Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1/26/11—Expressing Strengths

Today's Draw: Nine of Wands from the Thoth. What is a strength or ability you've only recently discovered in yourself? What is something that was suppressed in you in childhood that turned out to be a strength in real life? Are there any fears holding back the expression of new strengths in your life?
The Thoth is one of the "master" decks of tarot. The Rider Waite is the basis for most tarot decks, the Tarot de Marseilles is the pioneer that launched a thousand decks and the Thoth comes in third with a number of decks based on its artwo...rk and structure. Beyond that (unless I'm forgetting something) everything else is considered "non-traditional". That said, the Thoth is the most mysterious and least understood of the three. The driving force behind this was a megalomaniac black warlock, Aleister Crowley. For that reason, this deck was absent from my collection for many years, only to resurface recently after an excellent presentation that opened my eyes to the complexity and beauty of the deck.

The Nine of Wands bears the word "Strength" in this deck. Which is why all the questions have to do with strength. Wands are also associated with creativity and passion, so you could also consider the emergence creative strengths. Today's questions require some thought. I think that we grow and change and don't necessarily look back and acknowledge the ways in which we've created and recreated our own lives. So it's a good exercise.

To answer my own questions, I've recently developed a strength and confidence in expressing my feelings and then walking away. What I mean by this is that I've begun to say how I feel about something as frankly and as honestly as I can, but without all the attendant drama and whatnot that used to accompany such things. Now, I'm certainly not perfect in this, but instead of letting things fester or instead of having a tantrum, I'm learning to say "what you did bothered me for this reason" or "when you said such and such, I felt such and such" and leave it at that. What the other person wants to do with it or how they internalize it is their issue. I'm learning to say it and walk away...release it from my shoulders, as it were. After all, what I've said is about me, not them. And if the other person has a hissy fit because I'm not kissing their ass and they want it to be all about them, that's their issue, not mine. I'm not being mean or pointing a finger...just saying this is how I feel about it. If they want to apologize, fine. If they want to create drama, whatever. If they want to ignore it, fine. None of that matters to me anymore. The point is that I've expressed myself...not that I'm looking for feedback. And once expressed, I can stop carrying that thought...that's the real triumph. That I'm not carrying this crap around with me.

This one thing really answers all the questions. In childhood, my feelings or opinions weren't necessarily affirmed or welcomed. I grew up in a household where the only version of right belonged to my parents. So whether I suppressed my opinions or threw a tantrum didn't matter. Nobody was listening. And the fear of expressing myself was that there would be some sort of consequence to pay. But that's another triumph. I'm not concerned about the consequences. If you can't listen like an adult or if you need to take everything personally, then maybe we're not a good fit. Because that's how I roll now. Remember, we're talking about MY feelings here, not about you. So if you need to take it personally have at it. That's not what was intended. I'm not saying "you did this to me and and are a mean person because of it". I'm saying "I feel X about Y. Period." If you want to add context to it that isn't there, that's on you.

I actually have more things to mention, but have already gone on long enough. Last year brought many changes to my life and my response to them has been that I've become a stronger person who looks outside herself less and less for affirmation and entertains guilt trips less and less for things she didn't do. I've also become more accepting other peoples' faults and issues, oddly enough. It means that certain types of people are no longer appropriate for certain areas of my heart and mind. Not that they're shut out completely, necessarily, but that I no longer give them importance that I once did.

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