Buried Grief and the Three of Swords

My personal story with this card revolves around buried grief. I was bullied at school from the ages of 6 to 11. The bullying started when I stood up to a pack of girls hurting a special needs child. I suspect it continued because I was different: my mother made my clothes and grew the food she packed in my lunchbox. My parents, both immigrants to the USA, might have well been from another solar system. There was always a sense of not belonging and not being wanted just about everywhere.

Strong feelings of rejection shaped me those years, but thanks to a very watery and mutable chart, I adapted. I found sanctuary and developed my own sense of self worth. I made friends with the school and city librarians and planted myself in front of the 100-300 #deweydecimalclassificationsystem I learned photography and isolated myself in the high school dark room. I spent weekends at the ocean, body surfing, releasing the hurts in my mind and body to the massive walls of water I learned to ride.

I exorcised the buried grief out over the years by nurturing others who were going through the things I had become stuck in. You cannot open a window for someone without getting some sunlight on yourself. I learned that every time I extended myself to help a bullied girl, or a woman who had been beaten, I was also addressing the Three of Swords buried deep inside of me.

Triggers still come up. I imagine they always will. But it’s much less now than even ten years ago. I’m keenly aware of rejection or not fitting in. But when these feelings arise, most of the time it’s me projecting my bullshit onto a scenario that only exists in my mind. If I were to keep projecting, then the scenario would take on a life of its own and my misplaced feelings would give it the breath of life it needs to become a “real thing”. So I watch it and work with it because these swords, they’re double edged. So many times we only experience the painful side. But pain alchemized is power… power to transform, heal, evolve, and become the light this world needs.