Working It Out

Every Monday, I go here and check out my Tarotscopes for the week. I check my sun sign, Taurus, and then I also check my rising sign, Scorpio, because I have so many planets and other aspects of my chart in Scorpio that I might as well be that. For the last few weeks, I can’t even begin to say how dead-on accurate these have been on so many levels. So much so that I decided to get serious about it and dig deeper. Too much crap is going on in my life right now and I’ve got to figure out some way to deal with it or it’s going to take me all the way down. Which meant I also pulled out my trusty copy of “Tarot For Your Self” (TFYS) by Mary K. Greer. If you are interested in Tarot at all, I can’t recommend this book too highly. In addtion to the history and basic meanings of the cards, there are exercises and questions and all kinds of other work that one can delve into for self understanding and transformation.

Thus, without further ado, this week’s cards are: Taurus – 9 of Swords and Scorpio – Queen of Swords

Well, two Swords cards. There’s already a lot of processing to be done, because Swords represent rational, logical and mental functions as well as communications and thoughts. Thoughts? Ha! That’s where I live, right? Stupid thoughts. Swords are also indicative of a struggle (ya think?) and point to a need for a decision about or separation from past attachments. Good lord. And there are two of them. Also, in my Zen deck, Swords equal Clouds/Mind. Mind in Zen is, if not the enemy, at least something that needs to be mastered and not allowed to master. Tough stuff.

Today, I’m just going to use the interpretations/questions from TFYS for simplicity’s sake. Let’s begin with the 9 of Swords. First, the number itself (another reason I love TFYS, numerology). Nines represent luck, fate, force, capability, integration, magic, completion, CHANGE IS STABILITY (my emphasis), and self-awareness. In the negative, isolation, delusion, lack of discipline, which I have been feeling mightily lately.

The 9 of Swords itself: Depression, suffering, guilt, putting yourself down and nightmares. Wow, because I had a couple of serious nightmarish dreams last night/this morning, which is something I almost never do. But that’s a whole other blog post. Yes, to all of the other above, as well. Have I been/am I depressed? Yes. Am I suffering because of it? Yes. Do I put myself down? Yes. Sometimes it’s humorous/ironic, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes it’s just out of habit, but yes, I do. I put myself down a lot. I’m not sure why. I think I learned it early. I got picked on a lot and when I complained about it to my mother, her advice was first, on the order of, they don’t know you and how great you are, which was good, and you should just beat them to the punch and make a joke out of it, which maybe wasn’t so good, because it taught me early to put myself down, “as a joke.” I’m learning now a lot, LOT later, that all those years of putting myself down weren’t really a joke. Me, myself and I listened maybe a little bit too well, as kids/youngsters do. So much so, that when I get compliments and kudos, I can scarely believe them, even today. I know (intellectually) that I need to push myself forward and toot my own horn a bit more than I do, but even writing those words, I am feeling the beginning of chest pains, it makes me so anxious to think about. Baby steps, honey, baby steps, you don’t have to start right now. It’s okay. Breathe.

So, on to the questions:

How are you putting yourself down? So many ways. Part of it is keeping this job. I tell myself it’s because I want to work from home–and I do, I really DO like working from home and the thought of having to get dressed to go out of the house and work in an office really does come close to giving me hives. But…I stick to jobs that barely pay and barely use what skills and abilities I have, partly because I’m a wee bit sick and tired of working, but also because (even bigger part) I don’t think I’m able to, or skilled enough or WORTH something better. Don’t think I deserve it, or something. I haven’t quite figured that out yet, and I’m also working on that. Then of course, you factor in the age thing (too much AARP magazine reading), and there’s another stick to beat myself with. But that’s the beauty of working from home–no one really KNOWS how old you are, or what you look like or anything…you just do the job and if it’s done right, everyone’s happy. I also put myself down over this relationship, over not being firm enough with E, being a weak and wishy-washy parent, not living up to some sort of amorphous “standard” that’s out there (mainly of G’s stating), that being a parent means being a martinet–a familial Captain Bligh, if you will, who says, “NO!” first and foremost to every single request and every single thing ever given to a child must be “earned” in some way, even if it’s a trip to McDonald’s. So, I don’t live up to that and so I have been feeling completely and utterly a failure as a parent pretty much this entire last year. And I put myself down about that. I put myself down because I don’t earn much money, and hard as I try, I can’t help comparing myself with other people in other jobs (friends who have long-time career tracks, etc.) and I ALWAYS come up wanting/lacking. All of the above and more. Our relationship is teetering on the brink. I want it to work, but part of me wonders if it really can. I regret every day that I didn’t call social services on the Monday after E. got here on a Friday and just turn him over to them and have them make my daughter (his MOTHER) step up to the plate. But no, me, the doormat, just let myself get stepped on once again, and now, once again, I get to pay for it by putting my life on hold, and once again, I have no idea how to get myself out of this place.

What is the source of your depression? Have you got a few weeks? I’ve thought and thought about this. Why do I feel this way? Even, what right do I have to feel this way? Does a person have a “right” to be depressed when all of their physical needs are being met? I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know anything anymore. Maybe that’s part of the source of the depression–that I don’t know how to best handle my own life anymore, that it’s been hijacked by people and circumstances beyond my control, and yet, it all stems from that one fateful decision that I didn’t have the strength enough to say no to. Pretty much, all negative feelings in my life stem from that. “Separation from past attachments.” Hoo boy. Anyone want to lend me a machete? I need to do some serious past hacking here.

