Tuesday, July 31, 2012

8/1/12—Dropping Out of the Contest

Today's Draw: Ten of Chalices from the Tarot of the New Vision. What are you lacking in life? What do you have better than everyone else? When you add it all up, are you "winning"?

It's hump day in Zing Week and today's message is, to put it succinctly, count your blessings. The Tarot of the New Vision is an interesting deck, because it takes tarot's staple Rider Waite deck and re-visions it from the opposite angle. So, in the original card, we see this couple from the back, instead of the front. 

In doing this, the deck comes up with some interesting commentary on our traditional take on the cards. For example, in the Rider Waite Ten of Cups, you see the couple looking at an idyllic farm home sitting at the edge of a meandering river in the distance. It seems like a magical moment when a rainbow of love floats over their heads as they look toward their perfect life. A card of wishes achieved and dreams fulfilled. And they will, most certainly, live happily ever after. 

But in the New Vision, we see that perhaps their reality is more mundane. They are in front of a modest home and the river is more creek-like. The rainbow is gone, but the sky is a beautiful shade of pink and blue. The pavement and landscape here are a bit rockier. And they have a goofy shelter dog running toward them. But in this card they are every bit as happy as we imagined them when we thought the other house might be theirs.

Often, our reality doesn't fit our visions of perfection. Our home may not be a mini-mansion. Our living room may not look like it inspired a Pottery Barn catalog. Our grounds may not be precisely manicured, our dog may not be purebred and our husband and son may not wear pants. But that doesn't mean we don't have "the best of everything". 

No matter how you look at this picture, there's shelter and a fireplace for warmth. There's ready access to water. There's fertile land. The only thing that could make this scene "less than" is a lack of gratitude. 

The other day I was behind a man and his three children in line at the grocery store. The boy got some gum. The older girl got a magazine with Justin Bieber on it. And the middle girl got nothing...haha. She tried to throw something in the cart because, "everyone else got something". But her dad said, "this isn't a contest. Next time you'll get something and they won't."

If you're like me, you're thinking the girl should have got something. Because clearly it IS a contest...one her brother and sister won and she, alone, lost. In her eyes, there's only one reason dad didn't treat her like the other two—because he doesn't love her as much. Remember feeling that way? I could totally empathize with that little girl and almost offered to buy her something, but I knew it wasn't my place. 

Like it or not, we ARE socialized from an early age to believe life is about winning, and winning is usually defined as ending up with the highest score, whether that's measured in grades, athletic achievement, the value of what you have, how much you earn or what your status/rank/title is. That mindset stands between us and being truly happy with what we have, no matter how much, little or average it is. And it also stands between us and our zing. Because we spend so much of our time climbing that we never take the time to enjoy the view. 

While we all intellectually know it's not a contest, we all get caught up in the contest mentality from time to time. I believe we're all there more often than we're conscious of. But what if we started measuring contests in terms of contentment, inner peace and kindness? The world would be a different place. Just like the couple in today's card, we might actually look toward the perfect house on the hill and feel utterly triumphant about our simple cottage on the rocky knoll, our goofy junkyard dog and our dress-wearing husband. Instead of continuing to strive for some ideal destination, we might finally realize we've already arrived.  

Facebook readers can see both cards at http://thedailytarotdraw.blogspot.com/

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