inner turmoil as training ground

i did a tarot pull while holding the question, “how can i grow my relationship with cannabis?”

i drew the hermit + five of wands:


(they were both reversed, which depending on my mood, carries significance. my general sense of reversal is that it indicates tension — blocks around the energy the card is speaking to)

musings:

i often struggle with my relationship around cannabis — constantly coming back to a desire to be intentional with my practice, making sure it’s sacred instead of compulsive, numbing or escaping.

cannabis has been in my life for over 10 years at this point, and so we’ve grown a lot together. and i, inevitably, worry about falling back into old habits, ones that don’t serve me.

and to be honest, i’m not sure how much i’ve grown externally with my practice of cannabis. i think in a lot of the ways, i practice her similarly, with some adjustments. it’s almost as though the way it’s the way i relate to her that has really changed. i see her more as a sacred sacrament than a “drug.”

generally, the cards are letting me know that this turning inwards about it, this internal conflict over it, isn’t inherently a bad thing. together, they’re reminding me that this is often the place of growth – intentional contemplation and allowing for/moving through contradictions, the parts of ourselves that seem in opposition.

the other side of the five of wands, of these people sparring with each other, is that it’s a training ground; conflict is how we grow, how we get stronger. in turning inwards and holding these many parts of ourselves as they combat each other, we learn that it’s less about one winning/claiming domination over the others, and more so about learning how to create space for all of them. how do we let the contradictory parts of ourselves coexist? how do we nurture a sense of belonging for all of them?

there’s a part of me that truly believes cannabis is one of the kindest practices i’ve integrated into my life. and another part feels like it’s often be a crutch or distraction, something that’s more compulsive than anything else. part of me believes that cannabis is a sacrament, not a “drug,” and yet i find myself partaking in her in ways that treat her more like “substance.”

i can’t remember the exact wording, but it makes me think of ashe phoenix referring to a “conscious practice of cannabis” — the reality is that cannabis is in and of itself neutral. or maybe it would be more apt to say that as a spiritual sacrament, she’ll bring the medicine, but it’s up to you what you do with it.

this also makes me think of something else ashe said in relation to cannabis justice:

all cannabis use is medicinal.”

ya, so it’s tricky.. cause even when i’m using cannabis to escape, to distract, to comfort.. can this still be reaching for medicine? i guess that’s why they call it self-medicating. it makes me think of how all behavior, even the most destructive and shameful, is serving a purpose a purpose — we wouldn’t reach for it if it wasn’t.

i do have such deep reverence for cannabis. and that’s one of the main reasons i want to make sure i’m aligned in my relationship with her. i want to always treat her with care and respect and appreciation.

the work of the hermit and the five of wands is to surrender to the internal conflict, to let it be, to show up for it. to understand that going through this turmoil leads me to the other side of clarity. the grappling with is an integral part of the learning/growing process.

and yet internal conflict can feel so wrong when it’s happening… waking up this morning, having slept a lot (like 10+ hours), i was wondering if it was because i smoked too much last night.. and showing up for that consideration honestly can be hard, because it’s triggers insecurity and shame — makes me feel like a “loser” or “failure.”

like, “again, Becki, again? you still haven’t figured this shit out?”

and there’s another layer to this as well — i often use weed as a scapegoat. if something in my life isn’t going right, if my energy is low, i blame it on cannabis. and so i both blame her and reach for her. this makes me think of my friend Katie describing people’s toxic relationship with money, like “i need you but i hate you.”

i don’t want to blame cannabis for my problems, because she’s always been kind to me.

holding consistent turmoil, such as my conflicted feelings towards my cannabis practice, is exhausting. i understand why people reach for binaries, all or nothing thinking. it’s the irony of the middle way, one of moderation, often being the hardest option. it requires consistent check-ins with self to make sure we’re moving in alignment.

it’s the hard work of daily dedication to a path.

i tell myself that if there’s a time i need to walk away from cannabis (again), that knowing will arise in me without forcing. but it’s important to note that in order to be able to hear that call (or any call for that matter) requires a practice of honest listening, one without judgment or restrictions.

before i did this tarot pull, i thought to myself, “i hope the cards don’t tell me i need to stop/take a break from smoking…” these are the revelations i need to be rigorously honest about — my deep attachment to smoking, at how often i reach for her, and the fear that arises in her absence. i guess you could refer to this as dependency.

and admitting that brings up feelings of shame, of failure. because i feel like i can either admit that and stop or not admit it and keep going. as opposed to admitting it and not stopping, which then just feels like self-aware dysfunction.

my trauma therapist, when i told her about my cannabis use, said it makes sense. and that she wouldn’t just ask me to stop out of the blue, because it’s obviously serving me in some way. there’s a sense of irresponsibility to taking something away without having an offering in its place.

i don’t really have clarity around my relationship with cannabis, because it’s many things. it does not fit neatly into a box of “good” or “bad.”

and ultimately, cannabis is loving. i’ve thought numerous times, if i needed to walk away from cannabis, i’m confident she’d understand. i don’t feel as though she‘s manipulating me, holding me back.

i also don’t feel as though she is truly the problem in my life. but i do have a lot of discomfort around the compulsivity that can arise in me with her. that’s the part that really irks me, that makes me feel “bad” or “weak.”

anyways y’all, i worry i might just start going in circles at this point.

i guess like many things in life, to be continued…

i’ll keep y’all in the loop with as much honesty and courage as i can muster.

much love and good luck out there ❤ ❤ ❤

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