Saturday, December 23, 2017

I am not a Role Model

In the immortal words of Charles Barkley, "I am not a role model."  After careful reflection, I've realized that I want to live my life for myself and not to serve as a role model or guru for others.  However, I've also decided that I will share my personal tarot journey and if it helps other people, that's great.  And if it doesn't, no harm done.

My mother taught me early that a woman's life was all about being there for other people no matter how badly they treated you.  Despite the fact that her mother had given away her wedding presents, looked the other way when her brother tried to kill her, and generally treated her like garbage, my mother was always at my grandmother's beck and call.  I remember multiple times growing up when my mother would drop everything to go take care of some nonessential emergency that my grandmother was having, despite the fact that she had vowed the week before to quit putting her mother first.

The lessons were reinforced when I got married as my life was not supposed to revolve around my husband and children and nothing I wanted mattered.  When I told my mother I was going to a writer's retreat, the first thing she asked was how my husband felt about watching the kids.  When I told her I was going to a computer class for work, she asked why John wasn't going instead as we worked for the same company and to her it made more sense for a man to take a computer class than a woman.  And when I told her my husband and I were separating, she never once asked how I was doing.

As I crawled through a hell of low self esteem and the remnants of domestic violence to recover from my divorce, I journaled about all of the lessons I was learning and thought that one day I might write a book or teach a class on how to recover from painful experiences.  I thought about all the people who had given me a helping hand and dreamed about the day I could offer support to others.

However, as I got stronger and grew my self esteem, I realized that writing about my experiences with the explicit purpose of helping others was, once again, making my life about other people.  It also started to feel all too much like giving unsolicited advice, which is something Al-Anon taught me was a huge no-no.  As I explored my thoughts on writing and teaching about personal growth, I realized that anything formal like a book or a class would feel like preaching.  It would be putting myself up on a pedestal and, as you know, a lot of people have had their egos seriously injured by falling from pedestals. 

So after all of that, I'm sure your wondering why I would put my tarot journal online and that's a very valid question.  I made the decision to put my Tarot Journal online after reading about Swedish Death Cleansing and reading stories about people who had read their loved ones journals after they'd passed and were hurt by something they had read there.  I didn't want to censor myself in my journal as it's a place where I can write out anything and everything that is on my mind, but I also didn't want my kids to read old journals and see bitching and moaning about them.  

My solution was to begin to put cleaned up versions of my journals online.  Doing this allows me to keep the immediacy of my paper journal, but allows me an opportunity to remove anything hurtful and replace it with something innocuous.  It also allows me to keep the lessons I've learned from journaling, but let go of any specifics that really don't matter.

I also decided to make my journals public as there might be something here that might help other people and if so, great.  If not, than that's okay too.

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