Shock, Trauma, and the Awesome Feeling of Acceptance

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Straight from the mouth of my favorite website, biddytarot.com, “The Ten of Swords reversed indicates a painful ending which must occur for there to be growth and regeneration.” As you can tell from the bulk of my content, this is a very relatable concept for me.

However, even with growth and regeneration, there is some trauma left behind from the painful ending. While that is normal, it indicates the need to heal.

For example, the other day I ran into my ex on the street. Yup, the one I always write about. After making a pact with myself to stop obsessing over his social media, I thought about him less and less until I kind of forgot how close he lived to me. It seemed like he fell off the face of the earth. Well my earth.

Anyways, it was a completely unavoidable collision at this point. Our relationship, while tumultuous, ended even more dramatically, and in all fairness my participation was, at times, just as dirty as his. So we DO NOT TALK. And seeing him a hundred feet in front of me with no where to go was like seeing the accident happening before your eyes and just preparing for the crash.

I quickly diverged. Eyes on my phone, frantically trying to keep cool and like I didn’t even notice him. But the physiological response of a pounding heart and racing thoughts looked like anything but cool from the outside. I tripped over my bags and held my breath, and once we passed each other I high-tailed it, praying that I could keep my head from looking back.

So now I’m like, why the hell was that so difficult? Shouldn’t I be over it by now? I got out, I’m free, my life is big and beautiful now, why am I freaking out???

Well, it’s because of the associated trauma. My mother, in all of her wise motherly ways, told me that I should be happy because he lost out and messed up and I’ve moved on in a healthy way. That I shouldn’t get hung up because I won. And although that is true, pain is energy, and that really never dies. It just depends on how you transfer it; and that depends on if you even know it’s there.

Right before he and I got together, I was sexually assaulted by a stranger. I had to go to the police, the whole shebang. It was completely and utterly traumatizing, and instead of reaching for help, I got black out drunk.

Then I met him. And on our first date, I blacked out as a result of my pattern of behavior, and basically drank my way through our relationship too. I hid an original trauma in drinking and codependency, and then gained new trauma from being totally emotionally robbed by someone I thought I loved.

I never healed in the first place, so I had compounding traumas being tamped down by alcohol. What a damn party.

So this small instance of basically a millisecond of walking past my ex stirred up years of trauma and pressed my anxiety button. The fact that I couldn’t breathe and could barely put one foot in front of the other was a sign of my scars.

My point is, I guess, that emotional wounds are like physical ones. The deeper they are, the longer it takes to heal, and the more likely it will leave a scar. And you have to be OK with the fact that you have a story. My gut instinct was to beat myself up and say “Why did you react that way?? Aren’t you over it??” But in reality, even if I am, it is still not fun to be reminded of trauma’s past. This is why your tribe is so important. My mother, my sister, and my friends got me to a point of exploration and curiosity, and then a step further to acceptance. And you’re always going to need that human connection in your life to help make sense of it all. Keep your coven close, be kind to your scars, and stay witchy ( *)

 

Why My Mother Means So Much to Me

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In honor of my mothers birthday today, I’d like to explore the ups and downs of a mother-daughter relationship. Such a unique bond is special, and whether you weren’t, aren’t, were or are close with your mother, this is a story I think we can all appreciate.

My mother and I have had quite a ride together. I was always searching for attention and affection, and through my teenage years that kind of behavior turned destructive. I was not your typical teenager, with changing hormones and training bras. I was all of that, but I was also a drug addict suffering from depression.

My relationship with my mother at this time tore apart at the seams. And of course it did. I was crying out for help because of psychological disorders, but instead of accepting the help when it was offered, I ran into the arms of a drug dealer and decided to worsen the problem.

From the first sign of trouble, my mother brought me to a psychologist. I was deep into a punk rock phase at the time, rich with music and creating fashion, but I was horribly sad. I walked into the doctors office and immediately hated this woman because she couldn’t possibly understand me. She made me do this exercise where I was supposed to guess what the potted plants behind me looked like and I rolled my eyes so hard that I gave myself a headache. I told my mom I didn’t want to go back. She said OK, and we talked.

My mom always tried to talk to me. She always extended her arms. But I just wasn’t having it. I liked to isolate and I found solace in drugs. Not shortly after that first therapy session, I found cocaine. Which turned to meth. Which turned to complete and utter destruction.

I was extremely young when I found drugs. And I am not blaming my teenage self for how I acted. I was a child from 13-17 who was totally lost.

I sure as hell don’t blame my mother. She tried with all of her compassionate and motherly might to help me. But what do you do with a wild animal who is constantly getting arrested? I sure as hell don’t know.

