Ghosts In The Brain – Ghost #1 – Never Good Enough

I’ve been avoiding finishing this post. It was the first ghost I tackled, but nothing I write about it is… good enough to post.

Then, last night, I opened a book I have on my desk – The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. I use it to swat flies, and call it The Art of Squashaction, shhh, don’t tell the author. I bought it years ago because I really enjoyed reading The 48 Laws of Power. I have a thing about power, and the right use of power. Which ties in with this particular ghost. On the page at which I opened the book, I read this:

“There are people who feel that they deserve nothing good in life, and who, unable to deal with success, sabotage themselves constantly. Be nice to them, admit that you admire them, and they are uncomfortable, since they feel that they cannot possibly match up to the ideal figure you have clearly imagined them to be. Such self-saboteurs do better with a little punishment; scold them, make them aware of their inadequacies. They feel they deserve such criticism and when it comes it is with a sense of relief.” ©Robert Greene.

My initial reaction was to laugh as it hit upon what I was cogitating over at the time. Then I bristled, and my hackles went up. I love to argue. Especially with books. There is a style of writing, most often used in instructions-for-life manuals such as this one, which is rather authoritarian, a bit pompous, and prone to giving the impression that not only is a special secret being imparted only to the reader, but that this secret is the truth, the ultimate truth. Master this secret and you will master the world!

I don’t want to be the master of the world, of others, I just want to master myself. That, to me, is where true power lies. Within. It has to be mastered because when we know how to use our inner power correctly we flourish, when we use it incorrectly, we end up abusing ourselves. Perhaps we have been taught to abuse ourselves by others, and we keep the system going until we snap out of the spell.

Never Good Enough is a spell, an incantation that repeats itself over and over. As a child I loved the story of Sleeping Beauty. I think I related subconsciously to the idea of being cursed as a baby by a wicked fairy godmother. My inner beauty was cursed to die, never to be seen, never to be shared. Luckily a good fairy godmother mitigated the effects of the curse by changing death to a deep 100 year sleep. Was that lucky. In some ways it is more painful, to know that there is beauty sleeping within, yet to never be able to wake it up, as that can only be done by a king’s son. How does that translate into real life. I used to long for someone to see the beauty within me, point it out to me, say this is your talent, this is your gift, then they would help me to wake it up and show me how to express it. But that never happened. In fact I felt that others were more concerned about making sure that the beauty remained in a permanent coma. Whenever I attempted to wake the beauty up, to express myself creatively, someone would always come down hard on me. Nothing I did was ever good enough. When I was a child, this was done deliberately. In later years, it was, for the most part, self-inflicted. But it wasn’t just people, sometimes life itself intervened. An event would occur which would need all my attention to deal with it, and so there was none left for waking sleeping beauty. She was better off sleeping anyway. That’s what I told myself. You see, the more she lay dormant, the more beautiful she became, and the idea of waking her up became less and less appealing. What if I woke her up and the 100 years caught up with her and she turned out to be shriveled and ugly. The illusion of having inner beauty would turn to dust. That is why, in many ways, it would have been better if she had died instead of been saved from death and put to sleep (strangely enough, a euphemism for death).

I can see the mark of this ghost, this spell, very clearly in my astrological chart, Saturn square Sun. Those who have Saturn squaring the Sun don’t feel the energy of the Sun strongly. The light is subdued, imprisoned by greyness. The Sun represents the ego in the chart, and Saturn is the stern taskmaster denying the ego. My Sun is in the 5th house of creativity. Usually this position is supposed to be a fantastic one to have, as it is the natural home of the Sun. I should, according to textbook astrology, be a powerhouse of creativity. But with Saturn squaring the Sun… Well, in theory Saturn is applying discipline to the Sun’s creativity, which should be a great partnership, as long as the discipline doesn’t crush the creativity before it has a chance to flower. There is a flip side to everything, including aspects in astrology. I suppose the trick with this aspect is to turn Saturn square Sun into Sun square Saturn. So that the ego is not crushed by discipline, but given a stable structure, a solid stage to stand on, from where it can perform its part. So, once my ego manages to escape from the prison of self-denial it may be disciplined enough to actually achieve something creatively.

Speaking of escaping from prison. I should point out that Pluto is a part of this astrological scenario. It trines my Sun. This makes a difference as to how I react to Saturn square Sun. Whenever the energy of my ego is crushed, it gets squeezed out and makes its escape from death via the line which connects the Sun to Pluto. Pluto, being in the first house of identity, takes what is left of my ego and resurrects it, albeit in a new shape and form. The old me may not have been good enough, but we can rebuild it into a new and improved me which may turn out to be good enough this time. Pluto’s intervention is vital. To me. To how I experience never feeling good enough. There is an edge to it. A sharp, slicing edge.

The words in that extract from The Art of Seduction are fairly accurate. I do have a hard time feeling that I deserve good things, but I don’t think that I deserve bad things either. Success does make me nervous, because it comes with a Sword of Damocles as part of the package. I do practice a certain amount of self-sabotage, but it is not constant, and sometimes it releases me from something I didn’t really want to do so I can pursue something I do want to do. I find compliments uncomfortable, mainly because they are similar to gifts. They sometimes have hidden strings attached to them, as demonstrated by the advice offered in the rest of the book which encourages using compliments as well as criticism to manipulate others. No one can match up to another person’s ideal of them. And if you can, it’s a gilded cage. But I am not interested in being who someone else wants me to be (see Ghost #5).

In spite of the degree of accuracy to those words in the extract… If someone played the game Robert Greene suggests with me… Let’s just say that when you are as aware of your own weaknesses as I am of mine, it makes you particularly good at spotting the weaknesses of others. There is power in powerlessness. I make every effort not to abuse the power I do have, just don’t tempt me to mess with you by messing with me. Saturn has taught me a very harsh lesson in self-discipline. Pluto has taught me how to free myself from the chains of Saturn. I have self control, but sometimes, on special occasions, I give it the day off.

And, on a final note, just because I think what I do is never good enough, does not mean I don’t think it’s good😉

So, Anyone one else have this sort of a ghost? Or issues with Saturn?