Every few years or so I buy an exceptionally embarrassing (to me) self-help book, the type of book where I’d likely set myself on fire before I’d confidently display it on my bookshelf. The other day I was rearranging my books, looking for ones to donate and “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov fell out from behind a row of phenomenological philosophers. So I re-read it.
It didn’t take me long; those types of books rarely do. And, yes, I am a total book snob, but just for myself. I’m not judging others for what they read, only myself. Reading popular self-help books does not fit into my image of who I am. The funny thing is, though, truth is truth and it doesn’t matter where you find it. This book does present a truth, probably a lot of them even if they are not presented in ways that fit in with one’s Mercury (mode of communicating) or Mars (way of acting). Both my Mars and Mercury are watery and this is definitely a book for air and fire. But the pithy matter is the same, just presented in another way.
So what is that love advice? The whole book boils down to one thing, as do most books that present advice on love that amounts to anything of value: To have any hope of someone else valuing you, you must first value yourself. And you must ACT like you value yourself. This book is written in air and fire so I translated it to water, for a Scorpio Mars and a Pisces Mercury: If you want loyalty, be loyal first to yourself; if you want the faith and belief of another, have faith and believe in yourself. And you can’t just think it, you have to DO it. The majority of the text gives specific examples of how to manifest this in a dating setting. It comes from the position of “fake it till you make it.”
That’s an interesting concept and one I think holds true. Whoever we believe ourselves to be and ultimately how we appear will follow how we act. This will be true whether you decide to be who you truly are or if you pick a mask, a role, a personality you wish to emulate. If you pick a self that is not who you truly are, you become a narcissist. Really, that is all a narcissist is, someone who has committed so fully to a false self that it has solidified and they have lost contact with their genuine self.
If you look at this astrologically you can figure out who you truly are and live it by analyzing your natal chart, the tools you truly own. Being a narcissist, acting out an ideal chart you picked out for yourself, you don’t actually own the tools for the job. It’s like owning a saw and calling it a hammer, telling people it’s a hammer and trying to use it like a hammer. It’s just never going to work for you like a hammer would, and you lose out on effectively using the saw you were born with.
Use your chart to figure out what tools are really yours and how to use them. Learn to embrace who you are. There is no attractant like an acceptance and love of self. And if you’re not there yet, fake it till you make it. Faking a love of what is real about you is not destructive to your well-being in the way that loving something about yourself that is fake would be.
Judith Viorst wrote a poem about the real story of The Little Mermaid, not the Disney one, the one where she suffers, fails and dies:
But I have some advice for modern mermaids
Who wish to save great sorrow and trevail:
Don’t give up who you are for love of princes;
He might have liked me better with my tail.
What’s your best love advice?