When I drew the 10 of pentacles as my first shadow work card, I decided to also draw a card to represent tips for integrating this aspect of my shadow, and another to represent the potential outcome for what this integration could mean for me.
The card that I drew for tips for integration was the 7 of swords. At first, this was a bit confusing to me. I had to meditate on the card and it’s message for a few days, but I think I now understand what I need to do. After reviewing my understanding of issues like stability, security, long-term planning, and success throughout my life, I have come to realize that I possess some major shadow aspects surrounding how to get what I want. During my exploration over the past few days, I have maintained an almost detached demeaner as I strove to evaluate myself and my life in an unbiased way. However, I am seeing that I need to allow myself to be led through this journey with my emotions as well. The truth is that I AM biased. It is my life after all. To heal, I need to let myself feel things…even if objective processing tells me that those feelings aren’t reasonable. For example, after meditating on the 7 of swords for the past few days, I have come to realize that I’m really pissed off at my life and the way it has turned out. I have so much to be thankful for, but truth be told, I feel like I deserved better and I am furious that I wasn’t guided and helped more than I was. The 7 of swords, which usually represents dishonesty and theft, made me realize that simply talking about my experience objectively without confronting my core emotions was dishonest and a disservice to myself. This card also triggered major images of self-preservation to me, which is essentially what my experiences with stability and security have taught me to do throughout my life. Even now, I have this attitude that I have to take what I can get when I get it because I have to make sure that I am taken care of and I don’t know when resources will come around again. Honestly, I feel more like a scavenger than a thief. I never steal things that don’t belong to me, but I tend to hoard resources when they come my way and use them unwisely. This doesn’t do myself or the people around me any good.
Because my lack of financial stability throughout my life, I am stuck in survival mode. I always tell myself that I wish that I was more generous with what I have, even if that isn’t much. However, when the chance comes around for me to give to others, I reason my way into keeping all of my resources for myself. I am ashamed to say that there have been times that I have even faked not having money to my mother so I could hold onto my money while allowing her to pay for my way when going out. Just like the thief who expects something for nothing, I admit that a lifetime of having to compete with other people for resources has left me feeling that the world somehow owes me something. As stated before, I just feel like I deserved better, and every time I hoard resources to myself it feels like I am taking back a little bit of what life owed me, even if it comes at someone else’s expense.
Because no one around me was financially stable when I was growing up, I was never taught how to fight for and EARN the things and the future that I want. Instead, I was taught that some dreams are too big to come true, and that you will never reach the top when you have to start at the bottom. I was taught to accept charity from others to get by, leading me to believe that even when I have money and can pay my own way, charity is always up for the taking if it is offered. I was taught that I had to take what I could get when/how I could get it, because there was never enough to go around. Throughout all of these lessons, I have developed some really bad habits that truly hindered my own personal growth and development. When it comes to money and resources, I am very self focused for someone who doesn’t have much to begin with. I am like the seagulls from Finding Nemo, “mine, mine, mine!” Additionally, every time I come into some money, I always spend it right away because I am afraid that if I don’t, something in life will come up to force me to spend the money on something necessary. My habits have kept me from being kind and helping others when I can. They have also caused me to live in a viscous cycle where I feel that I can’t plan for my future because my life will never be any different than it is right now, and that all resourced must be spent carelessly in the moment rather than saved because if I try to save my resources I will somehow lose them anyway. Every time I come into a large sum of money I get a sick feeling in my stomach and just want the money gone, as if getting rid of it will somehow take away the anxiety of wanting to use the money for the “right” thing.
Though a lot of the messages that I received from the 7 of swords were about my instincts in regards to money, it also applies to my family dynamics as well. I find it interesting that, even though I was raised by 3 women, the judgements I developed about single women have caused me to live in fear of dying unwed and have caused me to deal with so much bull shit just to keep my family together. I even find myself judging other women who have several children by multiple fathers. Every time I catch myself doing this, I am disgusted with myself. I don’t want to be that person. That is not who I am.
The negative experiences that I have had with long-term planning, stability, and security throughout my life were not my fault. Nor were they truly the fault of my care givers. We were all simply doing what we could do to SURVIVE. I forgive myself for the negative and damaging traits and habits that I have developed as the result of living in survival mode for most most of my life. As an adult, I acknowledge that I do not have to life this way any more. I can manifest the life that I desire. There IS a path to the future that I want, but I will have to EARN that future through hard work and sacrifice. I am an adult and can now teach myself how to make a plan, put in the work, and go for what I want. It is no one’s job to guide me to success. It is MY job to take my power back and to go for the life I want instead of always accepting what I am given. I DO have a choice, even when it feels like I don’t. I will teach myself what I need to know to succeed. I will reach out to my community for advice and guidance about how to improve my ability to plan towards my future. However, I will learn to stop allowing others to put their own resources on the line for me when it is not absolutely necessary. By changing my path, I can change my future.
Finally, I decided to explore my “outcome” card in detail. Once again, I was confused because the 5 of pentacles usually speaks to struggling and feeling helpless. “Oh great!” I thought, integrating this shadow aspect will only lead to more struggle. However, after mulling things over for a few days, I think that I have a more complete understanding of what is to come. Though this card does speak of struggle and hardship, it also speaks of help and hope. Hard times are inevitable. They are what fortifies our character and pushes us towards or spiritual and personal development. However, we will always come out on the other side stronger. In the background of this card is a church, a sanctuary that is open to all. When I meditated on this, I felt spirt shouting, “STOP FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM AND ASK FOR HELP!” This caused me to spend some time evaluating, and what I found had me shook. I realized that I rarely ever ask God to make any definitive moves in my life because I am too scared that when God acts, I may regret what I asked for. I am scared even in prayer to risk my security and comfort. I am always so focused on survival, on the day-to-day, that I never look up long enough to see the path forward. No wonder I feel so unstable and things catch me off guard all the time. I am always looking at the struggle in front of me instead of trying to see how my current situation serves my future goals, and how I can best react to my current situation to keep myself on path to the future that I want. Essentially, I just need to LOOK UP to see the way forward instead of only being able to see the way down. I need to come to God in prayer and ask for the blockages to be cleared. Communicate to God what is hurting me, what is holding me back, and what is not in alignment with my highest good. God will intercede on my behalf, I just need to look up, step back into my power, and ask. The emotional honesty that this reading has triggered needs to come through when I pray too. It is good to be able to be able to look at things objectively but THIS IS MY LIFE. Its necessary for me to have emotions towards it and desires for it. This is what integration of this aspect of my shadow (10 of pentacles) will mean for me. I’m ready!
These shadow work posts are truly for my own self discovery and development, but I thank those of you who took the time to read this. I will be working with shadow aspects relating to the 10 or pentacles for the rest of the week or until I feel that is time for me to move onto another card/shadow aspect.
Love Always, AnxiouslyM