I remember, as a child, feeling quite alone and isolated. I remember a deep, unquenchable thirst for love that I thought I wasn’t getting. I convinced myself that I was not receiving love, and was therefore unworthy of it. I found comfort and solace in pain.
But why? My parents loved me. I had a little sister who has only grown closer to me. I always had friends. Why was it that I chose to see the world from a negative angle?
The truth is, when you have such a deep set belief that you are undeserving or unworthy of something, you are going to take every opportunity to prove your point to yourself. This is where your perfectionism steps in. You aren’t allowed to be wrong, so your perfectionism will prove your point to you over and over again, even when it is detrimental and untrue. Much like the Orange Car Effect, your perfectionism will cherry pick evidence to prove just how unworthy you are. It is just doing it’s job. And not only is this very clearly damaging, but it is perpetual. Only you can choose to stop and see the love.
But how do you break this cycle? How do you go from one day proving to yourself that you are alone and nobody loves you to becoming a confident powerhouse? Well it takes time, imperfectly, one day at a time. It is a slow process, but it starts internally. That’s the beautiful thing, because you’re holding yourself accountable.
Once you decide to make this shift from self destruction to appreciating yourself, the Orange Car Effect shifts into this new gear, where you’re getting little gems of appreciation from outside sources. And not to count on them as validation, though you may need that at first, they just show up organically because you are starting to heal.
So why can’t you see the love when it’s staring you in the face? It’s because you don’t want to. You aren’t ready yet. But that’s ok, my friend. It is out there waiting for you to embrace it. Stay witchy ( *)
The Hanged Man reversed is a card of martyrdom and sacrifice. But when these acts aren’t for the greater good, but for the manipulation of others, it can really set you back.
When you are a people pleaser, you will say and do things in order to get people to like you and to keep them liking you. You are not honoring yourself, nor are you creating a relationship in which they respect you. You instead, are manipulating the situation to create a personal utopia in which you can do no wrong. And that is just false.
Further, when you practice people pleasing, you will come across many people who know how to use the word “no,” and this will, in turn, upset you, because they aren’t trying to people please YOU. So instead of just honoring yourself and your needs in the first place, you’ve now created a situation in which you are sacrificing yourself for a person who isn’t speaking your language. And guess what? No one should speak the language of unnecessary self sacrifice.
When you people please, you are putting yourself second. You are exhibiting an inherent belief that your happiness is not worth as much as their happiness, and is therefore unimportant and irrelevant. It is much more important that people like you than for you to set boundaries and say the word no.
If this is something you struggle with, I want you to practice using your voice. Say no to one person this week. Whether it’s for a simple outing you don’t want to go on, an extra lump of work that you just can’t manage, or to picking your friend up from the airport when you have other plans. Just say no, and watch the other persons reaction. I think you’ll be surprised when the world doesn’t cave in. Honor yourself always and stay witchy ( *)
While labels may seem obnoxious and confining, they can be helpful tools in figuring out where you are in your journey and how to correct what isn’t working. So lets go through and take my favorite topic and compare and contrast a love addict from a codependent.
First off, love addicts and codeps share a lot of innate similarities. Theses two types have problems with self esteem, self care, and self love. But that is a no brainer. While these two have similar stories as to how they developed those traits (abandonment issues, familial problems, etc.) they kind of fork off in different directions through how they handle their relationships.
A codependent has issues with control and boundaries. This is a person who wants to care for someone and then takes it to extreme levels, forgetting themselves in the process. They have a hard time seeing their reality and processing it, because from the inside there is no other way. They would stand in quicksand with the other person on their shoulders in order to make them better. A codependent person can find themselves in an unbalanced relationship with anyone: a friend, mother, father, child, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. simply because this is how they operate in daily life. They are second to everyone.
At the very core of it, codependency is the byproduct of a need to control. And when control doesn’t work, resentment bubbles to the surface. Resentment for their own lack of boundaries and inability to control, directed at the person on the receiving end.
A love addict, on the other hand, treats love like a drug. And while these two behaviors can look very similar from the outside, the love addict tends to thrive on the actual feeling of love further than control. While the codependent has a pretty consistent degree to which their codependency works within their daily lives, the love addict has surging ups and plummeting lows surrounding their drug of choice.
