What’s preventing you from doing the things you want to do? Go ahead and list everything down. What is getting in your way? If we’re honest with ourselves, the most common thing preventing us from doing what we want is us. We get in our own ways.
This concept of getting in our own way is actually one of the 10 Keys to Inner Prosperity in Loricism. You Are the Saboteur. It means we sabotage our own success. We trap ourselves in a cycle of procrastination, failure, indecision, or whatever. If we can learn to recognize this for what it is, we can learn to overcome it and stop making excuses for ourselves, stop blaming external things (Focus Within, the 7th Key), and achieve what we want.
One of my favorite ways I’ve seen used to illustrate this is from tarot. If you’re unfamiliar, and putting all the fortune/mysticism aside (I don’t like that aspect of it, and it’s irrelevant to our topic here today anyhow), tarot simply uses imagery to convey an idea or teach a lesson. Images tell stories, and stories have been a useful vehicle for wisdom since Day 1.
One of the tarot cards, the 8 of Swords, is about self-imposed prisons. The Rider-Waite tarot deck shows a blindfolded woman surrounded by a fence of swords. Notice that there is a clear way out – forward – but that the swords are also loosely stuck into the ground. She can easily get out of her situation. The problem is two-fold. First, she is blind to the way out. She cannot see how easy it is to escape this. Because she doesn’t see the way, she is paralyzed with fear of cutting herself on the swords.
The whole thing symbolizes a self-imposed prison. Take a look at the 8 of Swords from my deck, the Darkana Tarot.
This version shows a straightjacket pinned to the wall by 8 spikes. The keywords are Restriction and Doubt. What the card symbolizes is a self-fulfilling prophecy or a self-imposed prison. This is all related to paradigm, or mindset (the suit of swords typically represents thoughts, ideas, and mindset). We impose restrictions on ourselves all the time, with doubts, fears, insecurity. We tell ourselves what is not possible, and we become convinced of the lies we tell ourselves.
Fear is born in the womb of the mind.
If only we could escape these thoughts, or see them for what they are, we would be able to move about freely. We are imposing these restrictions upon ourselves. Getting in our own way. Making excuses. Procrastinating. Thinking of every reason in the world why we can’t or shouldn’t do something to avoid it.
Let that go. Recognize that you’re the one doing that. You put those swords there. Your bindings are loose. You can shake them off, remove the blindfold, and knock down the swords.
Prison image from Pixabay