Have you ever felt shame for your feelings?
Something I often hear at the tarot table is this. “I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do”.
Sometimes the cards indicate feelings that clients are uncomfortable acknowledging.
They might be experiencing something that we see as ‘low vibrational’ or even unhealthy, like jealousy, fear, or rage.
Recently I have noticed a trend toward shaming people for their feelings. There is a term for this; ‘toxic positivity’.
Toxic positivity has always been around. I remember in my days of following the Grateful Dead from city to city many of my fellow Deadheads feared and avoided ‘bad vibes’. When I was raising my kids, I knew other parents who demanded happiness from their children, no matter what their children were actually experiencing.
The increased popularity of the Law of Attraction has led to a great deal of misunderstanding.
It’s true that our thoughts and words have power. It’s true that if we constantly say and think negative things, we are more likely to manifest negative things, or to be unable to manifest the things we desire.
The reverse is true, too. The more that we can visualize what we want, and recognize our ability to have what we want, the more likely we are to manifest it.
All of this is true, but it sometimes leads to a faulty leap of logic. People come to believe that it is wrong, unlucky, or destructive to feel sadness, grief, anger, or any other type of upset.
The problem with that is that we, as humans, are designed to experience a range of emotions. When we acknowledge uncomfortable feelings, we take the first step toward healing and transformation.
If we feel shame around acknowledging what we are feeling in the moment, we have no opportunity to heal.
It is incredibly hurtful to stay stuck in grief, sadness, fear, or anger. It is completely normal and healthy to feel those things from time to time.
Tarot has an amazing knack for showing us our feelings, especially the feelings we don’t want to acknowledge. Even better, tarot can help us find ways to hold space for our grief, and then, eventually, change our narrative and move on.
When we do this, we end up stronger and better than we were before.
If the only feelings we want to acknowledge and experience in life are ‘positive vibes’, we will end up shallow and filled with denial.
Hurt is always an opportunity for healing. Taking time and holding space for hurt and grief will not manifest more hurt and grief. In fact, the opposite is true.
Those who call themselves spiritual leaders and teachers yet cannot handle their own feelings, or the feelings of their clients, often do more harm than good. Those who shame others for harboring negativity, living in fear, or hanging on to anger are often guilty of doing the same.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. To do that well, we must allow ourselves to be fully human.
To approach the goal of being fully healed humans, we must use our uncomfortable feelings as the impetus for personal healing and transformation. Acknowledgement and acceptance of those feelings is always the first step. Tarot can be a tool that helps us do that.