Monday, August 6, 2012

Vulnerable only when safe? Is it worth it? (this week's cards)

Ups and Downs Emotionally? Oh yay! (This week's cards: King of Cups, Page of Cups [reversed], Seven of Swords)

I feel like I should be quoting cheesy 80s love song lyrics here, for some reason. But I think I'll just say that if you put yourself out there emotionally, if you are honest about your feelings, and if you allow yourself to be vulnerable and the person to whom you are honest and vulnerable scoffs or otherwise treats you like crap, then get rid of him/her. You don't want that person in your life. Period. There is no excuse for being unkind as a response to someone's honest and open emotional expression (we're not talking stalkers or whatever, here, by the way, as that is not healthy emotional expression). We all feel and many of us feel deeply. Sometimes, those feelings need to be expressed to someone else. It's not just a desire to tell that person how you feel, it is a bonafide need. And that is a vulnerable place to be.

A few days ago, my husband and I were talking about being vulnerable and I said that it was ill-advised to be vulnerable when you are unsafe to be. And that got me thinking. Is it unwise to be open with our feelings when it isn't really a safe space to do that? If the person/people to whom we are open with our emotions reacts negatively or otherwise badly, whose problem is it? What have we done when we have been open, when we have reached out to someone else? Have we possibly put ourselves in harm's way? I believe that we have, as long as we are invested in the outcome. As long as we need to hear a specific response in return, our investment could lead to pain. But, if we have no expectation of a particular response, then all we are doing is getting our own feelings out there. There is a big discussion to be had about having an investment in the outcome but that will come at a later time.

That's what this week's cards mean to me.

The King of Cups says, be broad and open with your heart. Express your feelings. Feel compassion for others and express that compassion. Feel love for others and express that love. Be generous, if that is your inclination.

The Page of Cups reversed says, nothing ventured, absolutely nothing gained. If you never say anything, how will you know what might have been? And if you do say something and don't get the response you desire, then at least you know where you stand (and you know that it says a lot more about the other person/people than it says about you). Then, you can move forward without the regrets and the uncertainty that would accompany never having tried.

The Seven of Swords says: Be prepared to pack your toys and go. Don't waste another second of your time on someone who doesn't appreciate you. Some people are givers. Some people are takers. If you are a giver and you find yourself in relationship with a taker (and this doesn't just mean romantic relationships, either) and if you are tired of always being the one to give, and you make the other person aware of the dynamic and she or he doesn't listen or hear you, then get gone. You deserve to be with people who love you and who give to you as much as you give to them.

Leaving might be scary but in the long run, it is better to spend time in that vulnerable and perhaps lonely place than to keep pouring yourself all over someone else like a tonic, only to have that person take it, bathe in it, and then only want more. You deserve better. We all do.

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