With a theme of longing and desire for attention, and the severe withdrawal associated with loss, love addicts have a chemical dependence on love. They, usually because of childhood neglect, place an extremely high standard for which they need to be loved, and when that attention isn’t paid or their needs are not met, they come back to that sensation of longing and pain. Where a codependent needs to control an outward situation, a love addict needs internal compensation. A love addict needs that high and feeling of euphoria coming from their partner because it takes away, even for a short time, that feeling of emptiness that resides inside.
Both love addicts and codependents serve an internal emptiness by looking for relationships that satisfy their core needs: either control or attention. Their symptoms look similar and their relationships tend to mimic each other, but the actual motives behind them take them in very different mental directions. So, as best to serve you, if you identify with one of these states over another, you can find the proper support group or book to help you. When you can pinpoint what is exactly going on in your heart and your head, you can help yourself to heal from the pain and loneliness that is keeping you confused. Get out and stay witchy ( *)
The High Priestess shows her dominion over pure intuition. As we read in fairy tales and folklore, we see old witches guide young princesses with their all knowing and all feminine counsel.
We are told through stories that all women have this power of intuition. That if we just tap into our sixth sense we can see through danger and navigate in a wise and wondrous way. But with all of the noise and a collection of “truths” throughout our lives, what does this look like in a modern day reality?
Now I know not everyone reading this blog is going to light incense and candles and meditate to clear their head (although I highly recommend it) but doing some soul searching and practicing self help is going to get you started on that path. Stripping away all of the collected nonsense to get you back to your authentic self will help in your journey to being intuitive. Listening to your gut is a very important guide; your body knows more than you do.
So, metaphorically, when you’re faced with evil stepsisters or a tyrannical king, you could be actually up against a group of mean girls or a sour employer. In these situations, you don’t let their truth change yours. You live forward and authentically, and that little light called intuition will help to steer you on the right path, Don’t be afraid to listen to her. Stay witchy ( *)
The Five of Swords is a card of victory through betrayal, or a sore defeat, depending on who you identify with in the reading. Unfortunately though, with this card, there is no real winner. Either you isolate yourself with a dirty triumph, or you lost after sticking to a battle that wasn’t yours to fight.
Pride pays an important role with this card. Either being too proud to acknowledge other’s feelings to win at all costs, or too proud to accept that you need to play by different rules in order to survive.
This is something I struggle with now more than ever before. When is your loyalty to your values and your belief in standing up for yourself, your conviction, getting in your own way? When is it time to bow your head, play the game, and accept defeat?
I think it is all situational. If you are in a bad position, lets take at work for example, and you have the means to leave, then you need to start looking for other employment and move out of what makes you miserable. Yes, every job has its pros and cons, but if you are feeling your soul getting sucked out of you the minute you walk through the doors, it is a huge sign to take action and change.
See, I don’t think that that is losing. I think taking yourself out of a place of misery is victory, and when done gracefully, you can walk over an un-burned bridge to a happier life. I think the saddest defeat, in all actuality, is bowing down and letting people walk all over you because you are afraid of change.
Ultimately, we need to pick our battles. But if you are continuously depressed at the thought of going somewhere you spend most of your time, after exhausting all of your resources to make it better, it’s time to get out of dodge. Employment is not always easy to find, but it is imperative that you are at least content doing what you need to do to survive.
Being proactive is the best way to win a clean battle. Don’t leave anyone behind by winning with malintent. And don’t be a sore loser either, by letting your pride get in the way and putting yourself in a bad situation. If what you are fighting for is really worth it, there is a way to go about it that you can be proud of. If it isn’t suck it up and make good with others. Be respectful, stand up for what you believe in, and stay witchy ( *)
The Nine of Pentacles denotes gratitude and inner harmony, and what better time to be grateful than during Thanksgiving?
When things aren’t going well, it is difficult to be thankful. But it is also an important time to look for the positive in your life so the negative doesn’t consume you. Looking in retrospect at how you’ve chosen to grow from unfavorable situations is easier than when you are in it, but looking forward with tenacity is an admirable skill that can be learned.
In the spirit of the holiday tomorrow, I’ve decided to create a list for the things I am thankful for today. Feel free to use it in comparison with your own!
I am thankful for my mental and physical health, which I have had the strength and value to invest time in.
I am thankful for my coven/ my family, for supporting me when times were bad, and celebrating with me when times were good.
