Earley Light: Shedding Light on the Shadows of Self
Explore the shadow aspects of tarot cards to help you uncover your own personal shadows and incorporate techniques, such as exercises and affirmations, to begin your journey of healing.
Questioning Love: Finding Love Through The Lovers Card
For February’s shadow card, I purposely chose The Lovers as it can be use as a tool to delve into our psyches to learn more about the love, our lack thereof, in our lives. With the approach of Valentines Day, many people who are unattached begin to wish for someone in their lives that they can share that special bond with. They yearn for the special love that only lovers can share and sometimes begin to question why they do not have it or why they are unable to find it. Others that are already attached begin to yearn for someone that is not their current love, someone that embodies different qualities than their current love has. By looking at the shadow side of ourselves through this card, we can take a look and perhaps discover why we aren’t happy with what we currently have in our current situation.
In the traditional Rider Waite deck, we see a couple striped of their clothes with an Angel overhead coming out of an ethereal cloud. The Angel appears to be blessing their union as they stand there, under the bright sun, with a tree burning behind the man and a tree of fruit behind the woman. The man looks at the woman while the woman looks at the Angel. A mountain stands in the background between them as their feet are firmly planted on the green grass below them.
The Lovers card is about relationships, love, and choices. When we are in a relationship, like the couple in this card, we bare ourselves completely to each other, trusting that we will be accepted for who and what we are. We can look for approval from a higher power (the woman looking at the Angel) to make sure that this is our soul mate – a match made in heaven. There is a very strong sexual attraction with this card, represented by the tree of desire behind the man and the tree of forbidden fruit with snake behind the woman, reminiscent of the story of temptation of Adam and Eve. The woman can also be looking at the Angel for an answer for a choice that she needs to make. Should she give in to the temptation of the man in front of her?
In the shadows, we can find clues as to why we may not be in that dream relationship yet. It’s important to ask ourselves questions in order to start our detective work. Do we trust that our “soul mate” is being sent to us? Are we relying on divine guidance too much to send us that “perfect” person and sit around waiting rather than putting ourselves out there? Perhaps we are unable to bare our souls to our significant other because we are afraid that we won’t be wholly accepted, warts and all. Do we love ourselves, warts and all? Fear of commitment and constant infidelity are also the shadow sides of the lover’s card, but more importantly we need to go deeper….why is there a fear of commitment? Are we afraid of being hurt? Are we looking outside of ourselves for completion and acceptance rather than looking inside of ourselves? Do we really need to have divine guidance or get divine approval for our choices or acceptance or are we able to trust ourselves to make the right decisions for us?
These are only a few questions that can be asked and my hope is that they sparked others that are specific to your situation. Everyone has their own individual hang ups on love whether we want to admit it or not. We can either choose to accept things the way they are and continue to wonder if things can be better or complain about our situation or we can choose to make positive changes in our lives and commit to loving ourselves. Once we can love and accept ourselves, we are able to open our hearts to receiving unconditional love from others. Do we have to wait until we completely love and accept ourselves? Of course not, it is a process, however, the more we love ourselves unconditionally, the more we are able to love others unconditionally and accept unconditional love.
So where do we go from here? Let’s begin with a couple of exercises for learning to love ourselves unconditionally.
Every morning and evening, look in the mirror and find 2-3 things that you love about yourself. They do not have to be physical but I challenge you to have at least one physical attribute that you are positive about. Say “I love my ____________.” Or “I love ___________ about me”. Say it out loud to yourself because when you do, you give it more meaning and you are more likely to believe yourself. Have different ones in the morning than you do at night. If there is something that you don’t necessarily love but want to accept, choose the words “I accept __________ about myself. It is part of me and I love it unconditionally”. This exercise works great if you find yourself looking for acceptance from others in order to validate your self worth. Remember, if you think you are worth it, so will others.
If you have a significant other and you don’t share a lot with them, start sharing something about yourself a little at a time. If you are afraid of how they will react, start with something relatively minor, this way, you are able to gauge their reaction and may be able to work up to things that may be more difficult for you to share. Keep in mind that what you think as something big, they may have a completely different perception.
If you are expecting to have that perfect person sent to you but you aren’t making any kind of an effort, you need to get out there. The right person isn’t going to come knocking on your door and say “Hi. I’m your soul mate!” It doesn’t work like that. The best way to meet people is to get out there. Go out with friends, do what interests you and talk to people. If you don’t get out much, try to get out at least once a week doing something fun and vow to talk to at least one new person.
Most importantly, keep believing in love. It is out there. Love yourself and you will be able to find love. You just have to believe and do the work.
This month’s affirmations:
“I love and accept myself for who I am”
“I believe in love”
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