It Takes Two

Can you be in a healthy relationship with someone who is not fully healed?

The Lovers reversed suggests an imbalance. Some disharmony between the two. But I don’t think it is impossible.

Actually, I think the key here is willingness. When we enter into a relationship, we bring our own set of baggage, as our partner does, and we both have to work with it. We have to accept that it’s there, but also not let it get in the way.

So let’s say both partners have gotten out of pretty awful previous relationships. Let’s also say that one person has a higher EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) than the other. This may lead to some rough patches given that some baggage may bleed into the relationship, and only one partner is equipped to handle it.

Here I would say the willingness and acceptance of the partner who is struggling, as well as the patience of the other, is essential. Getting into therapy to help to cope with all of the new ups and downs of a fresh relationship could be very conducive for the struggling party. And not only for the relationship, but the partner as an independent.

As we see in the reversed Five of Cups, we need to move on and accept our shortcomings. Moving on and pushing through doesn’t mean forgetting the past, it means recognizing what makes you, you, and becoming the best version of yourself through practice.

Relationships are funny, in that they can be so compelling with two dysfunctional humans working in tandem. However, it only works well to a point. If you want a long lasting, fruitful relationship, BOTH partners have to be willing to be vulnerable, communicate, and accept their baggage. No one is perfect, but knowing that you aren’t and getting help with your roadblocks will ensure you have a healthy relationship. Regardless of if it works out or not is another story, but it will help you grow, minimize the drama, and treat your partner with fairness. Stay accountable and stay witchy ( *)

Teaching Others How To Treat You (Personal Responsibility)

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All too often we find ourselves being treated the same way by different people and we’re left scratching our heads as to why this keeps happening to us. Well, as the Justice card implies cause and effect and accountability, it shows us that we need to take responsibility for how we TEACH others to treat us.

Well what the hell does that mean? This is the question I asked myself in the beginning of my recovery. Because I had no idea what that looked like and that I just found out it existed, I time and time again found myself in unhealthy relationships. Which brings me to the cyclical nature of boundaries and values. If you can not name your core values, you can not have clear boundaries. If you do not have clear boundaries, people will go too far with you because you haven’t created a mental sanctuary of protection. And when you get hurt because of that, you lose further site of your values. This is why boundaries are so important.

I talk about this subject at length because not so long ago I had no boundaries and my life was pretty fucked up. But when I got the help and did the work, my boundaries started coming out of the ground, and my relationships of all kinds were strengthened. If you are like I was and have no idea what this looks like, let me offer up some clear cut instructions:

Step one: find a list of core values online. Write down the ones that stick out to you on a piece of paper and keep whittling that list down until you get to about 10 core values. This seems like an extremely daunting task because all of these values are super great, but this is a personalized list to find out what means the most to YOU. You’re looking for priorities, not abundance.

Step two: cut that damn list in half. Again, we’re looking for values with utmost priority in your life. This is tough, but use your intuition. Your gut will lead you to what is important.

Step three: look at the complete opposite of your value (aka your threat.) See what will come in opposition of your value and make a pact with yourself to not allow it in your life. This takes practice but this is how you create a solid and valuable life. You don’t deserve to tolerate someone or something that completely bowls over your values.

Step four: realize that you just created a boundary. Yup folks, that’s right. The ability to protect your value is the creation of a boundary. So congratulations!

Let me give you an example of what that looks like.

My top five values are authenticity, balance, courage, friendships, and self respect. From the balance area, I’ve created a boundary in which I will not over exert myself by working over 40 hours a week. I need my me time and so I have created a situation in which I am respected by my employer. If I feel like I can’t be myself around someone (authenticity,) I choose to not be around that person when I have the choice. And most importantly, if someone does not respect me, I stand up for myself because I do not deserve ill treatment. This includes shutting down my inner critic. All of these acts take courage, and a strong tribe to support you.

Through all of these examples I’ve tried to paint the picture of exactly what the boundaries/ values relationship looks like because I sure as hell had no clue when I first started my recovery. I am a visual learner, and having been stuck in a black hole of depression and martyrdom, I couldn’t see outside of myself far enough to know what a healthy relationship looked like. So don’t wait around for change. Grab a pen and get proactive. There are plenty of lists online so you don’t have to think up a value out of thin air. Get some values, create some boundaries, and stay witchy ( *)

Who is My Ideal Self?

This exercise took manually digging through the cards. But if I were at the top of my game, these are the qualities that I would like to possess, and once I see these in my minds eye, it is much easier to work on attaining them than if they had no definition at all. Lets see the traits that I admire…

Its not surprising that I would choose some Major Arcana and a Queen to look up to, am I right?

Ok so here we go:

The Queen of Wands leads a busy and active life, is cheerful and optimistic, and is self assured. She holds her confidence quietly and isn’t easily rattled.

The Two of Wands is bold and original. He is not afraid to express his ideas. He has the whole world in his hands.

The Ace of Cups represents listening to intuition and the ability to experience intimacy; proceeding with love and an open heart.

Strength shows you can endure through patience, compassion, and soft control.

And finally, Temperance signifies moderation and balance.

All of these qualities are attainable through self awareness and hard work. Making the shift from a negative force to a positive one is as easily understood as shifting your perspective. But it takes dedication and some digging to do so. In the final part of this series, I will show you exactly how I plan to keep working on myself to ensure my happiest life. Stay witchy ( *)

Crying is Therapeutic

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When this card is reversed, it signifies the releasing of pain. And what better way to do that than have a good, old fashioned cry fest?

For many of us, we see tears as a sign of weakness. We spent the better part of our lives trying to mask any emotion that would trigger crying. We feel embarrassed when we cry. But why is that? Why do we steer clear of a natural response to pain?

In my opinion, the bravest thing a person can do is to feel their emotions truly. Rather than shove them deep down into the depths of their soul and try to hide them forever, or mask them with alcohol or any sort of addiction, to be able to feel your feelings in a raw way is an amazing thing. To step up and face these emotions with courage and acceptance is heroic, and we have the opportunity to do this every day.

I have definitely felt the repercussions of masking and hiding my feelings. It doesn’t work. Those feelings are tricky little bastards and they will manifest in many ways. Be it eating disorders, addictions, reckless behavior, or just plain snapping at people you are close to. If you don’t deal with your feelings, they’ll find a way to cry for help. Not until you learn how to address your emotions will you truly find balance.

And honestly, what feels better than having a good cry? Sometimes I feel like I need a purge of emotions so I play some sad songs or turn on a sad movie and just ball my eyes out. Its healthy. And although you may need to freeze some spoons to avoid puffy eyes, your emotional burden will be lightened.

So go on Netflix, watch The Notebook (I’m only half kidding) and have a cry fest. Stay true and stay witchy ( *)