Monday, May 2, 2011

5/2/11—Serving Yourself

Today's Draw: The Ace of Cups from Pearls of Wisdom. Are you kinder to others than you are to yourself? How do you really feel about yourself? What do you think about the notion of being "selfish"? And where do you think you should fall on the list of loved ones in your life?

The Ace of Cups signals new love and joy in one's life. It's usually depicted as a cup reaching out from the heavens, overflowing with water, which signifies love and emotion in the tarot. The twist in the Pearls of Wisdom deck is that there is an actual person in the card...someone who is the object of that love. And that she's not merely standing in the flow of love emanating from the cup, she's taken command of the situation and is pouring the love upon herself. 

Further, she's doing it for her own benefit. It's not like she has some vessel she's filling so she can pour on someone else, she's standing fully exposed, before nature and the resting earth goddess in the background, unashamed, basking in universal love. 

I think it's safe to say that most of us measure the way we feel about ourselves in terms of how much we love, and are loved by, others. And I think it's also safe to say, we know that's screwed up. But we are also conflicted by the notion that loving ourselves is "selfish". There is a local guru here that has an interesting reply to people who may call him selfish. He says "oh, so I suppose you'd rather I be you-ish?"

Here's the deal, as much as we hate that word and insist it's not true about us, it is. Right this second, there is nothing in your life that doesn't serve you on some level. You say "no, that's not true. I volunteer. I stay in a loveless marriage for the kids. And I cook and clean the house every day so they'll have a nice place to live." All of those things serve you. The volunteerism makes you feel good inside or you wouldn't do it. The marriage makes you feel secure or keeps you from having to shoulder the burden of bills on your own or serves your belief in your vows or something. And you cook and clean because it's your job, which serves you with a roof over your head and makes you feel good about serving. There is ALWAYS something in it for us. There is no such thing as selfless. If it were complete misery with zero payout, we wouldn't do it. Everything we do is selfish.

Even now I can hear some of you saying, "but, but....". Save it. There is something in it that serves you, whether you've identified it or not, whether you admit it or not. So here is the question I submit to you. As long as everything we do is selfish, why not live it up a little and bask in our selfishness like the lady in the picture? For many of us, before we can love ourselves, we must first make that shift in the mind between serving others and serving self. If the airplane analogy doesn't do it for you (putting on your facemask first), then maybe the realization that you're already self serving in every area of you life will. As long as you're self serving, you may as well do it right. 

To answer the questions above, there are a lot of things I like about myself, but I can't say I practice self love. The things I don't like about myself speak louder in my head. I wish it weren't true, but it is. And what is also true is that those things I don't like also serve me on some level. They keep me safe. They keep me in the familiar. They keep me from having to experience the pain of change. It's more convenient to see ourselves as victims of our circumstances who just give and give and give, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Every iota of our current situation was created by us and is changeable by us. No, we can't change the loss of a leg, for example, but we can change the way feel about it. There is nothing that doesn't serve us. And there is nothing we can't change if we want to be better served.

So consider this today and pinpoint those things that don't serve you as well as you'd like. You don't have to change them, but you can change the way you feel about them. You can be grateful for the security you get from your lame-ass husband, for example...haha. You can be grateful for feeling fulfilled and of value from serving your family as well as you do. And that gratitude can soften the way you see your relationships. And that softening can change everything. 

All it takes is viewing your life from a more selfish lens and taking responsibility for the quality of love, joy and satisfaction we receive from life. Instead of waiting for whatever crumbs life hands you in the love department, pour love upon yourself. If you have to see it in how it serves others, then think of the example of self love and respect you'll set for everyone in your life to follow. Through gratitude and understanding of your own self-serving nature, you can actually serve everyone better than they can ever be served if you view things through the eye of resentment, dissatisfaction, doubt or drudgery. So try on a little "selfish" today and see how good it can look on you.


  1. Wow this really felt like a lecture LOL I'm not sure I totally agree with all that you say, I think there are many people in this world that do things that do not self serve them, like staying in a marriage because of the children until those children are old enough to cope with the split - just one example. The Ace of Cups I do not see fundamentally as an overflow of love more an overflow of feelings, that rise in personal feelings and that could be good or bad, what the ace suggests to me is that we become aware of those feelings and why we feel that way or what we should actually do about them.

    Interesting post Tierney.

  2. Sorry if it felt like a lecture. I do stand by my argument, however. I don't believe we do anything that doesn't serve us in some way. But it's ok if we disagree. :)

    As for your assessment of the Ace of Cups, I agree with you. But I also think this Ace of Cups takes a slightly different approach. Her heart necklace said "love" to me. Her abandon and all the flowers said joy. And the fact that she had grabbed the cup, pouring its contents over her, made me think of self love. Plus, while I was looking for the image I used above, I came across an interview with the artist, which also fueled my interpretation of the card. But, of course, the whole thing about "selfish" came out of me, inspired by this card.

    I don't see these posts as being solely about the meaning of the cards. The "format" is that I talk about the card, then I diverge into what that meaning inspires in me. Last week I had the Devil twice, for example. I couldn't do the same post twice, so it was what the card brought up in me that day. I've drawn the Knight of Swords MANY times and each time have read it differently. It's more about musings inspired by the tarot card than the card itself. But you're right, the Ace of Cups is traditionally an overflow of feelings. I generally tend to read as positive, but you're right, it could be negative.

  3. I wasn't saying your interp was wrong, who am I to say that? I was just saying the Ace/s core meaning to me was fundamentally what I said.

    I understand that you interpret from the visual and also from a deeper level, it's just that I can't agree with totally with you about what you say.

    That doesn't mean you are wrong - I fully expect that we perceive life and situations differently as do most people. It's not about right or wrong, I was just expressing a point of view - another thing I should learn not to do - two in the box now LOL

  4. No, don't say that! I want your opinion. I knew there would be people who wouldn't agree with what I said. It's a big opinion. Most people were preoccupied with Osama's death today, though. You're one of the few that took the time to read. I appreciate that. :)

  5. LOL Tierney - you must forgive me I'm very out of sorts these days. :o)

  6. Nothing to forgive, Helen. *love*