How Spirituality Transformed my Victim Complex into a Growth Mindset

Today marks an important day for all of us. The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, marks the beginning of summer…and the long-overdue renewal of our spirits that will balance out the last few painful weeks of Mercury retrograding, which started on May 29th. Now, Mercury will head home to its familiar spot in the night sky tomorrow (June 22nd), and a weight is lifted off our shoulders. Whether you believe in astrology or not, we can all agree that life has been unusually tough lately.

It’s been tough for me, too. I’ve recently lost things, both temporary and permanent, that have heavily impacted me. Change has always been difficult for me; I can’t say I’m a fan. However, I’m bouncing back faster than ever, and I’d like to share how I got to where I am today in hopes of helping someone out there who feels like their world is crashing around them.

The beginning of 2020 was an absolute garbage fire for me. I was dumped right before Christmas of 2019, and moved out of my ex’s place within a week. I didn’t give myself enough space to fully grieve how that relationship affected me, so my behaviour changed for the worse. Overwhelmed by my own misfortune, I was unaware of how I projected my emotions and fears onto those around me. This ended up costing me two friendships. As if the timing couldn’t have been worse, the coronavirus pandemic triggered a country-wide lockdown in Canada 1 month later. All of a sudden, I found myself back in my parent’s house — my life completely uprooted — and feeling incredibly alone.

I’m not even talking about the loneliness in lieu of the friends I’d lost. That was awful, of course, but after being stuck in a co-dependent relationship with my ex — and relying on my former friends to distract me from my problems — I was now alone with myself. I could no longer ignore the truth, and soon made a few realizations. Firstly, I didn’t know how to be alone. I didn’t have any hobbies other than mindlessly scrolling on my phone for hours. I lacked passion for the things I used to love. I wasn’t taking care of my body, which left me sluggish and unmotivated. I started to feel angry with myself. Question after question swirled in my mind. Who would be friends with someone who doesn’t enjoy their own life? Who would date someone who doesn’t know themselves? How did I let this happen?

Soon enough, the shame set in, and I was paralyzed in fear of my own uncertain future. Who am I, I asked myself daily, and how do I figure out what makes me unique?

One day, I came across some spiritual videos on YouTube. Until then, I’d never had much of an interest in that kind of stuff, but I was in need of a silver lining. Eventually, I clicked on a tarot pick-a-card reading in which a tarot reader offered three piles of cards for the viewer to choose from, with corresponding messages. Surprisingly, the pile I chose resonated deeply with my personal situation, and offered life-changing perspective to me. I was shocked. Suddenly, the dots were connecting, and I began to see how everything that happened earlier in the year could have had a purpose in changing me for the better.

Needless to say, I dove head-first into spirituality. I learned more about tarot and eventually received my first two tarot decks on my 24th birthday. I practiced on myself, my friends, and strangers online; I was absolutely hooked. Not only was it fun, but I was able to understand my life in ways I’d never considered. I can confidently say that tarot changed my life. I felt empowered in growing from my mistakes, and understanding other people’s behaviour in ways that would help them do the same. My perspective on life shifted dramatically.

Now, a year later, I’ve made it out of the woods of change yet again. I have been laid off, lost my grandmother, and relocated all in the last 2 months. Normally I’d feel stuck, unable to decipher what move to make next — but not now. This time around, I’ve had my moments of weakness where life is too much to handle, but what’s different is that I hold space for my emotions. In the past, I’ve been scared to feel them fully and tried my hardest to move past them as fast as I could. Now I know to let them run their course by expressing what’s on my mind, either in a journal or to someone I love, and allowing myself to cry as much as I need to. The most important lesson I’ve learned in the last year (thanks to the novel Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, Ph.D) is that emotions are like tourists. They don’t want to stay; they want to run their course and move on. So I let them. It’s not easy, of course — letting yourself feel everything can be painful — but the amazing part is that I can finally express my feelings and move forward with them.

There are other changes I’ve made that have influenced where I am now, like getting diagnosed with and medicated for attention deficit disorder, and finding an antidepressant that works for me. All of those things have given me the gift of increased focus and inner peace, but spirituality is what ties it all together. As my counsellor once told me, our lives are like cars; things like medicine and self-care are the fuel, and spiritual practices such as tarot and astrology are the road map. They help you understand the way you are, the lessons the world is teaching you, and how you can use that knowledge to get to where you want to be.

I’ve written all of this to say that feeling lost can be the most important step towards finding your way. The card pictured above is The Hermit. The Hermit has a keen sense of inner knowing, but in reverse, he loses touch with his intuition and stops trusting his internal compass. This is what happens when we allow our shortcomings to alter our perception of ourselves. However, The Hermit remembers all of the times he’s lost his way and knows its only temporary. In the meantime, he lights his lamp to provide comfort in the darkness, and trusts that he’ll soon find himself on the other side of the trail.

We all have intuition. You may not know how to listen to it, but it’s there, waiting for you to recognize it. Our intuition is what keeps us moving when the going gets tough. It might not always make sense at first, but the ideas it whispers to you always have a purpose. Trusting our intuition is what helps us thrive amidst big changes in our lives! Thriving doesn’t always equate to being positive and cheerful. Thriving sometimes means moving through loss, change, or loneliness, and knowing that you WILL come out on the other side, just like you have before. If you can practice that, you will find your way more easily each time you lose your footing. Embracing the cycles of death and rebirth in your life is the most empowering choice you can make for yourself.

So, as a new chapter begins for us, remember that you the ability to plant a new crop when the others start to wilt. You know how to care for the sprouts, and even though they won’t look the same as the last ones, the lessons you learned from them will transform into evergreen wisdom that will follow you everywhere you go. You’ll never truly lose it.

To thrive is to trust yourself. That’s all you need to know to propel yourself forward. I promise.

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Isabel Amanda

Isabel Amanda

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