I am thankful for the ability to open my heart again.
I am thankful for the obstacles in my life that have made me stronger and smarter.
I am thankful for the strength that made me a survivor, and more than a victim.
I am thankful for forgiveness, which has helped me to release harmful, negative energy within myself.
I am thankful for my steady income, which keeps a roof over my head.
I am thankful for my ability to write, which has been an incredible gift and exercise.
I am thankful for my followers, who are loyal and accepting of my brand.
I am thankful for my spirit, which had many opportunities to falter, but never did.
Get thankful today, tomorrow, and always. Stay witchy ( *)
As Temperance upright denotes balance, reversed warns excess.
Dichotomous thinking is usually described in psychology literature as”black and white thinking” and “thinking in extremes.” And while this is seen as a common symptom in many mental illnesses, it is a common symptom in just plain high achievers.
If you are an ambitious person, or even a perfectionist, you have surely experienced dichotomous thinking. If I do not succeed fully, I am a failure. If I finish anywhere but the top, I am worthless. The extreme ends of this spectrum are damaging and come from our best frenemy, the inner critic.
Moderation, or temperance, comes from self compassion. Being able to do your best and be proud of yourself for just that is mind-boggling to some of us. In fact, that thought might even be scary because if we’re OK with “just doing our best” we’ll fall into mediocrity and never find our way out. But, on the contrary, that in it of itself is greatness. If we can wrap our arms around ourselves and hug ourselves into a next level of ambition then we have truly succeeded. No one is perfect and to hold ourselves to such high standards is just unfair.
If I don’t get married by 30 I will die alone. If I don’t get this promotion at work I should quit and find a new profession. If no one reads my blog I should just give up because it’s completely pointless.
Sound familiar? We have all had thoughts like this at one time or another. And they sound so silly from the objective outside!
So rather than thinking in extremes like this, try changing your tune. If I don’t get this promotion, I’m going to volunteer for this project that I know I will kick ass at. If no one is reading my blog, I’m going to promote it more and look at the statistics patterns. If I’m putting so much pressure on marriage and my relationships aren’t working, maybe I should look deeper into my role in the relationships I do have.
Turn your extreme put-downs into goals and solutions. Being a defeatist is not only super dangerous but really uncomfortable to be around. Life will only defeat you when you let it, so turn the black and white thinking into a rainbow of opportunity. Start to sparkle and stay witchy ( *)
To kind of piggy-back on the 3-parter I just finished, I want to step in and discuss triggers. Throughout my exercise in clarity and empowering myself to make the right decision in my everyday dealings, I started to notice all of the triggers that got me to the fork in the road in the first place.
Triggers are anything that can send you into a spiral. You are the loaded gun, and the trigger creates the explosion. Everyone has them, and recognizing them will help you have more control over your actions and emotions.
Triggers are insanely important within the realm of addiction. No matter in what stage of my addiction, certain triggers would bring me to need to fill myself up with my substance of choice. Those triggers that seemed to be most effective were comments from people I may or may not have misconstrued, a let down (like a lost job), comparing myself to people on TV or magazines, or even something as simple as location. But even if you’ve never experienced an addiction per se, look at some of your habits and see what comes before your need to act them out.
Triggers are creatures of habit. They come from our brains natural conditioned responses to save us from what it thinks is harmful. They are learned. If some girl says that you look fat in that skirt, and you went to throw up your lunch after so you could feel better, your brain starts to think that, in order to feel good after feeling bad, you need to throw up your lunch. If you keep doing this with the same effect, you are training yourself against yourself. You are teaching your brain bad habits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t UNteach it.
The Ace of Swords represents your mental force. It represents using your intellect to analyze the situation. Everyone possesses the ability to do this, but you must exercise this muscle. This starts with recognizing your triggers, and then doing what you need to help retrain your brain. If, for you, that looks like avoiding a certain route to work to help quit smoking, repeating a mantra to help you shift focus from a rude comment, filling your life with hobbies so you don’t reach for that fourth drink, or calling your sponsor instead of reaching for (insert paraphernalia here) then do it! There’s no right or wrong answer with triggers. Every journey is tailor made. But in order to embark on it, you have to make the decision to do the work. I invite you to try the exercise I did below and see what you find. It could be the first day you see things clearly. Stay witchy, friends ( *)