If Everyone Was Like Me, Wouldn’t We All Be Dead Right Now?

Compassion, from Toni Carmine Salerno's Universal Wisdom deck

Compassion, from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck

For audio, click here.

Nothing pisses people off about me so much as my kind heart. No, seriously.

Don’t I understand the presence of evil in the world? Haven’t I ever encountered a total psychopath? These are some of the questions that are flung at me.

I’ve been encountering reactions like this ever since I was in high school and gave my first persuasive speech in English class, when I chose to argue against the death penalty. The people who were appalled by my views on capital punishment (not just my classmates, but several close family members, especially including my mother) became even more appalled when I came out as a pacifist (don’t I realize that I come from a long line of military veterans? am I suggesting that my veteran ancestors were wrong to enlist? –though I will just note in this regard that my Vietnam veteran former Marine father was my biggest supporter during this time and that he seemed to greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness I was giving to these topics). Many of these same people find my vegetarianism highly annoying as well (do I like animals better than people?).

What I find interesting is their use of the presence of violence in the world to argue that I should be MORE willing to be violent and MORE tolerant of violence.

(I’m not against self-defense, by the way. I have a black belt in Seido karate and have also studied two other martial arts. And I’m not anti-guns, per se. I grew up in rural Alaska, where everyone has guns in the house and where those guns are used to provide food for the winter–in other words, to nourish, even though that nourishment comes from an act of violence. Of course, in that same environment, I also heard many stories of people drinking too much and then shooting each other–but it’s not polite of me to bring that up, is it?)

If everyone was like me, wouldn’t we all be dead right now?

Let me just say this.

Yes, I know that there is evil in the world. Yes, I know that there are psychopaths and sociopaths out there.

I’m actually not one of them, though.

So, first of all, stomping all over my attempts to inspire other people to be peaceful and loving–I’m not so sure that helps the situation, at all. Directing negative energy at me, when I’m actually not the problem or even a source of the problem–I don’t see how that is constructive. I’m willing to objectively consider the possibility that it might be constructive, but right now I just am not seeing the logic of it.

In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that inspiring people to be kind to each other is a better, more constructive response. That deescalation leads to less violence than escalation.

When people hurt each other, it’s not because they were feeling kind and loving at the time. It’s not because they are overly tenderhearted.

Violence comes not from a tender heart, but from a heart that has been hardened and encased in armor.

When we respond to people authentically, and look them in the eye, and try to really understand who they are and what motivates them, and do our best to love and nurture them, what we actually are doing is finding ways to shoot arrows through the chinks in the armor around their hearts.

Yeah, we could shoot them in the heads, or stick a pick axe into their skulls, or whatever. But all we can accomplish that way is to kill a person’s physical body.

And typically, when we kill someone, the act of murder causes arrows to shoot into the hearts of the people who loved that person. And that hurts. They don’t like having arrows shot into their hearts, so they find whatever armor they can. They harden. And when they harden, they can find it in themselves to be violent, too. And then they start deploying concepts like justice to try to rationalize their own emotional responses.


Justice, from the Rider-Waite Tarot.

Justice, though, is not a concept that can be used at a practical level to solve the problem of violence. It actually is not useful. At all.

(As another aside, speaking of justice, and the justice system–as someone who regularly spends time in jail, working with men and women inmates as a volunteer, I’ve NEVER met anyone evil there or anyone who I was EVER afraid of.)

If you want to solve the problem of violence, you have to shoot arrows of healing, not arrows of pain, into people’s hearts. Don’t worry–healing hurts too, in its own way (so if you’re that determined to cause pain, I’d say, don’t worry about it–there will ALWAYS be plenty of pain in the world).

Consider the possibility that if I choose to be tenderhearted, if I choose to allow myself to be vulnerable, I could be doing so rationally.

Consider the possibility that the courage to be vulnerable is not simple foolhardiness but is instead a tool that could make a difference.

Consider the possibility that being kind to people can actually change them and make them less violent.

I’m not telling you to be kind to people because it’s an idealistic altruistic thing to do. Who gives a fuck about ideals? I care about RESULTS.

I’m telling you that kindness is more PRACTICAL than kneejerk anger because it produces BETTER EMPIRICAL RESULTS.

If you don’t believe me, try to falsify my statement. Document what happens when you are kind to people and what happens when you are unkind. Do your own statistical analysis. I dare you.

Yes, I choose to have a kind heart, even in the face of the presence of evil. In fact, I can’t think of any better way to defy evil than to be kind.

