Drawing from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck today, I pulled Release (at left) and Luna (not pictured here). Release, a card about cutting negative emotional attachments, is particularly appropriate to the season. Though we are constantly told to be happy and cheerful because of the holidays, in fact, for many of us, the holidays bring out grumpiness and old pain — like an old injury that aches when a storm is coming. Why is that? I think it’s because there is SO much emotional pressure, and family pressure, to make this season a celebratory one. We can’t always be in a celebratory mood just because it’s now December — some of us are focused on creative work, some of us aren’t but should be, some of us have special challenges or problems that won’t go away just because of the holidays, and some of us are just grateful to have survived another day of crippling depression, quite frankly. And others of us have unhappy memories of holidays past when bad things happened. So when you take that kind of situation and add to it the incredible pressure of: “be happy! tell us what you have to celebrate!” it can bring out crankiness and irritability. More than that, it can, ironically enough, bring out all the stuff we were repressing — as if the containers we’ve sealed the pain into are simply not enough to withstand BOTH the internal pressure AND the external pressure.
So, the practical solution here is: Release. Let go of the pain. Not so you can be cheerful and celebrate the holidays. F— the holidays. This pain needs to be released not for that reason but because it’s putting you under way too much pressure as it is. But yes–that’s much easier said than done. Here are three practical options for release:
1. Exercise (outside if possible). Exercise in nature, or do a mind-body-spirit practice such as yoga or martial arts, something that will help work those painful memories out of the body parts where they are residing in the form of muscle tension. Exercise is nature’s Xanax and nature’s Prozac (and I’m not meaning to make light of those of us who need pharmaceutical help as well — just saying that exercise is a practical tool to add to the mix).
2. Release into the Earth. I read this technique in Freya Ray’s Healing with a Handful of Dirt (a book I haven’t finished reading yet but am already ready to heartily recommend). We are all part of nature, and one aspect of that is that we are affected by gravity. The Earth pulls on us. It is somehow a relief to sit or lie on the ground or even the floor. Being on the ground or floor takes the edge off both physical and emotional pain. I think it’s because our bodies naturally know how to release pain into the earth. We don’t even have to add much conscious awareness to the mix to make that happen. Personally, I went through most of labor with my oldest daughter on the hardwood floor of my hospital room for this very reason — I would estimate that being on the floor took away 25 to 40 percent of my physical pain. It soaks it up like a sponge. Your pain won’t hurt the Earth — the Earth grounds it and neutralizes it with what, for lack of a better word, I will call its vastness.
3. Ask for angelic help. This technique is one that I first read in a Doreen Virtue book (sorry, can’t remember which one!) and is also recommended in the Universal Wisdom deck book on the page for this card. You can ask the angels to cut the cord of the negative attachment that is hurting you, and visualize, for example, angels cutting the cord to the situation, memory, or person with a sword or scissors. Another alternative (which Virtue recommends in one of her books) is to visualize an angel vacuuming out the negative emotions with a vacuum. Sounds crazy, but this type of visualization and request for help from the angels can help if you try it sincerely.
I would also recommend “speaking your truth” strategies such as journaling or talk therapy. But do those things really help us to let go? Or do they cause us to obsess and form an even tighter grip on our pain? You decide for yourself. Like many forms of medicine, these options are best practiced in moderation.
My second card for today, Luna (not pictured because I’m having trouble with the file), is about the healing power of love. And it, too, is oddly appropriate. It’s as if the pain and hurt were a thorn that we pull out through a strategy of Release. Then, we apply healing, with Love. That sounds so cliché. But it’s true in ways that are not immediately obvious. Love brings us faith and hope — and the trinity of faith, hope, and love can heal even some hurts that we thought were fatal.
“In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13: 13