Thursday, September 1, 2011

9/2/11—Ending Annoying Patterns

Today's Draw: Six of Wands—Victory from the Rohrig Tarot. Do you keep running into the same ANNOYING types of people and patterns in your life? Have you ever had a breakthrough that changed the situation around? And what lessons did you learn about yourself from these experiences?

The Six of Wands traditionally shows a warrior riding in on horseback to the cheers of many. As is every card in the Rohrig tarot (which I LOVE), this card is different. There is no human. No cheering throng. And there is a nuance that you don't see in other Six of Wands cards...the idea of a breakthrough. A barrier has been broken down. You move from darkness into the light. And you enter into an area where victorious energy is literally raining down on you.

I gave a reading to a woman a couple of months ago who a highly competent professional. But the man she had to work with day after day was just insulting and insensitive. This affected the way she felt about her work and the way she felt when she went home at the end of the day. She liked her job, but this part of it was wearing on her. Clearly the boss was an unhappy person, yes, but as we took a deeper look, we concluded  he was just mirroring the behavior he learned growing up. Worse, his brand of nastiness was his version of trying to be better.

Then we took a look at others around her and saw similar types in varying degrees in her life, most notably an ex. Again, doing his best, doing what he knew, as hurtful as that might be. At this point I told her a lesson I learned in my own life—you can't change someone else's behavior, but you can change your own. Which often changes the way others respond to you.

When we're caught up in emotional fisticuffs with another person, we often push back or back down entirely. This changes nothing. The only way to change the situation is to change the way you see it and respond to it. For this client, I suggested seeing the boss with more compassion. I mean, imagine how it must be to have lived your life with that kind of negativity firing at you from parents and family. Of course he was that way! I suggested she be grateful she's not and show the grace of someone who is grateful. Maybe even do something nice. Like bring in some homemade cookies or some sort of pick-me-up. Show kindness instead of revulsion and see what that nets you. It might not change overnight, but it will change as they begin to trust you're not like what they're used to.

Anyway, once she began to see the pattern in her own life, she had a breakthrough. This wasn't personal. It wasn't about her. It was about them! And if she wanted to see it get better, then she could just respond to it better. While it's hard to bear putting up with behavior like that without responding in kind when you take it personally, it's easy to bear sending compassion to someone you realize has had a hard life and is so caught up in their own misery they don't know any better.

When patterns like this keep showing up like a continuously skipping record, it's not because the other people need to change, it's because you need to change. Like in the card, you can continue to flail about in darkness. Or you can break through to a clearer way of looking at things and continue on your path unimpeded. One of the Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements is "Don't take things personally." Nothing others do is because of you. It's a reflection of their own path and reality. Making just this one change alone in your life is one of the greatest victories you can have in life.

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