So this is my call to arms:



Literary Lenormand: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas, with a Lenormand prediction for the plot.

So, I went to the library, because I had books on hold. Two of them. Fantasy novels! And then I remembered that I haven’t written a Literary Lenormand post in awhile. So, here goes. And by the way, you guys have NO IDEA how much self-discipline it takes for me to sit down and do a Lenormand reading about a book before diving right in!!! NO IDEA!!!!

I am dying to read Throne of Glass, so this will be quick. Ship, crossroads, mountain, coffin, birds.

I take it that our heroine travels (the Ship) to a faraway place, where she faces an important choice (the Crossroads). Her choice either takes her into the mountains or requires her to overcome a difficult obstacle, or both (the Mountain). There is a death (the Coffin). (Let’s hope it’s not hers.) And her reputation is assured–she becomes famous or infamous (the Birds–people are talking about her).

Spoiler to follow when I start and finish the book.

Next time: The Queen of the Tearling….by Erika Johansen. A book that my librarian was sad to let me take because she wanted to read it herself.

Science and Spirituality Can Be Friends

Einstein, Dalai Lama, laughter

One thing science and religion agree on is the medical benefits of laughter. And if that’s not a basis for friendship, I don’t know what is!

Google the definition of science. The core idea that you will find is systematic study based on observation and experiments. You won’t find anything in the definition of science that rules out religion and spirituality:

noun: science
  1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
    “the world of science and technology”
    synonyms: branch of knowledge, body of knowledge/information, area of study, discipline, field

    “the science of criminology”
    • a particular area of this.
      plural noun: sciences
      “veterinary science”
    • a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.
      “the science of criminology”
      synonyms: physics, chemistry, biology; More

      “he teaches science at the high school”
    • archaic
      knowledge of any kind.
Middle English (denoting knowledge): from Old French, from Latin scientia, from scire ‘know.’

It would be fair to say that science is based on empirical observation and study, and that the scientific method uses trial and error–experimentation–to determine whether a hypothesis is plausible.

What has always bothered me about people who dismiss religion and spirituality, though, is the unscientific way in which they do so. The spiritual world is dismissed out of hand, as if it did not rise to the level of something that could be empirically investigated.

Whenever an idea is dismissed without even giving it a fair trial, I think it’s reasonable to wonder whether bias is at work.

And I think that is the case when it comes to science and spirituality/religion. If we dismiss religion in the name of science, we can only do so by making the argument that the empirical experiences of the millions of people who say that they have experienced the presence of God(s), or who say they have observed miracles, or for that matter who say they have seen ghosts, are not admissible evidence. But if the empirical experiences of SO many people are not admissible as evidence, then we need to be provided with a reason why not. Why are these eyewitness accounts not acceptable to us?

The reasons that tend to be provided seem to me to be at least as farfetched as the idea that there could be a spiritual dimension to reality. Let’s see: mass delusion, mass psychosis, mass hallucinations? How likely is that, really?

Meanwhile, at the same time, we’re scientifically validating quite a bit of the knowledge that came from these supposedly psychotic and deluded ancestors of ours: their herbal knowledge, their astronomical knowledge, their understanding of the basic nature of reality (ask the Dalai Lama how much of Buddhist cosmology is a very good match for what we’re learning from quantum physics!), their approaches to stress management, and we’re even finding that there’s science to back up seemingly bizarre (at least to the Western scientific eye) practices such as smudging. Not to mention what we’re learning from science about the value of prayer and meditation.

So if I try to explain why we even have such a thing as religion, given our “scientific” belief that the spiritual cannot exist, I’m left arguing that we have psychotic ancestors who made up stories about the world because they were too dumb to figure out how the world really worked, except that they did understand a lot of things about the world that we are just now beginning to be able to provide the scientific back story for. If I want to defend such an argument scientifically, though, I would have to approach it systematically–it’s unscientific by definition to make such a sweeping claim otherwise.

But if I take a systematic look at our religious ancestors and their practices, I actually find them to be very scientific in their approach to studying the world. I find that they observed carefully and often journaled their observations. I find that their results were replicated by other people making the same observations all over the world, and that the spiritual technology that was developed by our ancestors (no matter who you are and who your ancestors are) was replicated independently by people from many different cultures. Smudging, for example, is a very common practice among religious and spiritual people (in organized Western religious environments, we call it burning incense, but it is the same thing: clearing the air with smoke). Prayer and meditation, as I’m sure you realize, are practiced worldwide–and now that we have brain imaging technology (such as MRIs and fMRIs), we know that prayer and meditation have measurable, quantifiable effects on the brain that affect any human who practices them.

