November 17, 2016 Less Wood, More Earth Will Help Caregiver
Dear Vicki: I’m an Earth with a Metal secondary married to a Fire guy whose secondary is Earth. We have been married for 14 years, but have been struggling for the last few. Due to my husband’s head injuries, I’ve been the sole provider and caregiver for the last 10 years. My Earth tendencies for the caregiving and my Metal control and structure made this work for us in the beginning. But for several years now I’ve been burned out, which has led to health issues of my own. I’m struggling with anger and resentment towards my mate and frustration with my own health. I feel incredibility under appreciated because my husband fails to grasp the overwhelming stress I deal with and how this stress affects me. I’ve been working on making time for myself to regain my health, and it has worked; I am getting better. But I still have the anger and resentment. My husband tries, but he fails to understand all that is going on. How do I get over being so angry and resentful regarding my situation? Signed: Angry in Anaheim
Dear Angry: Bless you for all that you’re dealing with in your life. Caring for an incapacitated loved one is never easy. And the fact that it’s your partner, the person you would normally turn to for love and support, makes it doubly difficult. Our ability to do this kind of thing comes from our Earth. That’s where compassion and caring sit, and no doubt you have drawn on these feelings many times over the past several years. The fact that you are a primary Earth is very likely what has made the protracted caregiving possible for you.
From your letter it sounds like you’re currently in a place of excess Wood; anger and resentment are clear indications of too much Wood energy. And while you don’t mention what kind of health issues you have developed, a key aspect of our immune system sits in the Earth element. The fact that you have become ill yourself suggests that your Earth is probably depleted, which wouldn’t be surprising if you have an excess of Wood (Wood controls Earth). Therefore, as you have surmised, the first step is to address the excess Wood energy you have.
The good news is that you have Metal as a secondary, which is what’s needed to control Wood (Metal chops Wood). You know well what it feels like when you are functioning from your Metal, and one important way to control the excess Wood is to stay in your Metal as often as you can for now. As you wisely state in your letter, your Metal excels at control and structure. Unless you feel like you have too much Metal, which seems unlikely if your Wood is out of control, you can take steps to build additional Metal. For example, wear white, listen to flute music, use eucalyptus essential oil, or drink red clover tea. Hematite or snowflake obsidian are good crystals for balancing Metal, and you can either wear them touching your skin or hold them in your hand during quiet times.
Once your Metal builds, it will naturally help to control your Wood. And once Wood is under control, it will be less available to over-control Earth and you will probably find that your Earth energy grows. This means that as your anger and resentment decrease, you should find your caring and compassion growing. And as that Earth energy grows, it will build your Metal (Earth feeds Metal), making more Metal to control your Wood so it doesn’t decrease your Earth. And honestly, I believe your primary Earth energy is the key to helping you in another way.
You asked about decreasing the level of anger and resentment you feel, and I do believe that building Metal to control the Wood will do this. But there’s another important aspect to your situation and that’s the fact that you’re carrying so much of this alone. As a primary Earth, that is never a happy situation.
You mention that your husband is unable to grasp the degree of stress you are under. That is a very accurate, Metal, statement. And while that may be true in the “normal” sense, in spite of his head injury, the core of your husband hasn’t changed. He may not be capable of supporting you in ways he has in the past, but his secondary Earth is still an important part of who he is. In fact, the connection between your primary Earth and his secondary Earth was probably a key component of your relationship. The times that his primary Fire felt threatening to your secondary Metal (Fire controls Metal), you probably both moved into your Earth and connected from there.
Once you feel your Wood energy settling down, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your husband from your Earth. He may not be able to understand all that’s going on at an intellectual level, but his Earth will understand at a heart level. And that’s a part of him your own Earth needs. Earths have ways of communicating with each other that do not require words. Theirs is the language of love and caring, of deep and lasting connection. Perhaps you could try hugging your husband more and allowing him to hug you. That physical connection feeds Earth and helps us all feel like we’re not alone. He may not be able to problem solve with you, but he can love you and support you in other ways.
In the long run, if you can decrease your Wood energy and reconnect with your husband’s Earth, I believe this will lighten the load you carry and bring beauty back to your life in surprising ways. Blessings to you.