Pool of Tears
“I wish I hadn’t cried so much!” said Alice . . .
“I shall be punished for it now, I suppose,
by being drowned in my own tears!”
Emotional Release, Self-Criticism, Dwelling on the Past, Moving On
Alice is swept away by a flood of her own tears that she’d cried when she was 9 feet tall and unable to fit inside the door to the garden. Alice scolds herself for crying so much and feels there is some sort of punishment that awaits her as a result of showing such emotion. She spends a good deal of time throughout her journey correcting herself and criticizing her behavior, though it doesn’t seem to keep her out of the perils that lie down the rabbit hole.
She is merely adding salt to the wounds, so to speak, with her harsh reprimands. Going down the rabbit hole isn't something people do every day, and sometimes it takes a bit of getting used to. While it isn't healthy to get swept away by emotion, it is usually essential to allow oneself to really feel them and let them go before continuing through Wonderland.
The pool of tears has flowed into your reading to mark a possibly intense emotional time. Something that you initiated in your past is coming around and having an impact in your tea party now. It won’t do any good to get stuck in a cycle of self-criticism over things that were done in the past that are having an effect on your current circumstances. What is done is done, and we can either learn from past mistakes and work with what we’ve got, or allow ourselves to go down with the ship.
As Alice is swept away, she is taken from her vicious cycle of growing large and getting small in a futile attempt at entering the garden behind the tiny door. By being deluged by her own tears, Alice leaves behind that rut and moves on to new adventures. In a way, this flood is a chance to start over again and try something new. Hopefully something better. Tears should not be feared or avoided. They are actually a really helpful way, like other water flows, to wash away that which no longer serves.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, look at what you have that you can work with and navigate yourself towards a new and more useful state. The only punishment that awaits is the suffering you impose upon yourself by dwelling in the past and allowing it to drowned you in its inundation. If you can swim your way to shore, shake off those old salty tears and move on, you may find that life is still full of wonder and delight.
Meditation: Take a moment to get yourself comfortable and think about what it is in your past that is haunting your inquiry today. Notice how you feel about this past circumstance. Is there guilt, resentment, or regrets? Tell yourself that now is the time to let go of these things. Ask if there is anything you have learned about these circumstances that you can use as wisdom along your path through Wonderland. If you can, take a moment to forgive yourself and/or others who may have been involved in the past events. Really let it go, because it is weighing you down like an anchor in a stormy sea. Pull off the lead weight and feel yourself become lighter. You can cry to let it go, or you can imagine some other way of releasing the heaviness of this old burden. Now look at where you are without that weight. What do you now know and what resources do you have at your disposal to help you move forward? It might help to take a moment to ask what you can be grateful for, as this helps to open our eyes to what we have that’s good, instead of focusing on what we don’t have, or what we are dealing with that is challenging. Take your time to sit with this until you have completely let go of your thoughts of the past, and are focusing on what you can do with your current resources that will serve you best. Come back to this meditation as much as you need until you can see your way past the flood of tears and onto a safe shore.
(You may also want to read the Caucus Race.)
Illustration by Angela Navarro - high school artist