I even find, when I look carefully, that a lot of the religious advice that is provided to us under the category of “moral instruction” is actually simple, practical advice. I have had two people recently get upset with me when I tried to explain to them that lying, for example, is inadvisable NOT because it is immoral (because that’s a matter of opinion) but because it is highly impractical. Lying unravels the fabric of the world in which we live, and when we lie, bad things happen because our world starts to unravel around us. When we tell the truth, the opposite happens: doors start to open for us. I can’t prove that this is so, but I can challenge you to keep a journal of what happens when you lie versus what happens when you throw truth at the situation–I think you’ll find that the preponderance of your own evidence supports what I am saying.

Kant’s categorical imperative (behave in a way that you could universalize, a way in which you could accept having everyone behave) is not religious, per se, but it does frequently get brought up as moral advice in religious settings. But this, too, is actually also PRACTICAL advice. It reminds me of the witches’ rule that what you do comes back to you threefold. You could also call this karma. Spiritual ideas, but again, ideas that are not provable but that are easily supported through empirical observations–and ideas that have been independently verified by many different people in many different cultures. (As an aside, Kant thought his categorical imperative could be proven through the use of logic, but he was wrong–his logic was flawed–as philosophers today now realize.)

While we’re on the subject, let’s note that science certainly doesn’t require us to PROVE everything. There are many ideas in science (and in medicine) that we accept not because they are proven but because the preponderance of the evidence suggests that they are correct. (This is how clinical trials for drugs work, for example.) Sometimes, though, the evidence turns out to have been incorrectly interpreted–in some cases, perhaps there was a spurious correlation that confused the issue–and then scientists reconsider and we see a paradigm shift. It’s usually not so much that the original idea was disproven (though, of course, sometimes that is the case–for example, it’s fair to say that the idea that the Sun goes around the Earth has been disproven–it simply doesn’t). What usually happens, though, is that there is an increasing amount of evidence suggesting that something was missed the first time around–and then scientists have to come up with a theory that reconciles the new contradictory evidence with the original results. Often, scientific ideas are not proven, but instead represent our best understanding of how something works based on the evidence that has been collected so far.

But that’s true of religious and spiritual ideas as well. If you look at the way humans relate to the sacred, you’ll see quite a lot of systematic inquiry and data collection. Our brains love to observe, collect, categorize, analyze–whether we are talking about science or philosophy. Our approaches to both subjects are very similar. And frankly, I think that’s part of the reason why so many scientists are so deeply religious. It’s not because they’re schizophrenic or have other personality disorders. It’s not because they have compartmentalized their brains to such a degree that they can actually do science in one hemisphere of the brain and religion in the other. It’s because these two ways of looking at the world are actually not all that different.

Like the farmer and the cowman (in the song from Oklahoma!), science and spirituality CAN be friends.

On Science, Logic, and Faith Healing

A frame from the lecture, "Plants and Sacred Tobacco of Peru and Medicinal Plants for Women," from Curanderismo at the University of New Mexico.

A frame from the lecture, “Plants and Sacred Tobacco of Peru and Medicinal Plants for Women,” from Curanderismo at the University of New Mexico.

So, I just finished taking an online class in Curanderismo, traditional Mexican folk healing based on working with the spirit, through the University of New Mexico (via Coursera). As I watched the videos for this class, I found myself thinking that these videos would drive the typical skeptic crazy, because on the physical level, it doesn’t look as though anything is being done. Things like prayer, chanting or singing, smudging, rubbing an egg on a person, circling the person to be healed–how can these actions affect healing on the physical plane?

I just want to point out the logical flaw in this type of skepticism. If you believe that there is no spiritual level to existence, and that there is only the physical, then you actually have a logical problem embedded in your resistance to the very idea of faith healing. That problem is this: if there is only the physical, then actions such as prayer MUST be acting only within the physical plane, because what else is there? According to the skeptic, if we feel spiritually uplifted by such practices, our feelings are only going on inside us–there’s no physical basis for those feelings. But that is where skeptics introduce a flaw into their own logic. Because according to them, there is no such thing as anything but the physical world. If there is nothing other than the physical, then the physical plane is where all these actions occur–including our own feelings that we might describe as spiritual. If that is the case, then even our spiritual feelings have a biochemical basis. But if spiritual feelings are biochemical in nature, then they can’t help but affect us physically. If that is the case, spiritual work could obviously affect physical health very profoundly.

