3 of Swords – Sorrow

3 of Swords - SorrowSorrow is a sweet kind of suffering, as it is a state of allowing the mind to feel the deeper kind of sadness that lives in our memories of the past.

Swords is the realm of the mind, and a reminder that the sorrow we feel is often based on ancient ideas, old patterns and subconscious programming. But this sorrow has its roots deeper in the body, perhaps in the chest or the upper belly. This is the inner child crying for acknowledgment. Her pain is real and so often, we try to shoo her away with her feelings and stories, or we try to correct her with affirmations or logical arguments.

No wonder she is still so sad.

It’s time to listen. She will carry this sorrow as long as she is unheard, unvalued, unloved. We say we love our inner child, but when she speaks out  (through spontaneous bursts of feeling that she showers our bodies with – especially intense emotions like fear, anger, frustration) it is now time to listen. No affirmations, no talking her off the ledge, no distractions.

The next time a powerful emotion sweeps over your body, do this.

Take a breath and rest awareness between your hips. Find a center of calm. Think of a time when you are feeling all the power of being your adult self, in charge, taking care of business, taking care of people, empowered and strong. Breathe into the area between your hips. Connect to the inner wisdom of your body, and your empowered self. Feel the area between your hips expand so it eventually fills the room. This is your adult self. Your inner Mama/Papa.

Next, feel your feeling. Let it come up. Let her speak. Ask the child/feeling – What are you feeling? Let the feeling speak it’s truth. Listen. Mirror back “I can see you are feeling sad. You have every right to feel that. I can see you are feeling scared. Of course you are, sweetie. I can see how frightened you are”  Just allow the feeling, and name all it’s parts.

Next, ask the feeling “what do you need?” It may take a while, just allow the feeling to be acknowledged. If you are doing this for the first time, expect tears. This may be the first time your inner child feels safe and valued. This is good. This is a conversation that will continue for the rest of your life. She may need “a hug” or some time to chill out, or some time alone in nature, or for you to listen more, to show up more, to be her protector, her champion.

This is where sorrow lives. In our hearts. It’s an innocent, timeless sorrow that comes from ignoring our own inner child and her feelings and needs. You don’t need to fix her. Just listening and witnessing will start to clear the dark clouds that have been obscuring her purpose.

The feeling of sorrow is a beautiful invitation for us to develop a more compassionate relationship with the self.

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