Holding yourself back

Today’s card: Eight of Swords

For the chariot card, I mentioned that the energy was all about not being afraid to move forward, well this card is all about confronting that fear. The first thing that comes to mind is a quote by the Butthole Surfers: “It is better to regret something you did, than something you didn’t do.” Basically, if you think of things the right way, it is always better to take action and move while you are learning and progressing, rather than standing in one place and retarding your growth. Movement through life is key, otherwise you are wasting your here on this earth.

In the past I have been guilty many times of not moving; I was scared to put myself out there. I always thought of it through the analogy of floating down a river:

I am going down the river in a raft and I can hear around the river bend what sounds like a waterfall. I am afraid to go any farther, and out of fear I grab onto a branch on the side of the river and hold on. The current is moving fast and it takes a lot of effort to hold on and not get swept away by the current. Other people are floating by, and some of them I yell out to, warning them of the danger of going down the river. There are some who are also scared and they join me in holding onto a branch or whatever they can get a hold of on the side of the river. I am able to hold on for a very ling time, but eventually I start to grow tired so I have to let go. After I do, the river takes me around the dreaded bend and I come to find out there was no waterfall but simply a small rapids that I easily navigate. Farther down the river I discover that the water and surrounding landscape is calm and serene. There was more to fear about just sitting there, more danger holding on then there was in just letting go.

It does not seem like it when you are holding on, but it is harder to hold on and resist the current, to stay in one place, than it is to just face the fear and go with the flow. When you get stuck in once place, whether it is voluntary or by circumstances seemingly beyond your control, it can make you feel overwhelmed and unsure about yourself and your abilities. This, in turn will affect everything that you do. It makes everything feel like a chore, a burden to escape from. This is because all of your energy is being spent just trying to hold on. Once you let go, there is no need to feel that way anymore because all of your energy becomes available to you once again. The burden of holding on and fighting the current lifts from you and you are able to act without feeling like there is something constantly holding you back.

Events start to unfold and present opportunities to you. Using the power of discernment we are able to figure out the right path down the river. You are able to do the work to navigate the river of life without the burden of holding yourself back. Once you are moving all things become possible for you. There are many ways to hold on: Drugs, drinking, dead end jobs, through supposed friends, lovers who are not right but to which you cling. There are many ways to hold on, but the catalyst for all inaction is always the same: FEAR. Put the fear away and stop holding yourself back! Quickly you will discover that the river current is your friend and not an enemy.