy, peace, and excitement that let us know we’re connected to the Light.
That is the test, and it is the invitation of the month of Cancer. If you are stressed, sad, or fearful notice what actions or thoughts are behind those emotions and look at ways that you can shift. If you are happy and in joy, notice what you’re thinking, saying, or doing that is creating that happiness and invest in that.
By doing so, you’ll be on your way to a lifelong friendship with your emotions and a steady ability to reconnect to the Light in each and every moment.
Thought into Action
Take a few minutes every day to bring awareness to how you’re feeling. Notice how you spend your time, who you spend it with, and how your environment affects your mood.