Lake types in harmony have a reverence for life and an innocence. They experience life with an open heart and have lots of joy. The child is often like this.
In terms of the 5 elements Lake is predominantly metal with some fire characteristics.
They lose this innocence when they get attached to things they value – possessions, relationships, love, money. They change their behaviour in order to hold onto things, losing in the process their spontaneity and joy.
The root of the problem is that they see value in external things. They believe they only have value if they have these things. This can lead to them hoarding or collecting.
Alternatively they may choose to have nothing because the pain of loss is too great. This prevents them losing anything. Of course the ‘having nothing’ state makes them feel loss anyway – because it is felt as less than the ‘having something’ state.
They are driven to find and hold onto value because they don't feel they have value inside. This lack of worth is driven by their alienation from self. Usually this is because there is something fundamental about themselves that they don't value – their femininity/masculinity, their humanity, their physical existence.
They often feel empty or that they are nothing inside. They then seek to hide this by wearing a mask and being an image they feel others will value. They may also seek to achieve and succeed if they feel others value this. In that case they will have a tendency to be a perfectionist that must achieve and do lots. Since they can’t be perfect they will inevitably be hard on themselves.
Having a loving relationship is one of the things they often value. But it creates stress because opening up the heart creates a fundamental vulnerability. It leaves them open to losing the respect of the partner as the partner begins to see all that they are. The loss of this type of relationship can be devastating and lead to them not risking another one.
They are often not comfortable about their physical body and physical existence. This includes lust, urges, and the enjoyment of sex. It stems from perception that human experience is not valuable or beneath a more spiritual existence.
Spirit is usually seen as outside of themselves. They recognise its importance but it seems impossible to be spiritual and live a mundane earthly life.
Their preoccupation with loss means that they consistently experience grief and guilt. Guilt represents the feeling we have when we feel we have lost value. Grief occurs because of our response to something being taken away. The common response is to try to hang on to what has been taken away. If grief comes after someone dies, the problem with trying to hang on to the past is that it drives us out of heart and into our head. The head is filled with memories, where the heart is always in current time – in the present. It's the cutting off of the heart, the loss of our self that creates the feeling of grief. We only overcome grief when we reconnect again.
The heart moves on but is also always connected to the person that has passed away. In essence when we stay connected to ourselves we also have a sense of connection to the person that has passed on.
Our sense of value comes when our mind is still and we connect to the beauty around us. In this state where we feel part of something bigger than our self, we have a reverence for all of life, including our self. By recognising and connecting to the implicit value of all of creation we recognise and value our implicit self.
This includes revering our physical body and all that comes with living a human mundane life. In essence our conscious drops into our body and we live a more grounded open hearted life.
Lake is composed of two yang lines underneath a yin line. It symbolises a lake or marsh. To the Chinese a lake abounded with life and was a symbol for joy.
Lake in balance sees the world as it is with the innocence of the child. Each moment is a creative experience. They have a reverence for life and all of creation.
In imbalance, they can get attached to things and in the process separate from themselves. For example, when someone dies they want to hold onto how things were in the past. Their heart is always in present time and recognises the person has passed away. The only way of hanging onto the past is to separate from the heart – in essence they have to live in the head. In doing this they lose themselves and it is that loss that drives their grief.
Lake types look to minimise loss and may get attached to relationships, possessions, status and other things. In seeking these things they constrain their behaviour in the hope of gaining what they want. In the process they lose spontaneity and joy.
What drives their sense of separation is a belief that spirit exists independent of humanity. Often they don’t value their body or their humanity or their masculinity/ femininity. For example they may see humans as horrible creatures that are destroying the planet. This is important because by not valuing humanity they are not valuing that aspect of themselves.
It is very important for Lake to be comfortable with their animal self – the physical body, physical urges and appearance. This includes enjoying sex and embracing their sensuality. These aspects are part of who they are. If they don’t value these aspects, they try to separate from them and avoid others seeing that part of themselves.
The end result is that they don't feel valuable for who they are inside. So they seek acknowledgement and respect by being the image of what they think others value. This may be their physical appearance or, if they think others value success, they may be driven to appear successful.
When they are valued they usually feel that is because of the image they are projecting not because of who they are inside.
It is very important for Lake types to be able to drop into their bodies and feel comfortable in their bodies. Valuing their humanity and everything related to living in a physical body.
This comes from recognising that they are part of something bigger than themselves. When they have that experience – feel that sense of belonging – in that moment they recognise that all of humanity and everything in existence is just a manifestation of spirit. That instills within them a reverence for all of life, including their own. That is the solution to worthlessness – connecting with the beauty of all of creation.
When they detach they begin to see all that is there, they can look afresh at life, with a child like innocence. This allows every day to have a freshness about it and life becomes a constantly creative process. This is the outlook of the child.
A ten year old walks on the beach for the first time and is amazed at what he sees. “Look at that..” he says. His face is alive with all that he sees, his enjoyment obvious for all to see. Lake gives us this capacity to openly connect with the beauty around us, as the innocent does, no matter how many times we visit that same beach.
Joy comes with this openness to the wonder of the world. There is a rhythm and cycle of life that can be tangible when we are open. Joy comes from being open hearted, living each moment with the innocence of the child. The key is to open the heart.