Today's Draw: Nine of Feathers from the Margarete Petersen. Do you confront your fears or hide from them? Would you rather have a deep conversation with someone who thinks just like you do or someone who thinks differently? Do you ever hope that people would see the whole of you, rather than just judge you based something they don't understand?
Normally the thoughts on this blog are ones I take full credit for, but this Nine of Feathers (Swords) presents something I probably wouldn't have come up with on my own. Here is an excerpt of what it says in the little white book (lwb) that comes with the deck:
"Killing by not acknowledging." "Walk towards that which you reject and fear."
The "killing by not acknowledging" thing is about how we bury our pains and fears, whether they're personal ones that live inside us or social ones in our environment. It's also about how we manage to remain in our own little cocoons where everything is just as we think it is and everyone agrees.
Lots of lively discussion this week about connecting...about seeing our enemy as ourself, about accepting different beliefs and about connecting directly to God. Of course, killing by not acknowledging is the opposite of all that. And I think we all know that the "things we kill by not acknowledging" never actually die. They just kind of fester and eat at us. The longer you look at today's image, the more you'll see the horror, pain and emotional disfigurement denial or ignoring brings. Some of us are very good at it. But even experts at compartmentalization get snuck up on from behind by the things they pretend aren't there.
OK. Confession time. If there's anything better than Wife Swap on TV, it's the new Celebrity Wife Swap...haha. Have you seen it? Only a couple of episodes have aired. And the most recent one was when Gary Busey's girlfriend swapped places with Ted Haggard's wife. Ted Haggard is that evangelical minister that supposedly bought a male hooker and some drugs. And Gary Busey is a new age-y (but Christian minded) eccentric actor with anger management issues and a full vocabulary of what he calls "Buseyisms".
Anyway, at one point Busey basically told Haggard that reincarnation is real because he says so. Then he brought a Lakota healer in to recover her "lost soul". Through the first half of the swap, he didn't seem sensitive at all to the fact that this is a woman who is married to a man who is a preacher, and they have given their entire lives over to their beliefs. It was like he was in his own reality where this woman came to him looking to right herself on her path.
The second half of this show is when the "wife" gets to make the rules. And the show made it look like she might go all Christian on his ass. At least it seemed that way to me. But what she in fact did was open her heart to him...not necessarily in a Christian way, but in a personal and emotionally intimate way. And instead of Busey getting his ego all up in a wad because it was all about her, he listened. And they shared a beautiful experience. Their hearts opened up to each other. They related as people, from a point of commonality and not from a point of being different. And you know what? The differences didn't matter so much anymore, because they were able to genuinely what was common between them both spiritually and humanly. As she drove away she said something like, "we're a lot alike".
Now this isn't the best example of what today's card is talking about, but it's in my mind still from having just watched it. They didn't walk away from what they rejected or feared about each other, they met at a point of commonality and stayed open beyond that.
We can walk into situations with people who are unlike us and walk away as unchanged and closed minded as when we entered. We can decide we won't like someone before we even meet them. Or we can treat everything like a learning experience, start on common ground, then find a way to ease into those things we normally refuse to acknowledge. When you think about it, it's a way of being genuine. Either you pretend to be interested, pretend to "be" with a person or pretend to connect just so you can keep anything real from happening between you. Or you can really connect.
For those of us who feel "different", we hope for our critics to see who we are...beyond the things they critique us for. Whatever that difference is, it's only one part of us—we're not all colored by just one stroke. Chances are, your critics hope for the same thing. Or someone you're critical of does. Again to the Ghandi quote, "be the change you want to see in this world".
You've probably heard the saying, "monsters live in the dark." Well, the more we walk into those situations that make us cringe...haha...the more we illuminate our fears and the more we learn about ourselves. The growth and change and triumph doesn't come from anything the "other side" has to say. It comes from our willingness to listen, push past our fears and see the world with an open mind, open eyes and open heart.