A card well chosen for me today, because I've been feeling a little fearful and a little stuck.
The Eight of Swords shows Orestes who is between a rock and a hard place. He feels like he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. In a state of paralysis, with Apollo on his left, who's giving Orestes the evil eyeball and to the left are the three Furies, with their ugly on a ape faces, their bat wings and snake hair. I think we all can identify with this feeling like we can't move, change our mind or our situation. It's not good.
Fear is something that is present in life, for all of us and manifests itself in so many ways and when we can't make a decision we can feel paralyzed, knowing that whatever we do is going to be problematic for us and might even be perceived as being life threatening us in one way or another. If nothing else it's stressful and anxiety producing.
At times our fears are natural, realistic, warranted and understandable. Others fears emerge as phobias that we might carry into our adult life from childhood, like fear of the dark, or like me, I had a choking phobia when eating cheese or ice cream, and had a fear of bees when I was a kid. I still have my phobias but have learned to control them.
We can get treatment for phobia and we can choose to avoid situations where they present themselves, or they may lessen with time when we learn strategies to cope. But some problems are more difficult to overcome with out making a decision to do something about it, in spite of our fears. If we choose not to take any action we remain stuck in the quagmire, hobbled by our fear and the situation worsens, effecting almost every aspect of our lives.
Some of us experience a learned helplessness because we've become dependent or co-dependent on someone else to solve our problems, but this is ineffective in the long term. It's pretty difficult for any one else to help us if we can't help ourselves.
Ultimately we have to make the decision to change what we can for ourselves, face our fears and learn new skills that will help us to cope and hold those fears in check, without letting them control us. Otherwise we are simply spinning our wheels, going nowhere fast.
My experience has been that I had to make friends with my fear. Not to say fear's my new best bud, on no, definitely not but I've learned to make fear work for me. Sometimes this doesn't work, but I know fear is a necessary normal feeling, that will pass and that I need to work with it, instead of against it. I can then hopefully, make a good decision with some discernment in order to make a necessary change. Asking for help from others who have perhaps been through similar circumstance is important because I don't need to solve all my problems in isolation. I've always believed that when I can share a problem with someone else, it lessens my problem by half.