Strength by Association

             I was going to say that it’s been a difficult past week in Mental Health, but truly, EVERY week has its challenges, for so many of us.  We don’t hear about the non-famous folks who are also struggling.  And that’s where my focus has turned.

             It’s not even really about “reaching out” as all the media is reminding us.  It’s more about the

staying connected.

             There are people who think this is our only life, and that there is no Source.  Who believe that we’re just bouncing around out here randomly, and then we die.  Well, that’s not how I understand it.

             Our goal is to do the very best we can, and the prize is that we can then go Home.  If our journey causes more pain than we can tolerate, sometimes, we bail early.

             This option leaves behind more hurt than can be measured.  And yet.  There are moments, times, people, who can only see that avenue, and no other.

             We can never know what our tolerance is until we have reached the breaking point.  It is one of the most individual aspects of who we are.

             Staying in contact with our loved ones, our co-workers, our community is the very best way to keep that pain from overwhelming us.  Just knowing that there is someone, anyone, we can depend on to share a tiny bit of that pain with can be enough.

             Another suggestion is to find what eases the discomfort, even for a glancing second.  And then, to share it.  To say, “hey, this works for me” so that others may, too, find a moment of relief.

             As always, it takes me no time at all to arrive in front of the most perfect stack of cards with the most validating message.

angel messages

“Angel of Self-Worth

You are currently undervaluing yourself;

It is time to regain your self-worth.

You are so much more than what you are portraying to the world and those around you.

The Angel of Self-Worth is here today to reflect unto you all the beauty, love, and light that you are, and to help you regain your sense of self-worth.  Feel her healing light penetrating your aura this very moment and affirm to yourself:

I am a being of light and love.

I love and value the many wonderful qualities that I possess.

From this moment forward, I will honour and value myself, and all I am and all I do,

in the knowledge that I am part of Creation.

I am worthy of love.

I am worthy.

Repeat this affirmation several times each day, either out loud or in the silence of your heart.  Reflect upon each word and truly believe and own each one.  Express each word with all your heart and soul.

As you begin to value yourself, you will find that others start to value you.”

Today’s Deck:

Angels, Gods, and Goddesses Oracle Cards by Toni Carmine Salerno

Today’s Sharing:

is to say, without question, at times like these, when everywhere we turn there are reminders of suffering, please, practice Self-Care.  Take your three minutes, wrestle them out of every single fucking day.  You’re worth it, I’m worth it.

             Spend your valuable and sacred time sitting quietly.  Relax.  Don’t move.  Listen.  Recharge.  Breathe.  Perhaps even think about sending soothing and healing light to those who have more pain than they can carry right now.

 

 

.

Equipage

             Recently I have been thinking of (and seeing in my dreams/receiving visits from) a good friend who took his own life.  The event was decades ago, but the emotional loss feels no less fresh for having been so many years gone by.

             This morning, his image was again with me.  But today, he’d come to say that he would be moving on.  His next “task” was coming up soon.  (We all have work or hobbies or services that occupy us on the Other Side, as much or as little as we like to do.)

             The idea that my friend brought was also our message.  It’s a concept that he had to go Home, in order to learn.

Immeasurable value.

             We are being reminded of the inherent importance we have.  The priceless individuality that we offer simply by living and breathing and walking this journey.

            As do all creatures.  There is a method to this madness, even if WE don’t always see it.  The Magick of Life is real.  And we’re in the middle of it.  Our very presence is part of the whole.  And THAT makes a difference.

             On our card altar, where we’re still within the regular rotation, this concept is being expanded upon.  But, it’s doing so with a tweak.  He didn’t appear completely Direct, which means we need to figure out why.

The Magician  ~  1

The Magician ~ 1

             First of all, let’s glance back at yesterday, and see the similarities there.  Between that card and this one, there’s a bit to notice.  Like how they are both representing, in an iconic way, the male side of Creation.

             As well as, the Spark of Life; as a glowing example of where we all began.  Even though this view has more “toys” to show off, as compared to the last illustration.

             And that’s the point.  We ALL have those tools at our disposal.  It’s what we do with them that counts.  Or, in some cases, what we are NOT doing with them.  As the sideways lean toward Contrary shows us.

             We are, each and every one of us, a part of Life’s fabric.  We are, each and every one of us, a valuable and pertinent piece of the puzzle.  We are, each and every one of us, made up of the same basic components.