So through all of this, as soon as she saw some light in my eyes at the beginning of my recovery, she was right there. She was also there to pick me up from jail and to bring me to court appointments, but when I came home from being kicked out with real sincerity in my eyes, I had my mother back.

She let me sleep in her bed when I went through withdrawals. She supported me in every way that she could. But even after being clean, I just kept getting into trouble.

At some point, it was time to take responsibility for myself and get my shit together. Getting older and getting through college gave me some wisdom enough to do that. But even still, as I’m sure you’ve gathered from previous posts, it was not all rosey.

I put a heavy strain on my relationship with my mother. I have accepted full responsibility for that. At the time I was convinced that it was because she didn’t love me enough and that I had terrible parents. But now, knowing about that symptom of codependency that breeds manipulation and projection, it is clear to see that she loved me more than anything. It was me who didn’t love me.

When I first left for New York, I had my shit pretty tight. I saved up 10 grand to move, I graduated college, I set up an apartment in the city. Things were looking up. That was really my new beginning, and boy has it been a journey. But what the real amazing part was how much my relationship with my mother strengthened.

As I started to find myself, little rays of self love started to shine through. Anger turned into forgiveness. Blame turned into accountability. And hate into love and appreciation. I started to call my mother every day. I started to listen to her advice. I started to hear the compassion in her words that was always there, but ignored by self sabotage.

When she came to visit me when I was still with my then-boyfriend, we had more fun together then we ever had. And when I took her to Grand Central, my favorite site in NYC, we sat under that beautiful, sea green astrological mural and had one of the most important conversations of our relationship.

She asked me if I used to hate her.

We both started crying. I mean, how could a mother think her daughter hated her. And to the best of my ability at the time, I tried to explain that I’m sure I thought I did, but who I really hated was myself. We hugged, dried our eyes, and realized that we had crossed a threshold into a real bond. We were in an adult mother-daughter relationship.

I call my mother every day. She is the single most important woman in my life. And while I still stand by the fact that we aren’t the best roommates, I would never trade that I am able to stay so close in contact with her even though I am 3,000 miles away.

Boundaries and respect are important in any relationship. And once we were able (or I was willing) to do that for us, we have become closer than ever. She is the epitome of the Empress in my eyes. Happy birthday mom, stay witchy ( *)

Why Do We Keep Getting in Our Own Way?

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The Seven of Swords represents mental challenges; breaking old habits that have been built after reoccurring setbacks. This card shows the difficulty in embarking in a new direction, but the willingness to start a new chapter.

When something comes up that seems too good to be true, we tend to overthink things, re-rationalize, and convince ourselves out of the current situation in order to protect ourselves from what we have learned is the inevitable outcome. We self sabotage until we reach the end result we have come to know all too well.

If you start a new job that you absolutely adore but are afraid of being laid off yet again, start a new relationship but just know its not going to end well, or start a new project but just have this sinking feeling that it isn’t going to get the feedback you desire, then you have experienced this Negative Nancy syndrome. We set our expectations low and our hopes high in secret, only to prove to ourselves that we’re going to be let down again. Because if we do it to ourselves, it is easier to take then if we let someone else hurt us.

Now it is totally true that there are forces outside of us that we cannot control. We cannot control other peoples actions and we sure as hell can’t control the universe. And that is scary, because as humans we are soft and vulnerable at our core. But in order to be our happiest, we need to show up fully every time we get an opportunity to. We need to show that gooey soft core because that is human. And 9 times out of 10 it is received really well, because others need to feel that vulnerability to.

We’ve all had broken hearts. Lost jobs. Lost family members. Things that hurt more than any cut or burn. But these pains we experience are opportunities for growth, change and strength within us. They offer out two hands each holding a different outcome. On the one you can turn your pain into anger and distrust, or on the other you can turn it into compassion and healing. Which life sounds more appealing?

It is a simple fight or flight response to protect our heart from hurt with distrust. Distrust in another human, ourselves, and/or the environment. But that creates a very small world to live inside. It creates a little sad bubble where only you are invited, and you never get to experience anyone elses warmth because you never give out yours. Relationships of all kinds are two way streets, and you create this self sabotage when you take more than you get.

So try to get vulnerable with yourself first. Its a scary world out there, I know. But there is so much love and beauty to be experienced when you create some room to let it in. Don’t hide in the shadows. Get out there and feel the warmth of the sun. Start trusting, don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out, and stay witchy ( *)

Rationing Your Time

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Good afternoon witches! As some of you may have noticed, my blog posts have becoming more infrequent. While I used to try and post as often as possible, the time has come for me to spread out my writings in order to preserve the quality of my content.

