Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/18/11—Cutting Ties

Today's Draw: Ace of Swords from the Langustl Tarot. Are there any situations in your life that you need to distance yourself from? Do you have any toxic relationships? And are you more likely to end a friendship outright or just back away from it slowly?

Aces in the tarot deal with a surge of energy or renewed energy going toward whatever the suit symbolizes, so they're always welcome cards. And the Suit of Swords has to do with mental perceptions or thought. So the Ace of Swords usually deals with some sort of thought energy. It might mean focus. Or a move toward consciousness. Clarity. Insight. Or an uprush of ideas.

Langustl suggests something I hadn't seen before, though. In addition to the above, he also adds that the Ace of Swords means to keep your distance from something or cutting ties with someone in a relationship (thereby gaining new focus). 

This very subject just came up in a conversation with someone, so it has me thinking. Though not a terribly common thing, I do have a history of ending relationships when they're unhealthy. Probably the most notable one would be a woman I had known for maybe 25 years. She was my best friend, but a terribly critical person. Over the years our friendship waxed and waned in its intensity. Sometimes she would give more to the friendship. Sometimes I would. But a number of years ago, she started treating our friendship—and me—like a huge albatross around her neck. Something in the way she viewed me gave her permission to treat me with disrespect. During our last conversation she said the closer you are to someone, the more you're allowed to mistreat them. My view of that theory is pretty much the opposite. I ended the friendship and really haven't had regrets. 

Over the years I can think of a lot of good friendships that, due to personal growth and life circumstances, have worn out their welcome. The control freak. The drama queen. The unfeeling zombie. Reviewing the ending of these friendships, I see how they coincided with the ending of similar qualities within myself. Now and again, like with my old best friend, it's the ending of a complementary quality within me, like the lack of self esteem that kept me hanging on to a friendship that was so "abusive" and inequitable.

But it's not just people. It can be "things", too. Tonight I was laying on the bed in guestroom and saw an artwork that an old boyfriend did when he was a teenager. For some years, I admired the piece of art and it was in my living room. For some, it was just a "thing" and I had it hanging in my hallway. And now it's something I no longer have use for, so it's relegated to the room I never go into. Looking at it invites memories of an old toxic relationship and existence that I just don't identify with anymore. I know it means a lot to him. I don't want any kind of contact with him, but it did occur to me that I could drop it off anonymously at his son's home (which is local). That's probably not a good solution, but I would like it to make its way back into his family without him feeling he needs to contact me.

I think sometimes we don't realize how all this toxicity builds up within us...putting up with people who treat us poorly, getting sucked into drama, and being reminded of more toxic times. But every thought we have changes our chemistry to a certain degree. Build up enough bad chemistry within you and it can be detrimental to your health. It's just not worth it. Even if it's a 25 year friendship. 

When I first  started walking away from these kinds of relationships many years ago, I felt guilty. Some people keep these people in their lives, after all, and just downgrade their relationships. But I'm a closure girl. For better or worse, I like to clear a slate of all toxic thoughts and resentments. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that people have left me in the dust when I've been unhealthy to them, too. The door swings both ways. And I don't blame them any more than I blame myself. It gives me an opportunity to examine my own stuff.

So today is a good day to look at the effect you have on others and the effect they have on you. If adjustments are necessary, consider making them. Life is too short and happiness too fleeting to allow anything to prey on your well being.

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