Clearing Out the Past
Yesterday, I spent a while clearing out my home office, getting rid of about a 6 centimetre stack of papers. I was actually looking for some important documents (which I still haven’t found). What I did find, though, was some stuff I wrote when I was first seeing an NLP coach, back in 2002-2003.
Some of it was funny. I was single back then, having split with my partner of 8 years at the end of 2000 (literally the end – 28th December 2000). So, we talked about what I wanted from a relationship, and from a partner. Looking back at that, it was good to see how many of the boxes my husband ticks. Interesting to note where he doesn’t match up (fortunately all aspects I’d put on my ‘negotiable’ list).
And I was moved to remember how worried I was then that I might never have kids, with the perspective that I now have two. They’ve brought me heartache and joy, and I’m so glad that my worries in that regard were unfounded, even if I could never imagine the actual sorrows I would have on this path.
And What Isn’t Past
What really hit home most, though, was the many things I wrote about weight control and my feelings of lack of control and desperation. On the one hand, back then I was bulimic, and five kilos heavier than I am now (that’s about 11 pounds for you non-metric folk). So, I’ve come a long way, physically and emotionally. I’m much healthier on every level.
And yet, some of what I wrote then, I could have written yesterday. In fact, I wrote some very similar things yesterday. Writing about how out of control I feel. Writing about having so many resources to help me, and yet still making the same mistakes.
Ironically, I now have even more resources than I had then. I have years of psychotherapeutic study, some of it specifically on weight control. I have myself trained in NLP, as well as being a qualified life coach. I am a trained hypnotherapist. I have years of work as a yoga teacher under my belt, and decades of experience with consistent exercise of many different kinds – aerobics, static bike, step, rebounder, weights (light and heavy), Pilates, yoga. I’ve tried many different ways of eating – vegan, vegetarian, fishtarian, paleo, semi-fasting, omnivorous. And I have the insight the tarot provides.
Yet, still I struggle.
I wondered what insight the tarot could bring me, with the perspective of this blast from the past. And so, a little adaptation of the simple Past-Present-Future spread, drawing from the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot (Uusi, 2016).
My questions were, specifically: what can I learn from the past, what should I be aware of in the present, and what will help me moving into the future?
What can I learn from the past? – Two of Swords
This card, today and in this context, reminds me of a powerful meditation I did with the Two of Swords from the DruidCraft, maybe a decade ago. A woman sits in front of a huge tree that marks the splitting of two paths. The tree told me that it really didn’t matter which path I took, what mattered was that I keep moving. Similar to a reading Ellen had at the weekend, really.
From all my many experiences and studies, I can learn that there is always more than one way to go about things. And perhaps it doesn’t matter what I choose, just that I keep searching. And perhaps this card image also suggests that I learn that different things work at different times, like the phases of the moon. So, I need to honour where I am now, and get moving.
What should I be aware of in the present? – Eight of Swords
Ah, my own limiting thoughts, assumptions and beliefs! The problem is not in what I do or don’t do, it is in how I think about it. Well, I know that is pretty obvious, therapists and Buddhists alike will always tell you it isn’t what is happening, it’s how you are responding to what is happening, what you think about it.
So, I need to be more aware of my own thought processes. In particular, I need to notice where I am tying my own hands, so to speak.
I realised, in thinking about the comments from friends about yesterday’s post (both the ones posted, and those made in private), that part of the issue is feeling trapped. I feel like I have no control over certain events in my life at the moment, and that often drives me both to comfort eat, and to try to ‘control’ my eating.
What will help me moving into the future? – Eight of Wands
Following on from the Two of Swords, there’s a lot of movement here. One of the things that has been bothering me is feeling powerless around our house move. We’re supposed to be moving in 10 days time, but currently don’t have anywhere to move to. Today, we saw another two possibilities.
To me, this card says to take action, to move forward, to make things happen one way or another. If we have to accept somewhere that isn’t such a great location, or that doesn’t have exactly the right layout, well, we’re kind of up against the wall. Better to move, to act, than to stay in uncertainty and worry. If I feel like I’m being effective in other areas, I’m less likely to focus all my energy on food.