There is something I’ve needed to do for a very long time, but haven’t yet been able to do. I need to, and I even want to, yet every day I put it off or ignore it. It’s often like this for me with addictive behaviors: an out of control feeling of inevitability, recklessness, self-harm, and irresistibility. Until one day I reach some invisible barrier and pass through to the other side, in control again. It is NOT a pleasant cycle.
I’ve been reading my tarot a lot lately, trying to puzzle out what I can do to stop the cycle instead of spending another few months/years wrestling with this particular disordered behavior. Each reading gets a little clearer, and this last was very straightforward.
I’m currently in a place of abundant support and connections, crossed by carrying a load of potential. This seems contradictory at first, but the point is that I’m holding onto the potential, rather than acting on it. Remember that I already know what I need to do – I’m just not doing it. And this thing I’m not doing is affecting my ability to be at full peace in my current situation – which is, notably, a wonderful place to be! I definitely want to be at full peace with it, and to experience my Ten of Cups without things holding me back!
My deep brain is obsessed with rest and recuperation, with letting myself take the easiest path in order to stay away from all things hard and painful. This is a longtime trauma response that has been lingering for six years now. In a more active part of my brain, my current thoughts on this particular situation involve hitting rock bottom. The Ten of Swords is particularly terrible, and in the past, the mental cycle spirals down to this low point before resolving. Hence the many, many tarot readings on this same question. There is a big part of me that believes this is the only way through – to let time naturally ground me down until I cycle back to normal again. This is the same part that fears looking to someone for advice, because that advice might simply inspire false hope and keep the cycle going for that much longer. In reality, what I need is to embrace that fledgling part of my soul that I’ve rediscovered in the last ten months, and step out of the prison I’ve created for myself.
The Eight of Swords – this is MY card, the one I connected with instantly when I picked up my first tarot deck (Medieval Scapini) over 20 years ago. –> Blindness. Learned helplessness. Locked in a prison, but a single glance would reveal that the bars are so wide that you can simply walk out between them. But you have to look. This is a card that says the answer is obvious, if you just open your eyes. Whenever this card shows up in my readings, I know that I’m beating my head with overcomplications and mental fuckery. And its position in this spread says that keeping myself in this self-made prison is absolutely the worst possible thing I can do.
So what steps do I need to take? Well, I need to sit with my anxiety, instead of letting that rest-and-recuperate instinct take over. The trauma I’m fighting is very far in the past. I can sit with that anxiety and see the truth underneath it, cutting the lingering emotion away, in a careful and methodical excision. I will also need to undergo a physical and/or financial setback in doing this, which makes perfect sense with regards to the thing I need to do. It’s not going to be pleasant, especially to my body. But if I manage to take those steps, what follows is the nostalgia card.
Nostalgia has always played a big part in my life, and I could choose to interpret this last card in two ways. First, if I follow through with my action steps, I will return to a version of myself that I view as more innocent and carefree (not that I actually was, only that it feels so in nostalgia). Or, my action steps will lead me onto a path that will create new nostalgia for my future. Like one of my favorite quotes from Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer: “The trick to happiness wasn’t in freezing every momentary pleasure and clinging to each one, but in assuring one’s life would produce many future moments to anticipate.” Either of these two outcomes are desirable – I just have to follow through first.
Now my head understands. Any further tarot readings on said question would be superfluous. Hopefully this means that I will Do The Thing. Soon.