Tuesday, June 7, 2011

6/7/11—Removing Your Armor

Today's Draw: Knight of Cups from the Victorian Romantic. What kind of armor do you wear as you walk through this world? What might you miss out on because of this? And what are you afraid might happen if you were fully exposed to those around around you?

The Knight of Cups is the ultimate romantic. A dreamy sort of fellow who often lives in a world of his own. This particular knight represents Parsifal, one of the Grail Knights of Arthurian Legend. All these nekkid sirens surround him, trying to distract him from his quest. But he sees nothing but the vision of the grail.

One thing I've always found interesting about this depiction is how shiny his armor is. It reflects everything around him, yet doesn't give us a clue as to what's underneath it all. We've all known people like him, right? Always doing and saying what they're supposed to. Always reflecting back to the world what the world wants to see..or what they want the world to see. But inside, it seems, nobody's home. Or, if someone is home, they've been playing a role for so long they don't even know where the facade ends and the real person inside begins anymore. 

I remember many years ago having different personas with different friends. Or at least I thought I did. I think a lot of this came from me reflecting the energy of the person I was with, so with some people I might be wackier than with others, for example. In that way, I was wearing the shiny armor. And I remember having anxiety sometimes about seeing someone I hadn't seen for a while. Who was I around them? Would I remember how to be around them? Worse was when worlds collided and two friends I felt different around would be in the same room. I think in reality, my behavior was indiscernible to others. I felt like different people around them, but really that wasn't the case.

I don't know when I changed from trying to be who other people wanted me to be to just being myself. But I'm pretty sure I don't act in a certain way to make anyone else happy anymore. Truth is I'm loud and blunt and funny and compassionate....good things and bad. And I don't have the energy or inclination to hide any of it anymore. Which doesn't mean I have no secrets. There are a couple of things—good and bad—not even the closest of you know about me. And I'm OK with that. But it's still a piece of glossy armor, isn't it? A part of myself that I allow to reflect back to the world however they want to see it. 

There's a part of me that says there's nothing wrong with having something private and to ourselves. And there's a part of me that says that even though there may not be one person who knows everything, everything about us should be known somewhere along the line because that keeps darkness and shame and guilt away. If we're really true about standing in our own skin, we shouldn't have secrets. Should we?

This is one of those things I haven't figured out for myself. One thing I know is that sharing yourself with others can be very healing for you and for them. I mean, there's so much we don't talk about in "polite society" that we can often feel like we're alone when we have something we may not be proud of. And knowing that others think the same way or do the same things can help a lot. 

Also, look at the knight again. That armor he wears is quite constricting. It puts a cold, hard layer between him and the rest of the world. He's so caught up in his world that he doesn't even see all the nekkid babes around him. Even though this knight is on a quest for the grail, it's also symbolic of the grail within...the ability to stand strong and protected within our own skin. 

What are your thoughts on this? And how much of your body is still covered in reflective armor?

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