             And yet, each and every one of us is unique and complete.  Where we take our next steps or what we do with our skills is up to us.  No matter what direction we go, as long as we go there in love and truth, we are going the correct way.

Today’s Deck:

Robin Wood Tarot

Today’s Sharing: 

is this view from a few days ago.

affirmations, mental health, depression

             As you know, I have two mental health professionals who I see, on alternating weeks.  In the office of *K* there is a bulletin board (part metal, part cork).  These were in the top corner the last time I was there.

The top pink one says:

Happiness exists where I choose to look for it.”

The middle purple one says:

I choose to see each obstacle as an opportunity to grow.”

And the bottom one in yellow says:

I feel good and good is attracted to me.”

             I’m going to put these on Post Its and stick them up, here at home.  They are all excellent reminders and affirmations.

Continued, from yesterday.

            I was planning on regaling you with the comedic antics that were happening upstairs in my kitchen, but it seems we need to keep going on a more serious note.  (Don’t worry, you’ll hear all about the cake-making adventures tomorrow.)  Instead of addressing everyone individually in the comments section, I’ll expand on something I mentioned yesterday.  Just keep in mind that this is my rendition and coming from my point of view.  When discussing issues like this we also have to remember the restrictions we are working under by being in these simple bodies, straining to understand concepts with our limited physical brains.

            I’d like to start by thanking my friend Wayne and my cousin Cathy, both of whom took their own lives.  They helped me last night with what I wrote here, and they are with me again as we move on to talking about Exit Points.  (I’ve been in touch with both of them since they left, many times and about many different topics.  They each went in different ways and did not know each other in life, but they are now connected by knowing/being related to me.)

            I can give you examples of specific Exit Points that I am aware of.  One would be my own sister.  She was diagnosed with cancer about ten years before it killed her.  Or, before she decided that she would die from it.  She had the opportunity, upon that original diagnosis to leave at that time.  That was one of her Exit Points.  She chose to fight harder and keep living.  She could have made other life choices at that point, many of which our family tried to help her with.  She disregarded all of our advice.  She went down a path that most of the people in her life disagreed with.

             She chose her Exit Point about three and a half years ago.  Near the end of her life she was struggling even more than she had been ten years earlier, with spiritual questions, with her medical situation, and with an enormous amount of fear.  It was best for her to go at that time due to her choices and her uncertainty.  Sadly, she seemed to not learn many of the lessons she could have in that last decade.

            (Keep in mind this is a precise example, I would not suggest you apply it to anyone you know, or your own path, unless it feels appropriate.  I appreciate all of your comments, but in this case, I’m just telling you about one person’s Exit Point choices.)

            Another example was not an individual I knew personally, but it was very clear that he made his choices about when to go Home.  He was a young man who commuted on a rural highway, and was involved in a horrific car wreck.  No one survived except him in this incident.  He could have chosen, at that time, to go.  But he did not.  About two years later he was involved in another crash.  That time no one died, except him.  What ever he needed to do still, he had apparently accomplished, because he was destined (or had mapped out) this type of exit.  But for whatever reason, he chose that second incident as the time to leave.

            You have all heard about people who were war heroes or first responders or had a history of life-changing events, from which they survived.  Only later, in some very mundane way, or odd chance event, to die in that manner instead.  These folks went past some of their Exit Points and chose another one farther down the line.

            Once more, I am going to sit Daniel down in my chair and have him contribute to this post (wow, it’s a crowded place here today).  He experienced an opportuinty to see one of his Exit Points.

     This story begins very early one winter morning.  At the time I was working as a logger and was required to meet the crummy (crew bus) at the company shop in east Springfield.  We were living in downtown Eugene so the trip was, maybe, 10 miles.

     In order to start logging as soon as the sun comes up we had to factor in travel time to the remote sites – this could be a two-hour, unpaid drive in the crummy.  As such, we needed to meet the crummy at the unholy hour of 0400.  This particular morning had been cold, but the roads were dry.  Unbeknownst to me, it had rained a bit the night before leaving small patches of black ice on the roadway.

     Here the fun begins.  I set out in our Pinto Runabout – yup, the car known for its rear-end-collision-explosions.  I jumped on the freeway, which I expected to be the most traveled and, therefore, the most cared for, plowed, sanded, salted, etc…

     I was wrong.  I hit a patch of black ice as I rounded a gentle curve.  I slid sideways and had the car corrected but hit another patch, sending me into another skid.  What I saw was the steel center divider that split the eastbound /westbound traffic.  I remember hitting the divider then heading TOWARD headlights.  I was still in a spin and recall completing the spin facing the wrong way (west in the east bound lane).  I thought I had struck the barrier and was now stuck in traffic (well, 4 am traffic) facing the wrong way.

