Real Problems vs. Self-Inflicted Problems
The first words she said to me, as I sat across the candlelit table with five or so cards resting patiently between us were “Audrey, all of your worries are real.” A wave of relief washed over me and a crooked smile appeared upon my face.
Out of context you might expect this pronouncement from a medium reading my tarot cards to have a very different effect on me. But rewind to three months prior, when on our very first meeting she said, “All of your problems are in your head,” and my reaction starts to make sense. “I am making progress,” I thought to myself.
At the time of that first reading, I felt confident that I had figured out the next game plan for my life, which is something that had been plaguing my every waking thought for the six months leading up to this moment. Despite having a master’s degree from a prestigious university in something I was ever so passionate about, I suffered from a severe lack of self confidence that led me to doubt whether or not I had what it took to make a difference where our earth’s environment is concerned.
As a result, I started to consider alternative options. I landed on the default for my family (which I recognize is a pretty unusual default): practicing medicine. I managed to convince myself that what I needed in a career was something with more structure, rules, proof of concept, and a very universally understood and respected profession…oh and paid well, too.
After several weeks of obsessive researching and planning, I had it all mapped out: the schools I would apply to, the people I would ask for a recommendation, the prerequisite courses I would take, and even bits and pieces of my personal essay. To sum it up, I felt positive that I was on the right track when I sat down with ChosenEyes, the tarot card reader.
So when she said “All of your problems are in your head,” I felt a bit defeated. Probably sensing this disappointment, she shifted to a more positive tone, telling me that I needed to learn how to adapt; to let go of my ego and control and to not get so hung up on life’s little setbacks.
What would MacGyver do?
Another bit of advice she told me that really stuck was that I needed to start “MacGyvering the sh*t out of my life.” I’m sure I looked a little baffled, so she proceeded to explain what she meant through a much appreciated analogy:
“Imagine you are making a pizza. What you are doing now is wasting time reaching for more ingredients, more toppings. You need to learn how to make due with what you have within reach. You have the recipe; all of the answers you seek are within yourself. You need to stop wasting your time by reaching for more ingredients, and put that pizza in the oven.”
I somewhat understood what she meant, but I chalked it all up to her reading a former version of myself – the one who didn’t yet have a new plan in motion. I shrugged it off, but it kept nagging at me like a territorial mockingbird trying to get my attention.
Now that I am on a vastly different professional and personal path, one that took a lot of introspection, reflection, and self-forgiveness, and one that truly embraces MacGyver’s method operandus, I understand ChosenEye’s advice.
So, several months later, when she looked me square in the eyes and told me that all of my worries were real, I felt relieved. This meant that I was no longer consumed with the problems I was creating for myself by smoking out my head with self doubt and toxic thoughts; rather I was making space to focus on the real challenges I face.
Keep Calm and Solve Your Own Problems
As I write this, I think about a guided meditation I received a few years ago. The yoga instructor at Blue Point Yoga painted a picture of turbulent water, opaque with the silt and mud that were being kicked up by the water’s movement. She asked us to think of this water as our mind, and that in order for us to see and think clearly, we must let our thoughts slow down so that the particles may sink to the bottom.
So when I’m told that my worries are real, I think that means that I have achieved a certain stillness in my mind that allows everything not deserving of my attention to fall to its depths.