An Enduring Love of Self
In the study of Tarot, there is the theory that everyone has a personality card, a soul card and a shadow, or hidden factor, card. There are varying formulas for calculating these cards found across the Internet. I use the method found in Mary K. Greer’s Tarot for Yourself: A Workbook for Personal Transformation (a wonderful book for anyone wanting to delve into deepening their Tarot studies).
My personality and soul cards are both “The Lovers.”*
And my shadow card is “The Devil,” or in the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert, “Bindweed.”
This makes total sense to me and is almost hilariously and eerily accurate. My journey in this incarnation and in all others is to follow my bliss..to embrace love at its deepest level, finding ways to love myself, my work of the heart, my mate, my friends and family, my community, and the world unconditionally, just as the Universe/ the Divine/God/Goddess loves us unconditionally. While at the same time, my shadows self struggles with loneliness, isolation, addiction and selfishness. That’s a pretty heavy combination! And as I contemplated “The Lovers” on this Valentine’s Day, I realized that my most important first step on this journey of Divine Love was most certainly learning to love myself. It took me 40 years, but I think I’m finally there. And really, it has been a cyclical journey, as life lessons often are. I believe we are all born with the ability to love ourselves and to celebrate what makes each one of us unique. Then society does a very good job of beating that out of us, or perverting it into selfishness and narcissism. I have a funny memory of coming home from school and telling my mom about a discussion our class had about names. No one seemed to like their own name. I said plaintively, “Mom, everyone thought I was weird, but I LIKE my name. I don’t see what’s so wrong about that!” And that was only the tip of the iceberg. There was the kid who called me “thunder thighs,” the boyfriend who sneered at me for thinking before I spoke (hmm, that’s a GOOD thing, I think)…well, I could go on and on. And I’m sure you could, too. Almost all of us are fed the message, at one time or another, that we are not good enough.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”
~Carl Gustav Jung
This Valentine’s Day, it is my greatest wish that everyone celebrate a deep and abiding love for self. Learning to love yourself is such a gift, and vital to loving others, loving our planet, and evolving into a more enlightened soul. We live in a society today where the focus is on the “self” more than any other time in human history. Blog posts, tweets, Facebook statuses, and Youtube videos all shout, “look at meeeee!” But how many of us truly like what we see when we look in the mirror, or more importantly when we look within? So look in the mirror and honor what you see. Bless yourself. Tell yourself that you are loved. You are unique and there is no one else like you. Look within and recognize the shadow and the light. Learn the lessons of the shadow and transform them with the light. Be your own soul medicine. When you love yourself, receiving love from others is also a joy, and almost effortless. Remember that you are beloved by the Universe, like the rocks and trees, the rivers and streams, the stars and the plants. We are all made of stardust, after all, and we are all a part of nature.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”
Loving yourself is addictive, I promise you. It’s like a love affair that never ends, and leads to all kinds of alarmingly good behavior. *grin* Why would you want to feed your body with junk when you love it so much? There is no reason to stay in draining or abusive relationships when you love and highly regard yourself. And compassion for others grows more each day when you love yourself, for you recognize the bits of yourself in every other being: The God/Goddess in me honors the God/Goddess in you. Aho, Ase, So Be It, Amen and “A-Wen”! Happy Valentines Day!
*Note: if you are interested exploring your soul card, Beth Owl’s Daughter has some wonderful kits for sale which are designed to help you move deeper into this soul work.