Dear Vicki: I’m having an issue with my husband of five years and hope you can help. Jax is a Metal in every traditional way. He’s structured, wise, and kind. When he’s stressed, he can get pretty dismissive, but other than that we usually get along really well. Recently, though, we had a significant argument about the upcoming elections. I can’t believe what’s happening and am terribly concerned. Jax just shrugs and tells me not to worry. But I’m an Earth! How can I not worry? And how can he be so seemingly indifferent about something so important? Does he even have a heart? How do I convince him that he needs to care more? Signed: Worried Wife
Dear Worried: Yours is not the first letter I’ve received about the current election cycle here in the U.S. Politics are not the topic of this blog, but in your situation, I think the issue is less about politics and more about understanding each other. So while I can’t help you with election issues, I can help you understand what’s going on between you and Jax.
The two of you have a Nurturing Cycle relationship – your Earth feeds his Metal. That means you usually do get along well. Your Earth will appreciate the opportunity to connect deeply with someone and help them, and Jax will appreciate the attention and being cared for. As long as things stay stable, that probably works well for your relationship. But in intense, non-personal situations, the two of you have diametrically opposed responses. And the election here is, for many people, an intense situation. Let’s look your reactions.
As an Earth, you are compassionate and will care about almost everything. It matters deeply to you that people are safe, cared for, and happy. Every election has ramifications, and it’s natural for you to be concerned about the impact of the results. And the higher the perceived stakes, the more intense you’ll likely feel. One of the main stress responses for Earth is worry. In this kind of situation, telling an Earth not to worry is futile. You worry because you care.
Jax, on the other hand, is not an Earth. His Metal will take a philosophic approach to almost everything, including elections. Remember that Metals focus on the past and the lessons it can teach us. Jax probably believes that our country has survived thousands of elections at different levels and the world is still spinning, so why worry. Metals are also patient with process. They love process and are very happy to let it unfold. Earths, however, often become invested is specific outcomes based on their desire that everything be okay. It is usually very hard for Earths to detach from outcomes, and that is the single biggest difference between you and Jax.
As a Metal, Jax will have an amazing ability to stay detached regarding elections. Because Metals so totally trust process, they are willing to accept whatever outcome the process provides. That means they can detach and wait. It doesn’t mean Metals don’t care; they usually care quite a bit. They certainly have opinions. But in addition to their ability to detach, Metals also have the wondrous ability to compartmentalize. Jax probably pays close attention to election information when he is focusing on election information, but then is able to put that aside and focus completely on something else. And because Metals are kind, if he thinks the elections disturb you, he might try to avoid the subject so as not to upset you, unaware that not talking about the elections with you is actually upsetting you more.
So what can you do? To work things out between the two of you, I encourage you to explain how you feel to Jax in as calm and rational a way as possible. Facts are the keys to the kingdom for Metals, and the more rational you are, the more you will reach him. Help him understand what concerns you about the elections and then listen to what he has to say. It is likely that he will have a perspective that will ease your worries. And remember the wisdom of Metal detachment. Even just a little detachment on your part will help you through this election cycle.
The truth is that you will always care, that’s the beauty of Earth, but you don’t need so much worry. Excessive worry is usually a sign of too much Earth, so to help you on that front, I suggest you step into your own Wood (Wood controls Earth). To build your Wood, you can wear green, rub a few drops of peppermint oil on your skin so that the scent is noticeable (or place a few drops of the oil on a tissue and inhale), and drink lots of lemon water. Also, the hallmark of Wood is action, so you might consider doing something related to the elections if you feel strongly about a specific race or issue.
Finally, in case Jax does slip into a place of too much Metal (which you recognize as dismissiveness), I suggest you plan weekly fun events that bring you both joy. The Fire aspect of joy will not only keep Jax’s Metal pliant, but enjoying each other again will be the perfect way to keep your hearts beating as one. Blessings!