Many of our challenges as adults — shame and guilt, disconnection and difficulty relating to others or finding a place, trouble feeling emotions as they are, anxiety and/or depression, debilitating anger/frustration — have their roots in the past. Growing up, early childhood, sometimes even prenatal experiences can cloud the lens we view the world through, as we individuate and move on to navigate our lives on our own.
The Six of Cups is about that part of the healing journey that cannot be escaped — revisiting the past. To that time of innocence where we believed, unquestioningly, that our experiences were absolute and unchanging.
The image on the card is of an older boy meeting a younger child with an offering. It is probably because of my family constellation training that I always view this as a meeting between mother and child — the relationship that has the potential to form the crux of our relationship with life itself.
To understand our challenges and find true change is to thread our way back to the roots of the beliefs that have moulded us, to integrate the pain that we may find there. This can be intimidating but going back, gently and safely, is the key to noticing how many of our adult experiences, attitudes and reactions come from a place of pain as felt by our child selves.
One of my mentors used to ask: Who is in the driver’s seat (when you feel that way)? Is it your child self or you as an adult? Going back to the origins, helps us tell the difference.
Our childhood experiences get set in stories we tell ourselves repeatedly, that we believe are the unchanging, defining stories of our lives.
I am forever alone.
People will always use me.
I’m difficult to love.
I’m too touchy, too energetic, too ambitious.
I’m too much.
And these beliefs cause us to have inaccurate perceptions: mistaking healthy boundaries for abandonment. Confusing the basic human need for connection with neediness. Labelling emotions that are basic, human and valid as wrong and problematic, in need of fixing, etc.
If you are sitting with a particular challenge or just something festering ever so slightly, unable to navigate it, this card is a reminder that maybe it is worth looking into your past. To separate early experiences of pain that you may be confusing with present ones. To re-learn basic ideas of love and the self, and to know just how worthy you are of having both as an adult. And to experience anew how embodying the two can bring wholeness.