Eris – dealing with my discordant nature

Today I had an interesting experience. I’ve been working with the Dark Goddess Tarot (and two friends) on creating an inner labyrinth journey using the Major Arcana cards. This week I’m working with Justice/Ma’at. I asked what she could tell me about myself? In response I drew the 5 of Fire/Eris. I am familiar with the story of Eris, the goddess of discord and the chaos she caused by tossing a golden apple designated as “for the most beautiful” among the goddesses at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. This act led to the Judgement of Paris and eventually the Trojan War. Eris was motivated to do this because she felt insulted at not being invited to the wedding.

Eris is blamed for stirring up strife and chaos. This stopped me in my tracks. Am I like Eris? Do I stir up strife, chaos and discord? I know I can be confrontational but I didn’t think I was that chaotic. What’s ironic is that I’ve been trying to convince myself that I wasn’t always the somewhat prickly porcupine I can become. I thought back to my childhood and thought it just might be possible that I had become this way as a defense mechanism. Perhaps I developed this protective coloring as a way of dealing with feeling like such as outsider with classmates. Unfortunately a brief conversation with my mother disabused me of this notion. Apparently my rather confrontational style expressed itself when I was quite young.

This made me wonder why I felt the need to try to justify my personality. Most times I don’t have this urge; I accept myself as what and who I am. Sometimes I become defensive – especially when I’ve heard the comment “Gee, why don’t you tell us what you really feel?” One thing I know about myself is that I probably just did exactly that. What frustrates me is that I feel as though people are subtly trying to shame me; make me embarrassed for my outspokenness. Don’t misunderstand me – I am well aware that I can sometimes come off as abrasive and opinionated. I am both of those things but I am also relatively transparent, what you see is what you get, and I don’t play games. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and try to avoid being a hypocrite. I don’t’ see myself at better than anyone else or worse for that matter. I simply am who I am. I don’t know how to be anyone else or any other way.

So what lesson has Eris offered me? She helped me realize that I’m engaged in a pointless battle. I’m fighting against my true self and it serves no purpose. She also reminds me that this is only on aspect of my personality. I am more than just an occasionally challenging, confrontational creature. I can be quite loyal, supportive, weird, and funny. I can seem like a firecracker going off in your midst – sometimes explosive and sometimes a burst of energy; sometimes enjoyable and sometimes annoying. I guess I’m like most people – a tapestry of positive and negative aspects and that’s okay.

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