Which brings me to the Ten of Wands. Today we’re looking at a reversed card that signifies the process of holding onto a burden that is unnecessary. Biting off more than you can chew and finishing the bite out of pride. This kind of behavior is silly and ends up working against you by burning you out.

This blog was originally made to be a writing project for me to spill my guts, while using my influences of tarot and self help to allow me to move my message in a personalized manner. As I would like my posts to exhibit an air of passion over obligation, I am taking a step back from writing when I have nothing to say. I want this page to have content full of worth rather than filler pieces for when I have writers block.

Essentially, this post is to apologize, inform, and explain the gaps in my writing. I will still be posting multiple times a week, but only when it feels organic and there is a subject worth writing about.

I love you all and thank you for following. Stay witchy and stay reading ( *)

Giving Acknowledgement and Love to Your Inner Critic

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We’ve visited this card before. Strength. The woman, strong and compassionate, tames the lion in her lap with her peaceful energy.

This is how I want you to look at your relationship with your inner critic. You are the goddess atop the beast. The lion is your inner critic; the manifestation of your fears. You can tame this wild animal but only with compassion and acknowledgement. By shutting out your inner critic, whipping the lion and beating it down, you only anger it to come back with more intensity. If you recognize that your inner critic is actually your fears trying to protect you, just in a very negative way, you can address it with kindness, and choose to listen to the stronger voice within you.

Your inner critic is a part of you. It is your own voice. And in self love, we need to love EVERY part of ourselves to give way to growth. By telling our inner critic to just go fuck off, we aren’t addressing why we’re having those thoughts in the first place, and we can’t, therefore, get curious enough to replace them with kind ones. In self discovery, we need to acknowledge all of our little bits and pieces to see why our machine runs the way it does. Only then can we give ourselves some upgrades.

So get curious and compassionate. Let your inner critic exist while choosing not to give in to the negativity. And as always, stay witchy ( *)

Emotional Intelligence

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The Queen of Cups is a Queen of emotions. She is introspective and compassionate. She understands herself and listens to others. She is emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is of high importance for many reasons. The basal reason being that most every aspect of our lives is founded on human interaction. Be it at work, in a relationship, or just crossing the street, emotional intelligence can help you interact better with your fellow people.

Emotional intelligence, however, starts from within. If you are not able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, your emotional ups and downs, and your triggers, it is that much harder to read other people. If you can’t identify the emotions closest to you, how can you understand and connect with the emotions outside of you?

This is where compassion comes in.

Compassion, in this instance, I am defining as the concern for others and the ability to listen.

If you are compassionate to others, you can be compassionate to yourself, and vice versa. Lending an active listening ear to those around you will tell you a lot about who you are dealing with, on the surface and underneath. If you do the same to yourself, and actively listen to your own patterns, you can start to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Connecting with people on this level builds foundations of trust. And connecting with yourself builds confidence on the trust of your patterns and intuition.

So in order to become more emotionally intelligent, I suggest to take a step back from being so inside yourself to taking the role of an observer. Not so much that you create harsh distance, but enough so that you can see things from another perspective.

Get compassionate, and stay witchy ( *)

Why Compassion is so Powerful

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True strength comes from compassion.

Is anyone else fiery? Hot-tempered? Impulsive??

Well, I know that is definitely part of my character. Much like the lion in this card, I have tamed these traits over time, but when I was younger I would shoot off like a pistol whenever someone did something I didn’t like.

Compassion is an art form. Learning to understand and accept people is extremely difficult, especially when you don’t like most people and are quick to judge. However, learning to act with compassion towards those you don’t understand creates inner peace.

Rather than wasting a bunch of hateful energy, compassion has the ability to release.

For example, I work in a bar. Sometimes, because I am overworked and tired 99% of the time, people rub me the wrong way. A hasty gesture, or just mild rudeness can turn me into a sword-wielding Beatrix Kiddo. But if I take a minute to remind myself to act with compassion, it releases all of this unnecessary tension I have stored against this complete stranger.

When you hold onto that weird, made up grudge, you are the only one that feels it. No one else is affected by it but you. Sometimes people may sense that you are in a bad mood, and they might feel uncomfortable, but you are ultimately the one swimming in misery. You’re just creating a hateful world for yourself to live in.

Being compassionate is even more rewarding if it’s a friend. If someone close to you said something you didn’t like, you have to freedom to open a dialogue. Not in an argumentative, mortal-kombat-finish-him type way but from a place of wanting to understand. You would be amazed at how the stories you made up about that comment or gesture are actually pretty far from the truth. And gaining insight helps you to be a little more human each day.

So lets get collectively compassionate. It would be a better world if we were. Stay witchy my friends ( *)