I only ever go to have a professional tarot reading when the voice inside tells me to. This only happens once or twice a year at most, when I trot off to Vivienne for a reading. Vivienne used to run the tarot guild. She's one of the best readers in Australia if not the world. She's also one of the more direct, tarot readers around. Another friend who sees her for readings calls a session with her "ripping you a new arsehole." Maybe it's not quite that violent, but it certainly gives you something to think about.
Unfortunately the truth often hurts. Oh, how do I know this one.
There were a couple of reasons why I asked for the reading today. Though I'm pleased with my time off, I was looking for some clarity around the work situation. Also, with all of the changes that have been happening, I want a bit of clarity on a few things. Friends have come, friends have gone, jobs have gone, opportunities are coming. Things are in a bit of a spin.
I've also been drawing the devil card a bit of late. When it come up often it's a sign to talk it out. The Devil is about looking fear in the face. Only I can't quite see what I'm scared of.
There was also another issue that raised it's head during the week which I needed to see a way through. The pain was raising its head again. It was time to address it once more - and not let if fester.
The pain, you ask. Yeah, I call it the pain. It comes when somebody touches a nerve and you don't quite know what to do with that pain. In this case, it was stirred up after reading a friend's blog.
My friend, Aim, is one of the most remarkable people I know. Her blog detailed her history, right through her childhood, through a miserable adolescence, into adult hood. Three years ago, Aim screamed "Enough!" and started on a journey - the most incredible journey, during which she has shed 75 kgs and had discovered that life can be, and is, wonderful. She's one of my inspirations. She's a wonderful spirit - wise, funny, knowledgeable and brave. I feel honoured to call her a friend.
Aim's story rang far too many bells with me. In her journey, she's also been addressing the hurt, shame and pain that were a constant factor in her life. Everything she was saying I could relate to. I know that my story isn't as extreme, but I saw myself in her words.
And then came the 'aha' moment for me. What's going wrong with me in within? Go back and chat to Viv.
What was stirring in me was old pain. Childhood pain. Teenage pain. The stuff that's been hanging around for what seems like eternity. The stuff that if you don't deal with it comes and bites you in the bum until you either knock it on the head, or die. Three of Swords stuff.
If Aim can look at her demons, so can I.
(Big breath in, big breath out)
So after this morning's massage client I take myself off to Viv. The normal pleasantries. The normal chat about the cat and the computer. The normal preambles. And then the killer.
"The universe has made it apparent that you are supposed to get out there and do this right now."
"Aha." I wanted to say "No shit, Sherlock," but I'm a little less crass than that.
"Everything is going to hinge on the decisions you make next."
"And you don't trust yourself because you've messed up in the past."
I butt in here, "But I'm doing a better job of things lately."
"I didn't say you weren't. But you need to trust every instinct you have from now on."
"Okay. I hear you."
I knew this. Sometimes you need somebody to spell it out for you.
We did a few more rounds. Seems my idea of going contracting is sound - but I know this. I'm happier when things are changing and I get to meet new people and do new things. I should also get a plan together, looking into setting up my own business - but doing what I asked.
And then, the obligatory relationship question. Has to be done. I'm just like everybody else when it comes to this question - what's doing with the lovelife? Everybody asks it. Up comes the Three of Swords. Old pain.
"Well, you're broken. You got broke."
"No shit, Sherlock. Why do you think I sit in that dream group?"
"So you can see that you're not that badly off."
"You're just as broken as the rest of the world. You just have to find a different way out of it."
"It's time to start trusting yourself."
"Aha." I'm tearing up by now.
"You don't know what love is and it scares the shit out of you."
"So what are you going to do about it?"
I consider this for a while. I know she's right. I know I'm a bit broken in some ways. I know I've healed in others. But after all the work, the therapy, the courses and the tarot and navel gazing, I'm still broken, and I certainly don't trust myself in these situations - anything to do with relationships - I buckle and run.
"Well, I'm going to try and fix it. It's the elephant in the room." I say with resolve.
"The elephant in the room?" asked Viv.
"Yeah, the one in the corner you know you have to eat. And how are you going to do it - one bite at a time."
I might have to get myself another star calendar. I have one going for diet and exercise going. Each day I keep within my calories and take at least a half hour walk, a star goes up on the calendar. They use it for toilet training kids, why not use it as a reward system for keeping my health and wellbeing on track.
If only I could work out what I would get a star on the calender for on the other problem. You can't count calories and exercise sessions when it comes to matters of the heart.
Leaving Viv's place, I was a bit unsettled. Lots to digest. Lots to think about.
I'll do double job hunting tomorrow. Today I just need to let myself think and heal. And get to the gym, where I know I work some of this pain out and gather more self-respect with every push, row, step and pull.
One day at a time.
One step at a time.
(Big breath in, big breath out)
Looking fear directly in the face.