Monday, May 23, 2011

5/23/11—Discarding the Eight-Track Tapes That Play in Your Head

Today's Draw: The Nine of Wands from Kitty Kahane. What outdated armor are you wearing? What security blankets do you cling to? Are you ready to do some decluttering in your mind?

The Nine of Wands traditionally speaks of heroism, renewed determination and digging in for that last battle. But Kitty Kahane's Nine has a different take. He is faced toward the past, but all the wands have shadows pointing to the future. And behind him, a Tower-like building is surely destined to fall. It's time to leave the past in the past and, with it, the doubts and suspicions you held about people...the walls you put up to protect yourself. You don't have to watch your back anymore. It's time to let go. 

Looking in Kahane's lwb (little white book, aka companion book) this morning, the interpretation hit me right between the eyes. For one thing, a person has been trying to friend me (and another close friend of mine) for a while now and I keep ignoring her requests. I know nothing about her, except that she's quite chatty with someone who hurt both me and my friend and, since that person is blocked from seeing me on Facebook, I'm suspicious of her intentions. My instincts tell me my private stuff wouldn't stay private between her and my former friend. Anyway, I drew this card immediately after I ignored her second friend request. I probably won't friend her, but the card gave me food for thought. 

And the reason it has me thinking is because it takes a long time for me to let down my guard when it comes to people who have "wronged" me in the past. But it is also hard for me to trust in general. And I tend to be paranoid in general. Although rationally I can see where my fears hold friendships at arm's length, emotionally I just feel safer that way. I have often felt used by friends in the past. But when I really look back and say "who used me and when?", it becomes clear to me that's an outdated belief. And yet I transfer that energy to others in my sphere and, though a million examples of fair and generous friendship may pass between us, the one time I feel used will be held up in my mind and given inordinate attention. I know I'm not alone in this. I've been on the receiving end of this a bazillion times. And I see a number of people in my sphere who are far more "careful" than I in their relationships. 

It's like that saying "once burned, twice shy". Well, "twice shy" becomes a habit within us and all the "twice shys" from all the burns over a lifetime build up. And though we let go of many of them, there are those that remain that we never go back and question...the ones that become automatic or habit. But here's the many ways, I'm unrecognizable from the person I was 10 years ago. Or even five years ago. And in many ways again, I'm different from the person I was last fall. So certain inner beliefs about who I was then and precautions I took to protect that person could do well to be reviewed. I could stand to be more conscious of my defense mechanisms. Now, many individuals who have violated my trust or have been hurtful will probably not make their way back into my life. But the behaviors and attitudes and defense mechanisms I installed to protect myself from "people like them" may be able to be dismantled. 

Beyond all of this "junk" between me and other people, there's also all the junk between me and myself. The old images we have of ourselves that are no longer relevant...the ones that have been seared in our minds since we were in elementary school. The ones that are held over from things we did in early adulthood. And even the ones that we observed from a year ago. While we consciously know we're always changing and always becoming "better" people, we still classify ourselves with old labels that are no longer accurate. 

So the Nine of Wands comes today to ask us to be conscious of these kinds of behaviors—paranoias and concerns about people in our lives and judgmental attitudes toward ourselves. It's time to take our one good eye (like the guy in the card) off the past, waiting for something to leap out of the shadows. It's time to recognize our behaviors and attitudes and discard the ones that are no longer needed, because moving forward without our security blankets is part of growth, too. And looking for the troubles of the past to revisit us is energetically like an invitation for them to do just that. So what can you let go of today?

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