When an English ex-pat friend in Spain read my palm 12 years ago, over a lunch of paella and tortilla washed down with sangria (those were the days), he would only say these words “Your life will be very unsettled for the next few years”. And nothing more.
And boy was he right. And it still is.
Maybe my life is not meant to be all smooth sailing, like some people’s. Maybe I’m meant to struggle and never have all that everyone else takes for granted. Maybe it’s my karma to have to learn all of Life’s bitter lessons, because in a past life I was arrogant, ignorant, cruel, wasteful, mean spirited?
I’m not bitter. I’ve learnt my lessons well, and I’m still learning. The biggest lesson was in letting go of what I cannot change, in accepting my circumstances and making the best of it, in the best way I know. Yes, it’s scary as hell, not knowing where your next footfall is going to land, wondering if you’re making the right choices, not knowing where you’re headed next – safety or an even more precarious precipice. Two steps forward, three steps back, it seems sometimes.
But I survived somehow, and if someone as ignorant as me can do it, so can you. Never give up, that’s the main thing. Just keep swimming, as Dory says in the film Finding Nemo. One foot in front of the other, and sooner (or later, as the case may be) you’ll find yourself in a place where you feel safe enough to stop to catch your breath.
And then keep moving.
And you know what, after all the trials and tribulations I’ve been through, all the experiences, hitting rock bottom and clawing my way back up, I don’t feel like I’m in any way further along my spiritual journey than when I first started. I might know a bit more, be a little more self-aware, but I certainly don’t feel like I’m better than anyone else. If anything, I feel like I’ve spent many long hours free-climbing a mountain, with scraped knees, bloody fingers and beautiful purple bruises to come, only to reach the top at last, breathe a sigh of relief, give myself a pat on the back…and see families with their children and dogs enjoying a picnic on the rocks, where they’d simply followed the hiking trail up the mountain, and it had only taken them half an hour. (True story, that).
But that’s completely fine with me too. Life is easy for some. Not so for others. Life is a Journey, and a journey without any distractions, bumps, ups and downs is just boring…like a rollercoaster ride that doesn’t do anything but sit idling on the platform.
These 5 Tarot cards summarise my Life’s Journey so far:
The Fool. That’s me alright, on my Journey. No matter how long I’ve been on the road, it still feels like I’m only just starting out. I’m so glad I have my faithful dog with me. Mind that first step….!
The Hanged Man. So many times I’ve been derailed on my Journey’s path. Sometimes the obstacles were simply unmoveable so I had to wait for them to remove themselves instead. Being in Limbo is not nice, because it means even though you want to do something, you can’t. Like when you’re playing a board game and you draw a card that says “Miss a turn”. Or, maybe even “Miss 3 turns”.
The Tower. Rapunzel was stuck in a tower, and look at how she escaped in the end. Some people lock themselves away in high towers and call it “Success”, when they’re actually just isolating themselves from the rest of Humanity. They call it the Ivory Tower, and dictate from it. It’s a long way to fall down…
Strength. I’ve called upon this card so many times in the last 12 years, it’s become my business card. I’ve learnt that no matter how bad things can get, Strength is always in me and I can always call on my reserves when needed. It’s why I haven’t given up yet.
The Wheel of Fortune. Goes up. Comes down. Life is pretty much like the Wheel of Fortune. Only, for some people it seems permanently stuck in the Up position, and for some it’s stuck in the Down position. The important thing for me personally is to bring someone else Up with me, when my Wheel is swinging Up. But never to bring anyone Down with me if I’m headed Down. If I can help others, I will.
So I guess today’s post is about not giving up. No matter what Life throws at you, just keep going. All things pass, Change is inevitable. Embrace, don’t deny.