Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/15/12—Facing the Pain of Changing

Today's Draw: The 3 of Tools from the Regretsy Tarot. Do you know someone who's always whining and moaning about this or that? Is that just the way they are? Or do you think it's possible they don't know any other way to be?

The Regretsy Tarot's snark is darkening our doorway once again in the Three of Tools. If you're trying to align the suit of tools with traditional tarot suits, good luck. That's not really the Regretsy Tarot's way. But this does bear a small resemblance to the Three of Swords. Except there are gears instead of swords. And a decisive lack of compassion in the book. In fact, the book description for this card is so unique, I've chosen to quote it here for you in its entirety:

"Three gears sit atop a weeping red heart. Underneath the heart are torn definitions from an old dictionary. Some of the words are “anguish”, “damnation”, “griefstricken”, “grief”, “fraught”, etc.

The Clockwork Heart is a rather complicated, deep card, akin to an Emo tween slitting their wrists with a plastic spoon while listening to the latest 70’s punk band that’s suddenly new again.

This is the card of Ultimate Butthurt and Crying Glitter Tears. Someone, or something has put sand in the clockwork of your newly Steampunk heart, and it’s interfering with your functionality.

Rather than sharing your butthurt with the internet, relax. Have a few shots. Retreat into your PRIVATE hugbox for pets and kudos. You must learn to deal with the pain in order to grow, and lashing out will only turn you into a bigger joke."

In one way or another, I've been trying to make this point all week. But since "butthurt", "glitter tears" and "hugbox" weren't in my lexicon, I was unable to express myself clearly. Note to self: buy new, more modern thesaurus.

The thing is, when we have a conflict or someone hurts our feelings, our impulse is to reach out to others. And there is NOTHING wrong with that, Regretsy Tarot. BUT sometimes that's all we do. Which is why the same darned things keep happening to us over and over. At some point, we need to bring our butthurt and glitter tears into our private hugbox for review and take a good hard look at the role we play in each and every conflict that comes our way. Because it's really not "all their fault". It's really not. Some of it is you. 

Another point the Regretsy Tarot makes is kind of humorous. You all have them on your Facebook feed or in your 3D world—people who beyotch and moan over every sling and arrow of outrageous fortune. I feel comfortable talking about them here, because they don't read my blogs. They're too busy spewing and playing the victim. 

I have one on Facebook that is particularly entertaining. She's very "street". To the point that I can't understand much of what she says. But I do understand things like "that's* why your African American* rear end* is in jail" and "that's* what you get for making love* to someone else's girlfriend*, fine sir*". Now if you take those words and phrases with the asterisk next to them and put them in more colorful urban vernacular akin to what you might find in a hardcore rap song, you'll get a taste for what pops up on my feed.

Now I, in my whitebred way, have taken occasion to joke with her now and then. I ask her to define certain terms and such. Turns out she does have a sense of humor on top of her Herculean anger. But there are others who shower us in their poop storms on a regular basis, have no sense of humor about it and are stuck in a pattern that never changes.

The point is, if it's always something happening outside of you and despite your best efforts because you were standing there minding your own business when it happened, it's never going to change. Until you bring it inside and say "OK, this is probably going to be painful and humbling, but I clearly played a role in this. What is my responsibility? What do I do to attract this brand of crazy in my life? What is this reflecting back to me?", you're going to keep reliving it until you get it. 

If denial is your way of avoiding the pain of looking inside, know that you will experience the pain of the conflict, betrayal or whatever over and over and over again until YOU do something to change. Many years ago I heard something about change that seems to ring true: When the pain of staying the way you are is greater than the pain of changing, that's when you'll change.

Personally I don't think you have to wait for that pain in all situations, but there are some situations where we build hurt upon hurt upon hurt until we can take it no longer. That's the wisdom of the weeping red heart in the card's illustration. Sometimes pain becomes our machine. It becomes our way of life. And the blood we lose is measured in our spirit and relationships and motivation. 

Maybe you're not bitching and moaning about it or taking it out on others. Maybe it's not even a conflict that keeps recurring. Maybe it's a point of shame or defeat that you hold instead. Some pain from the past or a sadness over a loss. Maybe it's actually that you've taken on TOO MUCH of the burden of blame and responsibility in some matter. 

Whatever pain is driving you, if it has reached the point of driving you, know that you have reached the point where the pain of changing is less than the pain of continuing on. So make today your last day without hope. Get help if you need it. Find a way out. 

And if you have someone like that in your life—and you care for them—try broaching the subject with them if they'll let you. Honestly, every time I've tried with a friend, they weren't prepared to address it. But some may be on the edge between the pain of staying the same and the pain of changing. If so, they just might need to know there's a way out. 

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