What can you do to improve the situation? This is one way. For me, writing is catharsis, and I haven’t been doing enough of it. It’s my process, my therapy. G gave me a new journal, too, and I started using it, but I stopped. I think I’ll put it into the new (well new to me) car I had to buy in order to get E back and forth to school every day, and maybe on my way back from those trips, I’ll stop and write every day. Then again, I was going to stop and walk every day and yet, I haven’t. I have good intentions and then I end up going straight to hell. But. A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step and it’s never too late to start. (AND, “You can’t get it wrong and you never get it done…” I don’t really care about the last part, but I definitely need to keep reminding myself about the first part. “I’m not wrong, I’m not wrong, I’m not wrong.” Yes, just keep saying it. Chest pains, please stop. Like, NOW.)

What dreams or nightmares are plagueing you? Last night, I dreamed I got up the guts and took myself to see an old lover, at his house, on his property, in front of his family (yes, he was married when we had our affair). He, of course, was horrified, and pretended he didn’t know me, even though I was clearly there to see him. There was nothing sexual involved, I just showed up somewhere that seemed to be his house/property. Then we were walking on a beach, and he was knee-deep in surf, still in a suit. We were talking about something, but I don’t remember an actual conversation. Then the beach changed to a swamp and then some huge swamp-thing slithered up out of the swamp water and turned into a dragon. I crouched down in the belly of an old tree and he disappeared (how appropriate). After that, I woke up. I can’t say this dream has “plagued” me, but that relationship has. I’ve been letting it go, too slowly, over the last few years. I’m pretty much done with it–I want to be done with it, which helps. Other things that plauge me? Never being able to do one single thing that I want to do ever again. Never being able to travel anywhere. Never having my bills paid off. Never just being able to get in the car and spend a few nights in Taos or California or where ever without having to make a million different arrangements, whether it be for the grandkid or my work schedule or a pet. Never being able to take time to myself without feeling completely guilty. Like right now, writing this extra long blog post, I feel like I am neglecting G because she’s home and hasn’t been nearly all summer, and so we “should” be spending time together, etc., blah, blah, blah.

Zen says the pain is to wake you up. If that’s the case, I need to be 110% awake RIGHT NOW because I am tired of hurting.

I want to leave all this pain for a moment, so let’s move to the second care, Queen of Swords.

TFYS says court cards operate in two ways, i.e., each court card repesents the person for whom the reading is being done (me) and someone that person (me) may know, especially someone on whom I may have projected some of my personality. Okay, G. Well, that makes perfect sense. Additionally, TFYS says that Queens represent inner and personal control, rather than worldly control. That also makes sense in that I’ve always felt that I had better control of my own self than I ever did of anything else in my life. Relationships, jobs, other circumstances could be going to shit, but still, I managed to keep calm and carry on. Now, it seems to be the opposite. Outward things might really be fine, but inside I feel like a rumbling volcano about to do a Mt. St. Helens. For any younger woman reading this, be warned. It’s NOT over at puberty. Just sayin’.

On to the Queen of Swords herself: Channels thought. Able to speak on behalf of others Makes her point well. Sees through deceit and dissembling. Intelligent and self-reliant. Sharp tongue. Usually fair but can be vindictive. Love of ideas.

All true enough, but something seems to be missing. Able to speak on behalf of others is great, but don’t I get to speak for myself? I think that’s the great lack here. I’ve not been speaking for myself enough. Not nearly enough. All my early “responsibility” training is hard to shake. Suck it up. Don’t make waves. You’re the example. Blah, blah, blah. I’m fed up with all that. Be your own example, use your own brains. I’m nobody’s blueprint.

And the questions:

How are you utilizing your mental and communicative abilities? Not nearly as well as I should be. I know I get defensive when G wants to have a discussion. I’m sure I don’t listen as well as I should before I start to rebut or respond. I need to learn how to use the pause, to not be afraid of the pause. The pause is powerful. I’m also letting all that past stuff get in the way of clear communication. What’s right here, right now. Just because it’s MY baggage doesn’t mean it should be everyone’s baggage. That’s not fair, and the Queen of Swords is fair. Also, according to Zen, judgments, all judgments, are products of our conditioning. All of this work is trying to get through to the truth of my heart, not the judgment of my mind. I may not be there right now, but I’ll get there. I will. Baby steps.

Who is helping you see the alternatives by pointing things out in a rational, perhaps critical, way? Well, that would be G, of course. To be honest (or TBH as the kids like to text), it seems like everything out of her mouth over the last year has been critical. But, again, I have to own my own conditioning. I have to learn how to listen and be fair, to hear that she IS trying to help, even when I percieve it as once again pointing out my shortcomings. She isn’t doing that. I’m using her words to do that for myself. I have to be able to learn the difference.

So as I bring this opus to an end, you can see that there has been a whole hell of a lot going on in my head this week, just from these two cards. Some of it is heavy, very heavy, I won’t lie. This past year, since June of 2013, till now, has probably been the heaviest and most difficult of my entire life. No wonder the chest pains. Heart’s truth wants out, I get that. I have to remember that amongst all this angst and processing, I have to let go of it for a while. I have to find places to relax, spaces to breath, times to laugh.

And, most of all, remember that I can’t get it wrong.

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About GratefulGran

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...
This entry was posted in baby steps, learning, Life, Tarot and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Working It Out

  1. SouthernHon says:

    I’m sorry you’ve been going through a rough time. I can somewhat relate. I get chest pains when I’m stressed, too.

  2. jill m starkey says:

    my heart goes out to you across the many miles between us at the moment..i am in texas taking care of grandson while daughter is in the Philippines working for 10 days…if i was home i would come hug you…you have spoken verses of relate-able words..valuable emotions.. being strong means being uncomfortable in your own skin sometimes…i think anyway

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