Do you see my point? The skeptic, by “proving” that spiritual techniques cannot have any effect in the “real,” physical world, has actually proved the opposite.

We know that that which affects the brain affects the whole body. The brain’s response to emotions can involve a change in the levels of neurotransmitters. Parts of the brain release hormones in response to changes in emotional status. The release of adrenaline and cortisol in response to stress, for example, is well documented, as is the release of oxytocin, which is often called the “cuddle hormone,” in response to kind, gentle human touch.

We also know that the placebo effect–literally, healing that takes place because we have FAITH that it will–is real. Scientists have studied it extensively. We also know that people who respond well to placebos tend to respond well to prescription drugs, while people who do not respond well to placebos are more likely to be “treatment resistant” and not to be helped by drugs as much as would otherwise be expected. This strongly suggests to me that the spirit–even if you don’t believe it exists apart from the physical world–actually plays a strong role in healing.

Faith healing skeptics, I believe that you are hoisting yourselves on your own petards.

As a final note: please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that we don’t need medical doctors. What I am saying is that spiritual healing CAN be a useful part of our health care, just as lifestyle changes such as eating nourishing food, getting enough exercise and fresh air, and spending some time every day out in the sun can also help us to improve our health.

When Are We Spiritually Called to Make a Sacrifice?

Seven of Arrows, Wildwood Tarot

The Seven of Arrows (Insecurity) from the Wildwood Tarot.

Note: here is a link to the audio file of me reading this post, for those who prefer listening to reading:


I began my work today by doing an exercise sent to me by James Wells–a small prequel to the Tarot Counselling class (click on the words “Tarot Counselling” if you are curious about it) that I am taking with him later this fall. James’ exercise called on students to cross the threshold into the realm of soul guidance, draw a card, set an intention for what kind of guidance we wished to receive, and look at the physical, emotional, and spiritual layers of meaning in that card.

I set my intention to ask for guidance about my day ahead, and drew, from the Wildwood Tarot, the Seven of Arrows/Insecurity. This card shows a woman dressed in green, standing on a stone that has a skull carved into it, with seven arrows either flying at her or in the act of piercing her. It’s as if she is being executed by a firing squad, but instead of having bullets fired at her, she has arrows. She also has a gag in her mouth so that she can’t speak. She makes me think of Jesus on the cross, totally vulnerable, being sacrificed for the sake of others. Or of the Buddha, throwing himself off a cliff to be eaten by a tiger, as he does in one of the jataka tales.

I think most women, at some point in their lives, can relate to this image, and not just because this is a picture of a woman. Women can relate to being on the spot, we OFTEN experience not being allowed to speak, we regularly experience occasions when we are targeted for being who we are, and we often make sacrifices that involve putting others first and ourselves last.

Do this card and this image resonate with me today? Well, on a physical level, not being able to speak has been an issue for me lately, because I have a sore throat and am getting over a respiratory infection, so I’m constantly coughing. On an emotional level, I feel rather “on the spot” right now, as if many people have me in their target sites and I’m having to deal with their demands (arrows) rather than going off and spending time alone and getting well. So I have a lot to take care of and not a lot of time for myself today–there is a certain basic level of insecurity about that. This is almost a stereotypical woman/mother type of situation to be in. But it would be melodramatic, wouldn’t it, to compare the things on my to do list, things like laundry, housecleaning, and teaching a class, to being executed by a firing squad of archers? (Granted, to a shy person, sometimes teaching a class can feel like marching off to your own execution…)

I think that our typical reaction to seeing someone who is willingly in an overwhelming situation–whether it is a truly intolerable situation, like being literally on the cross, or a tolerable one, like trying to do too much too fast–is to say, please stop! Don’t you find, looking at this card, that you want the woman shown here to be safe and sound somewhere? Likewise, when you see Jesus on the cross, don’t you want to get him down from there? I do! I want him out in the world teaching, not suffering on the cross. And I don’t want to see women spending all their time taking care of others and not taking care of themselves, either, even if that is a much smaller sacrifice. Looking at the woman on this card, part of me wants her to turn into Wonder Woman, and quickly block all the arrows the way Wonder Woman blocks bullets with her bulletproof bracelets. I want her to speak up, fight back, and not allow her power in the world to be usurped. I want her to be a spiritual warrior, not a sacrificial lamb.

