“Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool. Lovin’ both of you is breaking all the rules…”
The Three of Swords always reminds me of the lyrics to this song from the 70s. It feels like you are standing at a crossroads and there are no good choices. In the song, it’s about loving two people and needing to decide between them and knowing that whatever you do, someone is going to end up broken hearted. But, this set of choices doesn’t have to be about relationships. It can be about whatever choices you face. And when in those situations, often its the chooser who ends up losing because the pain is often overwhelming regardless of which path she or he chooses.
Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to avoid the pain of heartache or worse, heartbreak, we end up feeling torn in half by whatever occurs in our lives. It sucks but there it is. Heartache is a part of life, especially if we choose to live in the here and now and make choices in the here and now. And worse, sometimes, other people’s decisions break our hearts. For example, we don’t get the promotion we’ve worked our butts off for. We cross our fingers, say our prayers and submit a poem to a literary magazine and get rejected. We gather our courage, and audition for a play and don’t get cast. We tell someone we love them and get an “Um, I really like you as a friend,” in response. Whatever it is, however we have to face rejection because someone else got chosen instead of us, we still need to play the game. It’s part of living. However…
There comes a day when the game is too painful and it’s time to hang it up. Now, I’m not saying hang it up forever, but I am saying, for the moment, do hang it up. Step away from the ledge. Take time to lick your wounds. Don’t try so hard. Protect yourself so you can heal and then come back stronger tomorrow. Don’t tilt at so many windmills for the moment, if you find you don’t have the energy or the heart for it.
Last night, I was at a pub celebrating a friend’s Birthday. In the restroom, I overheard a young woman giving advice to a friend. She said, “Son, if the ho’ don’t want to be saved, don’t try to save the ho’….” I took it to mean that while it’s okay to tilt at some/most windmills, sometimes, no matter what you do, things will unravel and you will get hurt. So, don’t turn yourself inside out and cause yourself a great deal of pain, trying to help someone who just doesn’t want or need your help.
Today, that is what I encourage you to do. If the game is too much, if it’s too painful. Walk away, heal, and come back tomorrow to try again.
In the words of the famous movie star, the WOPR or Joshua, “Interesting game. The only winning move is not to play.”