i've been pulling a lot of joyful cups lately, reminding me to give love, to seek happiness, to experience the full range of emotions that my heart has to give. today, however, is the day for a few of those darker feelings to come in: the five of cups.
this card is a bit sad, true - the poor horse looks lost and beaten-down, and stares morosely into the darkness around her. she's so deeply entrenched in her grief and pain that she completely misses the five cups hovering overhead, full of light and comfort.
but while this five can signal challenges in emotions, difficult feelings, and disappointment in relationships, it also seems to give permission to just be sad for awhile. so often when we're dealing with something painful, the first instinct is to say "buck up! don't be sad! look around at everything wonderful! it's not that bad! get back to regular life!" but i've found that pushing away dark feelings and pretending they don't exist doesn't actually make them go away - it simply allows them to hide and fester, eating away at any positive ground until they become so strong that they cannot be ignored any longer. i think acknowledging our emotions, whether they're positive or negative, is such a difficult but important part of being human.
as someone that deals with depression, i don't always have a choice - depression is synonymous with genuinely sad emotions like grief, regret, or sorrow. it's painful and impossible, and it comes from a different place that's outside of relationships and circumstances. but while it's not exactly the same, my depression has taught me that giving myself permission to be sad, no matter where those feelings come from, can be a gift. sometimes we just need to retreat into the darkness, mourn and cry and scream, and release all of that pain. we might channel it into art or music or writing or beauty, or we might simply let it go. and when we're ready to come back to the light, all we have to do is look around and see those bright, overflowing cups - that previously were just out of reach.