I don't think I'm bleeding, at least not much. Tony the stripey cat just did handsprings across the bed with my chin and neck as gymnastics mats.
We had a long night. Louie the puppy was up at least four times and Tony woke me up twice trying to get under the covers. I love it when the weather turns cool and the critters want to snuggle. The second time Tony requested to burrow along my side, Louie just happened to be under the covers too. I interrupted my dream to speculate how long I would be able to keep my legs and whether I would be able to get them reattached. Fortunately for me, Tony realized this arrangement might not be the best and retreated before Louie woke up.
I resumed my dream about the neighbors and their four lions. The neighbors don't actually have four lions so save yourselves the gasoline and resume spending time with your loved ones and your fine Thanksgiving dinner.
But I was thinking about the nature of pain and memory nonetheless even as I was dreaming and the lions hopped easily over the neighbors' fence to roam the acreage in lionlike pursuit of something other than me or my loved ones. Tony' s springing about brought the night's events back to mind. I thought about some of the folks I have read for recently.
In my dream, the lions were lovely and I just didn't want them to consider me food. On waking and enjoying a bit of a lie-in to be even more grateful for, I contrasted my dream with the readings.
"Why did they hurt me?" It's a common question. It presumes intent that I almost regret to say is unfounded.
Tony didn't intend to hurt my chin (really, I'm fine. I can barely tell now). He just meant to get to the other side of the bed. Even if the dream lions had turned on me, it would not have been their intent to hurt me. Their intent might have been to eat to stay alive or to defend themselves against a perceived threat. I would be just as hurt, of course, but the intent would not have been there.
Sometimes the hardest news I have to deliver to people in a reading is that what happened really had nothing to do with them. It doesn't negate the pain by any means. But it can be difficult for some to hear that they aren't always the star of their own personal drama. For some that's just unthinkable. Of course, it was personal. It happened to me, right? Well, sometimes you are the star. Sometimes you are just part of the scenery, a vase tipped over in the rumblings of an impersonal earthquake.
Not to pick on modern Christians, although we do and sometimes for awfully good reasons, but the concept of having a personal lord and savior doesn't mean everything that happens is about you. Has our modern concept of deity arisen out of a narcissistic world? What else could make it unthinkable and even disappointing to grasp that most of the time it isn't about you, good or bad? Sometimes, stuff just happens.
I heard a saying recently that Fate (not determinism) may be what other people do to you, but karma is what you do in response. And I liked that because we do have the ability to choose. I decide to mourn. I decide to celebrate. I decide to speak up. I decide to retreat. I decide to postpone a decision. I decide to take something personally. I choose to take responsibility, whether it is mine or not. I choose to ignore responsibility. And perhaps ultimately, I choose to look at the world from another's point of view, with their fears and pain and blind spots and hopes. Or not.
And after a while you realize that people are mostly thinking about themselves as we are biologically meant to do. Of course, we hope each of us endeavors to rise above that.
The 9 of Wands always feels like a pause before the final push, one last moment to exercise our ability to choose how to approach the situation. It can be like your self-assessment in performance review. You, leaning there on your wand, the one you selected among many wands, reflect on the the past a moment. You can think about the pain and the struggle. Maybe going further isn't worth it, given the energy you have left. Maybe you ignore the bumps and just recharge a little. Your travels have as much to do with the energy you bring to the road as the energy the road brings to you. Maybe more, because you have a choice.
If you take yourself out of the spotlight, will you stop being special? Isn't that just a little silly? You're just as special as anyone else, no more, no less. Oh, perhaps a little bit more? You may then be able to laugh and help others and take care of yourself for the next steps along the way.
Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes.