Monday, February 05, 2007

Return Of The Whiner

Once, a long time ago, my sister Agatha had a roommate Tabitha who was well versed in the art of tarot card reading, and occasionally would do readings for me. YOU’RE GOING TO HELL FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE DARK ARTS OF TAROT! Ha ha ha.

Anyhow, there was one reading she did for me where the card that was the centerpiece of the reading was the Five of Cups card. While the picture on the card she used had a guy with his head of the table, I couldn’t find that one, I found this one instead. The intent is the same: you’re either a guy crying with your head on the table along with three spilled cups of wine, and two full ones behind you on the mantel, or you’re a cloaked, vaguely Byron-esque guy standing with your back to the reader, and your empty cups in front of you, your full ones behind you. The point is you’re crying over the cups o’ wine that you lost, instead of seeing the cups of wine you still have.

And the definition of this card is one you would expect from a picture like this:

Represents regret over past actions or over a loss in a relationship. The seeker has suffered a loss or disappointment and is grieving. As with every loss, this initiates a change. There may be some obsession over past wrongs. It's time to put that behind and move forward. Concentrate on what you have, not what you lost.

In fact he (Mr. Quasi Lord Byron) becomes so caught up in his grief and remorse that he turns his back on the two upright cups that are sitting right there. (Mr. Quasi Lord Byron) reminds us that where we focus our thoughts we also focus our energy. In our lives sometimes feelings of loss will be present. It is in those times it is important to not become too attached to the emotions of nostalgia and regret, but to turn around and shift our focus to those two upright cups... the blessings and abundance that already are there. In so doing, we make way for more abundance to flow in while working constructively to heal our grievances.

And as Tabitha nicely lectured me, “Stop focusing on what you don’t have, and look at what you do.” I tried to point out to her that three cups of wine is definitely more than two cups of wine, so of COURSE I’d be upset if three cups were spilled. Tabitha said that was my whole problem right there.

That reading was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember what was going on in my life where those kind of predictions would have applied. And yet here we are in present day and present time and sometimes I don’t think I’ve learned a damn thing.

I’ve talked a bit about my Functional Depressive status before, and that’s what I was wrestling with this week. I’d like to think that Midlife Virgin is right, that it had something to do with the full moon. YOU’RE GOING TO HELL FOR ASCRIBING POWER TO THE MOON. Yeah, thanks for that.

It is not easy to live with the knowledge that a big part of you would like nothing more than for you to be miserable 24/7 for the rest of your life. That even when things are going reasonably well, there’s a Paranoid Circus in your head that likes to insidiously whisper how people are lying to you behind your back, how people are being untrue to your face, how them wanting to know how your week has been is really a polite front because they don’t give a shit, and they’re bored in your presence. Sometimes it’s not even insidiously whispering, they’re slamming a big brass kettle drum against your forehead, chanting over and over how you’re never going to sell a script, you’re never going to sell a script, you are not talented, you are not witty, the only thing you’ve got going for you is that you’re disciplined, and that’s wasted on you, you of mediocre talent.

See, I’m not saying these things because I want you all to leave comments telling me I’m wrong, wrong, whoop de do wrong, stop focusing on the negativity, stop crying over the three spilled cups of wine on the table, focus on the two full ones behind you. I KNOW those thoughts are wrong. The issue is I can’t make them stop. The Christian platitude of Give Them To God doesn’t do SHIT for me, because I’m always Hey God? Um, God? Could you, you know, keep Your promises that You talk about in the Bible, where you’re talking about laying our burdens at Your feet. Cast our cares upon You, and You will sustain them? ‘Cause, um, and I hate to be whiny about it, but IT’S NOT WORKING.

And maybe I’m misinterpreting everything, and it’s not that God will take them away, but that He will gave you the strength to sustain it. But, um, I don’t want to SUSTAIN, I want it to GO AWAY!?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen.

In other news, at my church’s Home Group this week, we were talking about Ephesians, and God’s grace, and “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” La la la. One of the questions for discussion was to look back at our lives and look for times when you thought your life was going to be going this way “BUT GOD” had other plans. Most everyone had some sort of dramatic examples – planning on moving overseas when they got pregnant and had to stay in the states, job offers in faraway places, illnesses, deaths in family, the whole nine yards.

But I couldn’t come up with a decent example in my own life. Is that weird? Boring? Unfortunate? My life has been a on a pretty steady course. I came out here to write, I’m still pursuing it. Life hasn’t thrown any major curveballs in the form of illness, financial hardship, insane relatives, abusive relationships. Even the two times that I’ve been job hunting weren’t truly curveballs, as I had plenty of advance notice that losing my job was in the works.

And now that I’ve recognized it, does that mean I’ve jinxed it? That the next plane I get on is going down? Does it mean I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, if there haven’t been any major curveballs? And if it does mean I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, where is the final product? The results that are supposed to come from obedience? WHERE’S THE SUCCESS? Or am I supposed to take the lack of success as a sign that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing?

See why I’ve been a little internally freaked and paranoid lately? Sigh.

Sometimes I torment myself by telling myself if you have the audacity to ask, to wonder, to question, then you’ll never receive it That asking God why aren’t things happening faster means I’m somehow setting the clock back for them to arrive. If I only have FAITH, if I only TRUST in God, if I pull an Orpheus and go down to get Eurydice from the Underworld and bring her back up to Earth without looking back to see if she’s still behind me, then BLAMMO, a script sells tomorrow. I know it’s stupid to think that way, I know that’s not how God works. But again, thoughts I can’t shake. And I wonder where His grace is that’s supposed to help me shake them.

I’m sorry the blog posts have been a series of downers lately. I’ll try to do better, I promise. Enforced Secret Joy post this Friday! I promise!

1 comment:

Midlife Virgin said...

I know you know I understand. I've been reading up on Buddhism lately and found something that gave me some insight during my recent plunge into the darkness and it is the concept of really embracing and examining your suffering, finding the source of it and then you can fix it. Simplified version of it but as I read it, I realized that we are often told to ignore our feelings and put them away. What we need to do is bring them out, take them to coffee and find out why they're there. I function depressively along with you and I know the struggle. Let's have coffee some time and maybe we can figure something out to help both of us. In the meantime, keep up the good fight.