     It’s funny how your mind will compensate in times of crisis and fill in blank spaces with “fact.”  One of these “facts” was that traffic was coming from behind me when it should have been coming at me.  I quickly realized I had gone through, or over, the three-foot barrier and should have sustained major damage to the Pinto. However, the car was still running.  I had slid across three lanes of westbound traffic, coming to rest on the westbound shoulder facing west.  I simply drove the car to the next exit where I could examine the damage. Here’s what I found…

     The radiator had been pushed forward into the fan.  The fan had cut the radiator causing a small leak.  That was it.  I drove the car home and took the rest of the day off.

     So here’s the really weird part.  Driving to work the next morning I could not find the part of the barrier that I had struck.  I couldn’t even find a spot where it had been repaired or even damaged.  To this day, I don’t know how I vaulted the barrier without disabling the car or destroying the barrier.

         There ya go kids, an Exit Point that he did not take.  That car was LOW to the ground (and I loved it dearly, just sayin’).  At the time of this incident, I was about to give birth to number three kid, we had no medical insurance, one toddler, a pre-schooler, and a big falling down house.  How would MY life (and the lives of our witchlings) have turned out if Dan had taken that option?  We can’t know.  We can just be glad that he did not.

            To answer Chris’s question about our innate knowledge of these options, we don’t always know that THIS is the time.  We often have a feeling or a sense when we are in the situation, or in my sister’s case, when given a potentially life-ending diagnosis.  Did Dan decide not to die that day in a fiery crash?  Did his guides, angels, helpers lift the car over that barrier so he could help me raise those kids?  All shit we don’t know.  All shit that we look back on after we’ve passed the Exit Points or later when we are contemplating the next one. 

           My suggestion would be to 1) search your memories and see if you can recognize any that you’ve chosen not to take.  And B) take a quiet moment today to listen to your assistance team, thank them for helping you  and let them know you’d like a little bit more information on this subject.

        Our daily draw is another bird, but like Owl, I don’t think of this one in that sense.  When I flipped it over I thought: Grace.  Again I am going to give you both directions.  Also, I’d like to mention how very much I love this illustration.

“Crane  ~  Secret Knowledge, Patience, Longevity.

The card shows a crane fishing in a pool.  Its legs are crossed to show the Ogham letter Muinn, and it gazes into the water, patiently waiting for sight of a fish.  Behind the pool is a cave entrance to the Underworld, and in the evening sky the full moon is rising.  In the foreground grow bitter vetch (Cairmeal from Corr) and bloody crane’s bill.

Corr brings the qualities of patience and perseverance.  The crane will stand for hours peering into the water until the time is right for it to dart at its prey.  Combined with the ability to be patient, the crane conveys the capacity to be focused and to be able to concentrate without distraction.  It brings an ability to guide others into the Underworld, to help them with their transition at the time of dying, or with their journeying in the inner realms.  As well as conveying an ability to work in the Underworld, the crane symbolizes arcane science, or Secret Knowledge, which in the Druid tradition is represented by the Ogham script, the tree language of Druidry.  In its widest sense, learning this language involves learning to read the ‘Book of Nature.’

Drawn reversed:  the crane stands alone for hours on end, simply observing and patiently waiting.  But it is also able to join its colleagues to fly in formation or to dance together.  You may need to learn the right balance between being alone and working with others.  Spending too much time alone can create feelings of isolation and separation.  Conversely, having no time to oneself can be an avoidance of self-knowledge and the uncomfortable feelings of loneliness.  Spend a while looking at your life to see whether you give yourself enough time having both these experiences.  The ‘shadow’ side of the crane is manifested as harshness, meanness, and a nagging, complaining disposition.  If you find these qualities  showing sometimes in your behaviour, see if you can experience the deeper aspects of the crane, in which it becomes an animal of the Goddess-as-Crone or Wise Woman.  Ask yourself to what extent you are denying the Wise Woman who has a knowledge of death and the Underworld in yourself, and to what extent your negative behaviour may be a reflection of this denial.”

Crap, I forgot to talk about Assisted Suicide.  Okay, quickly, it’s not the same thing at all.  Ally brought this up in her comment.  This is a completely different thing entirely.  I guess we’ll save that one for another day.