Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Experiment 2 ~ Part 1

Now it's time to look at the Personality and Shadow cards....

The Personality Card is the card that symbolizes what you have come into this lifetime to learn
My Personality Card is The World, shown here as the rainbow colored squiggle.

Qualities we show openly in the world ~ I hate to say this but people think I have it all together. All my friends think my life is perfect and that I have no problems. I don't think I really try to portray that, in fact I am quite open with how not put together I am. I think it is because I don't let little things bother me. I don't care that I'm poor, or that we live in a small place, and sometimes we have to eat ramen because we can't afford anything else. I don't care that I don't have the newest gadget or that my car is 12 years old. I have a man that I love, I have two adorable little dogs that adore me, I have my family, and my nephew. And that is all I care about. Money doesn't matter, bills don't matter, car problems don't matter. We have a warm place to live (at least now we do!) and we are together, that is all I need.

How we represent ourselves outwardly ~ I try to share myself with everyone. I think because I've spent so much of my life feeling alone that I want everyone I know to know they are not alone. I want others to know that life is always full of problems but that doesn't mean it has to ruin your day. I just think that we have the wrong idea about life. Nothing is ever perfect and that's ok. How boring would it be if everything was perfect..

What tasks we have to complete in the world ~ Oh my goodness. I'm always trying to change the world. I take on big tasks, usually too big for me to handle and, quite often, it involves lots of people. I have no idea why I do that but this card here makes a lot of sense to me. I even went to college with the intention of using my degree to help people in need. Little did I know that the law is all about making money, not about making things better. I was so disenchanted that I can't bring myself to do the work knowing what I know now.

What challenges to set ourselves ~ I always say, if you're going to do it then do it. I love to challenge myself, to broaden my outlook on anything and everything. I find that I am drawn to things that make me uncomfortable, almost like I instinctively know how to produce growth in myself. I find any challenge exciting, from a simple crossword to living every day with my debilitating anxiety disorder, well not that that one is ever all that exciting. In fact, as I'm thinking about it now, perhaps that is why I haven't offed myself! I won't lose the challenge, I won't let it win.

The Hidden Factor or Shadow Card indicates aspects of yourself that you fear, reject, or don't see or relate with. Sometimes even flatly deny. However, you tend to remain sensitive to these qualities and therefore tend to see them in others via the psychological mechanism of "projection".

My Shadow Card is the Hanged Man, shown in the pic above as the cocoon.

Some of this I have noted in our other experiments, I was a step ahead of you! The hanged man, especially the image of a cocoon, really does relate to my life. It began when I was 12 and my anxiety appeared. Over the 2 decades since, I have formed this cocoon around me, foolishly believing I am only safe inside my home. I don't know why I think it is so scary out there or why I get panicky just going to get the mail. I live fearlessly in my head. I experience things through my window. I really do wish my meds would work enough for me to get back out there. I fear staying as I am just as much as I fear a trip to the grocery store. But the noise, there is so much noise. People are so loud and angry and selfish. It pains me to be around them.

I am not sure what aspect of this card I could be denying. I hate to read this card as sacrifice because I have sacrificed enough in this life and I refuse to let go of any more. I suppose it could be speaking towards me looking at things differently. In fact, just last month I had a conversation about my anxiety where I described it as a daily fight to the death. The person I was speaking with suggested that if I could look at it in a more positive way, I might make more progress. I was intrigued by the suggestion, of course, but still have not found a way to do so. But not for lack of trying. I suppose this card is mostly tied to my anxiety, since that is the only area of my life that I can't figure out. There probably is a lot of denial in there somewhere but I'm darned if I can find it.

I've done a search of the AT and here's some things I'd like to hit on, all by thirteen:

"The Hanged Man represents a period when you are upside down, you are a traitor to the right-side-up world. You see things inversely, in a way that may seem wrong or traitorous to others, and you act on that view in a way that you know will invoke consequences and require sacrifice on your part. The result is that you end up hanging suspended, still seeing the world from your upside down perspective, waiting for the consequences to end, and the changes caused by your actions to come to fruition."

