I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
Instructions: “What’s the hardest thing for you to do? What do you keep putting off? Do it now. Grit your teeth and push, baby. You’re making something beautiful, don’t stop now. Show the universe what kind of wonders you’re capable of this week.”
Tarot Card: Two of Cups.
Maybe it’s telling that I’m chosing a “feelings” card rather than a “passions” card for this entry. I almost wanted to choose the Six of Cups – for a lot of reasons, including the generocity & reunion aspects of it, but also the more bitter, painful aspects (naivete, being out of your depth) – but felt like that would be setting myself up for failure.
In the Wildwood deck, this card is “Attraction“, and sticks with a fairly traditional meaning for this card (which is sort of “The Lovers” Lite, if you want to put it that way). In the Osho Zen deck, on the other hand, it’s “Friendliness” (an image that calls up that “grow not in each other’s shadow” quote from The Prophet, at least for me), which is also accurate, but less typical (I find). Either way, this card tends to mean “starting over” – sometimes that means “starting over with someone new”, and other times it means “reconciliation” or a change in the way two(?) people relate to each other. I think it can sometimes mean “enfatuation” or “NRE” as well, but I’d need to look into it a little more. Regardless, it’s sometimes characterized as a “passive” card, or a card whose indications hinge a LOT on context which… feels appropriate for this week’s prompt.
Way back in Week Two, I talked about how “It’s hard to think of ‘receiving’ as something I can initiate”. And it still is. (And I also kind of am falling down that whole Second Chakra Energy money-and-sex rabbit hole, even if I’ve mostly staved it off for the past while). I touched on this feeling in Week Three, as well, when I talked about how being “proactively receptive” would involve being both More Trusting and More Vulnerable (which worked out so well…), and now I’m here, and this week’s prompt is asking me to do the Hard Thing that I’ve been putting off.
The first time I looked at the Osho Zen depiction of the Queen of Cups (Receptivity), what I saw in her double-helix-stemmed lotus blossom body was the Chalace (Brittish Traditional Wiccan style, in case you missed the metaphor). I keep thinking about the message to Slow Down from back in early April, and about not being as in my body as I thought I was and, maybe it’s because of the afore-mentioned sex-and-money rabbit hole, but I kind of feel like the Hard Thing I’ve been putting off is sex, specifically bottoming in sexual situations. (It’s something I can do, and something that I can enjoy a LOT… but I’m also really out of practice, and the last few times I’ve tried it, things have not ended well. I’ve wound up clinging to my various partners asking them over and over “Are you safe? Are you okay?” – a dissociative Thing where it’s pretty easy to spot what I’m really asking. FML.
And I’m fucking tired of it!
So I did a Hard Thing the other night, and asked for something specific from someone specific. And the someone specific said Yes.
Which you’d think would have been it for the hard part, but you would be wrong!
Turns out, there’s a whole other Hard Part that I didn’t even know was there!
So. Working this out:
Brené Brown writes (in The Gifts of Imperfection, iirc) that Joy is one of the most vulnerable feelings out there, and that because of this, people (i.e.: ME) are quick to numb out joy with things like Preemptive Tragedy or by setting up a permanent campsite in the Slaugh of Despond (perpetual, pre-emptive disappointment).
Slogging through the internal landscape of what I think I am, and am not, Supposed To feel – I’m not supposed to want things OR I’m supposed to “want things” but only in-so-far as I’m able to psychically predict what other people want to me to want, which I an then present to them like it was all my idea OR Wanting specific things is greedy, and makes you a burden/bother, and you should know better than to be like that OR You can WANT things all you like, but actually ASKING for them is heaping social pressure on someone else to do what you want, whether they want to or not, so you might as well just tattoo “rapist” on your forehead and get it over with, you horrible, horrible, self-centred, demanding jerk… You get the idea. Slogging through that stuff is hard. Getting the words out of my mouth is hard. But, for me at least (and in a situation where there was at least a 50% chance of getting a Yes in the first place), it was even harder to get through what came after.
The Hard Thing, it turns out, is stopping myself from slamming my own fist down on hope and joy by telling myself All The Stories – stories like “They’re just saying yes to be ‘nice’ to you, they don’t really want to do this and you should just let them off the hook before you screw this up even worse” OR “Okay, you’ve asked, and they’ve said yes. Now what happens if you freeze up and reneg on the deal? What happens then, huh? You’ll have Led Them On and then Let Them Down, that’s what! Maybe you should just call the whole thing off before you screw this up even worse”.
The hard part is staying open, and it took recognizing the feeling as one I’d had before (over a year ago actually, back when C first said they were interested in me and I spent a train-ride home from Toronto wanting to sob my eyes out because I was so full of hope that was trying so hard to turn into despair) for me to figure out what was happening.
Maybe if (when?) I feel that feeling again, I’ll be able to recognize it and tell myself: “Wait! This isn’t something that you have to squash! Stay hopeful! Stay open! This is already going somewhere good!”
Staying open felt like being filled up to overflowing (with something really positive), feeling a little overwhelmed and like I needed to dial things back or else Something Would Go Wrong… But it didn’t, in and of itself, feel bad. And staying emotionally open had some er… pleasant side-effects on the physical front? Yay? 🙂
I think that feeling – brim-full and possibly overflowing, but able to accept that more is coming – is the Queen of Cups Feeling.
I read something in Healing Sex (which I’d forgotten I’d bought years ago and in-which I’d already made a bunch of notes) the other day, about how as you push through barriers, you are going to feel all the uncomfortable, crappy feelings all over again, and you’re going to have to figure out which of those uncomfortable (emotional and/or phsyical) sensations are crappy-and-triggering because you don’t like them, versus which ones are uncomfortable but actually okay (like: If you try to stop yourself from getting turned on because of bad experiences or feelings around getting turned on during a Bad Situation, it’s okay to continue with a Good Situation, even if you are trying not to get turned on, and you might be able to let yourself get turned on in those Good Situations eventually). This reminds me a little of that.
Learning (or remembering?) how to discern which Intense Feelings mean “stop” versus which ones mean “keep going”, rather than treating all of them as “This is Too Intense! ACK!” is… kind of a big deal? I feel kind of like I’ve had a penny-drop moment, albeit probably one that’s going to involve a lot of practicing before it becomes something I can do without having to talk myself thorugh it on a concious level. (Although talking myself through “stay hopeful, stay open” in the emotional sense is actually a mega-tonne easier than talking myself through “stay in your body, don’t over-think everything” in the physical sense has ever, ever been, possibly for obivous reasons).
I have a chunk of rose quartz tucked into my bra, near my heart. I have Plans for this, but one of them is a little bit of self-glamoury to keep some love-for-me close at hand when I need it.
Touching on the Two of Cups again, the Mary-El version, as Beth Maiden puts it, depicts the “[…J]oy of emotional connection, the sublimity of blending energies[…]”. Of offering and accepting and receiving and offering back; of feeding each other.
I want to do this with my partner(s).
I want to build on this and keep opening.
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