I’m done with all of my summer traveling. I’m recovering physically (had a stomach bug to contend with), emotionally (relationships to heal), and mentally (oh wow, look at that list of things to attend to). It’s been hot here too, and we don’t have air conditioning. As I wind down and get centered again, the image that keeps coming to me is the Tower.

The Tower from he Mary-El deck

I feel like I’m on fire. Everything is in flames. Do you feel it, too? It’s more than just the incredible heatwave that the US has been facing, more than the forest fires. It seems like there is a wave of bad boundaries sweeping through communities. I feel angry about a lot of things. It seems like a wave of negativity is going around.

It has also been really hot, which seems to make everything worse.

Like the Tower card from the tarot, I feel like there are aspects of my life that are burning to the ground. But fire can be a good thing. Many ecosystems thrive with controlled fires every so many years – it burns away the scruff to make room for new seeds and plants to grow. The Tower card talks about the established systems falling down from the lightning bolt or flames of inspiration, intensity, and creative force.

All the burning up may be helpful, but it sure feels scary. I want to make sure that it’s a controlled fire. I’m fine with what is unhelpful burning away, I’m not ok with the out of control anger or biting destruction that can come with fire and fiery phases. I don’t want to burn down my house or irreparably damage important relationships. So I’m doing a lot of apologizing lately.

It’s been an intense summer for me. Four trips, involving four very different groups of people. Three of the four trips were high stakes emotion-wise for me, and emotions aren’t my strong suit. I have to work really hard to create flexible but firm boundaries. It’s energetically taxing for me to do that and hold space for my kids. I’ve already written about how I don’t always know when I need help. I often get to the end of my rope before I realize I’m at the end. And you know? It would almost always be better to know the end is coming and ask for help before I get there, than to arrive at the end and flail.

I’ve done my share of flailing and I’ve been apologizing for that. I struggle with apologizing. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I often feel like a doormat when I apologize and the other person doesn’t. It’s getting easier for me to do it, even if I suspect the other party won’t. Sure, sometimes I’m the only person who needs to apologize. Those times really suck, because who wants to be the one who put their foot in it? Usually, though, both parties need to apologize. For me, making amends is a vital part of being loving, mature person of integrity. If I hope that others will own their shit, I have to own mine. If I want a relationship built on mutual respect, trust, and honesty, then I have to own up to my mistakes, my crap, my failings, and make space for others to do the same.

Burn it up

Burning…. flailing…. Man, I’m mixing my metaphors. But that’s how it’s been for me this summer: messy. Let it burn. Let it all burn to the ground. Let’s see what grows in the spring.

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