One of the most memorable readings I have ever done was during the earliest stages of my tarot reading career, when I was still only reading for close friends and family. It was a relationship question for one of my closest friends.
The 7 of Swords came up at the center of the spread. It didn’t fit with the other cards, which all spoke of love and harmony. It also didn’t fit the relationship dynamics of the couple I thought I knew. I asked a few questions to see if there were any aspects of the relationship or each other that either one of them were unsatisfied with but he insisted that there wasn’t anything wrong. And so I downplayed the significance of that card and focused on the ‘happy’ cards in the rest of the spread.
For days, I thought and thought about that spread with a sense of unease. Aside from dwelling on the feeling, however, I did nothing about it.
The two of them eventually broke up. Lies and betrayal had torn them apart.
To this day, I still wonder if things would have turned out differently if only I had been brave enough to trust my instinct and warned him to be more conscious of any subtly growing sense of resentment or dissatisfaction. Falling out of love might have been inevitable, but if I had advised him to be honest with his partner about his feelings when they first arose, I might have been able to prevent the cheating and all the pain that followed.
In the course of my career, I’ve had my share of readings that didn’t address my client’s needs. I’ve even had ones where I was just way off in the left field. This reading, however, will stand as my greatest failure. I wasn’t just wrong – I was deliberately wrong.
I share this mistake today in hopes that others can learn from it.
Giving bad news has always been hard but it has been increasingly difficult in our modern day and age. Our society has become so sensitive and politically correct that many of us are afraid to give an honest critique. But no matter how hard this task is, we must find the courage to be honest to the ones we are emotionally responsible for.
I know now that I cannot protect people’s feelings by shielding them from the truth. The only way I can help my clients is to provide them with all the information they need in order to make better decisions and to grow.
And many times in life, pain and difficulty are required in order to grow. I cannot take away their pain and so the best I can do is to help them face it with courage and dignity.