This very much describes what I believe my anxiety-ridden life to be. So it is not so hidden, but perhaps, my goal in this lifetime.

"Thus, the Hanged Man represents a "betrayal" against the status quo. It represents, ultimately, not merely your own change in perspective, but a way in which you can change everything."

I very much agree with this as well. I know only I have the power to do this but I can't seem to find it.

"What we have to remember, I think, is that the Traitor has come to mean someone willing to sacrifice himself to go against the status quo. He is not a traitor in the sense of Benedict Arnold--rather he is a traitor in the sense that Prometheus was a traitor against the gods of Mt. Olympus in giving man fire. Prometheus suffered for that betrayal, but he was willing to suffer for it."

A part of me does believe that this trial is going to be of some benefit to me, but one I may not know of until I cease to be. As long as there is some reason for my sacrifice I am ok with it. Even if it were to save one person from this... and now I am seeing myself as a martyr and that is not how I feel at all. It is like I said above, speaking of the World card, I take too much on my shoulders. If God had come to me and said, "Either you go through this or I give it to someone else." I would take it on. Perhaps knowing I have the strength where another wouldn't. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, no one deserves this.

There definitely is a great difference between the World and the Hanged Man. One is focused on the greater whole, the "outer, while the other is "inner" and completely self involved. I suppose I do go through bouts of both of those. Or perhaps it is more fitting to say that I strive for a balance between the two. I do go through periods where I am so focused inward, like the last few months, that I cannot even begin to look out. And I know quite soon, my focus will change to the outer and I will cease to be so self involved. I can't help thinking it is tied to my anxiety, as it has worsened in the last few months. And when I'm not leaving my house, it is difficult to focus on what is outside of my little world.

Well, those are my thoughts on this today. I may add more later.


  1. That is such an honest account of yourself it shook me. I love it and can relate to it.
    The World card can also relate to achieving Spiritual wisdom. Which only thru experiencing life and personal trauma can one really fully achieve. Everyone perceives you like you described ......because that IS half of you.

    The other half is your Shadow half / inner you. The two halves make the whole person. The fact you are able to portray such outer confidence and contentment shows remarkable strength of character. There are so many opinions with regards to anxiety disorders, but one has to live with anxiety to truly understand it.

    The Hanged Man is your Shadow card, or anchor holding you back in life. You have acknowledged this well. You appear to have it under control to the outer world, but you have to live with it daily. Only when it effects your level of enjoying your life and accomplishing your goals, does it become a concern. (to me that is). It is okay to avoid crowds as they are very loud. I also agree that people are angry and selfish. I prefer to shop etc out of peak hours as do many others. That is normal.

    The Hanged Man could be telling you to live in the moment and to enjoy the now. Could also be referring to you seeing things in a different way from the norm. But so do many others, and this is fantastic...unique. I see these as compliments of your nature not anchors.

    As far as I can see the anchor does relate to your anxiety. It says try to adapt to how you cope with things around you. That does not mean you have to change your personality.
    Just knowing your limitations and triggers is a major ahievement to you. Reprogramming is taking one small step at a time. Every time you feel the anxiety rising, acknowledge it, and take time out to meditate on it. Think of tiny ways to help you thru it. Remember, the journey is not an easy one....nor is life.

  2. I love reding your posts - straigh from the soul and excellently written.


  3. thanks for sharing. we have the same personality, soul and shadow cards. i can relate to a lot of what you wrote even though your challenges are different to mine. i agree with firefrost - excellent stuff! xx

  4. Your writing is a joy to read, even though you are dealing with tough subject matter. You are very honest with your readers, and more importantly yourself. Some days it is too much to take it one day at a time. Then we have to do just one breath at a time. You are strong!