I am masterful at avoiding my inner demons, but they always catch up with me before too long. I can circumvent life lessons, but I can’t permanently avoid them. If I didn’t fully integrate them the first time around, surely as the sun they will rise again.

And even when I do finally make peace with the chaos within me, it doesn’t just dissipate. Sitting with that chaos is a daily practice. Watching it change shape requires constant mindfulness.

And maintaining that mindfulness…well, it isn’t always easy. It’s easier to switch off. To distract my attention with social media or work or tv or whatever else.

Because staying mindful, for me, means bravely standing in the thick of my own inner chaos. Over. And over.

And jeez! That can get exhausting.

But the divine irony here is that resisting facing myself, avoiding inner work, and clinging to my outmoded ways of being actually takes up MORE energy than just…facing the music. The chaotic (but at the same time achingly beautiful) music of my inner landscape.

My card for August is the Tower (and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen some of my pretty raw thoughts about this). This Tower energy has been building up inside of me for quite some time. We are usually the architects of our own towers, after all.

I wish I could blame some volatile external force, but I have to admit that consciously or unconsciously, I built this fortress myself.

I built it, and I have been living in a tower. A Tower of old beliefs, of fears, of smallness, of shame, of weird habits and avoidance tactics. I haven’t wanted to admit that to myself, much less to anyone else.

For some time now, my Tower has been cracking and creaking. It’s been showing signs of wear. Signs that it needs to be demolished. But I’ve tried to ignore those signs. I’ve tried to convince myself that golly gee, that’s not a crack in the foundation! Everything is juuuuust fine!

In fact, the hardest I’ve laughed in months was looking at pictures of dogs who are stuck but pretending everything is fine because #same.

There’s a gift that tarot gives me again and again: the gift of metaphor. The cards make it easier for me to see my inner landscape for what it is: a stew of archetypes and stories. Experiences that are wholly mine, yet utterly entrenched in the collective unconscious.

(I’m not trying to be vague. I’m just doing what my mystic heart was born to do…I’m viewing the human experience through the lens of story and myth.)

And in this current metaphor, I essentially have two options. The first is to continue to squirrel myself away in the Tower, throwing up haphazard patches and pretending that the inevitable collapse isn’t going to happen.

Or, I can lend a hand in the Tower’s upheaval. I can be the one to throw the dynamite at the damn thing. I can actively help those bricks find their way to freedom.

That’s the choice I’m making this month. Even when part of me doesn’t want to. Even when part of me STILL wants to stay cooped up in the Tower. Gently, I am telling her “let’s go, my love. We are done here. This place is crumbling, so let’s quit feigning it offers true protection. We will be okay. We will survive AND thrive. Squirming away from the chaos is not a wise expenditure of our energy. Let’s jump right into the chaos.”

Because chaos is the ONLY path to clarity.

I will not frame my tower as a cataclysm; instead it is a catalyst. My tower doesn’t have to result in a breakdown; instead it can set the stage for a breakthrough.

I won’t lie, it still feels weird. I’m still not sure how to proceed. And I still don’t like it. But this is where my myth meets my reality, and it’s about time I quit resisting the call and finally show up for the challenge – like all true heroes eventually do.

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