You’re feeling torn and conflicted, unsure which path to choose. Part of you wants stability and emotional satisfaction while another side wants to be more daring and seek out physical gratification. In the battle between heart and body, which will win.
You dream of a knight in shining armor who will sweep you off your feet but all you’ve encountered so far are well meaning plodders caught up in the day to day grind. Perhaps you’re so caught up in your fantasy that you aren’t seeing things clearly. Your expectations might be unreasonable and unrealistic, leaving you few options and little opportunity for a fulfilling relationship.
Do you feel disconnected from your physical self? Are you more comfortable with emotional connections than physical ones? This separation between heart and body can lead to relationship and even health issues down the road. Now might be a good time for some introspection, journal work and physical activities like yoga or Tai chi to help reintegrate these different parts of yourself.
She looked at the man, surrounded and exhausted; his energy waning and yet still he had hope. His heart still yearned and his fire remained unquenched. He still offered her his heart.
It was time to let him in, to lower her defenses and see where this partnership could take them. They were strong willed, fiery, passionate people. It might not be an easy journey but it would certainly be exciting!
Lately I find myself pondering family dynamics. Why do seemingly healthy families implode when it becomes necessary to care for an elderly, ailing parent? I understand if the parent needs to be placed in an institution because their needs cannot be met at home but I’ve seen so many instances of siblings verbally brawling with each other when it comes time to arrange such things.
I’ve observed that in many cases parental care falls on one child. It is usually the child who lives closet to the parent but that is not always the case. The adult child may still have responsibilities to spouse or children that must be met and now caring for a parent has been added to these burdens. The other siblings may visit or take the parent out for a few hours (or even a few days) but the majority of the day to day care falls on one sibling. The others siblings often undermine the caregiver by intervening in conflicts between child/caregiver and parent. For example the caregiver may not want the parent to eat certain foods because they caused digestive issues but one of the siblings will ignore this and tell the parent he/she doesn’t need to listen to you. It’s frustrating, infuriating and exhausting for the caregiver.
Then when the parent passes away or needs to be institutionalized, all the arrangements fall to the caregiver. If finances are involved then all bets are off – it’s clobbering time. Placing a parent in a long-term care facility is expensive. Even the least expensive facilities will put a serious dent in a family’s budget. That can quickly become a bone of contention between the siblings who want their parent to have the best care possible but can’t afford the rates.
And then, when the parent finally passes away, the division of the estate becomes a battle royale. Each child squares off in one corner and prepares to fight to the death for what they feel is their rightful inheritance. The fact that the majority of the burden of care for the parent has fallen on one child is erased from the memory banks as the other children scratch and claw for their piece of the pie. So many people do no leave a will so the “estate’ goes into probate and adds another layer of confusion of legal interference to the situation. By the time the dust has cleared the siblings are no longer speaking, the caregiver feels betrayed, unappreciated and angry and the only ones who walk away with more money than they had coming into it are the lawyers.
I’m in a situation that will probably follow this pattern some day. Hubby has an older brother who hasn’t spoken to their mother in 5 years and hasn’t seen her since their father’s funeral in 2005. To be perfectly honest I’m not even sure where he’s living right now. I’m assuming he’s still alive because I’m sure if something had happened to him one of his ex-wives would tell us – then again maybe not. When the mom-in-law finally breathes her last, I have no doubt we will receive a call from him seeking his inheritance. That should prove fun.
I wonder what is it about these situations that brings out the worst in families. Instead of working together to ensure the burden is shared, so many people undermine or denigrate the caregiver’s efforts. The other family members act as if it’s the caregiver’s duty to take on this burden. It also seems to bring out a lot of latent, unresolved issues such as parental favoritism, sibling rivalry and just plain old jealousy. In a time when we like to claim it takes a village to raise a child I’d like to point out that it takes one to care for an elderly parent too. If a village or tribe isn’t available it would be nice if one could count on one’s siblings to help. Unfortunately in my experience that is the exception rather than the rule.
Ironically enough as soon as I saw The Magician turn up reversed, my initial response was that I can’t situations and people bend to my will. I can’t make them obey my commands. It just doesn’t work that way. After yesterday’s arguments with the hubby, I realized that sometimes my approach to those type situations does not yield the desired results. I may be able to control certain factors in my life but other people do not tend to be one of them.
On the other hand, I can certainly control how I react and my approach to dealing with such situations. Looking at The Magus from the Gendron Tarot I was struck by how radiant and brilliant she appears. She calls to me in a way the High Priestess never has because she seems active and assertive; taking control of the situation and manipulating it to her desires. Of course here she has appeared reversed which suggests that either she cannot control or manipulate this situation or that what needs to be controlled or manipulated is an internal process or attitude. Considering how things have been going for me lately, I’m going for the later option.
So then what internal processes or attitudes do I need to control? There are a few selections that immediately come to mind. The first is my self-defeating attitude, the second is my aggressive approach to interpersonal relationships and the third (although by not means the last) is how I react first and think later. The self-defeating attitude is the one that I’m most concerned with right now simply because it is negatively impacting my ability to get started on my professional pursuits. If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it over myself to just whisk it all away. Of course reality is never quite that simple or easy. So I have to do the work. The first step would be to actually listen to all these damn marketing and business related podcasts I have. I seem to be collecting them at a rapid pace but not actually using them. Of course I also have to be careful not to fall into my usual pattern of paralyzing myself through over-intellectualizing the process. Some things I can learn from tapes or books or the advice of others but much of it has to be learned by simply doing it. Experience is the best teacher and it’s a teacher I’ve been avoiding like the plague.
The other two things are basically two halves of one whole. Instead of being so aggressive and assertive all the time, it might benefit me to learn how to temper my responses to things. What I need to control and manipulate is my own responses to aggravating situations. Sometimes I think that I can argue things back to normal but all that accomplishes is fanning the flames of the fire. In reality it’s a nonsensical approach but the truth is that a rational response to ridiculous circumstances is sometimes beyond me. I often think that logic will win the day when in many cases it’s the persuasiveness of the parties involved that does. When it comes to personal arguments and disagreements, it’s easy to forget that the triggering issue is often masking a deeper problem and trying to rationally and calmly discuss it in the middle of an argument rarely works – at least not for me. So these are some issues on which I need to work. Obviously we are talking about a long term project but I think I can handle it.