One Step Toward Recovery from Trauma: Release Negative Attachments with Help from Angels and Spirit Guides

Release--Universal Wisdom deck

Lilac Mist--Universal Wisdom deckRelease--Universal Wisdom deckTaking a break from the Samurai Tarot, I drew two cards from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck today: Lilac Mist and Release.

Has something negative happened recently or, perhaps not so recently, that is weighing heavily on your heart? These cards speak to recovery from that kind of event. They remind us that:

1. All things happen for a reason. And all the events in our lives, even the negative ones (maybe especially the negative ones) help to make us who we are today.

2. If we keep focusing on and thinking about negative events and the people who have hurt us, we reexperience those events, essentially re-traumatizing ourselves. We don’t need that. We need to instead let go of negativity and move forward to experience happiness and love.

3. Although we need to let go of past hurtful experiences, it is incredibly hard to do so. They have a compelling hold on our psyches, having taken up residence in our amygdalas, in some cases, it seems, for good! Some negative events create serious phobias that end up being lifelong, or cause an ongoing problem with anxiety and panic attacks. Again, we don’t need this — but it is hard to prevent.

4. Luckily, help is available. Of course, one form of help is counseling and therapy — and this could mean professional help from a licensed therapist, or informal help from our support network of friends and family. However, sometimes spiritual help can be a bit more potent and can be a strong add-on to the other support we are availing ourselves of. The Lilac Mist card reminds us that we always have angels and spirit guides around us. These guides are eager to help and are constantly radiating unconditional love. It may seem old-fashioned to pray for help, but prayer has existed since ancient times precisely because it is a powerful tool. Moreover, though we could argue about whether or not it is appropriate to pray for assistance with material and physical matters (such as financial problems or medical healing), letting go of negative attachments is not a material or physical matter, but a spiritual one. There could not be any more appropriate topic for prayer!

The Universal Wisdom deck book suggests that we ask the angels to cut the etheric cords that still connect us with those people who have hurt us. I don’t believe this card refers to our loved ones who occasionally hurt our feelings without meaning to, and who we naturally forgive with an open heart, even when something serious happens. I think this statement refers to those people who WILLFULLY hurt us and others, who will NEVER stop behaving in a negative way toward us, who hurt us ON PURPOSE, and whose actions toward us have to be stopped for good by ending the connection. Some of us feel strongly called to pray for those who have hurt us, in the hopes that those people will develop and mature into more responsible individuals capable of making better future choices. But, if keeping these people in our prayers ends up being a way of retraumatizing ourselves by reliving those bad memories, one option is to ask the angels and spirit guides to take on the job of praying for them, so that we ourselves can simply let go of the connection and move on with our lives.

Do you see why this question of whether and how to end negative attachments is a spiritual one? It isn’t particularly spiritually advanced to just slam the door on people who bother us in some way, even when those people hurt us. It’s better than letting those people roll right over us, of course, but not by much! A more spiritual response is to work with those people and help them onto a better path. However — there are times when we have to recognize that the situation is beyond our current level of skill to heal. And at such a time, placing the matter in the hands of someone as spiritually advanced as an angel or a buddha is a graceful way of shutting the door without pushing that person (the person who insists on continually trying to harm us) further into negativity.


    1. You are welcome! I’m glad to hear it. It was meaningful for me too (they say the cards typically have a message for the reader as well).


  1. These are very pretty cards. And the reading is spot on for my return to work. Typical annoyances be they minor or major must be defused of their emotional negativity consciously or they will become habitual. Something as small as repeating, “Oh that never works” subtly instills an unproductive mindset. Sometimes the best alternative to these conversational go-to phrases is to be alone instead and chill with bit of peaceful reflection instead.


    1. Thank you–you are very right and I’m so glad you pointed this out. Often we do tend to hang onto negative associations and reinforce them with ourselves with exactly this kind of habit. But if we can become aware of it, we can choose to replace our negative comments to ourselves with something different, and even if doing so feels stilted and forced at first, it can still make a difference over time. The Tibetan Rinpoches say that if you form a positive intention or aspiration, even if it is not totally sincere and heartfelt, it still counts. And I think that’s because once you’ve planted the seed, as long as you continue to water and nurture that seeds, the plant will grow in time.

      This is kind of a silly example, but when I was practicing martial arts, I hated having to do pushups. But over time I changed my attitude by deliberately cultivating gratitude in my mind every time my teachers had us do pushups. I would consciously think, “oh, I’m so grateful that Sensei is helping us to become stronger.” Somehow thinking something along the lines of “hurrah, pushups!”, even though I was forcing myself to think this thought and wasn’t sincere at all, caused me to shift my whole attitude once I had practiced the thought for just a few days. Though it probably helped that feeling grateful for pushups appealed to my sense of humor….though my example doesn’t have to do with emotional negative associations, I think the same procedure could be applied to good effect in these situations as well. Now I will have to think about how best to apply this technique to my own emotional negativities! šŸ™‚

      Maybe a better example than my pushup one, for emotional situations, would be the technique often recommended to Buddhists, of being grateful for those people in our lives who give us an opportunity to practice patience. We can also be grateful for the emotional growth opportunities being presented by these individuals. It feels counterintuitive and definitely takes some practice — and is something else that I need to work on in my own life.

      Thanks, Odeliaivy, for inspiring me to reflect more on this! šŸ™‚


  2. I was speaking to a colleague yesterday and we’ve both been under pressure to deliver at work. She made the following comment that she thinks along the following lines when it feels like the chips are down… To paraphrase:

    “It’s chucking it down with rain and cold. Two people stop at the Admissions Hut to pay to get in. Both comment on how cheery I am, considering I’m out in the rain. “How do you do it?” They ask.

    I say to them, even if you’re the only two people I serve today, then that is great. I’ve been able to serve two people, give them a warm welcome, get them sold a ticket and give them directions to the car park. That’s my job done and two happy people. I live to serve (inbetween the hot drink drinks and a nice healthy snack to keep me going).”

    A penny dropped for me with that comforting conversation (I’d had a rubbish morning so far at that point). What an inspiration – thank you Jan!

    So yes, a (compassionate) change in attitude or perspective, however subtle can create great results. šŸ™‚
    Sue @


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