But let’s look more deeply. Making a sacrifice is something that at times, we simply feel spiritually called to do. Sacrificing yourself for others, and sometimes even being unfairly blamed and experiencing injustice, can be, and often is, part of the spiritual path. A sacrifice on the level of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is a magical, transformative thing to do–something that CAN accomplish needed change in the world. Remember the famous photo of the student standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square? What about the students who came from other countries to stand in front of bulldozers that were about to destroy Palestinian homes in Israel? And for a teacher, sometimes making a sacrifice can reach the student’s heart like nothing else. (Remember Obi Wan deliberately letting Darth Vader kill him in the first Star Wars movie? Yes, I realize that was fiction…)

So I am torn in terms of how I feel about this card and what it is saying to me. At the spiritual level, I feel that even the little sacrifices that women and men make in daily life are meaningful, and magical. Those small sacrifices may be choices that are imbued with deep intention.  On the other hand, such sacrifices must be chosen willingly. So my question to you (whether you want to answer it in the comments section or in your own journal) is this: what sacrifices do you choose to make that you feel are meaningful? For whom are you willing to make those sacrifices? And what sacrifices, if any, do you think no one should ever make?


Literary Lenormand: Tad Williams’ The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Lenormand Rider, Heart, Sun, Ship, Book, Crossroads, Coffin, Snake, Tower, Bear, and Letter

My Lenormand spread on The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Time for more literary Lenormand! This time we’re looking at Tad Williams’ The Dirty Streets of Heaven. I am currently on page 27 of this book; I laid out a Lenormand spread for the book last night before starting to read it, and then did a tarot horseshoe spread just now as well, just because it’s fun to play with cards! :-) The Lenormand spread I did with the Enchanted Lenormand, and the horseshoe tarot spread with the Hanson-Roberts tarot.

My Lenormand spread shows 11 cards, a nine card spread with an extra card on each side. The first column shows the Rider, the Ship, the Coffin. The next column is the Heart, the Book, the Snake. The last column is the Sun, the Crossroads, the Tower. I also have the Bear to the left, representing Doloriel, the angel who is the main character, and the Letter to the right, representing an important part of the final outcome.

Having read the first 26 pages, I think the Coffin appears here to represent Doloriel’s job as an Advocate Angel for the recently deceased. The Bear also seems appropriate for a protective angel. The Ship may represent a journey into the afterlife (for the deceased). The Book, though, I think stands for some kind of secret, and perhaps also for the Bible (the main character is an angel, after all). With the Snake next to it, I think someone has been lying to Doloriel about something. (No! Deception as a plot device? Does that really ever happen?) Given, again, that this is a book about angels, it’s possible that the Snake could be a Tempter in the form of Satan or a demon. Somehow, the plot will lead Doloriel to a crossroads where he has to make an important choice, and I tend to think that choice might lead him into some kind of imprisonment (the Tower). Which makes me wonder if the Letter is a communication to or from some kind of prison. We also have the Rider at the beginning, indicating a message that opens the book as well (though I haven’t run into it yet, unless that message has to do with the introduction of a new, apprentice angel, who does appear in the first 26 pages).

Hanson-Roberts tarot, Knight of Pentacles, The Lovers, Queen of Cups, King of Cups, Hanged Man, Knight of Wands, Eight of Pentacles, Five of Cups

My horseshoe spread on The Dirty Streets of Heaven, using the Hanson-Roberts tarot.

My tarot horseshoe for this book shows the past as the reversed Knight of Pentacles, the present as The Lovers (in that card, I see Doloriel as the angel who is watching over the Lovers), and the future as the reversed Queen of Cups. The situation is the King of Cups, the challenge is the reversed Hanged Man, what Doloriel needs to know is the Knight of Wands (modified by the Eight of Pentacles, which fell out of the deck on top of it) and the outcome is the reversed Five of Cups.

That’s a lot of court cards, and I think they represent characters in the book, with the knights in this spread being angels, and the Queen and King of Cups appearing as the Lovers. Remember, the Lenormand spread had the Heart in the top center position. The Knight of Pentacles reversed MIGHT be a fallen angel. The Knight of Wands I think is an angel who works very hard to make things right (hence the Eight of Pentacles next to it). That the Knight of Wands is working as the Eight of Pentacles makes me think that he is working to reverse some deed done by the Knight of Pentacles.

The reversed Hanged Man suggests to me that Doloriel will change his perspective by the end of the book, and his well-being may well depend on how quickly he is able to change his perspective. But isn’t that so often true in fiction? The reversed Five of Cups makes me think he will have a number of regrets by the end of the book, but he won’t regret everything, even though he may fixate on the regrets rather than on the positive side of things. But isn’t that also so often the case in fiction?

