Collaborating with Stevie Nicks on the 1991 song “Sometimes It’s a Bitch,” Jon Bon Jovi tells us exactly that…”sometimes it’s a bitch, sometimes it’s a breeze.”
And sometimes that breeze you feel is life sucking.
Like all Tarot cards, the Ten of Swords has different threads of feeling, different threads of meaning. Like life, Tarot cards are not all rainbows and unicorns. The Ten of Swords is one of the best cards in the deck at showcasing that little fact.
From my side of the Tarot table, part of reading for other people is dealing with the suckage as well as the sparkles. It’s kind of a weird juxtaposition when, as the reader, you are perfectly fine but then along comes a card like this one. When that happens, it is time for a little re-framing of the situation for the client and nice beefy boundaries between your personal feelings and the external energies. Humor helps on both sides of that strong boundary.
When you feel the breeze of suckatude for yourself or for a client, there are two main roads to take. First you have the standard issue platitudes and pep talks. Sometimes that is the legit energy coming from the card. When that is the vibe, it’s your cue to take the card down the cheerleader path: “Fall down seven times, get up eight…when life hands you lemons, make lemonade… when life hands you limes, make margaritas.” That sort of thing. There are times when that approach puts things into better perspective. Sometimes people will be receptive to the idea that the mountain is really just a speedbump and let themselves be cheered up by a colorful verbal bandage, as a toddler with a bump on the knee might be.
Other times, the mountain really is a mountain. Unicorn poop and platitudes won’t help. You can’t re-frame real problems away. That’s a recipe for so called toxic positivity (or at least an extra helping of denial, minimization and other perhaps less than healthy coping mechanisms.)
Maybe, just maybe, misery loves company because miserable people hurt a little less when they don’t feel alone at the same time. That isn’t to say you should let yourself be made miserable. Reflection, rather than re-framing comes in handy. Try acknowledging the situation while holding on to your own strength. Think of it as a head shake and “Duuuuuude” as you stick out your hand to help them up. Even if there isn’t much anyone can substantially DO for the situation, it might help a little to embrace the suck. THAT is the advice the Ten of Swords is offering today.
That breeze you feel? That’s life sucking…as it does sometimes.
“Going with the flow” is often assumed to be all peaceful, zen and pretty. Not always. Sometimes the flow you have to go with is from the wastewater treatment plant. If that is your situation – duuuuude.
That sucks. I hear you. You have every right to feel pissed/depressed/terrified. Who wouldn’t feel that way in a situation like that? Feel it. Spend a minute embracing the suck and feeling the breeze of the suckatude – but then let’s figure out what you can DO to maybe help things suck a little less.
Wishing you all clear water and quiet breezes.
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