Sunday, October 14, 2012

10/15/12—Starting Something New and Beautiful in Your Life

Today's Draw: Four of Trees from the New Zealand Naturally Tarot. Do you ever wish the processional of assholes would stop in your life? What would someone who brings beauty into your life look like? Are you looking for that proverbial lover or friend who "completes" you?

The NZ Naturally Tarot is a really cute, colorful deck "celebrating the diversity of flora and fauna within New Zealand". The Four of Trees equates to the Four of Wands. And the paper that came along with the deck says of it, "the mutual grooming of this pair of kakariki represents the start of something new and beautiful."

A lot of times the Four of Wands will be talking about marriage or some other celebration. But it got me thinking of how, when or if we know we've met someone worth investing in in our lives. And it also got me thinking of how to equate the ritual of grooming with human mating and befriending rituals. 

In a way, I think we "groom" everyone we come across. We make some impact on them...give them some opportunity to make their best choices or push their boundaries. Just sitting here thinking about chance encounters with strangers, a couple come to mind. Both of them were comments about my weight at a time when I was thin. And they continue to rub up against me, creating fine etchings into key parts of myself that still need to change. 

One in particular always stands out. See, back in my 30s, I was, sad to admit, nearly half the size I am now. I looked really good. Was in good shape. Nobody would know I'd ever had a weight problem.  So anyway, I went out a lot on the weekends and you tend to come across the same people over and over at local bars. I was out with my female friends one night and we were all sitting around minding our own business when a guy comes up to our table and says, "you used to weigh a lot more, didn't you?" And I said yes, thinking he would say "hey, you look really good. Good for you!"  And instead he says "well keep it up and one day I might even ask you out." Like I still wasn't quite there yet. Like he was something special to aspire to. 

I'm sure he thought it was a compliment, but to me it was just another reminder that, no matter how hard I worked, I would never be good enough as I was.  There were a lot of those people in my life at that time, men in particular. There were teenage boys I remember heckling me as I was power walking one night, calling me fat as all 5'10" of me whisked along the sidewalk in my size 10 jogging suit. There was a boyfriend I had for a year and a half who regularly told me I was fat, when it was bones that were keeping me from getting any smaller. Then there were people on the other side of the fence...afraid I had become anorexic. At the one time of my life that I was eating well and exercising right, I found myself surrounding myself with people who echoed back the one fear I couldn't release. That I, no matter what I did, would ever be enough just the way I was.

Every time I think of that man in that bar, it rubs up against me again, reminding me that this is a wound in my life that I still need to heal. That I still have a tendency to listen to those voices...voices born of THEIR own fears...over the hundreds of other voices that think I'm the bee's knee's just the way I am. This random stranger in a bar...a man who had clearly noticed me when I was heavier to be able to recognize me five sizes still making an impression 20 years later. He's still grooming me. Still honing my sense of self, as he will until his voice stops echoing in his head. Which won't happen until the day I accept myself as I am. Because it's not him that causes the wound. It's me. 

I tell you this story because we tend to think of the grooming or mating ritual...the start of something more being between star-crossed lovers that will live happily ever after. I don't think I'm alone in this, but the biggest, most valuable lessons in my life have been the ones in which I've paid the largest price for having learned them. They're the lessons born of pain. The lessons hard-fought to learn. But even love can be a lesson like that, when you're afraid of being hurt. 

Another reason I say this is because our lives are full of major players and bit players...extras who don't even have a name in the movie of our lives, but who nonetheless bring important plot twists along with them. Each person we come in contact with is like a grain of sand rubbing up against the jagged rock of our humanhood, honing it to a fine, smooth finish. They groom us and we groom them. Even when we're the ones playing the part of the asshole in the bar, as we all have, no doubt, in someone's life. 

I guess what I'm getting at is that we have these fairy tale ideas of who is important in our lives and who has made us who we are today. We long for a person to "complete us" when the people who really complete us are the assholes who like to roll around in our wounds and poke the sorest spots. Everyone is our teacher. Everyone is our hero. And everyone has the potential to be the start of something new and good in our lives. 

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