Friday, June 17, 2011

6/17/11—Choosing to Step Into the Sun

Today's Draw: The Sun from the Victorian Romantic. Are you facing a difficult situation right now? Or are things going quite well? Overall, what is your outlook on life...."life sucks" or "life is good"?

I saved my favorite deck for Day Five of Baba Week and it delivered one of the happiest cards in the deck. We've talked about a lot of heavy stuff this week. And the sun is like the lightbulb, the aha moment, the stretch of clarity that comes after difficulty or confusion. It's the return of joy and optimism. A step toward greater freedom. 

I'm pretty sure I think too hard about a lot of stuff. And in doing that, I cause myself a lot of consternation. Earlier this week I talked about how tarot people use the cards to explore their lives and the lives of their clients. And what we're really trying to get at is the truth. Sometimes the truth is very painful. But we have a choice as to how to respond to it. 

Years ago a friend of mine pointed something out to me rather painfully. I can't even remember what it was now or I'd tell you. I just remember it was like a hard slap in the face that hurt, but I was eventually grateful for. When people make critical comments of me, I have a practice of bringing the comments into consideration and seeing whether I agree with them or not. Then if I agree and think it needs changing, I work to change it. I wasn't always this way. I used to feel sorry for myself and hate the mean, mean person who was mean to me. I still indulge in that to a degree now and again. But years ago I realized that my emotions weren't about them, they were about me. And since I see everything around me as a message or clue from the universe, I started taking a more "scholarly" approach to the information I receive from others. 

The process of realizing that you have a quality that you dislike in others is painful. But you have a choice to allow it to aid your self destruction or aid your triumph over it. The truth gives you the opportunity to move into the sun...into your own light. Which is not to say I or anyone else can correct all flaws. Not at all. Some of my flaws don't bother me enough to change them, for example, so I keep them. Others I may be blind to at the moment. And still others are ones I'm aware of, but not ready to face. But one thing I've learned is that when you react strongly and negatively to another, it's usually because you don't like what you see in them...because the same thing exists within yourself in some form. Those annoying assholes are there to reflect back to you your own tendency to be an annoying asshole. 

So I make it a practice to monitor the strong reactions I have to others and then bring them inside for consideration. It's not about being perfect, because perfect doesn't exist. It's about seeing yourself honestly. Knowing yourself. Accepting yourself. And aligning who you are with who you'd like to think you are. It's about living in integrity. 

Which brings us back to the Sun. Sometimes we don't even know how imprisoned we are by certain behaviors or situations until we move away from them. When we finally face the darkness and get to the other side, the sun is there waiting for us. It's that feeling of freedom after having been chained to a false belief or broken part of ourselves for so long. It's that sense of "why didn't I do this sooner?" But of course, the answer to that is "because you weren't ready." Life's painful times always come bearing a gift. I've faced some pretty screwed up things in my life. And some of my greatest gifts issued forth from those times. 

So wherever you are right now—in the dark, in a storm or in the sun—know that you have a choice as to how to see that experience. Know that everything comes with a gift. And that however you choose to approach your situation is on you. Just because it's supposed to be hard, doesn't mean it has to be hard. Because it's supposed to be painful doesn't mean you have to be pained. We tell ourselves these things and create self-fulfilling prophesies. I tried to quit smoking for 10 years, for example, and it was always too hard. Until I opened the door to a different possibility. The last time I quit was easy, because I gave myself permission to make it easy. We always have that choice. Choose to step into the sun.

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