Monday, March 25, 2013

3/26/13—Revisiting Past Traumas

Today's Draw: The Five of Pentacles/Mugwort* from the Herbal Tarot in the What to Leave in the Past Surprise Friends and Family position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Is some past trauma or fear coming up again in your life? Do you feel powerless over the stuff going on around you? What can you change internally that could change the way you see what's going on outside of you?

Never heard of the What to Leave in the Past Surprise Friends and Family position in tarot? Well it's all the rage. But before I can get to that, I want to talk about this particular Five of Pentacles. Normally I read the Five of Pentacles as being about fear. And it is...fear of loss or a loss mentality. 

But the book for this deck has an interesting take. It talks about how, when our external conditions change, we need to look inside and see what needs changing internally. These problems that come up in our lives come because the universe wants us to evolve. We can greet that with self pity and fear. Or we can greet it as an opportunity. We may be powerless over our external conditions, but we're not powerless over our internal ones. 

Remember, opportunity often comes wrapped in some pretty crappy clothes. A bad turn at my job, couple by fear of being fired led me to the best job I've ever current job as a self-employed writer. I have not once in my life met a distasteful moment that didn't come with a beautiful opportunity at its core. Sometimes my fears and my own desire or need to wallow in my situation have held that golden egg at arm's distance for quite some time before I finally saw the glint of something peeking through, but it was always there. 

Right now a few of the people in my friends and family group are going through some scary shizz. Myself included. But my problems are petty whinings compared to what they're faced with. If we can manage to detach ourselves from our own issues long enough to look around us, we can usually get up high enough to spot the perspective and the opportunity hiding in the room, you know? What looks to us like a situation that could ruin a life, may in time turn into the very thing that saved the life. 

So let's just say my issue involves a sort of "reliving a past trauma...lite". It's not the past trauma. It just feels like it in my paranoia and pain center. Things come up in our lives that set the old tapes playing. But that's just it. They're old tapes. They're like 8-tracks. They're no longer relevant. And the reason why they're no longer relevant is because we're no longer the same person. Our inner landscape has changed as a result of the opportunities brought on by the original issue and a million other issues in between. And our outer landscape is different, too. So while the situation my trigger the old way of responding, that kind of response is also no longer relevant. 

The fact that we've changed and the situation we're experiencing now is not the experience from before is part of the surprise the spread card indicates. Another part of the surprise is that what you're going through...whatever it hearkens up from the coming up again as an opportunity for you to heal that part of you and get rid of the tape altogether. And I think there's an element of "reliving a past trauma or fear" in everyone's issues. It may not be the main issue, but it may ride alongside the issue. And facing it from the perspective of "I'm not the same person and this isn't the same situation" could act like a release valve releasing some of the tension. Or in my case, most of it. 

We don't have dominion over those things that happen to or in our environment. But we do have dominion over how we internalize those things. Do we use this as an opportunity to trust in our higher power or ourselves? Do we use it to feel more powerless than we actually are? Our past traumas, even if unrelated, have a lot to teach us in that regard. We always have the opportunity to leave the trauma in the past and bring the lesson with us into the future. 

Whether what you're going through right now hearkens back to a time when you lost someone you cared about, when you felt unsafe, when you were bullied, when you were paralyzed with fear or when you nearly lost everything, you're not powerless like you thought you were the first time around. You don't have to internalize it like you did the first time around. You're not the person who experienced it the first time around. So leave that in the past. In the present, you're someone who's survived something like this before. You know what you have control over and what you don't. And you will survive this again. 

There are two things I can say for sure. 1. No matter how long or hard it rains, the sun always comes out again. This has been true for billions of years, and for every other trauma you've ever faced. It's true now, too. 2. Life's traumas and dramas are like Cracker Jacks. They may leave a stale taste in your mouth, but they do come with a surprise. Don't let this time pass without claiming your prize. 

And for the friend I talked to tonight, there may not be a lot of comfort in my words for you today. Some things truly are first-time fears and have to unfold quite a bit before you can exhale. I wish I could take away your worry and pain and feelings of powerlessness. I can't. But I can promise you that you need never feel alone. I love you and am thinking of you. 

*Appropriately enough Mugwort is a bitter tonic. It's often taken to relive nervousness and insomnia. It's burned for protection, as well as to give you a clearer view of life and a deeper sense of peace. 

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