July 25

07/26/13: Not Obliged / King of Pentacles Rx


king-pentacles-reversedThe other day I got a comment on an old web design post, asking for advice about setting up a website and hinting they may want to hire me to do so.

The promise of web work wasn’t much of a hook; I don’t design sites for a living anymore. And I don’t want to! But the request for information was a hook, even though I don’t design websites for a living anymore.

I was a web consultant for many years and I know my stuff. I was also one of the most helpful web folks you could ever meet. You have any idea how many years I handed out free web advice to pretty much anybody who asked? Not just clients, not just friends, but ANY-BODY who asked.

I began to mentally outline the blog post I’d need to follow up with, all the while feeling put off and anxious about the amount of time and energy it would take me to properly answer the question.

I was relieved when I saw the question was linked to a spam website. I’d never been so glad to see a sneaky spammer. Suddenly, I didn’t have an obligation to answer this question!

Uh oh. That’s a clue. There never was an obligation.

While I don’t do free readings upon demand, I guess I haven’t quite gotten over the mindset.

The reversed King of Pentacles is saying to me, “You cannot do it all. Nor should you.”  Know what is yours to address and what is not. Realize that caretaking can be counterproductive as well as kindness. Realize that sometimes, YOU could use a little caretaking, too. Realize sometimes the cost of giving  can outweigh the value of a gift.

The reversed King of Pentacles is the question that’s not yours to answer. He’s the problem that it’s not yours to solve. He’s the exceptionally fine advice that you are not obliged to share. He’s the parent who needs to know when to let go of the bike as the child learns to ride.

He’s also the causes we do not take up. He’s the pleas for help we do not answer on the internet. He’s the correction we do not make of other’s mistakes. He’s withholding his support, no question!

But the reason for withholding may be sound. He is not obliged.

Sometimes, people will try to make you feel obliged for their own interests. Sometimes, they’ll say you’re “the only one” who can solve their problems. This is an appeal to the ego. Ask yourself, “Why?”

There’s nothing wrong with support freely given from the heart, without obligation or expectations. If you find yourself feeling resentful or put upon however, that’s a glaring clue something is amiss. Look closer.

Do you sometimes feel inexplicably “obliged”?

Tarot: The Complete Kit
by Dennis Fairchild

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King of Pentacles, Tarot Nova

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  1. This is hard to do. But, I’m getting better at it. I do backslide.
    And, I’ve found myself in this situation recently. It’s as if I’m being tested on my ability to build boundaries and the subsequent guilt I have over said boundaries. LOL. It happens.
    I really like your take on this one

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