Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Hanged Man

First Impressions:  New perspective, looking at things from someone else's point of view

Book:  Suspended between the worlds, linking heaven and earth, some element of your life is on hold, being vulnerable and questioning

Guidance:  Be willing to give up some belief that no longer serves you

Journaling

I've learned that when I am stressed out and nothing seems to be going my way, I "other" people.  I take exception with the way that other people choose to live, how they choose to behave, and generally who they are.  I've learned that when the words "they should..." or "they shouldn't..." go through my mind, I need to top and take a pause to figure out what's bothering me.  This is especially true when the things that are bothering me are really benign such as someone talking to loudly in the nature center or someone sitting where I want to sit.  Granted, it is kind of rude to talk at the top of your lungs in a nature center, but it is also not the worst offense in the world.  And the person who sat in the chair that I wanted to sit in was just as entitled to sit in the chair as I was.  Once I pull myself back and remember that the world does not revolve around me, I quit "othering."

My personality runs to extremes and if I am not "othering" other people, I am looking at things from everyone else's perspective and ignoring my own needs.  I was raised by a mother who put everyone else's needs above hers and who expected me to do the same.  My maternal grandmother had an undiagnosed mental illness and she was someone who could never be satisfied.  She looked the other way when my mother's brother abused her, she gave away my mother's wedding gifts to the same brother, and she treated my brother and I like second class citizens.  However, despite all of this, my mother was at her beck and call and would drop everything to take care of her.  My father enabled my mother's acceptance of my grandmother's bad behavior as he preached respect your elders so I learned that your elders were to be respected at all costs.

I vowed to myself that I would never let people mistreat me because they were elders to be respected and with people outside of my family, I did a good job of standing up for myself and demanding respect.  However, I let my mother mistreat me without calling her on it and I married a man who began mistreating me from shortly after we said I do.  Since I had been raised to believe that unconditional love meant accepting whatever behavior someone dished out, I twisted myself into knots trying to make him happy even though at my heart I knew that someone else's happiness was not my responsibility.  As the years wore on, I became angry and bitter and ultimately he ended up leaving me.  At first I was devastated, but I've come to realize that his leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me and I'm happier than I've ever been.

As I reflect upon the hanged man, I realize that I need to give up my black or white thinking.  Most likely I am not always right, but the other person is not always right either.  The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.


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