Sunday, March 11, 2012

3/12/20—Meeting a New Facet of Self

Today's Draw: The Eight of Wands from the Mary El Tarot. Have you recently been reminded of a part of yourself you'd forgotten? Is there a new facet to your personality that is currently unfolding? Are you being honest with yourself about why you don't have the things you want in your life?

The Eight of Wands is usually about swift action or feeling impelled to do something NOW. But Marie White, the artist, has a totally different take on it. She says knowing yourself and achieving your highest potential requires knowing and accepting our shadow sides, as well, then learning to use them to our advantage. She talks about really being honest with ourselves as to who we drop the veils we hold up to the world and embrace the whole tamale. 

One of those kind of truths might be found in the kind of things that limit us in life. As long as we can point at something outside of us as the culprit—"I can't look for a job right now because the market is so bad", "I can't move forward with the project because Sue is gumming up the works" or "I can't write that book because my kids need me to sit and watch TV with them"—we don't have to be responsible. It's beyond our control. But that's not the truth, is it? 

The truth is, more than likely, you can't do those things because you're afraid of something. And one of the things you're afraid of is acknowledging that you DO have the power. Because then you'd be personally responsible for your actions. And the truth would be not that you "can't" do it, but that you "aren't willing to do it"...probably because you're afraid of failure. Or success. 

I know someone who claims great pain and frustration over not being able to purse a lifelong dream he has. This was marinating within him for a good 20 years of singlehood when he had all the time in the world to do something about it, but didn't. Then when he got married and had kids, he gained a new excuse—he can't take time away from his family to do it. Another excuse is that he needs someone with specialized skills to help him with it. And now that he's got all these great excuses, the need within him to achieve this thing is urgent.

Now, I have no doubt his family would support him in taking an evening or two a week in private to work on this. He's very charismatic, so I'm certain he could find the specialist he needs at a local university, possibly a master's student who might be thrilled to work on a project like this. But it's easier to blame these things as if they're out of his control. That way, he's not responsible. Life has dealt him a crappy hand. And, bonus, he gets to take his anger about that out on others—on his family for cheating him out of his dream, and on his friends for either wasting their spare time on things of little import and for not understanding the urgency that haunts him in regard to this. 

Because he won't look at himself or this situation honestly—from a place of personal responsibility and power—he's just an angry person who blames everyone but himself for not reaching his potential. And the toxins of fighting off the acceptance of himself and his truths course through his veins and impact everything around him. He's someone who, on the surface seems laid back, but who, beneath is always on the verge of exploding. It's interesting to note that his situation has the urgency of the traditional 8 of Wands meaning and the personal acceptance issues indicated by Marie White's meaning. 

Anyway, I didn't even mean to write about all that today, though it is a valuable thing for all of us to consider. What I really liked about Marie White's interpretation, though, is that she says a part of us that has long remained fallow or forgotten—or a side of us we don't even realize we have—is coming to the fore right now. For some reason, I'm really excited about that prospect. It's always fun to learn something new about someone you've shared every second of your life with.

While these things can be good or bad, what Marie's talking about is a moment when you realize you're a lot kinder and more compassionate than you thought. Or that a childhood enjoyment of sewing is still with you, even though you set the hobby aside for years. Or that, somehow, fudgsicles have become your favorite frozen confection without you—or ice cream—even realizing what was going on.

All three of those things have happened to me. Sometimes it seems just when you know yourself, you throw yourself a curve. And there it is—a new or long-forgotten dimension of you pops up and begs to be embraced and integrated into your known truths. Even if that side of you is a side that reminds you of your own buried angers or fears. 

Perhaps the greatest desire humans have is to be understood, loved and accepted for who we really are, warts and all. The only way that can ever happen is if we first give that love, understanding and acceptance to ourselves.

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