The card I drew from the tarot deck today is The Queen of Swords. The suit of swords corresponds to the astrological element of air – which rules the mind and the intellect.
The Queen of Swords sits in her throne in the sky. Her face is devoid of emotion. Her left arm reaches out to welcome dialogue. She’s got a sword in her right hand to cut through emotional clouds and see things from an impartial perspective. It’s how she solves the problems at hand. A bird flies freely above her head – symbolising the value of objectivity and seeing things from a larger perspective.
Recently, I’ve had to deal with a few students whose behaviour made me feel like quitting the teaching profession. They also left me wondering what in the world I was smoking when I decided to became a teacher. I don’t smoke, by the way.
When I sat down to talk with their caregivers, they did what a lot of people do to their teachers – they dumped their whole life story on me. Then they looked at me in despair and asked me to shed light on why their child is behaving the way he or she is.
Unfortunately, most caregivers in that situation don’t want to hear the truth about how their behaviour is negatively affecting the child. Or worse – they don’t want to hear that it’s nothing they’ve done, but the child’s got a serious problem that they’re not seeing because they’re in denial.
Anyways, even if I did tell them the truth – at the end of the day, they are a family and will ultimately stick together despite the dysfunctional dynamic. I, on the other hand, am an outsider. What’s the point of getting emotionally involved? Instead, I just listen, nod and bite my tongue – guarding myself against the all too familiar toxic family dynamic. I will not let others make their problems my problems.
Whilst empathy allows us to stay connected and form bonds with other human beings – it isn’t always the best option when we’re looking for solutions to problems. In fact, being emotionally invested only makes matters worse for everyone involved.
It is in the nature of my job that I will continue to deal with family sagas and issues. I choose to deal with these matters with my head instead of my heart. I’m just not interested in being some series regular in someone else’s soap opera.
Having said that – too much logic leads to a hard-hearted, cold and bitter person. I’ve always believed that people who cut themselves off from their emotions miss out on a lot of experiences. How dry, lonely and deserted their lives must be.
It’s hard isn’t it – coming to a happy equilibrium between your head and your heart? So how’s this for a solution – love people with your heart, but deal with their problems with your head.
It’s what’s necessary to ensure a good outcome for everyone involved.