Have you read this book? Am I right? Am I wrong? Please feel free to comment below. I will also post an update at the bottom of this post when I finish the book.

Why Rose-Colored Glasses Are More Empowering Than Shit-Colored Ones

Strength, Samurai Tarot

In the Samurai Tarot, the keyword for the Strength card is Vision, and the LWB talks about the need to see clearly in all eight directions. And think about it: what does this sumo wrestler see? The chance to win or the chance to lose? How will what he sees affect the way he grapples with his opponent?

[Note: at the bottom of this post, there is a link to a recording of me reading it, for those of you who prefer audio.]

For a long time I’ve pondered why it is that in the Samurai Tarot, the Strength card has the keyword vision. To me, the Strength card (more commonly showing a woman taming a lion) has always said patience. What is the connection between strength and vision?

I found the connection today, when I started thinking about a person in my life who consistently views everything in a negative way. He always has bad luck, the system is against him, nothing will ever change, he’s sick of it. Etc. I tend to see the world more through rose-colored glasses, but when I respond with positivity, he waves my rose-colored glasses away. To him, the idea of looking mainly at the positive side of things is a lie. He prides himself on seeing the the cold, hard, gritty truth.

On reflection, though, I realized today that his glasses are no more accurate than mine are. While I may be seeing the world through rose-colored glasses, he sees them through shit-colored glasses. He looks around and sees nothing but shit and people behaving in shitty ways, basically shit multiplying anywhere that he has to dig himself out of. And it makes him fucking crabby.

But why are his shit-colored glasses presumed to be more accurate and factual than my rose-colored ones? The fact is, we are both looking at the same set of facts–we just see those facts through different filters. I could take my glasses off entirely, and see the world blurry (since I am very nearsighted). I could close my eyes and see the world as colored tints on the back of my eyelids. Or fall asleep and see the world as it appears in my dreams. Which world is the right one? Which world is the true one? Which world is accurate???

Look, I’m not the Queen of Swords here. I can’t tell you which world is accurate, if any of them is. What I CAN tell you is that your filters affect your behavior. I can’t respond to what I don’t see. That’s why I should really ALWAYS wear my glasses when I’m driving. Frankly, shit-colored glasses block out a hell of a lot. They block out SO much that if you wear them for very long, you’re likely to give up. Why bother? Everything is shitty anyway.

But what happens if I wear my rose-colored glasses? I say to myself, hey. Look at all these small things that are starting to make a difference. And then I align myself with those things. I start to feel hope (the Star!). My rose-colored glasses motivate me. They say to me, I CAN make a difference! And then I start to fill with creativity and solutions. I start to work on things in whatever small way I can. Whether my rose-colored glasses are more accurate than the shit-colored ones is not really the point. The point is that the rose-colored glasses get me moving so that I can improve my world and make a more peaceful and organized life. You can’t create a peaceful, happy life unless you first VISUALIZE it. You have to see your destination in order to swim for it. You NEED glasses that let you see where you want to go, because if you don’t have that kind of filter, you’ll never reach your destination. You’ll just flail around helplessly.

Not to state the obvious, but: rose-colored glasses are EMPOWERING. 

And I’d like to add a thought about this for those people who are empathic, like I am: part of being an empath is that people hold out their own glasses, their own filters, to you all the time, and you willingly put on those glasses and see through their eyes. And then your heart goes out to them. But you have to be able to take those glasses off again and hand them back. You need your own eyes and your own filters to navigate through life. There is a real danger in being an empath that you might get buffeted from one person’s filters to another and not have a chance to develop and use your own. That’s why we need good strong energetic boundaries, so that we don’t have to get sucked into other people’s dramas. I’m saying this to myself as much as to you–because this is a massive problem for me. Someone tells me their problems and I WORRY about them all day. When I should be getting other things done. I need to contain those problems and the filters that let me see them in some kind of container, within boundaries, maybe plexiglass boundaries, so I can SEE them and be of help to the person in question without having my entire life taken over by their shit-colored glasses. 

The Samurai Tarot is right: Vision IS a vital part of Strength.

For those who prefer to listen to this post, here is a link to a recording of me reading it: https://www.dropbox.com/s/xnt9t76393j1bai/Why%20Rose-colored%20Glasses%20Are%20More%20Empowering%20Than%20Shitty%20Ones.mp3?dl=0