The Moon with King of Cups

Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

My wife Jacque once worked with a woman who would frequently extol the virtues of how much of a “manly-man” her husband was. He was the quintessential hunter/leviathan-pickup-driver/beers-with-the-boys/did-not-believe-in-cooking-if-it-didn’t-consist-of-slapping-animal-meat-onto-a-grill kind of guy. I say that past tense, though he likely still is.

I believe she found great attraction in his predilection for all things rough and noisy and strong and tough and all adjectives that personify male hormones at their peak production from the masculine gonad factory. She likes her male archetypes unambiguous, with anything weak, fragile, and sensitive completely distilled out to leave a shot of testosterone that will put hairs on the copious hairs on your porterhouse pectorals.

Something tells me this manly man’s man’s man of a manly man has emblazoned on his resumé in lion’s bold face type Never cried a day in my life. It brings to mind a couple of lines from the song Leave the Biker by Fountains of Wayne:

And I wonder if he ever has cried
cuz his kitten got run over and died

In this society with its vestiges of heralding sabre-tooth tiger clubbing prowess, there is still a tendency to equate the outward emotional display of sadness with weakness. There’s still the male coaches’ inspiration via emasculation taunt of cry like a girl, while ironically I’ve met many females of whom you couldn’t pull tears from with a Bigfoot Monster Truck.

If we want to look at where non-aggressive displays of “negative” emotions are concerned in the arm wrestling between who’s tough and who’s weak, I put my money on the one whose mascara is running. There are no Herculean feats of strength demonstrated in the suppression of one’s sadness. There is only a demonstration that raw emotions are a scary monster that will consume us alive, rampaging through the skyscrapers of our psyche leaving only a quivering mass of destruction.

I am aware that this post appears to be chiding the “tough guys”, but I am addressing any of the emotionally stunted promontories of stoicism, resolute in their vows to not show weakness. This applies to those on both sides of the gender aisle. When we squash our sadness down into a tight, tiny ball and swallow it in hopes that it will surreptitiously make its exit through our descending colon eventually, we rob ourselves of the opportunity for rich self-examination and personal growth. Our unabated expression of grief and despondency is the irrigation of our mental wounds; it allows us to flush the infections that are born from the illusions of victimhood and guilt. To attempt to disavow our sadness is to deny an aspect of ourselves, cutting off the psychic blood flow to that part of our identity, causing a rich and valid part of who we are to inevitably necrotize.

Be strong, the stoic says upon experiencing the onslaught of the urge to cry. I say if we are truly strong, we will let the water flow and come face-to-face with that emotion that can feel so overwhelming. Strength is demonstrated through displaying our certainty that we will not drown.

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The Emperor

The EmperorTo create the life we desire, we can employ visualization techniques. We can use principles from the Law of Attraction to create a vibration that matches that which we wish to attract. We can state affirmations and mantras which shape our intentions. Yet none of these will yield our desired results without discipline and structure.

Discipline and structure come in the form of actions which prove our commitment to ourselves and to the Universe. When we take actions to shape the life we desire we greatly benefit from putting in place a system that ensures we continue to take the steps needed to bring our desires to fruition. This system helps us to continue on the path we’ve set for ourselves even when we are filled with uncertainty and doubt.  Discipline and structure provides a support framework which we created at the height of inspiration and will continue to prop us up and move us forward when we are unsure of being able to fulfill the destiny we’ve created for ourselves.

Structure may come in the form of outlining the steps we will take toward our goal in written form. It may also include contingencies and backup plans for those areas where the structure may not provide ample support. Discipline may entail creating a schedule with appropriate breaks to allow for regrouping and checking progress. The key function of discipline is to create a habit, to carve a path that allows our efforts to flow more easily with each subsequent action we take.

Without discipline and structure the intentions we set are subject to topple at the slightest shift in the wind. Our visions need a solid foundation that can withstand the ebb and flow of our lives, that continue to stand erect through the shifting sands of our minds and our hearts. This framework will allow us to remain upright during the times we are unsure if we can support ourselves.

Strength – 8

A woman restrains and tames a lion with ease, grace, and a gentle touch

Manifestation is all about making things happen, making our life into one we envision. As we come to understand how to create the life we want, we learn that it is important for us to take action. We create the life we desire when we do more than wish and hope, sitting still and waiting for all we want to come to us, to fall into our lap. Manifestation happens constantly for us, but specifically attracting a positive outcome takes effort on our part.

What we need to understand, however, is that effort does not equal brute force. When we try to force an outcome, we are working too hard to determine the results. We often work harder than we need to when we do not have the faith that the efforts we take are enough to affect the outcome. We may try to force our way through an obstacle and cause more strain to ourselves that we need to when another solution may be readily available.

Using our own strengths to overcome our adversities is the most affective approach to influencing a positive outcome. When we work from our strength we work from a most advantageous position with the least effort. We place ourselves in a position of faith in our own abilities to get through a challenge. This show of faith signals the universe to work on our behalf to create for us what we want. When we try to force an outcome we are telling the universe that we are uncertain of our ability to bring the desired outcome into our reality and the universe hesitates accordingly. The force we exert actually contributes to creating the resistance that is causing us to force the outcome. The result is a vicious circle with no forward progress.

Strength is the opposite of force. Strength is exhibited through ease and confidence. Strength is built completely on faith. We can crumble a mountain with the gentlest touch if we believe we can. The requirement is the belief, the faith, that our efforts will bring the outcome we want. So we put forth our efforts then we release our trust to the universe that we will receive what is in our best interest.