4 of Cups – Luxury

Luxury is most enjoyed in small doses.  Too much of a good thing can make us sick! How can we indulge in this joyous feeling without overdosing?

Our level of enjoyment in something is often directly related to how little we actually get to enjoy it.  As we become accustomed to

Just enough of a wonderful thing..
Just enough of a wonderful thing..

anything, it can lose it’s power to satisfy us. A hot shower is not that big a deal if you live in a house and you can have one every day.  After a week or a month in the wilderness or roughing it in any way, a hot shower becomes a luxury. I remember as a Mother of 2 young children, any time to myself felt like a luxury.  Having an uninterrupted and fascinating adult conversation for more than a few minutes felt like a luxury. Too much deprivation is not healthy though, and there is a sweet spot for all of us where luxury can be enjoyed, and appreciated, no matter how small.

The more luxuries we choose to indulge in, the less of a high we get from that enjoyment. I think this is why gratitude is such a big deal in our culture. We have so much luxury, that we often forget to appreciate it.  Gratitude reminds us that nothing in our life is a given, and we must appreciate every thing that we possibly can, in order to reacquaint us with the enjoyment of all the goodness that surrounds us.

The suit of cups refers to the emotional realm. What is emotional luxury? A state of being where there is no critical mind-talk, where there are no pressing worries, where we feel belonging and love. We all desire this feeling. Because we are human, and fairly deluded about how to procure this feeling, we can often imagine that outer luxuries will create the emotional luxury that we crave. This is where superficial luxury is dangerous. It may give us a feeling of temporary satisfaction, but in the long run, it can create an even deeper emptiness or mask our suffering in a way that alienates us from feeling.  I believe that in our culture, we are fixated with a cautionary tales about luxury – and fascinated with the celebrity characters who indulge in it to the detriment of their happiness. One side of our cultural messages bombard us with the illusory story that luxury will protect us from emotional and even physical pain. The other side of our culture, through celebrity obsessed storytelling media, tries to remind us of the danger of luxury by pointing out the misery that can occur in the midst of luxury.

What are your luxuries? How do you feel when you enjoy them? It is that state of being that this card illustrates.

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